Tenways has just launched a new belt-driven e-bike known as the CGO 600. We had a chance to test one before launch to determine if the fledgling brand’s urban e-bike is worth a look. .
Spoiler alert: it’s worth more than a glance.
From the outset, know that Tenways is launching its CGO 600 electric bike via a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
That’s not a bad thing – plenty of big companies, from Segway to NIU, have done the same for their new product launches.
When it comes to crowdfunding campaigns for new e-bikes or other vehicles, our general rule is that we’ll only cover them if the company has a proven track record of deliveries, or if we can test the product live. advance if it is a brand. new company.
In this case, Tenways gave us the chance to do extensive testing over several weeks so we could really get a good idea of the quality and performance of the bike.
You can check out my video review of the electric bike below, but be sure to keep reading for even more details and opinions on my testing.
Tenways CGO 600 Electric Bike Video Review
Technical specifications of the Tenways CGO 600
- Engine: 250W rear hub motor
- Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) in USA, 15.5 mph (25 km/h) in Europe
- Vary: Claimed up to 80 miles (130 km)
- Battery: 36V 7Ah (252Wh) with Samsung cells
- Mass: 33 lbs (15 kg)
- Load capacity: 264 pounds (120 kg)
- Frame: 6061 aluminum alloy
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
- Supplements: Belt drive, minimalist LCD screen including speedometer, battery gauge and PAS level indicator, two frame sizes, interesting color options (more than this gray scheme)
An urban bike for an urban cyclist
The Tenways e-bike is absolutely an optimized e-bike for the city, there’s no doubt about it.
It has a classic bike messenger style and hides almost every trace of power assist. The rear motor is the only real giveaway, and even that could be mistaken for an internally geared hub at a quick glance. It’s positively tiny, dwarfed by the rotor of hydraulic disc brakes.
Of course, the motor isn’t really an internally geared hub – and so there are no gears on this e-bike. But the trade-off for not being able to shift is that you’re gifted with that awesome Gates carbon drive system. It replaces a conventional bicycle chain and provides a smoother, quieter and maintenance-free ride. These last for tens of thousands of miles – far longer than chains – and never need to be oiled or adjusted.
This low-maintenance drive system is well combined with the hydraulic disc brakes which eliminate almost all brake maintenance except for occasional brake pad changes. For an everyday urban commuter, having less to worry about is much appreciated. I just want to pick up my bike and go, knowing it’s in good shape, and I’m not going to suddenly find a derailleur or brakes that need cable adjusting halfway through my commute to work .
The rest of the bike-only side is fine with me, too: the grips feel good if basic, the bike is comfortable to ride (although it adopts more of that tucked-up riding position than I normally opt for), and 33 lb (15 kg) lightweight design makes it a breeze to pick up and carry up stairs.
But the electric side of the bike is where I really want to dig, because Tenways did a great job there.
First of all, the bike has a real torque sensor, which means the pedal assist activates quickly and smoothly.
This is important when you don’t have a throttle to help you ride, especially on a single-speed e-bike. You really want that pedal assist to engage quickly, but not abruptly, so you start rolling with the assist. On flat ground it’s more of a luxury, but to start downhill I consider it a necessity.
The torque sensor is easily one of the areas where the Tenways e-bike has an edge over similar belt-driven competitors like the Ride1Up Roadster V2. The Tenways is priced a bit higher at $1,299 compared to the $1,045 price of the Roadster V2, but it also gets that nicer torque sensor and hydraulic disc brakes.
The 250W motor isn’t too powerful, but it’s not a motorcycle – it’s a pedal-assist e-bike. I see the Tenways e-bike as appealing to someone who would already be comfortable on a single-speed or messenger-style bike, but wants a bit of a boost when crossing the bridge or traveling at higher speeds without sweating.
There are three power levels to choose from, so you can increase the maximum power if you need to. But even at the medium power level, I felt like I had reasonable assist to keep me from working too hard. At the lowest assist level, I was definitely still training and wouldn’t call it a sweat-free ride.
Tenways claims a hilarious range of 80 miles (130 km) per charge, which of course is possible under “ideal conditions” at the lowest assist level. With a 252Wh battery, even the efficient pedal assist will make it difficult to achieve that range in the real world. The max assist level will likely net you 20-30 miles if you’re riding 20 mph in the US, and 50 miles is likely achievable in the lowest assist level since you’re doing the lion’s share of the work. The European version of the bike will be more efficient in max assist level as the speed is limited to 25 km/h or 15.5 mph.
That small battery is a trade-off – you get a sleek e-bike but at the expense of not having a huge battery. Plus there’s the fact that you can’t easily remove the battery to charge it, which is another good reason why the bike’s low weight of 33 lbs becomes important in case you need to transport the bike. somewhere to recharge it.
So there are definitely trade-offs here. And if you can’t see yourself on a thin-tire, underpowered e-bike, then it’s probably not your jam. But for urban riders who just need a minimalist yet quality e-bike that doesn’t go overboard, Tenways surprised me with how much they’ve brought to the table here. It’s a nice e-bike that works well and could easily pay for itself over a year of bus rides (or a month of parking fees, in some places!).
The biggest downside here isn’t the bike – it’s the method of sale. Many people will still be afraid to trust a crowdfunding method of selling, despite it becoming one of the most common strategies for launching new personal electric vehicles like e-bikes and e-scooters. While I can vouch for the quality of the bike, it still takes a little leap of faith to pre-order. Tenways claims they will ship as early as September and already has photos on the campaign page showing its production in progress, so at least riders won’t have to wait too long to get on their new bikes.
What do you think of the Tenways CGO 600 electric bike? Let us know in the comments section below!
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