Which Riese & Müller electric bike should I buy?

Our guide to help you choose your new Riese & Müller e-bike

With so many models and options to choose from, buying an e-bike can be overwhelming.

Riese & Müller’s naming of their model options can be somewhat confusing at first, but we’re pleased to say there’s method in the madness. Once you’ve got to grips with the terms they use, you’ll have a much easier time choosing the best option for you.

If all this still seems overwhelming, we recommend starting your e-bike journey with Riese & Müller’s interactive bike advisor. Whether it’s comfort you’re looking for, a car-replacement, or something that’s low maintenance, tell it what you’re after, and it’ll match you with the best model. It takes less than a minute.

This page should serve as a useful glossary of all the terms you’ll encounter while considering all the variations, features and options on offer when buying a new electric bike. Some of these terms are specific to Riese & Müller, but there’s also a lot here that should come in handy when trying to understand general bike shop lingo.

Touring, singlespeed, silent, rücktritt, vario, automatic, rohloff, eh?!

If you’ve spent some time browsing our full collection of Riese & Müller electric bikes, you’ve probably noticed the words above repeated over and over again. Let’s demystify these once and for all!

Riese & Müller use these terms as shorthand for the individual variations of each of their bikes. Let’s define each one in order, with more details on exactly what these mean further down the page:

  • Touring: this means a bike with a regular chain and derailleur gear system.
  • Singlespeed: this means a bike fitted with a belt instead of a chain, and with only one gear.
  • Silent: this means a bike fitted with a belt drive and a Shimano Nexus or Alfine hub gear system.
  • Rücktritt: this means a bike fitted with a belt drive, a Shimano Nexus hub gear system, and a coaster brake.
  • Vario: this means a bike fitted with a belt drive alongside an Enviolo hub gear system.
  • Automatic: this means a bike fitted with a belt drive and an Enviolo Automatiq hub gear system.
  • Rohloff: this means a bike fitted with a belt drive and a Rohloff Speedhub with E-14 electronic shifting hub gear system.

Riese & Müller make premium bikes and their pricing reflects this, see our separate article about why buying one of their bikes is a worthy investment.


These models are the only ones Riese & Müller make which use traditional chains and derailleur gear systems. Most models use a 10 or 11-speed Shimano Deore XT groupset, while a few models have regular Shimano Deore. These models are usually the most economical in terms of price and they’re also the lightest. Shimano’s Deore XT groupset is one of the highest quality systems the company produces.


Like all other Riese & Müller models apart from the ‘touring’, these bikes use a Gates Carbon Belt instead of a chain. Gates are world-renowned for their carbon belts and their history producing belts for motorcycles goes back over a century. Belts are effectively zero-maintenance when compared to chains and are much more durable, but for gearing they require hub systems. As the name suggests, singlespeed bikes have just one gear. This makes them the lightest belt drive bikes and perfect for those who are happy with a single gear.


These models use a belt drive alongside a Shimano Nexus or Alfine 8-speed hub gear system. While heavier than derailleur gear systems, a key advantage is that you can change gear while stationary.


These models are the same as the ‘silent’ model, but also include a coaster brake. These are rear brakes which are activated by back-pedalling rather than a brake lever. Although these remain common in continental Europe, they went somewhat out of fashion in the UK as they’re more commonly associated with traditional town and city bikes.


These models use belt drives accompanied with the Enviolo stepless shifting hub gear system. Enviolo have become the leading brand in the cycling industry for their pioneering variable gearing that gives the rider a supremely adaptable range of options while cycling.


Using a belt drive and maximising the convenience of Enviolo’s hub gear system, these models take things to the next level by incorporating the company’ Automatiq system. This cutting-edge automatic shifting technology means you can completely forget about having to change gear and just let the bike take care of everything.


These models combine a belt drive with the Rohloff Speedhub and E-14 electronic shifting. If there’s a brand that represents the very pinnacle of hub gearing systems in bicycles, it’s Rohloff and their Speedhub 500/14. This system offers an unrivalled gear range of 526%, and the E-14 electronic shifting system makes your e-bike as high-tech as it gets. Of course, all this technology comes at a cost, making the Rohloff models the most expensive that Riese & Müller produce.

So, what about the bikes themselves?

The bikes on this website are categorised by their primary function, but Riese & Müller helpfully organise them according to how they relate to each other. These go as follows:

Control technology

As the name suggests, the key focus of these bikes is handling performance. Very capable off-road, but also comfortable on smooth asphalt, they’re the bicycle equivalent of a luxury SUV:

  • Delite: a supreme off-roader with a diamond frame, available in touring, vario and rohloff variations.
  • Homage: essentially the same as the above, but with a step-through frame design.


A hardtail is a bike with front-suspension but a rigid rear. Very capable off-road but more accessible and budget-friendly, these bikes are the equivalent of the crossover in car-speak. The GT (grand tourer) variations of these models have fatter tyres that provide more comfort, better if you’ll be spending long stretches of time in the saddle:

  • Charger: an all-rounder available with a diamond or mixte frame which comes in touring, vario and rohloff configurations.
  • Nevo: a step-through all-rounder that largely matches the spec of the Charger.


As the name suggests, these are traditional bikes. All are available with varying levels of suspension upgrades and are perfectly capable on trails, but all are primarily designed for cycling on asphalt.

  • Roadster: the closest thing Riese & Müller do to a classic British tourer with either a diamond or mixte frame, and in either touring or vario configurations.
  • Cruiser: a bike oozing timeless Dutch-style flair with either a diamond or mixte frame. More upright and comfort-focused than the Roadster, these city bikes are available in rücktritt, silent and vario configurations.
  • Swing: like the Cruiser, another comfortable city bike with a beautiful Dutch-style aesthetic. This one’s a step-through and is available in silent, rücktritt, vario and automatic configurations.
  • Tinker: a compact, adjustable city bike with a small footprint. The handlebars on these bikes can be folded down for storage, making them easier to fit on public transport or in the back of a car. They feature a unique universal frame design and are available simply in the vario configuration.


Similar to the classic range, but with a greater emphasis on lightness and modern styling. These bikes are the best option for you if you’re concerned about weight. Electric bikes can be pretty heavy, but these nimble city bikes can lull you into thinking you’re not even riding an e-bike:

  • Culture: Riese & Müller’s brand new flagship model, these bikes come in beautiful pastel colours and have a striking modern-meets-traditional aesthetic. Available with either a diamond or mixte frame and in touring, silent and vario configurations.
  • UBN Five: almost the antidote to the Culture, the UBN series features bold, sharp lines. There’s enough variation that we list them separately here. The UBN Five is the diamond frame model and is available in touring, silent, singlespeed and vario configurations.
  • UBN Six: this is the step-through model of the series, it features a slightly more upright seating position and is available in touring, silent and vario configurations.
  • UBN Seven: this is the mixte frame model of the series and, like the Five, it’s available in touring, silent, singlespeed and vario configurations.

Video above: some of Riese & Müller’s range of e-bikes


Longtail is the term used in the bicycle industry for rear-loading cargo bikes. As such, Riese & Müller’s two longtail models are effectively stretch versions of two of their “regular” bikes:

  • Multicharger: a cargo version of the Charger which can carry 2-3 children or a lot of luggage on its rear rack. Brimming with optional extras and available with either a diamond or mixte frame, and in touring, vario, automatic and rohloff configurations.
  • Multitinker: a cargo version of the Tinker and essentially a compact version of the Multicharger, this ingenious little e-bike matches its larger cousin on most features. Its design comprises a universal step-through frame and it comes in touring and vario configurations. The lower centre of gravity improves handling, but the Multicharger’s larger wheels give it a slight advantage for longer trips.

Cargo control technology

If you’ve made it this far, you can probably put two and two together. Only one bike falls under this category, so let’s go straight to it:

  • Load: frequently touted as perhaps the best cargo bike money can buy, the Riese & Müller Load can really do it all. People have taken these full-suspension cargo bikes down mountain bike trails without breaking a sweat. Oh, and you can take up to four kids with you, although we don’t recommend combining the two activities! Available with a universal frame design in touring, vario and rohloff configurations, these things really are the ultimate cargo bike.

Cargo hardtail

As above, a cargo hardtail is a cargo bike with front suspension and a rigid rear:

  • Packster: this is a great all-rounder with lots of different optional extras available, including a Control Technology Package that makes it a full-suspension bike. The Packster has a universal frame and is available in touring, vario and automatic configurations.
  • Transporter: very much the workhorse of Riese & Müller’s cargo bike range, the Transporter is capable of carrying the heaviest loads of any bike. Equally, it has lots of optional extras including a dog kit. It features a universal frame and is available in touring and vario configurations.

Video above: Riese & Müller’s range of electric cargo bikes

What’s with the numbers?

We’re almost at the end of this guide, but one question you may still have relates to a fair few numbers you will have noticed dotted around the place, e.g. ‘Load4 75’. Where you see a number as part of the name of a bike, this is Riese & Müller’s way of indicating the latest generation of a particular model. The Load4 is the fourth generation of the Load cargo bike. Where any variation is shown with a model name and number, you can safely assume the variation without the number is the previous generation. So a ‘Load 75’ is actually a ‘Load3 75’.

As with most rules, there are exceptions. For example, some years ago Riese & Müller produced a bike called a Culture, but it has no meaningful connection to the new Culture. So the new model is just the ‘Culture’. The second number shown above indicates the length of the cargo bay of a bike. As such, you’ll only see it on cargo bikes. In the case of the Load, there are two versions: one with a 60cm long cargo bay, and one with 75cm. These are short and long wheelbase versions of the same bike, but the length dictates which options are available. For example, only the 75cm Load can include a third rear-facing child seat in its cargo bay.

And what about frame sizes? How do I know which one’s best for me?

While you probably don’t need our help deciding which colour to go for, you may be less sure about what frame size will best suit you. The frame size is a measurement of the height of the seat tube. Generally speaking, the taller you are the larger the frame size you’ll want.

Apart from the very adjustable cargo bikes which come in one size, most Riese & Müller bikes come in at least three frame sizes. You can think of these as small, medium and large. Where a bike is available in four frame sizes, the smallest size will also have smaller wheels.

Without modifications, Riese & Müller’s bikes comfortably accommodate riders between the heights of about 1.55m (5'1") up to about 2m (6'7"). This will hopefully give some indication of whereabouts you’ll fit on the frame size scale. However, for more precision, a configurator is available for all bikes on Riese & Müller’s website. If in doubt, we’d always recommend opting for the smaller frame size option because it’s much easier to adapt a bike to fit that’s slightly too small than slightly too large.

Tired after all that? The good news is you can book a test ride today!

As helpful as this guide hopefully is, nothing compares to actually trying out a few bikes and seeing how they feel. We have an extensive range of Riese & Müller bikes that you can test ride for free, and then discuss all this with us in person over a tea or coffee. Book your free test ride today.

Still confused? Have we missed something?

If you feel there’s something this guide hasn’t covered which it really should have, please give us a shout on 01524 938755, or drop us an email.

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