Published on December 13th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart0
CleanTechnica Tests The Electric Folding Gocycle e-Bike
December 13th, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
Gocycle Further Improves Its Fast-Folding E-Bike
It’s been a while since I tested an electric bicycle, and when Gocycle asked me to see what they did on their new GX, I jumped on the chance to ride this fun and cool futuristic e-bike. Here’s to a fun four weeks spent on the new Gocycle GX that is every bit worth its price.
In the world of folding e-bikes, Gocycle has carved itself a perfect niche. No one comes close to the level of execution, quality, and performance Gocycle puts into its e-bikes. Something that also endeared me to the Gocycle team is its no-nonsense approach to designing and living its electric bicycle business. The first one I tested was an eye opener. I couldn’t believe this little e-bike could feel that comfortable and handle so well. It’s a testament to Richard Thorpe’s ingenious mind always furthering what is an already pretty amazing e-bike.
The first Gocycle I rode was in March of 2017 at a Long Beach electric bicycle event. It was a G3. It was, and still is, a magnesium-body, foldable, electric bicycle with no apparent cables that can be tucked away in a 3-by-5-foot space, rolled away on a specially designed discreet cart. There was no gear selector, no intrusive speedometer — everything is neatly tucked inside a LED display on the handlebar. We calculated roughly six Gocycles could fit in the trunk of a Tesla Model S. It is the Tesla of the e-bike world.
The new GX innovates further by cutting down the folding time to much less than a minute — much, much less. I got it folded in less than 10 seconds on my first try and you can beat that time easily. In order to do this, Richard and his team kept the wheels in place — they were detachable on previous models. The GX folds like a traditional folding bicycle and can be rolled on its wheels.
The result is a highly practical bicycle that strikes the right middle between Gocycle’s top-of-the-line and entry-level units. Speaking of which, Gocycle presents its portfolio as such:
The GS is a traffic mover that is lightweight with an easy-folding frame and wheels that come off.
The GX is the fast-folding e-bike, with the GXi having cables internally routed, electric shifting, a high-capacity battery. It’s the fast-folding G3.
Finally, there is the carbon Gocycle: G3 Carbon. It is optimized with a rear carbon body and front magnesium for a tougher and lighter e-bike.
The Gocycle GX packs a lithium-ion battery that is easily accessible when folded. It is hidden inside its hydroformed aluminum frame, providing a range up to 40 miles (65 km) with a 7-hour charge time for the GX that is upgradable, up to 50 miles (80 km) with a 4-hour charge time forstep-up GXi. It has truly ergonomic and comfortable grips. The 3-speed mechanical twist shifter is intuitive enough to use. A central LED display shows the level of the battery. The only thing that was missing on the GX was a light, something you’ll have to get. The GXi comes with an integrated powerful LED light in the middle-front of the handlebar.
I caught up with Richard to ask him about his views on the e-bike market and what is happening globally. He told me that bike-sharing was not that great of an idea and said that sharing is not necessarily caring, as we can see from the state of shared bikes and scooters out there. He feels that ride-sharing companies need to look at being more sustainable. This is something I’ve learned to like and respect about Gocycle — the team is conscious of the overall sustainability aspect of the business and Richard talks the talk and walks the walk.
“Walking the talk” also means appreciating owning the mobility device. Richard rides his e-bike, obviously a Gocycle. He’s motivated to get people out of their cars and onto a bike. And he’s one of the rare people on a bicycle in England outside of London where he lives. He told me he feels there needs to be more incentives to get people to ride without shaming anyone. There are incentives for EVs and for a certain instant for e-bikes in Europe but it’s not enough. There is no incentive for e-bike usage, and that is needed. A mile pedaled on e-bike vs. in a car is a net benefit for people and society. It’s an investment in the future, our health, and the world.
Richard tells me that they are working on a stronger feature product platform. There will be “awesome stuff coming out in a year or two” with improvement on the motor drive system, I’m told, as well as serviceability and the electronic controller. Richard told me something I believe fits him to a T: “I will be mastering the art of urban e-bikes for the rest of my life.”
As you might have noticed, for once I don’t have my pictures and videos. My camera and video camera are dying on me. I’m raising funds to buy new material. This explains why I don’t have any personal pictures and videos. I used Gocycle’s media in this article instead. Thanks for your comprehension and keep on reading our articles, that’s how we can afford better material.
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