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Review of GoCycle GX e-bike: fast, fun and foldable

"No compromise" is the statement many companies do, but few deliver. This is also the slogan of GoCycle, a British manufacturer of premium folding electric bicycles.

Foldable bikes are designed for the first and last mile of multimodal city trips. Take them to the station, fold them to carry the crowded train from the peak hours and then drive the last leg in the office. But what if a folding bicycle can do more? What will happen if the folding bicycle is comfortable enough to ride without sweat over long distances but still flexible enough to take the train when it rains? Here comes the fast-moving GoCycle GX e-bike.

GoCycle is not a company you're probably already familiar with. When you think you fold bikes, you'll probably imagine Brompton. But unlike Brompton, who just introduced his first e-bike this year, GoCycle has been building electric folding covers for ten years now. This decade of experience really shows the GoCycle GX, an elegantly designed and stylish e-bike that really delivers … just a few compromises.

The first GoCycle electric bike, G1, was launched in 2009 by Richard Thorpe, a former McLaren engineer. Now the company offers three versions of the same electric theme: the basic GoCycle S, the fast-folding GX and the full-featured GoCycle G3. I tested the GoCycle GX, which starts at $ 3,299 / € 3,999 / £ 2,899, placing it in direct competition with Brompton Electric. This makes it a premium category for massive electronic bikes built for travelers. But I also prefer the shape of the classic Lamborghini Karmann Ghia. My opinion changed, however, after taking the 20 minutes I took away to unpack and collect my review wheel sent directly by the company. The small, hung mounted magnesium wheels attached to the motorcycle through a single-sided fork and rear propeller are engineering miracles, while the glossy aluminum frame tidy the chain and most of the cables. This is an extremely sophisticated and sophisticated ride, even when fitted with extra fenders (which are necessary for travelers).

My only complaint is the GoCycle logo that seeks attention and is better suited for the bicycle sharing fleet than for a vehicle that costs three thousand to own. But that's me, I do not want to be a billboard. Few others do not think: I got more compliments from the look of the GoCycle GX than any other bike that I was traveling around in Amsterdam – a high score from the cycling capital.

The GX benefits from an intuitive folding mechanism, especially compared to the terrible Brompton Electric. I had the footsteps memorized after a single look at the instruction video and I only got it a few times. The lifting of two soothing rounded quick-lock latches allows the bike to fold to a third. Then, a rather lethal rubber band should be awkwardly stretched in place to hold the folded components together (I prefer GM Ariv's magnetic lock). Once assured, the engine is already in trolley mode, allowing you to easily push it from the saddle to the elevator, down the hallway or to the train. I can fold the bike regularly for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Things get a little awkward if you want to completely shrink GX in the smallest package possible. First, the seat must be removed and maneuvered in the rubber band gap. Then, a small cap under the rear reflector should be unfolded and slid into the saddle tube to secure the seat post. When the washer is folded and the pedals fold down, you are now ready to lift the bike in the car trunk or slide it under your desk. It takes between 20 and 30 extra seconds to completely destroy the bike.

The compact GoCycle GX is relatively heavy at 17.8 kg (39.2 pounds), weighing just a little less than the full-size VanMoof Electrified S2. However, the weight is well balanced (bunny hop is gone!) With a miniature 250 / 500W GoCycle motor mounted on the front hub and 300Wh removable battery slots in the length of the downtube. The high handlebar contributes mostly to the upright position. Wide creases, thick 20-inch tires and rear suspension combine to ensure a steady journey that truly absorbs vibrations. It moves like a full bike without any twitch on Brompton Electric. The end result is an extremely comfortable and enjoyable journey that makes the GoCycle GX suitable even for the longest trips. My test included a daily trip of about 30km / 18.6 miles while carrying a backpack loaded with a laptop, water and accessories. For those who prefer to move the load on the bicycle, GoCycle offers a front panel that can be attached and removed quickly.

Of course, the design of bikes is not without compromise, regardless of the GoCycle slogan. Choices have to be made in terms of productivity, size, weight and cost. In the case of the GX, the most striking compromise is how power is fed to the pedals. GoCycle chose a small front hub engine that relies on your feet for this initial acceleration. "The human foot is one of the most efficient things about torque at low speed," Thorpe explained from GoCycle on the phone. (GoCycle does not list the torque for its engine and refuses to provide a number on request.) This means that the engine never moves when you are no longer walking or about one or two full pedal turns depending on how difficult it is you are fighting. And no, the accelerator button will not save you as it stays inactive until you move. The first gear shift made it an easy lift for my feet, but I still prefer the instantaneous pedal assistance provided by the new Cowboy e-bike or from zero to the fast gain provided by the VanMoof Electrified X2 throttle.

The GoCycle app comes with several predefined rider profiles with an option to cancel the custom settings. My bike comes with the EU firmware that turns off the accelerator button and limits the engine to 250W and 25 km / h (16 mph). I surpassed them by removing an EULA to install the US firmware. Then my testing happened exclusively in this mode, giving me access to a power of 500W and a top speed of 32 km / h

I went into custom mode based on the City + profile. It provides maximum power as quickly as possible, but with a limited speed of 29 km / h – faster and my feet have maintenance problems even in third gear. Once the engine is switched on, power is supplied smoothly with each stroke thanks to the GoCycle torque sensor. The choke gave a small boost when it needed hills or when I wanted to use the tool without having to press the pedal. Unfortunately, it has not yet provided any help from stagnation, like the VanMoof X2 throttle, for example. Riding in this mode while the pedals and sometimes using the throttle exhaust the battery after about 40-45 km on average, or about 25-28 miles.

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Side- up close with Brompton Electric.

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Other Observations:

  • If you share GX among family members then You need a wrench to adjust the seat height regularly. Fortunately, GoCycle includes one in a special slot under the saddle.
  • The LED display of the handlebar battery is very simple but can be read in direct sunlight.
  • The charger is small enough to be able to carry it on your trip with you to charge at home or in the office.
  • The GocycleConnect application turns into a Bluetooth dashboard when the phone is mounted on the steering wheel in landscape mode. It's trying to do too much, I think, but it provides a lot of feedback and customization if it's your thing. After the initial setup I never used the app again because there is a special power button that you can use to turn the motor on or off. , Then it can be carried inside to be charged with the same charger that comes with the bicycle. It can be loaded while mounted on the bike, of course, through a weather-protected frame port while the bicycle is either folded or unfolded.
  • The position of the bell takes a while to get used to it. This is basic, but it radiates strong and pleasant .
  • The seat of Velo Sport was good, not the best, not the worst.
  • The phone holder is also very basic, but works well for phones of any size.
  • The sound of the engine is medium: it is not too strong, but it is also not quiet. People nearby will know that you are getting on an e-bike while closing them around them. time. I learned to treat 10 percent (one LED on the handlebars) as an empty battery.
  • The GoCycle offers two options for powered lights powered by a bicycle battery: Busch & Mueller Avy E Kit ($ 159.99 / € 130.00 / £ 109.99) and the Supernova V1260 ($ 299.99 / € 264.98 / £ 229.98). 19659041] http://www.theverge.com/ “/>

The GoCycle GX is an excellent folding electric bicycle that emits sophistication and thoughtful modern design. Are compromises made? Yes, but the resulting product shows some intelligent solutions for the sake of flexibility, convenience and comfort. GX is suitable for long distances or for killing the first and last mile of multimodal journeys.

Yes, GX is expensive, especially after you have put the options, some of which are needed for ordinary travelers. But, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Some city passengers will be able to justify the base price of $ 3,299 / € 3,199 / £ 2,899 by replacing expensive car trips or by saving additional public transport charges (folding bicycles are usually free of charge, unlike a full-size bicycle) . Others will justify costs through health benefits and reduced environmental impact.

If size and weight are your primary purchase criteria, then see Brompton Electric. Brompton Electric is a very good folding e-bike while the GoCycle GX is one of the best electronic bikes you can buy, folding or not.

Photography by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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