Gocycle (2009-present): The epitome of British engineering in an electric bicycle.Introduction: In order to sustain uniformity with motorcycle reviews, the GoCycle test will follow the same basic structure. However moto-choice.com review structure favours motorcycles rather than bicycles.
Gocycle is an electric motor assisted bicycle. The small motor is located at the hub of the front wheel.
Due to the lightweight construction, the owner can use it as a normal bicycle. As usual, the power of the rider is transmitted through the pedals and a chain, to the rear wheel sprockets.
‘his bike test was conducted by an expert motorcyclist, not a cyclist!
Engine: Due to European Legislation regarding electrically assisted bicycles in order to use the 250w motor the rider needs to follow a procedure: The bicycle must obtain a minimum speed of 3 km/h which equates to approximately 6 revolutions of the pedals on a flat surface for the average rider, the rider can now engage the electric motor by pressing and keeping pressed a red button on the left handlebar. Releasing the button disengages the power assistance.
Autonomy lies between 16 and 32 km depending on whether the ride is mostly uphill or downhill. If rider keeps on using the pedals along with the assisting power, battery range as well as the speed of the bike are increased. The charging duration from completely empty to completely full, is 3.5 hours. There is no need for the battery to be completely empty before it gets recharged. Replacing the battery costs 300 §, that should be necessary approximately every two years.
The electric motor is attached to the front wheel, no chain or belt used. Consequently there is not any maintenance need, e.g. lubrication. According to the manufacturer, the enclosed system of chain and sprockets will not need any lubrication or maintenance by the owner.
Riding position: The seat height is adjustable. The size of the Gocycle is small.
Compared with other electric powered bicycles, the weight of the Gocycle is light, 16.2 Kg, batteries included. This is due to the cast magnesium frame and wheels. The shock provides a short 25mm play.
On the road: If a rider was not already aware that Gocycle is a power assisted cycle it would be difficult to tell, there are no cables or batteries etc visible.
The fact that this is a three speed bicycle is also ordinary. The first speed is used in order to accelerate from standstill or on great uphill roads, the second speed for uphill roads and the third for level roads and top speed. If the electric motor is not engaged, Gocycle provides the feeling of an ordinary bicycle. When the engine is activated, this is done very smoothly and quietly.
When riding up hill the low power of the electric motor is adequate, dependant upon the gradient. If the rider wished to go faster the use of pedal power would also be required.
When riding downhill the motor assists up to a speed of 25 km/h. Due to EU legislation the motor will cut out when Gocycle reaches 25 km/h. Should the rider wish to travel faster than this, pedal power alone will be necessary.
The boost given by the electric motor is poor on the flat (compared to a moped). The top speed of 25 km/h is adequate, however in urban traffic the acceleration is not enough to compete. Gocycle should therefore be viewed as a bicycle, not a motorcycle. Utilising bicycle lanes brings the Gocycle into its own, where it competes well. Comfort wise Gocycle compares to a bicycle with a shock absorber.
Braking is by floating discs front and rear, featuring single piston calipers. The braking power is very respectable.
Comments:The warranty for the frame is 5 years and 1 year for the rest parts of the bike. The designer, Richard Thorpe, was working for McLaren Cars Limited. He founded Karbon Kinetics Ltd. in 2002, the manufacturer of the Gocycle.
In 2009 Gocycle won the gold award in the Eurobike contest. It has been nominated 8 more national and international awards.
The design of the Gocycle is as minimal as it can get, very beautiful indeed. There are single arms front and rear, while chain and sprockets are shielded. The wheels may be released in seconds, no tools required and no grease for the riderĘs hands or suit in case of a tyre puncture.
It may be dismantled within 2 minutes due to quick release joints in case that the owner needs to store it. An optional case is a factory accessory, dimensions are 650mm x 540mm x 260mm including motor, battery and charger. This case costs 140 § and it permits carrying the Gocycle by hand or as a trolley.
Price: 1750 §
+ Simple operation, usability
+ Lightweight compared to other electric-assisted bicycles
+ Attracts looks and comments
- In case of a mechanical failure it cannot be serviced at a bicycle shop
Thanks to Green-Motors, Kalirois 74, Athens, Greece, tel. +302110153095 for the bike test.