Advertised as the lightest electric bike on the market with just 11.9 kg on the scale, the ’Gogoro’s Eeyo 1S arrives in France, its country of launch. The electric scooter specialist has opted for an astonishing strategy given his inexperience in pedelecs. Indeed, the Eeyo is a top-of-the-range connected bike, at 4699 euros, so much more ambitious than a VanMoof S3 or one Cowboy. But can you get a premium eBike on the first try and, above all, is it possible to reduce the weight of an electric bike so much without sacrificing performance? Here are our impressions after a few days on the Eeyo 1S.
Design: superb work on the frame
The beauty of a bicycle could be proportional to the number of times people are called out on the street about it. In this game, Gogoro would be sure to be on the podium of the year as the looks, flattering comments and questions from passers-by marked the grip. Not a trip without being surprised to see a bike “as beautiful” and “electric too!” “.
It must be said that Gogoro worked his baby well. A one-piece molded frame with a sumptuous design, carbon tubes profiled to the millimeter and an overall aesthetic that only accentuates the impression of speed and lightness, these are the main ingredients of the Eeyo recipe.
At first glance, it’s hard to guess that this is an eBike. Carrying it at arm’s length does not give any more information since with 11.9 kg on the scale, the 1S weighs half the weight of a conventional electric bicycle. All the same, there is this block on the rear hub which is intriguing. This is a larger disc than conventional motors and concentrates most of the bike’s weight. This element is the keystone of the entire Eeyo system.
The “smartwheel” is a block in which Gogoro has grouped together the engine, the battery, and the electronics of the bike, including the torque sensor. Exemplarily integrated, the smartwheel is the technological feat on which the Taiwanese manufacturer will rely, not only for its 1S, but also for all of these upcoming electric bikes.
This choice also defines, in part, the use of the bicycle. In fact, unless you take your rear wheel with you, consider the Eeyo’s battery as non-removable. Charging is therefore done on the bike with an induction “key” in the shape of a jaw or by placing its cycle on a support sold as an option. These kinds of details make it easy to understand that the Eeyo doesn’t want to be a normal bike. A top-of-the-range bike certainly, but above all highly technological and bathed in innovative ideas whose aim is to reduce its weight.
Top of the range pad brakes?
The equipment is one of the aspects on which the absolute search for lightness has the most consequences. In fact, to lower the weight of a bicycle there is nothing more effective than removing any accessory deemed superfluous. Commonly, the first casualty is depreciation. And due to a fork or a suspended saddle, or even large wheels, it is as many kilos that we try to chase.
It should also come as no surprise that there is no crutch, luggage rack or any comfort equipment. These absences are justified by the quest for lightness of the Eeyo 1S.
On the other hand, it is more difficult to accept these compromises when the safety of the rider comes into play. However, this is what you see with the brakes. Gogoro opted for a mechanical disc brake at the front and V-brakes (two pads that pinch the rim) at the rear. This choice is constrained by the “smartwheel” system which cannot coexist with a disc, a priori.
Unfortunately the quality of the braking is felt, not to mention the fact of finding pad brakes on a bike for almost 5,000 euros …
A software part to improve
The Eeyo 1S is certainly a connected bike, but Gogoro did not want to use its app as a tool for managing his eBike. On the contrary, the direction chosen by the Taiwanese is one of extreme simplification.
The application, although essential for unlocking and starting the bike, is stripped of all frills and does not allow you to change the behavior of the cycle except by switching between its two levels of assistance (eco or sport). This is done very simply by sliding up (sport) or down (eco) the dial indicating the speed.
Moreover, the application of the 1S is limited to only two main menus, the first interface indicates the state of the bike (loaded or in motion) and allows you to display the speed. To access the settings, just double tap on its screen to switch to the management section which shows the owner’s profile, the version of the OS and which gives access to a rather basic FAQ. In other words, Gogoro did not want to clutter up his application and that’s good.
Despite its simplicity and its apparent purity, the application did not prove to be flawless when we got started. Indeed, we encountered several difficulties to update our bike and, much more annoying, to start it. Indeed, during a day of testing and despite several disconnections and other pairing attempts, our Eeyo model failed to connect to its application making its use impossible. We had to recharge its battery to the maximum to finally manage to unlock the eBike.
Such is the risk of a connected bike entirely dependent on its application and we have paid the price. When contacted, the Gogoro teams assured us that they were working on the latest bugs in their application and that an update at the end of October should resolve many small issues of this kind.
Performance on the road: explosive but not very durable
Ultimately, the paramount question is what is this Eeyo 1S really worth on the road. Obviously its lightness is felt from the first pedal strokes. It’s when starting up and accelerating that the Eeyo is most impressive. Not only because it only takes two and a half turns of the wheel to reach 25 km / h, but also because the engine almost seems to fade during this acceleration. Indeed, it is not uncommon, especially on entry-level pedelecs, to benefit from roughly tuned electric motors that deliver their maximum torque from the first press on the pedal. The feeling of acceleration is strong there, but not natural. In contrast, on Gogoro’s electric bike, the accuracy of the torque sensor combined with the lightweight of the bike makes you forget the very existence of assistance quite quickly.
However, it takes a little time to adapt to understand the direction of the bike. Not that it is deficient, but due to the weight distribution, located primarily at the rear of the Eeyo, the balance is slightly altered. Once this data is integrated, driving becomes a real pleasure.
This is undoubtedly on this ground that Gogoro is best able to apply his two-wheeler expertise. Indeed, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the automatic transmission of the bike which is essentially based on the capacities of the torque sensor and the rendering of the belt.
This well-oiled machine delivers an overall well-dosed assistance that is only compromised when the terrain begins to rise. Indeed, with its 20 Nm of torque, the Gogoro engine does not work miracles when faced with a slope.
Easy to lift, frustrating to get on
Unfortunately, this rather positive picture contains a major gray area: the security mode (“protection mode” in the original version). Indeed, when the cyclist reaches 32 km / h a notification is displayed on the application announcing the activation of this mode. What is it about ?
Concretely, once this speed is reached, the motor of the bike is cut to go into a light sleep. The only way to reactivate it is to drop below 11 km / h. This setting, if it allows you to blow the smartwheel seems to us to be nonsense.
Indeed, 32 km / h is a relatively easy speed for any cyclist to achieve, but having to completely cut off your effort to regain assistance is simply counterproductive.
Example: you are approaching a relatively steep hill for which assistance would be welcome. If, by entering this difficulty, the Eeyo is going faster than 32 km / h, its motor will not come to your aid until you have warmed your thighs properly, or if you decelerate enough.
We expressed our astonishment to the Gogoro team who confirmed that this choice was voluntary and that it was intended to spare the engine / battery couple.
As for the range, the data put forward by the manufacturer seems very ambitious to us as we were unable to exceed 40 km with a charge in sport mode where Gogoro claims 65 km. As for the eco mode, planned to last 90 km, the short duration of our test did not allow us to confront it with reality.
Is it really possible to avoid the mistakes of youth when making your first eBike? Despite all his good intentions and some remarkable technical prowess, it now seems difficult to fully recommend the purchase of an Eeyo.
We hear, the 1S is impressive in terms of technicality and achieves an industrial feat by halving the weight of a conventional electric bicycle.
Unfortunately, there are too many compromises to achieve this result. Whether it is autonomy (40 km), power (20 Nm) but also certain choices that influence the behavior of the bike, such as this incongruous safety mode or too much dependence on the application .
Therefore, despite its superb design and record weight, the 4,700 euros needed to purchase it seem difficult to justify.