Lectric XP Step-Thru Review
Cons: Small wheels, handling can feel a little twitchy
Manufacturer: Lectric e-Bikes
Our Analysis and Test Results
Founded in 2018, Lectric e-bikes has quickly made a name for themselves with their popular XP folding models. The XP comes in both step-over and step-thru (tested) frame styles with 20-inch wheels and big, 4-inch wide knobby tires that expand its versatility to a wider range of surfaces. Shipped in Class 2 settings with a 20 mph top speed, the XP can be manually adjusted to Class 3 with a 28 mph top pedal-assisted speed. This affordable model also arrives fully assembled and comes loaded with useful features like lights, fenders, a cargo rack, and it folds down easily for storage or transport.
The Lectric XP has a ride quality that is defined somewhat by its folding design and small, 20-inch wheel size. While it may not be the most stable or natural feeling ride, it impressed us for a folding model. The 4-inch wide knobby tires provide loads of traction, some dampening, and versatility on a wide range of surfaces. It has a comfortable, upright seated position, with loads of seat and handlebar height adjustability, and it comes with numerous useful, user-friendly features.
The simple fact that the Lectric XP is a folding bike with 20-inch wheels makes it feel notably different than a non-folding model with larger wheels. The smaller wheel diameter doesn't roll quite as fast or smooth as bigger wheels, and the bike's short wheelbase, steep head angle, and tall/narrow handlebar can make it feel a bit twitchy and nervous at times. That said, it has a short turning radius, and we never found it to feel too unstable, even when zipping along at 28 mph or coasting down a steep hill with a head of steam. This bike has a rigid frame, so you'll still want to do your best to avoid potholes and deep cracks in the road, but the wide knobby tires have loads of air volume to provide a good amount of dampening, plus they expand its versatility to dirt roads, smooth trails, and maybe even a little sand or snow.
The XP comes in step-thru (tested) and step-over frames. The step-thru version we tested has a very low standover height that makes it quite easy to get on and off the bike. Lectric claims a weight limit of 275 lbs, but they don't specify a user height range on their website. We reached out to them and they told us that it is made to fit riders between 5'0" and 6'4". There is quite a large range of seat and handlebar height adjustability, and our six-foot-tall tester was able to find a suitable seat height for comfortable pedaling. The seated position is comfortable, relaxed, and upright. The seat itself is quite comfortable, as are the ergonomic grips. We also found the mechanical disc brakes to be adequately powerful for controlling your speed and stopping, and the 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain didn't give us any issues.
The XP also comes loaded with user-friendly features as standard equipment. Fenders front and rear help to ward off splashes from puddles or spray from wet roads. It also comes with head and tail lights, turned on by pressing and holding the up arrow on the controls, for increased visibility or riding at night. A sturdy rear rack is designed to hold up to 55 lbs of cargo, and ours even came with some Lectric-branded panniers that can fit over the rack to help carry your gear. The XP can also be folded down to less than half its size for storage or transportation.
Considering its smaller 500Wh battery size, we were quite impressed with the Letric XP in our range testing. Sure, it was bested by other models with larger batteries, but that's only because it has 20-25% less battery storage than those bikes. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of its performance in our range test was the fact that it had one of the highest average speeds at 16.3 mph on our rolling test course.
During our range test, we rode the Lectric XP using the throttle only for 23.68 miles with 1,174 feet of elevation gain/loss with an average speed of 16.3 mph. Lectric claims a low-end range of 25 miles, and we feel that we could have easily gone that far, perhaps even farther, on perfectly flat terrain. Given the rolling hills of our test course, we weren't too surprised to come up a little short, but at the same time, we were quite impressed by its average speed. This bike held its speed quite well up the gradual hills and is a testament to the motor's power.
Like the Little Engine That Could, the Lectric XP is a surprisingly powerful little bike. The 500W (800W peak) motor feels torque-y and robust, and this bike accelerates quickly and holds its speed well using the throttle, and has no problem hitting its top speed of 20mph (or 28 mph) when using pedal assist. It may be diminutive in stature, but we were quite impressed by this bike's power.
The XP has 5 levels of pedal assistance to support your pedaling efforts, increasing from 1 to 5. It works with a cadence sensor, and the assistance comes on after the pedals start turning and stays on as long as they continue to turn, regardless of how much effort you put into pedaling. Thanks in part to the smaller wheel diameter, it has great pickup and acceleration in the higher output settings. The five levels offer a nice range of support, so you can cruise along nice and slow in the lower settings, or zip around at top speeds in the higher ones. The XP is shipped in its Class 2 settings with a 20 mph top assisted speed, and you can change this bike's speed limit by following the instructions in the manual to make it Class 3 with a top speed of 28 mph. Be sure to check and follow the rules regarding e-bike classes/speed limits where you ride.
A twist throttle integrated into the right grip engages the throttle when you are in any of the pedal-assist settings, 1-5, and can whisk you along at 20 mph on flat ground. Again, the bike feels very quick to accelerate, though you can modulate the power depending on how far you twist the throttle. We found the motor to be quite robust, and the XP holds speed well up gradual hills as evidenced by its impressive 16.3 mph average speed in our throttle-only range testing that featured over 1,000 feet of elevation gain/loss in 23.68 miles. The throttle also has a cruise control function that can be engaged by twisting it to the desired speed, then pressing and holding the up arrow until cruise lights up on the display.
The Lectric XP has a quality display and controls that are very similar to those found on several other models in this test. The function of the control buttons and twist throttle is intuitive and the ergonomics are good. The LCD display is bright and easy to read, and it shows everything you need to know at a glance. The XP's battery is cleanly integrated into the bike's frame, although it can also be unlocked and removed for security or charging.
The controls of the Lectric XP consist of a handlebar-mounted control unit with three buttons situated next to the left grip, and a twist throttle integrated into the right grip. The button controls are easy to reach with the thumb while riding, with simple functions that are easy to understand. Once the key is inserted into the battery and it is in the locked/on position, the power/mode button is used to turn power on to the display. Once the display is on, the up and down arrow buttons are used to change the bike's pedal assist level. The mode button can also be used to switch the bottom data field on the display between odometer, trip A/B distance, Voltage, and Current. These three button are also used to adjust the bike's settings including screen backlight brightness, distance units (Km or Miles), speed limit (Class 2 or Class 3), pedal-assist sensitivity, throttle on/off, and more. The lights are turned on by pressing and holding the up arrow, while the walk assist is engaged by pressing and holding the down arrow while you are off the bike. The throttle is operated by twisting it back towards you, and the power can be modulated depending on how far you twist it. Throttle cruise control can also be activated by twisting the throttle to the desired power, then pressing the up arrow.
The LCD display is situated in the middle of the handlebar, right above the stem. The 3" long x 2" wide screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight, and it has a backlight feature that is turned on with the lights for use in dim lighting conditions. The display shows all of your important ride information at a glance. At the top of the screen, remaining battery charge is displayed graphically as a set of ten bars that turn off as the battery is depleted. Just below that in large numbers, the speedometer shows your current (default), max, or average speed in mph or km/h. Below the speedometer is your current pedal assist level on the left and a light indicator on the right. At the bottom of the screen is a data field that can be switched between odometer, trip distance, elapsed time, and more.
The battery is hidden neatly within the front half of the folding frame. A key is used to lock and unlock the battery which can be slid out of the frame when the bike is in its folded position. This way you can charge the battery on or off the bike using the included charging cord. The keyhole is on the underside of the frame in a not so easy to reach location, and the key must be in the locked/on position to turn the bike on. While it may not be the most convenient to remove from the bike, the battery's integration is quite slick and helps give the Lectric XP its clean lines and relatively sleek appearance.
The Lectric XP tops the charts for its ease of assembly. This folding model comes fully assembled, so all you need to do to finish the job is remove it from the box, take off the protective packing materials, unfold it, and lock it into its riding position. Of course, you'll need to adjust the seat and handlebar height to your preferences, check the air pressure of the tires, and turn it on, but otherwise, it's pretty much ready to go. The entire process took approximately ten minutes to complete.
Despite the fact that the Lectric XP comes fully assembled in the box, it is still quite heavy and may require two people to move the box and remove the bike from it. That said, it is a smaller box than most full-size, non-folding models come in, so it is a little easier to move around than some.
The Lectric XP is an excellent value. Its price almost qualifies it for the budget category, but it performs as well or better than some of the more expensive competition. Lectric has done a fine job of creating a quality folding electric bike while keeping the price low. If you're on a budget but don't want to sacrifice performance, we think this is an excellent option to consider.
The Lectric XP Step-Thru isn't just a great value, it's a quality folding e-bike with performance that we feel exceeds the asking price. The folding design makes it a convenient option for transporting or users with limited storage space. This powerful little model can also be configured in Class 1, 2, or 3 settings for pedal-assisted speeds up to 28 mph. It also comes loaded with useful features, and the 4-inch wide knobby tires expand its versatility on a wide range of surfaces making it ready for nearly any adventure you are.
— Jeremy Benson