I usually like to think of e-bikes as living in one of three separate categories.
There’s the e-bikes that are tools, designed specifically to do a job and do it very, very well; there’s the e-bikes that are built for fun — those are your beach cruisers, minibikes and the like that are made for dinking around your neighborhood or the bike path. Then there are the e-bikes with one foot in each of those worlds.
The GoCycle, in my opinion, fits neatly into that first category. It’s a tool carefully designed to meet the specific needs of a commuter who’s short on space, likely lives in a dense environment and needs an e-bike they can tote with them into an office, onto public transport or can be stored in the smallest of places.
It’s obviously fun, too. With a 500W motor and many of the components built for performance, the thing is quick and handles better than your average folding e-bike. But, by my assessment, it’s real shining attributes are it’s incredibly lightweight of just shy of 38 lbs and it’s very, very well designed fast folding mechanism.
But aside from how it folds, there are just a huge number of parts on this bike that are either entirely proprietary and designed in-house by GoCycle, or use consumer components modified to suit a fast folder’s needs.
The front hub motor, for example, is a proprietary unit designed in-house that GoCycle calls the G4 Drive. This unit makes 500W and is housed inside the hub shell of the front wheel. It’s shockingly small in stature, but despite its physical petiteness it packs an absolute wallop of power.
The wheels are a one-piece spoked job made of magnesium that are, again, proprietary. It’s got a single-sided front fork made of carbon fiber. The mid-body of the bike is made of aluminum, the aft body is made of carbon, which is new on the G4 model, and the rear section of the bike, called the CleanDrive, is made of magnesium. Like the fork, that’s single-sided, too.
Inside the fore section of the frame is a 36V, 8.1Ah (291.6Wh) battery that gives the bikes its solid range.
At the rear of the bike, this swingarm-like section is what GoCycle calles the CleanDrive. Inside this shroud is the bike’s drivetrain, which includes a three-speed Shimano Nexus rear hub built into the rear magnesium wheel and a MicroShift GripShifter at the handlebars.
The brakes are hydraulic discs, which are again proprietary. The tires have been redesigned for the G4 model, are MotoGp inspired and are, again, proprietary. And lastly there is a small rear shock in the back that gives the bike 25mm of travel.
One notable thing that’s missing from the actual bike is a traditional LCD display. Instead, you get this LED-based system that vaguely tells you battery life and a real-time readout of how much power the motor is coughing up.
Instead of building-in a display GoCycle has built a nice app called GoCycle Connect. In addition to being able to customize settings, the app can also be used as a pretty nice display should you choose to get a handlebar mount.
The app also allows you to choose from one of three preset pedal assist settings — eco, city+ and on-demand — and it also allows you to create custom settings that best suit your riding style.