At TNW, we have a policy regarding crowdfunding campaigns: with very few exceptions, we do not cover crowdfunding items unless they originate from a well-established business with a track record of success or we can provide a fully functional prototype.
It was the latter with the Tenways CGo600 e-bike. And I’m so happy I got to try it out since this e-bike is amazing; no gimmicks are required.
The bike costs between $1,000 and $1,500, has a Gates carbon belt drive, a discrete design that hides its electric nature, weighs 33 lbs, and offers one of the smoothest riding experiences of any e-bike I’ve ever experienced. Here at TNW, I’ve tested a lot of e-bikes, and these three characteristics are usually only found on much more expensive models.
Though this brand may be new and still developing, it already seems to have a winner. Few people would realize the CGo600 is an electric bike at first glance because it is a single-speed commuter bike. Only a few discrete additional cables for the motor and display are visible, while the battery is concealed in the frame.
|Frame||6061 Aluminium Frame|
|Motor||Mivice M070 250W|
|Sensor||Mivice S200 Torque Sensor|
|Display||Minimalistic OLED Display|
|Top Speed||For Europe: 25 km/h or 16 mph|
|Range||Up to 70 km (43 miles) range*|
|Climbing Ability||Up to 15°|
|Weight||15 kg (33.1 lbs)|
|Brake||TEKTRO Hydraulic Disc Brakes|
|Wheels||700C Aluminium Rims|
Video Review of Tenways CGo600
Tenways CGo600: Design and Build Quality
Forget about that; this is not an e-bike for those seeking exaggerated performance or a moped-like ride. Because there is no fuel on board, you must always pedal.
However, if you prioritize maneuverability over strength, like I do, the CGo600 can represent an outstanding value. Most of the time, riding a single speed bike feels like that, with the exception that your legs are simply very strong. Despite the absence of gears, the motor’s modest power allowed me to ascend every hill I had to travel.
Smooth, silent power delivery appears to have been a top priority when designing the electric engine. One of my favorite and most responsive systems I’ve used is the torque sensor and throttle curve. It compares favorably to my own $4000 Brompton Electric and any other bike I drove at hub, which are the two smoothest e-bikes I’ve ever rode. It is also pretty comparable to the $3000 Specialized Turbo Vado SL and Priority Current.
However, the CGo600 isn’t exactly a cheap ebike. It is considerably less expensive than a Cowboy or VanMoof, but unless you get one during the Indiegogo Early Bird sales, it is still what I would classify as a mid-ranger.
Nevertheless, it still provides exceptional value for the money because of several premium branded components. As far as e bikes go, it’s also quite light. It tipped the scales at just under 16 kilograms.
The single-speed belt drive of the CGo600 makes it the most comparable to the Cowboy 3. The system has a 60-tooth chainring and a 22-tooth rear sprocket and is made by Gates Carbon Drive CDX.
I like that this e-bike might go unnoticed unless you pay great attention. The downtube barely indicates that a battery is concealed there, and the motor is small enough to fit in a hub. The mechanic didn’t realize the bike was electric until he started working on the wheel when I took it to a shop to mend a spoke.
At 33 pounds, it’s still lighter than many non-electric bikes even though it’s definitely heavier than most analog racing bikes. I calculated the weight when I carried the bike up and down the stairs to my basement, so it is light enough to be hung on a wall, mounted on a car rack, or transported by train.
Arctic Blue, Lime Green, Sky Blue, and Midnight Black are the additional choices. The frame is available in 500 and 540mm diameters (19 and 21in).
If you pay great attention to the back, you’ll see that the rear axle is supported by movable dropouts. This is the best way to handle a bike with a belt drive because you can quickly remove the rear wheel without having to tighten the belt when reinstalling the wheel.
There is a removable element in the seat stay that allows you to remove and replace the seatbelt, and tension is adjusted using Allen bolts that allow dropouts to travel horizontally.
It irritates me that the toolbox doesn’t contain an 18mm spanner because the back wheel is secured with 18mm nuts. It comes with a few Allen keys and three smaller spanners, but it’s basically only intended to help you build the bike rather than maintain it.
Another peculiarity is that the right brake lever operates the steering wheel while the left brake lever operates the front brake. It’s the only bike I’ve ridden that doesn’t use the standard setup, but as long as you use both brakes together, it’s no huge concern.
Tenways CGo600: Motor and Driving
As far as I can determine, the motor is a 250 Watt Mivice M070 and is located in the rear hub. It has a max power of 500 Watt and a torque capacity of 40Nm.
The Light Grey I was sent, which has a matt finish and appears to be easy to mark and accumulate dirt, has an aluminum frame that resembles a real bike and is even more attractive in some of the two-tone colorways Tenways provides.
A single-speed arrangement isn’t for everyone, as I mentioned in my Cowboy review (among other places). Although you might need to help the CGo600 get going, it’s excellent for city commutes.
Fortunately, the torque sensor is precisely calibrated, so pedaling feels almost bionic. Press firmly on the pedals to start, and the motor will swiftly respond by delivering its power and accelerating you to cruising speed.
There is no boost button or handlebar-mounted throttle because the torque sensor serves as the throttle. The CGo600 is not an electric moped, thus it is not for sluggish riders. It feels fantastic to ride and is a true rider’s bike.
Although hydraulic disc brakes often have a strong bite, the Tenways’ felt barely enough at first. A few miles later, the pads settled in and they significantly improved.
Range is excellent since the torque sensor takes effort from the rider to produce power. Tenways claims a range of 70–130 km, with the bigger number predicated on the use of the least amount of assistance.
When riding independently, there is virtually no resistance because of the motor’s clutch, and the motor is also among the quietest I’ve ever heard.
Really, there isn’t anything to criticize about the bike. Hydraulic “X-Spark” disc brakes are still far superior to standard rim brakes despite being a little less potent than the Tektro or Shimano brakes used on many e-bikes. I hope Tenways thinks about providing some kind of range extender battery for folks who enjoy taking long trips because the battery is difficult to remove.
The main uncertainty is long-term support. Although carbon belts are noted for their durability and good hub motors can last a lifetime, prospective customers should obviously proceed with caution as Tenways is a young company. Right now, it’s impossible to predict what type of post-purchase assistance they’ll offer if something goes wrong.
Tenways CGo600: Conclusions
The Cowboy 3 single-speed bike is more expensive than the Tenways CGo600, which only actually lacks the built-in GPS and Bluetooth for tracking and over-the-air upgrades. It’s also important to think about support. The frame has a five-year warranty and other components have a two-year warranty, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find any nearby repair shops, so you could have to install any replacement parts yourself.
As always, heed the warning that this is not an online store like Amazon. Prices for “early birds” are offered to investors who will support the campaign. Although the target has already been exceeded in this instance, ordering a product that is in stock from a merchant is not the same.
The CGo600 is still a great bargain even at the higher cost. At the early bird price, it’s insanely good.