Lectric XP Lite Review: Slimmer, Lighter, Annoying
Once it is folded up, it’s not comfortable to carry; the wheels don’t stay closed together (unlike the Montague M-E1) and the grab handle is tiny, so my knuckles bang against the metal frame. Yowch. It’s great that I can fold this ebike up and store it in my living room, but I just wish it was easier to manage.
You can remove the battery from the Lectric XP Lite when it’s in its folded state, which is a nice perk if you don’t want to carry the bike inside. While you can charge the XP Lite without removing the battery, the charging port frustratingly sits on the inside of the frame when it’s folded, and it’s a tight fit to squeeze the charger into the port. You have to spread the ebike open a little to make some room, which seems like a silly design flaw.
The company still has a physical key you need to insert into the underside of the bike to turn the battery on, though you start the ebike with the power button on the handlebar. I don’t mind having a key—it makes me feel like I’m about to rev up a motorbike, like Captain America—it’s just so not cool hunting for the spot to insert the key, hunched down and looking up at the underside of the frame like some sort of street goblin.
The riding experience isn’t complicated at all because the Lite is a single-speed ebike. You don’t have to worry about the derailleur locking up or having to switch gears, just choose the level of pedal assistance you want (one through five) and ride. There’s also a throttle in case you want to make things even easier.
There’s no suspension here, but I didn’t mind. The fat tires, which aren’t as fat as on the Lectric XP, are still thick enough to absorb those bumps and dents in the road, so I never felt uncomfortable, even on some truly awful roads here in Brooklyn. Just make sure to get some fenders if you plan on riding in wet conditions. (You shouldn’t ride it in the rain, but the components are IP65 water-resistant, so it can handle some splashes.)
Lectric uses a 300-W rear hub motor, and the same flaw I’ve seen on nearly all rear hub motors still exists: The motor keeps running for a few seconds even after you stop pedaling. It’s easy to get the hang of, but you just need to be aware of it so you can hit the brakes at the right time. Speaking of, I’ve had no trouble coming to a full stop on this thing. The brakes are pretty reliable.
That might be because it doesn’t go very fast. I cruised at 16 to 20 miles per hour on the original Lectric, but I usually went about 13 mph on the XP Lite at level three pedal assistance. You can probably get to 16 or 17 miles per hour at its fastest speed setting, but that will drain the battery really fast. At level three, which was zero effort on the original Lectric, the Lite will make you feel a tingling in your quads as you pedal and your heart rate will go up, especially uphill. It’s just not as powerful, so don’t expect a sweaty-less ride. Unless you just set it to level four or five, but then you’ll be quite conscious of the battery.