E-biking in the Ironbridge Gorge with the Riese & Muller, Roadster Mixte Urban.
Many thanks to one of our customers, Liz who gave us this amazing review of the E-bike she recently bought from us.
E-bike Review: Roadster Mixte Urban – 300 miles in…
Roadster Mixte Urban, Bosch Active Line Plus, Gates carbon drive belt, Shimano Alfine Di2 electronic 11-speed gearing, Bosch Intuvia computer, Magura hydraulic disc brakes, Schwalbe G-one Allround tyres.
FUNtastic! This e-bike is superb to ride along roads, trails, along the flat, up very steep hills, and freewheeling smoothly down them. It never fails to make me smile, reminiscent of those first times out on a bike as a young girl. I have reached 300 miles very quickly as the bike makes me want to get out there more. In striking Electric Green metallic paint, this bike is also a looker!!
Riese and Mὒller have produced a beautiful and very well engineered bike in the style of a road bike but also with the practicality of an urban bike having mudguards, a kickstand and the option of front and rear pannier racks. The paint quality is simply superb. I have always ridden bikes with a straight crossbar but decided to try the Mixte with its ‘step through’ which allows for all styles of clothing. The bar sits above the battery and is therefore not as low as some Mixte frames but I’m getting used to this. This Urban bike also comes with a suspension seatpost which is excellent at absorbing bumps particularly along off-road trails as are the front suspension forks. I have changed the saddle to one I am used to doing mileage on but its standard saddle is comfy. The flat pedals seem to be good over all surfaces and in wet weather too as are the handlebar grips. The Schwalbe G-one Allround tyres are superb on or off-road and really seem to cushion the ride. I’ve never had a bike with hydraulic disc brakes before: I am completely delighted with them. On fast or steep downhills I just make sure I ‘feather’ off the speed to avoid fierce abrupt braking. Excellent front and rear lighting top it off nicely. The bike handles the road really well and feels very stable which gives me confidence in traffic and on descents. In summary; 10/10.
Hub & Gearing
Having cycled road, urban and mountain bikes for many years, I wanted my e-bike not only to offer ‘assist’ when I needed it but also to be spec’d differently. Therefore, I chose a carbon drive belt hub as opposed to derailleur. This has proved to be a great decision as the clean no oil drive is more practical and user friendly when wearing urban clothing to nip up to the shops but is also effortless in changing gear. The electronic shifters save my ageing arthritic hands(!) effort and all that is needed is a momentary pause in pedaling to change up or down a gear. When stationary, such as annoyingly stopped by temporary traffic lights on a steep hill, you can move up or down levels of assist (Modes: Eco, Tour, Sport or Turbo) and likewise gear level (1 to 10) in readiness for the off on the green light. I asked Bicycles by Design to set the bike up without Auto gear shifting as I am quite an experienced cyclist and would like to make my own decisions re. moving up or down gears, however, Auto is an option. Even with it turned off, the computer does prompt me if I’m in too high or low a cadence for the gear, by indicating Up or Down arrows on the computer screen. In summary; gearing is very smooth, practical and effortless.
Battery and Computer
The Roadster Urban comes with a Bosch PowerPack 500 battery. I’m getting around 70 miles out of a full charge as I use a higher proportion of Eco and Tour than Sport or Turbo assist. This mileage is on a mix of on and off-road routes which are nearly always hilly! In fact, I often switch assist off for long downhills and the bike freewheels brilliantly. A full charge up takes around 3 hours and you can top up whenever you need to. The Urban comes with a great removable large centrally positioned Intuvia computer which shows all sorts of useful information including battery charge level and range, assist Mode, gear level, tripmeter, odometer etc. in Large font (another useful feature for those of us with eyesight challenges!). The computer also prompts you when you need to take the bike to Bicycles by Design for Service. In summary; typical Bosch excellence.
The only tweak Bicycles by Design have needed to do is to reset the mudguards a little higher and straighter to stop some catching of the front tyre.
Riese and Mὒller do not provide a chainguard as standard on the carbon belt drive which I feel is an oversight as even a clean lined belt can potentially pose a hazard on catching of trousers but this is a minor grumble.
Bear in mind that if you are likely to use the bike for longer runs, there are no bosses on the frame to hold water bottle carriers. This is due to the bike having an ‘Urban’ spec rather than Touring.
In summary: I bought the Roadster from Bicycle by Design because I know I can rely on their support to troubleshoot any issues however minor.
Buy one!! It is an investment in your health and happiness and is perfect for those wanting to get into riding a bike, those rehabilitating from injury or poorliness and those of us wishing to continue to do the more challenging routes and in doing so re-find our joy of cycling.