- A sturdy low-speed electric scooter, technically classified as an electric bicycle thanks to the pedals, 20 mph top speed and 750 watt motor
- Long comfort saddle can accommodate two riders (fold down pegs for a passenger at the rear), rear cargo rack and optional box for hauling gear
- Smooth quiet motor, variable speed twist throttle activation, full suspension (though it's a bit stiff and bouncy), utilitarian fenders, LED lights, turn signals and a horn
- Heavy steel frame and Lead Acid batteries make this bike less enjoyable to pedal around... I'd probably use the throttle most of the time, kickstand can rattle a bit when riding
The GigaByke Groove packs a lot of features and style into light electric scooter that costs under $1,500. You get LED lights with brights and brake activation, turn signals, a horn, backlit LCD display (with speedometer, battery charge level and odometer) and there’s even room for a passenger on the long saddle thanks to fold-down pegs. Technically this thing is classified as a low speed electric bike and can be ridden without a license or insurance but you’ll want to stick to the bike lane or side of roads given the ~18 mph top speed. While it does have pedals and they are geared low to move the weight of the bike, there is only one gear and the short four inch crank arms and basic plastic pedals weren’t much fun to use.
Powering the bike is a pack of four 12 volt 14 amp hour Sealed Lead Acid batteries configured in a funky angular pack that fits under the saddle. I love that the pack is removable to reduce weight (by about 41.5 lbs) and that you can charge it on or off the bike. I wouldn’t expect nearly the same number of charge cycles or range as an equivalent Lithium based battery but those cost a lot more… you can replace the pack on the GigaBike Groove for just $400… along with the plastic accents, the motor, turn signals and other hardware. This is a huge selling point for me, along with the year long warranty, because very few other electric scooters offer this high level of support.
Despite the seemingly large 750 watt motor rating this thing isn’t especially zippy or powerful. It will reach 18 mph but takes some time, this seems to be an intentional choice to help conserve battery but could hinder heavy riders or those with large hills to overcome… Consider pedaling along at starts to extend range and ramp up speed faster. In cases where you are climbing the top speed can drop way down to ~7 mph. The bike moved Sam pretty effectively and he weighs ~260 lbs but we were in a smooth flat parking lot. Gearless motors tend to be very durable but weigh a bit more, this one did not appear to have any sort of regenerative braking but produced a bit of cogging drag (just like most gearless designs) that add another level of difficulty to the already lackluster pedaling situation. Don’t get me wrong, this is the case with most electric scooters, just don’t expect to pedal home and try to keep your trips under 20 miles which would be my safe estimate for range.
All things considered, I really enjoyed the GigaByke Groove electric scooter and love that the company is based in Southern California where they can provide support. You can have the bike shipped and even find it on Amazon but the in-shop experience is great because you can test ride it. Without the replaceable battery option, extra parts and fun colors I would be hesitant to go with something like this and would still check into local motorcycle or scooter shops for help with repairs and maintenance because I don’t have the strength or toolset to deal with scooter tires etc. the way I do with bicycles. For someone who wants to cruise to class or get around town easily without a license this thing would do a great job. I love the built in steering column lock (turn to one side then twist the key one extra click to the left) as well as the dual kickstand design for stability loading vs. convenience at a quick stop. It sounds like when these bikes are shipped there is more potential for broken fenders, lights or damaged batteries as described in this other review by AuthenTech but apparently the company helped fix the issues quickly and efficiently :)
- I love the extra bright 30 LED headlight, brake light (that gets brighter when you apply either brake) and turn signals front and rear… apparently they are not DOT approved but they still make you easier to see since this would likely be ridden on shoulder areas of streets or slower neighborhood streets
- At under $1,500 it’s pretty amazing to get a bike with lights, fenders, mirrors and such a sturdy build with front and rear suspension
- Nice little display console with backlighting for nighttime rides, your speed is easy to read along with six bars for battery charge lever and an odometer, brights and turn signal icons
- There are fold-down foot pegs and the saddle is extra long so you could possibly fit a second passenger on this bike… also, a little chrome rack behind the saddle could be used for mounting a cargo box or possibly a back rest
- Large 3″ tires are comfortable and durable, they pair nicely with the suspension for improved ride quality (though they felt a little stiff for me at just $135 lbs)
- Both wheels have rigid rims vs. spokes so they can handle more weight and won’t need to be trued or adjusted as much over time
- I like the little windshield faring on the front, it protects the display but isn’t tall enough to shield your face so consider glasses or goggles
- Awesome double-leg kickstand with leverage bar to engage (step down on the bar to lift the bike up into the stand) as well as a single side stand that is quick and easy to use
- Available in a sizeable range of fun colors including white, green, blue, yellow and red
- There’s a built in steering-column lock to prevent theft! just turn the handlebars to one side then twist the key one extra click to the left then pull them out, this quick lock combined with the heavy weight and sturdier build of the bike mean you can secure it without extra locks and cables for short periods in relatively safe locations
- The battery is removable and at ~41.5 pounds I’d probably take it out if I were transporting the bike, it also has a replaceable fuse and can be charged on or off the bike
- The GigaByke website lists additional battery packs for $400 along with other replacements like motors, different colored plastic accent pieces, chargers, turn signals, ignition parts etc. which is a huge deal compared with some of the other low speed electric mopeds I’ve seen being imported
- Apparently the company that built this used to be connected with Spooky Tooth motorized cycles (back in 2006) so they have a good knowledge of the industry and track record, Sam mentioned that the scooter resembles the E-Road and may be rebranded with improved support, colors and accessories?
- Pretty solid one year warranty, sold locally in Southern California along with those accessories mentioned earlier
- It rides smooth and quiet, actually the starts are maybe smoother and less zippy than I’d prefer but that makes it feel safe and under control
- Sam said he felt like his legs and knees have more room on the GigaBike Groove than a Honda Ruckus and considering he’s ~6’2″ that’s pretty impressive
- Weighing in at 148 lbs and with just one gear this is not an electric bike that’s fun to pedal without power, in fact I think I’d rather walk it… this makes the pedals and short 4″ crank arms seems extraneous (also, they don’t fold out of the way)
- The rear drum brake is mechanical and requires more hand strength to activate and just doesn’t stop as well as the front disc brake which is hydraulic
- The center stand bounces a bit when riding producing a clink rattling noise, otherwise the fenders and motor are pretty quiet
- The suspension feels stiff and a little bouncy, it might benefit from some sort of rebound adjustment but overall works fine
- Because of the weight and different tires, rims and suspension on this thing you might need to take it to a motorcycle or scooter shop vs. a bicycle shop, it shouldn’t need much work but consider this point if you don’t live near any shops