GoTrax Apex Review
The newest addition to GoTrax’s impressive line of scooters for adults, the Apex ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank. Ideal for commuters, casual riders, teenagers, or those just starting on their electric scooter journey, the Apex is a truly versatile scooter. A handy tail light, new and improved battery, and stunning, multifunctional LED dashboard all help the Apex stand out from previous models in the GoTrax line. Yet, in keeping the matte-black finish, pneumatic tires, and durable, waterproof frame of its predecessors, the Apex retains everything that makes GoTrax’s scooters great. I thought that the GoTrax GXL V2 was the best scooter on the market for less than $300. The Apex has forced me to rethink.
GoTrax Apex Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the GoTrax Apex Be a Good Fit For You?
The GoTrax Apex wears many hats.
Its tidy folding functionality makes it an ideal scooter for those ‘last mile’ commutes. And, with a range of around 15 miles and a quick, 4-hour charge time, it’s well-suited to the busy schedules of full-time workers.
The Apex – with its sleek, midnight black and green color scheme, and dazzling LED dashboard – is also sure to appeal to a younger, more style-conscious generation of riders.
Oh, and it's budget-friendly. In terms of specs, you won’t get a better deal from any other scooter at the same price.
So, whether you’ve got your eye on this one as a gift for your teenager, for yourself as a commuter scooter, or because of its alluring price tag alone, the Apex offers something for everyone.
Pros and Cons
- Best budget scooter under $300
- 8.5-inch pneumatic tires provide decent shock absorption
- Powerful brakes
- Responsive tail light adds visibility in low-light conditions
- Cruise control
- IP54 water-resistant rating
- Bell can rattle when riding
- Assembly is a little tricky
- Overstates hill-climbing ability
Is the GoTrax Apex Comfortable to Ride?
Trust me – the GoTrax Apex is one of the most comfortable budget scooters we’ve tested.
For one, the Apex sports 8.5-inch pneumatic tires. These add a layer of comfort as they absorb the terrain underfoot. They are a godsend when it comes to navigating the cracks and bumps. Dare I even say that they are better than the Unagi Model One which is $990. Yup, they don’t disappoint – especially when ridden on well-maintained roads and sidewalks.
Even better, the Apex has an added ace up its sleeve. Its tires have been fitted with a slightly thicker exterior; offering extra protection from punctures, and a slightly enhanced level of shock absorption compared to standard pneumatics. I should also add that, aside from these tires, the Apex has no conventional suspension – so the tires are your last line of defence.
Another reason the Apex is comfortable is down (perhaps counter-intuitively) to its battery.
…well, the location of its battery, at least. The Apex’s battery is stored in the deck, giving the scooter a lower center of gravity. This lends it a stable, balanced, and ultimately more comfortable ride that’s sure to go down a treat – particularly with first-time riders, or those still learning the ropes.
Starting from the top and working our way down, let’s explore the handlebars.
My first thoughts? They don’t fold. While this can be a slight setback – particularly if you’re planning to travel with this scooter – it’s something we’ve more or less come to expect from the GoTrax range (if folding handlebars are a must for you, check out the Horizon 10.4).
Other than this, the Apex’s hand grips – coated in textured black rubber, for extra grip – lend themselves to the durable build quality. It’s not just the hand grips that lend themselves to the joy of riding the Apex.
The Apex’s flashy LED dashboard (parked smack-bang in the center, for maximum visibility), thumb throttle (to the right), and handbrake (to the left) all play their part in delivering a ride befitting a more expensive scooter. Not seen on all electric scooters, the handbrake is an important inclusion and one that will certainly assuage the fears of newer or younger riders – especially those that are familiar with riding a bike. Some scooters use electronic thumb paddles to brake but these can take some getting used to.
The handlebars also house a handy bell, for letting pedestrians and other riders know that you’re coming through. No doubt a useful feature, sure – but also a little annoying. Mine rattled when I was riding.
As the newest in GoTrax’s line of scooters, the Apex’s designers might have felt a lot of pressure to “shake things up”, or reinvent the look and feel.
Thankfully, they stuck with the classic design that we’ve come to love on all GoTrax scooters. The Apex retains the matte-black color scheme of its previous models. It’s a good job, too – midnight black tends to be the scooter community’s preferred choice of color, as it is mine.
Bear in mind, though, that the GoTrax logo is very visible. Located in big letters halfway up the stem, with a green background to make it pop, there’s little chance people on the street won’t know what kind of scooter you’re riding.
I say rock it – but if you’re not a fan of showing off the brands you buy, this scooter’s probably not for you.
And no, I don’t mean the deck itself is particularly special – though, with a grippy surface, robust kickstand, and a sleek lined tread, there’s certainly plenty to admire.
Nope – what I’m talking about is that the Apex’s battery is stored in the deck. While this may seem like a minor design aspect, this is actually instrumental in affording the Apex with a low center of gravity. This lends the rider the effect of feeling more balanced and in control of the scooter and makes it easier to handle and steer.
Coleman, our resident GoTrax scooter tester, hopped on the Apex for his first test run and was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it was when it came to maneuvering it through the streets of Glendale.
Boy, do the GoTrax Apex’s tires have a lot to offer. Firstly, they measure 8.5-inches in circumference, offering a larger surface area than tires on similarly-priced scooters. This helps with handling and control and is just one of the plethora of reasons the Apex is such a dream to ride.
Secondly, those tires are pneumatic. If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know I don’t make an effort to hide my issues with solid tires, so it’s always a relief to review (and ride) scooters boasting the airless variety.
The Apex’s pneumatic tires offer a basic level of shock absorption and help cushion any blows and imperfections from rougher surfaces. Pleasantly, this is something we see a lot with GoTrax scooters, and the Apex doesn’t buck the trend.
The newest model in the GoTrax range does offer one refreshing twist, though. As previously mentioned, its tires are slightly thicker than its siblings’ – an innovation no doubt designed to make it more puncture-proof.
I’m happy to report that – after taking the Apex for a spin – there’s no obvious disparity in ride comfort or quality when compared to the thinner tires of the GoTrax GXL V2 or XR Ultra. This one really is the wheel deal.
Build Quality & Durability
As you’d expect from such a renowned brand, the Apex is built to last.
For one, the frame is made of a sturdy, aerospace-grade aluminum alloy. As far as budget scooters go, it is up there with the best and even boasts the same make-up as the GoTrax G4 (a higher-end GoTrax scooter that we’ve also been lucky enough to test).
Oh, and it comes with the same IP54 water resistance as all other GoTrax models, so you should have no qualms riding this one on a rainy day.
The only note I’d make here is that the Apex’s deck, as mentioned, is quite low-lying, meaning it can be prone to scratches and superficial damage if you’re not careful. As we’ll see shortly, the warranty won’t cover issues of this kind, so this is something to bear in mind before attempting any risky curb mounts. I’d also advise avoiding puddles considering the placement of the battery in the deck.
Weight & Load
The Apex’s 32.1 lb weight puts it somewhat on a par with the XR Elite, but it’s gained a few pounds compared to earlier GoTrax models, including the XR Ultra, and GXL V2.
Nevertheless, it’s in the top 27% of scooters for its lightweight build (based on our independent research of 99 scooters) and still manages to support up to 220 lbs. Though, if you find yourself towards the upper limits of the weight threshold, the acceleration and general performance of the scooter will lag.
Folding & Portability
The Apex is as easy as they come when it comes to folding.
It folds down in just a click, meaning it’s convenient for storing in the trunk for long rides, or in a closet at home. Better still, the Apex’s folding functionality never comes at the expense of safety – a red safety latch protects the handlebars from folding inward while riding.
Plus, you can easily curl your hand around the thin handlebar stem for easy lifting.
Assembly takes a few steps.
To start, press down on the fender to separate the folding hook and fender buckle. Lift the scooter into an upright position, and lock it in place.
Then, it’s simply a matter of slotting the steering console (i.e. the handlebars) in the top of the scooter’s stem, and tightening a few screws with a 4 mm Allen wrench (which comes included).
I do have to say that the assembly instructions provided aren’t completely correct – I think they reused older manuals from previous GoTrax scooters and just replaced the model name. For example, the manual states you have to remove the hook located on the tiller before slotting the handlebars into place and retightening. This isn’t the case – the hook is lower than where the handlebars insert into the tiller leaving just a few screws (as mentioned above) to be tightened.
It can be a little finicky at times – particularly when it comes to configuring the brakes. But the instructions (which you can find a digital copy of here) are fairly clear (albeit the above), and it shouldn’t take you longer than half an hour between unboxing your new shiny Apex and taking it for your first spin.
I wish I had recorded the entirety of the assembly for you but I found GoTrax’s video which runs through each of the steps required:
GOTRAX Apex Unboxing and Assembly Overview
Discover how to assemble the GoTrax Apex.
If you do hit a wall putting it together, though, you can give GoTrax’s team a call on 844-4GO-TRAX for assistance, or explore their other post-purchase support options.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
Like its predecessors, the GXL V2 and XR Elite – the Apex can reach a top speed of 15.5 mph. However, it does have a slower acceleration curve when compared to the XR Elite – mainly as a result of the smaller 250W motor (vs 300W).
While this means the Apex isn’t exactly the quickest scooter, it does make it the ideal pace for first-time riders. The Apex is fast enough to get you from A to B, but not so rapid that you’ll risk taking a tumble while weaving your way through pedestrians and joggers.
Plus, the Apex’s 15.5 mph top speed – like the GXL V2 – actually makes it one of the fastest scooters you can buy for less than $300.
Considering that you could be paying up to $599 for the INOKIM Mini 2 and $749 for the Ninebot Air T15 – which have similar top speeds to the Apex – the $299 price tag suddenly starts looking like a steal.
The Apex boasts a maximum mileage of 15 miles. Based on our hands-on testing, that translates into 7-9 miles of realistic ride time. This is to be expected as most scooters achieve their maximum range under best-case conditions which generally involve a flat, smooth road, a rider that weighs 165 lbs, and the scooter gliding in its lowest speed setting.
Whilst you may scoff at the 7-9 miles range, I can assure you that the Apex has the greatest range of all scooters under $300.
It’s also nice to see that GoTrax is committed to improving the designs of its scooters. By boasting a better battery than the GXL V2 (its predecessor), the Apex boosts its sibling’s 12 mile range by a whole 25% – a development that’s sure to be welcomed by all scooterists.
To further put the range into perspective, the Apex’s battery life is on par with models like the Segway Ninebot E22 which costs more than double ($649.99), and the Unagi Model One (Dual Motor) which costs a whopping $990 and is over triple the price of the Apex.
What I’m trying to say is that the Apex sports enough stamina for weekend rides, leisurely pursuits, and short commutes without the inflated price tag.
Equipped with a motor offering 250W of nominal power (and 350W at its peak), GoTrax states that the Apex can climb hills with a 14-degree incline. In practice, this is just 1-degree shy of San Francisco’s menacingly steep Lombard Street. When I saw this, my eyebrows raised to my hairline and then to the back of my head (as should yours). A scooter capable of scaling 14-degree inclines for just $300? What sort of witchcraft is going on here?!
I thought to myself – this doesn’t sound like it would ring true. So, as any good scooter enthusiast would do, we put it to the test. And to no surprise, it became quickly apparent that the performance of the Apex didn’t hold to the statements made. In reality, it is capable of tackling hills with a 14% incline grade which is very different from 14-degrees. In degree terms, this is the equivalent to just shy of 8.
So, what does all of this mean for you? Well, whilst the Apex isn’t a certified hill chomping machine, it does suffice for the majority of gradual inclines you’ll face while exploring the neighborhood. On the flip side, if you live in San Francisco, you’re better off giving this one a miss and checking out my guide to the best electric scooters for hill climbing.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The Apex doesn’t have any components dedicated to suspension. What it does have, though, is pneumatic tires.
Compared to their solid, airless counterparts, pneumatic tires provide a greater degree of innate shock absorption. They’re more adaptive to various types of terrain, too – meaning your knees and joints will be insulated from the road’s more jarring cracks and crevices.
For best performance and ultimate riding comfort, stick to flat, well-maintained roads and sidewalks – anything bumpier and you’ll feel it in your wrists and knees.
If you are searching for an entry-level scooter that has superior ride quality, check out the Horizon 10.4 It features spring suspension in the front and a hydraulic system in the back for $699. Or, if you’ve got the cash to splash, check out my guide to the best electric scooters with suspension.
Let’s face it – with a front handbrake powering a rear disc brake and electric anti-lock system, the GoTrax Apex was always going to have some serious stopping power.
And, after taking the Apex for a ride, we were pleasantly surprised at just how responsive its dual braking system is. I’d even go as far as saying that the Apex’s brakes trump those of the GoTrax G4 – which, as already discussed, is GoTrax’s more premium model.
Doubling down on all that safety is the scooter’s responsive rear light, which illuminates when you pull on the brakes. This makes the Apex the ideal partner for evening rides, or when visibility is low – though I’d always advise investing in more lights to be safe. Nevertheless, the addition of the rear light is a significant improvement on the GoTrax GXL V2 which only has reflectors.
The GoTrax Apex can reach full charge within just 4 hours.
For a scooter of the Apex’s size, specs, and power, this is about industry standard.
The charging port is located to the rear of the scooter, just below the fender.
As the most recent addition to the GoTrax canon, the Apex shares many similar specs to the scooters that came before it – speed, range, and hill-climbing capability all come to mind here.
But, like all good upgrades, the Apex also improves on some of the fun aspects of its predecessors – most notably with its new and improved LED dashboard. Designed and executed as a direct result of customer feedback, the black, angular glass of the Apex’s LED display is bigger than those on previous GoTrax models – and it fits the scooter’s look and feel to a tee.
Here’s where you’ll be able to view your scooter’s battery life and speed and activate the Apex’s front LED headlight. The dashboard will also be the first to let you know if you’re in cruise control.
It’s always nice when a company listens to its customers, and I applaud GoTrax for doing it. My only hangup though – and it’s an issue that plagues a lot of electric scooters – is that it’s a little dark. While no doubt contributing to the Apex’s undeniable style factor, it can be a little difficult to read – particularly on sunnier days.
The Apex is all about LED lights, and I love it.
On top of its surprisingly powerful headlight – which improves upon previous GoTrax models – the bonus here is the Apex’s rear tail light. An unexpected (but thoroughly welcome) addition, it’s a feature not normally seen on scooters within the $300 price bracket.
The Apex’s responsive rear tail light bestows the scooter not only with an extra touch of class but also means you can feel just that bit safer when you’re out riding in the evening.
Like its predecessors, the Apex has cruise control. You can monitor this from the central LED panel, and activate it easily by pushing down the accelerator and maintaining a constant speed for 8-10 seconds. You’ll know when you’re in cruise control when your Apex emits a beep.
There’s one thing I noticed about the Apex’s cruise control when testing it that sticks out, though.
That beeping sound you hear when cruise control kicks in, is, for some reason, quieter than that of similar GoTrax models. If you’re not listening out for it, then there’s a chance you’ll get a shock when the scooter continues to glide at a steady pace – despite you not touching the throttle.
Water Resistance Rating
Like the rest of the GoTrax range, the Apex comes with an IP54 water-resistance rating.
This makes the scooter more or less completely splash-proof, but not necessarily water-proof.
So, while you can be confident taking your Apex out for a spin in the drizzle, I wouldn’t recommend exposing it to watery environments for long periods.
More impressive, though, is the fact that only 40% of scooters (based on our independent research) have a water-resistant rating. So, you can count yourself as one of the lucky few.
Battery Management System
While the Apex lacks the obvious benefits of an LG battery, there’s still plenty to love here.
Firstly, the battery setup – like so many other aspects of the scooter – improves on its forebears in GoTrax’s line of adult scooters. The Li-ion battery not only provides a pacey 4-hour charge time and max 15 mile range (7-9 miles under realistic conditions) but comes with a battery management system to boot.
Granted, it’s not quite as savvy as the smart battery management setups you’ll see in a Segway scooter – but few are. Regardless, your Apex’s battery will still benefit from a setup that protects it from short-circuiting and extends its shelf life for many, many charge cycles.
Specification: GoTrax Apex Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
Definitely. In fact, the price tag is just about this scooter’s best feature.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Apex steals the crown from the GoTrax GXL V2, as the best scooter for under $300.
That’s not just down to its specs and overall performance, either, but because of the Apex’s little touches: its new and improved LED dashboard, for instance, and its better battery and range. The Apex’s tail light, too, is something you won’t find on the GXL V2 or other similarly priced scooters for that matter.
Moral of the story? When it comes to electric scooters, bargain buys don’t get better than this.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
All GoTrax scooters come with a 90-day warranty. This covers, in the company’s own words, “parts or issues due to manufacturer defects”. This means that any cosmetic damage you cause to the scooter, such as surface blemishes or scratches from day-to-day riding, won’t be eligible for replacement.
You’ll also get no warranty coverage for any signs of age, such as faded paint, rusting, or deterioration of the Apex’s rubber or plastic components. In other words, ‘wear and tear’ will come out of your pocket.
Damage to your Apex’s tires or tubes won’t be covered under warranty, either. Likewise, any issues that arise from the scooter’s exposure to the elements – whether that’s splashes, soot, sea breeze, or saltwater – won’t be covered.
You can claim under your GoTrax Apex’s 90-day warranty online. Just remember, it’ll be easy for the GoTrax team to differentiate the damage you’ve inflicted on the scooter from anything caused by a manufacturer’s fault. So, it’s in your best interest to keep your Apex in good nick.
As well as being able to claim under your warranty, GoTrax’s website is where you’ll be able to browse its wide breadth of online support resources. These include quite an extensive FAQ page and info about returns, as well as PDF copies of the manual (which, thankfully, includes the instructions).
There are also digital guides to replacing the scooter’s battery and circuit board, although it’s unlikely you’ll end up having to do this.
For any issues that can’t be solved with a browse through GoTrax’s website, you can send an email via an embedded contact form. Otherwise, you can try giving the customer service team a call. The number is 844-4GO-TRAX, and you can reach them between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm CST.
Specification: GoTrax Apex Review