While the majority of high-quality folding e-bikes cost more than $1,000, there are still many manufacturers dedicated to making affordable ones. The GOTRAX Shift S1 is another low-priced option; It has the original price tag of $799 but you can buy it for just $499 when it goes on sale on the official website, Target, Walmart, or Macy’s.
Specifications & Features
|Dimensions||53.5 x 23 x 39 inches|
|Motor||350W front hub motor|
|Max Speed||20 mph|
|Electric Modes||Thumb Throttle, Cruise Control, Pedal Assist (3 levels)|
|Battery||36V – 5.2 Ah (187 Wh), removable|
|Battery Range||15 miles|
|Charging Time||3.5 hours|
|Max Rider Weight||265 lbs|
As a budget e-bike, the GOTRAX Shift S1 actually has very good build quality. The design looks quite clean with a single speed and a front hub motor. Unfortunately, the battery is placed between the rear wheel and crankset; It is not hidden in the frame, so it is exposed to all weather conditions. Therefore, you shouldn’t ride the bike under the rain, otherwise, it would be damaged and not covered by warranty. Battery is the most important component of an electric bike and when it is not covered or protected adequately, its longevity will absolutely be shortened. An advantage of the design is that it is so fast and easy to remove the battery for recharging. Besides, the size and weight of the bike is just perfect for transportation; I can take it to my car trunk and there is still plenty of room for other stuffs.
Another problem I had is that I couldn’t screw the left pedal all the way into the crank arm. I’m probably just unlucky because I have seen no similar complaint regarding this issue. I’m more concerned about the connection of the handlepost to the frame. A few nuts and bolts seem to be not strong enough to hold the handlebar in long term. In fact, some consumers had their handlebar fall off completely after a while.
The motor of the GOTRAX is more powerful than I expected and it really helped me climb some hills with ease, although this is just a single-speed bike. However, this is also the loudest motor of any e-bike that I’ve ever tried. It should be alright on crowded streets but the noise absolutely can draw some attention of people around sometimes.
The bike uses a cadence sensor, so you will have the boost as soon as you start pedaling. This can cause some hiccups during the ride and I have almost no control at low speed; Even when I try to pedal slowly, the acceleration is still too much. Having said that, this is understandable since the sensor is used on almost all budget e-bikes on the market.
You can either use this bike in the pedal assist or full throttle mode. In the full throttle mode, you just need to press the thumb throttle to ride without pedaling. Moreover, holding the throttle at the same speed for a few seconds will activate the cruise control function; That means you don’t need to hold the throttle at all. This mode is suitable for riding on empty even roads.
In terms of riding experience, I was quite impressed with the 20mph max speed and the comfort of the bike. Although it has small 16-inch wheels, the tires are big and fat so they can absorb some vibrations when riding on bumpy roads. My only complaint is that the battery range is subpar at 10-15 miles on a single charge. If you plan to use this bike for commuting to work, you probably will need to recharge it almost every day. Fortunately, the battery is so light and small, so you even can take it to your workplace to charge.
- Low price
- Powerful motor
- Compact and portable battery
- Noisy motor
- Battery is uncovered
- Average build quality
The GOTRAX Shift S1 is among the most affordable folding e-bikes at this time and it works fine for less-demanding consumers. If you can get the bike for less than $500, we at BikeFolded highly recommend it.
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