The idea of a foldable electric bike seems gimmicky. Before trying the Lectric XP Lite, I was skeptical that an e-bike would be able to ride like a traditional bike, provide uphill power and still fold up to a compact size. Well, the Lectric XP Lite does all those things and for a compelling $799 price.
The Lectric XP Lite feels like a comfortable (and adjustable) BMX-style bike or perhaps a compact mountain bike that only has one gear. While you grip the handlebars and rest your feet on the pedals, it’s hard to tell that there’s anything unique about the bike. This is a good thing. It’s easy to get acclimated to it right away. Even the electric pedal assist and throttle feels very natural compared with other e-bikes’.
Once you’re done riding, though, you can fold it in half and break down the handlebars to store or transport it. Even though the bike is a reasonable 46 pounds, I personally can’t carry it very far folded up and don’t believe many people could. So think of its folding as a feature to help keep it out of the way when it’s not in use. Or consider it a way to transport the bike in a car to a place you wouldn’t be able to ride it otherwise. Whereas I was once skeptical, this Lectric bike has completely changed my mind.
- Sturdy build quality
- Folds down in less than 30 seconds
- About 15-mile range at full speeds
- Still heavy to carry despite its compact size.
Buy at Lectric.
How Do Folding Bikes Work?
I found the Lectric XP Lite to be very thoughtfully designed. The bike folds in two main areas. It has a joint in the middle of its frame and one at the bottom of the handlebar pole. There are select transparent rubber discs stuck to the bike’s frame. I didn’t understand their purpose until folding the bike and seeing those areas where potential impacts could occur. It all started becoming clear.
To help you fold the bike without damaging it, there’s an additional metal part of the frame for the bike to rest on. The piece helps protect the gear crank. The battery even inserts into the frame at the joint to utilize the opening the folding creates.
If your choice is between a small e-bike, like the Jetson Bolt Pro, or a more full-size one that folds, I would choose the larger, folding option. The smaller bikes are still more than 40 pounds but don’t provide the same riding comfort or higher top speeds.
The Price of an E-Bike
Out of all the different e-bikes I’ve tried, the XP Lite was the least expensive. I was expecting a downgraded experience because of this, but there haven’t been as many compromises as I thought there would be.
The XP Lite is a Class 2 e-bike, so it has a throttle that can go up to 20 miles per hour. It also has 5 levels of pedal assist, which enable the electric motor to add power to your pedaling. The first three levels felt a little weak to me. But the fourth and fifth levels both had some giddyap. I found myself living in the last two levels and suspect most other people will want to, as well.
The XP Lite uses a 300-watt rear hub motor with a 720-watt peak. While it can do a top speed of up to 20 miles per hour on the throttle, a steep hill or extended use will keep it from constantly hitting that level. Pedaling will help the bike retain more power. Whereas I used the throttle almost exclusively on the $3,500 Super73-R Brooklyn, on the XP Lite I only used the throttle for short bursts or hills.
The throttle is discreet and blends into the rubber handgrip. To activate it, you rotate it downward. It’s less convenient than a button you press with your thumb. It’s not hard to use, but can be a little tricky to use at a moment’s notice.
Lectric lists a range of 15 miles using only the throttle—the same range using the Level 5 pedal assist. This range was close to my first 14 miles before the battery died on me. Lectric lists an extended 40 miles of distance at a Level 1 pedal assist, which is a speed of 6 to 7 miles per hour. That’s a great number, except 6 mph is pretty slow.
The electric range will only be a factor depending on the bike’s purpose. At full speed, you can really only expect to travel about 7 miles, one way. If you plan on carrying the charger or an extra battery, you could double that.
If you can stay in the first two levels of pedal assist, the XP Lite provides a great range. For me, there are too many hills where I’m located to ride a single gear bike with only minimal electric assistance. Regardless of specifics, however, I don’t think most people specifically buying an e-bike will spend much time in the lower levels. The sweet spot is probably Level 3, with a stated range of 22 miles.
The battery is removable and swappable but a spare battery will run you about $250 for the XP Lite. A front light comes with the bike and can be toggled from the pedal assist controls. The light will be indicated on the large LCD screen.
While the information screen isn’t touch capable, I do like its look. The screen displays lots of helpful metrics all at once at a comfortable reading size. There’s no mobile app that connects to the bike, but I’m OK with that. In general, I don’t think many e-bike companion apps provide enough utility. Overall, I think the XP Lite does a good job of balancing its features with its price.
Should You Buy the Lectric XP Lite?
Even if you never fold the Lectric XP Lite, it’s still worth considering. It’s a capable e-bike and a great value at $799. I think its pedal assist is smooth and makes most rides easy to handle.
One of the biggest benefits of a bike that folds, however, is the ability to pack it in a car’s trunk. This makes it practical to take a bike places you normally wouldn’t be able to. Even though I have a bike rack, it’s kind of a pain to put on and take off regularly. I would be more likely to fold up the XP Lite to stick in my small SUV’s trunk.
I wish the Lectric XP Lite had a little more range at top speed, but as long as you know that limit going in, this is a truly great bike that’s also electric and foldable.
Buy at Lectric for $799.
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