GoTrax CTI 3 Review: 500W Step-Through Commuter E-bike!


Today, we embark on an exploration of the GoTrax CTI 3, a commuter-style electric bicycle that has made some intriguing claims. Promising an impressive range of 33 to 60 miles on a single charge, this e-bike asserts its capabilities while also acknowledging that the range may be limited to 20 miles if riders primarily rely on the twist throttle.

A significant component of our evaluation will be assessing the 500W motor’s ability to conquer a challenging 20% grade hill. This test will reveal whether the GoTrax CTI 3 can confidently tackle hill climbs without demanding excessive rider effort.

Intriguingly, this electric bicycle is listed at a price of $1,400. However, there is a $200 discount code available through the link provided in the video description. The question that looms large is whether this e-bike is truly worth the $1,200 price tag after applying the discount.

At the outset of this journey, the GoTrax CTI 3 remains unboxed, and its true value is yet to be determined. Our aim is to shed light on the bike’s claims, its performance on the road, and the ultimate worth it presents to potential riders. By the end of our adventure, we hope to offer a well-informed perspective on whether the CTI 3 lives up to its promises and represents a compelling investment for e-bike enthusiasts.

FRAME MATERIALAluminum alloy A6061
BRAKESDual Braking on Front/Back Wheels
ThrottleTwist Throttle
DIMENSIONS74.4" x 28.3" x 46.8"

Unboxing and Assembly

So, you’ve just received your brand-new GoTrax CTI 3 electric bike that you ordered online, and it’s time to unbox and assemble this intriguing piece of electric transportation. Let’s walk through the process and explore the features that make this bike stand out.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: Unboxing and Assembly

When you open the box, you’ll be greeted by a well-packaged assembly of the GoTrax CTI 3. The first thing that catches your eye is the distinctive nut hydraulic disc brakes – a feature that sets this e-bike apart from many others. Notably, it’s the first e-bike you’ve seen with such brakes, providing reliable stopping power. Both the front and rear wheels sport 180mm rotors for excellent braking performance.

The tires, designed for street riding, measure 2.6 inches wide and 27.5 inches tall. What’s interesting is the absence of a quick-release mechanism for the front axle. This extra security measure deters potential thieves from easily stealing the front wheel.

The package includes metal fenders to keep you dry in wet conditions, and you might spot a reflector on the rear, though there’s the possibility that a rear light could be included in the package as well.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: battery

Assembling the GoTrax CTI 3 e-bike:

  1. The rear rack comes pre-bolted onto the bike, with a maximum load capacity of 25 kg.
  2. The battery is frame-integrated and features a charge port on the bottom. You can check the battery’s charge status by pressing a button, which displays a green light, indicating it’s about half charged.
  3. The battery is branded GoTrax and has a 48-volt 13.6 amp-hour (62.8-watt-hour) energy pack, providing ample power for your rides.
  4. You’ll find a 54.6-volt charger with a 3-amp output in the package, which should charge the battery in approximately 4.5 hours from empty to full.
  5. The charging port location is somewhat interesting, as it’s located on the bike’s frame. You have the option to charge the battery off the bike, which can make the bike easier to handle without the added weight.
  6. The package includes GoTrax pedals, tools, a wrench, a user manual, and a bell.

The handlebars come uninstalled for safety, so it’s best not to follow the example of using a drill for installation. They have a generous sweepback for an upright riding position, ideal for city commuting. The rubber ergonomic grips are held securely in place by a bolt, ensuring they won’t rotate during your rides.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: display

The brake levers, although not hydraulic, look sleek and perform well. Interestingly, there’s a thumb throttle on the left handlebar, a detail that adds extra grip with its rubber strip. You’ll find various pedal-assist modes and eight speeds controlled by a Microshift-branded shifter, providing versatility for different riding situations.

For added comfort during city rides, the bike features front suspension, even though it lacks adjustable settings. This suspension will make a noticeable difference in smoothing out rough urban terrain.

Now that you’ve assembled the essential components, it’s time to put the battery in place. Once you do, you’ll notice the display lighting up with a blue indicator, signaling that the bike is ready to roll.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: 2.6 inches wide and 27.5 inches tall

The GoTrax CTI 3 electric bike boasts a range of features and thoughtful details, making it a promising choice for urban commuting. With its robust brakes, integrated battery, and comfortable handlebars, you’re all set for an enjoyable and safe ride. It’s an exciting addition to the world of electric bikes, and you’re now ready to hit the streets in style.

Design and Build Quality

The GoTrax CTI 3 electric bike is a versatile and well-crafted e-bike designed to cater to various rider needs. Let’s delve into its design and build quality to better understand what it has to offer.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review

The bike is built to support riders with a maximum weight limit of 265 pounds, offering sturdy and reliable construction. As for rider height, you’ve mentioned your height is 6’5″, and even with the saddle at its maximum height, the bike comfortably accommodates you. The seat post itself measures 30.4 mm in thickness, allowing for adjustments, or the possibility of swapping it out for a longer seat post or a suspension seat post to enhance your riding experience.

One of the standout design features of the GoTrax CTI 3 is its step-through frame, which makes it incredibly easy to mount and dismount the bike. This design not only adds to the convenience of using the bike but also enhances its accessibility for riders of various heights.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: seat

Another feature worth noting is the adjustable handlebar height. With a simple adjustment by loosening a bolt, you can tailor the handlebar position to your preferred riding posture. In your case, the handlebars seem to be at an ideal height for your 6’5″ frame, enhancing overall comfort and control during your rides.

The bike features a clear and functional display, providing essential information at a glance. It showcases the battery percentage, power output, speed, and pedal assist level. The display is user-friendly, and it’s easy to cycle through various metrics, such as odometer readings, maximum speed, average speed, and trip data, by tapping the M button.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: on the road or driving test

The GoTrax CTI 3 comes equipped with a basic headlight that you can easily activate by holding the plus button for a few seconds. While it may not be the most powerful light, it adds an extra layer of safety to your rides, particularly in low-light conditions.

However, it’s worth noting that the e-bike lacks a rear light or brake light. Instead, it features a reflector at the rear. This is a noteworthy detail for safety-conscious riders, as it means you may want to consider additional lighting accessories if you plan to ride in low-visibility conditions or at night.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: gear-shifting precision

So, the GoTrax offers a well-thought-out design and sturdy build quality, accommodating a range of rider heights and weights. It provides an adjustable riding experience, convenience in terms of step-through access, and a functional display for monitoring your rides. While the bike’s lighting could be improved, it delivers a solid performance, making it an appealing option for urban commuting and leisure rides.

GoTrax CTI 3: Motor and Driving Test

The GoTrax CTI 3 is equipped with a robust motor with 500W nominal power, branded by GoTrax. This motor can provide you with ample power for your daily commuting needs. It’s classified as a Class 2 e-bike, which typically limits the top speed to 20 mph in throttle-only mode. However, you mentioned that the bike can reach a maximum speed of 19.9 mph. It might be possible to adjust this setting within the plus-minus menu to reach the Class 2 speed limit.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: 500W nominal motor

After unboxing and assembling your GoTrax CTI 3 electric bike, it’s time to hit the road and test its performance. You’ve provided some valuable insights into how this e-bike handles various situations, from steep hills to adjusting the speed settings. Let’s dive into the review of its performance and capabilities.

Your first test involved tackling a challenging 20% grade, which the GoTrax CTI 3 handled impressively well. With a 500W nominal motor, the bike showed its strength by almost effortlessly ascending the steep incline in throttle-only mode. Even without pedaling, you found that a slight roll-out could get you up the hill.

The bike offers five levels of pedal assist, and you’ve noted the presence of a torque sensor. This is a noteworthy feature, as it provides a responsive and natural feel when riding. In your test, you observed that the bike’s power output increases as you pedal harder, making for an enjoyable and dynamic riding experience.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: on the road or driving test

Front suspension plays a pivotal role in enhancing the comfort of your ride. It helps absorb shocks and imperfections on the road, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable journey. This is a significant advantage for city commuters, where road conditions can be less than perfect.

The display on the GoTrax CTI 3 provides essential information at a glance, including battery percentage, power output, and speed. Notably, the display doesn’t get filtered out when you wear polarized lenses, a feature often overlooked in bike design.

You’ve also explored the bike’s speed settings, finding that it initially limits you to 19.9 mph but can be adjusted to 27.9 mph in the settings menu. This flexibility allows you to customize the bike’s performance to your liking, while still adhering to class 2 e-bike regulations.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: on the road or driving test

The bike’s 27.5-inch wheels and narrower tires contribute to a smooth and quiet ride. They handle bumps and imperfections on the road with ease, enhancing overall comfort. Additionally, the front suspension provides an extra layer of smoothness, particularly on uneven urban terrain, making your city commutes more pleasant.

The bike’s tires, combined with the electric motor’s relatively low noise output, ensure that your ride is both peaceful and smooth. This is especially important for urban commuters who value a quiet and enjoyable journey.

The bike initially limits the maximum speed to 20 mph, complying with class 2 e-bike regulations. However, you’ve discovered that when pedaling, the bike can provide assistance beyond this limit, allowing you to reach speeds suitable for keeping up with traffic. This versatility makes it a practical choice for city commuting.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: on the road or driving test

You’ve also noted that the riding position on the GoTrax CTI 3 is comfortable, which is crucial for extended rides. The ability to adjust handlebar height and the accommodating step-through frame make it suitable for riders of various heights and preferences.


You’ve pointed out that the GoTrax CTI 3 is equipped with non-hydraulic brakes that require a slightly firmer pull compared to some other systems like Tekro. However, you note that the brakes feel good, offering a reassuring sense of control.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: hydraulic disc brakes

The bike boasts 180mm rotors, which is a substantial size for a bike’s braking system. This larger rotor size is typically associated with hydraulic disc brakes, and it’s a notable feature for an e-bike with non-hydraulic brakes. The increased rotor size can provide enhanced braking performance and heat dissipation.

Despite not being hydraulic, the brake system offers a feel that is more user-friendly for newcomers to cycling. Hydraulic disc brakes can be very sensitive and, if not used with care, can result in sudden, abrupt stops. The GoTrax CTI 3’s braking system strikes a balance between offering strong stopping power and ensuring riders don’t accidentally lock up the brakes and risk going over the handlebars.

While the non-hydraulic brakes may require a bit more effort to activate, they still provide effective braking performance. You’ve noted that, when needed, the brakes can bring the bike to a halt from 20 mph, even though you have to pull on the levers with some force. The efficient stopping power contributes to the bike’s safety, making it suitable for city commuting.

Battery and Range

After approximately 11 hours of ride time, you’ve noted that the battery level on the GoTrax CTI 3 sits at around 60% to 70%. This is a valuable insight, as it provides a real-world indication of the bike’s energy consumption during your riding sessions.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: battery

You mentioned that your riding today has predominantly involved throttle-only operation. The manufacturer claims that under throttle-only usage, you can expect a range of about 20 miles. This estimation is based on using the electric motor without much human effort.

The range of an electric bike can vary significantly depending on factors such as rider weight, terrain, riding style, and environmental conditions. Throttle-heavy riding and riding on hilly terrain can consume more energy, potentially reducing the overall range.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: battery

It’s also worth noting that the bike’s range can substantially increase if you actively contribute to pedaling and use the electric assistance to complement your own effort. In such scenarios, the bike can provide an extended range of up to 60 miles, as stated by the manufacturer.

You’ve indicated a willingness to see how your actual range compares to the manufacturer’s estimates. This is an important step to understand how the GoTrax CTI 3 performs under your specific riding conditions and preferences.

GoTrax CTI 3: Conclusions

One standout feature of the GoTrax CTI 3 is its torque sensor, which is a welcome addition, especially at its price point. The torque sensor provides a responsive and natural riding experience, making it an excellent choice for those who want an e-bike that complements their pedaling effort effectively.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: on the road or driving test

With a 500W nominal motor, this bike offers ample power for city commuting. Whether you’re navigating hilly streets or simply looking for a smooth ride through the city, the GoTrax CTI 3 handles these scenarios admirably.

The bike’s upright riding position and well-balanced design contribute to a comfortable and stable riding experience. You’ve highlighted that it’s easy to maintain balance, even when taking your hands off the handlebars, a testament to its well-thought-out design.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review

The inclusion of a thumb throttle, along with the torque sensor, offers flexibility to riders. You can choose to rely more on the throttle or use the torque sensor for a more active and exercise-oriented ride, catering to a wide range of rider preferences.

Your testing indicates that under heavy throttle usage, you achieved a range of around 12 miles with 40% of the battery remaining. This aligns with the manufacturer’s claim of approximately 20 miles under similar conditions. However, you’ve also noted that riders who put in their own effort, use the torque sensor, and ride at slower speeds may achieve a significantly greater range of around 40 miles.

GoTrax CTI 3 Review: battery

So, the GoTrax CTI 3 electric bike offers a compelling package for riders in search of a capable city commuter with responsive torque sensing. Its reliable performance, comfortable design, and brand reputation add to its overall appeal. Whether you’re looking for a convenient way to navigate the city or a bike to support your active lifestyle, the CTI 3 proves to be a well-equipped and versatile choice. If this e-bike aligns with your preferences, the provided link below the video can help you make a well-informed purchase decision.

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