Last week I had the opportunity to pinch a new Gocycle G3 prototype electric bike for a day to bring an exclusive review of some of the new upgrades and features to you. If you're not up-to-date with the features of the Gocycle, check out the Gocycle G2 to see just how brilliant this eBike is. Gocycle have been working hard over the past few years to refine the 2nd Generation folding electric bike further, based on customer feedback. So how can you improve the perfect you might be thinking? I set out to ride and test the latest revisions on the new Gocycle G3. While I only had a limited time to review the bike (loaned a secret prototype!) I was sworn to secrecy until today.. Let's go!
How does it look?The first thing I noticed was the traditional Gocycle style of clean lines and simplicity. It's really nice to see Gocycle stick to this front as the G3 looks just as elegant as the G2, albeit with a host of new technology and futuristic features. Simple but stylish, I was handed the G3 in it's folded, packed down form. I'll come to the docking station further down, but the first thing that was apparent is how small it was as it was plonked down in the corner of the office.
New Features?Eager to get looking, I had it up to full form in seconds ready to catch some close up's of some of the new gizmo's. Below I am going to delve a little deeper into some of the changes for the new Gocycle G3. This is not a detailed overview of the whole bike and how it works, you can see that along with the full specification on our website here - Gocycle G3 Specification.
Daylight Running Light
One of the biggest differences I noticed straight away was the long white line at the front of the dash. Completely built into the handlebar / dash display this light strip looked fully integrated and subtle. The Gocycle G3 is designed by an ex formula one engineer with a heavy automotive background, Richard Thorpe saw that European law changed for all automobiles to include daylight running lights (DRL's) as standard.
Whilst this is an electric bike and not required by law, Richard saw the safety aspects of DRL's and set to work to integrate it into the Gocycle G3 design. After all a safer rider is a happy rider! When you pedal the light automatically comes on to allow extra visibility at both night and daytime. The DRL will help other road users see you coming and comes with no added hassle as the patented light pipe technology requires no maintenance / bulbs and draws the power from the Gocycle itself. A complete all in one solution!
New Dash Display
While we are at the front of the bike, the cockpit has had some revisions too. The new display has been extended for easier viewing and a cleaner seamless look.
You'll notice some blue led lights here too. These indicate the mode of the DRL at the front, you can navigate between high and low beam, off & a flashing mode with ease. The red LED's on the left indicate battery capacity in 10% increments and the right LED's indicate speed. The LED's in the middle represent the electronic gear selection. The new display looks far more futuristic and elegant with edge to edge designs that flow over the levers - a nice little touch!
Ergo Grips & Shifters
More upfront features include some comfy new ergonomic handlebar grips. These were instantly noticeable as soon as you hold the bars. Not only to they feel great but also allow more blood flow in the hand and less strain on your lower arms on longer rides. Also new in the grips are integrated two way rotary shifters. A big step forward from the old buttons mounted below.
I must say that these feel really positive as you twist them either way and the instant activation of the control on the dash inspired confidence. On the right, the new shifters allow the user to change up & down the electronic gearing, another new features as previously you could only change up & wait for the Gocycle to auto shift down. On the left hand you can use the shifter to navigate the DRL light system between modes and it also doubles up as the on-demand power control (when enabled). Not grip / shifter related; but you'll also notice in the picture above the new revised brake levers with a much more stealthy look, it's easier on the eye and feel nicer to control on the ride.
New Disc Brakes
The new disc brake design is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They also offer easier pad removal, completely internally routed hoses and are slimmer for a cleaner overall look.
You'll also notice the front motor had had a few tweaks, with some added bling and neater integration onto the new Gocycle single sided fork. Also note the discs are covered for added stealth and keeps little fingers away! These are also colour coded & vented for extra cooling.
A smaller tweak albeit a noticeable difference; the new slimline pedals not only look and feel part of the overall quality of the bike, but offer added grip in slippery conditions.
This was more apparent when I was actually riding the bike, the G2 pedals offer a rubber surface, whereas the new G3 pedals offer a wider platform and added grip on top. For your average commuter riding in all weather this will help greatly. The pedals also feature new high quality sealed bearings for all conditions.
A big change for the G3 comes with it's higher capacity battery. Gocycle have managed to increase the capacity of the battery, improve the BMS technology & the best bit? It still fits within the frame for a completely integrated approach. The new bigger battery hosts up to 25% more range for those riders looking to travel further, I am told that the Gocycle G3 now has a range of up to 80km (50miles) depending on rider input.
In this picture you'll notice more red anodized bling which really adds to the overall quality feel of this electric bike. A small tweak I also noticed when unfolding the Gocycle earlier was that they have improved the shock plunger so it no longer flops down (the opposite way to where you want it) when removed, this made folding so much easier as you located the plunger into the LockShock itself.
New PitStop Wheel Locking
The PitStop wheels are one of the best things I love about the Gocycle. Again derived from Formula 1 technology, this design is so simple, the fact that you can remove the wheels in seconds by use of the cam levers; it's just ace. However previously you got a satisfying click as it engaged, it wasn't always obvious.
The new G3 wheel, above (with the wheel removed) you can see the PitStop wheel now has improvements with the cam levers to show a un-locked padlock. You can also see the three triangles do not align.
When the cam levers are down, pictured above, you can see that the three triangles simply rotate into position and a locked padlock appears in the window. This is great as it adds safety to the eBike and you can be sure that the wheel is firmly in situ, neat huh?
Portable Docking Station
As suggested above; the glorious new Gocycle G3 arrived in my office in its folded form, this time neatly packed onto a specific colour coded docking station. The Gocycle sits firmly in position and a protective cover (not pictured) can be zipped on top to add extra protection.
To remove the Gocycle from the docking station it was simply the case of just popping the wheels out of the base, unscrewing the thumb turn away from the crank and the whole G3 just pulls away. Such a simple solution to the all common storage problems. Preview Video:
So how does it ride?
Quite simply, the Gocycle G2 was a great machine to ride and the G3 had a hard job to compete! Never-the-less the ride was much the same if not a little better. The motor seemed to be more responsive and picked up quicker & the Gocycle was a comfy as ever to ride with the new components. One this I did notice was how responsive the gear changes were, both up & down when shifting. You could quickly navigate these using the rotary shifters which really spring back positively in your hand. In comparison to other shifters I have used on other bikes, I was expecting them to feel flimsy or floppy but the G3 upped the game.
Whilst I only got a short time to ride the new Gocycle G3, as the winter evening approached the Daytime Running Lights came in real handy. As you can see above it certainly does a good job adding some viewing light into the equation too! I was also assured that the prototype model was not running all the latest firmware updates and I should expect to see even more responsiveness to the controls, shifting and power engagement which is now in it's final approval ahead of production. One of the things that always staggers me is the positioning the Gocycle gives. You'd expect it to feel small and pokey when you ride it, but it doesn't. Now agreed I was so excited to get it out the door, I didn't set the saddle height up etc. But the ergonomic V design to the bike makes it ride like a regular sized machine. Believe it or not the wheelbase is the same as our regular bikes, which is hard to believe when you see it folded into the small docking station.
I am surprised at what Gocycle have managed to achieve from an already fantastic product. I think the fact that they're engineers at heart, really shows off in the design & structure of the product. Let's not forget that the features listed above are only some of the things I noticed in the short time I had the G3.
It's not just the external components that have changed, there's a host of new internal additions that are worthy of a mention too, including: New high quality bearings, improved fitting hub cap, concealed lighting cables, integrated seat tube collar, kickstand tab for easier deployment, new and larger heatsink cap, motor vibration mounts, the crank wave washers have been reduced to one apart, new integrated steerer and stem adjuster, a pivot back plate, pedal rpm magnet is now removed, a new anti chain-slap module & even the gearbox bearing arrangement had been modified. On the software side the Gocycle G3 benefits from loads of updates, the battery has seen significant upgrades too in respect of the BMS (battery management system) which now offers an improved charge & sleep management.
On the software side of things, the new Gocycle Connect smartphone app is to be launched to celebrate the G3. Whilst I have not had a chance to play with the finished version I am told the new application (available on both Android & App Store) with additional parameters like distance / time travelled, calorie burn, mpg, litres saved, battery capacity, adjust the top assisted speed & even check the weather! More on that to follow, watch this space! Anyway big words aside, what does this all mean? Simply - The Gocycle G3 is better than ever! I can see the portable docking station being one of the advancements that really pays off. With manufacturers looking at neat ways to integrate eco friendly mobility it won't be long until we see these built into boats and car boots for the perfect Gocycle storage solution. Exclusive Product Preview Video:
Do you need one?
Of course! Need - No.. Want - Yes! It's not until you have ridden the Gocycle until you realise what you'd be without. What we really meant was is it worth the wait over the current G2? The larger range, improved components and features get the thumbs up from me. The tech savvy will no doubt want the latest and greatest & the vast majority of us will always pick the latest tech available. Never-the-less some savvy buyers will notice the £500 price difference and opt in to pick up one of the limited amount of Gocycle G2 bikes left. View the complete specification & features on the dedicated Gocycle G3 pre-order page here.
Those lucky enough to be on the list will start receiving the new 'Electric Blue' G3 in March with the Black & White variants to follow slightly later on.