Image credit: GoCycle
GoCycle Electric Bike Turns Heads in London
Lloyd got all excited about the GoCycle electric bike a couple of months ago, suggesting that it might just be the electric assist bike we've all been waiting for. But can it live up to expectations? The Times newspaper had already reviewed the GoCycle favorably, and now The Guardian weighs in with its own verdict. Click below the fold for the scoop on a machine that may change the image of electric bikes for good.
Helen Pidd of The Guardian put the GoCycle electric bike through a thorough test ride, and the results certainly seem to be favorable:
The manufacturers claim you can get up to 20 miles out of the battery, depending on how often you press the power button. I reckon mine only started running out of juice when I had done at least that distance, and that's with a lot of exhibitionistic button pressing. I probably had the button engaged for about a fifth of my time on the bike, which amounted to around two and a half hours' gentle pootling, all in. Disappointingly, there is no dynamo type thing which converts pedal power into electricity and charges the battery, which seemed a bit of a wasted opportunity.
When the battery does die, the electric assist becomes increasingly sluggish, but the bicycle still functions perfectly well as an ordinary machine. You recharge the bike by attaching it to a battery pack (which is slightly smaller and lighter than a brick) and plugging into the mains. It takes three hours to get back to its old self. The whole process is easy – unless, like me, you live in a second floor flat and have to lug this weighty beast up several flights of stairs to the nearest plug point.
And judging by the attention that Pridd apparently got on the bike, the GoCycle is a real head-turner that could easily change the clunky image that most of us have in our minds when we think about electric bikes. The only downsides seem to be the weight, and the fact that the highest gear is a little on the low side - but for your average urban commuter who would prefer not to turn up sweaty to work, this bike could be a godsend. It's available now in the UK and mainland Europe for £1198 (about $2000) - but UK residents can make use of a government Cycle to Work Scheme and get hold of one for as little as £599. Interested? Check out how it stacks up against competition like the Pacific E-Bike or the Giant Twist Freedom. For looks at least, I'd say it's no contest.