One of the few folding electric bikes out there, just don’t mistake the Gocycle GX for a final-mile bicycle. With 20-inch magnesium wheels and broad tyres, it promises full-sized handling for journeys far exceeding those to the train station and back.
And what a bike it is. Fun to ride, impeccably designed and with a great range, the Gocycle GX is worthy of consideration alongside the best ebikes – perhaps even being the best of the bunch.
Price and availability
The cheapest Gocycle is the collapsable GS at £2,499 (about $3,300 / AU$4,800), while our foldable GX on review sits in the middle of the range £2,899 ($3,800 / AU$5,550) , with the top-end carbon G3 (featuring an upgraded battery, internal cabling, and electronic gearing) clocks in at £3,499 ($4,590 / AU$6,700).
With dealers across the UK, servicing is best attempted by one of these, although a conscientious mechanic could manage most jobs. It's pricey, but shipping globally would be well worth the expense.
Employing a hydroformed frame, the Gocycle’s radical uni-sided drivetrain and fork help keep its collapsed footprint small. With the chain hidden inside the structural magnesium crankcase that constitutes the rear half of the bike, this should cut maintenance while keeping the rider protected from oily parts.
Using an internal Shimano Nexus three-speed hub gear system on the rear, the bike’s tiny custom motor is located in its front hub. With the removable battery enclosed in the frame, this ensures its 18kg weight remains nicely balanced.
With quality hydraulic disc brakes, a central suspension damper, and the ability to add integrated lighting, it looks like it’s arrived from somewhere in the near future.
Folding down to around 83 x 39 x 75cm in the space of 30-seconds, with its saddle left in place, the Gocycle remains easily wheelable; a boon for taking on public transport, storing at home, or stashing in the boot of a car. For a folding bike, its 20-inch wheels and broad tyres are larger than average. Keeping the ride comfy and confident, they’re still diminutive enough to impart idiosyncratic handling, although this never feels unstable and takes only minutes to get used to.
Using a three-speed internal gear system, unlike conventional alternatives, this can shift when the bike is stationary. Allowing you to drop to the easiest gear when at a red light so as to pull away with ease, it’s a useful feature –e specially as the Gocycles’ assistance doesn’t kick in until you’ve got the bike rolling yourself. An unusual feature that massively preserves the bike’s battery-life at a small cost to your legs, this division of labor seems a fair trade.
With the motor off, you can see how little energy the Gocycle wastes. The whole assemblage is lighter than you’d expect, making it fun to ride, and not too much of a chore to carry. Rolling smoothly over multiple surfaces with little to no unwanted flex, although the motor whines slightly, the mechanical parts are near silent.
With the power added very smoothly, a button on the left grip allows you to access full-power mode regardless of how the bike is otherwise set-up. Taking around seven hours to fully charge, £120 ($160 / AU$230) will get you a fast charger that sees this cut in half.
Displaying its battery level via five LEDs in the handlebar, we managed over 25-miles riding lazy-style, although this can be massively expanded by tuning the bike’s motor response. Coming with an attendant app, it includes the ability to easily customise how and when the motor adds its assistance, along with being able to use your phone as a smart dashboard by mounting it on the handlebar.
Reinventing the bicycle is often considered a fool's errand, but Gocycle has had a go, and come up trumps too. In doing so it’s created something new, a low maintenance electric bike that creates many of its own standards. Just doing something as simple as removing the magnesium wheel from the axle containing the neat motor and hydraulic disc brake assembly reveals how much work has gone into its creation.
The ride is great, as is the fold and the integration of the battery and motor. A bit large for a folder, its feature-set and ride more than make up for this, meaning even if you never collapse it down, you’ll still have yourself a fantastic and thoroughly futuristic e-bike.