Review Gocycle (G3+)

Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
40007

Reviewer: Paul Wrighton

Purchased From: Fully Charged

Purchase Price: £3,999 + £447.96 for accessories (Lights, mudguards, rear pannier rack)

Time Owned: 2 weeks.

Local Terrain:
Very Hilly

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Strengths:

Design, form and function are par excellence
Low weight
Innovation
Clean disassembly/fold
Punchy tiny front motor*
Sophisticated app:- smartphone console (custom modes)
Can run USA legal with override
Dealer maintenance (if you want bike shop to do it all for you)
Integral battery cannot be stolen separately
------------------------------------------------------------------
Weaknesses:
Price (ESPECIALLY for proprietary accessories)
Insurance required (looks+price=thief magnet!)
No satisfactory security system to lock and leave
Slightly noisy front motor *
Non standard pannier sizing
Rider weight limited to 100Kg (15st 10lb)
Range, esp. combined with non removable battery
Dealer maintenance (if you want to do it all yourself)
Integral battery cannot be charged separately
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary:

First impressions;
You could be forgiven for thinking the bike was a Brompton derivative, but you’d better look more closely. There are mono forks combined with a special release mechanism, the bars perhaps rise a little more, the wheels are 20” (not 16), and the overall look is a very sleek one, but maybe slightly marred by the enormous font size both of the Gocycle logo and of the bikes frame number (these combined might lead the unaware to think this was a hire bike!). Taking a test ride, which is likely to be set on “city mode” will reveal a get up and go performance that might surprise given the tiny front wheel motor., and initially the red and blue LED display across the bars might not be intuitively clear,

Unless you are very well to do you will need to plan to save or sell other bikes to raise the £3 to £4 thousand for a new Gocycle, Second hand they still command £1 to £2.5 thousand.

On taking ownership;
Although the bike is new to me and is my first compact bike I am finding it surprisingly fun. I have had a couple of Ebikes before this; a Cyclotricity kit on a Btwin and a purpose built EMtb KTM Macina 29. a big beast with a Bosch motor and 29” wheelset, both of these very different to a Gocycle.

The design is so very sleek and considered with good consideration to no compromise on function for looks, it grows on you and you appreciate it as you become more practised with assembly and break down and more acclimatised to riding. The bike can weigh in as light as 16.5Kg, which is very very impressive for an Ebike. The achievement of this weight lies in part with a new material, magnesium oxide for the frame and, on the G3+ limited edition only, carbon fibre wheels. I clear disassembly is shown to you by red tint on levers, and the wheels are a pleasure using a propriety system (“Pitlock”) of three levers and a lock rim combined with the mono forks that mean there’s zero fuss with brake discs, chain, or anything else, all of which stay on the bike in special protective housings. Speaking of housings the chain and sprockets are completely enclosed which keeps things clean for folding and extends the life of the transmission massively.

You have to Bluetooth pair your smartphone with the Gocycle and download their app. Then your phone can be mounted on the bars quickly and easily to provide you with a customisable view that shows you speed and power input along with your selected mode and gear and trip mileage (or km if chosen). The app is only really useable whilst paired with the bike. There are dire cautions against changing mode whilst riding because Gocycle believe you won’t want to switch modes without stopping. Your riding position is adjustable, not just in saddle height but also the bars have scope for adjustment. Personally I found the settings out of the box fine for me.

About accessories; As mentioned I took lights, mudguards, and pannier rack. You really do have to buy these from Gocycle and they are not cheap, just like the bike. But what do you get? Well the lights are fairly satisfying, it's nice to have them integrated with the bicycle battery. There's an option for ta brighter headlamp (nova something) if wanted. The supplied standard lights seem fine for riding on city roads at night, especially combined with the DRL on the front bars. The mudguards are a couple of well engineered plastics, but with rubber ends, they're quick enough to release for disassembly - one thumb screw and a couple of Allen keys for the front. Having seen the front bar bag (ugly) I didn't hesitate to choose the rear pannier rack. This is interesting, incorporating a rear light and with a funky tubular design. You may have to adapt the luggage to the non-standard dimensions and shape, but it definitely manages to keep the good looks of the bike overall (unlike the front bag).

I'm not sure if tyres rank as an accessory, but I wanted to mention that when I removed the stock tyre on the rear wheel to fit my preferred schwalbe marathon then I discovered a sticker on the inside of the rim. This read "only gocycle tyres" or words to that effect! I have yet to return for my 100 mile service, be interesting to hear what they have to say at the dealership. The manual, which is online and pretty good at being straightforward doesn't tell me anything about voiding warranty or the like, so we'll have to see.

Speaking of warranty, within the first 15 miles riding a defect appeared on my front wheel in the form of white scratches to hub and rim. Again we'll have to see how the dealership handles this, watch for updating post to the thread!

On riding; A nippy little bike, the assistance kicks in at 4mph, depending on your cadence and the torque (those pedals house sensors!) and you can definitely feel the help the power is giving you. Depending ion the selected mode you can very much up your average non-electric speed average by perhaps five mph. The electronic three speeds will mostly shift predictively very well going up, just get your cadence nice and rapid, freewheel a second, and on resuming pedalling you’ll be up a gear. The gears are fine for coverage all the way up to about 21mph, beyond that you’ll be pedalling very fast!

The ride will definitely be far superior to a Brompton. Although I've never ridden one, there are a couple of places where the clever design has extended to providing some form of suspension. There is a gatorred part of the handlebar stem which hides a primitive suspension, and part of the seat post geometry encompasses a hard rubber shock absorber that gives about 5 cm travel on the hardest bumps. Combined with the semi-fat tyres and the running pressures of 30 PSI front and 60 rear the ride feels pretty good - there are places I have found it superior to my old Macina eMTB, so that's pretty good!

The hydraulic disc brakes take the standard Shimano front pads for both wheels and provide adequate stopping power. There are twist grips left and right to be used in various combinations for gear change, DRL (daytime running light), throttle (N.America), and service acknowledgement/calibration. When you come to a stop there’s an elegant centre stand tucked into the frame (which means you have to wheel bike BACK, not forwards to fold away stand).

The ride is what I'd describe as "perky" straight out the gate, and given the motor is 250kw and I had experience of 500kw I can say it is a match for the bigger bikes. No doubt a lot of that is down to the way they have kept the weight of the magnesium oxide frame down. They make much of the formula 1 design pedigree, and is shows most in the wheels and folding. Range was initially disappointing, but having accessed the customised modes in the apps to create my own “EcoPlus” mode I am stretching it further and that’s a work in progress, I also learned that charging the bike outside in cold temperatures is never going to give a full charge, This was a consequence of integral battery that I did not anticipate. When the battery is down to the last ten percent the motor will be shut down. This is to keep the electronic shifting, lights, etc. running for the rest of the ride. In common with many Ebikes the capacity may drop ten or twenty percent under full load and then if the battery gets a “rest” it might pick up ten or twenty percent again.

Should you want to adjust or finesse any of the programmed modes (eco or city) then you can readily do so to your hearts content with the custom mode programming option in the app. I have used this to extend range and to increase speed, and both of my custom modes were highly effective at what I wanted - a definite plus point to the overall design, but this time in the app!

Anomalies: The electronic shift can take a bit of getting used to in predictive mode. Shifting up is fairly straightforward - just pause your pedalling when the cadence/speed are high enough and when you resume pedalling you'll find you've shifted up a gear (remember there are only three). For some reason there is a quarter pedal or so needed on third before it engages, I suspect a mechanical limitation. Shifting down is another matter, it's not so easy to freewheel for a moment to shift, plus I've also definitely found myself "fighting" the gears when I try to manually shift down to first and perhaps the predictive gears are also... then it feels like I get stuck in second. Hopefully experience will help me overcome this issue.

There are some app anomalies that are probably common to all E bike computers. Primarily around battery capacity, which can drop from, say, 70% to as low as 40% on arrival at destination, only to later read as high as 60% when the battery has "recovered". I don't pretend to understand this phenomena, but I suspect other forum members do! Perhaps it is for this reason that the app does not even attempt to give you a "range" readout. Thanks to the power sensors it WILL give you readouts of power inpot, pedal and motor, which makes for interesting reading.

Drawbacks and thoughts; The overshadowing thing is the price, not just purchase but also cost of ownership. Gocycles are so expensive that insurance feels like an essential add-on. Time will tell me just ow expensive the servicing comes out when it is all done by the shop, the positive is hassle free and the negative could be cost. On the subject of accessories they are pricey. I elected for mudguards, lights, and a rear pannier and the combined price was about £465. An unwanted consequence of the high value and good looks is this bike can be a thief magnet. This is not helped by the difficulty of security for a compact/folding bike. Range could easily be an issue, especially if you had a longer commute. The bike is really meant to be a runaround, but on a busy day in city mode you could easily find you needed to somehow fit in a second or top up charge.

But all said and done I am pretty happy with my purchase. One thing remains to discover – how long does a Gocycle last!
-------------------------------------------------------------

Overall Rating (out of 10) : 8.5

Explanation;
If I wanted maintenance done by the dealership and if I was happy with the range and did not weigh top limit then I would score the bike a 10.

On the other hand if all those points counted against the bike I would score a 7.

Hence the average I have given as the score – 8.5.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,671
2,098
Shouldn't 'battery cannot be removed from bike for charging or security' be on the list of weaknesses? You do hint at it in the text.
 

Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
Shouldn't 'battery cannot be removed from bike for charging or security' be on the list of weaknesses? You do hint at it in the text.
I'm about to revise for three points I missed in my first draft... Having taken a ride today my memory's refreshed and I'll bear in mind your point.
 
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Reactions: sjpt

Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
Still to come! Aftersales experience/maintenance.

As it happens I have not one, but two issues in my first hundred miles!

The front wheel gas cosmetic damage that i neither expected nor deserved, and so far there's precious little sympathy or understanding from dealer or manufacturer. More seriously the rear brakes already need bleeding and thanks to COVID I'm having trouble getting it done.

With a new bike in this price range I seriously expect some traction in getting this done without resorting either to a third party bike shop or just doing it myself.

I'll give them a few more days, then I'm adding this bit to the review...
 
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MontyPAS

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2020
369
147
Shouldn't 'battery cannot be removed from bike for charging or security' be on the list of weaknesses? You do hint at it in the text.
And cost of a replacement battery unit in a couple of years time.
Presumably only available by a dealer ? £££££s
 

Funinhounslow

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 6, 2017
22
10
54
West London
Interesting review - when I purchased my Gocycle GS three years ago I seem to remember being recommended Big Bens for puncture resistance.

That guidance has now changed as I understand wire beaded tyres can cause the wheel to crack so I would recommend using the Gocycle tyres - especially as the wheels are £500 a pop!

ETA a stolen Gocycle is useless as you have to provide your bike’s frame number to purchase a charger. Not this is common knowledge but it does mean a stolen Gocycle can’t easily be charged up or sold on.
 
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MikelBikel

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2017
322
191
Ireland
I seem to remember being recommended Big Bens for puncture resistance.

I understand wire beaded tyres can cause the wheel to crack - especially as the wheels are £500 a pop!

ETA a stolen Gocycle is useless as you have to provide your bike’s frame number to purchase a charger..
I thought Marathon Plus were the most puncture resistance tyre recommended? And, the most? difficult to fit coz of wire bead & made too tight (small?)!

Easily cracked wheel..500squid a pop..eek, sounds expensive & fragile!

Sorry, I thought "frame numbers" are on the frame . D'you mean you have to be a registered owner to order a charger?
Will the magnesium frame be affected by road salt? (If paint scratched).

Still a cool bike though, esp the folding GX, thx for review :cool:
 
D

Deleted member 33385

Guest
Pure magnesium is blinding when it burns, and a pure magnesium and lithium ion battery fire would burn intense and bright initially, then it would burn and burn...I bought a magnesium (alloy) framed mountain bike many years ago - it was very bouncy downhill offroad, very flexible, just like magnesium alloy tennis and badminton rackets. I had to return it three times because the frame kept cracking. In the end, I exchanged it for a normal mountain bike. Explains why the rider max weight is so low compared to say, a Dahon of the same size.
 

MontyPAS

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2020
369
147
Says he, have you seen the price of KTM parts;)
Battery for KTM790 Duke less than £100 if genuine OEM, pattern battery probably half that.

Battery for the GoCycle plus fitting by a "Stealer" ...... £700 - £1000+ ??

All my pedelecs are using generic buy anywhere frame mounted batteries;)
 

Amoto65

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
807
500
58
Cheshire
Battery for KTM790 Duke less than £100 if genuine OEM, pattern battery probably half that.

Battery for the GoCycle plus fitting by a "Stealer" ...... £700 - £1000+ ??

All my pedelecs are using generic buy anywhere frame mounted batteries;)
Not really a comparison is it, Try looking up the price of a replacement engine or a petrol tank or a silencer for your KTM and then we shall determine which is the biggest rip off.
 

MontyPAS

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2020
369
147
Not really a comparison is it, Try looking up the price of a replacement engine or a petrol tank or a silencer for your KTM and then we shall determine which is the biggest rip off.
One is a motorcycle and one is a pedelec......... So no comparison really.
My previous post quoted costing of a replacement battery for said GoCycle
If the GoCycle circus clown bike does it for you, good.... I'll stick to my motorcycle :p;)

Edit:
Just seen the price of the "clown cycle" £4k +.
KTM 790 Duke £7.5k.
I know where I'd rather throw my fun money!
 
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MontyPAS

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2020
369
147
Obviously a collection of illegal pedelecs... Besides that each to their own.
I'm afraid that's where your assumption is wrong. I use them around my 46 acre woodland... So how are they illegal:cool:
 

Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
Advices and notes, after the first 150 miles.

This is definitely not a "clown bike" it is more akin to a formula one compact performance ebike. Clown bikes don't come with the option of carbon fibre wheels. My previous KTM macina 29 ebike was closer to a clown bike. (Yes, that comment did annoy me!).

If you're considering buying a Gocycke a few advices i would have appreciated;

Take the price you'll pay and add £1K and be sure that's affordable, I found i had to spend money i had not anticipated on insurance and then enhancing security and locks to meet the policy requirements. Be careful you'll have to satisfy insurance despite not being able to "lock through the frame". This caused me to have to switch companies and pay a higher premium.

Be aware that the highly designed bike is more delicate than an average road bike, and if you do break anything its expensive. I remain nervous how long the bike might live, and am particularly nervous about oxidisation to the magnesium frame (you are advised to "towel down" if bike is ridden in the wet) ill post here as and when any issues develop over time.

One quirk not mentioned in my review is that the handlebars are very nonstandard, tapered and not circular in section with LEDs housed inside. If like me you enjoy adding devices to your bars your options will be limited on the gocycle. I have a beeline device and shall report back how I get on with it on my gocycle here once I've tried it.

Overall the greatest thing is now I've dealt with the extra costs and adjusted to the nature of the bike and technology involved, it is just really great fun to ride! There are limits, I would not use it for anywhere more than twenty miles away, but then I have a touring bike for such journeys. And the gocycle can give me an effortless average of 16mph, or close to 20 if I choose to exert myself, and thats just what a pedelec's meant to do I think.

Last but not least I'm happy to say despite my garage scare I'm in full ownership of my gocycle g3+ still and I boast a storage area enhanced with immovable anchor ring and new door with concealed hinges and five lever mortice lock. Although these enhancements and an upgrade to sold secure gold bordo lock cost almost £600 they mean i fulfill the insurance company requirements (oh yeah and that premium is nearly £300 !). The insurance i have had to be specific to the gocycle, my other two bikes are covered by household policy, its crazy that the premium is half that for my house! On the plus side with my new bordo lock I should be covered if I choose to lock outside a shop.
 
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Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
Small addition, after 550 miles.

I have found the paintwork a little susceptible to chips; there's been one on the underside about 6mmx3mm down to the metal (or magnesium!) Which i guess was from a stone thrown up by the chunky front tyre at 30 psi it seems to readily chuck out any loose matter at any angle. I mainly ride London streets, but throw in odd cycle paths like the Thames side path and you get ashphalt/gravel tracks too.

The happy news is that I've found humbrol model paint in British racing green is a perfect match for mybgreenbG3+. Other gocycle owners can make their own colour matches I'm sure. I plan to apply strategic patches of colour matched insulating tape where chips are most common, like underside front frame.

Perhaps more seriously, I hadcreported to gocycle my disappointment with their wiring design for the rear pannier. The wiring shares the same aperture as a pincer fitting for the pannier. So I've long been aware of the danger of trapping the wire. Four months later being in a hurry I indeed snapped the wire in the pincer. It was no problem to solder in a patch of wire, but I'm not happy with this. So have ordered a moew pleasing connector on black which I plan to fit and attach to frame so avoidingbyhus hazard.

As I pointed out to them gocycle could have done this so much better, with a connector integrated with the mechanical one.

Last but not least - the G4 has been announced! I await a review from another affluent pedelec member! The features of the new edition Re the new motor, alleged more torrque and quieter, and the slightly larger battery. I shall be asking if the bigger battery can be retrofitted to my G3.

If anyone has any gocycle queries feel free to ask me, here or directly.

I continue to basically be a happy gocycle rider, and so far I seem to have beaten the much predicted thieves!
 
D

Deleted member 33385

Guest
Is your paint breaking off, because of the magnesium frame flexing, more than the paint is capable of? Old paint usually becomes more brittle.
 

Paul Wrighton

Pedelecer
Aug 6, 2018
69
22
61
No, its all down to stone chips or scrapes, perhaps I should always keep the front mudguard on, but I'm not certain that would help, and its another two bolts to tighten each time I put the bike together
 

RetiredAndRolling

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2019
34
11
About your limited space on your tapering handlebars, consider a stainless steel U-bolt and attachments from RAM Mount. They have attachments for everything you could possibly want and the connections are versatile and totally secure.

A question for you. You mentioned that the instructions advise not to change the level of motor assist by phone app while you are underway. I believe this means that you set the average assist you want and then rely on the boost button for uphill terrain. How does this work in practice? The reason I ask is that I’m frequently changing the level of assist on my Bosch setup, unless in eMTB mode. I’m not sure how I’d feel about having only two levels of assist, the assist of your choice plus boost assist.
 

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