10.000 km with the SuperDelite 2020 (and counting)


New Member
Finally made it to posting here as well. First, to pick up, my posts from the SuperDelite Review comments:
I got my SuperDelite HS Rohloff GX in mid-January and, even with me not being able to ride for 4 weeks (travel, illness…) I crossed the 4,000km mark yesterday (May 8th), did 100km today and likely will do another 30-40km or so as soon as the sun goes down (SuperNova Lights!). I am in a totally new level of riding intensity, the SuperDelite with the Rohloff E14 is the best money I ever spent on a bike. And this is my third “S-Pedelec” (class 3), I have been commuting with them since 2011. The predecessor was a R&M Charger with a NuVinci 360 and BeltDrive. The double battery setup is very important for me, I really enjoy the 115km+ range in “Tour” on the weekends, especially in these Covid times where it is difficult to impossible to recharge during a tour, e.g. at a restaurant or café. All in all I consider the 2020 R&M SuperDelite to have reached a new pinnacle in class 3 pedelecs with the confluence of the new gen4 Bosch Speed motor, the Rohloff E14, Gates Carbon Beltdrive, robust full suspension frame with in-tube batteries and suspended rack (important for commuting and shopping). I had been waiting for this “jump” (new motor generation and in-tube on the Delite) for the last two years and the wait was worth it. The SuperDelite/Delite is an allrounder though, if you want an offroad machine, i.e. an optimized E-MTB, I would recommend a Nicolai EBOXX E14, or for those wanting the most robust pedelec possible to cross the Andes or the Australian Outback (or just the most robust frame to carry a heavy rider and massive luggage @185kg total payload) I would recommend the Rennstahl 853 E-Reiserad Rohloff E-14. And then there are the cargo bikes…

Price is a matter of perspective. The most expensive bike is one you do not (or very rarely) ride, regardless of price. The 2020 SuperDelite/Delite with Rohloff E-14 and BeltDrive can be ridden without isssues and minimal (if any) maintenance for many more km/miles than any previous pedelec, and if you do so your cost per km/mile will quickly be lower than that of the overwhelming majority of customers who buy “cheap” pedelecs. And if the latter try to ride those cheaper bikes as intensely as a R&M (or Rennstahl) can be ridden their maintenance costs will go up and they will begin to effectively “use up” the cheaper components of those bikes to the point of costing them more than if they had gone with a R&M (or like quality) to begin with.

With now more than 4,000km there were no critical issues with the SuperDelite 2020, only minor quibbles. Brake pads needed replacement (of course!) and I had the Rock Razors switched for Super Moto’s because my profile is way more road than gravel and I wanted some more confidence in high-speed curves. Still enjoy the GX option’s drop post, pedals and longer suspension travel though. Only regret is going SunTour and not ordering FoxFloat. Had to learn to go with more pressure on the cylinders for high speeds on roads (or lock out) and I gather that adjustment could be done more situationally with the Fox Floats. The biggest design flaw in the 2020 SuperDelite and Delite is the charging cable connector position, that is in the review. All other issues are minor and the below (not really R&M issues) will probably be corrected by software updates:

In cold weather, with the forced cooling at high speeds against stiff cold winds, the Rohloff can sometimes act up a little (loosing calibration after 40+minutes at 40km/h+ in 5 degrees Celsius or less, leading to “lost” gears that are switched “over”) but that is easily ameliorated by doing a short stop and switching off and on again. Also in cold weather, but just once in more than 2,000km at less than 10 degrees Celsius, I had an operating voltage loss when the bike wanted to switch from one battery to the other (it does that automatically so that the two batteries are always at most at +/- 5% of charge relative to each other, usually you do not notice anything), I was at full speed (45km/h) with high beam on the lights and the switch was from the top battery (at 22%) to the lower/front one (at 27%). Guess the battery was just a little bit too cold to instantly provide the full voltage required at that power consumption level. It re-booted within 2-3 seconds, before I lost much speed. The loss of light for that time was a bit scary, I could have done a safe stop though. I consider this more of Bosch a software issue (i.e. a slight timing adjustment in the switching algorithm could fully avoid this) than anything, just as sometimes the Kiox not showing the current gear selection and needing to restart. As written above, I fully expect these issues to be corrected with an update.
That power loss during a battery switchover only happened once in all my riding on one of the coldest days I rode the bike when I was truly maxing power consumption with both batteries fairly low. I do not expect this to happen again, especially since I expect some future firmware update will take care of this issue before next winter truly hits.
At the intensity I am going 10000km will not take all that much time, I will be more than halfway there before the end of the month. If I can ride at all I am doing at least 40km on weekdays and more than 100km on Saturdays and Sundays. And for me COVID means there are fewer days I cannot ride as the job travel is almost non-existant ATM.
Made it! Crossed the 10,000km mark today, the counter is now at 10,141km. Since May 8th, that means more than 6000km in 79 days, or more than 76km per day. That was yet another level of riding intensity. Only thing the bike needed was new brake pads. But for a minor quibble with the belt drive rear sprocket (The belt jumped to the “inner half track” twice between km’s 6,000 and 7,500. Happened when stopping, and I noticed upon starting again. The belt can be easily reseated, so no problem when it happened. When back at the shop for new brake pads, the lifting element was adjusted to the uppermost position by the mechanic. No repeats in the ca. 2500km since, which reminds me I need new brake pads in about two weeks.)
Will share some experiences and updates in the R&M forum when my account is approved.
Counter is now at 10962km.

To clarify the belt issue from my last post in the review comments:
The Gates Belt ridges have a notch in the middle which corresponds to a central ridge on the sprockets that divides them in two. What happened was that on stopping the belt jumped this ridge on the upper side of the rear sprocket to the inside so that it ran only on half the sprocket. This led to the belt trying to climb back over the middle ridge with a "clack-clack-clack" sound when starting again. Needless to write that I immediatle stopped again. It was easy to correct, just pull the belt to the outside while walking the bike slightly backwards.
This only happened twice between km's 6000 and 8000. When telling my mechanic this on the last brake pad change she tighted a lifting screw for the belt under the rear sprocket. I did not experiece "belt jump" again in the almost 3000km since. Reminds me to change brake pads next week...

I will try to post some tidbits of experience every week or so from now. Topic for next week will be active safety and ride quality.
Counter is now at 10962km.

...she tighted a lifting screw for the belt under the rear sprocket
I've experienced the same thing (SD 2020 Rohloff/HS) but maybe on mile 100, what screw are you talking about? Do you mean the guide bearing assembly under the rear sprocket? When mine jumped off center, the sprocket chewed up the belt edges a bit and tried to carve a new center slot into it!
Counter is now at 18933km

And that is the major reason I was so remiss in posting here. I am just spending most of my free time on the SuperDelite. In the long average of the first year I averaged a bit more than 50km each calendary day. At my average 120 Watt in "Tour" that equates to about 1000kcal and just a bit less than 2 hours. I will try to get into more detail about my lessons learned, but here is a teaser: By my calculation my cost per km is 0.14€, that is including 19% VAT and includes all variable (repair, spares), annual (insurance) and fixed (bike price) cost of the bike but not my clothing etc. This is about a third of the cost of using a compact car (at least in urban Germany), perhaps even a bit less. Oh, and electricity is less than 0.003€ per km even at German energy prices...

In regards to the belt drive and "slipping" the major thing I learned is that tensioning is surpremely important. It is not just the adjustment of the "guiding wheel screw" I mentioned before but the ability of the mechanic to adjust tension of the belt at the rear axle. Wear on the sprockets (and perhaps also the belt) lead to a loosening over time&distance and then you can get the "belt slip" when having apbrupt high torque or when the belt becomes slippery and heavy in rain. Take care to have the mechanic loo at tensioning every second brake-pad change or so (i.e. every 3000 to 5000km depending on your ride behaviour).
Of course, your bike mechanic should be competent enough to correctly tension the belt when you get it in the shop...
I put 7400 km on my 2020 Superdelite last year (April - November) and absolutely love the bike. I did start to experience the belt slipping issue after I replaced my brake pads. The bike shop that I purchased from suggested it was either poor belt tension or mis-alignment and sent me the "gates technical manual" (I am considerable distance from the shop). The manual suggests that jumping on the sprockets is a tension or a worn belt/sprocket issue. In my case I am sure that it is a tension issue. I have stopped biking for the winter but will make sure that I check/adjust the tension before I start riding again this year. My bike shop also suggested that since the Superdelite has a rear suspension that the belt tension reads slightly higher when the bike is unsprung therefore I should check the tension while I am seated on the bike. My bike shop also suggest that the belt should last about 10000km but it is totally dependant on riding conditions - if riding in lots of wet/sandy conditions where abrasive materials can collect in the drivetrain belt life could be reduced. I have done lots of riding in wet conditions so I will be watching the belt this year for sure.
I had to replace belt and sprockets 600km ago (i.e. at a bit more than 18000km), and this was due to my riding a lot in Winter 19/20 and last autumn with wet&dirty roads and track which consequently led to a lot of gunk on the bike and the belt. Have time to write now because with the amount of snow outside even I will not do recreational/fitness riding.