The Gin X is a budget hybrid e-bike with features like hydraulic disc brakes, a 48v battery and a Bafang hub motor. I spent four weeks using it as a daily runabout to see how it fared in the wet and windy weather.
In the under £1,000 category, finding something that combines affordability, decent quality, and good customer service isn’t easy. Priced at £999, the Gin X seems to offer all three. During my time with the Gin, I used it for running daily local errands and took it for a couple of more challenging rides up to Dartmoor.
Gin is a UK company based in Reading and offers an impressive warranty of up to five years for the motor and two years for the battery. Having trawled through their Trustpilot page, they have a very good reputation and the only negative reviews I could find related to delivery problems, not the bike itself.
I found the Gin X easy to live with on a day-to-day basis. I live about a mile from my local supermarket and prefer doing smaller daily shops on my bike rather than a big weekly shop in the car. The ride out is slightly uphill, and using an e-bike makes a big difference.
The performance of the 48v Bafang hub motor was smooth and predictable. There is a slightly annoying delay from the cadence pedal assist, which means at least half a pedal rotation before the motor kicks in. Once it does, the power comes on quickly, providing an effortless riding experience. Unlike similar pedal systems, there was no overrun from the motor once pedalling stopped. The motor made an audible whine at lower speeds, dissipating into a pleasant hum once on the move.
It did feel heavier than the 20kg stated on their website, so I weighed it myself, and it came in significantly heavier at 25kg. That’s about the norm for a budget hybrid e-bike, but much more than quoted.
As far as comfort is concerned, the Gin X fared well. There’s a big gel saddle and a surprisingly good front suspension fork. The handlebar is a good width and finished with some nice leatherette grips. Typical of e-bikes at this price point, the rear end feels a little harsh if you get caught out by a pothole or sunken drain cover.
I did ride the Gin X off-road a couple of times, mainly on moorland trails and gravel tracks. The conditions were wet and muddy, so I had to take it steady, but the tyres fared well enough for the conditions. The unbranded fork also surprised me here - quite often, budget e-bike forks don’t inspire confidence, but these did the job well.
The Gin X features a tough-looking 6061 alloy frame finished in a nice, unassuming matte black colour with alloy seat post and handlebars. The sloping top tube gives it a relatively low standover height. Most of the cables are internally routed, with the exception of the rear brake hose.
Electric assist is provided by a 250W Bafang rear hub motor running off a 615Wh battery. The claimed range of 75 miles is very optimistic. Most of my riding was done in full-power mode, which saw the battery at 50% after a week of 2-3 mile daily rides. On longer rides of around 25 miles, I had 45% left at the end. I would say a realistic range for a commuter would be around 40 miles, which is reasonable for a budget e-bike.
The battery is housed inside the downtube and can be removed, although this does take some practice. You need to lay the bike on its side to remove it, and there’s no handle to facilitate removal. If you were charging the battery in situ, this wouldn’t be an issue, but it's a fiddly job if you wanted to remove the battery for charging indoors.
Performance-wise, the motor handles moderate hills with ease. However, steeper inclines above 15% posed a challenge, requiring quite a bit of additional pedalling effort. As far as waterproofing is concerned, the Gin X passed with flying colours. With constant bouts of heavy rain and wind throughout the testing period, the electrics didn’t complain once.
The large LCD display is clear and easy to read, with good functionality. It’s mounted centrally, straddling the stem with the controls next to the left-hand grip. The speed is displayed in mph, and the battery indicator shows the remaining power percentage, so when the motor is under load, this drops a little. You can also view the real-time voltage, trip and power output using the 'M' button. There a five levels of assistance, so you can fine-tune the power to suit your needs.
There is a Shimano Altus rear derailleur for gearing with a 7-speed 14-28t freewheel, a KMC anti-rust chain and a TX50 thumb shifter. The gear shifts were precise throughout the testing period. The gearing is quite low, so once you get above the assist cut-off point at 15.5 mph, you’ll be pedalling quickly.
For braking, there are Zoom hydraulic disc brakes with integrated cut-off sensors. These performed as expected in the wet and offered superior braking performance compared to the mechanical brakes usually found on electric bikes of this price.
Up front is that unbranded suspension fork with preload adjustment and lock-out. This one surprised me and performed better than expected over the testing period. There wasn’t the usual play often associated with budget forks, and they did a good job of soaking up bumps in the road.
The Gin X is well-equipped for the price and comes with a pannier rack, mudguards, kickstand, horn and a front light. The light is activated by pressing and holding the ‘up' key on the controls. There is also a thumb throttle, which will get you off the line but is restricted to 6km/h in line with UK laws.
Available in an 18-inch frame, the Gin has a suggested rider height of 5ft4in to 6ft3in. I’m just over 6ft and needed the seat post at its maximum height with the saddle set back to be comfortable. I’m not sure how a much taller rider would get on. It fitted my 5ft7in teenage daughter perfectly, but riders on the sizing limits may need to change the stem and seat post length for a good fit.
At its current price of £999, the Gin X offers a good package for your money and ticks all the right boxes. After four weeks of riding, I'm genuinely impressed. It's a good all-rounder with features like hydraulic brakes, a generous battery, and the backing of a UK-based supplier.
It fares favourably with the competition - the popular Eskute Netuno is a similar price, has the same motor and similar-sized battery, but has mechanical brakes. Apart from the awkward battery and slight delay in pedal assist, there’s not much to dislike about the Gin, and if you're in the market for a sub-£1000 e-bike for commuting or leisure riding, it’s well worth considering.