/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The $800 Lectric XP Lite e-bike is a sheer joy to ride

Review: Electric bikes priced below $1,000 usually mean lots of compromises. The Lectric XP Lite shatters those expectations.
matthew-miller
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on
Pros
  • $800
  • Foldable design and 46 pound weight
  • Throttle and pedal assist
  • Attractive color options
  • Solid build quality
Cons
  • No fenders
  • No bell or horn

I've been riding e-bikes as part of my commute for more than four years, and my expectation has been that e-bikes priced less than $1,400 likely aren't worth considering because of the compromises made in quality, comfort, or features to get below this price. The Lectric XP Lite just shattered my bias.

The Lectric XP Lite has been moving me around for about a month, and even though I have a very powerful e-bike priced three times the Lectric XP Lite, I cannot stop riding the XP Lite because it is so much fun to ride and meets my minimum level of performance standards for commuting and getting around town.

Lectric currently has four different series of e-bikes available, but I wanted to see what the company's lowest end model was like since I know many family and friends have asked me about e-bikes and don't want to spend thousands to try them out. I pulled out a few e-bikes for neighbors at a barbeque the other day, and every single person gravitated to the Lectric XP Lite after taking the bikes for a quick trial ride.

Specifications

Motor size 300W rear hub
Pedal Assist Five levels with the throttle
Range Pedal assist: 40 miles. Throttle:15 miles
Top speed 20 mph
Battery capacity 48V with 4-6 hour charge time
Display Backlit LCD
Lights Front and rear are connected to the battery
Payload capacity 275 pounds
Rear rack capacity (option) 55 pounds
Brakes 160mm mechanical disc
Tires 20"x2.6"
Bike weight 46 lbs with battery. Battery is 7 lbs
Folded size 36 x 16 x 27 inches
lectric-xp-lite-15

Folded up and ready to go or store

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Assembly

  • Simply unfold and lock in place
  • Helpful Owner's Guide
  • Four colors to choose from

The Lectric XP Lite arrived in the smallest box I've seen for an electric bike, and it turns out there were no tools inside the package. You don't need any tools since the bike is fully assembled, so you simply remove it from the box, unfold the frame and stem, raise the seat, inflate the tires to the correct pressure, fold down the pedals, charge up the battery, and go. You do need to have one of the two provided keys inserted into the bike in order to use the battery, so don't forget this step.

lectric-xp-lite-7

The center frame, key, stand, and more are shown in Lectric Blue

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The owner's manual provides excellent instructions for every aspect of the bike, including raising or lowering the seat, tilting the angle of the seat, adjusting handlebar height, removing the battery, and more. Torque specifications for every bolt are provided. Display functions and settings are also explained in detail.

Lectric Bikes offers four colors of the XP Lite, including Lectric Blue, Arctic White, Midnight Black, and Sandstorm. I had the opportunity to test out the Lectric Blue model with the cool 80s-era color stripes located on the main frame.

See also: Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X electric bike review: The complete commuter experience

Hardware

  • Two hinged parts
  • Big display
  • Sturdy frame and design

There are two hinged parts on the Lectric XP Lite, the stem and frame, both secured with substantial locking latches to keep everything fastened together. Rotate the stem up into position, lock it in place, and then use the stem clamp to raise or lower the handlebars. At the end of the handlebars are very comfortable grips with extended palm rests that make riding the bike for long periods of time a very comfortable experience.

Front and rear brake levers are found on the forward side of the handlebars. The display control pad has a power button, plus button, and minus button on the left side. Press and hold the power button to turn on the LCD display and enable battery power to the hub motor. The plus and minus buttons are used to control the pedal assist levels.

lectric-xp-lite-12

Large numbers make this easy to read while zipping along at 20 mph

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Over on the right side of the handlebars is a rotating throttle, so simply twist it to engage the throttle. Unlike some other e-bikes, no forward speed is required to engage the throttle so that you can pull some fun wheelies with the bike. Take care and be ready for forward motion if you twist the throttle.

In the center of the handlebars is a large, backlit LCD display. Even with my ageing eyes, the numbers and letters are large and legible. The assist mode and level, odometer, battery level, maximum and average speed, speedometer, light indicator, and mile indicator are all shown on the display. Press and hold down the plus button to turn on the backlight, headlight, and rear taillight. Repeat the same action to turn off the lights.

The headlight is positioned in the center of the front, and it is quite bright. The tires are not very large, but they are a bit fat and help make for a comfortable ride. The front disc mechanical brakes stop on a dime, and I was able to stop within two bike lengths while propelling my 250-lbs body forward at 20 mph.

The bike's main frame is a rectangular tube that folds in half. The tube extends from the front forks down to the back wheel support and is sturdy aluminum material. There is a frame ring around the opening where the bike folds with the latch connected to it. The key access is on the underside of the frame near where the bike folds.

lectric-xp-lite-3

The motor moves you quickly on flat surfaces and hills

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

On the aft part of the bike, a substantial handle is welded securely in place so that you can carry the bike. At the bottom of this area is a stand so that when the bike is folded, it can rest on the stand rather than on the front chain guide or pedals. Speaking of the pedals, they fold up with a quick action for easier storage.

A very comfortable seat is provided with the ability to raise it to a very tall height. I am 6'1" and there was still plenty of room to raise the seat higher than I was comfortable with while still maintaining a stable seat platform.

Behind the seat is the rear taillight that attaches to the back of the frame piece. The rear hub motor, rear disc brakes, and rear chain guide are found near the back of the bike. A kickstand is mounted on the left side of the back frame near the wheel.

See also: The best electric bikes: Top e-bikes for commuting

Price and availability

The Lectric XP Lite is available now for just $799, and Lectric Bikes currently has a promotion where you can get a Back to Campus package ($127 value) for free. This Back to Campus package includes a phone holder, bike lock, and premium headlight upgrade.

Shipping of the bike is free, and the company also offers upgraded seat and carry package options for discounted prices when you order now.

Experiences and conclusion

  • Far exceeded expectations
  • Fast on the flat and on hills
  • Outstanding build and fun to ride

When I was approached about this bike, I did not have high expectations with the low price and the foldable design. Past folding bikes were OK but a bit wobbly for my weight and desired riding speed. Thankfully, Lectric changed my mind immediately, and I've been recommending this bike to family and friends for the past month. It is a sheer joy to ride, and with the fun 80s color and stripes, it takes me back to my youth.

The Lectric XP Lite is also fast, powerful, safe, and well-built. I was able to go 17-18 mph in throttle-only mode on flat surfaces and 9-10 mph up steep hills. With a bit less incline, the bike hit throttle speeds of 12-15 mph up hills. There are no gears, but with the excellent pedal assist capability, I never wanted to shift gears and instead focused on the thrill of riding the bike.

lectric-xp-lite-5

The XP Lite has a basic look, but it's built to last

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

I was blown away by how fast the bike stopped, which is a great safety feature for a bike that goes 20 mph. The display is large and very easy to read, while the simple controls are also straightforward and functional.

The welds on the bike look fantastic, there is no creaking or play in any part of the bike, and it was stable and solid through all of the riding I performed. I love how it folds up and fits in my car trunk, as that has allowed me to take it to other places to ride, which is important because I do not have a truck or bike rack on my car.

I highly recommend the Lectric XP Lite for many people, and if you want to have fun while riding a bike, you should check it out.

Alternatives to consider

While I personally can't think of much to complain about with the Lectric XP Lite, including the price and performance, here are a few alternatives to consider.

Editorial standards

Related

How to take care and get the most from your very expensive e-bike battery
The plastic parts on the e-bike battery -- such as these end caps --  are most prone to damage is the battery is dropped

How to take care and get the most from your very expensive e-bike battery

Want to ride in a Tesla? Now you can with Uber Comfort Electric
ridehailing-wars-why-uber-cabify-are-fac-5c901156fe727300b83d49d0-1-mar-20-2019-10-04-24-poster.jpg

Want to ride in a Tesla? Now you can with Uber Comfort Electric

No browser is perfect. What's a user to do?
Web browser closeup on LCD screen with shallow focus on https padlock

No browser is perfect. What's a user to do?