Last Updated on October 16, 2022 by Matt
Note: the GoTrax GXL Commuter is unavailable in all of its former listings, and it seems like this model may get discontinued soon. However, the scooter has a successor, and the new and updated version is much better than this one. See my complete GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter review for the latest version of this scooter.
This is a comprehensive GoTrax GXL Commuter review, and we will see why this budget electric scooter is amazing value for money, providing solid performance, strong build and quality, and why its massive popularity is well-deserved.
Who should buy the GoTrax GXL Commuter?
If your budget is $250 or less, the GoTrax GXL Commuter will be a no-brainer. It’s simply incredible what the scooter provides for that price. It performs much better than what its price might suggest, and has the durability and quality of a much more expensive scooter.
With a standard top speed of 15.5 mph / 25 kmh that is within the legal speed limit, a range of 12 mi / 19 km that’s everything the urban commuter needs, and 8.5-inch air-filled tires that keep the rides steady, the GoTrax GXL Commuter is perfect for commuters, students, young professionals, and casual riders, but also for anyone looking for a fun, reliable, safe scooter that doesn’t break the bank.
Where to buy the GoTrax GXL Commuter from?
The GoTrax brand and scooter line
GoTrax is the best brand for budget electric scooters for adults in North America. They specialize in affordable scooters for commuters and hobby scooterists. None of their scooters surpass $500 in price, but also, all of their models provide more value than the price you pay.
The brand has a lot of popular models released, and pretty much all of their scooters are well-received by the public and sell in the tens of thousands.
The GoTrax GXL Commuter is one of their flagship scooters.
Warranty and returns
GoTrax has standard warranty and return periods for all of their scooters, and that goes for the GoTrax GXL Commuter too.
If you are not satisfied with the product, or it has been damaged on delivery, you can replace it or get a refund within 30 days of buying.
The scooter has a warranty period of 90 days.
Ordering and shipping
Both will provide free and fast shipping within the US, and Amazon will ship to other countries as well. It can happen that the prices between these two stores differ, so it’s best if you check both and see which one offers a lower price and better shipping terms.
If you want to get the scooter in the UK and other European countries, you will probably want to see the Amazon UK listing for the scooter first.
If you live in Canada, you’ll probably get a better deal on Amazon Canada.
Unboxing and assembly
The GoTrax GXL Commuter comes in a regular box. It is securely packed, with a lot of styrofoam and protective covers that prevent damage on delivery.
The package includes:
- the GoTrax GXL Commuter scooter
- Allen key and screws
- tire pump valve
- user manual
- warranty card
To assemble the scooter, you need to connect the handlebars with the stem and screw the two screws to secure it. It’s also a good idea to go over the other screws and make sure they haven’t gotten loose throughout the delivery process. Before riding, also make sure that the brakes work properly and the battery is fully charged.
The scooter comes with a precise, clear, and simple user manual. It includes a lot of illustrations and guides, so even though I know everybody hates reading those things, you will have no trouble quickly scanning it to find out the most important details about your specific model version.
How to use the GoTrax GXL Commuter?
The red button under the screen is used to control pretty much everything on the scooter.
Pressing it for one second powers the scooter on, and holding it for 5 seconds powers it off.
When the scooter is turned on, a short 1-second press of the button toggles the headlight.
A long press of two seconds changes the speed mode.
The right handlebar has a thumb-throttle acceleration. You need to use a kick to start, and pressing the acceleration without kicking off the ground first will not move the scooter, which is an excellent safety feature.
The scooter has cruise control, and holding the throttle down for 10 seconds activates it, while using the brake or pressing the acceleration again deactivates it.
The left handlebar has another thumb-throttle button that engages the brake.
Folding and unfolding
To fold the scooter, all you need to do is pull the red metal lever at the base of the stem, which will unlock the stem. Then you can fold it, and lock it in place by connecting the hook on the stem to the small frame on the rear fender. The whole process takes just a few seconds.
Folding is simple, but still not unsafe, as the folding mechanism is very secure.
Build quality, lifespan, defect rates
The GoTrax GXL Commuter is a tough scooter, especially considering its super-low price. It is still a budget scooter and it will lack the premium look and feel. Also, the quality level will obviously not be the same as one of the scooters that cost as much as a car. But still, for the price of just a couple of hundred dollars, the GXL Commuter will provide excellent quality.
The rate of defects, and especially major defects in the first year, is very low. There have been a number of dead-on-arrival scooters, mostly with some previous releases of the scooter which have now been largely addressed, but also customers get either a refund or a replacement in that case, which is pretty fair.
You can expect several years of fun and utility from this scooter.
Ride experience and day-to-day use
The GoTrax GXL Commuter provides smooth, stable rides, with little to no shaking or rattling. The pneumatic tires are a level above what is found in most budget scooters, and absorb a lot of the shock from riding. The scooter performs well for both commuting and casual rides.
Brakes and safety
The rear wheel has a disk brake, while the motor in the front wheel features an electronic brake. They are both activated with the left handlebar button. Also, some versions of the scooter even come with a foot pedal brake for using the disk brake.
With two braking systems, the GoTrax GXL Commuter achieves excellent brake redundancy and is one of the safest budget scooters ever made. Still, that doesn’t mean you should ride without a helmet (see the guide on the best electric scooter helmets to pick a good helmet for this scooter).
The GoTrax GXL Commuter comes with pneumatic 8.5-inch tires, which are basically the gold standard for typical commuter scooters. The recommended tire pressure is 50 PSI.
The tires provide a comfortable ride and absorb a lot of the impact caused by potholes and bumps, which is the main reason why the scooter doesn’t have suspension. You might get a flat with them, but flats are not as common as with other popular scooters like the Xiaomi M365 for example.
Screen and controls
The LED display of the scooter can show you:
- current speed
- battery level
- speed mode
- lights status
The screen is bright and has good contrast. Reading the display even on brighter days will not be an issue.
Deck, kickstand, stem, handlebars
The deck is pretty spacious, and will be comfortable enough for the majority of riders. It has a nice sturdy look to it, and is covered by a gripped rubber surface to improve traction.
The stem of this scooter is thicker than what’s found in most budget or commuter scooters, and provides a lot of stability and smooth rides.
The kickstand is easy to use and pull down with your foot. For some reason, a lot of scooters come with a kickstand that’s just too short and the scooter is not stable while leaning on it, but luckily that’s not the case here and the kickstand will keep the scooter standing and stable.
The handlebars have gripped rubber covers that prevent slipping even if your hands get sweaty while riding.
The main headlight is situated on the top of the stem and points downward at a mild angle, casting light right in front of the road where you will ride.
The rear fender, as well as the rear of the deck, have red reflectors, but there’s no brake light.
The headlight is fairly bright, but not too bright. Coupled with the lack of brake lighting, it will be wise to buy after-market lights if you plan on riding at night (see the guide on electric scooter accessories for the best options).
The GoTrax GXL Commuter doesn’t provide any way to lock it or prevent theft. Luckily, the scooter is super-portable, and you can take it with you inside pretty much everywhere you go.
If you plan on leaving your scooter outside, consider a good scooter lock. A good budget lock will do the trick, as the scooter is cheap and it will not tempt too many thieves, so you don’t need to throw hundreds of dollars on a lock.
Water resistance and IP rating
The scooter has an official ingress protection rating of IP54, which means it will not be damaged by water splashes from all angles. While the scooter is water-resistant, it is not fully waterproof.
Can you ride the GoTrax GXL Commuter in the rain?
Riding in the rain with the GoTrax GXL Commuter is not recommended. Still, many owners have done so without any issues, and chances are, a short ride through some light rain will not damage the scooter.
Motor and power
The scooter has a single hub BLDC motor, nicely integrated into the front wheel, hidden and protected by the wheel covers.
The motor has 250 Watts of power. It is not specified whether that’s the real or the peak power of the motor, but judging by the performance of the scooter, it’s possible that’s the real power level, and the peak power might be around 350 Watts.
Speed and acceleration
The GoTrax GXL Commuter can reach a top speed of 15.5 mph / 25 kmh, according to its official specifications. That makes it street-legal in pretty much every country in the world.
Real-world tests and user reports not only confirm that speed, but in fact suggest the scooter usually goes even faster, with some owners reaching top speeds of up to 19 mph / 30 kmh.
The scooter has only 2 speed modes. Honestly, I believe that’s a great decision from the GoTrax engineering team and a good way to challenge the status quo of 3 speed modes, as I’ve noticed that most scooterists I know, myself included, rarely use even two speed modes and always use the fastest mode, which makes the other speed modes kinda redundant. I guess one speed mode would be too limiting though, but a fast and a slow one, as this scooter has, is a very smart choice.
The scooter accelerations quickly, possibly even a little jerky, with no gradual buildup of speed, just launching forward. Many riders prefer this, although personally, I would like to see a smoother acceleration curve.
Climb angle and going uphill
The motor of the scooter is in the front wheel, which gives it better traction and makes it a good climber. While there is no official climb angle for this scooter, owners report that the scooter climbs mild and some moderate hills well, and struggles only on steeper hills, sometimes managing them but other times quitting.
Battery and charger
The lithium-ion battery has a voltage of 36 Volts and a capacity of 187 Watt-hours. It lives inside of the stem.
Charging the scooter fully takes 4 hours. The charger has an output of 42 V and 1.5 A.
The charging port is at the top of the stem right under the screen, which is an excellent place for it as it’s far away from the ground, and dirt or liquids will never get inside of it. It is also protected by a rubber cover cap.
Range and commuting
The official range of the GoTrax GXL Commuter is 12 mi / 19.3 km, obtained in ideal conditions. The real-world range is very close to that number, and varies from 9 mi / 14 km, all the way up to 13.5 mi / 28 km for some riders.
With such a range, the scooter justifies its name and is a good commuting scooter, providing a balance of very useful battery life and good portability for taking it with you on public transport.
The GoTrax GXL Commuter can pull up to 220 lbs / 100 kg, according to its specifications. This weight limit is confirmed by thousands upon thousands of adults who get the promised performances out of the scooter.
Heavier riders will start to notice some lags and decrease performance, and they will probably want to look at scooters for heavy adults.
Portability, weight, and dimensions
The scooter weighs 26.4 lbs / 12 kg, and that makes it one of the lightest electric scooters for adults. I don’t believe there will be an adult that will have trouble carrying it.
The dimensions of the scooter are not too big neither, especially when folded. The only part that’s kinda sticking out is the stem and the handlebars when the scooter is folded, and even then the scooter occupies less space than most other scooters.
Those two factors make this scooter very portable, very easy to carry, and also very easy to fit through public transport vehicles and station doors, elevators, hallways, and also inside a room or an office.
Design, materials, look
The GoTrax GXL Commuter pulls off an interesting fusion between the evergreen design of a commuter scooter with the recognizable flavor of a GoTrax scooter. Even though it’s a budget scooter, it looks very slick, solid, and sturdy.
The frame of the scooter is from aluminum alloy, and the auxiliary parts are from plastic and rubber for the most part.
Accessories and customizations
There are a few accessories available for the GoTrax GXL Commuter.
Since the headlight is not strong enough for night rides, you may be interested in the stronger GoTrax headlight. Also, to make your scooter fully prepared for traffic, you will need a way to alert other traffic participants, and the GoTrax bell will be loud enough for the job.
Spare parts and maintenance
You can easily find spare parts for the GoTrax GXL Commuter on the official GoTrax store.
I suggest a simple maintenance routine for the scooter, as part of a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning schedule:
- clean the scooter with a clean damp cloth
- do a quick visual inspection for physical damage or corrosion
- make sure the tire pressure is around 50 PSI, and inflate the tires if needed
- make sure all the screws are tight and secure
- make sure the brakes are operational, and if they aren’t, try contacting the GoTrax support team before you attempt fixing them (modifying them yourself may void your warranty)
GoTrax still hasn’t released an app for their scooters.
EScooterNerds recommends the Universal Electric Scooter Helper App as a good alternative. It will not be a replacement for a primary scooter app, but it will provide over 30 useful features like calculators, tools, checklists, guides, tips, hacks, etc. The app is available for both iPhone and Android.
GoTrax GXL Commuter vs GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter
Today, the GoTrax GXL Commuter has a newer version available, the GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter.
The V2 is in a lot of ways an upgrade and an improvement to the standard version. While the performance is practically identical, the V2 may be a better choice a lot of the time, as it comes with some improvements to the brakes, the fenders, and the overall build quality. The V2 will be a bit more expensive, but I believe for a big part of scooterists, those would be money well spent.
In general, I believe the GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter is an improvement over this scooter that is worth the little bit of extra money. If you’re curious about the new V2 version, you can take a look at the GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter review, or see the scooter on Amazon or the official GoTrax store.
Different versions and releases of the GoTrax GXL Commuter
Besides the GXL V2, there is one difference between some of the releases of the original version as well that you should know about. This may be due to the specific location where the scooter is shipped, or simply changes in the model.
The difference is in the rear brake pedal. One version of the GoTrax GXL Commuter has it, while another one doesn’t have it. The same goes with the brake lever – one version comes with a brake lever, another one without it.
What to know before buying the GoTrax GXL Commuter?
You should be aware of some of the tradeoffs, downsides, and issues that the GoTrax GXL Commuter has if you’re considering it.
Probably the biggest issue with the scooter would be the lemons, or the dead-on-arrival scooters that plagued its previous versions. To be fair, a lot of those kinks and issues have been fixed and are now a thing from the past, but still, you should know that as with every other budget scooter, there is a chance your scooter arrives damaged. Also, as we mentioned before, in case that happens, you will be entitled to either a replacement or a refund.
One downside of this scooter is the lack of a rear brake light. While the scooter does have reflective stickers on the rear, they will still not be enough for night rides, and you will have to get some after-market lights if you plan on riding at night.
One tradeoff the scooter has is the battery being situated in the stem. Usually, scooters have the battery in the deck, which lowers the scooter’s center of gravity and provides better balance. The GXL Commuter will be a bit front-heavy as a result of this choice, but the benefit here will be larger ground clearance.
Those are the major issues concerning this scooter. Everything else is either isolated incidents or due to misuse.
Price and value for money
The usual price of the GoTrax GXL Commuter is $249, or close. For that price, you get a trusted commute companion, and a reliable vehicle that will not only take you from point A to point B, but also do it with style and provide a lot of fun along the way.
Charging the scooter’s battery fully will cost you less than 1 cent, and it will be enough to get you to and from work or school. Your transport costs are practically eliminated.
Being one of the best budget scooters ever, we can safely say that the GoTrax GXL Commuter is incredible value for the money.
GoTrax GXL Commuter Specifications
|Top speed||26 kmh|
|Top speed||16 mph|
|Motors||single hub BLDC front-drive|
|Battery||187 Wh, 36 V|
|Charging time||4 h|
|Ingress protection (IP)||IP54|
|Weight limit||100 kg|
|Weight limit||220 lbs|
|Tire size||8.5 in|
|Tire pressure||50-75 psi|
|Trunk or basket||no (customization possible)|
|Build material||aluminum alloy|
|Brakes||dual, front electronic regenerative + rear disc|
|Lights||headlight + brake lights|
|Return period||14 days|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||99 cm * 43 cm * 36 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||39 in * 17 in * 14 in|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||99 cm * 43 cm * 108 cm|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||39 in * 17 in * 43 in|
|Deck to handlebar height||97 cm|
|Deck to handlebar height||38 in|
There is little doubt that the GoTrax GXL Commuter is a massively-popular scooter, well-received and respected by the masses. It is hard to estimate how many units the scooter has sold, but it is likely in the tens of thousands.
If this wasn’t a great budget scooter, that would be impossible to achieve.
The scooter has everything you may ask from a budget scooter – solid performance, decent quality level, great portability, and value for money that is hard to match. If your budget is $250 or less, you will not find a better scooter than this, and that might still be true even if you have a bigger budget!
Where to buy the GoTrax GXL Commuter from?