Pseudo Review: R&M Charger GX 8k KM, The Killer Pug Saved By Rack-Time, E-Bike Heaven Baby

Yeah, dear worst-reader/rider, I’m looking for filler here. Reason? I just don’t have much more to report on my fabulous e-bike that just surpassed 8000km. Indeed. It’s also well over two years old and… Get this! It’s purring like a kitten on the lap of a beautiful Scandinavian blonde that has long since rejected the MANnerism of patriarchal behaviour that can only culminate in #Trump (-isms) galore and thereby becoming HER emotional rescue on account there are no real men left in this world to fight for what is right and… Oh wait…

Forget that. Forgive my worst-writing gesticulations. It’s all just part of my having to take care of a neighbours cat recently–who’s from Scandinavia–and I’m still nursing the unhealed wounds it scratched into my hand after trying to pet it. But at least I fed it and also didn’t mind my wife watching after me as I did.

Here all my e-bike posts (tag link).

So. Back to filler. Shall we start with the e-bike or how about a quick worst-post of my recent first-try at making Coq Au Vin?

E-Bike.

The truth is, dear fellow worst-rider, I haven’t been riding much for the past half year. In fact, I think I’ve made one 60 KM ride since November, 2018. Reason? Well, it ain’t the bike, that’s for sure. No. It was one of those winters. Since late October (2018) it was either wet, cold or both. There wasn’t much ice and freezing, but the other two are just as unappealing when they’re around every damn day for months on end. I know. I know. I should buckle-down and quit whining like a little biatch about the climate I live in. But to be honest, there was something else going on. I was having upper-back troubles. I injured my foot in an odd fall (that had nothing to do with e-biking). I caught a nasty case of eye stye because as I’m getting older and my skin is dropping more and more, my eyes are dry and I’m drinking too much and and and… And this past winter I felt like $hit most of the time. But enough about worst-moi and his failure to self-medicate–or do it poorly (with drink).

I finally got around to riding in early April (2019) on an extended weekend vacation to Berlin where we drove up there with our e-bikes on a hitch. The intention was to cruise the city for four days on e-bike but I was only able to ride one of those days due to the above mentioned issues. I just couldn’t take the pain, especially my neck and my upper shoulders. After about twenty minutes my foot hurt so bad I couldn’t peddle or walk the bike home. And that krapp stye in my eye… Although it’s gotten better, I’m still nursing it as I worst-write this. So much for Germania miserable winter weather that holds on and on and on. Did I mention that I probably drank too much this past winter? Oh well.

It took me, along with some yoga and a stretching routine, till about mid May before I was able to ride again. Then came more rain. In early June we took a ten day vacation to a small beach resort on the Baltic Sea, in a place called Zingst. As usual, with our trusty e-bikes hitched, the idear was to drive the eight-hundred KM up there and then only use our bikes to get around. Other than one day, we did just that. And it was brilliant. Although my back pain lingered on, it was getting better with every ride. And so. It took me well over a half year to get from 7000km to 8000km. Can I get an amen here?

Oh yeah, our magical über expensive E-Bikes.

At about 7200km I finally got a new chain and sprockets on my Charger GX. More on that here. According to my mechanic, I’ve now got a chain that is specifically made for high-torque e-bikes. “You mean the previous chain wasn’t for e-bikes,” I asked him. Of course, I was deferring the conversation that I probably should have changed the chain at about 5000km–and then when asked how much I was willing to spend… I just waved him on to get it done.

The odd thing about the new chain–and my skepticism/cynicism regarding its cost (just over 200,-€)–is that it’s taken at least five-hundred KMs to break it in. In fact, I’ll go so far as to assume, after just hitting 8k, it still might need a hundred or so KMs more before it’s fully broke-in. Which begs the question: A thousand KM to break in a chain and sprockets? Add to that, the chain is extremely loud. In fact, I can feel the chain riding on the sprocket cogs. Add that to an already loud (Bosch) motor, and I’m really starting to like my wife’s belt drive Charger Mixte and its continuous hub gearing. With that in mind, the idear of upgrading my GX next year is getting more and more appealing. But upgrade to what? (Stromer maybe?)

But let me not get ahead of my worst-riding self, eh. I still love my Charger GX. The fact that I have little to report regarding its stamina and utility and quality, should say everything. Other than a few slight squeaks, which are mostly dealt with by keeping it clean and oiled–plus the cost of maintaining it–I have never regretted buying this bike. It still exudes quality, don’t you know. In fact, on a recent ride a fellow e-biker informed me that I was riding the “Mercedes” of e-bikes. Yawn.

  • The B-17 saddle is still in great shape.
  • The handle bar, that is a bit wide for my riding preference, and I thought I would have changed by now, is still original.
  • The handle bar grips are gonna last forever.
  • I’ve never (knock on wood) had a flat tyre (tire) and rarely have I had tyre (tire) pressure issues.
  • The brakes are brilliant and it looks like my brake disks are gonna go on and on and on, but definitely won’t last forever.
  • Heck, even the wheel fenders are still perfect–and I thought they’d be the first to go.

The only thing that bugs me and might motivate me to up-grade my e-bike next year, is the fact that the Bosch battery is definitely starting to give way. It’s been steadily losing power since about three thousand KMs. Where I once was able to ride well over twenty KMs for every bar on the battery indicator–even while in Sport mode. I’m now lucky if I can get it to fifteen KMs per bar. The cost of a new battery is definitely gonna influence the future of my grand Charger GX. Will Bosch upgrade its external battery design to the 650W battery that they are now offering with new motors but ONLY for internal frame mounting? And if they do offer it, you know, so that it fits my frame (externally), will I have to get a mortgage to afford it?

The wife approval e-bike.

My wife’s Charger Mixte has under three thousand KMs. We purchased (consumed-to-survive) both bikes at the same time. Although she doesn’t ride much, I’ve been using her bike for various chores. Also, when I couldn’t ride my somewhat extreme positioned GX, her Mixte and its more comfortable sitting position, really came in handy. At the least, having two of these things is definitely über-cool, especially since both use the same battery and the time is coming when I’ll need her battery even more than I do now.

But let me get-on a bit about my wife’s biggest gripe: I’ve forbidden her to attach a dog trailer so she can lug around our ageing killer pug. The reason I don’t want to attach a trailer is because of the way the rear axle, wheel, drive-train is mounted to the frame. To me, there are already too many connections back there. To add another connection (to the axle) in order to trailer an über-expensive dog-box with wheels, that may or may not be rejected by our killer pug… No thank you. If that sounds a bit harsh, here’s a bit more about owning a killer pug and an e-bike.

We have a dog known as Beckett, the killer pug. As you may or may not know, pugs are not very active, long-winded dogs. Even though we fight to keep his weight down and I walk him at least three times a day, these types of dogs would rather lie on the couch and try to hypnotise you to feed them all day long. That worst-said, we’ve always wanted to be able to take him along with us on short to mid-range rides. The problem is, as we learned with our previous non-e-bikes, which had a dog-trailer attached to the rear axle, the killer pug hated being put in it and lugged around. He didn’t just reject being trailered in a small, whiny way, though. When trying to ride with him he would bitch & moan so much people would call us animal abusers. Yeah, he would literally scream at us to let him out. Ever hear a pug scream? Would you believe that that trailer ended up becoming nothing more than the best bike attachment ever for lugging around cases of Kölsch or Alt (beer)? Indeed.

Eventually the trailer rusted to hell and we gave it to someone who was interested in our not throwing it away. Unwilling to accept the fact that our dog probably wasn’t made (trained?) for e-bike transport, I bought one of those dog-carry backpacks. Guess what? He rejected that, too. And so. In one last effort in pleasing my better-half, I bought one of those rack-time basket with an open wire lid–that is meant for small dogs. Although the killer pug still whines a bit here and there, he seems to have accepted this mode of transport–as long as he’s behind my wife (and not worst-moi).

And while I’m on the subject of rack-time baskets.

I also bought one of those solid plastic rack-time baskets which relegates both our e-bikes to being even more convenient for shopping and chores. Even though owning two rack-time baskets might seem like over-kill, they each serve a purpose. On top of that, they are very stable and reassuring while attached to the bikes. The black rack-time basket is great for small/limited groceries or picking up take-out. It comes with a heavy-duty strap that, once detached, makes it easy to carry around. Of course, I still use side-bags for heavier/larger groceries.

The dog basket, of course, is really only good for the dog as it’s quite a bit larger than the other basket. The only down-side to these baskets is you can’t use side bags anymore, nor can you use the the rubber strap the bikes rear rack. I’m curious about one thing, though, based on what I read during my last visit to Riese & Müller’s website and reviewing all their new bikes. Has R&M abandoned rack-time on all their newer models? If so, why? Oh wait. How ’bout this: after buying one (or two) of their bikes, there’s no money left to buy these über-expensive baskets/attachments–unless the tears of your eternal puppy dog make you do so. Or? Yeah, this $hit is expensive.

But I die-gress.

Almost two and half years old and eight thousand KMs, I’m very pleased with my über-expensive e-bike. It’s gonna be hard next year, though, if I stay with R&M or if I move on to something even more expensive.

Rant and ride on.

-T

5 Replies to “Pseudo Review: R&M Charger GX 8k KM, The Killer Pug Saved By Rack-Time, E-Bike Heaven Baby”

      1. It’s what I was told by my dealer. Something about Bosch motor/computer + rear axle. Don’t really care at this point because to me such a mod wouldn’t be worth it, especially considering I’m probably up for a new battery by next year, too. Would rather just get a new bike.

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