Riding a Riese & Müller Load

I can’t stop myself. I am turning into a big fan of Riese & Müller bikes. The Packster has been in the shop for a while to replace a faulty power cable (more on that when I know what’s going on, but it’s a little concerning). In the meantime, I was able to get a loaner bike: a Riese & Müller Load.

It’s pretty similar to riding the Packster 80, but a lot more sporty. It’s not faster at the high end because our Packster and this Load have the same torquier, slower – though, fast enough for me – model of the Bosch motors. It’s sportier in being more maneuverable and easier to handle. It also has full suspension, which makes a noticeable difference in my ride comfort.

Its cargo area is a lot smaller than the Packster 80. I used it to transport my four year old today. He fits comfortably, but my seven year old, who fits just fine in the Packster, wouldn’t like it so much.

Things I like:

  • Lighter and easier to handle.
  • The full suspension makes a difference. Note that I rode it on the same route I take the Packster (when I’m lucky enough to get to use it), so it’s a good comparison.
  • Easier to park and maneuver when parking because…it’s lighter.
  • Fun! (So is the Packster!)

Things I like less:

  • I miss the NuVinci continuously variable transmission (CVT) that our Packster has, and I’m really glad to have had this opportunity to see that. With that, I don’t have to put as much effort into getting the gear ratio where I want. With the normal transmission, I need to back off completely on the torque and then do the shift. That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but the effort involved in getting it done is quite different. Also, I feel with all of the hills and stops here a lot of my shifting is moving from extremes. This was really noticeable with the Load today. Start going, get into high gear, go all of the way back to low gear at the stop. I do this all of the time with my normal road bike, but it seemed like a lot of effort with the Load and its motor. If I were getting a Load, I’d definitely get the CVT.
  • A small, easily corrected thing: the Load I am using has the motor controls inside of the brake lever mount. They are harder to reach than on our Packster. I’d reverse that, assuming there’s not some clear reason I can’t.

Note both of those are easily rectified and don’t take away from the ride experience, which I’m really happy to get to experience!

This kind of makes me want to become a reviewer of cargo bikes and accessories because I like trying so much of this stuff out. How do I hook that up?