TreeHugger has shown a lot of electric bikes, but this one is different. Richard Thorpe was frustrated riding a regular bike, and was tired of "arriving at work hot and sweaty, having to change from cycle to office clothing, getting dirty chain grease on his pants, fixing a messy flat tire, having to bicycles stolen within six months, and being heckled for riding "one of these funny looking fold-up bikes."
So he quit his job designing race cars at McLaren and developed "a new class of powered-two wheeler" from his one bedroom London flat.
And what a bike it is, addressing all of those problems.
in seconds , but "is not a bicycle that you can fold on a station platform or when you go to work."
-it has an electric "turbo boost" that can take it 6-20 miles, depending on how much help you need or want. It isn't designed to necessarily take you all the way to work, but to help out on the hard parts. For instance in Toronto where I live, the city is kind of built on a tilt towards downtown, so you can glide to work in the morning but many people complain how tired they are at the end of the day when they have the long slow climb home. This would be perfect for that. Or where there is the occasional hill on the way to work- no need to work up a sweat.
-the chain is completely enclosed to keep you clean. It is made of a magnesium alloy that is injection moulded in a process called Thixomoulding that is often used to make notebook computers.
But Thorpe has other tricks up his sleeve, including an innovative leasing programme where Gocycle owns the bike. There are significant tax savings under a government bicycle promotion scheme; essentially, the British Government is paying for your bike.
But if you want to buy it, it costs £1,198 when it comes back in stock. It is available in the UK and Europe right now, but is coming to America.
Nigel Kendall of The Times reviews the Gocycle- watch the video here. the folding and disassembly does not look particularly practical when one is spoiled by a Strida, but one doesn't have to take it completely apart to carry into the office. More detail on folding and a review at Velovision.
This looks like such a well thought out, well designed way of getting around with a little help. Richard Thorpe may have just nailed it.
More at Gocycle, with one of the best uses of flash on a website that I have seen, via Cephoe at Optimal Ride.
More electric bikes:
Electric Bike Review: We Ride the Pacific E-Bike Terra 7-Speed
Bionx Electric Bike System
The $350 Electric Commuter Bike