British brand Gocycle has unveiled its latest folding e-bike – the Gocycle GXi — at The Cycle Show, and it’s clearly had a lot of thought put into it. Building on the foundations of its other models — including the GX and the G3 — the GXi combines much of the brand’s patented proprietary technology into one neat, fast-folding package.
The GXi follows a simple design that can be unfolded in mere seconds, then easily wheeled around for convenience. In its folded state, with the centre kickstand lifted, it measures 880 x 370 x 750mm, making it easily stored under a desk or in a cupboard.
With an integrated 375Wh battery that’s claimed to have a four-hour charge time and a range of up to 50 miles (80km), the Gocycle GXi could well be the commuter’s choice for folding e-bikes. And we haven’t even talked about the innovative custom tech that’s slapped all over it yet.
With the exception of the Magura brakes, pretty much everything else on the GXi is custom designed from the ground up.
It’s not often you see a bike that’s fully equipped with a whole suite of proprietary technology, which has a lot of pros, but also some cons.
Electronic gear shifting
The drivetrain is fully covered to avoid getting clothes dirty. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
While the GXi shares many qualities with its cheaper siblings, its big advantage is Gocycle’s predictive electronic shifting technology, paired with a Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub gear.
This downshifts automatically when you slow down, eliminating the old stopped-too-suddenly-in-the-wrong-gear scenario. With this innovative approach to electronic shifting, you should always start off in your lowest gear.
Of course, this isn’t the first example of automated shifting we’ve seen, it’s more tailored to commuting in its simplicity, unlike other previous models designed specifically for road or mountain bike use. This doesn’t mean it brings the price down, of course, since research and development doesn’t come cheap.
In addition to this, the GXi features a bespoke front hub motor, separating the powered drive from the pedal drive. This also means that the weight is distributed across the bike, rather than in one place. It may still weigh 17.5kg, but it’s not all in one place.
The PitstopWheels allow easy access to change tyres or fix a puncture. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
One of the most innovative aspects we saw on the bike were its side-mounted PitstopWheels.
Unlike traditional bicycle wheels which are mounted upon an axle threaded between two dropouts, the Gocycle PitstopWheels actually bolt onto the non-driveside of the frame.
A 5mm Allen key is all that’s needed to remove them, though the exposed area created by the side-mount means you can remove the tyre without unbolting the wheel. This would make punctures a much quicker nuisance to deal with. This is achieved by having a single-sided fork up front — think Lefty, but on the right. Righty.
At the rear, the wheel bolts onto the back of the fully contained drivetrain, with the hub gear sitting separately. The beauty of this is that with the gearing removed from the wheel altogether, the front and rear PitstopWheels are actually interchangeable.
Gocycle claims the bike was designed to match the dimensions of a 700c bike. Gocycle
Up front, there’s a full LED cockpit display that’s built into the handlebars as opposed to being housed in a separate unit. This keeps the cockpit simple and minimal.
With its red light display, you can keep tabs on your battery level, driving mode, speed and gear position.
In addition to this, Gocycle has added its patented automotive-inspired Daytime Running Light, which automatically shines when the bike is moving.
The one drawback
We think the single-sided fork should be called the Righty. Gocycle
Of course, while it’s exciting to see a lot of innovation going into this bike, it does need to come with a word of warning.
Bike standards may vary greatly, but in general when you stick to the traditional stuff, it’s a lot easier to replace parts when needed. The Gocycle GXi on the other hand, only works with the brand’s own components.
If you need the bike serviced and parts replaced, you’re relying on a single company to have them available to you at a reasonable cost. Not only that, but should the Gocycle range not garner the success it hopes to, and the company goes in a new direction, you could find yourself landed with an expensive bike that you can’t have serviced anymore.
That’s the risk that always comes with any bike that features proprietary parts, and it’s down to the consumer to decide where to place their bets.
The Gocycle GXi is clearly the result of a lot of research and development, and the brand claims that it’s the best possible design to do the job.
From its incredibly quick and convenient folding mechanism to the smaller details that make life easier, it’s clear someone has thought hard about what a folding e-bike really needs to be.
Fast folding mechanism
The Gocycle has two hinges and folds in a matter of seconds. Gocycle
We can confirm — we’ve seen it for ourselves — that it takes just seconds to unfold the Gocycle GXi.
The process is simple, thanks to two hinges that join the stem to the headset and the down tube to the bottom bracket. Just fold the frame in half and pull the bars down.
You can then use the saddle to wheel the folded bike along or compress it to store the bike. A centre kickstand allows it to stand by itself, though it does raise the height of the final folded product.
If all that isn’t enough, the Gocycle GXi is fully programmable thanks to the Gocycle Connect app.
It can be used to personalise your ride, fine-tune the amount of motor assistance you require, monitor your battery life, track your fitness progress, set your riding mode and view your ride stats.
Once folded, the GXi is easily wheeled along. Gocycle
Gocycle GXi specifications
Frame: Hydro-formed 6061 T6 alloy
Wheels: Magnesium PitstopWheel with center hub mount
Riding modes: City, Eco, On-Demand, Custom
Motor: Gocycle proprietary front hub motor gear drive 500 watt (US) and 250 watt (EU)
Shifting: Gocycle electronic Predictive Shifting
Transmission: Patented Cleandrive Shimano Nexus 3-speed
Brakes: Magura hydraulic disc
Tyres: Gocycle All Weather Tyre (20 x 2.25in)
Front motor fork: Gocycle proprietary, single-sided, 6061 T6
Rear suspension: Gocycle Lockshock 25mm
Saddle: Velo D2 Comfort
Seatpost diameter: 34.9mm
Pedals: MKS EZY
Grips: Gocycle Ergo Comfort
Gocycle GXi geometry
Head angle: 70 degrees
Seat tube angle: 68 degrees
Bottom bracket height: 275mm
Dimensions (folded): 880 x 370 x 750mm
Gocycle GXi pricing and availability
The Gocycle GXi is available to preorder.