GoTrax Dolphin Budget Step-Thru E-Bike: Is It Worth $599?

GoTrax Dolphin Step-Thru E-Bike

Are you looking for a reliable, budget-friendly step thru e-bike that doesn’t skimp on features? Meet the GoTrax Dolphin, priced at just $599. You might be wondering if an e-bike at this price can actually deliver. Well, in this review, we’re diving deep into what the GoTrax Dolphin offers and whether it’s worth your hard-earned money. So, let’s get started and find out if this bike is a steal or a splurge.

First Impressions: Out of the Box

When you first lay eyes on the GoTrax Dolphin, you’re greeted with a sleek, modern design. The bike looks more expensive than it is, which is always a good start. Assembling the bike is straightforward, and you won’t need an engineering degree to get it ready for the road. Just a few tools, a bit of patience, and you’ll be set.

The GoTrax Dolphin step thru e-bike comes about 75% assembled in the box. I had to install the handlebars into the neck and install the front wheel. The front wheel is installed with a stud and a latch similar to what you will find on your seat adjustment. I have only seen one other electric scooter use this method to attach a wheel. It does make it easy to remove the front wheel to fit the e-bike into your vehicle and easily reassemble without the need of any tools.

I did find that the front disc brake calipers were a little tight and too close together, so I had to adjust them to install the front wheel. Once the handlebars and front wheel is installed, you just need to charge it up and your ready to ride!

A Person removing the battery on the GoTrax Dolphin Step-Thru E-Bike

GoTrax Dolphin Step-Thru E-Bike Key Features

1. Wheels and Brakes

The GoTrax Dolphin step thru e-bike features 26-inch wheels and front & rear disc brakes. These brakes have been surprisingly quiet and haven’t required any adjustments since day one. (Except when installing the front tire.) That’s a win in my book. Plus, the bike includes front suspension, which isn’t adjustable but is definitely better than nothing. It’ll be interesting to see how it handles when we take it out for a spin.

2. Removable Battery and 350W Motor

One of my favorite features of this step thru e-bike is the removable battery. You can easily take it out to charge and pop it back in when you’re ready to ride. Or you can have a second battery already charged that you can switch out in seconds and be back out on your ride with minimal delay. This is a feature you usually find in more expensive models, so it’s a pleasant surprise here. The bike is powered by a 280.8Wh battery and a 350W motor, which pairs with a seven-speed Shimano shifter, offering plenty of gears for different terrains and speeds.

3. What’s The Range Of The GoTrax Dolphin?

GoTrax says that the Dolphin step thru e-bike has a range of 15.5 miles when using the throttle only. If you want to use pedal assist, the Dolphin e-bike can reach 30 miles on a charge. If you are new to e-bikes, you can’t always go by what the manufacturer says the range is going to be because of the way they test. When doing range tests, the manufacturers use very lightweight people to ride the bike and keep it on a flat surface, in speed mode 1 with no starts or stops. This does not represent the typical rider, in my opinion. So we usually say to cut the range in half and thats more realistic. In this case, I performed a range test in my video review, in which I got around 14.3 miles of range.

4. Seven Speed Shimano Shifter

GoTrax equips the Dolphin step thru e-bike with a seven speed Shimano shifter and gear system. This allows you to change gears according to the speed mode you are in, so you can still get resistance and exercise with a little help from the e-bike. Some e-bikes are too fast for the gears available, so you cannot keep up with the pedaling at high speed. That’s not the case with the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike, even at the highest speed mode in the highest gear, you can still keep up with the pedaling and get your exercise.

Hitting the Road: Performance Review

Real-World Testing

To truly test the GoTrax Dolphin, I took it to work and rode it at lunchtime, rode through various terrains, including gravel trails, grass, and even hills on a golf course. It handled well in most situations, with the front suspension providing enough cushioning to make the ride comfortable. The bike performed admirably on grass, even up and down small hills, showing that it’s versatile enough for different environments.

A Man riding the GoTrax Dolphin Step-Thru E-bike

Comfort and Ride Quality

The GoTrax Dolphin step thru e-bike features a comfortable seat with plenty of adjustability. You don’t need any tools to make adjustments, which is super convenient. I was able to ride 14 miles, and my rear end only hurt a little bit. The handlebars have a nice grip and are removable with an Allen key if you want to adjust them or switch them out. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of grip even on hot days when your hands might be sweaty. The bike feels stable and built well. I did notice a vibration when accelerating, though. It seemed to happen only during acceleration and at the right harmonics. Other than that the bike feels nice.

Speed and Acceleration

Now, let’s talk about speed. The Dolphin promises a top speed of 20 mph. While there’s no built-in speedometer, you can use your phone’s GPS to track your speed. GoTrax also claims in the manual that it has a boost mode that increases the speed by 3.7mph. During testing, I didn’t see the increase in speed, but it did activate a cruise control feature I didn’t know it had. Watch my video to see me figure it out and test the cruise control feature. On the road, the bike feels faster when you’re pedaling compared to just using the throttle. This makes sense because the motor assists your pedaling efforts, giving you a bit of a boost.

Handling Hills And Grass

I took the Dolphin step thru e-bike for a hill test on the golf course to see how it handles inclines. In full pedal assist mode and in gear 7, the bike climbed a steep grass hill without much trouble, twice. Even though the motor is only 350W, it packs enough punch to get you up moderate hills and overpasses, especially when you’re helping out with some pedaling. On grass, it does pretty well. I tested it on some golf course grass, which I know is like carpet, but it performed well. I was able to hold a pretty good speed, and with the front suspension, it was pretty smooth. The thicker the grass, the harder of a time the dolphin will have, so be careful.

Front And Rear Disc brakes

A crucial aspect of any bike is how well it stops. I conducted a brake test, slamming on both the front and rear disc brakes while traveling at about 20 mph. The bike didn’t skid, which is good because that can be dangerous, but it did take a bit longer to come to a complete stop. So, while the brakes are reliable, they might not be the quickest to respond in an emergency. I have not heard any noise or squeaking coming from the brakes so far which is nice. There is nothing worse than squeaky brakes.

Pro's And Con's Of The GoTrax Dolphin Step-Thru E-Bike

  • Pro #1

    Affordable Price: At $599, you get a lot of bike for your money. If you are a beginner or someone not looking for lots of power, this is a good choice.

  • Pro #2

    Comfortable Ride: The seat and cruiser handlebars make for a pleasant riding experience. After 14 miles my back didn't hurt and my rear end only hurt a little.

  • Pro #3

    Removable Battery: Convenient for charging inside or switching out with an already charged battery and typically found in pricier models.

  • Pro #4

    Front Suspension: Adds to the comfort, even if it’s not adjustable. The ride was pretty smooth, even over curbs and bumps in the road.

  • Pro #5

    Cruise Control: The boost mode acts like cruise control, maintaining speed without continuous input. it will even accelerate for you up to the top speed if you engage while going slow.

  • Con #1

    Braking Distance: While the brakes performed well without locking up or skidding, they could be quicker to bring you to a stop. Overall, they performed well.

  • Con #2

    Lack of Speedometer: I understand GoTrax is trying to keep the price down but knowing your exact speed would be beneficial, especially for tracking performance.

  • Con #3

    No Rear Suspension: The Dophin does come equipped with front suspension that takes the initial shock out of bumps in the road, but rear suspension would be nice.

Conclusion: Is It Worth $599?

After putting the GoTrax Dolphin step thru e-bike through its paces, I can confidently say that it offers excellent value for its price. It’s comfortable, has useful features like a removable battery and front suspension, and performs well on the road and off. Sure, it has its limitations, like the lack of a speedometer and rear suspension, but these are minor issues considering the overall package.

If you’re in the market for an affordable e-bike that doesn’t compromise on essential features, the GoTrax Dolphin is a solid choice. It’s perfect for commuting, leisurely rides, or even some light off-roading.

So, what do you think? Ready to take the plunge and get yourself a GoTrax Dolphin? Let me know if you have any questions or need more information. And as always, happy riding!

FAQs about the GoTrax Dolphin E-Bike

1. What is the top speed of the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike?

The GoTrax Dolphin e-bike has a top speed of 20 mph, making it ideal for both commuting and leisurely rides.

2. How far can the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike travel on a single charge?

On pedal assist mode, the GoTrax Dolphin can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge. When using the throttle only, it can cover approximately 15 miles.

3. Does the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike have a removable battery?

Yes, the GoTrax Dolphin features a removable battery, which allows for convenient charging and replacement if needed.

4. What type of brakes does the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike have?

The GoTrax Dolphin e-bike is equipped with front and rear disc brakes, providing reliable stopping power.

5. Is the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike suitable for hill climbing?

Yes, the GoTrax Dolphin is capable of handling moderate hills, especially when using pedal assist mode. The 350W motor provides ample power for most inclines.

6. How long does it take to assemble the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike?

Assembling the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike is straightforward and typically takes about 30-45 minutes, requiring only basic tools.

7. Does the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike have suspension?

The GoTrax Dolphin comes with front suspension, which enhances ride comfort on various terrains.

8. Can I use the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike in the rain?

While the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike is water-resistant and can handle light rain, it is not recommended to use it in heavy downpours or to submerge it in water.

9. What is the weight capacity of the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike?

The GoTrax Dolphin e-bike has a weight capacity of 265 pounds, accommodating most riders comfortably.

10. Does the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike come with a warranty?

Yes, the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike comes with a one-year limited warranty, covering defects in materials and workmanship.

11. How do I maintain the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike?

Regular maintenance of the GoTrax Dolphin includes checking tire pressure, ensuring the brakes are properly adjusted, and keeping the chain lubricated. It’s also important to charge the battery regularly and store the bike in a dry place.

12. Is the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike suitable for off-road use?

While the GoTrax Dolphin is primarily designed for urban and paved paths, it can handle light off-road terrains like gravel and grass thanks to its front suspension and sturdy build.

13. Can the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike be used without the motor?

Yes, the GoTrax Dolphin can be ridden as a regular bike without using the motor. Simply turn off the motor, and you can pedal as you would with any traditional bicycle.

14. How do I charge the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike battery?

To charge the battery, remove it from the bike and connect it to the charger provided. Plug the charger into a standard electrical outlet. It typically takes 4-6 hours to fully charge the battery.

15. What kind of tires does the GoTrax Dolphin e-bike have?

The GoTrax Dolphin e-bike features 26-inch tires, which provide stability and a smooth ride on various surfaces.

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