The Gocycle is an unusual e-bike, a light folder made of carbon fiber and hydroformed aluminum, and designed by Richard Thorpe, who used to design Maclaren supercars; it looks and feels like a superbike. Its motor is mounted on the single-sided front fork. And as I noted when I reviewed it last year, there is a latency, a period of time when you are pedaling before the motor kicks in. I found it disconcerting at first. But I got to like it; the bike is so light that you are able to start it without a problem.
Now they have done a major upgrade to the bike, and it may well be a little less disconcerting. The three models of the Generation Four (G4) family have an all-new G4drive, which provides “a smooth and quiet ride, while delivering more torque, low-speed start capability.”
Shifting gears on the Gocycle was a breeze because the pedals and gears are on a different wheel; on my own mid-drive Gazelle e-bike I often had trouble starting from a red light because I was in too low a gear. Thorpe got this, and wrote:
“Most of us are not elite athletes, and therefore we usually are in the wrong gear when riding, and mostly, we are in the wrong gear when we come to a stop. We all know the feeling of starting out in a high gear, and if your ebike has a center mounted crank drive solution with a derailleur system, the motor is not going to help you much if you are in the wrong gear!”
They have improved that too, with predictive electronic shifting on the two fancier models. The whole bike is tweaked:
“The Generation Four Gocycle range weighs from just 36lbs (G4i+) making it one of the lightest premium folding electric bikes on the market, wth the innovative integration of lightweight materials delivering significant performance benefits and overall weight savings across the range. No stone has been left unturned in the G4’s comprehensive weight reduction – even the disk rotors are lighter, whilst the front disk rotor of the G4drive is slightly larger for even more controlled stopping power.”
Even the tires are different. They’re bespoke!
“Riders will enjoy an even smoother ride owing to Gocycle’s bespoke new MotoGP-inspired treaded tire. The lightweight tire is infused with silica compound for superior grip and sure-footed handling. Its wider design and increased air volume promises a comfortable ride across urban surfaces.”
This gorgeous mix of carbon fiber and hydroformed aluminum comes at a price, starting at $3,999 and climbing to $5.999 for the G4i+ with its carbon wheels, electronic shifting, and svelte 36 pounds. Some readers were not impressed with the pricing, even when it was a bit cheaper, saying “Sorry, at $3,300, this is far from the “Perfect Urban Commuter.” Which is a good point; nobody is going to leave this outside the office all day. I considered it a great commuter because it folds up in 10 seconds, is light enough to lift but also rolls quite nicely all tucked up, so that you never have to leave it on the street. Others, who live on a boat, also noted the importance of weight and size.
“When we get into a marina, we can ride into town to get groceries, or ride out to explore. We looked at other options and yes, found ones much less expensive, but on a boat with very limited space where weight is an issue, these fit the bill. At 36 pounds and foldable into a small footprint, they work great for us.”
Perhaps I was wrong to call it a commuter, and should have called it a high-end sports car of a bike for the yachting set, with its “unwavering commitment to its nocompromises® design approach which focuses on lightweight performance and automotive-inspired design.” It’s certainly a lot cheaper than a Maclaren.
More at Gocycle.