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Good: Insanely high-tech, fun and intuitive. Bad: Costs as much as a used Corolla. Check Latest Price
Weary of quarantine and wary of any enclosed form of shared transportation, America turned to bikes in a big way last year. In the same way demand for things like video games, camping tents and inflatable pools from a suddenly homebound population led to supply crunches from those manufacturers, bicycle makers struggled to keep up. It was a good problem to have if you were slinging two-wheelers—but the weeks or months-long wait times were torture for budding cyclists.
Before last summer, that wouldn’t have mattered to me. The bicycle shortage would’ve been just another footnote on the hellscroll that will tell the story of 2020 to future generations. But suddenly, years and years since I last enjoyed hopping on a bike, I could count myself among the budding cyclists that got their start while being locked away from anything remotely resembling social interaction. It wasn’t just any old bike that did it for me. It was a bicycle designed by electric supercar genius Mate Rimac.
Our Initial Reaction of the Greyp G6
My review unit was toted to my door by a wonderfully friendly rep from Greyp, who helped me pair my iPhone and get used to the seat, shifter, and battery charging system. The bikes can be purchased at a handful of shops across the U.S., so it’s likely you’ll have some help getting started as well, though that might vary from place to place.
The first thing that the G6 brings to the table is visual appeal. Man, standing a few feet away from this thing, it just looks expensive and advanced. Riding on chunky mountain bike tires, this is one serious bike, and the weight backs that up. Expensive things are always heavy, right?
Getting After It With the Greyp G6
The Greyp G6 is a marvel from a technology standpoint, so much so that its incredible hardware is almost a sideshow to the main event. It’s one of the few examples of a product that was reimagined in a tech-forward manner that is able to offer a completely new experience without sacrificing its original soul and functionality.
Almost everything with the G6 starts with a smartphone connection. Greyp says the bike can connect with either an Apple or Android device, but there were some hiccups with the firmware my bike was running that made it difficult to pair and use with my iPhone. That left me with the bike’s built-in display, which is more than fine, but it’s not as pretty or interactive as the smartphone. I was able to get a demo with a smartphone connected and have to say that the degree of control over the bike is impressive. The bike uses Wi-Fi to connect to its owner’s device, and can allow its owner to remotely disable, track or shut it off. When the G6 is in motion, the connected smartphone can be anchored on top of the built-in display to act as a speedometer, GPS mapping system, and health tracker if the included heart rate monitor is in use. Connecting to the bike requires users to rename their smartphones, so be prepared to have your iPhone forever be known as something like “GREYPG6” if you own this bike.
Even without all of that, the G6’s default display can offer most of the same information, just in old-school black and white. The display is easy to read in all but the brightest direct sunlight and has all of the information needed to operate the bike. In motion, the rider’s speed, power assist level, battery charge, the current time, and more show up on the display. It doesn’t look as nice as a smartphone display, but it gets the job done.
Greyp also partnered with T-Mobile as its connectivity provider, which means that the bike can be located almost anywhere, and can connect to other Greyp bikes for challenges, games, and to play pranks on other riders. Greyp showed a demo of two riders racing and one cutting power to the other’s bike to get an edge. Like Mario Kart, but in real life and without those annoying red turtle shells. That connection with other bikes adds a layer of engagement that a normal bicycle or even ebike can’t. In a practical sense, connectivity gives Greyp riders an intimate, always-on method for tracking their own performance metrics. The bike’s on-board processing works with the rider’s heart rate monitor to adjust its power inputs and can even adjust intensity to match a workout plan, which keeps the rider’s heart rate within a defined range for maximum fitness impact.
As it turns out, having the electric car gurus Rimac as corporate siblings is a great thing for advanced battery tech. The bright yellow, 36V, 700Wh battery has a mounting point in the lower part of the G6, and can be quickly swapped out during rides for extended range. It can charge smartphones and other devices with an on-board USB port and easily powers the G6’s extensive array of cameras and sensors. The big downside here is that the battery isn’t lockable to the bike’s frame, which could lead to an expensive theft down the road.
Charging the G6’s 36V, 700Wh lithium-ion battery can be done in one of two ways. The battery can be left attached to the bike and plugged in to a wall outlet nearby, or it can be removed from the bike and charged separately in a cradle. The bike’s range of 60-80 miles during normal riding conditions means that you’ll be able to ride for quite a while before charging. If the battery does run dry on a ride, the G6 effectively becomes a normal bike, albeit a very heavy one. All of the gears and normal “bike things” continue to function as expected.
If you took the Greyp G6 and stripped off all of the tech goodies, you’d still have one hell of a capable mountain bike. That’s due to a host of high-end components that Greyp gathered from around the cycling world. Front and rear shocks come from Rock Shox, with a Yari 27.5-inch Boost Debonair fork up front and a Monarch RT 216×83 suspension setup in back. Black Jack Ready wheels with Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance Line tires and Foruma Cura brakes round out the bike’s moving parts. The G6 isn’t a fat tire bike, but the Nobby Nick tires are chunky enough to land in between them and a standard tire. There’s enough rubber to make it quite soft on the road, to the point that the rear shock can be locked out completely with no hit to ride comfort.
What this does is create a friendly, flexible bike that is nowhere near as intimidating to ride as it is to look at. The big tires and full suspension give riders the ability to cruise with shocks disabled, or to open up the dampers and bomb downhill easily and without needing a full tool kit. The myriad of gears and ride settings makes the G6 capable of being a hardcore trail rider or a comfortable street cruiser without much in the way of adjustments needed in between. The hydraulic adjustments for the seat are convenient and can quickly raise the height with a press of a button on the handlebars. An integrated headlight and taillight improve visibility at night, but more importantly they improve everyone else’s view of the bike. They can both be controlled with a button on the handlebars or through the smartphone app.
That literal boatload of advanced hardware is put together in a way that feels cohesive and well thought-out. Each of the individual pieces are impressive on their own, but they play well together in the G6. That said, some of the third-party components caused bugs. The seat’s hydraulic line came unhooked at some point, which locked out the seat in its lowest position. The tires, while majestic in their knobby almost-fatness, are tubeless and can be difficult to work with.
The Electric Assist
My first foray into electric bikes happened last year on a Magnum Mi5. That bike has an on-demand throttle that can take over for pedaling altogether. The Greyp G6 doesn’t have that option, which the company tells me is in an effort to keep it road legal as a bicycle in all 50 states. Greyp makes up for that with a power-assist function that uses the bike’s gear, the 460-watt motor’s power setting, the rider’s heart rate (if the monitor is in use), and the user’s level of effort to determine how much power to apply when the pedal is turned. That sounds complicated, but in practice it’s a lifesaver. An inexperienced rider with a questionable physical fitness routine such as myself can get on the Greyp G6 and pedal off onto a trail without worrying about hills and climbs.
The fact that it’s pedal assist and not throttle-powered gives the G6 a completely foreign riding experience compared to any standard bike or even other ebikes. Instead of a wave of power or smooth acceleration, the bike surges forward with every pedal rotation. It’s an interesting sensation, and one that is unexpected at first. The bike’s big tires and weight work against the electric motor, which slows things down in between pedal presses and works to accentuate the surges of acceleration.
On the road, setting the bike’s power level to max and gearing it for higher speeds can get things going fast enough to seriously irritate your neighbors and, in my neighborhood, break the speed limit. It can be a little unnerving to be able to pace cars on the road, especially with the knobby tires whirring away on the pavement. That said, the G6 is perfectly comfortable cruising around at low speeds and made an excellent companion for neighborhood laps with my kids.
What’s Dope About The Greyp G6
Even if you think they’s somehow killing the sport or are “impure,” it’s impossible to say that electric bikes aren’t cool. The G6 doesn’t have a standalone throttle, and there’s a lot to learn, but the sensation of hitting 25 mph on a mountain bike with little more than a few strong rotations of the pedals can’t be beat.
The tech behind Greyp bikes is also a major selling point. Gaming against other riders and competing with yourself makes the G6 more than another bike. It becomes part of a riding lifestyle, which isn’t something I thought I’d end up liking, but the whole experience left me wanting to get a Greyp so that I could keep up with riding.
What’s Not About The Greyp G6
No matter how cool the bike, there’s no way around the price tag. Nine grand is car money, and even though the G6 carries more tech than cars did up until a few years ago, that much money for a bike is a tough sell.
It’s also important to note that, even though I was riding a pre-production model, the smartphone connectivity features were spotty at best. Like using a phone while driving, it’s hard to be an attentive rider while fiddling with a screen.
Our Verdict On the Greyp G6
The G6 is a lot. It’s a lot of bike, it’s a lot of tech, and most of all it’s a lot of money. For a new rider like myself, it’s an intimidating thing to have such a heavy, expensive bike. My guess is that most people will feel the same. The tech side of the G6 is impressive, and as someone who rushes out to buy the latest “thing” as soon as it hits the market, it indulges my early adopter mentality. That said, this probably shouldn’t be viewed as a beginner bike, even if that beginner can afford to wreck and replace it.
At the risk of falling off of too tall a soapbox, I have to say that I’ve got mixed emotions about the Greyp. On one hand, it’s undeniably one of the coolest outdoor fitness gadgets around. On the other hand, there’s no way I can recommend a $9,000 ebike to anyone but the most dedicated and perhaps well-heeled bikers out there. As a beginner, the Greyp lured me to buy a normal mountain bike – a Trek – and at the end of the day I had more fun tooling around the neighborhood with my kids and pedaling down trails the old-fashioned way. But if you’ve got the money and want a bike that can pick up the slack when your legs need a break, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more capable bike than the G6.
- Base Price (as Tested): $7,999 ($8,999)
- Powertrain: Human | 460W electric motor and a 36V, 700Wh lithium ion battery with OTA updatability
- Range: 60-80 miles
FAQs About The Greyp G6
You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers!
Q. Is The Greyp G6 The Best Electric Bike?
A. Define “best.” That word’s definition is going to look different, depending on what you’re hoping to get out of the bike. Want a teched-out cruiser with neat connectivity features? Go for the Greyp. Want a utility bike with workhorse hauling power? There are better choices.
Q. What’s The Range Of An Electric Bike?
A. Most electric bikes have a range somewhere between 40 and 100 miles, though it’s important to note that range is impacted by many factors, including riding intensity, temperature, and load.
Q. Do Electric Bikes Use Regenerative Braking?
A. The Greyp G6 doesn’t, and the tech overall is still a novelty in the electric bike world.
Q. How Fast Can I Go On An Electric Bike?
A. This will vary from brand to brand. The G6 isn’t designed for all-out speed, though it’s possible to reach into the mid-20mph range. Some electric bikes are able to travel nearly 30 mph.
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