Whereas I personally are inclined to gravitate towards lighter ebikes with stealthy motor methods, these are inclined to have weaker motors and drive up the value. Generally you simply desire a highly effective electrical bike that gained’t break the financial institution — however that additionally doesn’t make enormous sacrifices on high quality. For that, the Lectric XP 2.0 has you coated.
Lectric has taken the American ebike market by storm since its launch in 2019. The corporate solely actually sells one ebike, the folding Lectric XP, but it surely is available in customary and step-through frames for many who’d want a decrease standover peak (I examined the latter). Now in its 2.0 iteration — which provides a suspension fork and barely narrower tires — the ebike delivers a severely compelling mixture of energy and options at a worth of $949 (on sale from an MSRP of $1,099), with transport included.
Some primary specs and key options first:
- 500W (850W peak) geared rear hub motor
- 460 Wh detachable built-in battery with a claimed vary of 45+ miles with pedal help
- 5 ranges of pedal help and twist throttle
- Tektro 160mm mechanical disc brakes
- 20″ x 3″ puncture-resistant, knobby CST fats tires
- 7-gear Shimano tourney drivetrain
- Class 3 designation permits a max pedaling velocity of 28mph and a max throttle of 20mph (velocity restrict will be adjusted to suit native rules)
- 12-magnet cadence sensor
- Built-in headlight and tail gentle
- Giant handlebar show
- Adjustable hydraulic oil suspension fork
- 330 lbs payload capability
- Beefy 75lb-rated rear rack included
- 64 lbs general weight
- Folded dimensions: 37 x 18 x 28 inches
- Arrives absolutely assembled
- 1-year guarantee
- Out there in white or black
- Ships solely to the contiguous 48 US states and Canada (the latter is an additional $200)
- Elective equipment embody a brighter headlight ($50), a suspension seatpost ($89), entrance racks and baskets, and more
The very first thing that struck me concerning the Lectric XP upon unboxing — it arrives absolutely assembled — is simply how properly put collectively it feels. The construct high quality feels a notch above its worth level, and the cables are additionally neatly managed whereas nonetheless being accessible for repairs.
Although I may do with out the conspicuous branding, the paint job has a very nice shiny end that feels a lot classier than many low cost ebikes. Notably, Lectric even paints the suspension fork to match the remainder of the bike; most different ebikes this worth don’t even trouble.
Whereas I typically fear about how some cheaper bikes will maintain up over time, the Lectric XP 2.0 gives the look of a motorcycle that isn’t meant for the junkyard in two years. The proof is within the pudding, in fact — the corporate has solely been round a couple of years, in spite of everything — but it surely’s a constructive first impression.
It ought to go with out saying by now that this isn’t the kind of ebike you get if you’d like one thing that principally rides like an everyday bike with a little bit of help. Whereas it may be pedaled comfortably, you’ll need to have the motor engaged for something aside from leisurely strolls by means of flat terrain — and I anticipate many will use this bike extra like a moped.
It’s factor, then, that this motor has loads of energy. The beefy 500W motor may readily energy my heavy self up hills, even when simply utilizing the throttle. After all, you’ll get essentially the most profit while you put in some work of your personal, however you don’t want to.
The bike solely gives a primary cadence sensor (versus a torque sensor), so the pedaling expertise isn’t something to jot down house about. This isn’t a knock towards Lectric, thoughts you — I’ve by no means examined an ebike under $1,000 that does have a torque sensor, they usually normally don’t present up till you cross the $2,000 threshold.
However in any case, the Lectric is clearly tuned to be on the zippier aspect of the spectrum, with the help kicking in somewhat quickly, versus the extra gradual help of some cadence-based ebikes. It takes about half to a full pedal rotation earlier than you actually really feel the motor kick in, which might be a problem at a pink gentle or on the backside of a hill if not for the throttle.
As with many throttle-enabled ebikes, I discovered that as a substitute of fixing gears after I got here to a cease, I’d merely speed up utilizing the throttle, earlier than returning to pedaling as soon as I hit a snug velocity. It’s a a lot welcome possibility even when, like me, you do want to pedal, as I’m capable of simply get the soar on vehicles from a pink gentle, serving to me really feel safer on the roads.
The XP 2.0 additionally gives a a lot cushier trip than most 20-inch wheels — or many bikes on the whole — because of the beefy tires and a good adjustable suspension fork. The truth that my overview unit included a suspension seatpost makes driving the Lectric XP absurdly cozy.
That’s all nice in case your major objective is consolation whereas driving your ebikes — for a lot of, that’s an accessibility difficulty — however I hope Lectric considers increasing its ebikes with lighter choices sooner or later. For my private tastes, I feel all of the chunky tires and suspension are a little bit overkill and add their very own inconveniences, particularly for metropolis dwellers.
For one, the fats tire rims imply it will likely be more durable to seek out tire alternative when the eventual flat occurs; in my expertise, bike outlets usually don’t even inventory all these fats tires and usually tend to be reluctant to work on fat-tire ebikes. Good previous balloon tires on a extra conventional slender rim would nonetheless provide a considerable diploma of cushioning whereas offering a extra nimble trip and making it simpler to discover a alternative.
For one more, the beefy elements additionally imply the bike finally ends up among the many heavier ebikes I’ve examined at 67lbs, regardless of the small wheel diameter. Having examined a couple of dozen ebikes in a small NYC house, I’ve come to comprehend that even with ebikes, it’s helpful to shave off kilos right here and there.
It’s not an issue in the event you intend to maintain the bike in a storage or can in any other case lock it up in a safe ground-level location, but it surely turns into much less handy for a metropolis dweller who may need to usually lug the bike up the steps to the house, or for multi-modal commuters who would possibly need to carry the bike onto a practice. It’s additionally not the kind of folding bike I would throw in a procuring cart to carry contained in the grocery story retailer with me, like I would with the svelte Brompton Electric or Fiido D11.
To be truthful, that is additionally the case for each fat-tire folding bike I’ve seen, so it’s not only a dig at Lectric. And I acknowledge that for a lot of prospects, the fats tires are a professional, not a con. However given the corporate solely sells the XP in the mean time — I hope the corporate considers lighter choices sooner or later.
I also needs to observe that I a lot recognize the ‘deal with’ welded in the midst of the body. It’s positioned proper on the bike’s heart of gravity and makes an enormous distinction for lugging the bike round in comparison with different heavy ebikes which might be additionally awkward to carry.
Given the bike’s weight, it’s factor you shouldn’t must pedal the bike usually on an empty battery. Lectric claims 45 miles of vary, and based mostly on my expertise, that appears lifelike on the decrease help ranges — which nonetheless present ample energy — so long as you don’t use the throttle usually.
With a mixture of pedaling and throttle in help degree 5 for a 260lb ish rider, I discovered I may nearly attain 20 miles of vary in principally flat NYC terrain. Almost omitting throttle use and dropping down to help ranges 2 and three will increase the vary dramatically; I discovered I may full the identical 20 mile journey with half the battery left. A lighter rider ought to have the ability to exceed 45 miles on degree 1, which nonetheless gives a noticeable degree of help. I additionally actually recognize that Lectric gives 10 ranges to its battery indicator, versus the 4 or 5 on most ebikes.
And since I don’t know the place else to stay it on this overview, I undoubtedly suggest the headlight improve. I don’t know the way good the default headlight is, however for $50 extra, the premium headlight is brighter and has a greater beam sample than some $2,000+ ebikes I’ve examined.
The Lectric XP isn’t going to blow your thoughts with its options or the smoothest pedal help, but it surely gives great worth in a beefy construct that belies its worth. So long as low weight and essentially the most genuine pedaling expertise aren’t excessive in your precedence record, the Lectric XP 2.0 strikes me as among the best bargains within the ebike market.