Size (folded): 32.7 x 29.5 x 14.6 inches
Motor: G4 Drive, front hub, 500 watt (US)
Battery: 10.4Ah, 36V
Max speed: 20 mph
Range (est): up to 50 miles
Transmission: Shimano Nexus 3-speed
If you’re looking for an alternate way to commute to work and have the money to burn, the GoCycle G4i+ is a pretty compelling option. Even among electric bikes - many of which are pushing the boundaries of bicycle design - the GoCycle stands out with its space-age looks.
Apart from its aesthetic appeal, though the G4i+ is a delight to ride, with a smooth and fast electronic shifter and responsive throttle. Those carrying the bike onto a train or subway will also appreciate how quickly it folds, as well as its comparatively light weight. Still, there’s a few things that we wish the company would improve, as we detail in our full GoCycle G4i+ review.
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GoCycle G4i+ review: Price and availability
The GoCycle G4i+ costs $5,999, and can be purchased through GoCycle’s website and local dealers. It’s available in white, gray, red, and black.
For something a little less expensive, the GoCycle G4i costs $4,999; the main differences between the two is that the G4i+ has electronic predictive shifting vs. a mechanical shifter in the G4i; and the G4i+ has a longer range (50 vs. 40 miles), magnesium/carbon fiber wheels, and adjustable-height handlebars.
A third model, the GoCycle G4, costs $3,999, and has a 40-mile range, mechanical shifter, but no daytime running lights.
Regardless of the model, supplies are very limited online, so going through a dealer is probably your best bet.
GoCycle G4i+ review: Design
The GoCycle remains one of the sleekest folding ebikes around. Its design hasn’t much changed since the previous model: The body of the bike, which contains the removable battery, is vaguely Y-shaped, with the front part made of aluminum and the center section carbon fiber; extending back is a large arm which connects the hub to the rear wheel. Both the front and rear wheels are connected to the body on one side, which further lends to the unique look of the bike.
On the right handlebar is a small grip-shifter for the electric shifter. On the left handlebar is another grip control to turn the daytime running lights on and off; if you have the optional head- and taillights, this control will turn them on, too.
Between the handlebars are a series of red LEDs that the company says are inspired by a Formula 1 race car’s dash, but you have to be Sebastian Vettel if you want to decipher what they mean at first glance. A long row of large LEDs is divided in two and shows you battery life and speed; a smaller set in the middle tells you the gear you’re in, while four green LEDs let you know if the daytime running light is on.
GoCycle kept two of my pet peeves from its previous model: If you want to mount the phone to the handlebars, you have to strap it into two glorified rubber bands. While my iPhone held steady, it feels cheap given the overall price of the bike.
Speaking of rubber bands: another rubber loop is used to hold the two halves of the bike together in its folded configuration. It’s simple and it works, but again, feels very low-tech in comparison to the rest of the bike.
Folding the G4i+ is a quick three-step process: fold the back half of the bike towards the front, fold the handlebars down, and then use the rubber strap to secure everything in place. All told, it’s about a 30-second process, if that. Its 36-pound weight isn’t as light as some of the best electric scooters, but it’s portable enough to carry up a flight of stairs without too much trouble. And, it’s easy enough to roll the bike on its wheels, even when folded.
GoCycle G4i+ review: Performance
The electronic shifter was fantastic; a mere nudge of my wrist, and I was able to shift the gears up and down, and the bike responded smoothly and instantly. While it only has three gears, it was plenty given the pedal assist. Cleverly, the bike will automatically downshift to first gear when you come to a stop.
Pedal assist was also near-instantaneous. I was barely through the first rotation of the crank when it kicked in, which I found very helpful when navigating through traffic.
Should you get tired of pedaling, press the throttle and off you go: The G4i+ can speed you at up to 20 miles per hour — the legal limit for this class of electric bikes — which I found a great help when riding up steep hills. It wasn’t as powerful as the VanMoof S3’s motor, but still did the trick.
GoCycle G4i+ review: App
While you don’t need it, to get the most out of the G4i+ you’ll want to connect it to the GoCycle app (Android and iOS). Here, you can select between three riding modes (City, Eco, On-Demand), each of which offers different levels of pedal assist. City Mode provides the most assistance, while On-Demand only provides power when you ask for it. You can also create a custom mode.
Turn your phone to landscape mode, and the app turns into a dashboard, with your speed front and center. Here, you can also switch between riding modes, and see approximately how much battery life remains. I found this figure jumped around a bit based on how much pedaling I was doing: One moment, it would be at 60 percent, but when I came to a stop, it would go up to 70 percent for example.
GoCycle G4i+ review: Battery life and range
GoCycle says that the G4i+’s battery should offer up to 50 miles of range, depending on how much you pedal, how much you use the throttle, and the assist mode you’re using. I took the bike on a 9-mile ride up and down some relatively hilly terrain in City mode, and using the throttle occasionally. After about 9 miles, I had drained about 30 percent of the battery.
The G4i+’s battery is hidden inside the bike’s frame. However, you can take it out and recharge it separately if you wish.
GoCycle G4i+ review: Accessories
GoCycle sells a range of accessories for its bike, some of which (like front and rear plastic mudguards — $59.99 each) — I wish were included in the price. Other accessories include a front light ($149.99), a taillight ($69.50), a luggage rack ($279.99), and a front pannier ($199.99).
The pannier is really useful if you’re using the bike to commute: It snaps on and off fairly quickly, and comes with a shoulder strap. It’s more than large enough to carry a laptop, though there’s little in the way of padding.
GoCycle G4i+ review: The competition
Until fairly recently, there were very few options when it came to folding electric bikes. However, there are now a plethora of commuter-friendly options, many of which are much less expensive than the G4i+, but not as sleekly designed, nor as light or powerful.
The RadPower RadMini 4 ($1,699) has a 750W motor and a 45-mile range, for example, but weighs 68 pounds, and the Aventon Sinch ($1,699) has similar specs but weighs 68 pounds.
Among folding electric bikes in the same weight range as the G4i+, the Brompton E-Bike M6L (starting at $3,800) weighs 34 pounds, and the Fiido D11 ($999) is 38 pounds, but has a smaller 250W motor.
GoCycle G4i+ review: Verdict
Commuters looking for a light and fast foldable electric bike won’t find much better than the GoCycle G4i+. It has a sleek and functional design, is easy to tote around, and provides a lot of zip when you need to get around traffic.
All this doesn’t come cheap, though — you can buy a lot of train tickets with $6,000 — and for the money, I wish GoCycle came up with a better method of attaching your smartphone to the bike. Free mudguards would be nice, too.