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Gtech Sport Electric Bike Review

Gtech is a well-known brand in the UK, but less so for electric bikes. We test ride the Sport, a single-speed bike with a belt drive instead of a chain.

Should I Buy The Gtech Sport?
For commuting and general road cycling, the Gtech Sport is a great electric bike. It couldn’t be simpler to ride and it’s lighter than most of its rivals. It looks good, too, and is good value for money.

Price when reviewed
  • £995
Gtech is a brand you may well be familiar with in the UK for its cordless vacuum cleaners and garden tools, but it also makes electric bikes.

The Sport is a single-speed bike that’s aimed at commuters, but is just as well suited to those who want an electric bike for occasional bike rides.

Price & Availability
The bike comes in two versions, Sport (for men) and City (for women). There’s just one frame size for each model, which makes choosing easy but also forces shorter riders to live with a bigger frame than they may prefer.

In theory, the Sport caters for those from 5ft 4in to 6ft 2in, but if you’re at the lower end of that range, it’s worth going to Cycle Republic and trying one out for size as the top bar will be quite high.

Both models cost £995 from Cycle Republic.

Despite the price, the stand (£9.99) and mudguards (£29.99) are optional extras but both are accessories worth buying.

For alternatives, check out more electric bike reviews.

Design & Features
Compared to some electric bikes which have bundles of wires on show, the Gtech looks remarkably understated. Simplicity is the ethos behind the design and this is the reason why the handlebars look bare: there are no gear shifters, just brake levers.

Look more closely at the single-speed system and you’ll find a Gates belt rather than a chain. This is similar to the belts you’ll find on a car engine and means no lubrication is required. In turn this means no oily mess on your trousers and no maintenance.

It’s surprising to find a belt drive on an electric bike at this price.

The main feature which makes the Gtech stand out as an electric bike isn’t so much the large motor in the rear hub, but the water-bottle style battery on the down tube. A quick-release button in the handle means it’s simple to remove and install it on the bike.

Cleverly, rather than using a separate box of electronics (as Ancheer’s mountain bike does) the motor controller is built into the battery. A single cable is therefore all that’s needed to connect the motor to the battery and this runs unobtrusively underneath the frame so you don’t notice it.

Usefully, there’s a connector (above) so you can completely detach the rear wheel when necessary, such as for transporting the bike in a car, rather than it being linked permanently like an umbilical cord.

The battery also incorporates a display which shows the remaining power as a percentage and whether it’s in ‘Max’ or ‘Eco’ modes. Again, this keeps things simple: no buttons or displays on the handle bars, nor four or five different modes to choose between.
If there’s a disadvantage, it’s that it doesn’t double as a speedometer and odometer as you get with many electric bikes. But you can pick a bike computer up for a few pounds if this bothers you.

The bike arrives requiring partial assembly and all required tools are provided along with reflectors and even touch-up paint.

The website has an excellent support section complete with videos explaining how to assemble the bike as well as how to maintain it and how to remove and replace the front and rear wheels.

It is quite an involved process to take off the rear wheel because, unlike a chain, the belt cannot be broken. That’s why there’s a small removable piece near the rear dropout behind which is a small slot for the belt to pass through.

But so long as you aren’t planning to take the wheel off regularly, this isn’t really a problem. It’s just annoying if you get a puncture.

The rest of the components are decent enough, but the saddle might be a little on the hard side for some. Disc brakes would have been preferable, but the V-brakes are up to the task for city cycling.

Performance
If you haven’t ridden an electric bike before, prepare to wear a huge grin for a while. The motor kicks in quickly when you start to pedal but it’s when you hit the first proper hill that you realise what electric bikes are all about. You can ascend even the steepest hills with ease, it’s really up to you how much pedalling effort you put in.

As there’s no throttle, you can’t make the rear wheel turn without pedalling. This can be useful for hill starts, so it’s a bit of a shame Gtech decided not to include one.

In line with UK and EU law, the motor stops assisting you at over 15.5mph. Again, this is a shame, but it’s out of Gtech’s control. We’d like to see the law change to make the maximum speed 20 or even 25mph so city cyclists can keep up with traffic. 15.5mph is just that bit too slow.

You can pedal faster, but with no gears, there’s still a limit to how fast the Sport can go, so don’t buy one thinking you can compete with road bikes.

The good news is that the Sport weighs only 16kg, which is light for an electric bike. It means that when the battery runs out, or when you’re conserving power, it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to propel a heavy machine up every slight incline.

We found the 30-mile battery life to be accurate, though as with all lithium-ion batteries, the capacity will diminish a bit after dozens and dozens of recharges.

One issue is that, unlike the original version of the battery, this newer model doesn’t have a key lock so you have to remove it from the bike whenever you lock it up, otherwise anyone could walk up and remove it. The handle could possibly be used to pass a cable lock through to prevent theft, though.

It’s possible to buy a second battery, but at £299 most people probably won’t bother.

Verdict
If you’re looking for an off-road electric bike, this isn’t it. But if you want an easier commute to work, the Gtech Sport (or City) does the job admirably.

Specs
  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Suspension: No Suspension
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Number of Gears: 1
  • Brake Type: V-Brakes
  • Maximum Speed
  • 15.5mph assisted speed
  • Maximum Range: 30 miles
  • Recharge Time: 3 hours
  • Approximate Weight: 16kg



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