Gocycle GX is the latest folding model from the British e-bike firm
There have been a number of unanticipated side-effects from the ongoing public health crisis, like the surge in demand for bikes – and in particular, electric bikes. In its recent earnings report, Halfords confirmed that demand for battery-boosted bikes had doubled compared with one year ago.
Fortuitously, for anyone looking to avoid the bus and ride an e-bike to work, there are some phenomenal options on the market right now. Like the ultra-lightweight Ampler Curt, which ditches the hassle of a greasy chain for a maintenance-free carbon fibre belt drive, and Brompton, which is a staple of commuter train platforms nationwide, recently launched a subscription service to grab its pedal-assisted model for a daily fee.
And finally, e-bike brand Gocycle has launched a new iteration of its popular fast-folding series, the GX. Express.co.uk has been folding and unfolding the Gocycle GX 2020 for the last few weeks – speeding out on rides that burn calories and battery life in equal measure, so here’s our in-depth review…
Gocycle GX (2020) electric bike review: Price, Availability
Announced back in July, Gocycle’s latest fast-folding electric bike is available to order right now. The Gocycle GX ships in three colour options: Electric Blue, Matt Black, or White with a Black Cleandrive. It can be ordered from Gocycle.com for £2,899 (€3,199 / $3,299) or a number of approved resellers. Free test rides are available across the UK too.
Gocycle GX (2020) electric bike review: Design, Ride
Gocycle was founded by former McLaren designer Richard Thorpe, so it’s really no surprise that its latest electric bike is an absolute stunner.
Gocycle GX looks uniquely futuristic – it eschews the seat stay entirely and combines the top and down tubes to cleverly disguise the bulk of the battery inside. It’s a gorgeous design, and crucially, stands apart from the crowd of folding bike manufacturers desperately trying to copy the blueprint established by Brompton. There’s nothing wrong with Brompton bikes, but it’s nice to see some new ideas.
Despite the smarts tucked inside the frame, Gocycle has managed to keep the outside pretty simple. There’s only a single cable in view – everything else is cleverly routed through the frame. Likewise, the handlebars aren’t cluttered with the endless dials and toggles you’ll find on some of its rivals.
There’s a twist-grip shifter to handle the three available gears and a thin row of LED lights to indicate how much battery life you’ve got left in the tank. And that’s pretty much it.
As such, the Gocycle GX isn’t intimidatingly “techie” to newcomers. Those who are a little more confident with electric bikes will have a 1,000-watt smile etched on their face when they discover the hidden “Boost” button on the underside of the handlebars, which is ideal for speeding away at busy junctions, tearing up steep hills, and winning bets from gullible friends.
Gocycle can fit front- and rear-facing LED lights on the frame, which are powered by the 13.7Ah battery cell – so you won’t need to worry about digging around your drawers for loose AAAs before heading out after dark. Both lights are switched on with a button on the back of the front light. This is convenient, but comes at an additional cost. That’s a little cheeky given the four-figure price tag.
There’s only a single cable on show on the new GX model – everything else is hidden inside the frame
But the highlight of the design has to be the Pitstop Wheels, which are found on the front and rear wheel of the new GX. Mounted on a single side with six bolts, this stunning wheel design really gives the Gocycle GX its personality and is sure to turn some heads as you speed through town.
The design isn’t only about looks, it also means you can quickly take out an inner tube and fix a puncture without the hassle of taking off the entire wheel. Not that you’ll be fixing punctures all that often, thanks to the All-Weather Tyre – fitted as standard on this model and designed by Gocycle for better grip and puncture resistance. In our time with the GX, we pushed the definition of what most would reasonably describe as a “normal commute” – throwing the Gocycle GX down dirt and loose gravel paths. And the tyres held firm.
PitStop Wheels mean you can change a flat without removing the wheel (and they look pretty cool)
Gocyle claims its latest GX model has a 40-mile range, which seems to tally with our testing. Of course, if you’re thumbing the “Boost” button every other minute, it won’t quite manage that – but there’s no chance this nifty electric bike won’t make it to the office and back home again on a single charge.
When the low battery warning does appear, you can plug the cable directly into the GX. If there’s no mains plug in your garage, or in the bike storage included with your apartment building, you can remove the battery from its snug compartment inside the frame – and carry that to the nearest plug, leaving the rest of the frame behind.
That’s much more convenient than some rival electric bikes, which require you to carry the entire bike to the mains plug when it your low battery warning is flashing.
It’s also worth noting that since the battery cell can be removed, GX owners can upgrade to a beefier cell with a 50-mile range. That upgraded battery recharges in four-hours, compared to the seven-hours for the standard battery included with the Gocycle GX. If you’re worried about the lifespan of your e-bike, this upgradeable battery design should be a weight off your mind.
A thin strip of LED lights show how much battery is left in the tank
Like all electric bikes on-sale in the UK, the Gocycle GX is limited to 15.5mph. If you’re not used to riding e-bikes, that doesn’t mean you’ll be roaring off at 15.5mph with the touch of a pedal only to be able to build on that speed until you top-out at an eye-watering 35mph.
In fact, in most cases, furiously pedalling to hit over 15.5mph feels like you’re fighting against the bike – thanks to the extra weight of the battery. Instead, the pedal-assist motor is designed to iron-out any hills, so you’ll always be able to keep turning the pedals at the same pace – regardless of whether you’re cruising through town, weaving around a traffic jam, or forging up a monstrous hill laden with heavy shopping bags.
In other words, you won’t often top 15.5mph on the speedometer, but you’ll be able to maintain 15.5mph over almost all terrain.
And as any cyclist will tell you, 15.5mph is a damn good average. Especially as you won’t have to collapse into the office in a sweaty heap to achieve that speed on your commute.
It won’t fold as small as a Brompton, but the GX can still fit into luggage racks on trains and car boots
Gocycle GX uses a torque-sensing motor control, which measures the amount of oomph you’re applying to the pedals to work out how much help you need from the motor. So, when you’re freewheeling down a hill, the motor will stay silent. However, as soon as the GX senses that starting to struggle – on a hill, for example – you’ll feel the motor kick-in and take some of the strain from your creaking legs.
This makes the Gocycle GX an ideal commuter. You’re keeping active, unlike the usual train journey, but you won’t have to allow time to shower at the office before that first meeting. And even better than that, you won’t have to wear lycra either.
Gocylce GX has an impressive companion app for your smartphone that lets you customise the amount of input available from the motor. It also provides interesting health statistics, such as calories burned, maximum pedal power, and more, from your rides.
Gocycle currently sells the latest GX model in three colour finishes
Gocycle GX (2020) electric bike review: Final Verdict
- Pros: Stunning Design, Mind-Reading Motor Knows Exactly How Much Help You Need, Comprehensive Smartphone App, Built-in Lights, Upgradeable Battery
- Cons: Not As Small As Some Competitors When Folded, Plastic Pedals Feel A Little Cheap
Gocycle GX is a staggeringly smart electric bike with a stunning design that wouldn’t look out of place in a Tron film.
Sure, the Gocycle GX can’t fold as small as anything from the Brompton range, not to mention the battery cell ensures you won’t be carrying this 17.5kg bike up flights of stairs without breaking into a sweat… but these niggles aren’t specific to the GX. These are the compromises associated with almost every electric bike on the market right now.
And it’s a compromise you’ll be more than happy to live with the first time that motor kicks-in at the end of a long day – helping you to cruise past the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The statistics recorded by the app make the Gocycle GX a pretty great fitness tool too – as you’ll be itching to recharge and head back out on the road as soon as you get home with a new personal best under your belt. The dizzying amount of customisation within the app means you’ll never feel like the motor is stopping you from burning enough calories.