Monday, November 24, 2008

Gocycle - Proof that humans have aquired alien technology?

Ok, I wouldn't go THAT far, but KKL's Gocycle (not to be confused with the GoBike) is definitely pushing the envelope of electric bikes... just go to the home page to get an idea of what I mean.  Very slick!  I actually enjoyed exploring the bike bit-by-bit except for the uncomfortable feeling I got when they demonstrate how to replace the battery pack.  I dunno, it just seems a bit obscene.

As you dig deeper into the bikes design you'll find it's built on a mountain of new patents, another example of pushing the envelope.  Founder, Richard Thorpe, has spent over half a decade designing his electric hybrid dream bike and it looks like its time has finally come. 

One thing Richard said that cracked me up was when he admitted to applying "some tactical useage of the power button" to pass up other full-pedal powered cyclists.  Now, that sounds like something I would do.  Bonus points for Gocycle.

From what I read on the website, it looks like they've been selling Ideal Bike manufactured prototypes since September of 2008 (a couple of months ago) and there are even a handful here in the USA even though the offical US distributorship hasn't gone into play yet.  The first 200 prototypes are already done and avaiable for purchase.  No word on when mass production will kick off, but I would imagine soon.

With an MSRP expected to be less than $2000, what do you get?  You get the 2008 Taipei International Cycle Show award winner, garnering first place for excellence in design in the Best Complete Bicycle and Best Innovation categories.  Not bad, eh?  So, how about "the goods"... the actual bike?  Let's look.

The Gocycle is an electric bike composed of injection moulded magnesium and fiberglass.  Injection moulded magnesium?  I had no idea you could even do that, but the result is a bike the weighs just 36 lbs.  What's more is the fact that you can break the bike down and store it in a hard case the size of an overhead piece of luggage.  Where does this technology come from?

The Gocycle will haul up to 220 lbs and is powered by both a pedal powered 3-speed sequential gearbox (completely enclosed for ease of maintenance) and a 250 Watt micromotor.  Give her a full 3.5 hour charge and you are ready to hit speeds of up to 18 mph (30 if you have a racing battery) and cover distances of between 6-20 miles depending on how much pedaling you do.  That should be plenty for most urban dwellers who work in the city. 

The Gocycle stops with an integrated floating mechanical disk brake.  The seat and handlebars are adjustable.  She has a rear shock absorber and the front suspension can be upgraded.  There are some cool luggage accessories available as well.  I'd say that KKL has most definitely done their homework with this little project.

I have high hopes for this baby and wouldn't mind having one in my garage now.  Sure I'd love to see it go 35 miles at 35 mph, but it's just a matter of time before they gain the tech to make that happen.


Casey Hooligan said...

Hmm, High pressure Magnesium die casting is a favorite of consumer product industrial designers.
On that note, If this bike used Li-Ion batteries and had a battery pack meltdown, It would ignite the magnesium in the frame and result in one giant bicycle-sized road flare! yeeha!
Love this design, I would love it more if it was a little more "power" and a little less "Pedal" though.

Sea Fever said...

Steve, I have some corrections, if I may.....

The 200 prototypes have been sold. New bikes (2000+) will be available around April. Available on the website at considerable discount if ordered soon.

The max weight is more than you said - 120 kilos. The max legal speed in the US is 18 mph, in the EU 15 mph, both programmable through the on-board microprocessor.

Sea Fever (GC Pioneer)

Chris said...

Seems to be a very cool bike! I would love to go for it if it suits my budget!

Mobility bikes