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Gtech eBike Sport review

18 May 2020
Verdict:

The Gtech eBike Sport is quite possibly the best value e-bike on the market

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Excellent single-speed drive setup • Decent value for money • Simple and fun to ride
Against 
Nondescript wheels • Slightly limited range

This review was first published in the October 2017 issue of Cyclist magazine*

Gtech's goal with its first mass market e-bike is to make the sedentary population fall back in love with cycling. The Sport's ultra-simple single-speed design was created to be low maintenance and user-friendly, so as to help encourage newbie riders.

But what about those who never fell out of love with their bike in the first place? Despite a budget price, the inclusion of a Gates Carbon drive system in place of a traditional metal chain suggest serious thought has gone into the Gtech.

 

The spec

The frame

The Gtech Sport’s aluminium frame is nicely put together given its relatively low price. As the frame comes in a single size, it’s good to see a sloping top tube providing lots of standover height. Ideally suited to riders around 5ft 10, users at the top and bottom of the size range will end up with a slightly odd fit.

Buy the Gtech eBike Sport from Gtech for £995

At the front, a tall head tube combines with a medium reach to create a relaxed position that’s easy going but not overly so. Making allowances for the carbon belt drive (which can’t be split like a standard chain), the frame’s rear triangle uses a split design on the drive side.

This permits its fitting and removal, while tensioners allow for the adjustment of the rear wheel. The whole package is relatively light, which helps add to the bike’s ready rolling disposition, while the inclusion of rack mounts seems sensible for a bike aimed at commuting and exploring.

Groupset

A single-speed system connected by a Gates Carbon belt drive, the Gtech’s drivetrain is both simple and low maintenance. With no metal-on-metal contact, it’s noticeably quiet and capable of spinning an extremely long time before requiring attention.

It runs a fairly high gear that’s a little heavy going to turn over without electrical assistance but ideal when the motor is switched on.

The bottom bracket is a basic threaded square taper model that’ll be easy to replace once it eventually wears out. The V-type brakes are anonymous but work perfectly well and are more powerful than most traditional road callipers.

Finishing kit

For a bike that aims to make the hesitant cyclist fall in love with the bicycle, it’s very welcome to find a set of mudguards fitted as standard to the Sport. After being defeated by hills, the weather is probably the second biggest hurdle to newbie cyclists so this will make a big difference to many potential purchasers.

Continuing the Gtech's British weather-ready theme is a waterproof saddle. It's relatively comfy, if a little wide for longer rides. The upsweep bars are easy on the back and shoulders without being too lazyboy-esque in their position, while the anatomically shaped grips fitted our hands well – although they might not be to every rider’s tastes. Luckily they’re easily swapped.

Wheels

The Sport's wheels are fairly workaday hybrid models. The front is quick-release for easy storage and faster puncture repairs while the rear, which includes the motor, is fixed with nuts and will need to be disconnected from the power supply before being removed. Both are fitted with tough and puncture resistant e-bike specific tyres.

Buy the Gtech eBike Sport from Gtech for £995

These are wide enough to tackle mixed terrain such as canal towpaths for light off-road use. A reflective band on their sides adds some bonus visibility. The rims, meanwhile, are medium width and of decent quality, with eyeleted holes accommodating their 36 spokes. The relatively high number of which should help them stand up to repeated abuse.

 

The ride

First impressions

Built very much like a traditional hybrid, it’s no surprise that’s exactly how the Gtech Sport rides. The bottle-style battery, mounted on the down tube, adds little extra weight and means that the bike’s handling isn’t massively affected by the addition of all the electronic gubbins.

With the electric assist coming on automatically, there’s no display or wires cluttering the cockpit, which given the Sport's single-speed gearing is minimalist anyway. The extra propulsion available isn’t huge but comes on smoothly to offer gradual support as you pedal.

On the road

Press the button on the battery and the Gtech powers up. With the indicators glowing to confirm the juice is on, the hub will automatically spring to life as you pedal.

There’s no control panel offering different power levels; instead, an on-board computer does the job for you, calculating the level of assistance required. It’s an extremely intuitive system.

The regulation speed limit of 25kmh means you won’t be racing past the fastest riders. Instead, the Gtech’s speciality is in helping you safely accelerate away from traffic lights or easing your progress uphill.

Overall, if you’re already a fairly fit rider, it won’t make your journey time massively quicker, just a little easier. However, for riders who struggle with a particular climb on their route, or find repeated accelerations a chore, it’s likely to make a significant difference.

Rely continuously on the motor and you’ll likely get about 30km of extra push from the Sport; put in a bit more effort yourself and this will stretch to 50km or more.

Handling

The Gtech takes a fair bit of extra effort to get rolling due to the additional weight centered around its rear axle (compared to bikes with the motor centrally mounted in the bottom bracket area). This slightly heavy going nature is exacerbated by its beefy tyres. But as they’re very tough and puncture resistant e-bike specific models, we won’t complain.

Obviously, with the electric assist turned on, neither is an issue anyway. We’re big fans of the pairing of simple single-speed design and auto-assist electronics. Not only does it result in low weight and minimal maintenance, but due to the way electric bikes work, we never found ourselves hankering after multiple gears anyway as the amount of power available from the Gtech is just right to lend a helping hand.

The one slight caveat is that as the battery has a fairly low range compared to some other bikes, you’ll find yourself needing to recharge more often.

Buy the Gtech eBike Sport from Gtech for £995

The Gtech’s upright position also matches the way the electric assist comes on. Comfy at slower speeds, we never felt the desire to get down lower, partly because the additional weight of the bike made us reluctant to push it beyond its 25kmh cut-off point.

However, for sedate riding and flattening out the occasional lump in the terrain the Gtech Sport was perfect – this is well suited to commuting or weekend leisure rides with the family.

Ratings

Frame: Lightweight and well put together for the price - 8/10  
Components: We love the singlespeed belt drive set-up - 9/10  
Wheels: Workaday hybrid wheels fitted with chunky tyres - 7/10  
The ride: Simple and fun to ride, if lacking a little in range - 8/10  

Geometry

Top tube (TT): 590mm  
Seat tube (ST): 500mm  
Fork length (FL): 420mm  
Head tube (HT): 170mm  
Head angle (HA): 71 degrees  
Seat angle (SA): 73 degrees  
Wheelbase (WB): 1080mm  
BB drop (BB): 70mm  

 

GTech Sports e-bike
Frame Aluminium, split chainstay
Motor GTech 36V high torque
Battery 200Wh Lithium-Ion
Range Up to 50km
Groupset Single speed, Gates Carbon Drive
Brakes Alloy V-brakes
Chainset Gates Carbon Drive
Bars Aluminium riser bar
Stem Four bolt, 25.4mm
Seatpost 27.2mm single bolt
Wheels 36h eyeleted rims, e-bike specific tyres
Saddle GTech waterproof
Weight 16.2kg (one size only)
Contact btwin.com

*Cyclist was the sister magazine to Cyclist, published between 2014 and 2019

Price: 
£995

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