The GUANGYA Y1 Smart moped electric bike has 3 riding modes for your different needs. 6Ah battery, 30km mileage in pure electric. Quick-folding in portable size. Adjustable saddle and handlebar offer you a comfortable riding experience.
The Guangya Y1 is designed primarily for those looking for a compact electric bike that is easy to store, without necessarily having to carry a folding system in the frame. This small VAE with its unusual lines is equipped with 12-inch wheels. It is based on a 350W motor and a 6 Ah battery. Equipped with a small rear suspension, it finally offers a throttle handle that allows you to enjoy the assistance even without pedalling. The whole is sold via Gearbest for around 400 euros from China. What is this device really worth at a very low price? Our Guangya Y1 bike test is designed to answer all your questions.
Choosing an electric bike involves thinking about some practical considerations. We must think about performance or autonomy, of course, but also about comfort or parking facilities available at home or at the workplace. Mixed uses, in which electric bicycles are combined with other modes of transport (e. g. cars or public transport), also lead to specific constraints.
These considerations have contributed to the growth of folding electric bicycles in Asian markets. With their small dimensions and folding frame, they can fit into a car trunk or elevator and can be stored directly in the entrance of an apartment, even if it is small. Bicycles such as the Fiido D1 or the QiCycle EF1, embody precisely this market segment.
Although it is presented as a folding bike on some shopping sites, Guangya adopts a slightly different positioning with its Y1. This time, the frame is not foldable, but the overall geometry has been designed for maximum compactness. The bike is only 1.05 metres long, which obviously has an impact on comfort and riding. There is still a folding element: the handlebar, whose hinge is protected by a quick release system with protective ring.
The frame of the Guangya Y1 is based on a V-shaped assembly with two main elements extended by the lights (headlight and tail light). The front part contains the electronics, while the cylinder that goes backwards and supports the seat post carries the lithium-ion battery. The arm that carries the rear wheel starts from the bottom bracket, which acts as the central junction. It is also connected to the frame compartment by a small shock absorber (part number MLT-600) to absorb shocks that would go up to the saddle, which is itself quite thick and equipped with springs.
On the cycle part, the Guangya Y1 adopts 12-inch wheels (about 30.5 cm) with inner tubes. The format is unusual for an adult bike, but it is commonly found on children’s bikes, which ensures that you can easily find a spare tire or tube in case of a flat tire. Braking is carried out by two small discs (140 mm), installed at the front and rear, with a cable transmission. The front has no suspension. On the other hand, there are mudguards (a little rough) on both wheels, as well as a small crutch with a rubber foot.
The transmission is ensured by a chain that connects the bottom bracket plate to the single sprocket. An additional wheel mounted on a spring swing arm provides the necessary flexibility for the chain, and allows it to be repositioned in the event of a derailment. So there is no speed on the Guangya Y1.
On the handlebars are the two corresponding brake levers, a small summary display indicating the battery charge level and instantaneous power (identical to that of the Fiido D1) as well as the key to switch on the bike (two keys provided). On the left is a small switch to activate the headlights and an anemic horn. The right side finally conceals one of the bike’s discreet charms: a handful of accelerator, thanks to which the electric motor can be used without pedalling.
The subject requires a small regulatory clarification. In France, an electric-assisted bicycle (EAB) is only supposed to operate its engine to support pedalling. A vehicle that does not comply with this constraint normally moves out of the category of bicycles and into the category of mopeds, with all the requirements that this entails (registration, wearing a helmet, etc.).
As always when buying remotely (especially in China), start by checking tyre pressure, brakes and screws to make sure nothing has moved! Once the usual checks have been carried out and after an additional charge, it is time to go and see how the Guangya Y1 performs on the road.
As for adjustments, the possibilities are rather limited: we have about ten centimetres of travel on the seat post, and that’s all. The handlebar can be rotated to adjust the position of the brake levers, but it is not height adjustable.
Due to its compact dimensions and limited possibilities, the Guangya Y1 is not very suitable for large sizes. Up to 180 cm is fine, but beyond that, the tall ones may have their knees touching the handlebars in the bend, which is not really pleasant, you will admit. Small and medium-sized riders will adapt very well to the size of the bike, especially since the seat is quite comfortable.
Riding is thus influenced by the particular geometry of the bike: the first wheel turns give a strange impression, as if you were perched on a slightly small bike… which is finally in line with reality! Overall, the Guangya Y1 is logically less agile than a full size bike, but it is not unpleasant to ride given the limitations of its size… especially if you don’t ride!
Let’s now turn to the electric assistance, available as soon as the ignition is switched on. It is activated very quickly, after less than one pedal turn and gradually follows the movement until it reaches the bike’s cruising speed. If you use the Guangya Y1, however, it is likely that you will get into the habit of activating the throttle handle to directly and instantly activate the engine which, despite the 350W announced (36V), does not really shine with its torque, even when the battery is fully charged.
In pure electric operation (without pedalling), a top speed, measured with GPS, of the order of 24 km/h is reached. You can’t really go any faster while pedalling: the only gear offered offers a limited development that doesn’t allow me to maintain such a pace, even to really grind. This is one of the main limitations of the Guangya Y1, which becomes frankly inconvenient to use without the assistance of the engine. A small inconvenience also occurred during our test sessions, since our handling caused the chain to derail several times at the sprocket.
No command announces its presence, but the Guangya Y1 has a speed control function! After a few seconds, you can release the throttle handle. The bike then maintains speed until one of the two brake handles is touched.
The 6 Ah battery offers a range of about 20 Km in pure electric power, a range that can probably be extended to 30 Km or a little more by pedalling with a little more determination than we have done. After a dozen kilometres, the already average acceleration loses a little more torque. Recharging is done by means of a small AC adapter whose pin fits on the upper part of the battery. Note that the battery is quite easy to remove (a few screws ensure fixing) but it is not removable.
The Guangya Y1 is well suited for additional uses: with its low acceleration and small size, it is clearly not designed for long distances, but it fits rather well in town or on the pavements, and it is finally very comfortable thanks to its padded seat and rear suspension.
All regulatory considerations aside, we appreciate the acceleration on the wrist and the cruise control, which are very practical for walking around without getting tired. Given the low development proposed, it is understandable that the machine was designed for draisian type uses (scooter) more than as a real bicycle driven by leg strength. Lighting, ignition key and disc brakes are also welcome given the price level.
However, the performance is a little disappointing in terms of acceleration and torque, even if the promise is kept in terms of top speed. Basic transmission and battery to generic cells are also among the weak points. To choose, we would probably have preferred a higher capacity battery and a summary gear system rather than the rear suspension.