Riese Müller Charger or Stromer ST1 M25?


First time e-bike buyer in Germany. Need some advice.

Which 25kmh e-bike should I buy? After reviewing, testing, researching, I'm currently choosing between a Stromer ST1 and a Riese Müller Charger. Here's what I've found so far:

Stromer St1 M25

- For 2017 and the German market Stromer is offering a 25 kmh version of the ST1, thereby getting rid of the previous Elite and Premium(?) models. The bike includes the city fenders and rack, carbon fork and the 522wh battery. It starts at 2990,-. Optional 620wh battery for 300,-.

I'm confused about Stromer's "M25" designation which lists the motor as having only 250 watts. I've only been able to test ride the ST2 (which is out of my price range). Does anyone know if you can still change the M25 motor to increase power using the codes on the controller? 250 watt motor seems a bit low.

Question: What is the status of hub motors? Is there a future for them or are they being faded out? Of the three or four e-bike shops I've been to only one features a bike with a hub motor (the Stromer).

R&M Charger Touring

- Starts at around 3100,- Euros and goes up to ST2 prices from there. The motor is really good and has plenty of power even in a 25 kmh version. It actually feels more powerful than the ST2's 500w I tested.

Any thoughts, hints or advice is welcome.

e-Drive safe.

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Hi Tommi (that is the first name of the VP of Sales at Stromer),

Hubs are going to be around for a while. Direct drive hubs have very low maintenance, are significantly cheaper than name brand mid drives and typically get you up to speed more quickly and with less exertion. Mid drives place more force on the transmission but typically generate more torque. Higher torque levels are great for easier slow speed climbs and one of the reasons that mountain bikes almost always using a mid-drive. Mid-drives are also more efficient at energy usage and get better mileage than hub motors for similar sized batteries. The ST1X does not have the torque of the ST2S motor but if you have reasonable fitness should be just fine. The Stromer bikes are essentially road bikes with very solid flex free frames with excellent frame engineering and good componentry. I viewed the Riese Mueller's at Interbike and liked the engineering on the bikes. Their engineers added some very thoughtful touches. Both brands have sophisticated sensors that provide a smooth natural application of power that emulates a standard bicycle. While these are two fine brands, they are fairly awful values (in terms of price) in comparison with other brands.
I am pushing the limits of my budget by trying to pick between these two bikes. I've also looked at Haibike, Bulls, Cube, etc. Obviously the e-bike industry is the same as the bike industry: every part that makes up a bike is a profit centre. (Boo-who!)

The R&M Charger reeks of quality as much as the Stromer and I'd rather splurge on that than compromise on anything else.

Thanks for the insight about Hub motors. To me, Hub motors just feel more natural. Although the power delivery of mid-motors is better, when I peddle the bike with it off the mid-motor bike doesn't feel right. The Hub motor (Stromer) still feels like a bike with power-off--just a heavy one.

FYI, I'm not interested in the ST1X or the ST2. Not only are they out of my budget but the Omni connectivity is a big turn off. Placement of the screen is very, very odd. I'm also very weary of proprietary technology being used in disparate systems. I guess GPS tracking is cool--if you buy a 10k bike. But Omni obviously adds to the cost of the Stromer and to make it affordable on the ST1X means getting rid of the carbon fibre fork... No thanks! Also, with Omni you're just a software update away from a broken system. The only integrated system that seems to understand this is COBI--which is still in early deployment and not available on any of the bikes I've looked at except Winora--and I don't like their bikes.

So I guess not a lot of people are saying much about the ability to change power settings on the Stromer ST1 M25 (2017). How 'bout this:

Is the Stromer M25 motor a weaker, cheaper version of the standard 500w motor?

I'm leaning toward the R&M because the low-end Stromer is feeling more and more like a compromise I'm not sure I should make.

Still confused and hoping that somebody, someday will come along and just take my money! ;-)

Thanks for the help.

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You have also looked at the Bulls, you say. Have you considered the Bulls Lacoba EVO E25? I don't know how much that will cost in Germany, In Holland is is around 3500 euro's. Quality is above average, with only 1st class materials and parts.
@Peter Polling, I have looked at the Bulls bike you mentioned (but didn't test ride it). It is a nice bike and is available for under 3400,- in Germany and I bet with a bit of haggling you can even get it cheaper. I've decided to move away from the mass produced "assembled" bikes of Bulls, Cube, Pegasus, etc., for this purchase. If I go less expensive than the Charger or Stromer then I'd probably buy the Haibike SDURO (yamaha motor) Trekking bike. Btw, I've had a Cube and a Pegasus bike before and have always felt I over paid for what I got. Also, on the German webpage for the Bulls bike they are even saying that with the 650w battery and a 250w Brose motor the bike will go over 200km.

Yeah, right.

Thanks for the tip, though. -t
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Not sure if SmartMotion is available in Germany but if it is you will find the Pacer to be one of the best performing rear hub bikes on the market. 28mph, solid componentry, superb lighting, and available with a huge battery.