The Gocycle promises a sweat-free ride to work. But can it shake off the naff rep of the electric bike?
Like all electric bikes, the Gocylce promises a sweat-free ride to work. But unlike every other we've seen, this one actually looks cool – and it's also quite affordable, if bought over 12 months through the Gocycle to Work scheme. Has the electric bike finally come of age?
Looks and design
The saddle moves further back as you raise it, making more room for tall users, and the bars can be adjusted for reach as well as height, which has the side-effect of tweaking the handling.
The frame is made from super-lightweight, injection-moulded magnesium alloy, which helps to keep the weight down to a respectable 16kg – much less than most electric bikes, but still a bit more than your average leg-powered machine.
The wheels are quick-release and the Gocycle can be folded down for storage – in an optional case or bag – but this isn't a folding bike like a Brompton, it's meant to be ridden.
Features and build
The Gocycle has a 1in-travel rear shock absorber, which should be just enough to take the sting out of potholes. It also provides a convenient mounting point for a bespoke cable lock – this isn't chunky enough to offer much long-term security, but some U-locks will also fit.
The drivetrain is fully enclosed, so your strides won't get caught on the chainring or messed up by oil and the grime is kept away from the transmission.
The rear hub has a three-speed (yep, count 'em) gearbox, operated by a twist-grip shifter.
Push the bar-mounted "boost" button and a 250W hub-mounted motor drives the front wheel via a tiny ceramic clutch.
On battery power alone, the Gocyle will top out at 15mph – the most allowed in the UK for an electric vehicle without needing a licence. The mechanical disc brakes give swift stopping power.
The Gocycle is powered by a 9Ah NiMH battery pack, which slots neatly inside the frame. It's good for a range of between 8 and 20 miles, depending on how lazy you feel. Recharging takes 3.5 hours from a normal mains socket.
Ride-wise, it's comfortable and when on boost, the Gocycle's weight and build makes it feel positively nippy compared to other leccy cycles on the market. We'd like to see more gear options, but when you have a boost button, who cares, right?
In all, this is an electric bike that won't make you feel like an utter dork on your daily cycle – the perfect commuting steed for the perspiration-phobe.
Karbon Kinetics Gocycle review
The nicest looking and best designed electric bike we've seen by a country (or city) mile