You are here

E-bike maker Riese & Müller marks silver anniversary with expansion

Published August 25, 2017

WEITERSTADT, Germany — As e-bike manufacturer Riese & Müller celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the company is on the brink of expanding both its market reach and its production capacity. When the construction of a new 237,000-square-foot headquarters just outside of Frankfurt, Germany, wraps up late next year, Riese & Müller will finally have the space it needs to meet rising demand for its high-end e-bikes. 

“We need to to increase our production. We've been in our current space, which is 6,000 square meters (64,600 square feet), for a couple of years, but we really need more space,” said Timo Gührer, head of international strategy for Riese & Müller. “It’s time for us to build a space that is built just for the company.”

Riese & Müller produced about 30,000 bikes in 2016. Its aluminum frames are manufactured in Asia but all assembly is done in Germany, including motor installation. About 250 people work for the brand in Germany, with 120 in assembly and production.

Markus Rieser and Heiko Müller launched the company in 1993 with one folding bike model, the Birdy, and soon expanded into non-folding urban bikes. But as demand for e-bikes began to grow in Europe, the company stopped production of its non-electric models. 

Since 2013, Riese & Müller has focused exclusively on its range of e-bikes, but also continues to produce the Birdy.

“The Birdy is our only non-electric bike and we will keep that concept. It's lightweight and made for flexible use,” Gührer said. “The e-bike is for a different user and a different purpose.”

That purpose is mobility, and Riese & Müller's primary mission is to offer a premium solution for car replacement. 

“We don't call ourselves a manufacturer of e-bikes, but think of it more as offering people mobility,” Gührer said. “So we offer the best safety features for customers who have high expectations because they use it for long rides and long days carrying heavy loads and their children. We want to build the best bikes on the market.”

Riese & Müller's line includes three e-cargo bikes, the Birdy and seven e-bikes. Its electric models use Bosch’s mid-drive motor system. Every model offers different configuration options, including an option to add a second battery, which allows users to double the bike’s range. 

“It uses both batteries at once, which is a good technique. It’s an option we believe in because it gives people more range and more flexibility,” Gührer said. “Many models come with that option and most people choose to have dual batteries, especially for e-cargo bikes. They are heavier and require a higher assistance level from the motor so use more power.”

Several Riese & Müller models are also full suspension for a smoother, more comfortable ride, including the Delite flat-bar commuter and the Load e-cargo bike.

For its 25th anniversary, Riese & Müller has introduced the Delite GT Signature model, which is sort of a dream build for the company’s founders. The do-it-all urban bike is spec’d with top-end components, including Shimano XTR Di2 and Fox suspension with Kashima coating. Buyers will receive a certificate hand signed by Markus Rieser and Heiko Müller. 

It also has a new e-cargo model, the Packster 40, which is a more petite version of the existing Packster 60 and Packster 80.

“It has the same riding feel of a normal e-bike because the cargo platform length, or the space between the handlebars and the front wheel, is shorter,” Gührer said. “But it still has different carry system options, like a box or child seat, and the whole bike weighs less than 66 pounds, so it's easy to move around.”

Riese & Müller also revised its Roadster e-bike, which uses a simply designed double-diamond frame that comes equipped with fenders and a suspension fork. It’s also available in a mixte step-through version. 

Eight models, including the anniversary editions, will be available in the North American market, which continues to grow for Riese & Müller after less than one year selling in the U.S. and Canada. 

“Germany is our biggest market, but we have good distribution in Australia and New Zealand, and a strong focus on the U.S. and Canada,” Gührer said. “We have around 25 dealers in the U.S. and we are really happy with the development so far. We’ve found good dealers that fit perfectly with the brand who are highly motivated to bring forward the topic of e-bikes, and it’s been great to work with them.”

Riese & Müller sells dealer direct in the U.S. Lead time for orders is four to eight weeks, depending on freight method. The company strives to keep availability stable and deliver bikes throughout the model year. Bikes with special configurations are built to order.  

“We encourage dealers to keep certain bikes in stock,” Gührer said. “But we also like them to have demo bikes because people really have to try the bikes so they can experience what it is like to ride a Riese & Müller.”

Join the Conversation