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  • Gocycle G2 - Chris Evans

    Article originally published by Daily Mail - Article Here

    Whose bright idea was it for me to test a bike instead of a car the week after I’d dragged my almost 50-year-old bag o’ bones around the London Marathon course?

    Oh, I remember now – mine.

    The Gocycle had been due to arrive the week before, but I’d postponed as I figured I’d be too busy panicking with pre-marathon paranoia (‘maranoia’, they call it) to give any mode of transport a fair review.

    Of course, it completely slipped my mind that, post last Sunday, merely being able to walk, go downstairs, or lower myself on to the loo would be nigh-impossible, let alone hop on a bike and pedal around London.

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    ‘So was the marathon tough?’ people have been asking me.

    To which my reply is, honestly, not as tough as I’d feared, not if you train properly, plan well, pay attention to your nutrition and hydration and set yourself a realistic goal as far as time is concerned.

    And certainly nothing compared to the 48 hours that followed.

    There’s stiff and there’s marathon-stiff, a cross between your legs feeling like they’re made of lead, yet might shatter into a thousand pieces if you put so much as an ounce of pressure on them.

    Imagine my horror, then, when not only did the bike turn up on Monday morning but so did an enthusiastic photographer, who had set up for some action shots on the hill opposite our house.

    ‘Oh, joy of joys,’ I thought, legs trembling for the standing shots as I attempted to hold the bike in position on a steep incline.

    An agony compounded moments later when I had to keep cycling up the hill so the snapper could get the all-important ‘Comedy Chris At Speed’ masterpiece on the way back down.

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    Thank goodness, then, that this was an electric bike, one which by definition is designed to do some or almost all of the work for you – depending on your fitness, ability, agenda and mood.

    I first came across the Gocycle when Eddie Jordan yelled at me on the quayside in Monaco a few weeks back: ‘Here, Evans, you gotta try one of these contraptions, they’re bloody magical.’

    Eddie has a pair of Gocycles on his motor yacht Blush for guests and charter clients to use as runabouts on their various travels around the Med.

    After jumping on and pressing the all-important red power button, I was fairly racing towards the swimming pool section of the legendary Monaco Grand Prix circuit, which was already being barriered off ready for the Formula E race next weekend. It felt amazingly balanced and fast, really fast actually, accentuated by the lightness of the bike.

    Alas, though, there were so many people walking the track I couldn’t give it the full beans, so I asked the sales rep for his card and suggested we give one a proper test back in Blighty. And this is how we ended up where we are today.

    The founding father of the Gocycle is Richard Thorpe, a quiet genius and a former design engineer at McLaren Cars.

    He left Ron Dennis’s gang in 2002 to follow his dream of creating the F1 car of electric bicycles, which I have to say he’s pretty much nailed.

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    The frame is made from injection-moulded magnesium-alloy, the same stuff they use for mobile phone cases and laptop cases. It’s the key to its superlight mass.

    Then there’s the invisible self-tensioning chain, sealed against the elements not to mention any would-be troublesome flailing trouser leg.

    It’s also completely maintenance-free, having been lubricated for life, lucky old chain.

    The battery, fully rechargeable via the mains in just five-and-a-half hours, and top-up-able at any time, is concealed within the frame, so that can’t be seen either.

    Technical smoke and mirrors wherever you look. And it’s sexy, too. The whole package looks fantastic – I never imagined a push-bike could turn heads like this one does.

    And check out the Ferrari-style LED handlebar dash. It’s divided into three sections, left to right: battery level, gear-shift indicator and speed.

    The legal limit, incidentally, is 15.5mph on roads, although the Gocycle can be re-mapped via a clever phone app to reach up to 25mph if you’re on private land.

    The brakes are hydraulic, the gearbox is electronic and can be set to manual or fully automatic just like a paddle-shift car, and thanks to the torque sensor, motor assistance will kick in most efficiently when required.

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    That is, unless you use the same app to give your bike a bespoke power/pedal curve all of your very own, tailored to how lazy or energetic you feel on the day.

    Range can also be improved via the same gizmo and its City/Eco/On Demand programmes.

    The other neat thing is that once you own a Gocycle it ‘knows’ its ‘yours’, and so tells its computer to block anyone else who attempts to interfere in your relationship.

    If reported stolen, the Gocycle can be remotely immobilised from the company HQ at Chessington.

    Two lost bikes have already been located via GPS and returned to their owners.

    And although the Gocycle doesn’t actually fold up, it can be disassembled and packed into a bag in five easy moves, a sequence I got down to just under a minute.

    But the thing is, I’m not a cyclist, I’m a runner (did I mention I ran the marathon in 4hrs 53mins?).

    However Nick, who edits this column, is a regular rider, so here’s both our takes on living with the Gocycle for a week.

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    Me: Gorgeous, loved it, the elan of a motor scooter combined with the lack of fuss, clumsiness and economy of a bike.

    The most important trip I took on it was from my house to meet Archbishop John Sentamu at his hotel. He loved it too, and wanted a go, but I wouldn’t let him.

    I wasn’t sure he was ready for Hyde Park Corner on a Wednesday afternoon at rush hour as his virgin outing.

    Battery never ran out on me, or even came close.

    Found the seat, suspension (again, award-winning clever stuff going on) and ride very comfortable, and the custom security lock very reassuring and off-putting to would-be two-wheeled tea leaves.

    Nick: ‘I’ve done 100 miles on the Gocycle, mostly on my commute into London.

    'As a keen cyclist, it’s not really the bike for me (although I wouldn’t mind one on a windy day!), but it’s a very lovely thing, and around town is a positively luxurious way to travel.

    ‘It really comes into its own going uphill, when the extra effort you imagine you’re about to put in is immediately matched by assistance from the electric motor.

    'The power delivery is sublime; subtle yet significant. It comes in with such sweetness you almost don’t realise it’s happening.

    'I liken it to having someone running alongside giving you a gentle shove from behind.

    ‘Don’t expect to be the fastest on the road, though, as you’ll be overtaken by decent road cyclists.

    'They, however, will arrive home glistening with sweat and slightly short of breath, while you’ll make it in near-perfect condition.’

    And that’s the point, really. The Gocycle can be used as a normal bike, but what’s the point?

    You don’t buy a canary and then chirrup yourself. This is a super future-proofed 21st century way to get around. And don’t just take my word for it, global sales of electric bikes topped 37 million last year alone.

    The Gocycle I tested was demonstrated to me by a lovely guy called Dan.

    ‘Is it true you ran the marathon on Sunday?’ he asked.

    ‘Er, yes it is,’ I replied.

    ‘Congrats, a wonderful thing to have achieved.’

    ‘Have you ever done one?’ I asked him back, as he had that ‘might have done a marathon’ look about him.

    ‘No, but I am rowing the Atlantic with my friend, a captain in the Royal Engineers, in December, and we hope to break the record of 41 days.’

    I think I squealed and then whimpered, although it may have been the other way round.

    But anyway, the scoop is that he and his pal, Captain Olly Clark, of 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, are doing it for Prostate Cancer UK and ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.

    Go to atlantic-row.com if you’d like to find out more. In the meantime, the ballot for next year’s Virgin Money London Marathon opens tomorrow for five days.

    My successful 26.2 miles started with a single ultraslow mile shuffle last December.

    Maybe it’s time to consider how yours might begin?

    Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-3062466/Gocycle-G2-review-CHRIS-EVANS.html

  • Simply Electric

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    Mixing style with practicality and portability, the Gocycle G2 is your go anywhere, take anywhere, electric bike that comes with its own clever ‘app’… ‘G’ whizz indeed!

    Words by GAVIN STOKER

    Electric bikes don’t have to be clunky beasts, as proved by the sleek and inspirational Gocycle G2. It’s powered by a long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery pack, which provides a range of up to 40 miles, and features a smooth, seamless design. This brilliantly clever, environmentally friendly cycle delivers power and performance on demand and at the touch of a button, thanks to high-tech, programmable automatic electronic shifting. Its micro-sized motor delivers a fast, no-effort, emission-free commute, to get you to where you want to be.

    There’s no stopping it
    Naturally there is technological innovation aplenty here. For starters, we have the Pitstop Wheel®, where interchangeable side-mounted front and rear wheels make fixing a flat tyre fast and easy.

    Furthermore, a nifty integrated dash display provides useful information such as speed, gear selection and displays the power remaining in the battery so you don’t run out of juice at an inopportune moment.

    Have we mentioned that it’s portable too? The Gocycle folds up into a convenient size for space-efficient storage with optional fold leg. Other notable must-haves include its patented, three-speed, fully enclosed maintenance-free chain drive to keep your clothes clean – otherwise known as the Cleandrive®.

    The bike offers its riders a high-tech, durable and ultra-lightweight injection-moulded magnesium frame and wheels. A seamless design has been achieved via internal cable routing for a clean, maintenance-free set up.

    Optional extras include a G2 kickstand, for sturdy display and parking of the Gocycle. The G2 also features torque-sensing pedals, where the motor drive provides assistance, according to the amount of rider pedal input. The Gocycle G2 really could give you the ride of your life.

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    Come on, come on, get ‘app-y
    The Gocycle G2 provides the further opportunity to customise your use of the bike, courtesy of the Gocycle Connect® app for your smartphone. This includes such delights as a calories burned calculator, enabling the rider to view the total number of calories burned during their trip on their smartphone screen, and adjust/reset as needed. There is also the ability to monitor the number of miles travelled via a trip odometer.

    Additionally, the Gocycle G2 app allows cyclists to personalise their riding mode. Here the choice is between the sporty City, range-extending Eco, or On Demand power, at the touch of a button. Riders can further fine-tune their motor assistance, customising the motor power and torque for either a workout, or a sweat-free commute. This flexibility extends to being able to regulate your speed, and usefully set how fast you wish to travel dependent on the region you’re riding through.

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    House-keeping modes include the ability to remotely view the charge status of your bike’s battery, and also troubleshoot, courtesy of being able to upload your maintenance log to tech support so that remote diagnostics can be carried out. Gocycle owners will also be able to download the latest firmware so that they maximise their bike’s performance and stay up-to-date with the latest technological developments and innovations for their trusty steed.

    Gocycle is a British company, founded by Richard Thorpe, who was born in South Africa. Although British, he refers to himself as ‘a bit of a mongrel’. Thorpe’s family moved to the USA when he was a child, where he later enrolled at Boston University, to study Mechanical Engineering. In the 1990s, along with his Canadian wife, Thorpe relocated to Britain, and began a prolific career in innovative design engineering.

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    What is your own background in terms of cycling and engineering?
    I’ve always followed the Human Powered Vehicle speed races and that is what inspired my passion for cycles when I read about the Vector tricycle on the cover of Popular Science magazine. It was a fully faired and streamlined bullet bike that had just won the Dupont prize for exceeding 55mph under human power alone. I was in the 7th grade and thought, ‘How cool it would be to ride to school on that’, rather than the school bus that I hated. I remember going down to the local hardware store to buy tubing to start building that night!
    Since then I have designed many recumbent bicycles. I am passionate about Moulton bicycles and own a few of those. The Moulton certainly influenced my thinking when it comes to bicycle design. I commuted to work on my Moulton AM7 for many years. When I started designing Gocycle I was living in central London and rode a Condor Fixie – that got stolen. So I bought an old mountain bike single speed, but that got stolen too! Then I designed Gocycle to be storable inside your flat or house – yet to be stolen!

    Was Gocycle born out of passion or practicality?
    Both. I left McLaren Cars to start the company and felt extremely passionate that I could bring F1 and automotive design elements and practices to the e-bike. It needed to be lightweight, integrated in design, desirable and something I would want to own. I lived in central London, so the portability and stowability was essential. Also, living with the product was important, like not having an exposed chain to get carpets greasy and being able to share it with friends – for example, being able to fit different sized riders comfortably using the Vgonomic® frame adjustment.

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    Do you ride a Gocycle?
    Everyday. I commute to Gocycle HQ on it and I am able to get back home for lunch too – which I could never do in a car regularly due to traffic. On hot days I’d not dream of riding a normal bike due to getting too sweaty. Every commute on Gocycle is fun – still!

    What other bikes do you own?
    Well, there is my weird and wonderful recumbent collection, all the XP Gocycles, and my son’s bikes. My son had the original wooden balance LIKEaBIKE – how amazing is that! Sad to see all the copies though. The guy that developed the original did a fantastic job. Then he’s had a Specialized Rockhopper and now a Specialized Hotrock. Maybe it’s time to design a mini Gocycle!

    Does Gocycle as a company have a motto or belief?
    We’re a small company with an amazing product. We have to deal with the challenges that the market brings to us daily. We know that mottos are not going to ship products, bring in sales, or service customers. We just try to do the best we can. I suppose we are lucky in the sense that Gocycle is such an engaging product and that is the focal point of the company – maybe our motto is Gocycle. There is a special feeling about the story so far and what it could become.

    How did you come up with the name?
    Gocycle was developed before the e-bike market was recognisable in Europe. It was something new and different to Western mainstream: an electric-powered bicycle. The idea was an entirely new class of bicycle – first there were bicycles, then came Gocycles – the ‘go’ referencing the power. Obviously, the Chinese invented the e-bike, but to us Westerners following them, we can pretend, though we are making them cooler!

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    What are the key elements of a Gocycle?
    The cool seamless look and feel. The uncluttered, clean sheet design, like you’d expect with an automotive design philosophy. And this is coupled with adjustment to fit you well for comfort, plus the ability to be stored or made portable.

    What makes Gocycle different from other electric bikes?
    The automotive design. Everything is integrated and designed by us. It’s not a pick-and-mix approach like you find with other e-bikes. Gocycle is thoughtfully engineered , well balanced; it’s a no-compromise design.

    Who are your customers?
    Gadget lovers, customers that get e-bikes and what they do for you, but don’t want a boring and traditional e-bike, or a second ebike purchase. We are seeing good sales in luxury car and high-end yacht sectors. Sightseeing on a couple of Gocycles when you’ve pulled into a new port is a recipe for fun. Gocycle’s urban DNA will always appeal to city customers.

    How do you strike the right balance between features and price?
    Our Gocycle G1 was very economically priced, and partly due to the lack of an established e-bike market or reference price point. Now e-bikes are priced over a wide range. Our G2 has significantly improved features , it’s a premium, special, and high quality product and the price reflects that.

    How big a part does customer feedback play in the design of present and future bikes?
    We always listen to our customers in order to improve service and reliability. But as far as design goes, Gocycle is a no-compromise design. It is not designed by committee and never will be.

    Why do you think Gocycle is proving so popular?
    It’s just flat-out cool – and that is not me saying this – we hear it universally from our customers. It makes a boring commute fun, and a talking point when you go out for a ride on the weekend. It makes people smile. And it has loads of high-tech cred to ‘wow’ people.

    Where is Gocycle going next?
    We are working on future models and new innovations. Making sure we keep learning from our customer feedback on how we can improve the G2. Entering the US market very soon.

    Could you give us a few of your personal favourite points on the G2 and its accessories?
    The app has a ‘kill’ option; if your Gocycle gets stolen, report it to us and the next user that uses the app will have the Gocycle ‘zapped’ and it won’t work. It makes theft of Gocycles for resale a pointless endeavour. The Gocycle kickstand is probably the only kickstand in the world that folds out into a robust triangle footing and also tucks away neatly on the centreline of the bicycle. Our lights are Busch & Müller from Germany, powered off the main battery and are probably the highest quality and most widely certified lights in Europe. They work very well. This unique combination of benefits sets Gocycle apart from the competition.

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