First, I need to tell you that I haven’t ridden a bike in more than 40 years. Yes, doing the math will prove that I am OLD. While waiting for the Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0 eBike to test and review, I was filled with both excitement and quite a bit of trepidation.
The Lectric eBike story
Lectric eBikes was started by two enterprising young men, Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel of Lakeville, Minnesota, along with Levi’s dad, Brent Conlow. Brent wanted an e-bike but did not want to pay the high prices from other e-bike companies. They needed to cut costs but wanted to keep the features that high-end bikes had.
Their first eBike was not met with wide acceptance or acclaim so they reached out to their customers for feedback. Their customers wanted a folding bike. They listened and created the successful XP edition. Lectric continued to listen and the Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0 followed. This is a bike that their original audience of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers feel comfortable on and excited to ride. It allows mounting the bike with a step-thru lateral movement, providing easier access for riders that are short or have limited mobility. And they wanted it to be portable and foldable to go anywhere.
Lectric soon left the garage and moved to their headquarters in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. There, they have a showroom, technicians, customer service, marketing and company executives. The folks at Lectric eBikes pride themselves on customer service and listening to their community of Lectric eBike riders. In the last two years, they have sold more than 100,000 bikes. Quite a record for a startup and two 24-year-old entrepreneurs!
I was very impressed with the ordering process. They sent me my order information along with a video about their shipping process. A link was sent to track the FedEx shipment. (Which I will have to admit I checked 2-3 times a day to see the status!)
Best of all, they sent “First Ride” videos explaining how to unpack the bike, set it up, read the safety measures, and instructions on how to read the LCD display screen. The excitement built while watching the informative videos. I really liked the links to actual users, particularly ones that have had the bikes a full year.
A “wow” price
This is an amazing bike with a price under $1,000! The bike I was sent was their Black Friday deal advertised at $949. It includes a comfort seat, suspension seat post, headlight and bike lock. This very reasonably priced bike has all the features of much higher-priced eBikes. I was even more impressed the more I learned about it.
- XP-Entry™ frame allows bikers to step through with lateral motion – enabling those with mobility issues to easily mount
- An 850W peak planetary geared motor
- Variable pedal assist and throttle delivers the speed as either a Class 1, 2, or 3 ebike, topping out at 28 mph (where permitted by state law)
- Foldable to 37 x 18 x 28 inches, perfect for RVers
- Five levels of pedal-assist
- Power-on-demand throttle with on/off switch enables access to any trail, including controlled access to national parks
- 7-gear drivetrain
- Puncture-resistant fat tires with adjustable front fork suspension
- 160 mm mechanical disc brakes for wet or dry conditions
- Internal lithium-ion battery for up to 45 miles with a 4- to 6-hour charge depending on amount of pedaling, weight and road conditions
- External charging port
- Interchangeable spare batteries easily installed
- LCD display
- IP-65-rated electrical components, covered under a one-year warranty
- Wide handlebars for a comfortable riding position
- Headlamp and taillight combination, powered by the internal battery
The eBike arrived right on time! The box was heavy and took both my husband and me to lift it into his truck. It does weigh in at 61.6 pounds, although the battery is removable and can reduce weight. Unpacking was a breeze and it was amazingly well-wrapped. Seldom do I see anything packed with such care. It was kind of like unwrapping an onion, layer after layer!
We lifted the eBike out and began the very easy assembly. I was glad I watched the “First Ride” video and referenced it several more times. It basically consisted of inserting the handlebars and seat into the tubes, unfolding the bike and latching it. Easy peasy!
Charging and filling the tires
The eBike came with a charge, but I fully charged it before the first ride. The lithium battery charge port is easy to access on the side. A red light means it’s charging and a green light means go!
I skimmed the instructions (skimming rather than reading was a bad choice). I put on a helmet, determined that the pedal-assist was at the lowest possible speed, and took off! The brakes worked great. When at a full stop with my feet firmly anchored on the ground, I accidentally twisted the throttle and down I went. My first fall and I skinned my knee. My sister said that I looked like a kid again. I felt like a kid again!
Before ride two I read the directions in detail. This time I was much better prepared. Helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads – just in case! I could have been playing roller derby!
Using the throttle was easy, now that I knew where it was and what to expect. I tried both the pedal assist and the throttle to get started. While I still wobbled like a beginner, particularly in deep gravel, I did manage to remain upright and go.
When in PAS (pedal assist) 0, there is no pedal assist. But in PAS 1 it goes up to 10 mph. It has an ascending sequence up to PAS 5, that will build to 20 mph. The Lectric XP 2.0 eBike can be calibrated up to 28 mph, when permitted by state law. PAS 1 was fine to start with, and after getting more comfortable I switched to PAS 2.
When the throttle or the PAS engages, it does increase the speed and pull the eBike quickly. Until I was used to the swift acceleration, I felt a bit out of control.
Ride three – I am loving it!
By ride three I began to relax. I really liked the ride and began to shed the knee, elbow and wrist pads. I especially liked passing my husband going up the hills!
It was easiest to use the throttle to take off and then pedal with the pedal assist. I found that PAS 1 was great to start, and I could increase to PAS 2 or 3 as I got more comfortable and/or the hills were steeper.
It was very nice to have the throttle option when I just wanted to rest a bit and let the eBike do the work.
I found that turning is a lot different than my ancient 10-speed, and I needed to make a wider turn. The fat tires are perfect over gravel and the rocks on some of the mountain bike trails near us, but they’re great on the pavement too. When going over rocks I am glad to have the front suspension fork.
Folding it up
This eBike is amazingly easy to fold up and transport, fitting easily in the back of my subcompact KIA. It is heavy, though, and while I could easily fold it up and get it to the car, I could not lift it in. My “Hunky Joe” husband (his words) lifted it right in. I think if I was trying to get it in the car by myself again I might try a short ramp. I can lift it into the much lower slideout basement storage bays.
Things I like
- It folds compactly. It’s perfect for the RVer!
- Lots of power – up to 28 mph!
- Fat tires go anywhere
- Great charge range – anywhere from 25 to 45 miles depending on weight load, terrain and amount of pedaling
- Amazing price point – Under $1,000!
- Has both pedal assist and throttle
- Disc brakes
- Shimano 7-gear drivetrain
Things I didn’t like
After riding it the eBike the past two weeks, there were only a couple of things that I wish could be changed.
- Key location. The key to power it on is under the battery compartment. At first I literally had to lay on the ground to insert it. I did get concerned about the key falling out while riding, which it didn’t.
- Weight. It is heavy at 61.6 lbs.
- One size fits all. The bike is really one size fits all and, for the most part, it fits. I have long arms and even for me, the handlebars are a bit of a stretch. I wish they could be angled or adjusted closer.
- Gear shift. The manual gear shifting sounds a bit clunky and although not a game-changer, it is noticeable. (Or it could be rider error.)
From someone who had absolutely no intention to ever ride a bike, no matter how much my husband wanted me to, I am hooked! I totally love it and look forward to a morning ride in the cool desert. And, of course, passing up my husband on his old-school bike is also a plus!
For more information on the Lectric XP 2.0 eBike, visit their website here.