Riese and Muller eBike Homage Review

Riese and muller bikes

The Homage electric bike model from European electric bike brand Riese and Muller is a very well considered electric city bike. Very few bikes are rated this high on the Tower eBike Score scale. It gets a 90 and even higher on it's specialty score when we omit our "comfort" and "universal" ratings. At 64 lbs this e-Bike is a little heavy but it's all done with quality parts. Note that this electric bicycle gets a score of only 4 our our low proprietary risk scale, which means it may be hard to find parts if Riese and Muller were to go out of business or stop supporting this specific model at some point in the future. 

DISCLAIMER - Riese and Muller, Riese & Muller, and Homage are trademarks of Riese & Muller GmbH, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by Riese & Muller GmbH.

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Riese and Muller Homage

(Transcribed from Audio Review) 

We're going to review and rate the Riese and Muller Homage electric bike. It is a German-based company with its own factory. It gets a rating of 90 on our 100-point scale, which rates it as an e-bike with the highest distinction. This is a well done bike and the only thing on our list that received a specialty score of 96. But it takes out the universal appeal and the comfort attributes of the bike. The base model of this bike, however, comes with a specific battery integrated on the front tube. They also offer dual battery option, which allows you to put an extra battery integrated inside. But the base model comes with a single battery.

If you’re going to upgrade and purchase a second battery, it wouldn't increase the Tower Score, but you would extend the range. It already maxes out on our Tower range 1-10 point scoring system with just the base level single battery. While on the specialty score, this e-bike will get a 96. Also, this is a well-designed and well-considered electric bike. Quality wise, this e-bike is as good as you’re going to get like the design and everything on it. 

Overall, it gets 90 points. While on the specialty score, it gets 96. So before we get into the review of the Riese and Muller Homage e-bike, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Stephan Aarstol. I'm the founder and CEO of the Tower e-Bike Repair Shop here in San Diego. We see hundreds of different brands and models of e-bikes on a monthly basis here. Our mechanic experts can really get a good feel of what are quality and non-quality bikes. So what we've done is to eliminate some of the confusion for buyers when they go out and buy an electric bike.

We see a lot of people that come into our shop purchasing some crappy bikes from Amazon or some crappy direct-to-consumer brands. They get a Chinese non-brand eBike for a thousand bucks or something like that. But when they brought it in, they realized that they had to spend like 300 bucks in order to repair this bike. What they don’t really understand is that, reparability and quality is a matter of concern because repairs are expensive, even if the original bike is not. The idea that if you invest a little more upfront, you're going to save a little more on maintenance. These are not like traditional bikes. They are purchasing e-bikes that require a lot more mileage on them.

Basically, what the Tower e-Bike Repair Score does is to get a single point score from zero to a hundred that assesses the quality of an e-bike. After that, we rate it on seven different attributes. Each attribute gets a 1 to 10 score, and then we normalize those seven scores to get a hundred point score. This is the Tower e-Bike 100-point Scale. Overall, the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike gets a score of 90.

These seven attributes that we used to rate each electric bike are materials quality, the mechanical quality of the e-bike, low maintenance, hill climbing ability, range, comfort, and universality. Low maintenance is about how much work this bike will most likely require. Hill climbing ability, on the other hand, is a critical attribute of electric bikes because they're really built for transportation. So if you live uphill or visit a friend that resides on highland, you're not going to be able to get there with your ordinary bike. Universality, the seventh attribute, revolves on how good of a fit is this bike for everybody, like one-size-fits-all.

These seven attributes that we used to rate each electric bike are:

  • Materials quality
  • Mechanical quality of the e-bike
  • Low maintenance
  • Hill climbing ability
  • Range
  • Comfort
  • Universality

Low maintenance is about how much work this bike will most likely require. Hill climbing ability, on the other hand, is a critical attribute of electric bikes because they're really built for transportation. So if you live uphill or visit a friend that resides on highland, you're not going to be able to get there with your ordinary bike. Universality, the seventh attribute, revolves on how good of a fit is this bike for everybody, like one-size-fits-all.

So that's the Tower Score. It’s really like a wine spectator score, wherein we give this a single point. And it allows people, particularly those who do not have an in-depth knowledge about this industry, to understand what kind of quality this bike has. Unlike e-bike mechanics that are already expert in this field, they could sort of compare one bike to another. And that's really what we're doing here at the Tower e-Bike Score.

We also give a second score, which is known as the specialty score. This specialty score omits the comfort and the universality attributes. The reason why we do not include them is because bikes, such as road bikes and mountain bikes, are built for specific purposes. They are not necessarily designed for comfort or universal fit. In fact, many of these e-bike companies often have five different frame sizes, which are intended for different people. And that's in the traditional bike world. However, when it comes to the e-bike world, they are used more for transportation. Many people, for instance, want to have bikes that make them feel comfortable even riding for a long period of time. You also want an e-bike to be universal because you may have several people riding the same bike at the same time. Maybe you're buying it remotely, thus you want to know if that bike will fit. But we do split out the specialty score for more premium brands and specific models of mountain bikes and stuff like that. This is the purpose of the Tower Score to help consumers in assessing and weighing the value and worth of a certain e-bike. This e-bike isn't a universal fit as well because they really have five models for you. I know you wanted to learn more, so let's get into it.

e-Bike Materials Quality 9/10

On materials quality, the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike got a score of a near-perfect 9. They have excellent materials across the board. They've got a premium aluminum frame, which is really well-designed. Aside from that, they've got an integrated rear rack right into the frame. The overall looks and entire setup are quite similar to a traditional European style of bike as well. They've got very high quality tires on this bike. In addition to that, the rims and spokes are also excellent and premium quality. The seat, pedal scripts, everything is top notch. This is the best you can get on materials quality.

Mechanical Quality of Electric Bike 10/10

For mechanical quality, this e-bike gets a score of 10. They have premium hydraulic brakes. A front and rear suspension as well. They also have a swing arm suspension built into the frame for the back suspension, and a quality suspension upfront. Actually, this is a critical feature on e-bikes because if you're going at high speeds, rough roads or over cobblestone, you don’t want to get beat up. Aside from that, this e-bike has a belt drive and a threadless headset. So they received 10 out of 10.

Low Maintenance 9/10

The Riese & Muller Homage e-bike gets a score of 9 on low maintenance. They received a nine or ten on almost everything here. They got really high quality tires, which are critical components in e-bike. As you can see, the biggest problem when using an electric bike, which is also what we’ve always witnessed in our shop, is getting flat tires. Especially, if you get a flat on the rear tire, that’s a pain in the neck to change. And you have to take it into a shop, which is not cheap. You also need to haul it and it's a whole hassle.

However, they do have high quality hydraulic brakes on this bike. This is a huge benefit because it means you'll have to do less maintenance. Compared to mechanical brakes that you have to manually adjust every mile or two, hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting brakes that adjust automatically to allow you to safely stop in an emergency situation. Additionally, this e-bike is very rust proof and for shifting bike gears, it’s sort of an integrated system.

It's not like a traditional derailleur on the back of the bike. Although derailleurs tend to get some issues, this e-bike has got premium components. So you're going to have less problems on that. And then, the belt drives are also very low in maintenance. Therefore, they got 9 out of 10 which is an excellent score.

Electric Bike Hill Climbing Ability 10/10

Next attribute is hill climbing ability and this e-bike gets a score of 10 out of 10. They have a 250-Watt Bosch mid drive motor with gearing built into it. This is sort of a torque motor with it's 48-Volt system, which is a great combination for an e-bike. It’s really what they put in mountain bikes to go straight up a mountain. Furthermore, they’ve got a very high quality motor known as a Bosch motor. So you’re not going to have any problems climbing hills. Despite the fact that this is a very expensive e-bike, they did a lot of quality components here that justify it’s value.

Electric Bicycle Range 10/10

On a scale of 1 to 10, we give the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike a score of ten on range. With the base configuration, there is an integrated battery placed in the front bar of the bike. It comes with a single battery. It’s like a default configuration, though the compartment is designed to fit two batteries. They'll try to upsell you a second battery.

Regardless of the upgrade in range option, the default configuration of this e-bike, such as the size motor and battery capacity still get a 10 out of 10 on range on our Tower eBike Score. So you won't have any range issues on this bike. I mean, it's got a score of 90, which is one of the highest scores we've ever had on an e-bike. But if you’re going to upgrade and have additional motor, you'll get even better range. However, it will cost you a lot of money.

But we rate all of our bikes on the base model and not on the added features. Because a lot of these companies based their marketing on their base models, and this is the base model's price point. So if their upselling ends up costing you a lot more, you're on a completely different bike. Again, we rate the base models in order to keep things fair.

Electric Bicycle Comfort 7/10

The sixth attribute we're looking at here is comfort. And this e-bike got a score of 7 out of 10. The biggest thing here is that it's sort of like a city bike. In terms of the sitting position, it’s somewhat upright; we call it semi-upright sitting. And you’re still engaged over the handlebars. So if you’re planning to go to cities like Amsterdam, expect to see everyone riding a bike. I mean, regular bikes not electric bikes, since regular bikes have been one of their modes of transportation for decades.

They all seem to like these city type of bikes, which have a very similar geometry to the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike. And it’s kind of engaging to ride because it's almost like a cross between a mountain bike and a beach cruiser, except you're a little hunched over there. And so, it's not like you're kicked back on a beach cruiser. What’s going on there is that if you're actually pedaling this bike, you want to be engaged on it a little bit. But when you shift to an electric bike, it’s mainly built for transportation.

The perfect electric bike, in our opinion, is like a beach cruiser. You're completely sitting upright. But that's not how this bike worked. In order for you to reach the handlebars, you need to be hunched over. So it receives a slight ding on comfort.

Universality of this Electric Bike 8/10

And then on the universal attribute or universality, this e-bike gets a score of 8 out of 10. This is an excellent score, considering the fact that universality is about how well this bike works for everyone. Aside from that, this is a step-through bike, so it's going to work for most people. You’ve got quite a bit of seat adjustment. In the step-over height. I think it’s approximately 19 inches. There isn't a lot of flexibility either on the handlebars up front, but most people will be fine with it.

Overall, they got an excellent rating of 90 in our Tower Score and 96 points on the specialty score. This is really what we consider an e-bike of highest distinction.

Electric Bike Weight

This e-bike weighs 64lbs. It’s quite heavy due to its beefy frame. And it's not that they just used cheap parts, which tend to run up the weight of a bike. They actually built it for durability with very high quality parts. So the weight isn't such a concern. A lot of people think that heavy bikes often used cheap metal parts, but that’s not really the case here. Still, it's quite hefty, so carrying it up your stairs or loading it into the back of a pickup truck will be difficult.

eBike Looks

When it comes to the overall looks, the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike resembles a European style of bike. It has an integrated rack with a sort of funky swingarm on the back. Again, we don't provide points for appearance because, in this case, looks is somewhat subjective. But this really looks very European. Personally, I think it's a pretty good looking bike. It’s clean. Although there are some funky angles on it, it doesn’t appear to be a low-cost bicycle. But more of like a high-end model.

Low Proprietary Risk 4/10

This doesn't get calculated into the Tower E-bike Score or even the specialty score, but we do give a 1 to 10 point score on what we call low proprietary risk. Low proprietary risk is all about how easy would it be for you to keep this model running, even if this company were to go out of business or stop supporting this model.

So this e-bike gets a score of 4 on this scale, which is pretty low. If you bring this in the Tower e-Bike Repair Shop here in San Diego, and this company is out of business, we can't really assure you that we’ll be able to get all of the parts for it.

You might also run into complications because of some pretty customized parts. They do have an integrated battery, non-standard controller, and their own proprietary LCD screen.

Despite having an excellent rating, the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike isn't a diversified company. Whether they like or not, they are in a competitive market. This is why they have such a low proprietary risk score. And the reason we're bringing this up is because there are hundreds of brands in the e-bike industry, but 90-95% of those brands will no longer be in business after 10 years or so.

Although some of these bikes may last 10 or 20 years, it's better if you pay attention to that. But Riese and Muller is a pretty strong brand. They've got their own factory in Germany, so they are in a market that can kind of sustain them. It’s either in the small German market or the larger European market. But there are still some risks there. So we just wanted to make you aware of that.

To summarize, the Riese & Muller Homage e-bike receives an outstanding 89 points out of 100 on our overall Tower Score. They’ve got high-quality materials that are built to last. They also scored an amazing rating across the board, from material quality to hill climbing. That's all there is to it.

To keep you updated, you can always check out our site. We provide a Tower Score on a growing list of other e-bikes that we get our hands on, as they come through the Tower e-Bike Repair Shop here in San Diego.

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From the Riese & Muller Brand Website

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DISCLAIMER - Riese and Muller, Riese & Muller, and Homage are trademarks of Riese & Muller GmbH, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by Riese & Muller GmbH.

Stephan Aarstol is an American internet entrepreneur and author of the book The Five Hour Workday, which is based on Towers' invention of the 5-hour workday in 2015 that would eventually spread the idea to over 10 million people worldwide. Since founding Tower in 2010, it has gone on to become one of America's fastest growing companies and Mark Cuban's best investment in the history of Shark Tank. Tower has diversified into a direct to consumer electric bike company called Tower Electric Bikes, a beachfront event venue called Tower Beach Club, and NoMiddleman.com, where consumers can shop all the world's finest direct to consumer brands from one easy place.