Whether you've stumbled on Lectric as the sponsor of Mr. Beast’s Philanthropic endeavors or seen one rip through the bike lane, chances are you may already recognize the design of these fat tire folding e-bikes. Started in 2019 out of Phoenix, Arizona, Lectric eBikes, (not a typo) has built a reputation for making some of the most affordable electric bikes on the market. A recent example being just two months after Rad Power Bikes launched a $2,500 Electric Tricycle, Lectric launched the $1,500 XP Trike, and it came with better specs.
We wanted to find out just how good Lectric’s cheapest bike– the $799 XP Lite — was to ride, so we tested one out for a little over a month. Here's what we thought.
The Lectric XP Lite: What We Think
The XP Lite isn’t for cyclists– it’s for people who want to break their dependence on a car. This is the e-bike is for summer jobs, campus commutes and all the errands in between. It’s foldable for easy indoor storage no matter your living arrangement is, and it’s upgradable to tackle a wide range of grocery and cargo hauling that even the best electric scooters struggle with. The brakes are good, the electrical components are solid, and it’s got a really comfortable seat.
While most folding bikes are a tad goofy looking compared to cooler e-bikes like the Super73 , the sporty design and riding experience of the XP Lite is a load of fun at Class 2 speeds. Especially for the money, this little micro-mobility machine may be all you need to make the long journey across town while leaving your car behind.
Solid range without the anxiety
The 7.8AH battery pack on the XP Lite is on the smaller side, but it offers a solid range of 25 miles on pure throttle or 45 miles at passive assist level 1-2. While you’ll still want to follow proper lithium charging protocol and not deplete the battery all the way, this bike isn’t one to have too much anxiety about range. Being a single speed bike, we were quite surprised by how well the XP Lite performed in our dead battery test. With gearing that is comfortable at lower speeds, biking without the assist didn’t feel like a drag. Sure, you'll be traveling slower without the assist, but you wont get gapped by someone on a grandma bicycle like the Omafiets.
Other reviews of the XP Lite mention how the range level fluctuates, and it does, but it's best to think of it as a predictive range. Since it’s calculated based on the current voltage of the battery and how many watts of power the motor is currently using, it will fluctuate depending on your riding. If you juice the throttle going up a hill you’ll see the battery bar go way down, and if you coast on assist Level 2 you’ll see it go back up. This fluctuation is a feature that will help you understand how your current riding will impact your range.
Great unboxing experience for an e-bike
There's an unspoken issue with most electric bikes that you buy direct from the web — it can be a pain to assemble them after they arrive on your doorstep. If you aren’t an expert on disc brakes, many brands recommend taking your bike to a local bike shop for initial setup. I didn't have to do this with the XP Lite because the bike come fully assembled since it folds nicely into a freight-friendly box.
Where the XP Lite stands out from other bikes is the awesome use of a pre-ride safety checklist. This easy to follow list was directly attached to the handle of the bike and was vastly superior to many brands that hide the complicated assembly instructions behind a QR code or a translated manual. It may be a small touch, but we thought this was an incredibly impactful way to teach bike safety to riders of any age.
It rides like a BMX — which can be tricky
With 20” x 3” wheels, a low ride height, and upright handlebars, the XP Lite feels nimble and maneuverable on the streets. Ultimately however, this is where the XP Lite might not be the best bike for you. While the seat and handlebars are fully adjustable to accommodate anyone from 4'8" - 6'2", if you're used to a classic bike frame the XP Lite might not feel like a natural ride. Because the XP-Lite has low trail, which refers to the geometry of where the front steering axis aligns to the contact patch of the front wheel, it won’t feel the same carving through the streets compared to how a cool gravel bike would. If you are more familiar with traditional cycling, there may be a better e-bike for you.
Fun to mod and accessorize
The real utility and personalization of the XP Lite is unlocked when it’s time to accessorize. Depending on when you buy, Lectric might be running a series of deals that bundle different upgrades. While I highly recommend initially buying the fenders like I did to test the bike in the rainy PNW, the Carry Package is a surprisingly good value to open up quite the load of grocery hauling options. The modding community around the Lectric is also quite active with cool ideas like a DIY PVC rear rack and BMX replacement bike stems.
The electrical components are solid
One thing you'll want to look for in a cheap E-bike is the quality of the electrical components. While I would love to see better up front transparency from all electric bike manufacturers, the charger and rear hub motor on the XP Lite are UL certified (which you can find using UL's database search) and the battery is ROHS compliant. What's also nice about the XP Lite is the IP-65 rating — with this rating, the electrical components are completely protected from any intrusion of dust and low pressure jets of water. In more normal terms, the bike is all fine to ride in the rain.
The annoying quirks are forgiven by the price
The XP Lite does come with some quirks that I didn't quite like. Some of the accessories didn't have the best fit, the key needs to be inserted on the bottom of the bike to power on (which is both hard to find and gets muddy), and the folding pedals didn't offer great grip for doing some of the sporty riding the bike is capable of.
But, the bottom line is these problems all melt away when you consider price. For just $799, yes — this bike is really nice. I hope the XP Lite goes on to change the travel habits of many as cities move from cars to people.
Affordable E-Bike Alternatives to the XP Lite
For a more traditional bike frame, the Ride1Up Roadster V2 is a solid belt-driven single speed that's capable of class-3 speeds. With a battery that is integrated into the frame the bike maintains a sleek look for cruising through the streets. Although the Roadster V2 won't break down into a smaller size, the lower weight of 33 pounds is going to be manageable to haul up a few flights of stairs. Compared to the XP Lite, the Roadster V2 won't have as solid of cargo hauling upgrades and won't be as suitable for all weather riding.
If you like the idea of a skatepark-ready ride, but want the complete experience of foot pegs and a BMX handlebar, look no further than the Swift BMX Electric Bike. With solid M14 axles and a 7.5 AH lithium-ion battery integrated into the frame this bike is ready to shred. Compared to the XP Lite, the Swift BMX won't be suitable at hauling cargo and isn't recommended for night riding.