If you’re new to the e-scooter world, looking to pick up your first ride, firstly, congrats — how exciting! Secondly, my commiserations — it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience.
There are just so many options for beginners on the market, one of which is the Gotrax GXL v2. This is a particularly popular model, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve come across it a number of times.It’s pegged as one of the ultimate beginner rides by reviewers across the web, but do their praises of this popular scooter ring true? That’s what I wanted to find out when I picked up the GXL and began a lengthy testing process. Below are my findings.
- Dual regenerative brakes have great stopping power
- Large pneumatic tires keep ride smooth
- Built exceedingly well
- Good sized deck with quality rubber grip
- Unreal value for money
- Decent speed and range for the price
- Not a bad climber
- Light game is very weak
- No suspension
Where Can You Purchase The Gotrax GXL V2 Electric Scooter?
Build And Durability
There’s no doubt about it, the GXL is a simple machine, but boy, is it built well! And the thing is, you really don’t miss any of the bells and whistles you’ll find on “overdesigned” models. What it has is perfect for what it is, if you catch my drift.
Assembly is an absolute breeze (took me all of 10 minutes), and once it’s pieced together, it feels solid, and, as my Mom would say, “looks very smart”, but younger generations may prefer “sick”, “dope”, or, most likely, some word I am not even aware of.
Full disclosure, I had to make a quick adjustment to the latching mechanism that holds the stem in it’s folded position, as it wasn’t coupling correctly, but it was an easy fix, and it works beautifully now!
One issue I had with the OG GXL was the flimsy plastic fender. Well, now, it’s still plastic, but thanks to some reinforced sections, not quite so flimsy — good job, Gotrax!
The LED display situated at the very tip of the stem is super bright, perfect for grabbing info quickly on the fly and maintaining focus on the path ahead, but it’s also pretty stripped back. All it tells you is battery life and speed, but I see this as more of a bonus for a new rider than a drawback, as too much superfluous information only jumbles the display and causes confusion.
Besides the display, you get a particularly comfortable thumb throttle next to the right handlebar, and a well-designed brake lever to the left. The throttle is perfectly positioned, preventing any accidental acceleration, and the lever is easy on the skin and joints.
All functionally is controlled via the single button on the stem, making it an extremely intuitive scooter to use, one that you’ll master within minutes of riding.
Offering 18.5 x 5.98” of wiggle room to find a comfortable and supportive stance, the deck is large enough to accommodate most riders, no matter how they like to compose themselves during a shred.
In terms of ground clearance, you’re looking at a pretty low 10 cm, quite close to the ground, which I really enjoy, as I feel it improves handling, but if you often have to navigate your way over large obstacles, I can see how it might not be sufficient.
The deck to handlebar measurement is 37”, which is a good height. I’m 5’10” (and a half) and I find it very comfortable, but it should keep taller and smaller riders happy too.
The grip is the classic Gotrax rubberized panel. It’s got good traction underfoot, it provides a little cushion, and as far as I can tell, it’s very hard-wearing.
As is often the case, especially with budget e-scooters, the lighting is lackluster. All you get is a front headlight, and it’s not the brightest. With this, and nothing but a reflector in the rear, it’s essential that you kit the GXL out with some aftermarket illumination before you take it for a spin after dark.
Acceleration And Top Speed
Even though the GXL is a kick-to-start model, meaning you’ve got to put in some elbow grease (or knee grease, anyway) to get it up to 1.86 mph and fire the motor up, it will still reach 15 miles per hour in as little as 10 seconds. We’ve got the 250-watt brushless motor to thank for that.
This is going to be more than enough zip for the majority of e-scooter novices, but those already acquainted with this mode of getting around may be a little underwhelmed. If you belong to the latter group of riders, you might be happier forking out a couple of extra bucks for something like the M365.
The GXL has an advertised top speed of just over 16 mph, but during my tests, it maxed out at around the 14 mph mark on a flat surface. For context, I weigh just shy of 150 lbs. If you’re lighter, you may well be able to get this baby performing to spec.
Battery And Range
According to the folks over at Gotrax, the GXL can carry you nearly 12 miles on a single charge, but, for me, it was closer to 10.5. So, if you have a rather long commute, make sure you charge up while you’re working, or you might find yourself hitching a ride part of the way home.
The 187-watt battery pack takes 4 hours to recharge from sub 25%.
Tires And Ride Quality
The GXL comes with 8.5” pneumatic tires, and I couldn’t be happier about it. They really do take the sting out of route blemishes, keeping your brain from rattling around in your skull which is always a good thing.
That said, the GXL has nothing in the way of a suspension, so you do have to have realistic expectations when it comes to overall ride quality. It can handle a bit of rough and tumble, but the GXL is by no means an off-road device.
In the GXL, Gotrax hasn’t built a super powerful machine, but it does fare quite well during a climb. Over a 50-meter distance and a 10% incline, this electric scooter moved along at around 6.5 mph and reached the summit in roughly 19 seconds. If you supplement the motor with a few kicks, you can get up hills even faster.
Steeper gradients can be a real struggle for the GXL, but as long as you don’t mind going slow and using up a decent chunk of battery power, it will get up there in the end. Obviously, the closer the rider weight gets to the 220 lbs capacity, the weaker the GXL will perform on hills.
Gotrax goes all out with the brakes on the GXL. You get a front and rear disc brake, both with regenerative power to increase battery life, and they work like an absolute charm, with the rear unit in particular having awesome stopping power.
During my tests, the GXL slowed from 13.5 mph to a dead stop over 5 meters, which is excellent. E-scooters at this price point often only have a single-brake system, so Gotrax goes above and beyond in this respect.
At little over 26 lbs, the GXL can officially be considered a featherweight e-scooter. It’s also foldable, making it an absolute breeze to transport by hand once you arrive at your destination.
So, if you work up many a flight of stairs, it’s not going to make reaching your desk the challenge of a lifetime.
Unlike some other e-scooters, the handlebars are fixed, but it’s so small and light when folded that it’ll fit in literally any trunk, and should slide right into very limited storage spaces without causing too many problems.
Value For Money
I have to say, I think the Gotrax GXL is one of the best value for money electric scooters, not just at this point of the market, but across the market as a whole.
You get two regenerative disc brakes, high quality materials and construction, large pneumatic tires, decent top speed and range, and all for an exceedingly budget-friendly price tag — it’s almost too good to be true.
Gotrax offers a 6-month warranty on all their scooters. This really irritates me, as I feel 1 year should be the bare minimum to show the customer that you care about them and have faith in your products, but it is what it is.
The Final Verdict
Is the Gotrax GXL the ultimate beginner’s e-scooter? You know what? I think it just might be!
This thing is an absolute beauty. The only real issue I can think of is the lack of suspension, but good luck finding any shock-absorbing components on a scooter at this price point. Plus, you get the big, cushy, air-filled tires to iron out the kinks in your commute. As long as you’re not doing backflips or riding over mountains, the ride is nice and smooth.
The GXL is so good, it’s actually kind of hard to believe it exists. The quality tires, dual disc brakes, and top-notch build make it something of a unicorn in the lower end of the e-scooter market.
Sure, the lights are basically nonexistent, but that’s a cheap, easy fix. Besides that, it handles well, it’s reliable, and, most importantly of all, it’s so, so fun.
I give the Gotrax GXL Electric Scooter 4.8/5