Best electric folding bikes 2023. Gocycle electric bike

Best electric folding bikes 2023

May is National Bike Month in the US. a nation-wide initiative to get more people out there and cycling. Whether you’re a season cyclist or getting on the saddle for the first time, we’ve got a raft of tip, tricks and advice to help you on your way. Check out our main Bike Month hub page for all the details.

The best electric folding bikes will take you from A to B with ease but also pack up small for transport or storage.

The growth in popularity of electric folding bikes probably hasn’t escaped your notice. After all, our towns and cities are the ideal playground for a commuter-focussed product that combines the attributes of the best folding bikes. notably portability. with those of the best electric bikes, namely making your journey faster and less physically taxing.

The best electric folding bikes are ideally suited for carrying on trains and buses as well as folding up small enough to make storage both at work and a home a breeze. Likewise their manageable size also makes them a good choice for taking on holiday.

Like any commuter bike, there are plenty of options when it comes to electric folding bikes. Which is right for you will depend on your individual needs. How far do you plan on riding? Is your route into work flat or does it take in a few hills? And, as with any considered purchase, how much do you wish to spend?

We’ll dive into some of these details later, in the guide at the bottom of this page, as well providing some general information on e-bikes. But before that let’s look at our picks of some of the best electric folding bikes on the market.

Best electric folding bikes

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Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Reasons to avoid

With the option to add many accessories. such as fenders (mudguards), a front and rear pannier rack, integrated lights, lock holster and a travel case. the G4i is a solid choice for a commuter.

The clever folding design means that you can push it on its wheels rather than needing to carrying it, or you can fully fold it into a compact package. There’s built-in rear suspension, concealed cabling and a fully enclosed drivetrain.

Owners can charge their phone (or other small devices) from the bike’s battery when not in use, through a discreetly integrated USB port on the handlebars. That said, we didn’t find that the integrated phone mount quite matched the quality of the rest of the bike itself. The same goes for the LED display, which we found to be rather basic. although the information it provides is useful.

With a completely enclosed drivetrain, it makes sense for year-round commuting and should stay pretty low-maintenance. The G4i utilizes a Shimano Nexus 3 speed internally geared hub.

With 2.35 wide tyres and 1” of elastomer suspension, the Gocycle G4i is one of the more comfortable small wheelers. And should you puncture one of those 20 tyres, the single-sided wheel attachment means that you don’t even have to remove the wheel.

The 500W (250W in the UK/EU) G4 electric motor and 375Wh Lithium-ion battery is claimed to provide a range of up to 80km (50mi), but the most we managed to get out of it was just 44km (27mi). To be fair, that was in one of the more ‘assisted’ modes and I always had the daytime running lights on. plus the city of Bath is well known for its brutally steep hills.

The bike is available from 17.6kg / 38.8lbs. However, as the weight is centred low on the frame, this at least makes the ride more stable. The folding mechanism has been improved since previous versions and can be quickly collapsed into a small package. Gocycle says this can be done in as little as ten seconds; we found it was closer to 20.

Reasons to avoid

This London based brand has been going for over 45-years and has applied its expertise in manufacturing folding bikes to produce this electric version.

With six hub based gears, mudguards and built-in lights, the Electric C Line hits many of the points of a good commuter. The handlebar-mounted bag which holds the battery has extra capacity for carrying other items, and there is even a 5V 1.5A USB port you can use for charging your devices directly from the bike’s battery.

The 250W motor and 300Wh battery give a respectable maximum range of 40 miles and take four hours to charge from empty, although a faster charger can be bought separately.

With 16” wheels and weighing 14.5kg / 32lbs, this is a compelling option for maximum portability. It benefits from Brompton’s tried-and-tested 3-part fold, which results in a compact folded size of 645mm (H) x 565mm (W) x 270mm (D) (25.3” x 23” x 10.6”).

Reasons to avoid

A more unconventional offering from Tern, this bike favours other aspects than minimising volume. If you often find yourself needing to transport large loads by bike, then this electric folding cargo model should have plenty of appeal.

The rack can handle 100kg / 220lbs, while the frame can take a gross weight of 200kg / 440lbs. The battery is beefed up to match, coming with 400Wh as standard and delivering. ‘up to’. 195km (121 miles) of range

This ruggedness means the bike weighs in at a hefty 33kg / 74lbs. So while this certainly isn’t a bike for lugging on and off the train, for example, it does make sense for anyone needing to carry plenty of cargo.

By folding only at the handlebars, it does collapse to a similar height to other folding bikes, however the Tern remains considerably longer. But due to its cargo bike credentials and burly build it’s unlikely to be a choice for those overly concerned with space.

Reasons to avoid

Rolling on 20in wheels and wide 2.4 tyres, the Blix Vika Flex has a quality folding mechanism at the downtube and stem, which origamis the bike down plenty small enough to fit under your desk. the folded size of the bike measures 36x21x28.5 inches.

The Californian brand claims the 614Wh battery and the 500-watt rear hub-based motor will give you 45 miles of range and charge in six hours from empty. There’s also a handy throttle that can be used at any assist level. All of these are legal in the US where the Vika Flex is currently sold.

It’s worth noting here that in the UK, e-bikes are classed and treated as normal pedal bikes providing that: the maximum power output is under 250w, it will only be propelled when pedalling (no throttle) and the motor cuts out over 15.5mph. Otherwise it must either be type approved or registered and taxed.

The Vika has a 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain, disc brakes, a rear rack, integrated front and rear lights and fenders (mudguards). Blix also produces a range of accessories, such as additional racks, baskets and bags, which can be attached to the frame’s ‘Smart mounting points’.

Other noteworthy features include a bar mounted display that doubles as a USB charger and a power auto cut-off function that cuts power when the brakes are engaged to avoid unwanted forward motion when braking.

Reasons to avoid

Raleigh’s offering balances cost and performance, aiming for a middle ground in both.

The 8-speed derailleur gears mean maintenance is easier, but more frequent. Coming with a rack, mudguards (fenders), kickstand and integrated lights, it is a versatile bike that’s well set up for the daily commute. there’s even a handy walk assist feature that helps you push the bike along, which Raleigh says is designed for navigating busy pavements and sidewalks. The wheels are 20” and shod with 2” tyres.

The maximum range comes to around 31 miles due to the smaller 250Wh battery. However, if you thought that would translate into a significant weight saving, you would be wrong, with the whole bike coming in at 20kg / 44lbs.

That said, considering the Evo folds in just two places, the space it takes up is impressively small, making this an electric folding bike you could comfortably stash by your work desk or in the back of your car.

Reasons to avoid

UK brand Hummingbird is known for producing some of the lightest folding bikes around. So it’s no surprise that its foray into electric folding bikes has produced the same results. in fact it claims that at just 10.3kg it is the world’s lightest folding e-bike.

It’s an astonishing figure, making the Hummingbird half the weight of some of the other bikes in this list. To achieve this it uses the brand’s patented carbon frame as well as carbon bars and seatpost. You’ve also got mechanical rim brakes here, which will again help to keep the weight down.

The bike does lack some of the commuter-friendly options of the best electric folding bikes. There are no racks, front or rear, and the only mudguards available are clip-on and will need to be purchased separately.

As for the motor and battery, it’s a clever all-in-one design delivered in a lightweight package, weighing just 3.5kg combined. The Italian made rear hub 250w motor/battery should be good for around 30 miles on a full charge and includes regenerative braking to recharge the battery when you’re going downhill.

Hummingbird says that the Gen 2.0 motor has 50% more torque while it also has a Bluetooth 5.1 remote control to change power modes and activate the sprint assist to power up hills. The Bitride smartphone app also allows you to benefit from an active electronic locking system. which is certainly needed given the bike’s hefty price tag.

Anatomy of an electric folding bike—what you should be aware of

As a bike with the core purpose of portability, weight is a major factor to consider. Although an e-folding bike will never be as light as a bike without a motor and battery strapped to the frame, some are significantly heavier than others. Being able to comfortably carry the bike plays an important part in how many folding bikes are used.

The size of the battery and motor have a large effect on the overall weight of an e-bike. Although a more powerful motor will give more ‘oomph’ and a bigger battery will increase the range, these aspects need to be balanced against the intended use of the bike. Typically a folding e-bike will have a smaller battery and less range than a non-folding electric bike.

If you are taking the bike on public transportation, these will likely be sacrificed in favour of a lighter build. Whereas, if you want a bike that just takes up a little less space than a full-sized one, there is no need to hold back.

For commuters, it’s worth remembering you can bring a cable to charge the bike while you’re at work. This way it’s possible to go for a smaller and lighter battery, whilst keeping an acceptable total range.

It is worth testing out the bike in person, to gain a clearer understanding of what weight and power is the correct balance for you.

As with conventional folding bikes, wheel size is a trade-off between speed and comfort against compact size. Most range between 16” and 24”, however extremes such as 10” and 26” are possible. Which wheel size you go for will be a personal choice depending on what your priorities are.

Degree of folding

Some electric folding bikes can tuck themselves away to an impressively small volume, with Brompton among the leaders in this department.

However, the more folding points a bike has, the longer it will take to pack away and the fiddlier it is to do so. A bike with fewer folding points will be faster and easier, although not as compact. Every bike will sit somewhere along this spectrum of pros and cons, and there is no right answer on how compact to go—the choice depends on your circumstances.

Again, it is very much worth testing the bike in person to get a feel for what size and how easily the bike folds. That said, collapsing the bike will become second nature over time.

Commuting practicalities

Although some electric folding bikes are bought to simply be flexible and convenient bikes for storing and transporting to pleasant cycling locations, many will see use in the rush hour. As such, there are certain points that make a bike more practical for commuting. For example, mudguards, pannier racks and built-in lights all become important considerations.

Do you have to pedal an electric folding bike?

The short answer is yes, e-bikes work through pedal assistance; there is no throttle (unless you’re in the US where this can feature on some models). The e-bike will deliver power proportional to how much you are putting in yourself.

However this is only up to a point. In the UK, e-bikes are limited to providing pedal assistance up to 25 kph (15.5 mph); above that speed you will be propelling the e-bike under your own steam.

In the US, it’s a bit more complicated, as the laws vary from state to state. The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has sought to clear up the murky legislation with a three-class system — each limited to 750-watt motors.

  • Class 1: the motor is strictly pedal assist and is limited to 20mph
  • Class 2: can provide assistance whether or not the rider is pedalling, and is limited to 20mph
  • Class 3: the motor provides pedal assist, is limited to 28mph, and must be equipped with a speedometer.

Our friends over at People for Bikes have complied a complete guide that breaks down the rules state by state.

How far do the best electric folding bikes go?

To aid comparisons between bikes, it is helpful to note that batteries are measured in Watt Hours (Wh). The greater this value, the further you will be able to travel on a single charge (all other things being equal).

As a general guide a folding e-bike’s battery capacity will be between 250Wh-400Wh. This should equate to a riding range of anywhere between 25 and 75 miles of run time when fully charged.

It’s worth remembering however that the more assistance the bike provides, the more power it will draw from the battery. To help conserve battery life it makes sense to only use the higher levels of assistance when you most need them, such as going uphill.

Like any battery, an e-bike battery won’t last forever. Typically you should expect to get around 800 charge cycles from a high-quality electric bike lithium-ion battery before it will need replacing.

It’s quick, it’s portable, it’s way better than sitting in traffic

With vaccines rolling out, it sure seems like only a matter of time before the days of full-time working from home will be coming to an end for many of us. That means the return of the commute. You know, sitting in traffic. Maybe driving some car that’s dull but economical and fitted with an automatic. Ugh.

Alas, now that the weather is warming up, allow me to suggest a compelling alternative, something that might even convince you to trade in that commuter car for a weekend plaything. Behold, a fold-up electric-assist GoCycle.

Boy, that thing looks a bit dorky, you might say. Admittedly, the tiny wheels and sky-high seat and handlebars are atypical, to say the least. However, they allow the GoCycle to fold up small enough to fit easily in most car trunks and make it far easier to bring safely inside once at work. Just pull the big, sturdy latches on the frame and handle bar, fold over and down, secure the two halves together with an elastic strap, and you’re done. Though heavy at 38.5 pounds, it’s much easier to carry about than a regular bike, especially if you get the available rolling carry bag.

Why is such portability important? Well, people steal bicycles, and no lock is perfect. People also steal bicycle parts, and one would imagine a thousand-plus-dollar electric bicycle would be a prime target. So, simply put, it’s more convenient and space-efficient to own a GoCycle than a bigger, conventional electric bike. And, since it is an e-bike itself, you also don’t have to worry about those pesky regular-bike calamities like hills or sweating like a pig in office attire.

GoCycle GX in the back of a Toyota Venza

Of course, GoCycle isn’t the only maker of fold-up electrified bicycles out there. And at a price of between 4,000 and 6,000 depending on model, they are considerably more expensive. So, what are you getting for all that extra money? Well, as car enthusiasts would appreciate while explaining to someone the differences between mainstream and luxury cars, the answer largely seems to come down to design, quality, engineering and performance.

Other fold-up bikes have exposed chains and long unwieldy wires bound to snag while trying to carry or store them. The GoCycle has far less of its wire harness exposed, while the chain and gearset are neatly encased. That gearset is also a clever three-speed that’s far more appropriate for an electrified bicycle (more gears are just unnecessary with all that torque, and a bit annoying as I found out with the Vintage Electric Café), and easier to shift thanks to the ability to loop back from third to first rather than sequentially moving your way back down.

Others bikes have batteries mounted outside the frame for a less streamlined appearance and a more tantalizing theft target. Those batteries also tend to be less sophisticated, with longer recharge times (only 3.5 hours with GoCycle’s optional fast charger) and often shorter ranges. GoCycle’s various offerings go between 40 and 60 miles depending on model, which is great for a fold-up bike, but admittedly the same as mainstream conventional e-bikes that cost in the mid-1,000 range.

As for engineering, besides the slick packaging of the body, it’s quite the feat for something as tall and gangly as a fold-up bike to ride as utterly normal as the GoCycle does (and it must be noted that I was riding what amounts to the previous-generation GX model as opposed to the new-and-improved GoCycle G4). I was admittedly wary of riding it given that sky-high handlebar and seat height, which would be nearing its maximum with all 6-foot-3 of me riding it. Honestly, smaller wheels make the ride a wee bit firmer, and I was definitely less confident while making quick back-and-forth transitions. An uphill stretch on a loose gravel surface with the small, road-oriented tires was a bit nerve-wracking, too. All that said, it really is shockingly normal. I didn’t really notice the tall seat and handlebars and, if anything, I found the GoCycle more comfortable than many average-sized bikes I’ve ridden (my own bike is an XL). Indeed, reviews elsewhere by actual cyclists confirm that the GoCycle doesn’t suffer from the twitchiness of other fold-up bikes. In other words, car people, it handles better.

It’s also a lot faster, which was one of the main goals GoCycle had in creating a fold-up commuter bike that would be more capable and comfortable than the norm. It can reach the government-mandated speed limit of 20 mph with ease thanks to its 500-watt electric motor mounted in the front wheel hub. It feeds in electricity when you pedal, but unlike the Vintage Electric Café I tested last year, it also includes a throttle override. The amount of motor assist you get can be selected by choosing amongst City, Eco, City Plus and Custom modes in the GoCycle app that’s connected to the bike via Bluetooth (the app also serves as a dashboard showing speed, charge status and gear). Your phone attaches with some simple elastic straps. These modes are obviously similar in concept to what you’ll find in many cars today, but in this case, the Custom mode allows you to set how much motor you want versus how much you’re pedaling. As I want to get up to speed as quickly as possible (I’m a car reviewer, what were you expecting?), I started the effort as soon as possible and with maximum power as soon as possible.

Once I set that, the GoCycle had no problem flying up Portland’s Mount Tabor without a sweat, much as I did with the performance-oriented Vintage Electric. I couldn’t as quickly get up to speed, nor blow so easily past cyclists huffing and puffing, but we’re talking the differences between a 300-horsepower car and 400-horsepower one here. Considering that folding e-bikes are mostly meant to cover the first and last mile of a commute, this performance goes way above and beyond. You can cover the whole damn commute with this thing.

Besides satisfying my full-throttle tendencies, I also preferred my Custom setting to the basic City mode, which seemed to engage the motor at random times while pedaling to maintain momentum. Perhaps it works at efficiently moving you along, but the motor’s unusual, deep whir draws attention to itself in a way that gets a bit irritating when it’s not constant and not necessarily in concert with your pedaling.

Of course, using City Plus or my Full-Throttle motor mode is less efficient, which may indeed be an issue with the GoCycle relative other conventional electric bikes that go as far for a lot less money, or go much further for the same money. Now, you have to ask yourself, where are you commuting on a bicycle that you’ll need more than 40 miles of range in a day? Or, alternatively, why is your office located on top of that mountain?

Yet, here’s the important thing to remember: Even if 40 miles wouldn’t be enough, the GoCycle’s portability makes it possible to bring inside anywhere to charge, including next to your desk while you work. And that brings us back to the GoCycle’s main reason for being: portability for the sake of commuting. There is unquestionable value in this brand and this design.

But, ah yes, that design. It is indeed a bit dorky in appearance – my co-workers didn’t really take it seriously when I showed them my latest test vehicle. But then, they live in Detroit, where everything is a 20-minute drive away on six-lane roads with Michigan lefts. Here in a more compact, bike-friendly town like Portland, where there are bike lanes and bike-optimized Green Way streets everywhere (we also tend to be pretty weird, so there’s that), seeing a fold-up commuter bike and other two-wheeled oddities is commonplace. But none of those look as sophisticated or premium as the GoCycle. And they’re definitely not going as quickly nor, I am wagering, do they feel as secure riding the thing. I compare it to the difference between a Kia RIO and a Volkswagen GTI – both are hatchbacks, but come on, we know why the VW costs so much more. If I needed to commute to a downtown office every day, I’d take one in green … and then throw it in the back of a GTI on weekends.

Featured Gallery : GoCycle GX

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The best folding electric bike — if you can afford it

Tom’s Guide Verdict

The GoCycle G4i is one of the nicest and lightest folding bikes around, but you’ll pay for its features.

Cons

Why you can trust Tom’s Guide?

Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what’s best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Size (folded): 32.7 x 29.5 x 14.6 inches Weight: 36.2 Motor: G4 Drive, front hub, 500 watt (US) Battery: 10.4Ah, 36V Max speed: 20 mph Range (est): up to 50 miles Transmission: Shimano Nexus 3-speed

If you’re looking for an alternate way to commute to work and have the money to burn, the GoCycle G4i is a pretty compelling option. Even among electric bikes. many of which are pushing the boundaries of bicycle design. the GoCycle stands out with its space-age looks.

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, though the G4i is a delight to ride, with a smooth and fast electronic shifter and responsive throttle. Those carrying the bike onto a train or subway will also appreciate how quickly it folds, as well as its comparatively light weight. Still, there’s a few things that we wish the company would improve, as we detail in our full GoCycle G4i review.

GoCycle G4i review: Price and availability

The GoCycle G4i costs 5,999, and can be purchased through GoCycle’s website and local dealers. It’s available in white, gray, red, and black.

For something a little less expensive, the GoCycle G4i costs 4,999; the main differences between the two is that the G4i has electronic predictive shifting vs. a mechanical shifter in the G4i; and the G4i has a longer range (50 vs. 40 miles), magnesium/carbon fiber wheels, and adjustable-height handlebars.

A third model, the GoCycle G4, costs 3,999, and has a 40-mile range, mechanical shifter, but no daytime running lights.

Regardless of the model, supplies are very limited online, so going through a dealer is probably your best bet.

GoCycle G4i review: Design

The GoCycle remains one of the sleekest folding ebikes around. Its design hasn’t much changed since the previous model: The body of the bike, which contains the removable battery, is vaguely Y-shaped, with the front part made of aluminum and the center section carbon fiber; extending back is a large arm which connects the hub to the rear wheel. Both the front and rear wheels are connected to the body on one side, which further lends to the unique look of the bike.

best, electric, folding, bikes

On the right handlebar is a small grip-shifter for the electric shifter. On the left handlebar is another grip control to turn the daytime running lights on and off; if you have the optional head- and taillights, this control will turn them on, too.

Between the handlebars are a series of red LEDs that the company says are inspired by a Formula 1 race car’s dash, but you have to be Sebastian Vettel if you want to decipher what they mean at first glance. A long row of large LEDs is divided in two and shows you battery life and speed; a smaller set in the middle tells you the gear you’re in, while four green LEDs let you know if the daytime running light is on.

GoCycle kept two of my pet peeves from its previous model: If you want to mount the phone to the handlebars, you have to strap it into two glorified rubber bands. While my iPhone held steady, it feels cheap given the overall price of the bike.

Speaking of rubber bands: another rubber loop is used to hold the two halves of the bike together in its folded configuration. It’s simple and it works, but again, feels very low-tech in comparison to the rest of the bike.

Folding the G4i is a quick three-step process: fold the back half of the bike towards the front, fold the handlebars down, and then use the rubber strap to secure everything in place. All told, it’s about a 30-second process, if that. Its 36-pound weight isn’t as light as some of the best electric scooters, but it’s portable enough to carry up a flight of stairs without too much trouble. And, it’s easy enough to roll the bike on its wheels, even when folded.

GoCycle G4i review: Performance

The electronic shifter was fantastic; a mere nudge of my wrist, and I was able to shift the gears up and down, and the bike responded smoothly and instantly. While it only has three gears, it was plenty given the pedal assist. Cleverly, the bike will automatically downshift to first gear when you come to a stop.

Pedal assist was also near-instantaneous. I was barely through the first rotation of the crank when it kicked in, which I found very helpful when navigating through traffic.

best, electric, folding, bikes

Should you get tired of pedaling, press the throttle and off you go: The G4i can speed you at up to 20 miles per hour — the legal limit for this class of electric bikes — which I found a great help when riding up steep hills. It wasn’t as powerful as the VanMoof S3’s motor, but still did the trick.

GoCycle G4i review: App

While you don’t need it, to get the most out of the G4i you’ll want to connect it to the GoCycle app (Android and iOS). Here, you can select between three riding modes (City, Eco, On-Demand), each of which offers different levels of pedal assist. City Mode provides the most assistance, while On-Demand only provides power when you ask for it. You can also create a custom mode.

Gocycle GS folding e-bike review

Gocycle’s folding e-bikes boast a clever design, but how are they to ride?

The Gocycle GS’s looks and clever design features make it a good option if you’re looking for a folding e-bike. It’s low maintenance due to its enclosed drivetrain and packs into a compact package for storage and transport. But folding and unfolding processes are a bit complicated and the 16.8kg weight makes it a heavy to carry on public transport.

  • Packs into a compact bag
  • Lots of accessories
  • Nice ride position
  • Comfortable and quick

You can trust Cycling Weekly.

Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Gocycle’s rethinking of the urban e-bike features a stunning swooping magnesium alloy frame and unique single sided swing arm. It doesn’t end at the frame though: the wheels are radical too being made of alloy in a motorbike inspired five-spoke design. Combine all this with a powerful motor powered at the front wheel and the Gocycle GS is the perfect urban bike for our Editor’s Choice.

Gocycle was founded in 2002 by Richard Thorpe. He’d previously worked in the motorsports and electric vehicle industries for over 25 years and left a job as a designer at McLaren Cars to start Gocycle. His aim was to build a lightweight electric urban bike and the first Gocycle was launched in 2009 after seven years of development.

Thorpe’s timing was excellent, as the market for easy to ride e-bikes continues to expand and more and more options are out there for the leisure rider and commuter. Brands like Brompton have now got in on the folding e-bike market too.

Gocycle’s design has the plus that it folds up into a really small package, so you can stash it away in a corner if you’re short on space. It’s also devoid of exposed messy bits, so you won’t get smeared with grease if you lug it down stairs. For £300, you can buy a wheeled docking station with a zip-up fabric cover, making for an even neater package.

On the minus side, folding and unfolding is a bit fiddly and not very intuitive. Gocycle says that you can get it down to a minute with practice, but it was taking me quite a bit longer. Along with the bike’s 16kg-plus weight, it would make taking it on the tube or a rush hour train a bit of a chore.

Gocycle recognises this deficiency and has addressed it with its latest Gocycle GX model. A new folding mechanism means that it’s super-easy to fold to a luggable package in under 10 seconds.

Gocycle says that its bikes are popular with sailors, who can stash them away below decks when at sea, but unpack them for mobility when ashore. Gocycle’s extensive range of accessories includes a front-mounted pannier and a rear luggage rack, as well as lights and quick-remove mudguards, so you can set the bike up for shopping or an evening trip to a restaurant.

Included with the bike is a 1.8m cable lock. If you want increased security, there’s a more robust lock available as an extra, that sits in a holster on the side of the frame when you are riding.

There’s also a bar mount for a smartphone, allowing you to use the accompanying GocycleConnect app (Android and iOS) as a dashboard when riding as well as see stats like calories burned.

The bike pairs with your smartphone using Bluetooth. Once you’ve downloaded the app and paired your phone to the bike, there are a series of registration screens and pre-ride safety checks that it takes you through.

You can then set the power mode, check battery level and configure the info you’d like to see when riding. There’s a range of stats stored for each ride. But there’s no navigation or mapping, which might be nice on an e-bike likely to be packed and taken to new locations.

The range-topping G3 model comes with a set of LEDs built into the bar top to give you info like speed and battery level. It also has an integrated LED strip front running light.

Colour-wise, the GS’s main frame comes in either white or grey. But there are five different colours for the chainstay, allowing a bit of variation in your bike’s look.

Gocycle design features

Made from magnesium alloy, Gocycle’s frame has a low step-over and fully conceals the battery. Rather than a fixed rear triangle, the rear wheel is attached to the frame via its pivoting drivetrain side-only chainstay. This is held in place when riding by a shock absorber attached to the back of the frame. The shock absorber includes an elastomer allowing an inch of travel, so you’ve got extra rear end compliance. Gocycle’s saddle is nice and squishy too.

The shock comes in two parts and is held together by a plastic pin. Take out the pin and you can pivot the rear of the bike through 180 degrees for carriage and storage.

The drivetrain’s chain and cogs are completely enclosed in the chainstay structure, so it’s out of the rain and kept away from mud and grit. This makes it very low maintenance and wear-resistant. Gocycle says that it’s maintenance-free for thousands of miles.

Inside the housing are three speed Shimano Nexus mechanicals. In the Gocycle GS test, they’re controlled by a gripshift on the bars; in the higher spec Gocycle G3 gears are selected automatically as you ride.

Gocycle’s rethinking of the bike doesn’t end at the frame though: the wheels are radical too. Both are attached to the frame on the right side only. Also made of lightweight alloy, they’re five spoked, making clean-up that bit easier than a wire spoked wheel and obviating truing.

They can be completely removed for storage, by opening a sliding lock and operating three cams. The wheels then just push off the bike. They mesh with a series of knobs on the bike’s axles, to make sure that they don’t slip when riding. There are plenty of in-built safety features to make sure that they can’t drop off as you’re riding and you can bolt them to the axles if you’re worried about them being stolen.

Once you’ve taken the wheels off, you’re left with the axles, which incorporate ventilated hydraulic disc brake rotors, exposed on the left side, but their right sides and top edges enclosed in protective casings. This means that you can put the frame on the ground – as you need to when folding the bike – without damaging the brakes and it also keeps the rotors safely out of the way of pro cyclists’ fingers.

The 20 inch wheels, with their 2 inch wide tyres roll nicely over uneven surfaces and Gocycle says that you should be able to tackle less even surfaces like towpaths just fine. There’s not much tread to the tyres, but their width means that there’s a good sized contact patch with the road. If you do get a flat, the single-sided wheel attachment means that you can get the tyre off to fix it without needing to remove the wheels.

There’s a stable built-in two legged kickstand that folds away into the underside of Gocycle’s frame when you’re ready to roll. It’s helpful when you want to fold the bike too.

Gocycle geometry

At 106.5cm, Gocycle’s design leads to quite a long wheelbase for a folder. In fact, it’s comparable to a non-folding hybrid bike. Along with the bike’s low centre of gravity, this leads to a stable ride when going a bit faster, while the small wheels make the Gocycle extra manoeuvrable at low speeds.

The bar and saddle position also mirror those of a hybrid bike with full sized wheels, so the contact points and position when riding are similar. This leads to a ride that’s very familiar feeling to anyone used to riding a “normal” bike. You can tilt the bars back to a second position with a slightly closer reach too.

There’s only one frame size, but lots of adjustment in the telescopic seatpost, so you can set it for riders between 5 feet and 6 foot 5 inches tall, If you order a compact seatpost in place of the standard one, the saddle height should fit riders of 4 foot 6 inches upwards. But the bar height doesn’t adjust on the GS (although it’s adjustable on the G3), so it might be a bit high or a bit low for riders at those extremes.

You need to use an allen key to adjust seatpost length, making it slightly fiddly, although Gocycle includes a holder under the saddle for the supplied allen key, so it’s always to hand. You also need to unscrew the allen bolt to drop the seatpost and fully fold the bike so that it fits into its carrying case.

Gocycle quotes a rider and luggage weight limit of 100kg.

Gocycle motor

But of course, Gocycle’s bikes are electrically powered, not just pedalled.

The electric motor generates 250 watts and is housed in the front hub. The GocycleConnect app lets you choose between three pre-set modes: City, Eco and On-Demand as well as configure your own preferred power profile. Power delivery as you ride is determined by your applied pedal torque.

As with all e-bikes sold in the EU, assistance cuts out at 25kph. Pulling away from stops, you make a couple of pedal turns before the motor cuts in and adds extra acceleration.

The motor works a bit harder than say the Fazua unit on the Focus Paralane 2 e-road bike, but no more so that with the ebikemotion unit on the Wilier Cento1Hy. It will pull you up hills without you needing to put too much extra effort in, so rides aren’t confined to flatter locations.

The lithium ion battery, housed in the frame, supplies 300Wh of power at 22 volts. It will give you a range of up to 65km on the Gocycle’s Eco mode, which is likely to be plenty for Gocyle’s target market. Charge time is around 7 hours, although Gocycle sells a fast charger that halves this; it’s included in the package for the higher-spec G3 model.

The charging port and on-off button are on the rear of the main frame and there’s a series of four small LEDs to show drive status. Even without mudguards, the rear shock shields it from road debris.

There is a chunky cable that runs from the bars into the frame, then out to the fork crown. It’s wrapped in a webbing sheath, so well protected, although it might end up looking a bit dirty riding on damp roads or towpaths. On the Gocycle G3, the cable runs are fully enclosed within the frame.

The 16.8kg weight, including lights, makes the Gocycle GS luggable rather than portable. It’s best carried via the seatpost and bars.Naturally it’s not as light as the best folding bikes, but for an e-bike, its weight is actually pretty good. The lightest e-road bikes we’ve tested come in at around 12kg and we’ve tested non-folding hybrid e-bikes at around 17kg, so it’s not out of range.

Gobike’s closest competitor, the Brompton Electric, weighs almost exactly the same, although that bike’s removable battery pack means that you can lug it in two parts. But Gocycle’s weight is low down and its centre of gravity almost dead centre, whereas the Brompton Electric’s battery pack adds over 3kg over the front wheel.

The Gocycle GS costs £2499. Again, that’s in line with the £2595 Brompton Electric. Step up to the G3 and you’re looking at £3499. The launch price for the new, more foldable GX will be £2899.

To sum up

So in summary, if you’re looking for an e-bike for leisure or commutes and your space is limited, the Gocycle GS is a neat option, with head-turning looks and clever design features It rides well, is highly manoeuvrable and the electric assist makes riding that much easier.

For an all self-propelled commute, it will get you there in style, although if you want to mix in public transport, its weight and fiddly folding mechanism make it a bit awkward.

Gocycle’s G4 Combines High-Tech and Distinctive Looks

Takeaway: The latest e-bike in the Gocycle lineage makes top-of-the-line tech more accessible than ever with the sleek, foldable G4.

  • Durable and lightweight material choices.
  • Unique frame styling and construction.
  • Effortless and secure folding mechanism
  • Power-user features like custom motor curve definition

Price: 4,000Weight: 38.8 lb.

Gocycle G4

The Gocycle Lineup

First launched in 2009, Gocycle brought a novel silhouette to the nascent world of e-bikes. Over a decade later, the market is overwhelmed with options, but these distinctive elements still impress. Last year the brand released the G4 as an update to its core model along with the premium versions, the 6,000 G4i (automatic shifting) and G4i (automatic shifting and carbon wheels) priced at 7,000. These Class 2 (throttle and pedal-assist up to 20mph) e-bikes have a two-stage folding mechanism and are sold directly to consumers. With this year’s price drop, the Gocycle has made these upgrades more accessible.

I picked up the original G4 to see what all the fuss was about. The Gocycle G4 has manual shifting while the G4i has automatic shifting, a full-width dashboard integrated into the handlebar, and a slightly larger battery. The G4i has all of the G4i upgrades plus the addition of carbon wheels which shave about a pound off the bike’s weight. Whether in its base model or the premium option, the Gocycle impresses.

Unique Looks and Quality Build

Among Gocycle’s most compelling features are its striking styling and finish. Though it’s been a decade since the first model launched, the Gocycle still looks Smart compared to other folding e-bikes. On my first commute, I turned heads left and right.

The improvements offered by the G4 over the G3 include a quieter motor, injection-molded composite mid-frame, single-sided fork, and motorcycle-inspired tires. A few quality-of-life updates are included too, like better Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to charge your phone via a USB port on the handlebars. The frame finish is high quality, with durable-feeling folding joints and a braided sleeve that protects the cable routing for improved longevity.

The G4’s unique construction presents some challenges. For example, the downtube is too large for most u-locks and the handlebar height cannot be adjusted. These points are quickly forgotten as some glamorous accessories make their value known. Perfectly shaped flush-fitting fenders, integrated lights, and an integrated bell right out of the box mean that the G4 is ready to go the moment it arrives.

The distinctive elements of the G4 go far beyond the accessories. The disc brakes are on the drive side, protected by a shield that prevents excess water and dirt from sticking. Magnesium wheels, an aluminum and composite hybrid frame, and a one-sided fork and swingarm reinforce the bike’s motorsports influence and allow a lighter, narrower fold.

Not all of these bespoke qualities are for the user’s benefit. The unique shape and proprietary components of the Gocycle necessitate the purchase of first-party racks. And a special tool is also required to repair the disc brakes (available from shops that partner with Gocycle). Torx bits are used for several fastenings, more than you’d see on other e-bikes. The choice is progressive (as Torx heads don’t strip as easily as hex) and can deter theft. But this may be limiting for some home mechanics.

The aesthetic and build quality aren’t the only elements geared toward premium users. Via the Gocycle Connect App, riders can program custom power modes alongside the default City, Eco, and On-Demand profiles. The graph-like interface exposes controls for the torque at which motor assistance kicks in, when it maxes out, the overall motor top speed, and whether throttle-only control is enabled. Your configuration can be saved and synced directly to the bike, so app connectivity is not required for future use.

Riding the G4

As its expert interface suggests, the experience of riding a Gocycle feels wholly advanced. Thanks to the carbon midframe, the G4 weighs less than its peers. The front hub motor feels powerful, yet with the seatpost removed, the Gocycle folds up as small as a Brompton. The usual obstacles, hills, and stopped traffic did little to slow me down. At a steady 20mph, the bike tackled anything I could throw at it.

Despite this steady power flow, the G4 motor is quiet and applies acceleration smoothly, making the rider feel in control at all times. DOT-fluid hydraulic disc brakes ensure the bike stops as fast as it starts. Shifting the Shimano Nexus 3-speed rear hub with the MicroSHIFT twist shifter is intuitive and shifts as cleanly under manual power as it does with the motor. Though there are only three gears, the gear range is wide enough that I never experienced my feet spinning aimlessly or unintentionally having excessive pedaling resistance.

When the time comes to fold and transport, the G4 benefits from a compact format that fits under one arm. With the seatpost removed, the bike can fit under a desk or squeeze into a linen closet and only takes up a single seat when loaded in a car. The G4 is light by e-bike standards and rolls easily on larger-than-normal tires. I found it much more confident wheeling around a busy grocery than other folding bikes with narrower tires. The folding hinges require some force to unlatch but snap closed with a satisfying and secure click.

There’s not a flimsy part on the G4, which I’m grateful for in crowded New York City bike lanes on my way to work. The bike feels steady and firmly connected to my body, leaning and accelerating naturally. The G4 allows the rider to think as much, or as little, as they want about their ride experience. It can be a high-tech machine or a simple tool for transportation, but the Gocycle is at its best when you take some time to fine-tune it to your needs.

You don’t have to be a gearhead to appreciate the polish that Gocycle achieved with its latest model. Gocycle designed the G4 to appeal to a broad audience. And the new 20% lower price point without sacrificing quality reinforces that goal of offering one of the most intuitive e-bike experiences in a terrifically clever package. In a market flooded with city-style and folding e-bikes, the Gocycle stands out.

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