Tenways' e-bike debut blends value with style

In the age of electric mobility, the trusty bicycle has played a surprisingly low-key role; scooters seem to grab all the headlines (and app rental dollars). Instead, the e-bike has become the preserve of those that can afford one. A decent conventional bike already costs a bit, so adding a motor understandably only adds to that cost. Enter Tenways, a new player in the e-bike world that’s trying to buck that trend. Its debut model, the CGO 600, is currently available on Indiegogo for around $1,400 and despite its relative affordability, it doesn’t scrimp on features.

© James Trew / Engadget Tenways CGO 600 e-bike review.

Now, the usual disclaimer: With Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms, there’s always an inherent risk. But Tenways states its production is already underway and given that the review model they sent appears to be full and final hardware we were somewhat assured that things are ready to go.

The CGO 600 is clearly a city bike with its thinner tires and classic diamond frame. It’s powered by a 250W battery which is discreetly hidden in the downtube, to the point where it’s almost impossible to tell that this bike is electric at all. The rear hub motor is visible, but also small enough to not catch the eye. That motor offers a max assistance speed of 15mph in Europe or 20mph in the US which are the maximum allowed in those territories. The claimed range is around 80 miles per charge (though this seems optimistic) and it’s all bundled into a package that weighs around 15 kilograms (around 33 pounds).

© Provided by Engadget

Beyond the key specs, the motor uses a torque sensor for fast, smooth acceleration with three levels of assistance. The bike has no gears, so the motor acts as either regular assist or can be used like gears when going uphill. The brakes are hydraulic for easier maintenance and the carbon belt transmission should mean no oily fingers or pit stops to set it back in place. The CGO 600 can be fully charged in about 2.5 hours, and there’s a small LCD display that acts as an onboard trip computer and power button.

I won’t lie, the specs were pretty impressive at this price point, but what initially drew me to the CGO 600 was the understated design. While it looks great in all the five colorways, there’s something about the black and green model that looks stealthy. The fact that it doesn’t scream “e-bike” makes it feel less of a lure for thieves and just all round makes for an attractive object. In many ways it reminds me of the Cowboy (€1,990 or roughly $2,198) but with a little less aggressively modern design.

Your first task will be putting the bike together, but it’s not too much of a challenge and I was all set and done in less than an hour with a tea break and work interruptions along the way. Once you have it together, you can download the companion app if you wish (it’s not essential unlike on the Cowboy) and get out there on the road.

There are two frame sizes on offer are 50cm (19 inch) and 54cm (21 inch) with no step-through option if that’s your preference or if the available sizes are too big for you. I’m a fairly average height and find the 50cm version I tested to be comfortable. The riding position is a little forward-leaning, but not in a way that bothered me.

© Provided by Engadget

The very first thing you’ll notice is both how fast to engage and how smooth the motor is. When at a standstill at stoplights, it only takes a fraction of a second for the assistance to kick in. It’s smooth enough that it’s not jarring but powerful enough for you to instantly feel the benefit. Once you’re up to speed, it sometimes feels like the assistance isn’t really helping as much, but you only have to turn it off and have the bike in manual mode for a few seconds before your thighs remind you you’re running on your own steam.

It’s when you’re going uphill that you’ll really feel the benefit. The torque sensor means that the amount of assistance immediately responds to the intensity of the ascent. I found that even on fairly steep inclines I didn’t need to get up off the saddle; just fire up the highest level of power and work the pedals.

The torque sensor is also magnetic rather than pressure-based, meaning you can happily ride the CGO 600 entirely on your own leg power without any resistance or burden from the motor. This is great if you’re worried about it being less useful if the battery runs out.

About that: Tenways’ claim of 80 miles of assistance per charge is hard to gauge. I certainly haven’t ridden 80 miles on it yet. But on one full charge I’ve covered just over 22 with 58-percent battery remaining. On a crude calculation, that means I am on track for about 45/50 miles on a single charge. That’s much less than the advertised 80, but I also really enjoy the full power assist, so if you only rode on level one, you’d likely eke more miles out of it. Either way, 50 miles or so would cover a 5-mile commute back and forth over a week without charging.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s no throttle mode here. That’s fairly typical of e-bikes in this style, but in case you were hoping for it, now you know. That said, if you press and hold the down button on the odometer, the bike will creep along on its motor, but it’s only about three miles an hour, so more of a gentle start or a lane splitter’s tool than anything like a motorbike mode.

© Provided by Engadget

In keeping with the stealthy looks, that motor makes nary a sound. It’s not entirely silent, but certainly you’re not going to hear it while riding around town. I love that the hub motor is barely visible and that the battery is so well hidden. Though, of course, that does mean there’s no option to buy spares/swap them out. But it also means you can breeze past serious cyclists on their racers while barely breaking a sweat and enjoy their curious glances as you do so.

One last comment on how it rides: It’s definitely not an off-road bike. That is fairly obvious from the design, but worth mentioning. The CGO 600 lives for asphalt. I took it over some less friendly terrains (potholes, gravel and a decked pathway) and while it handled it all fine, the suspension is pretty hard so you’ll feel every teeth-clattering bump.

The onboard computer is useful but simple. The default screen has everything you need to know at a glance (speed/battery/distance etc.). Then there are sub-screens that are accessible with a tap for more detailed information like average speed and range. This is also where you can add some security via a passcode for the motor. This obviously doesn’t prevent someone stealing your bike, but it’s a small deterrent perhaps?

© Provided by Engadget

At only 15kg, the CGO 600 is definitely one of the lighter e-bikes in this style. Lighter than both the Cowboy (16kg) and the VanMoof Electrified S2 (19kg, $2,298). This makes it a more manageable option if you need to lug it up stairs or, like me, man-handle it into an elevator each time you want to head out. It also makes manual mode a little easier on the legs should you prefer to go on human power (or if the battery runs out).

On a more practical note, Tenways included an integrated front light that’s bright enough for those darker sections of your nighttime city commute. How it fares in more rural settings is likely a different matter. There’s also a rear light included, but it’s an accessory you attach with its own battery, so something you’ll need to check regularly if you don’t want to get caught out.

The humble city e-bike has evolved greatly in the last few years, but still needs a little push to bring it into the mainstream as a viable commuting option. Companies like Cowboy, VanMoof and Brompton have been chipping away at the remaining resistance points and now Tenways is here to show you can take most of the features from those models and package them in a more pocket-friendly way. The $1,400 price will likely go up once the Indiegogo campaign ends, but expect it to remain competitive even at retail prices.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Twist in the search for Cleo Smith, 4, who vanished from WA campsite

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A desperate search to find a little girl who vanished 24 hours ago from her family’s tent has taken an alarming turn as police ... Read more »

Nine closes in on $600m NRL TV rights deal

Media giant Nine Entertainment Co could pay up to $600 million over five years to the NRL under a deal that would return the value of the broadcast rights for ... Read more »

Valorant: How To Play With a Controller Complete Guide

Valorant is one of the fastest-growing FPS shooters on PC that focuses on using a mouse and keyboard, but can you use a controller to play the game? © GiveMeSport ... Read more »

French fishermen threaten Channel blockade as Macron snubbed by EU countries

Fishermen gut freshly caught fish aboard fishing boat ‘About Time’ while trawling in the English Channel from the Port of Newhaven, East Sussex, U.K – Jason Alden /Bloomberg France’s failure ... Read more »

Robert Webb Labels Strictly Come Dancing ‘Brutal' And ‘Weird': ‘I Was Almost Weeping As It Is So Intense'

Robert Webb labelled Strictly Come Dancing “brutal” and “weird” just a week before he quit the BBC dance show due to health concerns. On Wednesday, the Peep Show star announced ... Read more »

Adam Peaty's girlfriend reacts to Strictly star's ‘almost kiss' with dance partner Katya Jones

The girlfriend of Strictly Come Dancing star Adam Peaty has shared her reaction after he and dance partner Katya Jones supposedly “almost kissed” after their performance last night (Saturday 16 ... Read more »

Usman Khawaja scores big Sheffield Shield century for Queensland against South Australia

A ton of defiance from Usman Khawaja has inspired a remarkable Queensland revival in their Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia, just as Australia is looking for an opener for ... Read more »

Why I won't use iPhone 13's MagSafe wallet, even though it's better than ever

There’s nothing more frustrating than misplacing an item; whether it’s the TV remote, your house keys, or your wallet. Spending time searching for the item, or worse, forking out to ... Read more »

We could get a Nothing phone from ex-OnePlus co-founder in 2022

When Carl Pei left the OnePlus company he co-founded, the talk was that a phone would eventually emerge out of his new project – and that now seems likelier than ... Read more »

Nationals seek further climate plan detail

The Nationals have asked for more details on a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, following a passionate four-hour meeting in Canberra. © Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS Barnaby Joyce ... Read more »

China's tech regulator says scrutiny of internet industry to deepen as targeted six-month campaign continues

China’s industry regulator plans to deepen scrutiny of the internet industry as it moves into the second half of a six-month campaign launched in July, the agency’s minister told Chinese ... Read more »

What you can do in NSW from tomorrow now we've hit 80 per cent

New South Wales has ticked over the long-awaited 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccine target, unlocking a new set of freedoms from tomorrow. These include changes to how many people you ... Read more »

Female directors wait longer than men for their big break, report reveals

Television documentary teams in Britain today are full of ambitious and capable women but most of them have to wait much longer than their male colleagues to become directors and ... Read more »

Eddie Redmayne 'loved' being at home during lockdown

Eddie Redmayne learned to grow vegetables during lockdown. © Bang Showbiz Eddie Redmayne The ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ actor “loved” spending more time at home with his ... Read more »

Mum, 25, with terminal skin cancer reveals heartbreaking discovery

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A terminally ill mother who went home to Ireland after she was given months to live says she has been ‘robbed’ by its ... Read more »

Solar panels, hydrogen and wireless charging – Kia has big plans for its EV future

Kia’s electric car portfolio is already pretty strong, with the Soul EV, the eNiro and the new EV6 now available, but the South Korean firm isn’t resting on its laurels. ... Read more »

Can sugarcane shoes help you recover from a marathon? We put them to the test

There’s been a recent surge in popularity of eco-friendly running shoes, with brands including Reebok, Salomon and Brooks all launching shoes made from sustainable and recycled materials. Meanwhile Allbirds – ... Read more »

Nationals fail to land on climate position during marathon meeting as Barnaby Joyce warns party will not be bullied

© Provided by ABC NEWS Barnaby Joyce said the meeting was an opportunity for Nationals colleagues to air the concerns of people in their electorates.  (ABC News: Ian Cutmore) The ... Read more »

Two charged over Sunshine Coast stabbing

A man will face court tomorrow following an assault that left three people with multiple stab wounds on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. © Tracey Nearmy/AAP PHOTOS Queensland police have charged two ... Read more »

Sydneysiders scramble to book flights before November 1 opening date

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Thousands of holiday-hungry Australians raced to book an overseas holiday after NSW announced it would reopen its international border on November 1.   Vaccinated ... Read more »

French ambassador returns to Australia after submarine snub

The French ambassador to Australia has arrived in Sydney, returning weeks after being called back to Paris. Jean-Pierre Thebault landed on Sunday afternoon saying he was “happy to be back” ... Read more »

Shirley Ballas books doctor's appointment after concerned Strictly Come Dancing viewers spot ‘lumps' in her armpit

Shirley Ballas has informed fans she has booked a doctor’s appointment after several Strictly Come Dancing viewers raised concern over “lumps” they’d noticed in her armpit. The head judge, 61, ... Read more »

Yeah Adam Peaty's Girlfriend Noticed Him ‘Almost Kissing' His Strictly Partner Katya Jones After Their Argentine Tango Too

Adam Peaty impressed with his Argentine Tango on Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing, but it was the very end of the dance that had everyone talking. As the Olympic swimmer ... Read more »

Matt Hancock loses UN job just four days after his appointment

Matt Hancock pictured in London earlier this year – Mega Matt Hancock has lost his new job at the United Nations just four days after being appointed, following outrage from ... Read more »

New partners and babies on the way. The Married at First Sight cast: Where are they now?

Married At First Sight had us glued to our TV screens for the better part of 2021. © Getty Images New partners and babies on the way. The Married at ... Read more »

Black Friday mattress deals 2021: early sales and our predictions

Black Friday is an excellent time of year to save money on a mattress. Big price drops, extra free gifts, and more offers to choose between than usual make November ... Read more »

Berejiklian ICAC hearings set to begin weeks after shock resignation

Two weeks since her sudden resignation as premier and a year after she first revealed her years-long secret relationship with a disgraced former MP, a corruption inquiry is this week ... Read more »

Countdown on for S. Korea‘s self-developed satellite launcher Nuri

A model of South Korea’s homegrown space rocket Nuri is connected to a launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung. (KARI)South Korea will test its first domestically-developed satellite ... Read more »

Life as a 'foreign agent': Inside Russia's crackdown on free speech

Instead of overt brutality, this latest campaign is being waged quietly with a vague legal tool: a law regulating the activities of so-called foreign agents. Read more »

Joyce expects colleagues to reject deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce expects his colleagues to reject the idea of making deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 despite support within the government for stronger action on ... Read more »

Shane Warne vows to make Melbourne 'great again'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Australian cricketing icon Shane Warne has vowed to make Melbourne ‘great again’ after months of harsh lockdowns. Taking to Twitter on Saturday, the ... Read more »

Australia to allows flights from New Zealand's South Island

Quarantine-free flights between Australia and New Zealand‘s South Island are set to resume from Tuesday. Meanwhile, Australians remain unable to freely travel to and from New Zealand‘s North Island. Australia’s ... Read more »

Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Mill Valley Film Festival

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dakota Johnson were spotted posing for a few photos while attending a screening of The Lost Daughter at the Mill ... Read more »

Casualty wasn't on air this weekend, explained

Photo credit: BBC Casualty spoilers follow. Casualty did not air its latest episode as planned this weekend, as the BBC pulled Saturday's new episode from the schedules due to tragic ... Read more »

Daniel Craig appears as surprise guest alongside Rami Malek on SNL

Daniel Craig appears as surprise guest alongside Rami Malek on SNL Daniel Craig made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live tonight (October 17). Craig appeared alongside his No Time ... Read more »

Billy Connolly: ‘It might be lovely on the other side'

A fostered-off schoolboy going nowhere fast, turned apprentice welder on the Clyde. A welder turned regionally popular musician. A musician turned nationally popular comic. A comic turned Hollywood actor and ... Read more »

How to watch T20 World Cup 2021: live stream online from anywhere

India vs Pakistan, Australia vs South Africa, and a repeat of the 2016 final are just a snapshot of what we’ve got to look forward to before we even get ... Read more »

S. Korea's car production drops in Q3 on global chip shortage

An assembly line at GM Korea’s factory Bupyeong, Incheon. (GM Korea)South Korea’s car production in the third quarter this year dropped, marking the lowest level since the 2008 global financial ... Read more »

Amazon puts its own “brands” first above better-rated products

It took Robert Gomez about five months to get his Kaffe coffee grinder to the big leagues in e-commerce: among the first three search results for “coffee grinder” on Amazon.com. ... Read more »

Hyundai Motor aims to produce its own semiconductors

Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp. headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group By Kim Hyun-bin Hyundai Motor Group is taking steps to advance beyond its traditional strength of ... Read more »