I rode the original Lectric XP electric bike for six months during the pandemic in 2020. It was a salve, a way to feel the breeze on my face during quarantine and go farther than usual without hopping on public transportation. I have a bit of a soft spot for it. Lectric’s aim was to deliver a foldable, powerful fat-tire ebike for under $1,000, and this is still true with version 3.0 of the XP three years later.
I’ve seen more Lectric ebikes here in New York City than I can count. I get it—the Lectric XP is one of the most affordable foldable ebikes, and it comes with a lot of extras. I’d still never buy it myself—I live in a walk-up and don’t want to deal with such a heavy, bulky thing. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate this chunky vehicle. In the third iteration, Lectric has made some small but nice tweaks to the formula, resulting in a more refined and functional fat-tire ebike that’s still fun to ride.
I tested the standard Lectric XP, but as usual there’s a Step-Thru model if you want an easier time clambering onto the seat. Much of what I said in my review of the Lectric XP 1.0 is the same for the XP 3.0. This thing comes completely assembled, so all you need to do is take it out of the box and unfold it. It’s still freakin’ heavy (in fact, it’s 1 pound heavier at 64 pounds), but I found it easier to unfold than the cheaper and lighter Lectric XP Lite—the hinge is a lot smoother.
It’s still annoying to maneuver and carry. I wish there was a way to affix the tires to each other when the Lectric is folded up, à la the Montague ME-1, which has tires that can be hooked together so that the whole ebike can roll around like a trolley. The XP 3.0 is bulky, so carrying it is a pain even with the metal handle near the seat post. There’s almost always something jabbing my legs as I walk down my steps.
Make sure you choose the Elite Bundle when you buy, as it comes with a larger seat, suspension seat post, bike lock, and Elite headlight. These are all really handy accessories. As a 6’4″ man, I much prefer the giant seat over the original saddle; it’s more comfortable. This is my first time trying a suspension seat post, and consider me a convert. It makes those sudden bumps on the road easier on the butt. The headlight gets fairly bright, though its position tends to move around if the roads are rough, so you may have to readjust it every so often. I appreciate the option to install storage for the included bike lock, though 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 on and I’m still not a fan of how you power the ebike. Lectric makes you stick a key into the bottom frame of the downtube. Twist it to turn the battery on so that you can press the power button on the handlebar and bring the XP 3.0 to life. If you plan to park it outdoors often, the key also unlocks the battery, allowing you to take it indoors for safety and recharging. I just hate constantly having to reach the underside of the frame. Do you think James Bond would be hunting for the keyhole before he hopped on a motorcycle? So uncool.