The biggest challenge of this test was not the technology of the full-suspension Riese & Mueller bicycle: The point was to find a trail from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg which was fun to cycle with the speed pedelec and which was allowed for them. The aim was to avoid tarred, however forbidden field tracks as well as roads with crowds of hectic car drivers. The allowed and realistic speed of 45 kmh is in most cases too fast on cycle lanes, but also too slow to go with the flow of traffic. Finally, and after a short climb from the Neckar valley the everyday way led up and down through the countryside, at the end through the city and unfortunately again and again right through the grey area of what is permitted.
Due to the mud on service roads the kickstand did no longer fold up automatically already after a few rides. Mudguards mounted too tight clogged so that the rider was forced again and again to deflate the tyre a little and to remove the wheel to free the mudguard with the quick-release from the mud. The regular cleaning of the bicycle with plenty of water is therefore a must under such conditions of use.
Gear shifting was also affected by the mud, the shift cable had to be replaced several times. With a too far compression of the rear frame the mudguard collided with the insurance plate. The plate is however fixed so high that it slightly reaches over the rear light. The lighting system proved to be reliable, but insufficient. In the dark the B & M headlight urges a comfortable ride in spite of its 40 lux. Only the additionally purchased battery-operated lighting allowed higher speeds.
During the second winter the tester resorted to more drastic measures and mounted the Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U lighting set operated by the hub dynamo at 70 or 90 lux from Busch & Mueller as well as a thinner rear wheel tyre. Nota bene: Such modifications are illegal, as long as you don’t let them register by TÜV or Dekra (in Germany). We haven’t tried whether this is possible; we had the privilege of using the modified pedelec as a test bike with a red number plate.
Author: Dirk Zedler