Bicycles

Review: The Greyp G6.1 is a techno-warship of an ebike

Review: The Greyp G6.1 is a te...
The Greyp 6.1 is an enduro-style off-road ebike with a ton of smarts built in
The Greyp 6.1 is an enduro-style off-road ebike with a ton of smarts built in
View 20 Images
Camera mode gives you thumb-button access to forward or rear video recording, and lets you use the rear camera as a rear-view camera
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Camera mode gives you thumb-button access to forward or rear video recording, and lets you use the rear camera as a rear-view camera
The "potato" shows you how far you can ride on your remaining charge at the power level you've chosen. It uses NASA-supplied topographical data to take hills into account in its calculations
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The "potato" shows you how far you can ride on your remaining charge at the power level you've chosen. It uses NASA-supplied topographical data to take hills into account in its calculations
Underneath the phone mount lives a basic dash that works just fine in everyday riding
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Underneath the phone mount lives a basic dash that works just fine in everyday riding
Rockshox Debonair fork is air-adjustable to suit rider weight
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Rockshox Debonair fork is air-adjustable to suit rider weight
The Grep G6.1 is quite a looker
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The Grep G6.1 is quite a looker
Greyp is launching its e-mountain bikes in the US
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Greyp is launching its e-mountain bikes in the US
This is a $429 rear cassette, made from case-hardened tool steel specifically to take
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This is a $429 SRAM XG-899 rear cassette, made from case-hardened tool steel specifically to take the abuse from a high-torque ebike mid-drive system. Shifting and power transmission on this bike is exemplary
The motor, from Taiwanese manufacturer MPF, is extremely torquey and quiet. It should be extremely reliable thanks to full metal gearing, and Greyp has done an outstanding job tuning the power delivery
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The motor, from Taiwanese manufacturer MPF, is extremely torquey and quiet. It should be extremely reliable thanks to full metal gearing, and Greyp has done an outstanding job tuning the power delivery
Adjustable damping on the Rockshox front fork
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Adjustable damping on the Rockshox front fork
Rear view camera and integrated tail light – sits right where you want to pick the bike up by the seat
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Rear view camera and integrated tail light – sits right where you want to pick the bike up by the seat
KS Shock 100 mm dropper seat post
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KS Shock 100 mm dropper seat post
SRAM EX1 drive componentry is brilliant
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SRAM EX1 drive componentry is brilliant
Schwalbe Nobby Nic fat tires offer great off-road grip and bump cushioning, but are a bit noisy on the road
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Schwalbe Nobby Nic fat tires offer great off-road grip and bump cushioning, but are a bit noisy on the road
Turn-by-turn navigation with voice control works nicely if you stick to the roads
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Turn-by-turn navigation with voice control works nicely if you stick to the roads
Thumb trigger shift and dropper post lever
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Thumb trigger shift and dropper post lever
Lurid yellow battery pack is compact and easily removable for charging. Perhaps a little too easy, since there's no lock, just a lever tab holding the battery in the frame
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Lurid yellow battery pack is compact and easily removable for charging. Perhaps a little too easy, since there's no lock, just a lever tab holding the battery in the frame
Front lighting and camera unit is well positioned, but it's not a sufficient headlight for night riding
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Front lighting and camera unit is well positioned, but it's not a sufficient headlight for night riding
The Greyp 6.1 is an enduro-style off-road ebike with a ton of smarts built in
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The Greyp 6.1 is an enduro-style off-road ebike with a ton of smarts built in
A plastic bashplate protects the motor from dings; this bike loves being thrashed off-road
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A plastic bashplate protects the motor from dings; this bike loves being thrashed off-road
Left switchgear includes power assist buttons (taped up here, but these are not the final production switches), as well as the thumb joystick/button you'll use to navigate the menus
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Left switchgear includes power assist buttons (taped up here, but these are not the final production switches), as well as the thumb joystick/button you'll use to navigate the menus
View gallery - 20 images

Croatian company Greyp (pronounced "grape") is a "sister company" to Rimac Automobili, which you may know as an ultra-high performance electric hypercar manufacturer. Rimac makes some of the world's most extreme cars, and has leveraged its expertise into becoming a supplier to other car companies looking to make powerful, quick electrics.

Greyp, which has been active in Europe for several years now and has just launched online sales and retail partnerships in the USA, has similar aspirations. These guys don't just want to build outstanding ebikes; they want to push things forward with technological innovations that they can spin out and sell to other ebike manufacturers. So, as much as being bicycles, these things are technology showcases.

Thus, the Greyp 6.1 I've been riding this week has every bell and whistle known to man. If you don't like jingling and tooting, this is resolutely not the bike for you. Mind you, the basic bike package – before anything starts getting all connective and artificially intelligent – is pretty incredible to begin with, so let's start there.

The Greyp 6.1 as a bicycle

The frame is custom, a carbon composite enduro-style off-road body, and it's designed to look as electric as possible. The opposite to any kind of stealth design, this thing screams its electric credentials with a lurid, yellow, 700 watt-hour battery module slung up the middle of the frame rather than being integrated into any downtubes or hidden away at all.

Lurid yellow battery pack is compact and easily removable for charging. Perhaps a little too easy, since there's no lock, just a lever tab holding the battery in the frame
Lurid yellow battery pack is compact and easily removable for charging. Perhaps a little too easy, since there's no lock, just a lever tab holding the battery in the frame

It's a dual-suspension frame, with meaty RockShox air suspension at both ends. Power is supplied by a third-party mid-drive motor from Taiwan's MPF, either a 460-watt version, or in the case of this Euro/Australian street-legal version, a 250-watt unit. But it's one of the gruntiest 250s I've slung a leg over, making some 90 Nm (66 lb.ft) of torque. That's well ahead of the top-of the line Bosch Performance Line CX at 75 Nm (55 lb.ft), which itself is a terrific motor.

Power transmission is handled via SRAM's excellent ebike-specific EX1 components, including an 8-speed trigger shift and a monster rear cassette built from case-hardened tool steel. Brakes are Formula Cura disc units, wheels are 27.5-inch Blackjacks, and the tires are Schwalbe Nobby Nics, nearly as big, fat and knobby as the front hoop on a dirtbike.

This is a $429 rear cassette, made from case-hardened tool steel specifically to take
This is a $429 SRAM XG-899 rear cassette, made from case-hardened tool steel specifically to take the abuse from a high-torque ebike mid-drive system. Shifting and power transmission on this bike is exemplary

There's a dropper seat post that lets you push the seat down and out of the way if you're doing a bunch of technical standy-uppy business, and then pops it back up to full height at the touch of a lever. It's only got 100 mm (3.9 in) of travel, though, due to the frame design, so it's not as far out of the way as others.

Riding the thing

It's a big and intimidating thing to look at, bristling with off-road capabilities far beyond my own and highly conspicuous wherever it goes. But once I'm up on that high seat and going for it, it's comfortable and quick on the road, despite wide bars clearly designed for off-roading.

Greyp spent more than a year working with the Taiwanese motor supplier to design a custom power curve, and the effort has paid off with a butter-smooth torque delivery that reads and reacts to how hard and fast you're pedaling and amplifies your efforts without the kind of conspicuous jerking you can find on some high-power models. Built with all-metal gears inside, it's quiet and strong.

The shifting is exemplary, even though the jumps between ratios on the 8-speed cassette can be wide. At times it shifts so perfectly there's barely an interruption in acceleration. The SRAM gear feels industrial-grade and up to the challenge of handling a powerful mid-drive motor, and that's certainly not something you can say for others.

The motor, from Taiwanese manufacturer MPF, is extremely torquey and quiet. It should be extremely reliable thanks to full metal gearing, and Greyp has done an outstanding job tuning the power delivery
The motor, from Taiwanese manufacturer MPF, is extremely torquey and quiet. It should be extremely reliable thanks to full metal gearing, and Greyp has done an outstanding job tuning the power delivery

The big, fat tires are noisy at speed and definitely add rolling resistance, but in conjunction with the Rockshox suspension they make for a pretty cushy ride, not to mention a feeling of complete invulnerability to obstacles.

Curbs? Not a problem. Jumps? Bring it on. Roots, rocks, small fallen trees, mud, sand and loose gravel are child's play with this setup, and I find myself zig-zagging around looking for more fun stuff to throw it at. It makes light work of a couple of short slopes I'd never have tried on my own, more road-oriented ebike, and all in all I'm hugely impressed by its off-road and soft-road capabilities.

At the highest of five assistance levels, this is a quick and exhilarating bike – right up until the pathetic, Aussie-government-mandated 25 km/h (15.5 mph) soft limiter kicks in. Beyond this speed, you really feel the size of the bike and the drag of the tires. The motor doesn't seem to love it either, making a kind of squelching noise as you push on, and I wonder if that adds drag. Mind you, this is built to be an off-roader, and 25 km/h can feel plenty quick on a trail.

US-market 6.1 bikes assist up to a friendlier 20 mph (32 km/h). There's a 6.3 model that takes that up to a Class 3 28 mph (45 km/h) that's pretty much all I'd be asking for on the bike paths. And it goes without saying, pretty much any ebike can be derestricted with the right combination of nods and winks at your dealer or an aftermarket mod.

All in all, I'm left highly impressed by its capabilities as a bike alone, it's certainly a very capable platform to build on and feels like it's ready to handle all kinds of abuse out in the woods.

Front lighting and camera unit is well positioned, but it's not a sufficient headlight for night riding
Front lighting and camera unit is well positioned, but it's not a sufficient headlight for night riding

The intelligent technology

But the real focus here is on the tech, so let's get into that a bit. The G6 more or less has most of a smartphone built into it, with free 4G internet connectivity in more than 100 countries, gyroscopes, barometric pressure sensors, accelerometers, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a small processor running a custom Linux operating system.

At the headstock and under the back of the seat are a pair of lighting modules with integrated wide-angle 1080p/30fps video cameras. These operate as full-time dash cams, as well as ride-recording action cams and remote snoop cameras if your bike is borrowed or stolen – at the Greyp USA launch party, the top brass shared some amusing stories of how one stolen bike was tracked down using its GPS location, and the Greyp team was able to use these cameras to shoot the thief and his home, giving the local cops a handy evidence package. They were then able to log in and watch live streamed video as the perp was arrested and the bike recovered.

A remote control mode also lets you remote-lock the bike, or send messages to its screen so you can commence your own negotiations with bike thieves before the police get involved.

Rear view camera and integrated tail light – sits right where you want to pick the bike up by the seat
Rear view camera and integrated tail light – sits right where you want to pick the bike up by the seat

The front camera is nicely out of the way at the headstock, but the rear camera under the seat means you can't lift or pull the bike around from there. I never realized how much I do that. It's a lot. The front lights are really more to be seen than to see; you'll need to fit a better front light if you want to do any serious night riding, and that seems like a missed opportunity.

The onboard computer takes a full 35 seconds to boot up when you switch it on. That doesn't sound like a long time, but in effect it means I'm out the gate and halfway up the street before the speedo turns on, the lights come on and the power starts to kick in. And that's with the onboard display, which doesn't give you access to the fun stuff. For that, you'll have to enable a wireless hotspot on your phone, sync it up to the bike and put it in the firm rubberized cradle grip, as well as getting your Bluetooth heart rate monitoring wristband on and connected to the phone too.

Startup is thus a fiddly and drawn-out process, and I've started switching the thing on well before I walk out the door in preparation. Honestly, with so much of this bike's focus dedicated to AI and interactivity, I don't know why Greyp didn't go the whole hog and build the smartphone right in, touchscreen and all. Sticking a phone over the main screen to access all the cool stuff feels weird.

Still, with the phone securely mounted as your new dash, you get access to the full complement of screen modes. Ride Session mode gives you a ton of data about your current ride. Fitness mode interfaces with your heart rate monitor and adjusts the assistance power to keep your heart rate in your desired cardio training zone. It's like a built-in Fitbit with calorie counting, and it's a very fun way to ride.

The "potato" shows you how far you can ride on your remaining charge at the power level you've chosen. It uses NASA-supplied topographical data to take hills into account in its calculations
The "potato" shows you how far you can ride on your remaining charge at the power level you've chosen. It uses NASA-supplied topographical data to take hills into account in its calculations

Terrain Based Range mode shows you the famous "potato," a shape overlaid on your area map to show how far you can ride. Spoiler: it's a long way, around 60 miles (100 km) with that big 700-Wh battery fully charged. Why is the potato so misshapen and jagged? Because Greyp uses NASA-supplied topography data to take account of hills in its range calculations. An excellent way to give riders full confidence in the machine.

Camera mode lets you record from the front or rear cameras, or simply use your dash as a live rear-view camera. Video recordings are stored on your phone. Neither the front nor rear cameras approaches the quality of a late model GoPro – the lenses are fisheye-wide, the dynamic range is ordinary, there's chromatic aberration, chunky video compression and the corners of the camera vision are cut off by the camera housing. The thick bundles of wiring and brake hoses at the front of the bike jiggle around the edges of the picture, and the video codec needs to be put into VLC before I can play it on my Mac.

The sample footage below is long and not that interesting apart from a slightly embarrassed-looking pooping dog around the 1:40 mark; I would've edited it down substantially but Final Cut wouldn't work with it, and my slightly more exciting other clips were all a lot longer.

Greyp 6.1 sample footage (no sound)

That doesn't mean it's terrible; you can really think of this as dashcam-grade vision, but the way it's integrated into the bike is terrific. You've got a simple thumb switch to start and stop recording, and the bike's AI system apparently shoots looping video at all times, and quietly saves videos if it determines you've done something sick, mondo, far out, rad or totally tubular enough to document. Sadly none of my riding appears to have qualified for this honor. I demand a recount.

Navigation mode does exactly what you'd expect, accepting voice commands and giving you turn-by turn directions and a nice map to look at. If you've got earphones in, you can probably hear the audio prompts, too, but they're too quiet to hear at speed coming out of the phone speaker. It doesn't matter, it still works well.

All your rides are logged in excruciating detail, so you can see your progress on common routes or play the data back for your own information. Mind you, and I don't know whether this uses the bike's GPS or the phone's, this image shows you how accurate your ride map tends to look. This data doesn't integrate with other platforms like Strava; it wants to be your Strava instead. Thus, there are apparently social functions that let you train yourself alongside other Greyp riders and compare results. Being antisocial and having no other Greyp-riding friends, I couldn't test this stuff.

The Grep G6.1 is quite a looker
The Grep G6.1 is quite a looker

Conclusions

The Greyp 6.1 is an arresting machine with extraordinary looks. As an off-road ebike, it's far and away the best of the short list I've ridden, with lots of range, lots of torque, and a rock-solid, lightweight, nimble and capable chassis that begs you to find challenges for it.

The intelligent technology side of the bike will strike some people as super handy, others as nice-to-have, and others again as unnecessary bloat. I think I'd fall in the middle category; it's an impressive glimpse into what's becoming possible with smart integrated technology, and I'd find a lot of it handy when riding in unexplored territory. Throw the bike in the back of the car day-trip stuff.

But in daily riding on familiar roads, personally I find the experience is 90 percent as much fun when I leave the phone and the wristband at home and just use the integrated dash. I'd like to see Greyp remove the smartphone from the equation and build all the functionality into a touchscreen module on the bike, relegating the phone app to remote control functions, video playback and going through your stats when you're off the bike. I suspect that's where this kind of tech will get to eventually, and if the technology is to be the heart of this brand, I feel like you shouldn't need to strap a phone onto it to use it.

But as of right now, the Greyp 6.1 is the most advanced and forward-thinking ebike we've seen, and if you're comfortable with a price tag of US$7,999 for this model (things go North from here as suspension and componentry gets fancier and you move into the 460-watt, unlimited speed motors), you can be sure you're packing the latest and greatest smart ebike functionality, with over-the-air automatic software updates bringing you new features as soon as Greyp's got them finished and tested.

It's impressive stuff and a hell of a ride. Check out a short promo video below.

Have A Greyp Day - an introduction to Greyp G6

Source: Greyp USA

View gallery - 20 images
8 comments
nick101
Hmmm, "if you're comfortable with a price tag of US$7,999"! No, not really! I'm looking at a pop-up ad in the corner of this web page advertising a nicely equipped e-bike for $2,000 CDN.
svenne
I think e-bikes are great for people who are, for whatever reason, restricted in their capability of pedaling the whole distance on their own, wherever they are going. Like maybe if you are getting towards the later end of your life. Or, maybe even for commuting if it means that you'll then not use your car. But flippin get real!!! For people looking as healthy as they guys in the vid - an e-bike? Really?!!
JoeBobCat
It's curious to see that there are still people gatekeeping who should/ ought/ may ride an ebike. Traditional road cyclists are a competitive bunch and being left in the dust by someone not working as hard must be awfully painful. The reality is that research has shown that people who ride ebikes get the same health benefits as those who ride regular pushbikes: The tend to ride far more frequently and for far greater distances. I got an ebike 2 years ago and it's been life changing. I really think they will change the urban streetscape as people realize they do so much more with an ebike as with a regular pushbike, they don't encounter the same kind of traffic and parking snarls as cars, are eco-friendly compared to cars and way more fun than anything they have ever ridden before. Manufacturers like Greyp are joining the other few top-tier manufacturers like Stromer to exploit the fact that there is a huge battery within wiring distance. My Stromer has built-in GPS, and similar stories about theft recovery can be found online. There might be a point at which the connectivity becomes more of a hassle or gimmick than it is worth, but connected ebikes are still in their infancy and I'm sure the market will let manufacturers know quickly what they are willing to pay for, what they would prefer to add on themselves, and what simply detracts from the experience. $7K seems like a lot to a lot of people, but serious road cyclists pay similar money for unpowered bikes, and if the money goes to adding functionality rather than weight savings (ebikes don't care much about weight) it seems like a fair tradeoff.

Great article! I always enjoy reading about new ebikes with integrated tech!
BlueOak
Um, Loz, on an $8,000 bike, the fact that the battery isn’t lockable might be a trivial side issue. You won’t be leaving this bike anywhere unattended (even with a lock due to the ease of chopping thru them with 18v portable angle grinders) in public where battery theft would be an issue.
yermadaho
I second JoeBobCat's points and have to add one for svenne's (and others) education. First off, almost no one rides throttle only all or even most of the time. The decrease in range is huge. Now when using pedal-assist, as most people do, the level of exertion can vary greatly depending on whether the bike has a cadence sensor or torque sensor for pedal assist, as well as what the software does with that input. My cargo bike has a cadence sensor. At a given assist level, let's say 3, it will always provide around 425 watts (up to 20 mph) even if I'm turning the cranks just enough for the sensor to read. Not a huge workout unless you push past 20. On the other hand, my BBSHD-equipped fat bike has a torque sensor that actually reduces power as you pedal harder. On this morning's commute, an assist level of 4 out of 9 gave me about 400 watts with low input from me. Pushing past 22 mph, the motor had dropped to about 125 watts. That's not much considering the bike alone is 80 pounds, I'm 200, and my bags are an added 10-15 pounds. The point is, a workout can be had on an e-bike. Especially when you empty the battery before you get home.
Grunchy
I think these e-bikes are going to hurt people - because they don't have chain guards. They eliminated chain guards, fenders, kick stands, and other useful features off of bikes because some racers wanted to trim some grams in order to go faster. Ok. When you're pedaling, if something gets drawn into the chain, you'll sense it fast enough to stop pedaling, and the free wheel is going to let you coast as you figure out what's getting drawn into the crank wheel. Same with e-bikes that have the motor mounted directly on the rear wheel: you're not pedaling, and the chain is stationary.
But this bike is different. The motor is mounted at the crank and the chain is whizzing around pretty much outside of your control.
Soon enough somebody is going to get their pants (or whatever) caught in that and they're going for a tumble, or worse.
Towerman
@Grunchy

I have never ever needed a chain guard in all my life, and i won't be installing one ever. if you wear loose clothes and let stuff dangle into the mechanics, then you should not be riding a bike !
Daishi
@svenne I get in my 4,500 lb SUV to go a few blocks and nobody bats an eye, I take my ebike out and work my butt off for a couple of hours and everyone loses their mind and wants to tell me I'm not getting enough exercise because the bike is adding a few MPH to my travel speed. I ride more often because it's so much fun and I've never taken anyone with me on the ebikes that didn't have a blast with it. I have a coworkers buddy who mountain bikes and said ebikes aren't exercise too but he changed his mind for sure after riding with me today. If anything the added wind speed helps evaporate away your sweat and cools your body better so you can focus on pushing yourself harder.