Today, I had a wonderful time with Charles Baey in Punggol. I came across the Gocycle during the OCBC Cycle carnival (aka Village). Gocycle is an electric portable bicycle designed by former F1 car designer for McClaren, Richard Thorpe. It is LTA-approved for Singapore road. After some discussion, we decided to test the Gocycle G2R in Punggol as the road to Punggol End has a lot of up and down slopes.
FYI, Charles Baey is the person that brought in the Gocyle bicycle. He is a distributor and a reseller for this Gocycle. More about Charles and how you could reach him later.
About the Test Ride
After talking about the Gocycle on the Facebook and Instagram, it got me to think about the potential of such bicycles on the road. As cars are getting more expensive and our government is spending a lot on connecting those parks with PCN (Park Connector) in Singapore, I can see future commute in bicycles or public transport.
However, it is never easy to get people to get off the car and to jostle with people on Public Transport. Cycling to work will be too tedious with many. But with an electric bicycle, it might be different. I have seen many of them (abet illegal ones) on the road. Many preferred those with throttle where you can just twist the handle bar to move the bicycle. However, to ride a electric bicycle in Singapore, it should get LTA seal of approval (see picture below).
To get this, it has a few criteria.
Motorised bicycles that meet the following requirements will be treated like conventional bicycles and exempted from registration with LTA:
- The construction of a motorised bicycle must be similar to that of a conventional bicycle;
- The motorised bicycle can only be powered by an electric source;
- The maximum power output of the motorised bicycle must not exceed 200 watts;
- The motor power of the motorised bicycle can only cut in when the rider starts to pedal; and
- The motor power of the motorised bicycle must be cut off when it reaches 25km/h or when the rider stops pedalling.
Well, I hope that clears the doubt and the differences on a LTA-approved electric bicycle as compared to those illegal ones on the road. Lets get back to the test ride. We met at Punggol with 2 Gocycle G2R and one foldable bicycle (my brother is riding it).
There are 3 versions of Gocyle (G2R, G2S and G2L). The Gocycle G2R is the most expensive and better specs among the three. Here is a table to show the differences.
Here are some features of Gocycle G2R that I like:
- Auto gear shift
- Built in electronic dashboard
- Built in battery
- Can ride without battery support
- Chain is protected from dust and dirt with the cover
- App to interact with bicycle
The Gocycle G2R
It is easy to ride the Gocycle. It is very well balanced. To get the electric power to kick in, pedal a few rounds (6 to be exact) and you will feel the power and acceleration. Some will need time to get use to the speed. However, do not worry as the maximum speed is capped at 25km/hr.
Some close ups of the Gocycle G2R
The motor (super small) at the front wheel
I saw on their international website, you can replaced it with a foldable version.
The power switch and the socket for charging
Note that the battery is built into the body.
It is a 20-inch wheel and you can get it replaced (the inner tube) by local bicycle shop.
The draw back to getting the local shop to replace the inner tube is you will lose this nice looking valve.
Here is the quick release lever for the wheels. It is great to know that you can interchange the two wheels. Sometimes you need to do this to balance the wear and tear.
The quick release levers when opened.
Here is the dashboard. According to Charles, the app is not released yet. Therefore, I am unable to show you how the app works. Will update again. The left side is the battery indicator and the right side is the speed (in terms of LED dots).
I got Charles to demonstrate how to dismantle the bicycle and put it back again. Just to clarify as many people might have the wrong idea. The Gocycle is portable and foldable in some sense. However, it is NOT like those conventional foldable bike. You will need to take out the wheels (via quick release lever) and use Allen Key to remove the seat support.
Here are some pictures of it in the midst of the transformation.
Wheels taken out with the kickstand supporting the body.
Disengaging the hydraulic at the back and folding the chain inwards.
If you can see in the picture above, there is a quick release lever for the handle bar support. Release it and you can bend the handle bar support downwards.
The design of Gocycle is very good. It is actually waterproof. All the electric cabling are hidden inside the body. Below is a picture after the handle bar is lowered down. You can see the cables inside the body.
Here is a video showing you how you can put back the Gocycle quickly.
The Test Ride
As mentioned earlier, we decided on Punggol Road for the steep slopes.
As with standard bicycle, it is advisable to wear a helmet. This is me with my helmet on. Safety first!!! BTW, I am carrying a camera backpack, my Canon EOS 7D slung across my body and using my smartphone to record the video while riding up the slope. It is impossible to do it on a conventional bicycle.
Here is a video of me riding up a slope in one hand (the other hand is filming this video) and not breaking a sweat (a first for me in a bicycle).
I know that the video did not show the Gocycle in action. Therefore, I made another video showing Charles riding the Gocycle “conquering” three slopes and smiling. Watch out for the dude riding a road bike on the first slope. It was not intended but he was there at the “right moment” to show the difference in effort.
Overall, I love the way the motor handles the situation. Very smooth and effortless (almost). To end this review, here are some shots taken on the Gocycle.
The Grey and Matte Black (background). I am missing the white one.
Now, I guess many will be interested to know the price of this Gocycle G2R. It is S$6,000. This model does not come with the kickstand. From Charles, the kickstand already cost almost S$200. If I am to purchase this Gocycle, I will definitely go for a 3-in-1 package. For an additional S$375, you can get the kickstand, the mud guards (see the matte black version) and the lock (see the picture below).
During my discussion with Charles, I asked a question on the pricing. Based on the Gocycle International website, the retail price (after conversion) is cheaper than S$6k. He explained to me that for the S$6k, it comes with 2 years warranty.
And because of the Lithium battery, the Gocycle cannot be shipped easily into Singapore without special handling. This will cost more. I don’t represent Charles with the pricing. If you think you want to know more, go look for him.
He is super friendly and you can request a trial ride. Go to his website for more information on the Gocycle.
I have talked to Charles. For those living in the Punggol area, I am thinking of organizing a small get together to let you guys test the Gocycle. Let me know your interest. It will be on a Saturday morning at Punggol Walkway (not decided on venue, pending interest).
Let me know in the comments if you are interested. I am not going to organize a big group. Maybe less than 15 will be perfect.
Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to find the answers for you.