E-bikes are gaining popularity and for good reason. They have come a long way since they first appeared on our roads. And with the rise of the UK nation becoming ever health conscious, e-bikes are being used for getting fitter, commuting, running errands or simply to have fun on. We road-tested the Gocycle GS, which sits second in line to the original Gocycle G1, to see how it performs and can fit into anyone’s lifestyle.
This year marks 10 years since the launch of Gocycle’s first production model. The ground-breaking, lightweight Gocycle G1 earned its reputation as being the first injection-moulded magnesium alloy bicycle in history. The brainchild of Richard Thorpe, the entrepreneur left his enviable design job with McLaren Cars, to set about creating the perfect e-bike. He used his experience in designing lightweight racing car components to dedicating his time to producing a brand new model for the bike market.
At first glance
Richard believes that an e-bike should be elegant, desirable and a joy to live with and above all fun. And at first glance, the Gocycle GS lives up to this reputation. The design is fantastically smart, clean, makes for a tidy appearance and the drivetrain is completely enclosed so there’s no risk of the oily parts ruining your clothes or hands. It comes in a range of colours but the one we tested was bright red so you certainly won’t be camouflaged. At just 16.5kg (or 36.3lbs, including kickstand and folding pedals), the GS is one of the lightest electric bikes around. However, as I live in a block of apartments down some steps, this felt like a little bit of a weight lifting exercise as I took it up and down. Still, my first impression was that all the other details and specs made it an attractive package.
Is it a folding bike?
The bike does indeed fold – but not in the sense that other bikes do. Rather than folding in half, it actually pivots inward and the Pitstopwheels come off. Therefore, it’s better described as having the ability to be dismantled and stowed away as it has no central folding mechanism. I was slightly apprehensive at having a go at first, but watching the ‘how to’ video on the Gocycle app made me realised that it wasn’t as complicated as I had imagined. In fact, the whole process took me a mere few minutes. The wheels separate from the frame with the quick release system with no need for tools. The bike then folds inwards. A little tricky at first as I was trying to hold the bike as I went through the motions but nothing I can’t get used to over time. Geared towards the commuter, the GS works well with me as a travel writer, because it can be neatly stowed away in my car when I’m on trips or indeed in my flat where storage is on the tight side.
Connecting to the app
Although the Gocycle is quick and easy to use with the push of a button near the charging port, it gets more interesting when connected to the app. Plus without it, you won’t know how fast you’re riding, have the ability to adjust the speed or know how much battery life is remaining. Gocycle has a series of ‘how to’ YouTube and Vimeo channels including the app setting. After downloading the app to your phone, activate the Bluetooth and your phone will recognise the bike when in close proximity and connect to it. There’s an additional level of security and control whereby GoCycle can remotely deactivate your bike if it is stolen. You can then customise it to suit, with sections to change the power settings (Eco, Sport, Sport Plus) and what you would like to show up on the dashboard. I have a rather large Google PIxel 2 phone so had a little difficultly squeezing it into the rubber band holster. That said, I had peace of mind that it wasn’t going to fall off when I rode it.
The motor on this bike is mounted inside the front hub and is separate to the wheel. And unlike other e-bikes, the GS drives from the front wheel. This result is that the motor offers four times the energy density of a regular hub motor. The motor operates at 250 continuous watts which is useful when on a climb. The UK e-bike restrictions mean the motor cannot go above the 250 watts and will cut off at 25kmh.
I waited so long to take the GS out for a ride because I felt I needed to learn as much as I could about it before venturing out. But the wait was worth it. Riding it was simply pleasurable. The motor provided a good boost to the experience especially when climbing hills (I live on one) and the seat felt comfortable. I felt I could ride it all day long but riding it for eight hours on my first attempt wasn’t bad going. The integrated in frame lithium ion battery pack with a range of up to 40 miles (65 km) has a seven-hour charge time. I rode it along the tow path, on grass and gravel and I felt the bike was responsive to all the terrains and didn’t feel jittery. Some e-biked can feel a little flimsy but this is sturdy. I particularly liked seeing my progress on the app on my phone and adjusted my speed accordingly and tried to burn as many calories as I possibly could by exerting more power through my legs. I did however find the kickstand hard to action when I took a break because the plastic bit to kick down is a tad small. Still, it worked well once I was able to successfully deploy it.
All in all, the GS model is great for anyone from an amateur to a pro, whether they are commuting, just pottering around or going for a nice bike ride. And if you’re looking to get fitter, then this is one way of leading a healthier, active and sustainable lifestyle.
Where and how?
Gocycle GS Folding Electric Bike with Base Pack costs £2,499.00. For more information on Gocycle GS and all the other models visit https://gocycle.com/about/
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