GOTRAX GXL Commuter Review
Pros: Inexpensive, smooth ride, stopping power, cruise control
Cons: Slow, short travel radius, prolonged folding process
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The GOTRAX GLX is a reliable scooter with a price tag that will have you smiling. The best part of the deal is that there are few performance sacrifices made for the savings. It's true that the GLX is slower than the competition, and that its travel radius is about average for the class. However, it climbs like a mule, it's fairly light and relatively easy to carry. It has a really smooth ride, and it has some useful add-ons such as cruise control, and a dual brake system operated with a single hand lever.
In our continued effort to find the best electric scooters we run extensive side-by-side tests to push these machines to their limits so you know exactly what you're getting when you make a purchase. Our scooter analysis relies on five metrics that run the gamut of performance testing. These metrics are delineated below.
Our range tests are an assessment of two different but related capacities: travel radius and battery charging time. Travel radius is divided into two parts that we termed effective range and maximum range. Effective range is the maximum miles a scooter can traverse on level terrain at or near full speed. Conversely, the maximum range is an assessment of how far the scooter will go at any speed.
The GOTRAX GLX was an average performer in this category with an effective range of 10.1 and a maximum range of 10.9. However, a fully drained battery was fully charged in 3 hours and 40 minutes, which was faster than average for the class.
Hill climbing competence and flat ground max speed are how we define power in an electric scooter. The hill tests were conducted on two slopes. The first averages a 3.5% grade and the second 10.5%.
While the GOTRAX GLX was below average in the speed test, maxing out at ~13mph, it made quick work of the shallower hill climb and achieved elite status for cresting the 1/4 mile 10.5% grade.
The ride metric is simply an assessment of the feeling a scooter has as it crosses rough patches in the road such as cracks, and potholes. This is a somewhat subjective metric, however, there is no doubt that the GOTRAX's cushy pneumatic tires smooth out the rattles and jarring impacts of the road. Accordingly, it earned high scores in this category.
The GOTRAX sports a single hand-lever dual brake system (front electronic brake and rear disk brake). As such, it isn't surprising that this scooter performed well in our braking tests. What was surprising is that in flat ground stopping tests it did as well as scooters with a fender brake, the most powerful brake we've tested.
The braking metric is an evaluation of a scooter's capacity to maintain a certain speed when descending a steep hill and the distance required to come to a complete stop when cruising at the maximum speed of flat ground.
Portability is king for the commuter because a scooter has to be folded, picked up, and stored when it isn't in use. Our portability analysis evaluates the specific features that make a scooter easy to portage. This assessment focuses on weight, folding efficiency, carrying latch design, carrying ease, and folded measurements.
The GOTRAX GLX Commuter doesn't fare so well in this category because it's slow to fold-up, has above average folded dimensions and the carrying handle diameter is a bit too large to be comfortable for prolonged gripping.
Value is essentially an assessment of the bang for the buck of a product. By this definition, the GLX is quite the value item. This product delivers high-end performance in many metrics while maintaining a middling price.
While the GOTRAX GLX Commuter garners a middling overall score, it has many of the characteristics of higher scoring contenders. Specifically, it has a smooth ride, a powerful brake system, and some notable features like cruise control and a single lever dual brake system. With all these higher-end qualities at an affordable price, we think that many consumers will overlook the shorter travel radius and slower max speed.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer