GoTrax Apex LE: Two-minute review
The GoTrax Apex LE is a surprising entry in the budget electric scooters range. Cheap e-scooters tend to be low-quality, and not as reliable as riders would like, but GoTrax seems to have gone out of its way to make this one an exception – and that’s coming from someone who’s ridden a whole lot of them.
This impressive e-scooter may not be as powerful or have as long a range as the best electric scooters on the market, but it punches above its sub-$400/£300 weight in terms of performance, build quality, and design. This makes it a shoo-in for the above best list, as well as among the best electric scooter for students.
As with most GoTrax electric scooters I’ve tested, some initial assembly is required. You still have to mount and secure the handlebar and attach the brake cord to the handbrake, which can take a bit of force or finagling, depending on your upper body strength. But beginners, fear not; the included manual does an excellent job of guiding you through the process, and it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to assemble.
The GoTrax Apex LE is a smaller model, so it should be easy to manage despite being on the heavier side at 32 lbs (14.5kg). It helps that the folding mechanism is just as easy to use – you simply pull the pin and then the lever to fold or pull the pin and then click in place to unfold. To secure that stem when folded, there’s a hook that attaches it to the rear bumper, the same one that serves as a hook for your bag when riding.
Its size isn’t its only cute factor. The first thing that attracted me to it is that it comes in four colorways, including pink and white. A lot of people don't mind the black-on-black aesthetic many e-scooters have adopted, but I’m tired of it, which makes the Apex LE all the more appealing to me.
Being a budget model, it does have a back-to-basics approach. There aren’t a lot of special features here – though it does have cruise control, which is easy to toggle on/off (hold the throttle to activate, double press it to deactivate). Even the LED dash has limited functionality – it won’t, for example, let you access different riding modes or levels, and it’s not easily visible in full sunlight. In addition, it only has an IPX4 rating so I wouldn’t take this out on a rainy day or ride it through puddles.
But while it compromises on features, it doesn’t compromise on build quality. I’ve tested several budget electric scooters that are almost embarrassing to ride because of their rattling parts, but the Apex LE feels robust and well-made inside and out. It even has a maximum load limit of 220 lbs (99.8kg). Not too shabby for something smaller than other models.
If you're on the bigger side, especially if you’ve got big feet, I would test the deck out before committing. It’s slim and narrow and, therefore, not very spacious, plus the deck surface doesn’t offer a lot of grippage. At least, it helps keep you safe with its bright-enough headlight and reactive tail light – though I would still practice riding an e-scooter safely because there aren’t any advanced safety features on it.
The good news is that the GoTrax Apex LE’s braking system is impressive, which is another thing you don’t always see on electric scooters in this price range. Comprised of a front electromagnetic brake and a rear disk brake, the braking system is very responsive and feels robust. More importantly, it offers a lot of control. It made me feel safe to go down the hill on a narrow, single-lane road that gets a lot of vehicular traffic.
Though GoTrax calls it a kick scooter, you don’t need to kick off that hard to get it started. Its throttle does take a second to start sometimes, which is weird. However, the 250w motor – which, by the way, is bizarrely powerful enough to get a heavy rider on a 10-degree incline – is incredibly snappy. During testing, it pushed its way up the incline while maintaining a decent speed even with a 170 lbs (77kg) rider, though obviously not at its top speed of 15.5mph (25kmh).
As it did when I rode it on gravel and dirt (read: rough) terrain. It has virtually no shock absorption – I felt every pebble on the unpaved roads and was rewarded with a massive headache for my efforts – but its motor handled those roads pretty well, and its 8.5-inch tires had more than enough traction to prevent me from slipping on loose dirt and going off course.
You might hesitate at that max speed, but at this price point, you won't get anything faster than 18mph (29kmh). Besides, most e-scooter-friendly cities have a speed limit, so it’s not like you can fully utilize a model that can do 35mph (56kmh) on your daily commutes anyway.
Speaking of daily commutes, its battery life of up to 12 miles (29km) per full charge means you'll have to charge it every day or every other day, depending on the length of your trips. Unfortunately, there are compromises to be made at this price point and this is one of them. On the upside, I've noticed that the battery keeps its juice fairly well when not in use, so if you just need to run errands now and then, you don’t have to worry about charging as often.
[Product]: Price & availability
- How much does it cost? $349 / £291 / AU$525
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia
The GoTrax Apex LE is cheap as chips at only $349 / £291 / AU$525 in the US, the UK and Australia, respectively. Though there are other electric scooters in this price range, I have yet to see something this cheap that’s as robust or capable. Because of that, I’m giving it a five out of five.
If your budget is a bit more flexible, I'd recommend getting the NIU KQi3 Pro. This is probably my favorite electric scooter due to its impressive shock absorption, spacious deck, powerful performance, and affordable price. If you want something with a much longer range, the TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery is a good affordable alternative too. Neither of them, however, is as cheap as the Apex LE.
- Value: 5 / 5
GoTrax Apex LE: Specs
|Top speed:||15mph (25kmh)|
|Range:||12 miles (29km)|
|Braking system:||(Front) Electromagnetic Brake, (Rear) Disc Brake|
|Weight:||32 lbs (14.5kg)|
|Max load capacity:||220 lbs (99.8kg)|
Should you buy the GoTrax Apex LE?
|Value||This is one of the cheapest yet best-performing electric scooters I’ve ever tested, and it punches above its weight.||5 / 5|
|Assembly||There’s some assembly, but not enough to make you sweat or force you to spend an hour you don’t have. Plus, the manual gives you clear step-by-step instructions.||5 / 5|
|Design||It’s adorable, being smaller than other e-scooters and coming in different colorways. The deck isn’t as spacious, but you probably shouldn’t be riding it if you’re bigger than the average person.||5 / 5|
|Performance||Standard is lower at this price point so I can easily forgive the lack of shock absorption and shorter range. However, this is surprisingly much more capable than it seems.||5 / 5|
|Avarage rating||Row 4 - Cell 1||5 / 5|
Buy it if...
You want a reliable and affordable electric scooter
The GoTrax Apex LE punches above its weight in performance.
You’re on a tight budget
If you're looking for the best budget e-scooter overall, this is one of the best options right now.
You’re a student who needs a convenient commute
Whether you need something just to take you around campus or to run errands on, this is a great solution.
Don't buy it if...
You got the money
If you have the money, why not get a better-performing electric scooter?
You need proper shock absorption
Shock absorption isn't the Apex LE's strongest suit. You'll get a headache riding this on dirt roads.
You live on a hill
It maintains decent speeds going up a 10-degree hill, but it won't help you much on a 15- to 20-degree incline.
GoTrax Apex LE: Also consider
|GoTrax Apex LE||NIU KQi3 Pro||TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery|
|Price:||$349 / £291 / $525||$799 / £699 / AU$1,279||$799 (about £707 / AU$1253)|
|MotorL||250W motor||700W motor||450W motor|
|Top speed:||15mph (25kmh)||20mph (32kmh)||20mph (32kmh)|
|Range:||12 miles (29km)||31 miles (50km)||50 miles (80km)|
|Braking system:||(Front) Electromagnetic Brake, (Rear) Disc Brake||Dual Disc Brake (Front & Rear) + Regenerative braking||Dual-braking system|
|Weight:||32 lbs (14.5kg)||44.7 lbs (20.3kg)||47.62 lbs (21.6kg)|
|Max load capacity:||220 lbs (99.8kg)||265 lbs (120kg)||275 lbs (125kg)|
NIU KQi3 Pro
The NIU KQi3 Pro blew us away at first ride with its impressive shock absorption (due to those fat tires), spacious deck, and powerful performance.
Read our full NIU KQi3 Pro review
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery
It's a robust and powerful scooter with enough battery life, since it has two, to provide up to 50 miles of range. And, it gives a decently smooth ride as well.
Read our full TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery review
How I tested the GoTrax Apex LE
- I spent a couple of weeks riding the GoTrax Apex LE
- I rode it on paved paths as well as rougher trails and hilly roads
- I tested its performance and features in real-world scenarios
After realizing that the GoTrax Apex LE is more capable than it looks, having ridden it around a massive parking lot the first time, I really pushed it to see how it handles different road conditions.
I rode it up and down a hill, testing its brakes in the process, and on gravel and loose dirt roads, seeing if its tires are able to offer enough traction and how good (or bad) its ability is to absorb shock. Of course, I tested its battery life as well. And, while there aren't a lot of features here, I made sure to test the basic ones that it does offer.
I've been a regular electric scooter user for years and have tested and reviewed many of the top models on the market.
First reviewed March 2023