Meet the GOTRAX F2 Step Thru “foldable” electric bike, one of the least expensive, sturdiest folding electric bicycles you can buy, from one of the most recognized micromobility brands in the world.
And, yes, we’re talking about that GOTRAX, the company that’s still best known for its compact and clever electric scooters. Deservedly so, too — more than once, GOTRAX was the most successful e-scooter brand on Amazon, and my own GOTRAX scooter (that I used my own, actual US dollars to buy) has a sturdy hook/clip combination for secure folding that acts as a bag hook on the go, an integrated bike lock, and even a digital PIN for added security.
I’m a fan of the brand, in other words, but I am also somewhat spoiled by my own garage, which is jam-packed with a broad array of higher-end acoustic and electric bikes. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I, personally, did not like riding the F2.
The GOTRAX F2 Experience
Assembling the F2 was a breeze. GOTRAX does a great job of making the unboxing and build-up of its bikes simple enough for novices, and the F2 was no different. In less than twenty minutes, I was ready to go.
Once assembled, the F2 presented a stout and sturdy presence that filled me with confidence. I immediately believed that the bike could easily handle whatever I threw at it, and marveled at the economies in scale that GOTRAX must have in play to deliver a bike like this for (as I type this) $799 plus shipping.
With the tires aired up, I hopped aboard the F2 and kicked off. A little wobble as I start pedaling, nothing out of the ordinary there, picking up speed and– whoah!!
The GOTRAX F2’s 500W motor kicks on suddenly, and powerfully. There’s no buildup. It’s off, then it’s on, and it’s rocketing me forward.
I checked the bike’s digital LCD display, thinking I’d somehow bumped the assist to the highest level — but no. It was on Level 1 assist. I tried again, throttle-only this time. A twist of the wrist, a pause, then the bike surges ahead. The same off/on power delivery that surprised me a few moments ago.
“Maybe it’s me,” I thought. I’d put some miles on the Specialized and another new, pricier e-bike that I’ll be reviewing in the coming days. Maybe I’d been spoiled by the torque sensors in those bikes. I handed the bike off to my son, home from college for a few weeks, to get his take.
“What do you want me to do?”
I explained, again, that I just wanted him to start riding. Don’t look for anything or think about anything, just start riding and tell me what you think.
“OK, so I just– Jesus!!”
It’s not just me, then, but my kids might be among a handful of people in the world who are just as spoiled by e-bikes as I am. I needed someone more objective.
Luckily my neighbor, Sean, was out playing with his kids. We’re a close neighborhood, so it wasn’t that weird to ask him to hop on the bike and give it a spin around the block.
“What do you want me to do? Just get on and– oh, wow!!
I nodded to myself, grimly, as Sean sped off on the bike and rounded the corner. “I’ll have to give them a bad review,” I thought. “Jeff (GOTRAX’ head of marketing) will never forgive me. He’ll cut me off.” My anxiety was off to the races, and it was a fine, muscled thoroughbred of the highest order … until Sean came back into view, grinning from ear to ear.
“It’s awesome!” he said. “I love how it takes off like that!”
Was he being nice? He didn’t seem to be, and neither did the three other Oak Park Dads I managed to coax onto the F2 — all of them e-bike novices, and all of them rolling to a stop with an ear-to-ear smile.
“I’d love to have one of these up at the cottage,” said another neighbor.
“Wow!,” said a third, after I told him the bike’s price. “I would have thought it was at least two grand!”
GOTRAX F2: The Verdict
If you’re curious about e-bikes, and are looking for an inexpensive way to get onto one and see how it fits into your life, I don’t know if you could find a better bike than the GOTRAX F2. At $799, it feels like it should fall into my “that’s not enough dollars” territory — but the F2 is better than that. In the few miles I’ve ridden it, it has never squeaked, rattled, or otherwise given the impression that it’s anything but a well-sorted and capable commuter. Its fat-ish tires absorb bumps and potholes well enough, and its sturdy rack was more than up to the task of transporting beer-filled coolers around the neighborhood on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Is it the best folding e-bike you can buy? No. Far from it. Is it the best folding e-bike you can buy for $799? I’d be genuinely shocked if it wasn’t, and GOTRAX’s national network of supporting dealers might be enough to tip the scales back in its favor, even if you did find one.
So, what’s my verdict? If you’re e-bike-curious, give it a shot. Oh – and, also: I am spoiled man-child.
Full disclosure: While I bought my GOTRAX scooter with my own money, the company provided me with a sample of the F2 folding e-bike at no cost for the purposes of this review. CleanTechnica may earn a commission if you buy a GOTRAX using this link.
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