Gocycle

Gocycle G4 review | TechRadar

Two-minute review

There’s no mistaking a Gocycle. This is an electric bike brand that produces some of the most radical and innovative folding e-bikes around, and the Gocycle G4 is a stunning example.

The bike is part of a series of three models: the G4 with around 40 miles of range, the G4i with approximately 50 miles of range and the G4i+, which should deliver the same. The latter two also offer predictive gear shifting for the extra cash. We’ve been testing the Gocycle G4, which is undeniably expensive although has a design and build that more than justifies the price tag.

Indeed, the folding e-bike boasts a new G4drive electric motor integrated into the front hub, which delivers better performance.

However, while there have been attempts to lighten the load of the Gocycle G4 it still weighs in at 17.6kg, making it heavy if you have to lug it around for any kind of distance. The e-bike is presumably designed with commuters and city dwellers in mind, though its easy-fold design means that Gocycle G4 is perfect for anyone who wants a bike for their car, camper, or boat.

It might be expensive, but it’s justified; the Gocycle G4 is an electric bike that offers a wealth of innovative features, can be fast charged in around three hours and delivers a cracking riding experience that betters many non-folding rivals.

Gocycle G4

The Gocycle G4 is a sleek, stylish folding e-bike that’s a real pleasure to ride (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Price and release date

The Gocycle G4 is available now for $4,999 / £3,999 (about AU$7,000) in white, matt black or electric blue. Our UK specification e-bike came with mudguards and integrated front and rear lights. There was also a front pannier bag for storage and accommodating the charger, though this appeared to be an optional accessory.

The Gocycle G4i costs $5,999 / £4,999 (about AU$8,400). Meanwhile, the Gocycle G4i+ has a price tag of $6,999 / £5,999 (about AU$9,800).

All bikes can be ordered directly from www.gocycle.com or from selected reseller outlets throughout the US, Canada, UK and the EU.

Design

The Gocycle G4 is one of the coolest folding e-bikes on the market, but it doesn’t just look funky to satisfy a designer’s eye; everything has been crafted to deliver a better riding experience.

Our Gocycle G4 comes in a smaller box than most folding bikes, and is simple to set up. Key to this is the weight of the bike – or rather the lack of it. Gocycle has shaved 1kg off its latest models through use of lighter materials.

Gocycle G4

Thoughtful touches include a sturdy two-pronged kickstand (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

This is immediately apparent as you unfold the bike. There’s a central hinge in the frame, which folds out to create the bulk of the bike. The handlebar stem folds up and the saddle tube slots into the frame. Tighten the beautifully engineered fastening clips, fold open the pedals, and you’re good to go.

Gocycle’s engineers have carefully picked different materials for components depending where they’re situated. This not only helps reduce the weight, but results in a design that works better in day-to-day use. Just lifting the bike’s front wheel up over a kerb feels that little bit easier thanks to the clever weight distribution that comes from the thoughtful design choices.

Gocycle G4

The bike’s down tube enfolds at the seat end, and is secured with a sturdy rubberized clamp (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Gocycle has integrated the battery into the front portion of the frame, and it can be charged either on or off the bike by unclipping and pulling it out from the recess when the frame is opened up.

Elsewhere, the design is slick and minimalist, with cool 20-inch wheels and special Gocycle tires that really look the part. Brake discs are covered over, cables inside the frame for the most part and pretty much all moving parts are obscured by clever design touches so there’s nothing to snag on clothes or deliver unwanted oil stains onto prized items of clothing. The fold-down stand that splays out into twin legs is neat too.

When compacted down, the bike needs to be restrained from unfolding using a rubber clip, which we felt was perhaps the weakest link in the whole design. The saddle stays on the bike in up or down positions, although you can take it off altogether if preferred.

Gocycle G4

In addition to its motor, the Gocycle G4 has gears to help you tackle hills under your own steam (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Before you get started, you’ll want to install the Gocycle G4’s smartphone app, and pair the bike with your handset via Bluetooth. This app doesn’t just includes instructions to help you set up your new bike and ensure it’s safe to ride, it also allows you to start its motor (though the physical power button is located on the side of the frame).

In addition to the motor, there’s a three-speed gearing system for tackling hills, which is controlled using a twist-grip operation on the right-hand side of the handlebars.

Battery charge is shown via four LED dots in the centre of the handlebars, though using the clips in the same location for attaching your smartphone is the way to go in order to manage operation of the bike. There’s a USB port too, for handy charging as you go. The app is perfectly serviceable during use, with all of the obvious things on display such as gear selected, trip details, available charge and how much motor power you’re calling on.

Gocycle G4

The small tires are fine on most road surfaces, but can be unforgiving on potholes (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Performance

The Gocycle G4 is a treat to ride, even on quite poorly maintained roads. A small damper behind the saddle tube helps forgive ruts and bumps, though particularly large potholes are best avoided though, as the smaller wheels are quite unforgiving.

The riding position feels great, and the motor feels likely once you get into the swing of that front drive. As we found when we tested the Brompton M6L folding e-bike, front wheel motors that pull you along can feel strange, especially over slippery manhole covers or slick, freshly-painted road markings, but the more we rode the Gocycle G4, the more we came to trust and enjoy it. The power is delivered using traction-control precision and this also worked brilliantly when we took the bike on a shortcut across muddy grass.

Gocycle G4

The front motor takes some getting used to, but the more we used the Gocycle G4, the more comfortable and confident we felt (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

There are three modes: City, Eco, and a custom option for more experienced or picky riders who know exactly how much assistance they want from their e-bike to optimize battery life and performance.

The bike we tested was built to UK specifications, and was therefore limited to the standard 15.5mph top speed and 250W of power, but some other territories give you more flexibility.

The motor only stays engaged while the pedals are moving. but when the going gets really tough, you can call on the red boost button found on the left-hand side of the handlebars for an additional surge of power (something that’s invaluable for hill starts).

The twist-grip gearing system works to good effect too. Best of all though is the smooth, dynamic delivery of the motor assistance depending on how you pedal, which is all down to the clever torque sensor built into the design. Super stuff.

First reviewed February 2022

Gocycle G4

Built-in lights are excellent additions for riding in dark or wet conditions (Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Buy it if

Don’t buy it if

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button