Through advertising on television, Gtech has opened up the idea of e-bikes to the general public, many of whom may have not even considered buying a bike of any kind beforehand. But could a brand that’s best known for its vacuum cleaner turn out a bike that’s worth buying? We ordered one in to find out.
Put its TV stardom aside and you’ll find the Gtech’s USP is its absolute simplicity, after all, this is a bike that’s been designed to appeal to people who don’t know bikes.
There’s a simple aluminium frame with plain white paint and no gears to confuse or complicate the ride. Plain old v-brakes put a stop to the Gtech, which can be safely worked on by even the most ham-fisted of mechanics. That’s important too, because most of these bikes will end up being assembled by their owners.
The Gtech looks like a regular bike and rides like a regular bike, albeit one with a little boost Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
It’s worth noting that this hybrid e-bike is one of two that Gtech produces, the other features a step-through frame design but the same motor system and drivetrain.
A bottle-shaped 200Wh removable battery pack doubles as the bike’s controller, it features just one button and there’s a large display that shows the battery percentage and which power mode the bike is in (normal or eco). This means the Gtech goes without the usual display/control unit found at the handlebar on nearly all electric bikes. It really could not be easier to use.
The bottle-style battery system is a stroke of genius Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The battery simply clicks out of place and slots vertically into a dedicated charger, where it will spend approximately four hours to reach full charge.The battery pack does not lock to the frame, so owners should get used to taking it with them.
The drivetrain of the Gtech uses a Gates belt rather than a chain, so owners will never have an oily leg or anything to snag their clothing. Gtech also sells its own mudguards and light set as options to add a little extra practicality for those who require it.
The Gates belt drive is quiet, smooth and, unlike a chain, poses no threat to your clothing Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The Gtech does require a little more assembly than most bikes that arrive in boxes, including the installation of the steering components and brakes. Everything that you need for this job is included, but I would urge those who aren’t mechanically confident to take the box to their local bike shop.
The Gtech complements your input in a way that feels natural. It’s not like most mid-drive motors that can be provoked into unruly acceleration by upping your cadence, the Gtech doesn’t do that, instead you can expect a comfortable, continuous shove so long as you keep your cadence down.
A reassuringly high spoke count and quick-release convenience Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The power is introduced and exits smoothly, which is more than can be said for some cheaper systems. It’s definitely not the fastest or most powerful of e-bikes though and notable human effort is definitely required to assist the motor with scaling the steepest of inclines.
The Gtech’s geometry offers no surprises, it’s easy to steer and control at low speeds yet remains stable at higher speeds too. The singlespeed drivetrain means the Gtech cannot easily be pedalled much past its motor cut off point, which I feel might be a little short of the UK’s 15.5mph limit.
Just one frame size is on offer but the quick-release seatpost sees the bike quickly adjust to accommodate a wide range of rider heights. In reality all but the shortest of riders should have no problem with this frame, but people over 6-foot tall are likely to feel cramped. The fact a larger frame size isn’t available is a bit of a shame.
Gtech claims a range of up to 30 miles from a single charge using the bike’s slower eco mode and I think that should prove achievable for lighter riders on flatter routes. I nearly always used the bike in its maximum power mode and found its range to typically be somewhere between 15 and 20 miles depending on the gradients encountered. That’s hardly an enormous range but should suit most commuters just fine.
At 16kg / 35lbs its weight is reasonable, and the bike remains perfectly rideable should you run out of charge. One minor negative about the bottle-style battery is that it’s difficult to know how much charge you’ve got remaining without stopping, that’s because the display on the battery itself is obstructed by the bike’s top tube as you ride. The display is backlit though, so checking charge in low light situations or darkness is not a problem.
The way the battery display is obstructed by the frame’s top tube is not ideal Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The narrow handlebar and stem may not look like something from this decade, but they performed absolutely fine. The v-brakes provide a decent amount of stopping power with adequate feel, but as with all rim brakes their performance suffers noticeably in the wet.
The Gtech won me over with its cleverness and simplicity. Yes, I’d like for it to be a little more pokey and its limited sizing is a shame, but every tester that tried the Gtech came away with plenty of positive things to say about it.
Tektro v-brakes offer a light action and plenty of power but they’re a bit rubbish in the wet Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Alongside the other testers we clocked significant miles on the test bike without a hiccup, and as a result wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as one of the best value e-bikes on the market right now.