GoCycle G4i+ review: The fanciest folding electric bike in the world, and it only costs $6,999
Folding electric bikes are one of the most useful niches in the industry, helping commuters get to work or school quickly without taking as much space as a traditionally large bicycle. GoCycle has always been at the top of the list when it comes to premium electric folding bikes, but the GoCycle G4i+ is now pushing the brand even further with a pile of fancy new features.
Just don’t expect to pick this one up with your summer lawn-mowing money. It’s a bit…. pricey.
First and foremost though, you’ve got to love the beautiful carbon work on this bike.
The GoCycle G4i+’s carbon monocoque mid-frame is a thing to behold. But then check out how the carbon fiber continues through the single-sided front fork.
And it doesn’t even stop there. The fancy PitStop wheels are all carbon too; it’s just a work of art. And functional art, at that!
You’re definitely going to want to see this one up close. You can check out the beautiful design in my review video below. Then keep reading for my complete thoughts on this premium electric folder.
GoCycle G4i+ e-bike video review
GoCycle G4i+ tech specs
- Motor: 500W front hub motor
- Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US
- Range: up to 50 miles (80 km)
- Battery: 36V 10.4Ah (375 Wh)
- Weight: 37.2 lb (16.9 kg)
- Weight limit: 220 lb (100 kg)
- Frame: Carbon fiber midframe and fork, hydroformed 6061 T6 Aluminum frontframe, magnesium Cleandrive
- Tires: GoCycle custom 20″ x 2.5″
- Brakes: Custom hydraulic disc brakes
- Suspension: Rear only
- Extras: “Cleandrive” completely enclosed drivetrain, rotary boost/throttle, electronic predictive internal shifter, smartphone app connectivity, custom profiles, folding double kickstand, daytime running lights, easy-change PitStop wheels (in carbon fiber, no less!), USB-C charger for devices, Quick 4A wall charger
Those carbon wheels don’t just look good, they also hide away a secret motor (or at least the front wheel does).
The new G4Drive motor puts out 500 watts of power in the US, though it is limited to 250 watts in Europe. The quiet motor is so compact that you wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know to look for it. Most e-bike hub motors stick out like a sore thumb, but the unique design of GoCycle’s proprietary drive causes it to disappear into the rest of the wheel. There’s not even a single wire to be seen anywhere on the bike.
The motor provides more torque and better startup power than previous versions of the bike, making the GoCycle G4i+ even more suited for hilly areas.
Also suited for hills is the three-speed internally geared drivetrain in the rear. It transfers power through GoCycle’s proprietary CleanDrive setup that hides away the chain in a completely sealed magnesium single-sided swingarm. It basically never needs to be maintained, and I’ve heard of people opening it after thousands of miles and it pretty much looks clean as a fiddle in there. It also keeps your ankle or pants leg clean too, which is another nice benefit. And yes, I said swingarm. That means there’s even rear suspension here!
That geared hub features predictive electronic gear shifting that I can now vouch for as working quite well. I love the fact that it downshifts for me when I come to a stop, which I often forget to do on other bikes.
The folding isn’t quite as fast as the electronic shifting, but it’s still very fast at just a few seconds. And the bike even rolls nicely while folded, so you don’t have to pick it up and carry it. The 37 lb (16.9 kg) is lightweight compared to other folding e-bikes, but rolling is even lighter than lifting.
When you’re done rolling and ready to ride, the torque-sensor makes for an ultra-responsive pedal assist experience. Simply step on the pedal and you feel the power applied quickly and intuitively all the way up to the top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).
A 375 Wh removable battery gives a stated range of up to 50 miles (80 km), though you’ll get a bit less if you keep it in more powerful pedal assist levels most of the time, or if you rely heavily on the throttle/boost switch on the left end of the bars.
The GoCycle G4i+ includes daytime running lights, punchy hydraulic disc brakes and what the company describes as an “F1-inspired cockpit,” which basically means there is a pile of blinking LED lights where a traditional display would rest on the handlebars.
The LED dot display is one of the few things I wasn’t a fan of. It takes a while to get used to what all the dots mean, and I’m still not sure I quite got them all. You can use your phone as the dashboard instead, and GoCycle’s fancy app turns into a nice display that can be mounted on the handlebars with rubber straps. But I would have liked to see a dedicated display for times that I don’t want to have my phone on the bars.
Another racing-inspired note to the GoCycle g4i+ seems to be the tires. They are silica-infused for superior grip and look like something I’d expect to see trackside, not on a commuter. It’s one more above-and-beyond component on the bike that is a very nice touch.
The entire bike offers a premium experience, even starting from the unboxing. While other e-bikes show up in a box along with an implied “good luck,” GoCycle walks you through the unboxing, assembly, and safety checks.
The smartphone app shows you all of the steps and actually forces you to verify that the safety checks are completed. Sure, you can just run your finger down the list and put a check mark in every box without actually following through, but the attention to detail is admirable.
For someone who hasn’t put together hundreds of e-bikes in his career, it would be super useful. And since a lot of the parts on the GoCycle are custom designed for this one e-bike, I’ll admit it was still useful to me to make sure I totally understood the bike.
Here’s the kicker though: the GoCycle G4i+ is expensive. You knew it was going to be expensive though, right? This certainly doesn’t look like a run-of-the-mill e-bike.
After a recent price increase wave that has affected the entire industry, the G4i+ is priced at $6,999. You can get other models in the G4 line starting for several thousand bucks less, but this top-of-the-line model will cost you.
And that’s where I’m split. Yes, it’s a lot of money. But yes, it’s also a very nice e-bike. And I get that nice things cost big bucks.
I see it like this: my best friend has a beautiful set of Japanese kitchen knives. My knives are from Ikea and I could have bought five sets for what that sucker paid. He has his knives sharpened once a year and will probably give them to his grandkids one day. I have to take a stone to my knives every couple weeks to keep them even remotely sharp, and I will probably be lucky if they’re still kicking in another couple years. His feel like a katana in your hand. Mine feel like I rummaged around blindly in my toolbox until I found a handle. His will go through a tomato without the fruit even noticing. Mine… will win a fight with a tomato. At the end of the day, we can both make a fine salad, but the ownership experience is worlds apart.
And therein lies the rub. I could also commute just fine on a $1,500 folding e-bike. But it’s going to be heavier and bulkier and not fold as nicely and require regular maintenance, and it won’t last as long and it’s not going to be as nice to pedal and I think you get the point here.
So while I’m fine with using my cheap-o knives, I know full well that fancy Damascus steel Japanese knives would be much nicer to own and use. And having spent several days on the GoCycle G4i+, I know that the lightweight, fast-folding commuter e-bike is damn near incredible to use. It’s a luxury e-bike, but not in the sense that you’re paying for a name. Instead, you’re paying for impressive engineering and innovation that combines quality parts and manufacturing with exotic materials in new ways to create one of the best folding e-bikes I’ve ever ridden.
It’s expensive, but it’s also amazing. And that’s all there is to it.
Okay, now I’m hungry. Where’s that salad?
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