The post on the Tenways CGO 600 enjoys great popularity here. No wonder, since the minimalist singlespeed e-bike is offered at an extremely attractive price of only 1,599 Euros. This is especially remarkable since the bike has features like a motor control with torque sensor and a toothed belt. So it’s high time to take a closer look at the bike in our test – and to find out whether you have to make certain compromises for such a low price.
Reduced to the essentials: the look of the Tenways CGO 600 is based on the classic bicycle, which is made possible by the largely invisible electric drive. The motor sits in the rear wheel and is certainly one of the smallest of its kind; the battery is firmly installed in the slim down tube. Only a compact display on the handlebars indicates the technology inside the bike.
The geometry of the aluminum frame with the almost straight top tube also makes the e-bike look like a classic bicycle. The cleanly ground weld seams are remarkable and make the frame look elegant. The variant tested here has a matte black surface, subtle accents are set by small details in turquoise as well as a glossy-transparent pattern on the top tube. Otherwise, the bike is pleasantly restrained when it comes to colors and labels: add-on parts such as the saddle, stem, handlebars and crank are completely black and thus ensure a tidy and high-quality appearance of the bike.
The drivetrain looks just as tidy, which is typical for singlespeed bikes without gears. The rear derailleur, shift lever, cassette and the necessary cables can be dispensed with here. However, the use of a belt drive instead of the conventional bicycle chain is unusual — at least in this price range.
Somewhat annoying is only the course of the cables and wires of brakes, display and headlight at the front — here the look of the bike would be even better, if these would be led directly under the handlebars in the stem. However, this might also be associated with additional costs, which Tenways has waived in favor of the low overall price.
The Tenways CGO 600 uses a drive system from Mivice — a Chinese manufacturer that produces various drives for e-bikes and will soon open a branch in Germany. The system consists of a hub motor in the rear wheel with a torque of 35 Nm. With a weight of only 1.7 kg, the motor is not only very light, but also extremely compact in dimensions! The battery is permanently installed in the down tube and has a capacity of 252 Wh.
Particularly noteworthy about the Mivice system is the use of a torque sensor — in this price range, such a sensor is rather unusual and is primarily used in more expensive e-bikes. The advantages of the sensor are that the power of the motor is controlled depending on the pedaling force on the pedal. If you pedal hard, there is a lot of support from the motor; if you only roll along leisurely, the motor also provides less support. All in all, this control comes closest to classic cycling.
The e-drive is completed with the display on the handlebars. This clearly displays all relevant basic information and also offers two buttons for setting the three support levels. The headlight at the front can also be switched on here — and only this! The bike also has a rear light, but this is only a retrofitted accessory part that must be switched on separately. Accordingly, it must also be charged separately via USB, since it is not connected to the bike’s battery. Although both lights are from no known manufacturer, but work properly and also look quite good.
For the belt drive Tenways relies on the proven quality of the market leader Gates. The chainring is quite large at the front with 60 teeth, and a 22-tooth sprocket is installed at the rear. Hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro are used as brakes on the CGO 600.
Before the first ride, the Tenways has to be assembled. The extensive accessory box with all the necessary tools, which even includes a mini air pump, deserves praise. Overall, assembling the bike is not a complicated task, only the bike’s display caused some surprise after the first switch-on. The electrical system can be activated only after entering a code (sometimes a look in the manual is worth it 😉 ). You can enter your own code number here, but then you always have to select each of the four digits with the up/down buttons on the display. Alternatively, the use of a code can simply be deactivated via the settings in the display.
After switching on, the bike starts in the mode without motor support, with the handlebar button you then simply switch to one of the three riding modes. The first meters already show how finely the motor support responds and the power is adjusted according to the pedal stroke. The gradation of the three available modes is well separated from each other, so the lower mode works noticeably more restrained than the next higher driving level.
On inclines, the bike behaves analogously to comparable models with hub motor and singlespeed drive: short inclines can also be quite a bit steep without causing problems. However, if you have to master long distances steeply uphill, you have to actively work with such a bike. Below 10 km/h the support of such a hub motor slowly breaks in and the muscle power of the driver or the driver are in demand. On the flat, however, it is naturally easier and faster, which is supported by the long transmission ratio of the drive. Thus, the cadence is still quite comfortable up to the limit of 25 km/h and the motor has to switch off according to the pedelec guidelines, which happens seamlessly. If you then continue to accelerate with muscle power, you will only find the cadence uncomfortably high from about 30 km/h onwards.
The extremely quiet operation of the motor — even compared to other established systems — is impressive on all routes. Of course, the toothed belt proves to be the perfect partner, as it works just as silently. This idyll can then only be disturbed by a loudly clacking freewheel — but here, too, a rather quieter model is installed. You can hear the typical clacking when the CGO 600 is idling, but it is relatively quiet.
The display is easy to read even in sunlight, the buttons have a good pressure point and are also easy to reach with the thumb. The front light can be activated with a long press on the upper button, which is then also shown on the display. However, it is not ideal that the headlight immediately switches off as soon as the bike’s battery is completely empty. Unfortunately, there is no buffer that can supply the headlight with power for a certain period of time.The rear light has to be switched on separately at its casing.
The seating position is sporty, but not uncomfortable. The reason for this is the relatively long and rising stem, which brings the straight handlebars to a comfortable height. However, the fact that a relatively large amount of body weight is supported on the handlebars is felt after a while on the handlebar grips. These press with their deep profile unpleasantly in the hands — here the exchange against more comfortable models is certainly worth a recommendation! On the other hand, the saddle with its slightly yielding surface proves to be comfortable. The tires from CST with a width of 40 mm, which can be ridden with relatively low air pressure and thus dampen smaller bumps well, also provide sufficient riding comfort from asphalt roads.
Measured, the test bike in size L with pedals, lights and stand (but without mudguards) weighed 16.3 kg. Tenways itself states a “net weight” of 15 kg on the website.
A positive surprise: whoever expects the Tenways CGO 600 to only meet the minimum standards in view of the low price will be proven wrong!
The bike can convince with its sensitive drive, which can also be easily controlled with the handlebar display. The power of the motor is typical for such hub motors, the operation is exceptionally quiet. The Gates Belt Drive also works silently and performs solidly. The bike only shows weaknesses in details that you can come to terms with. It would certainly be more practical if the rear light was connected to the bike’s battery — but you can get by with it as it is. In important points, such as the workmanship and the components of the drive, the bike shows no significant weaknesses!
With its current price of 1,599 Euros, the Tenways CGO 600 is certainly one of the most interesting models in this segment. Interested parties can choose between five color variants, and the bike is also available in four frame sizes. More information about the CGO 600 can be found on the Tenways website, where the bike can also be ordered directly.
Update: There is now also a new Pro version of the Tenways CGO 600 with some improvements. You can read our review of it here.