If you know anything about Gocycle, you’ll know that they make fancy electric bikes designed with sleek, exotic designs. Now, the company is leaning hard into its lightweight, futuristic design legacy as it unveils the new Gocycle CXI Family Cargo Bicycle.
And it makes sense, considering that Gocycle’s founder and designer Richard Thorpe was formerly an engineer at McClaren. That same penchant for exotic materials and gram-shaving engineering found its way into several award-winning models of Gocycle folding e-bikes.
Now with the new Gocycle CXI, we’re seeing the company apply that dedicated level of design in a whole new category of cargo e-bikes designed for families and heavy haulers.
As Thorpe explained, “Entering the cargo e-bike scene is a bold move for Gocycle, expanding our product family into uncharted territory. We’ve focused on our core values of lightweight and portability – addressing a vital gap in the market, especially for customers turned off by cumbersome and heavy cargo bikes.”
“We’ve also stayed true to our OneDesignDNA® philosophy, preserving a cohesive design language and sleek identity across all Gocycle products,” Thorpe continued. “Instantly recognizable as a Gocycle, the all new CXi employs Gocycle’s kernel of patented innovations such as our side-mounted Pitstopwheels®, Gocycle’s F1-inspired monocoque chassis, enclosed Cleandrive® drivetrain and internal cabling.”
Looking around the bike will betray no trace of a single chain, spoke, cable, wire, gear, grease, or a litany of other conventional bike components. Some are replaced. Others are entirely hidden from view behind cleverly engineered shrouds and inside of specially designed frame tubes. It all combines to create that classic Gocycle aesthetic we’ve come to know and love over the years.
New innovations help continue that design spec, such as the all-new Flofit® handlebar designed for rider ergonomics and comfort. It is adjustable to provide either an upright riding position or a forward racing style, changing its reach, height, and grip angle to provide multiple hand positions and fingertip controls. The patent-pending technology gets packaged and protected inside the handlebar body, giving one bolt access for brake adjustments and tuning.
On the opposite end of the bike, a Gates carbon belt drive is hidden away inside Gocycle’s Cleandrive packaging leading to the rear wheel, where it terminates in a Shimano Nexus 5-speed internally geared hub.
Tying it all together is the “bold new WingPillar Frame® design [that] builds from Gocycle’s core F1- inspired monocoque chassis DNA. Tested to meet the high-load and safety standards (480lbs rated) demanded for hauling stuff, kids, and pets – and lightweight. The rear deck is compatible for MIK child seats and accessories making multimodal configurations a breeze to fit. Optional premium cherry and teak wood available.”
On the tech side, the US version of the bike will carry a 500W motor and reach a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), while the European version will swap in a 250W motor and have a reduced top speed to meet local regulations. Both models come with the same torque sensor for smoother and more responsive pedal assist action, as well as the same quickly removable 375 Wh battery that claims a 50-mile (80-km) range. Also included standard are hydraulic disc brakes, Schwalbe Moto X tires, single-sided proprietary carbon fiber fork, daytime running lights, custom double kickstand, and detachable pedals.
Compared to most bulky and heavy cargo e-bikes, the Gocycle CXI is comparatively svelte at just 50 lb (22.7 kg). To put that in perspective, the Rad Wagon 4 cargo e-bike weighs over 50% more. Imagine being able to take a cargo e-bike that can carry 480 lb, but then fold it up and carry it under your arm. That’s never been seen before, and frankly, I’m not sure I thought I’d ever see it.
The CXI may have significantly trimmed the weight, but as is usually the case in the e-bike industry, that has an inverse effect on the price. Considering all the other custom designs, proprietary components, the fact that a cargo e-bike even folds, and the advanced engineering that went into making all of that happen, you didn’t expect to get away for a song, did you? The base model starts at US $6,999, while the higher-spec CXI+ that includes the fancier Flofit handlebar is priced at US $7,999. Pre-orders are now open with $499 reservations holding a spot in line.
Wow, it’s a beautiful bike. And if I can dust off my old mechanical engineering degree for a moment, the ME in me is drooling over the design and engineering that make this bike possible. But then if I can dust off my old MBA for a moment, I’m wondering how many of these the company can actually sell at this price point when the e-bike industry is hurting in a way it hasn’t seen in years – if ever.
Don’t get me wrong, this bike is a masterclass in design. But if the US e-bike market has proven anything, it’s that Americans assign much more value to decent but affordable bikes than to highly-engineered models. Europe seems to have a different calculus, putting a much higher value on long-lasting, well-designed, and quality-manufactured e-bikes. So I can see this competing nicely with the best of the German ultra-premium cargo e-bikes. But I’m curious how many we’re going to see cruising around San Francisco or NYC anytime soon.
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