The foldable E-Bike Lectric XP 2.0 is an absolute bargain
While I personally tend towards lighter e-bikes with hidden motor systems, these tend to have weaker motors and drive up the price. Sometimes you just want a powerful electric bike that doesn’t break the bank – but doesn’t compromise on quality either. You are well equipped for this with the Lectric XP 2.0.
Lectric has taken the American e-bike market by storm since its launch in 2019. The company only sells one e-bike, the foldable Lectric XP, but it comes in standard and step-through frames for those who prefer a lower standover height (I tested the latter). Now in its 2.0 iteration – which adds a suspension fork and slightly narrower tires – the e-bike offers a truly compelling combination of performance and features at a price point of $ 949 (on sale from an MSRP of $ 1,099), including shipping.
Some basic specs and key features first:
- 500 W (850 W peak) geared rear hub motor
- Removable, integrated 460 Wh battery with a specified range of 45+ miles with pedal assistance
- 5 levels of pedal assistance and throttle grip
- Tektro 160 mm mechanical disc brakes
- 20 â³ x 3 â³ puncture-proof, gnarled CST grease tires
- 7-speed Shimano Tourney drive
- The designation of class 3 allows a maximum pedaling speed of 45 km / h and a maximum throttle valve of 20 km / h (the speed limit can be adapted to local regulations)
- 12-magnet cadence sensor
- Integrated headlight and taillight
- Large handlebar display
- Adjustable hydraulic oil suspension fork
- 330 lbs payload capacity
- Beefy 75lb rated luggage rack included
- 64 lbs total weight
- Folded dimensions: 37 x 18 x 28 inches
- Arrives fully assembled
- 1 year warranty
- Available in white or black
- Shipping to the adjacent 48 US states and Canada only (the latter costs $ 200 extra)
- Optional accessories include a brighter headlight ($ 50), suspension seatpost ($ 89), front racks and baskets, and more
The first thing I noticed when I unpacked the Lectric XP – it comes fully assembled – is how well it feels put together. The build quality feels well above the price point, and the cables are neatly managed too, yet are still accessible for repairs.
I could do without the eye-catching branding, but the paintwork has a really nice high-gloss finish that feels much more elegant than many cheap e-bikes. Notably, Lectric even paints the suspension fork to match the rest of the bike; Most of the other e-bikes don’t even mind this price point.
While I sometimes worry about how some cheaper bikes will hold up over time, the Lectric XP 2.0 gives the impression of a bike that isn’t meant for the junkyard in two years. The proof, of course, is in the pudding – the company has only been around for a few years – but it’s a positive first impression.
It should be taken for granted by now that this is not the type of e-bike you get if you want something that mainly rides like a normal bike with some assistance. While it is convenient to pedal, you’ll want to keep the engine turned on for anything but leisurely walks through flat terrain – and I suspect many will use this bike more like a moped.
It’s good that this engine has a lot of power. The beefy 500W motor could power my heavy hills with ease, even if I just hit the gas. Of course, you benefit most when you do something yourself, but you don’t to need to.
The bike only offers a simple cadence sensor (as opposed to a torque sensor), so the pedaling experience is nothing special. This isn’t a blow to Lectric, mind you – I’ve never tested a sub $ 1,000 ebike that has a torque sensor, and they don’t usually show up until you’ve crossed the $ 2,000 threshold.
But in any case, the Lectric is clearly tuned for the faster side of the spectrum, with assistance kicking in fairly quickly as opposed to the more gradual assistance of some cadence-based e-bikes. It takes about a half to a full turn of the pedal to really feel the engine start, which would be a problem at a red light or at the bottom of a hill with no throttle.
As with many throttle capable e-bikes, I found that instead of shifting gears when I stopped, I simply accelerate with the accelerator before pedaling again once I got up to a comfortable speed. It’s a very welcome option even if, like me, you prefer to pedal as I can easily jump onto cars from a red light and feel safer on the streets.
The XP 2.0 also offers a much more comfortable ride than most 20-inch wheels – or many bikes in general – thanks to the beefy tires and a decently adjustable suspension fork. The fact that my test device contained a suspension seat post makes riding the Lectric XP absurdly comfortable.
This is all great if your main goal is comfort while riding your e-bikes – this is an accessibility issue for many – but I hope Lectric is considering adding lighter options to its e-bikes in the future. For my personally Taste, I think all of the chunky tires and suspension are a little over the top and add their own inconvenience, especially for city dwellers.
For one thing, the thick tire rims mean that it becomes more difficult to find a replacement tire if you break down; In my experience, bike shops often don’t even sell this type of fat tire and are reluctant to work on e-bikes with fat tires. Good old balloon tires on a more traditional narrow rim would still offer significant levels of cushioning while providing more agile driveability and making it easier to find a replacement.
On the other hand, the beefy components also make the bike one of the heavier e-bikes I’ve tested at 67 pounds, despite the small wheel diameter. After testing a few dozen e-bikes in a small NYC apartment, I’ve found that shaving pounds here and there is useful even with e-bikes.
It’s not a problem if you want to store the bike in a garage or otherwise can lock it up in a safe, ground level location, but it becomes less convenient for a city dweller who may have to haul the bike up stairs a lot, it becomes less convenient for apartment or multimodal users Commuters who might want to take the bike on a train. It’s also not the kind of folding bike I could throw in a shopping cart to take to the grocery store like I could with the sleek Brompton Electric or Fiido D11.
To be fair, this also applies to every I’ve seen fat-tire folding bikes, so it’s not just a dig at Lectric. And I recognize that the thick tires are an advantage and not a disadvantage for many customers. But given the company only is currently selling the XP – I hope the company will consider lighter options in the future.
I should also note that I really appreciate the “handle” welded into the center of the frame. It’s positioned right in the bike’s center of gravity and makes a big difference in lugging the bike around compared to other heavy-duty e-bikes that Even awkward to hold.
Given the weight of the bike, it’s good that you don’t have to pedal often with an empty battery. Lectric claims a range of 45 miles, and in my experience, this seems realistic at the lower assistance levels – which are still performing well – as long as you don’t accelerate often.
With a mix of pedaling and accelerating at assistance level 5 for a 260 pound rider, I found I could get about 20 miles of range in mostly flat NYC terrain. Almost leaving out the throttle and reducing it to assistance levels 2 and 3 increases the range dramatically; I found that I could do the same 20 mile journey with half the battery remaining. A lighter rider should be able to cross 45 miles at level 1, which still offers a noticeable level of assistance. I also really appreciate that Lectric provides 10 levels of battery gauge as opposed to the 4 or 5 on most e-bikes.
And because I don’t know where else to put it in this review, I definitely recommend the headlight upgrade. I don’t know how good the standard headlight is, but for $ 50 more, the premium headlight is brighter and has a better beam pattern than some of the $ 2,000+ e-bikes I tested.
The Lectric XP won’t blow you away with its features or the smoothest pedal assistance, but it offers tremendous value in a beefy build that belies its price. As long as low weight and the most authentic pedaling experience are not at the top of your priority list, the Lectric XP 2.0 appears to me to be one of the best bargains on the e-bike market.