While we’re often wooed by budget e-bikes, it’s fun to examine what you can get if you climb a rung or two up the price and quality ladder. The newly updated 2020 GoCycle GX folding electric bicycle is a great example of the kind of innovation and quality that can be found for those willing to invest in it.
But compared to industry standard value e-bikes at half the cost, GoCycle has to really show us something that can prove their bikes are worth the cost.
And let me tell you right off the bat, this e-bike is worth every penny.
If you want to see the bike in action, check out my review video below. Then keep reading for all of the details on this innovative and high-quality electric folding bike.
2020 GoCycle GX e-bike video review
2020 GoCycle GX e-bike tech specs
- Motor: 500W front hub motor
- Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US
- Range: up to 40 miles (64 km)
- Battery: 22V 13.7Ah (300 Wh)
- Weight: 38.4 lb (17.4 kg)
- Weight limit: 220 lb (100 kg)
- Frame: Hydroformed 6061 T6 Aluminum and injection molded magnesium Cleandrive
- Tires: GoCycle custom 20″ x 2″
- Brakes: Custom hydraulic disc brakes
- Suspension: Rear only
- Extras: “Clean-Drive” completely covered drivetrain, hidden push-button throttle, Shimano nexus internal shifter, smartphone app connectivity, custom profiles, folding double kickstand
What’s new for 2020?
GoCycle updated their GX for the 2020 with several modifications to improve the ride and experience.
We previously reviewed the 2019 GoCycle GX, which we had already found to be a great commuter e-bike. But the new improvements really polish up the bike to an even nicer commuter solution.
For starters, the 2020 GoCycle GX received a new front fork, courtesy of the company’s flagship model, the pricer $4,800 GoCycle GXi e-bike.
The bike has had its cabling refined as well, leaving just a single exterior cable. Commuters who are navigating tight areas and walking through crowds will surely appreciate the removal of every grab hazard.
Internal wiring has been updated as well, which helped improve the clever folding mechanism employed by the updated 2020 GoCycle GX. It also makes the battery removal process more streamlined.
All together, the updates helped reduce the already low weight of the bike, dropping it down to just 38.4 lb (17.8 kg).
What makes the bike special?
First of all, the bike is a quick-folder that can be easily wheeled around in its folded position. The single side-supported wheels don’t just look cool, they make the bike fold up smaller and lower the total weight.
Next, check out the drivetrain. Is it a chain drive? A belt drive? You don’t know! You can’t even see the drivetrain, it’s all hidden inside what the company calls the CleanDrive. That’s an injection molded magnesium concealment that keeps the drive chain sealed off from the elements (and from gumming up your pant leg or ankle). It’s also great when maneuvering the folded bike, since that’s when a lot of people end up accidentally rubbing up against a dirty chain.
I’ve heard anecdotally of GoCycle owners opening their CleanDrive after several thousand miles to check it out, and it still looks nearly factory fresh in there.
For transmission, you get a Shimano Nexus 3-speed internally geared hub. Again, nothing external, no derailleur, no muss, no fuss.
Plus there’s that built-in rear suspension (the front fork boot looks like it covers suspension, and fooled me at first, but there’s not actually suspension up front).
I should also point out that those custom hydraulic disc brakes are some seriously nice stoppers.
And we haven’t even gotten to the electric components yet! The front motor is rated for 500W of continuous power, which is plenty for most commuters. The battery is a bit small at 300 Wh, but the bike is so efficient (and designed to be used mostly in pedal assist mode), which means you still get great range of at least 30 miles (50 km). GoCycle claims you can get even higher range, but that’s only if you’re really pedaling hard.
There’s also a hidden boost button on the underside of the handlebars that can be conveniently engaged with your thumb. In Europe it’s apparently a true “boost” button, as in you press it to get a little extra “oomph” if you’re climbing a hill or otherwise need a stronger push. But in the US you can configure it like a throttle, which is always nice for when you get a bit tired, or just want to throttle up to speed after a stop and then continue pedaling on your own.
And speaking of pedal assist, the 2020 GoCycle GX has a true torque sensor, which means you’re getting accurate pedal assist that adjusts to how hard you’re pressing on the pedals — not just a cadence sensor that gives less accurate speed-based pedal assist support.
How does the 2020 GoCycle GX ride?
Honestly, this feels like an amazing commuter e-bike to me.
The folding is elegant, and the ride quality is much better than those little wheels might imply, thanks to the interesting rear suspension and swingarm setup. And the smartphone app makes a great data-filled display.
If you choose not to mount your smartphone on the handlebars, you’ll have to make do with a small LED dot display that simply tells you your approximate battery capacity. It’s not much info, but it’s all you need when it comes to bare necessities. I recommend taking advantage of the app, though, which makes a nice display and also offers lots of interesting off-bike features for after your ride is over.
Why would someone buy this bike?
The whole time I was testing the updated 2020 GoCycle GX, I kept thinking to myself, “OK, why would someone buy this bike over a budget option?”
And after thinking about it, I can see the logic. Yes, for half the price you can get a folding e-bike with the same 20 mph (32 km/h) top speed, the same range estimate, and that folds nearly as quickly.
But if you have the cash, the upgrades on this bike are quite nice to have.
The torque sensor makes pedaling so much nicer, especially on startup and when you encounter hills. The CleanDrive is a godsend for commuters that struggle to keep their bike and their clothes clean. The internally geared hub is an elegant solution to dragging around a derailleur that eventually needs to be tuned and cleaned.
The light weight of the bike means you can actually lift and carry it when its folded, but the rolling nature of the bike means wheeling it in folded position is even easier than most bikes. The hydraulic disc brakes add to the list of low or zero-maintenance components on the bike.
Basically, everything about the bike is just nicer. It’s all higher quality, works better, will likely last longer, and will ultimately make for a nicer riding e-bike that causes less of a headache down the road.
It might not be in the budget for everyone, but I feel like it’s actually a fair price for what you get. It’s a highly engineered e-bike that simply offers a new level of riding compared to value-oriented folding e-bikes.
What do you think of the new 2020 GoCycle GX? Let us know in the comments section below!
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