Gocycle - exclusive first hand-on review!
We take the much-anticipated Gocycle for a first-look test ride. Read on for our image-heavy report...
Posted by Peter Eland on Thursday 5 Feb 2009
Peter, Any chance of bringing one to BikeRight at Easter? Think it would prove a good sales pitch! Regards.
I'll see what I can do! If I have the main review bike by then I'll certainly bring it along - not sure exactly when it will arrive in April.
I own serial number 060, one of the first of the production Gocycles when Richard Thorpe worked with Asian companies. I'm happy to hear he's now working with facilities in the UK and Europe. The Gocycle is a marvelous design (Thorpe is a genius) and the bike is very comfortable. I've ridden it for several hours at a time with no complaints. Best of all, it's great fun and attracts a lot of attention.
Is there also a quick semi fold option. Or will the user always have to take of the wheels? Are there any pictures available of a person on the bike?
I managed to collar Barney and tried one just over a week ago. I liked it and signed up to the 2nd Pioneer offer as a result. (Peter's review very much in tune with my own impressions, except perhaps that the motor noise is not so much of an issue, at least not in a busy London street).
However, the lack of a "quick fold" does limit the potential of this bike.
(I imagine that you could just swing the rear swing arm under the main frame to reduce the length a bit - e.g. to get in into a train doorway area without protruding into the thoroughfare - but you would then be at risk of putting undue weight on the rear mudguard.)
The other thing Peter's review did not mention is that the frame is magnesium. The fire risks can be overstated, but should not be completely dismissed. I'll be storing mine in an outside garage.
See riding position here:
As per previous comment I'm not too sure about the quick fold: as the stem detaches rather than folds I think any quick fold which left it flopping around would be unhelpful.
I didn't get any action shots this time - sorry!
Re fire risk - will ask them to comment. As I recall magnesium IS dangerous as a powder or at high temps - but it's hard to ignite in bigger lumps, as used here. They'll be applying some serious coatings to avoid corrosion problems, too.
lately I've been wieving the OPTIBIKE.Could you make GOCYCLE any closer fr half the OPTIBIKE price ?
Re magnesium - Following the comment above, Bill Sharp sent (to me and Gocycle) a detailed email to clarify that his concern related mainly to what might happen in the event of a house fire, when temperatures might exceed the (high) ignition temperature of magnesium - burning magnesium could then complicate matters for the fire-fighters (adding water is not generally a good idea).
Richard Thorpe from Gocycle sent this response:
"There are many many consumer products on the market today that are made out of magnesium, from laptop computer cases, mobile phones, video cameras, to car seats and golf clubs."
"The widespread usage of magnesium for mass market consumer products would not have occurred if the material posed significantly higher safety risks over other alternatives."
It does seem to me that if you're unfortunate enough to have a house fire going which is hot enough to start it burning, a bike's worth of magnesium is unlikely to make all that much difference to the overall situation.
Peter, you say the riding position is "fairly upright", but the animation on the Gocycle website shows the stem angled further forward than on your photos. I wonder if the height and reach adjustment are not independent of each other?
Would the modular design allow the rear hub to be upgraded at a future date, or does the "sealed for life" chain require a return to Gocycle?
Despite Richard Thorpe stating that it is not a folding bicycle I'm glad to see they will produce a bag, and a well designed one too. As long as you spend more time riding it than folding it then 5 mins to pack it into the bag is not really a big deal, especially if you'll spend the whole day in one location.
I agree, the various design features make it a compelling purchase. That's why my order is already in :-)
The Star Trek bike!
Jonathan (on 7 February 2009)
The handlebar stem can be locked in one of three different positions forwards and aft (let's call them near, medium and far). Within those positions, you can adjust the handlebar height. To my shame I didn't check how much, but you can get an idea by clicking the animation on the Gocycle website. (Click the red plus sign in a circle above the saddle; styled "Vgonomic adjustment").
I suppose you could call that semi-independent height and reach adjustment.
As to gear upgrades (if they are ever offered), any upgrade hub would need to be adapted to receive those alluring PitStop(R) wheels.
As far as I can work out, I think that means that if your preferred (suitably adapted) upgrade hub happens to have precisely the same dimensions as the one you are taking out, then a replacement at the hub end would be possible - if fiddly.
So the preferred/practical route will probably be a replacement of the whole rear swing-arm module - either through Gocycle or an authorised dealer.
I worry about the efficiency of the Ni-Mh battery. nowdays electric bikes are equiped with Li-ion battery but Gocycle chose Ni-Mh.
although I was answered that gocycle will produce Li-ion batteried model in one year.
If it comes true in the future, first(April) model owner can use his gocycle just by replacing new type battery? or buy a changed full production?
Considering the total vehicle - weight, range, performance, cost, safety - Gocycle is one of the lightest electric two wheelers available as well as being competitively priced. Considering this is based on NiMh battery chemistry, the inherent safety margin that NiMh offers over Lithium based batteries is a bonus. Lithium batteries will be available as an upgrade option in the future, same battery case same Gocycle frame, but at a higher price than NiMh. The increase in performance will be about 1-2 kgs of total weight savings of the entire vehicle with slightly more range.
Who can I contact for sales in Holland, because
i got a customer who wants to buy it.
hope to hear from you soon
oh il est trop beau se velo la :jantes en magnesium ultra legeres produites a liege en belgique:je suis tres interresse par se model de velo ou peuts-t-on l'acheter et a quelle prix ;je travaille a liege au crm en belgique:merci pour tout renseignement utile:bien a vous.
Denny & Alves Jorge
Denny - If you are feeling charitable, you could direct your client to the special pre-order offer on the Gocycle site, by clicking on "Buy One". (Deliveries to anywhere in the EU - so that's the Swiss feeling left out again.)
Otherwise the Gocycle site has a (fairly hidden) link to a store in the Netherlands: http://www.enjoy-online.nl/
Alves Jorge - you could also use the pre-order feature as follows (translation courtesy Google Translate):
Sur le site Gocycle, déplacez votre curseur vers le bas de l'écran. Attendez un instant. Un menu apparaîtra. Puis, cliquez sur "Buy One". Vous trouverez le pré-commande offre spéciale - Livraison partout dans l'UE.
Hi Peter and all,
This does look an interesting development and I'm pleased to see that security has been considered in its design, but disappointed that it's only a cable lock that has been included! Cable locks are v-e-r-y easy to cut, especially with pocket-sized cable cutters, so they offer minimal security. A cable lock is probably better than nothing, but not if it discourages users to get a more worthwhile chain & lock combination.
Steve. (Director of Pragmasis Ltd - A security product manufacturer that avoids cable locks whenever possible!)
bike does look good, altho for me price is bit out of my range, i livfe in hounslow, would like to know any local stockist in the area of other electric bikes with the small wheels, thanks an heres hopeing. Will.
I love this! What are the costs? In US $$?
It's a shame that it does not appear to have Regenerative braking. With it, it would be more or less perfect.
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