We’ve got a rule about crowdfunding campaigns right here at TNW: with uncommon exceptions, we don’t cowl crowdfunded merchandise except they’re from an already established firm with a confirmed observe file or we get to demo a completely practical prototype.
With the Tenways C-Go 600 ebike, it was the latter case. And I’m actually glad I did get to attempt it as a result of this ebike is implausible — no gimmicks vital.
At $1,000-1,500 (Tenways has not settled on a closing worth but), the bike affords a Gates Carbon belt drive, a stealthy look that doesn’t betray its electrical nature, a weight of 15 kg (33 lbs), and one of many smoothest pedaling experiences of any ebike I’ve ridden. I’ve examined numerous ebikes right here at TNW, and people are three qualities you usually discover on far dearer bikes.
To be clear, Hong Kong-based Tenways hasn’t really launched its Indiegogo marketing campaign but. The corporate plans to begin crowdfunding in July, but it surely wished to get the bike out to reviewers early to show it has an actual product. And in contrast to the vast majority of crowdfunded ebikes, the bike will really already be in mass manufacturing whereas the marketing campaign is stay.
Crowdfunded merchandise are at all times a threat, however Tenways seems to be utilizing Indiegogo extra as a approach to market the bike slightly than relying solely on backer funds to deliver it to fruition. Apart from a non-final design and an upcoming app, what I examined was a completely realized product
The ultimate items (out there in 5 colours) ought to look extra like what’s on Tenways’ web site:
Right here’s what you’re getting to your hard-earned cash:
- A Mivice 250W rear hub motor with 40 Nm of torque
- A Gates Carbon Belt drive, recognized for being way more sturdy than the everyday chain (though it seems Tenways may even provide a single-speed chain mannequin too)
- A torque sensor that measures how onerous you’re pedaling; most ebikes use cadence sensors which solely measure in case you’re pedaling.
- ‘X-spark’ Hydraulic disk brakes
- An built-in 252 Wh (36V, 7Ah) battery
- A claimed 70-130 km (43.5 to 80.8 miles) of vary (extra on this later)
- 700C tires
- An built-in headlight and included rechargeable tail mild
- 15kg (33 lb) weight
- 32 km/h (20 mph) max velocity
- Two body sizes masking riders from 165-200cm (5′ 5″ – 6′”)
- Bluetooth app integration (which I’ve not examined but)
- A minimal show unit with 3 ranges of pedal help
Let’s get this out of the best way: this isn’t an ebike for people who find themselves on the lookout for ridiculous quantities of energy or a moped-like expertise. There’s no throttle onboard, so you’ll at all times must pedal.
But when, like me, you worth rideability over sheer energy, the C-GO 600 might be a implausible worth. It largely appears like driving a standard single-speed bike, besides your legs simply obtained tremendous power. The motor isn’t loopy highly effective, however there’s sufficient energy on prime to get me up any hill I crossed, regardless of the dearth of gears.
Each a part of the electrical drivetrain seems to have been chosen to prioritize clean, quiet energy supply. The torque sensor and acceleration curve are among the many most pure and responsive I’ve used. It’s absolutely corresponding to the $3000+ Specialised Turbo Vado SL and Precedence Present — the 2 smoothest ebikes I’ve ridden — and is flat-out higher than my very own $4,000 Brompton Electrical or another hub-drive bike I’ve ridden.
On this regard the bike has a bonus over the $1,045 Ride1Up Roadster, one other stealthy single-speed bike that I’ve actually loved driving. Though the Roadster has a extra highly effective motor, the torque sensor on the Tenways permits the motor to kick in far more shortly and naturally. That is significantly noticeable when ranging from a lifeless cease on a hill; you’ll must grind the pedals to get a full rotation on many cadence-sensor ebikes just like the Roadster, however the Tenways motor kicks in immediately.
It doesn’t harm that the motor is sort of utterly silent as properly; even at full energy, it solely makes a faint whirr that’s barely audible over street noise. The Gates Carbon Drive is already recognized for being clean and just about silent too, so on the entire, the bike is usually even quieter and smoother than an ‘acoustic’ bike.
As for the vary, it’s unlikely you’re going to get 130 km/81 mi out of a 252 Wh battery, however the torque sensor and light-duty motor do make the bike extra environment friendly than I anticipated. I didn’t attempt to absolutely drain the battery, however I estimate the bike may go about 50 miles in help degree one and about 25 miles in help degree 3.
Even in case you did run out of battery, the C-GO 600 makes for a fairly good single-speed bike. There is no such thing as a resistance within the rear wheel in anyway when the motor shouldn’t be engaged, so the bike is absolutely pedal-able with out the help, though you clearly gained’t wish to sort out hills with out gears.
The bike has a barely aggressive geometry that I discovered comfy, however riders excited by a extra upright place may wish to change the stem or handlebars. I do want Tenways offered a step-through mannequin for shorter riders or these with accessibility wants although.
I respect that nobody’s going to note it’s an ebike except they’re trying carefully both. The motor is sufficiently small to cross for an inner gear hub, and the downtube barely betrays there’s a battery hidden in there. After I took the bike to a store to repair a spoke, the mechanic didn’t discover it was electrical till he began engaged on the wheel. On multiple event, riders stopped to ask me what bike I used to be driving, with out noticing it was electrical.
And whereas it’s clearly heavier than most analog street bikes, at 33 lbs, it’s nonetheless lighter than many non-electric bikes (for reference, that’s nonetheless about 10 kilos lighter than NYC’s ubiquitous Citibikes). I appreciated the (lack of) weight when lugging the bike up and down the steps to my basement, and it means you might dangle the bike on a wall, mount it on a automotive rack, or deliver it on a prepare with out a lot of battle.
It’s a nice-looking bike too, even in my unit’s unfinished kind, and I fairly like Tenways’ 5 shade choices. Aesthetics apart, the aluminum body feels sturdy and comes with clean welds that don’t betray its worth, and it comes with quite a lot of mounting factors for racks, fenders, and a chainstay-mounted kickstand (however actually, it ought to include the kickstand).
Lighting is essential for security, and the built-in headlight is fairly first rate; shiny sufficient to each see and be seen. And whereas I actually want the tail-light had been built-in into the bike’s electronics as properly, it’s a minimum of fairly shiny.
Actually, it’s onerous to search out a lot to complain concerning the bike. The ‘X-Spark’ hydraulic disk brakes really feel a notch much less highly effective than the Tektro or Shimano brakes you’ll discover on many ebikes, however they’re nonetheless a lot better than typical rim brakes. And since the battery shouldn’t be simply detachable, I hope Tenways considers providing some sort of vary extender battery down the street for individuals who wish to take longer rides.
The larger query mark is long-term help. Good hub motors can final ceaselessly and the carbon belt is thought for its sturdiness, however potential patrons ought to clearly train some warning given Tenways is a brand new firm. At this stage, there’s merely no approach to make certain what sort of after-sales help it would present if one thing goes unsuitable.
In fact, you might say this about any new firm, however whereas it builds up a fame, I’d recommend Tenways as a substitute make it simple for customers to make their very own repairs. For instance, folding bike firm Fiido solely entered the US market final 12 months, but the corporate sells virtually each single substitute part — each electrical and mechanical — on its webstore. It conjures up numerous confidence, and I hope Tenways follows go well with.
That mentioned, I do respect that Tenways is providing a 2-year guarantee, when a lot of the competitors on this worth vary solely covers defects for one 12 months.
If the corporate can ship on its crowdfunding guarantees and offers correct after-support gross sales. the Tenways C-GO 600 will get my fullest suggestion. It’s mild, it’s reasonably priced, it’s clean, it seems good, and it has sufficient energy for almost all of riders.
Tenways offers a elegant trip expertise that took me unexpectedly for a brand new firm making an reasonably priced, light-weight ebike. Slap a big-name emblem on it, and it may’ve simply bought for $3,000. At below $1,500, it’s an absolute steal.