Meet Ben, your go-to scooter aficionado and in-house wordsmith at Rider Guide. With a genuine passion for two-wheelers (6 years of riding), he’s not just penning reviews but sharing firsthand experiences in an articulate narrative. You can catch him ripping through rocky trails on his Suzuki Vstrom 1000 or doing 45 miles an hour on his Dualtron Victor when he’s not busy at his writing desk, offering you the most unique and informed perspective on every scooter that rides the streets.
We all know GOTRAX or have at least seen a GOTRAX. It’s impossible to miss them 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 electric 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.
GOTRAX Flex Review Summary
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 GOTRAX 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 119.75 kg 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 & Competitors
Razor Eco Smart Vs. GOTRAX Flex
Jetson Bolt Pro Vs. GOTRAX Flex
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.
Is it Good for Bigger, Heavier Riders?
The rider weight capacity is typical of seated scooters at this price–119.75 kg. But, it is built for comfort, and even the bigger riders will enjoy the plush seat on the GOTRAX Flex scooter, 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 (74.84 kg) got 10 km/h on his top speed run, while resident big dawg, Ramier, got to 9.38 km/h max speed. This indicates that the scooter doesn’t lose too much performance with a bigger rider.
GOTRAX Flex Review
Braking Distance (15 to 0 mph)
0 to 15 mph
0 to 20 mph
0 to 25 mph
0 to 30 mph
0 to 35 mph
0 to 40 mph
Unlike the KQi2 Pro (and a bunch of other commuters), the GOTRAX 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 GOTRAX 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.
Charted alongside some of our other top commuters, the GOTRAX Flex really did flex, going faster than the $549 Segway Ninebot ES2’s 9.94 km/h max speed, the 0 Okai Neon’s 9.94 km/h, and the $549 Turboantt Pro’s 9.82 km/h.
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.
While the GOTRAX 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 0 Fiido Q1 does a little better on hills and sustains an average speed of 4.04 km/h up our 60.96 m, 10% grade hill against the Flex’s 2.24 km/h.
We took our fully-charged GOTRAX Flex out on our challenging range test course–Paul rode the electric scooter as fast as he could, and the GOTRAX Flex managed to carry him through 21.73 km 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 RG to be the first to know.
The electric 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.
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.
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 69.85 cm 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
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.
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 GOTRAX 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+.
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 also comes with a headlight and functional taillight, something that budget scooters don’t always get.
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
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 RG, 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 0, we’re already big fans of the Flex. And if you’re still reading this you can use the coupon code FLEX75 to get 0 off your purchase.