GoCycle has released the fourth generation of its folding electric bicycle. The new G4 family promises quieter running, better power delivery, and lower weight.

The new range starts with the GoCycle G4, which we’ve been riding. Priced at £3399, it’s quite an investment, but such an original and intelligent design is never likely to come cheap.

There are clever touches everywhere you look. The front fork and the rear of the frame are both single-sided, so punctures can be fixed without needing to remove a wheel.  And there’s now a USB port on the handlebars, so you can charge a phone directly from the bicycle’s battery.

Folding bikes, electric or otherwise, are often a compromise between compact folding and ride quality. Some folders with small 16-inch wheels will fold down to a tiny package for transport in the boot of a car or under a fixed bed in a motorhome or caravan, but can be twitchy and uncomfortable to ride. The GoCycle, with its 20-inch wheels and wide tyres, succeeds in combining a compact fold with a really enjoyable ride.

The GoCycle folded up into a compact shape

It’s not essential, but to get the most from the bike you’ll need to download the GoCycle app. This turns your smartphone into a dashboard for switching between modes, and checking how much range is left. Your phone then attaches to the handlebar using the built-in straps.

An iPhone held in place via straps on the handlebars of the GoCycle

You sit quite upright, in a position that puts very little strain on your back. The seatpost adjust over a huge range – during our time with the bike, it was ridden just as easily by riders ranging from 5′ 5″ to 6′ 3″.

If you’ve ridden the earlier GX you’ll notice the improvements made with the new G4 electric motor, which picks up sooner and runs more quietly. The motor, which is neatly integrated into the front wheel, offers up to 250 Watts of power, adjusting the level of assistance depending on how you are riding – the harder you press down on the pedals, the more assistance the motor gives. As legally required, it cuts out at 15.5mph, and at this speed you’ll almost certainly be in the highest of the GoCycle’s three gears.

There are various modes, all controlled through the Smartphone app. The Eco Mode gives the least assistance to maximise range. City Mode gives more support without the rider working up a sweat, while City Mode + gives extra assistance at low levels of effort compared with City Mode, but less help when the rider is pedalling hard. This setting works especially well in stop-start traffic, making it easy to get going again.

The rider can also set their own custom mode, or use the boost button under the handlebar for an instant surge of power, so long as the rider is pedalling. We found this a really useful feature, allowing us to maximise range in the Eco Mode, while shooting up any hill with maximum assistance.

A man cycling down a quiet road on the GoCycle

GoCycle claims a range of 40 miles for the G4, which we were expecting to take with a pinch of salt. However, in the Eco setting we completed a ride of just over 20 miles, and the battery charge dropped from 100% to 80%. A full recharge takes just three hours.

A range of useful    but pricey    accessories are available, including lights, mudguards and racks. A travel case is available to keep your GoCycle protected in a storage locker or garage, although it costs £229.

You can buy cheaper electric bikes that will do the same job, but it’s hard not to be impressed with the GoCycle’s style, ride quality, and depth of engineering.

 

Or you could try one of these

Apollo Transport Electric Folding Bike

Half the range of the GoCycle, but at a bargain price.

Brompton Electric

The Brompton folds down into a smaller package, but the GoCycle is more fun to ride.

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Guinness World Record holder and Haibike ambassador Chris Ramsay shares his top cycling tips

We share six great cycle trails in Britain

Dave Miller finds out whether ebikes help your fitness or make you lazy…

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