I rode the original Lectric XP Electric Bike for six months during the pandemic in 2020. It was a balm, a way to feel the breeze on my face during quarantine and to go further than usual without jumping on public transport. I have a soft spot for it. Lectric’s goal was to provide a powerful, foldable fat tire e-bike for less than $1,000, and that’s still true with the 3.0 version of the XP three years later.
I’ve seen more Lectric e-bikes here in New York than I can count. I get it – the Lectric XP is one of the most affordable foldable electric bikes, and it comes with lots of extras. I would still never buy it myself – I live in a walk-up and don’t want to deal with such a heavy and cumbersome thing. That doesn’t mean I don’t like this big vehicle. In the third iteration, Lectric made some small but nice tweaks to the formula, resulting in a more refined and functional fat tire e-bike that’s still fun to ride.
I tested the standard Lectric XP, but as usual there is a step by step model if you want to climb more easily on the seat. Much of what I said in my review of Electric XP 1.0 it’s the same for XP 3.0. This thing comes completely assembled, so all you have to do is take it out of the box and unfold it. It’s still very heavy (in fact, it’s 1 pound heavier at 64 pounds), but I found it easier to unfold than the cheapest and lightest Electric XP Lite– the hinge is much smoother.
It’s still boring to maneuver and transport. I wish there was a way to attach the tires to each other when the Lectric is folded, à la Montague ME-1, which has tires that can be hooked together so that the whole e-bike can ride like a cart. The XP 3.0 is bulky, so carrying it around even with the metal handle near the seatpost is a pain. There is almost always something stinging my legs when I step down.
Be sure to choose the Elite pack when you buy, as it comes with a larger seat, suspension seat post, bike lock and Elite headlight. These are all really practical accessories. As a 6’4″ man, I much prefer the giant saddle to the stock saddle; it’s more comfortable. This is my first time trying a suspension seatpost, and consider me like a convert. This makes those sudden bumps in the road easier on the ass. The headlight gets quite bright, although its position tends to shift on rough roads, so you may need to readjust it to from time to time. I appreciate the option to install storage for the included bike lock, although it was a little tricky with the narrow space on the frame. At least I don’t need to bring a bag to carry the lock.
Three years later and I’m still not a fan of how you power the e-bike. Lectric has you stick a wrench in the bottom frame of the downtube. Twist it to turn on the battery so you can press the power button on the handlebars and bring the XP 3.0 to life. If you plan to park it outside often, the key also unlocks the battery, allowing you to take it inside for added security and recharging. I hate having to constantly reach for the underside of the frame. Do you think James Bond would be keyhole hunt before jumping on a motorcycle? So uncool.