Riese & Müller Load 75 – how cargo bikes should be

Every time I ride a Riese & Müller bike I think to myself, ah, so that’s how a bike in that category should ride. Unfortunately they cost more than most though, but other bikes simply aren’t as good, in most cases. So if you want great, you’ll have to pay for it.

This is a cargo bike of note, and noteworthy is it full suspension. Most cargo bikes rely on their length to be a bit springy, and taking a beating is par for the course. R&M however say you shouldn’t have to and have engineered in both front and rear suspension. If you are carrying kids or animals up front, they will thank you. You bum and back will thank you too.

After a few minutes I felt very at home on the Load. The turning circle is good, and it’s a bit like driving a Hi Ace or VW Kombi for the first time, you need to get used to a different steering response and where you are relative to the turning circle. The load sits low down so it is easy to manage.

The variant I tried had a Bosch Performance CX motor and two 500Wh batteries. The second is a $1400 add-on but really worthwhile. You can’t retrofit a second battery so get it upfront. You can also specify what cargo options you want, and this one also had the optional rear carrier. The other configurable option was the continuously variable Enviolo hub (was called NuVinci before) which totally made sense for this load carrier.

I tried riding up a really steep hill in Kingsland which would have been a struggle for any bike. After a false start I got it right, the Enviolo provides a very wide range of gearing. It did make me appreciate other motor systems that have either a throttle (eZee) to get going on a zero RPM start (Yamaha, Impulse). The Bosch only provides power after you start pedalling, so getting moving on a steep hill is tricky.

If you like the idea of replacing a car with a cargo bike for yourself or business deliveries, then this really is the one to have. Shoot along to Electric Bike Team in Auckland, Bicycle Junction in Wellington or Christchurch Electric Bicycles. Be prepared for $14000-16000 upfront but low running costs and no parking hassles compared to a small car.

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