GOTRAX has a big year planned, and they’re already making a splash with their new commuter, the GOTRAX Flex–a budget seated scooter, with a neat carrier basket, and better performance than all their other entry-level commuters.
Riddle me this. What’s easier to ride than a kick-scooter, faster than a bicycle, and costs less than $500? Well, if you haven’t guessed already, it’s the brand new affordable seated electric scooter from GOTRAX, the GOTRAX Flex.
We all know GOTRAX or have at least seen a GOTRAX. It’s impossible to miss it since it seems like every other scooter you see on the street says “GOTRAX” on the stem. They are absolute wizards at making eco-friendly electric rideables, and recently, they’ve started making conventional e-bikes. In that spirit of innovation, they concocted the highlight of this review, the unconventional seated scooter, the GOTRAX Flex.
As always, we’ve got real-world performance numbers on exactly how fast and how far it went. One test result could be a dealbreaker for some. But, there’s an important feature this scooter has that you won’t find on any other seated scooter at this price point.
Join us for this review of what we (spoiler alert) think is a super contender for a slot in our Best Commuters Feature later this year.
|Tested top speed: 16.1 mph*|
|Tested range: 13.5 mi*|
|Weight: 48 lb*|
|Max rider weight: 260 lb|
|Water resistance: IPX4|
|5 Stars for Stability|
|Easy and Fun To Ride|
|Not For Steep Hills|
|Acceleration Could Be Stronger|
* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.
Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.
GOTRAX FLEX Electric Scooter Summary
Want to support our hard work? Subscribe to our channel!
Besides the manufacturers or reviewers (like ourselves) telling you what is and what is not an electric scooter, it gets confusing when scooters come with a seat. Because then, all you can think is ‘e-bike.’
Well, the GOTRAX Flex, just like the Razor ECO Smart, the Fiido Q1S, and the EMOVE RoadRunner, is a seated electric scooter. Why? Well, no pedals, of course. Some seated scooters like the Jetson Bolt Pro will have pedals to compensate for the small battery, while some like the EMOVE RoadRunner have footpegs as part of their design. The beauty is in the variety.
The Flex electric scooter comes with a regular deck that sort of looks like a hover board, and we love this because it makes the scooter way more compact. And, the absence of a chain drive means you’re not dealing with messy chain stains on the leg of your pants, in the trunk, on the back seat, of your car if you stuff it in there. Oh, and it makes for a much quieter ride.
The Flex is powered by a physically large 350W motor in the rear wheel. While we’re at it, let’s have a quick lesson.
Motor wattage is one of the most often-quoted numbers in scooter reviews. But, did you know that it tells almost nothing about how the scooter will really perform? Why? Because it’s usually just a rating of how much power the motor can handle, and not how much power the motor-controllers are feeding it.
That’s why it is important for us to test scooters and see how they really perform. By testing, we also get to see how the 264.0-lbs rider weight capacity spec holds in real-world riding by a person close to that weight limit. We get to see how far the Flex’s 280.8 wh battery goes against similarly rated scooters. And we certainly get to experience the promised comfort of the scooter’s built-in seat.
Now, here’s our comprehensive review after a week of testing the budget GOTRAX Flex.
Our Take: A Prompt Reminder That You Can’t Do it ‘Better At Cheaper’ Than GOTRAX.
GOTRAX FLEX Alternatives and Competitors
For those of you who are comparison shopping, here are the three closest GOTRAX Flex competitors ESG has tested.
Razor Eco Smart Vs. GOTRAX Flex
The Razor Eco Smart is a famous scooter that’s been around for a long time and set the initial benchmark for seated scooters, but the Flex definitely beats it. While the EcoSmart has wheels that are 2.0 inches larger and is a little quicker when fully charged: it’s much more expensive, noisier because of the chain, won’t fit in your trunk, and the lead-acid batteries mean it weighs almost 20.0 lbs more. Those batteries also mean it’s also going to slow down a lot more as it drains the battery than it would if it used lithium-ion.
Jetson Bolt Pro Vs. GOTRAX Flex
The Jetson Bolt Pro has disc brakes and pedals, but you’re more likely to need to use those pedals because it comes with a 20% smaller battery. It also has no suspension.
The Jetson is famous for being “that little e-bike at Costco” and other big retailers–but we have to warn you that Jetson is definitely the low-end of the market, and there’s a good chance you won’t get good after-sale support. Over the last few years, GOTRAX has been the most affordable brand that we could still confidently recommend for affordable adult electric scooters.
Fiido Q1s Vs. GOTRAX Flex
The Fiido Q1s from Voro Motors is more portable because of its smaller wheels, and it’s a much stronger hill climber due to its gear drive motor, but it’s also much more expensive for basically the same performance on flat ground.
Comparison scooters section
Razor Ecosmart Metro
Is it Good for Bigger, Heavier Riders?
If you’re a big dawg, you will like riding the Flex on flat ground. On hills, even the regular Joe will struggle, but that’s a thing with seated scooters (more on that in the Hill Climb section).
The rider weight capacity is typical of seated scooters at this price–264.0 lbs. But, it is built for comfort, and even the bigger riders will enjoy the plush seat on the flex, the springs in the seat, the rear suspension, and the ride comfort of the large-diameter wheels. The deck gives plenty of space to rest your feet. However, the handlebar height is somewhat low, but that’s something you will quickly adjust to.
Performance-wise, the difference wasn’t too much. Paul (165.0 lbs) got 16.1 mph on his top speed run, while resident big dawg, Ramier, got to 15.1 mph max speed. This indicates that the scooter doesn’t lose too much performance with a bigger rider.
GOTRAX Flex Electric Scooter Review
|Acceleration (0 to 15 mph)||7.7 seconds|
|Top speed||16.1 mph|
|Braking distance (15 to 0 mph)||15.2 feet|
|Hill climb||37.4 seconds|
Acceleration is typical for its price class and if you’ve ridden a rental scooter, this feels pretty similar, arriving at 15.0 mph in 7.7 seconds. It’s a casual cruiser, but you’ll find that it outdoes some of our favorite commuters, notably the $549 Turboant Pro that gets to 15.0 mph in 9.1 seconds. The Flex scooter also gets to 15.0 mph just 0.1 seconds shy of our top recommendation for best under $600, the Niu KQi2 Pro.
Unlike the KQi2 Pro (and a bunch of other commuters), the Flex is set up for “zero-start” so you don’t have to kick off to start. However, in all fairness to those scooters, the Flex is more intuitive for beginners thanks to its seated factor. That said, between the super-chill riding position, the adrenaline-free throttle response, and bicycle-sized tires, the Flex is about as un-intimidating a scooter as we’ve ridden.
The Flex is officially GOTRAX’s fastest entry-level commuter. And it’s not just an in-house champ; the scooter’s tested top speed was just a touch faster than most sharing electric scooters clocking 16.1 mph max speed.
Charted alongside some of our other top commuters, the Flex really did flex, going faster than the $549 Segway Ninebot ES2’s 16.0 mph max speed, the $699 Okai Neon’s 16.0 mph, and the $549 Turboantt Pro’s 15.8 mph.
The GOTRAX Flex is also just a little faster than the top speed most people are able to sustain riding a bike, just one of the features that give Flex a solid chance at winning a sticker at our Editor’s Choice Awards for Best Commuters. See what scooters made our Best Commuter Scooters For 2022.
We’ll start this one with a disclaimer.
While the Flex scoots right along on flat ground and slight inclines, you need to know that seated scooters in this price range really struggle when it comes to climbing steep hills and GOTRAX’s Flex is no different here.
Any hills that would make you want to downshift and/or pedal standing up on a bicycle, are really going to slow you down on most seated electric scooters. Much to its credit, the GOTRAX Flex still conquered our steep 10% grade test hill, albeit very slowly.
Here’s what Paul (resident physicist and expert rider) tells us about why seated scooters may struggle a little going uphill:
… Seated scooters use larger diameter wheels which give you more stability and a smoother ride. BUT that means the motor turns fewer times between the bottom of the hill and the top. So, it’s like climbing a hill in higher gear on a bicycle.
And as we’re always reminding you, entry-level prices demand a few compromises. To get better performance, you might have to spend more money. For example, the $799 Fiido Q1 does a little better on hills and sustains an average speed of 6.5 mph up our 200.0 ft, 10% grade hill against the Flex’s 3.6 mph.
The GOTRAX Flex, again, takes the crown for the longest range on an entry-level GOTRAX . It even went further than the GOTRAX XR and XR Ultra.
We took our fully-charged Flex out on our challenging range test course–Paul rode the scooter as fast as he could, and the Flex managed to carry him through 13.5 miles of range.
Now, we can also technically dub this scooter our new range class champ, since under $500, only the worst scooter we’ve ever tested goes further, and the Xiaomi M365, that’s not newly available for sale in the US, and even when you do get one, there’s no warranty support.
The GOTRAX Flex electric scooter runs on a 280.8 wh battery, that charges from empty to full in 5 hours. And, if by any chance you feel that the miles per charge on the electric scooter are relatively short or that average battery life might be a deal breaker–fret not. Rumor has it that GOTRAX will be releasing a Pro Version of the Flex, that’s set to have a larger battery, and of course, a larger price tag as well. Keep it ESG to be the first to know.
Braking on the GOTRAX Flex is typical of its class. The electric scooter comes to a stop from 15.0 mph in 15.2 ft. With more expensive scooters like the Zero 8 stopping in 23.4 ft, the Flex isn’t too bad, but it’s not the best.
The scooter employs cable-operated front and rear drum brakes, plus regenerative braking for stopping. Regenerative braking is great as it recharges the battery as you slow down.
Drum brakes do not have the same grip as disc brakes and will usually require a firm squeeze to bring the electric scooter to a stop.
In keeping up with true bicycle fashion, the Flex’s levers are set with the front brake on the left, and the rear on the right (unlike most scooters). Swapping them is easy, and you don’t even need tools. We give a demo on the YouTube review, so check it out.
The GOTRAX Flex delivers a fun and smooth ride. We’d like to say that all seated scooters are the same way, but they are not built alike, and you can’t throw caution to the wind when buying one. If you can, test it out before purchasing, and if you can’t, bank on us for an honest and comprehensive review.
The GOTRAX Flex–how does it feel like to ride this budget seated scooter?
Our expert rider Paul, and his sidekick and resident big dawg, Ramier, define the ride as; feeling lightweight, nimble, and easy to ride.
And according to GOTRAX, the Flex is classified in the “commuter category” and we think it would make a great bike-lane commuter. Even better is that you get to your commute without the sweat of pedaling, and once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s small enough that you’re probably going to get away with parking it inside.
We also found that the GOTRAX Flex is a great option for running errands because it’s easy to lock up, and the rear storage basket’s carrying capacity is rated at 50.0 lbs. If you’re wondering what that’s like, that’s almost 6 gallons of milk, or enough grocery shopping to last a single person living and working from home for about a week. The trick is just getting your cargo to fit.
We said earlier that all seated electric scooters are not built alike, and more so at the entry-level price point. Where the GOTRAX Flex stands out the most is in the rear suspension installation. We’ve ridden what feels like a gazillion standing cooters and we know that suspension is always nice to have. However, when seated, you’ll be begging for suspension when you come across a pothole or other track obstacle.
Why the GOTRAX Flex electric scooter was fun to ride was this–your scooter is rolling on large and stable 14.0-inch air-filled tires, you have dual shocks in the rear, the seat has springs to absorb even more of that jarring, and the seat itself is super thick, which isn’t a guarantee on a budget scooter. Again, without needing tools, you can adjust the spring tension to make it stiffer or less stiff, depending on your preference, of course.
The large-diameter tires do away with the need for front suspension. That, and the fact that you are seated on the rear tire, so front shocks aren’t too essential.
The handlebar position is relatively low at 27.5-inches and is not adjustable. During our test rides, we quickly got used to this, and it helps that the seat height is adjustable, again, without the need for tools. Then there’s the twist throttle, which is our favorite style. Throttle response is super-smooth–but we already said it, it’s not going to give you an adrenaline rush, no matter how hard you twist. You also won’t be getting cruise control on this electric scooter.
Another thing you’ll notice is how quiet this electric scooter is. One of the competing scooters, the Razor ECO Smart, is known to be particularly noisy because it uses a chain drive. Finally, you can feel that the Flex’s stem has a bit of flex to it, but it’s unnoticeable when riding. You don’t need a super stiff stem on a seated scooter because you’re already well anchored by your riding position.
As far as first adult electric scooters go, you’re right on the money with the GOTRAX Flex.
GOTRAX Flex Features
It goes without saying that most seated scooters lie somewhere in the middle for portability between regular electric scooters and e-bikes. That said, there are many factors at play here. For instance, the Razor Eco Smart might weigh more due to the large lead-acid battery, and something like the Fiido Q1 S has a small folded footprint thanks to its smaller wheels.
The GOTRAX Flex is definitely more portable than a regular e-bike. It weighs 47.6 lbs. However, it will feel a lot lighter than this since it gives you lots of places to grab onto. Also, folded and unfolded, we see an advantage to not having pedals or footpegs, in that you can lie the scooter flat on the ground, it won’t take up more space in width than it has to, and when walking the scooter, you’re not banging your shins against them.
The adjustable built-in seat means you can make the GOTRAX Flex even smaller when putting it away. However, take caution when parking it outside–when you lock it up, you may want to also lock up your seat or take it with you, to make sure you still have one when you get back.
This is a basic e-scooter, and as such, there are no complications to the steering bar. All you get is a bell and a battery gauge. There’s not even a speedometer or app support. But again, that’s not too surprising for a scooter in this class, and more so, a seated scooter at this price. Even the former king of commuters, the Xiaomi M365, only came with a simple backlit display with 4 LEDs for battery status and a multifunctional on/off switch.
But the battery gauge works well. It comes quite handy during range tests, as our riders were able to know when to turn around and head back to headquarters, so they don’t end up pushing it home from the test course. With the Flex, Paul only pushed ½ a block to get back to HQ. So, if we were to rank battery gauges by how far we had to push to get home, the GOTRAX Flex electric scooter gets an A+.
The GOTRAX Flex comes with a low-mounted, bright LED headlight that’s great when riding at night. If you ride frequently in low-light situations, we always advise you to get aftermarket headlights for commuter scooters.
However, the scooter’s led headlights and rear reactive taillight do a good job of keeping you visible to other road users.
What makes the GOTRAX Flex very much like an e-bike is the large 14.0-inch by 2.1-inch tires. They make the e-scooter much easier to ride, and much more comfortable. They are air-filled tires with innertubes, so you might get the occasional flat. But this is a common tire size, and if you even need to replace them, they are widely available.
The deck is not the star of the show on this scooter since it only functions as a landing board for your feet. Regardless, the scooter’s hoverboard-type deck gives you 13.3-inches by 7.8-inches of real estate, which is sufficient for a seated scooter. You get incredible balance. And the deck is lined with grip tape, which feels good.
GOTRAX has this superpower where they just don’t compromise on build quality, especially at a lower price point. Right from the $299 GOTRAX XR, their cheapest adult electric scooter model, the quality of their make is incomparable to all other offerings in the market at a similar price.
That said, initial assembly and set-up are as easy and convenient as other GOTRAX scooters. Simply latch the stem, install the handlebars with two bolts, install the rear storage basket if you want to, and charge it up. On our scooter, luckily, even the tire pressure was ready to go, but you should definitely check before riding.
It’s not a complicated scooter, so once you’re done with initial assembly, there aren’t any other settings: it’s key on, twist, and go. The first click turns on the scooter, and a second one turns on the headlight and tail light. The lights look nice, help light your way at night, and of course, help drivers see you.
The scooter comes with a stout side-stand that’s easy to use, looks unlikely to break or bend, and feels good when you kick it down. The front fender has excellent water protection, but you might want to extend the rear fender just a bit if you ride in the rain. Speaking of which, the scooter has a water-resistance rating of IPX4, meaning it should do ok in light rain. However, avoid downpours and deep puddles, because water damage typically isn’t covered by scooter warranties.
The scooter feels safe to ride. It doesn’t go to higher speeds, and the chances of accidents are usually lower when riding below 20.0 mph. All the same, it is equipped with an efficient dual braking system comprising front and rear drum brakes, plus regenerative braking.
The scooter also comes with a headlight and functional taillight, something that budget scooters don’t always get.
You get a horn to alert unwary road users. And, the scooter is IPX4 rated, to protect it from damage from sudden light showers.
It has a keyed ignition, and has several locking points to safeguard it against theft.
We used to give GOTRAX a pretty hard time for having one of the shortest warranties, but that’s changed. It’s now 1 year for most parts of the scooter and 180 days for the battery and motor controller. For an added fee, you can also get the Flex Extended Warranty upon purchase to get 2 years of coverage. However, you’ll have to read through your manual thoroughly or contact GOTRAX to zero in on the finer warranty details.
Something else to note is that when you’re looking at inexpensive scooters, it’s good to think about whether the company you’re buying from will even exist in the future, let alone a year from now; and whether you’ll be able to get parts if you need them. With time-tested companies like GOTRAX, at least customers know the backing is there.
GOTRAX Flex: Review Conclusion
So who is the GOTRAX Flex for? In our opinion, new riders will like the simplicity and easy throttle, while intermediate riders will like it for commuting, or grocery runs, as long as there aren’t too many big hills. You also want to largely stick to city tracks.
We can also see families getting two or more to ride around the neighborhood, because it’s recommended for ages 13 and up, and anyone who can ride a bike is going to be able to ride one of these.
At camp ESG, we love that we’re getting to test more seated scooters now because A) sometimes you just don’t feel like standing up, B) you can carry heavy stuff without wearing a backpack on one of these, and C) the low center of gravity and big wheels make for a relaxed ride.
At $500, we’re already big fans of the Flex. And if you’re still reading this you can use the coupon code FLEX75 to get $75 off your purchase.
GOTRAX Flex:Manufacterer’s Specifications
|Folded dimensions||47 by 14 by 29 in|
|Motor power, continuous||350 W|
|Top speed||16 mph|
|Battery capacity||281 Wh|
|Battery recharge time||5 hrs|
|Max rider weight||260 lb|
|Brake type||Drum + Drum|
|Tire type||14.0 in Pneumatic (Inner Tube) + Pneumatic (Inner Tube)|
|Built-in lights||Front + Rear|