- The 4th generation Gocycle, one of the fanciest and lightest folding electric bikes available today! Improved half-folding design is much faster and cleaner than removing the wheels on prior model years. Updated motor offers more power with less noise. Available in three professional colors, premium optional accessories for improved utility.
- Internally geared electronically actuated Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub provides predictive or manual shifting options with an intuitive half-grip twist shifter design. There's no derailleur hanging down that could get bumped during transport, and the chain is completely encased in the "clean drive" casing. You can shift gears at standstill, and the hydraulic disc brakes are consistent and easy to activate.
- Proprietary front hub motor produces less noise, provides traction control, and still produces 500 watts of nominal power output. Multi-sensor pedal assist measures wheel speed, pedal cadence, and torque to provide a natural feel. A small trigger throttle, available in some geographies, supplements pedal assist to add power or give your legs a break. The bike still uses premium Panasonic batteries for maximum reliability and lifespan.
- High visibility reflective tires and bright integrated headlight improve safety, optional rear rack and back-light maximizes your visual footprint. Unique handlebar-integrated LED display provide basic feedback about assist level and battery charge, but the optional smartphone apps provide much more insight. Surprisingly good comfort for a folding model thanks to high volume tires, ergonomic grips, comfortable saddle, and a rear shock absorber bumper.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike and accessories. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Gocycle products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Gocycle electric bike forums.
- This is a purpose-built electric bike developed by a former Mclaren Cars Ltd. design engineer named Richard Thorpe with quality, portability, and aesthetics in mind. It definitely stands out from the rest. Gocycles tend to cost more than other folding ebikes, but their frame materials, motor design, battery technology, braking systems, and user interface (with smartphone app) really set them apart. Additionally, Gocycle offers a wide range of custom accessories including racks, bags, and carrying cases that provide maximum utility.
- The G4i is a fourth-generation product with higher capacity battery pack, improved low-end motor torque, redesigned controller, reduced noise, and optimized folding design that is cleaner and faster than before.
- The bike looks beautiful. All of the electrical wires, shifter cables, and brake lines are internally routed through the custom made frame. There’s no clunky display panel strapped to the handlebar that could get cracked during folding and transport, even the kickstand was custom designed to hug the frame and disappear visually.
- There are three beautiful colors to choose from, and the white is probably the safest for people who commute at night. I love that the bike has reflective tires and an integrated headlight with four modes (low, low blinking, high, high blinking) that is high up, large, and points where you steer (since it’s basically a part of the handlebar). This integrated light is more about being seen, but Gocycle sells optional Supernova front light that will illuminate the path. There is also a rear light option.
- I weighed the bike at just 38.8lbs, which is extremely light for any electric bike. Some folding models appear small, but still weigh a lot. This one is easier to fold and lift as a result of the low weight. Gocycle uses magnesium, carbon fiber, and high quality plastics to achieve their design and weight goals. I believe that the G4i also utilizes more stainless steel and alloy hardware than competing products, to eliminate corrosion and rust.
- I was impressed to discover that the crank arms are standard 170mm length, providing a more natural pedal cycle. Sometimes folding ebikes have smaller cranks to reduce pedal strikes (due to the smaller wheel size), but the G4i uses taller tires, so they can keep the longer cranks for a full-sized ride feel. I also like the quick release system for the right pedal and storage spot near the bumper shock at the rear… very thoughtful.
- The chainring, rear sprocket, and chain are all fully contained in the “clean drive” casing that reduces noise, protects the hardware, and ensures that you won’t drop the chain or get your hands greasy when lifting and folding. This concept is also applied to the disc brakes and rotors, which are both located on the drivetrain side of the bike vs. non-drivetrain (as they are on most bicycles). It’s easy to overlook the little changes that were made, but they all add up to a bike that won’t get damaged as easily when folded and stowed. Note the rubber band system that keeps the bike folded, so it won’t rattle around. This rubber band stows nicely when the bike is unfolded.
- Comfort is a big deal to me, because I have back and neck injuries. Sometimes I avoid folding bikes due to the smaller wheel size and lack of suspension. I was very impressed with the wider 2.35″ tires here, along with the saddle, ergonomic grips, and rear suspension bumper. It was more comfortable than I expected, and makes this an appealing choice for longer commutes or combined with public transport.
- The half-fold design from Gocycle is an improvement in my mind, though it’s not as fancy or unique as their inward folding concept. With that design, you have to remove the wheels and then fold the frame in on itself. The bike could get more compact by doing this, but your hands would usually get dirtier and it definitely required more time and effort.
- This is a little detail, but I love that Gocycle includes a hex wrench attached to the saddle mount. It’s fairly hidden, but easy to access and use to adjust the seat and other parts of the bike! Very minimalist and clever.
- Notice how the wheels on this electric bike do not use traditional wire spokes? Instead, Gocycle builds rigid wheels using magnesium which look cleaner and don’t require as much truing maintenance.
- Since the wheels attach to the frame on just one side, it’s possible to change a flat tire without actually removing them from the bike! There is no fork arm or seat stay and chain stay to block the tire and tube from being removed.
- Both the stem and center joint have locking mechanisms to keep them secure while riding. It was very quiet during my tests, with limited creaking and no play in the folding joints. I just want to emphasize the attention to detail and refined nature of this bike after four generations.
- I love that the pedal assist sensor measures wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque like the premium products from Bosch, Shimano, and Yamaha. This is rare for hub motor driven ebikes, but it feels more natural and helps to conserve energy.
- The battery pack uses premium Panasonic battery cells and offers good capacity for its weight because the cells are higher energy density 3,200 milliamp. The pack can be charged on or off the frame, and now Gocycle includes a four amp charger vs. slower two amp from most competing bikes. You need to fold the bike in order to access the battery in the main frame. It feels well protected there, and situates weight low and center for improved stability and handling. I have been told to store the battery in a cool dry environment, and stay between 20%% and 80% charged when not using, to maximize life. Fully discharging lithium-ion batteries can stress the chemistry and is not recommended.
- Gocycle custom designed the hub motor, mounted in the front wheel hub, and it seemed much quieter to me. They said that they improved low end torque, which I noticed during the climb tests, and it also offers traction control for improved acceleration. Front hub motors can sometimes spin the front wheel since more weight shifts to the rear wheel during acceleration. I’m sure they would have used a rear wheel motor, but that already has the internally geared Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub for pedaling. This is basically an all-wheel-drive ebike.
- The Shimano Nexus hub is well protected, shifts easily with the half-grip twister, and even offers auto shift so you can focus on pedaling, steering, and braking. Note that you can turn off auto-shift by using the smartphone app.
- The smartphone app provides a lot of adjustability options, so you can set the power profile and really make the bike your own. It even allows for remote diagnostics to help troubleshoot any issues that might come up with the bike over time. Unlike older generations, the G4 has a USB-C charging port on the right side of the handlebar so you can maintain portable electronics as you ride!
- I love that Gocycle still includes a throttle for North America bikes (it’s a twist throttle on the G4i, and a little button throttle for the mechanical bikes). The bike has to be moving for the throttle to engage, but it can be useful to zip up to speed or simply give your legs a break once you’re moving. The throttle is intuitive (positioned on the left side of the handlebar mirroring the twist shifter on the right side), and has a nice feel. It’s a great feature from a bike that was designed in Europe, where throttles tend to be less common.
- Pedaling and power are awesome, but good brakes make a huge difference for confidence and safety. I love that Gocycle went with hydraulic disc brakes, because they tend to be more consistent and reliable over time, in my experience. They require less hand effort, and the brake levers here offer adjustable reach for improved fit with different sized hands. Gocycle is using smaller than average 140mm rotors here, but they appeared to be high quality and get a decent mechanical advantage over the smaller 20″ wheel size. Note also that Gocycle includes a little flick bell on the left side of the handlebar; it’s a friendly way to alert fellow cyclists, pedestrians, and cars.
- Gocycle products tend to be sold through dealers, so you can touch and test them before purchase. I find that shops provide great post-purchase support, and that’s great considering the generous three year frame, two year components, and one year battery warranty on offer. They also now have a webstore, so you can buy direct and have it shipped, and I don’t think there’s any assembly required since it’s a folding bike.
- The center-mount kickstand design is very clean and secure, but it took me a bit more precision to deploy. I found that my foot had to touch the frame and slide down to the nub at the end of the stand in order to deploy, so it could create some smudges or scratches on the frame over time.
- The handlebar-integrated display panel is very basic, relying on LED lights instead of words and icons as many competing products do. It’s very futuristic and minimalist, but in order to know your current speed, disable automatic shifting, and determine a more precise battery charge level, you will need to download their smartphone app. I love that there’s a USB-C charging port for your phone and that they’ve developed a simple rubber band solution to mount it to the handlebar (which has a flat surface on the front), but it seems that your phone will end up blocking some portion of the main LED display.
- This is a very minor consideration; most folding ebikes with smaller 20″ tires have reduced comfort due to the high attack angle and lower air volume. Gocycle addresses this well with a rear bumper shock, vibration dampening carbon fiber mono-fork, ergonomic grips, and wider 2.35″ tires. The saddle is fairly firm and active, which is great for pedaling, and the seat post is adjustable but doesn’t provide suspension.
- Gocycle makes incredible products and accessories, but the price tag is higher as a result. It would be nice if the bike came with some sort of rear light vs. having to purchase the rear rack and light separately.
- The bike only comes in one frame size, but is designed to accommodate a wide range of riders with its longer telescoping seat post and extreme angle to increase reach as you increase leg extension. Even the steer post telescopes on this model, so you can raise the position of the handlebar! As with many folding products, the maximum carrying capacity of the bike is a bit lower at 220lbs (99.8kgs) vs. 250+lbs for most full sized electric bicycles.
- The battery pack does not lock to the frame with a key like many other ebikes. It appears that someone fold it and remove the battery fairly easily unless it is parked in such a way that the frame cannot be folded.
- The on/off switch for the battery pack and charging port location on the frame are positioned pretty low, and in the path of the crank arms. I mention this because it seems that you have to bend down to engage with the bike for charging and the cranks cold bump the cable or snag it… ideally, they would be positioned higher up for convenience and also protection from cranks, feet, and water or mud that could fly up during rides.
- Minor complaint or consideration here, the bike doesn’t have bottle cage bosses and the handlebar is uniquely shaped and used as a big display, so it’s not clear that a clamp-on accessory would work here. Consider the proprietary Gocycle rear rack, pannier bags, and lock holster adapter.
- While the bike is more comfortable and stable than ever, thanks to the wider tires, it is still a bit twitchy and difficult to balance with no hands (as shown in the video review above). This is the case with most 20″ wheel sized ebikes, and I feel that Gocycle has done their best to keep weight positioned low, and reduce flex and play.