We could hardly wait for our Lectric XP 3.0 review and it’s no mystery as to why. The XP 2.0 has been one of the most popular e-bikes in the e-bike world in the last year. The reasons why it has been so popular are easy to see. It folds up smaller than a dorm fridge. It’s more affordable than a vacation and more fun than a dog on vacation. With an e-bike that is so easy to recommend, what did Lectic Bikes do? They introduced its update: the XP 3.0.
In our Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 review we will look at the many updates the XP 3.0 received and what they add up to, as well as what they don’t—which is any sort of price increase.
The watchword for this e-bike and this review is “more.” Compared to the Lectric XP 2.0 which we also reviewed, the XP 3.0 has a motor that produces more torque, a drivetrain with more high-end, a rear rack with more carrying capacity, brakes with more power, a battery with more charge and a suspension fork with more travel. And for anyone who wants more range than the new battery offers, Lectric offers a long-range version of the XP 3.0 with an even bigger battery.
One big gain with the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 is the ability to ferry a kid to school, sports practice/games and playdates. Not needing to get in a car every time we take our kids someplace is a huge help for anyone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint and be outside more.
Let’s dig into the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0’s many updates.
Bike Category: Folding
Bike Class: Class 2: PAS/Throttle assist, up to 20 mph
If we were to sum this bike up with a single word, it would be “more.” There’s more of everything that made the XP 2.0 such a great e-bike, yet you pay the same price.
The motor goes from 500W with a peak of 850W and producing 35Nm of torque, to 500W with a peak of 1000W and producing 55Nm of torque, which improves acceleration and hill performance
The gearing has increased in range from 14-28 to 11-28, which also gives the XP 3.0 a bigger high gear, which means riders don’t have to pedal furiously to reach 20 mph
While the brakes are still mechanical discs, the rotor size has grown from 160 to 180mm, which improves brake response notably
Travel on the suspension fork grew from 40mm to 50mm, a 25 percent increase, which makes roads feel even smoother
The rear rack has increased from a 75-lb.-max capacity to a 150-lb.-max capacity, which makes it sturdy enough to carry a kid.
Like with the 2.0 it’s still not possible to remove the key and ride the bike; they key has to be in for the bike to be on
The grips on the XP 3.0 are better than those on the XP 2.0, but not enough to satisfy our previous criticisms of the grips
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: 48V, 499Wh lithium-ion
Motor: 500W brushless hub motor producing 55Nm of torque
Peal Assist: 0-5
Range: 45 mi. Estimated, 65 mi. with extended battery
Throttle: Twist throttle
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 64 lbs.
Maximum rider weight: 330 lbs.
Maximum load on rear rack: 150 lbs.
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors
Fenders: Front and rear fenders included
Fork: Suspension fork with 50mm travel
Frame: 6061 aluminum, folding
Drivetrain: 7-speed Shimano, 11-28 freewheel
Saddle: redesigned, slimmer
Pedals: Plastic, folding, with reflectors
Tires: 20 x 3 in.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Bike Overview
Shoppers who previously considered the XP 2.0 may wonder just how much it differs from the XP 3.0. Considering the XP 3.0 carries the same retail price as the XP 2.0, people may be inclined to wonder if the XP 3.0 is just smoke-and-mirrors different.
In short, it’s not. It’s a substantive improvement, enough that any rider who rode the two bikes side by side would find the XP 3.0 to be the superior e-bike.
If we strip the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 down to its barest details, this e-bike is impressive. It’s a folding e-bike that weighs 64 lbs., has a 500W brushless hub motor that produces a hill-conquering 55Nm of torque, stops well thanks to 20-in. wheels sporting 180mm rotors, has a high enough high gear to be able to pedal comfortably at 20 mph, a 50mm-travel suspension fork, a suspension seatpost to smooth the road and a rear rack that can support a 150-lb. payload.
Without knowing the XP 3.0’s price, we might be inclined to guess that it would go for $1299. That would be a fair price for anything this well-equipped. However, considering Lectric Bikes prices the XP 3.0 much closer to $1000, this isn’t just a nice e-bike that presents shoppers with good value; it offers an impressive value.
The Lectric XP 3.0 offers versatility as it can hit paved or dirt roads
The new wider-range email now offers the high-end to be able to pedal at 20 mph.
The new rear rack can support a load up to 150 lbs. to allow for a child passenger.
The Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 isn’t a perfect e-bike. That’s not a thing. However, Lectric has so thoroughly maximized value that when we consider the few details we would like to see changed, the obvious result would be to increase the cost of this e-bike.
We aren’t given to fawning, nor are we given to exaggeration. The fact remains that we don’t think this e-bike would be possible without placing a massive order with their factory. This must have been the mother of all purchase orders; we simply didn’t think you could shoehorn so much value into a folding e-bike.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
Arguably, one of our biggest criticisms of the Lectric Bikes XP 2.0, and some other Lectric e-bikes we’ve reviewed, was that its high gear wasn’t high enough to pedal at 20 mph. By the time a rider reached 18 mph, it was difficult to pedal fast enough to accelerate any further. Lectric has given the XP 3.0 a substantially higher high gear, replacing the 14t small cog with an 11t small cog. Three teeth may not seem like a big change, but it results in a roughly 25 percent higher gear.
Our one-mile circuit test features a hill that climbs 40 feet and four right turns. It was difficult not to constantly compare the performance of the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 to the XP 2.0. Without comparing, we can say that the XP 3.0 performed well with a noticeable increase in assistance each time we went up a PAS level.
Our initial, unpowered lap yielded an average speed of 13.2 mph. This isn’t a great e-bike to pedal without any assistance due to the small wheels and fat tires. Once we began laps with assistance our average speeds climbed consistently: 13.6, 15.2, 18.2, 20.7 and 21.1 mph. We found the gearing to be spaced at good intervals relative to the pedal-assist levels and the increased gearing range combined with the higher gear made it easy to reach 20 mph and above.
We also noticed that the cadence sensor is more sensitive than the previous one. Where it previously required nearly a complete rotation of the pedals to trigger the motor, now it takes about a half a pedal stroke. That may not sound like much but when starting from a stop it makes a big difference.
With the suspension fork, larger tires, and optional suspension seat post, the 3.0 is equipped to absorb rougher rides to make it easier on the rider.
The XP 3.0’s brushless hub motor got an upgrade in torque; the motor now produces 55Nm as opposed to 35Nm.
The optional upgraded plush saddle and suspension seat post combo is VERY comfortable, but a bit springy too.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
With its fully integrated battery, the Lectric Bikes XP 2.0 wasn’t the long-range king, but it did okay, considering its constraints, such as a battery fully hidden inside the frame. With the XP 3.0, Lectric Bikes pitches it as offering greater range. The XP 2.0 had a 460Wh battery, whereas the XP 3.0 now comes with a 499Wh battery. That’s not a huge jump, but it’s an almost 10 percent gain in capacity.
In our range test, the new battery extended the XP 3.0’s range. We covered 33 mi. in PAS 2 and 23 mi. in PAS 5. The PAS 5 result was a notable tick up from the XP 2.0. It’s a solid result for someone wanting to make quick work of their commute.
We appreciate that these numbers are modest, especially when considering some of the e-bikes spec’d with very large-capacity batteries. For anyone needing to cover substantial mileage between charges, Lectric still offers its 672Wh long-range battery, which it estimates will give riders up to 65 mi. of range per charge.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Hill Test
The purpose of our Hell Hole hill test is less a test of absolute power than it is a test of just how much torque the motor produces. With a regular bike, the analog would be a test of the drivetrain to see if the lowest gear was low enough for us to ascend the hill. A motor that produces lots of torque is like having a really low gear.
On our hill test up Hell Hole the Lectric XP 3.0 made the 1-mi. climb in 1:17, four seconds faster than the XP 2.0 and with the throttle it ascended in 1:34, a full 12 seconds faster than the XP 2.0. We attribute these results largely to the motor’s increase in torque, from 35Nm up to 55Nm.
Bearing in mind that this is an e-bike that retails for closer to $1000 than $1500, these results are very impressive.
The upgraded commuter accessory package (larger hedalight, suspension seat post, moore plush saddle, and a folding bike like) help the XP 3.0 feel like a daily commuter.
The clean cockpit features brake levers with motor cutoff switches, the controller on the left and the shifter on the right.
Despite being a simple LCD display, we love the size and readability of the XP 3.0’s display, particularly the energy bar at the top.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Safety, Brakes and the Brake Test
We’ve been redoing some of our brake tests because our previous protocol was more aggressive than we think would reflect a rider’s experience in the real world. In redoing our test of the Lectric Bikes XP 2.0, our results gave a distance of roughly 27 feet to stop from a seated position. Considering the XP 2.0 is equipped with mechanical disc brakes and 160mm rotors, it’s not a terrible result, but it’s not by any means a selling point.
With the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0, Lectric is still spec’ing the same mechanical disc brake, but they have replaced the 160mm rotors with 180mm rotors, which increases braking power notably. The difference was easy to feel at the lever and showed in our test by yielding a stopping distance of 22 ft., 10 in. A 4-ft. decrease in stopping distance is a real testament to just how much rotor size matters. We believe riders will be well-served by this change. Many of the changes from the XP 2.0 to the XP 3.0 are terrific value-adds, but the new rotors genuinely increase a rider’s control and safety.
One obvious question every potential buyer has regarding a folding bike is just how fool-proof the folding and locking mechanisms are. With the Lectric Bikes e-bikes, the spring-loaded latches snap into place. There doesn’t seem to be any opportunity to unfold the bike and have it hold its shape if the frame and handlebar mast aren’t locked into place. There’s no sitting on the saddle if it’s not ready to be ridden.
The warranty on the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 is one year on the frame, fork, all parts and factory labor. It’s a thin warranty as they go, but Lectric Bikes is by no means alone on this.
Regarding customer service, in looking at buyer reviews of both the XP 2.0 and 3.0, we don’t see any glaring issues that buyers are consistently complaining about and when people have had an issue, they praise the customer service response, even if supply chain issues make getting a replacement part slower than they’d like.
Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
One of the only features we saw consistently criticized on the XP 2.0 was the saddle. Not everyone liked the shape or the padding. The XP 3.0 is equipped with a new saddle and we found it to be a more comfortable alternative. And while a better saddle is nice and certainly contributes to overall comfort, Lectric Bikes has taken bigger steps to increase rider comfort on the XP 3.0. There are two other major changes.
The 40mm-travel suspension fork on the XP 2.0 has been replaced with a suspension fork with 50mm of travel. Now, 10mm may not sound like much—it’s about the width of a fingernail—but it represents a 25-percent increase in travel for the fork. What this does is make the first part of the fork’s travel more supple, making the ride feel even smoother. It’s a meaningful change.
The new grips offer better hand support for more comfort.
The twist throttle gives fine control on speed for riders with tired legs.
Lectric’s locking latch for the folding frame is foolproof, so far as we can tell.
The XP 3.0’s 3-in.-wide tires feature a cushy ride and enough tread and traction to ride on natural surfaces.
The XP 3.0 is also spec’d with a suspension seatpost. Set up correctly, a suspension seatpost will only compress when the bike hits a bump, like going over a driveway edge or speed bump. The travel is short enough that generally people don’t even feel them move. They are usually adjustable by inserting an Allen wrench in a nut at the bottom of the seatpost.
One of our only points of criticism of the Lectric XP 3.0 is that the reach to the handlebar isn’t adjustable beyond raising and lowering the handlebar mast. Smaller riders may be frustrated by a reach that is long enough to keep larger riders happy. We would have less issue with the reach were this not a one-size-fits-all frame. Unfortunately, the standard frame and the step-thru version share the same reach; often, we can recommend an e-bike’s step-thru version as a way to increase comfort for riders who are smaller and/or less flexible.
The Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 is a very zippy-feeling e-bike. It’s nimble and is terrific at steering around kids and strollers on bike paths, not to mention dogs on retractable leashes. On the open road, it’s most comfortable between 10 and 15 mph; above 20 mph it can feel rather nervous and a bit quick-reacting.
The 20 x 3 in. tires offer a smooth ride and plenty of comfort. Running them at lower pressure—40-50 psi—can calm the handling and increase comfort, not to mention making the most of the traction they offer.
Lectric Bikes Review: Summary / Where to Buy
The Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 is what happens when an e-bike company makes an e-bike with massive appeal (the XP 2.0) and finds that they suddenly have more buying power with their factory. When a company’s order grows tenfold, their pricing improves significantly. Many companies would choose to take those savings and pass them on to investors as profits.
Lectric Bikes chose to move in the opposite direction and pass those savings on to the people who made them the success that they are—their fans. To our eye, Lectric Bikes accomplished something we didn’t entirely think was possible. We see very few e-bikes with a suggested retail price below $1000 that we are willing to recommend. Not only has Lectric Bikes produced a reliable and useful e-bike at a great price (the XP 2.0), they managed to increase how far their buyer’s dollar goes with the XP 3.0.
We appreciate any effort by an e-bike company to increase the value they deliver to their customers by spec’ing better parts. We’re not accustomed to seeing an update consist of a better motor, better battery, better drivetrain, better brakes, better rack and better comfort. We count eight notable upgrades to the XP 3.0 from the 2.0, which makes for a significant gain for the consumer.
Don’t get us wrong—this isn’t the perfect e-bike. We’d still prefer hydraulic disc brakes, a greater ability to dial the rider’s fit (in particular a way to adjust the reach to the handlebar) and the ability to remove the key from the lock when riding—that such a great bike could have such a easy-to-fix flaw proves nothing is perfect.
One word of caution for parents: The rear rack on the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 has a carrying capacity of 150 lbs., but the length of the rear rack is too short to carry more than one child. So while it can carry the weight of a 40-lb. child and a 60-lb. child, there isn’t room enough to carry two kids safely. It’s a minor point and not a criticism; every good product has its limits.
The Lectric Bikes XP 3.0 is remarkable for its broad-based appeal. Sure, it appeals to anyone looking for an e-bike that is easy to store. It’s also great for anyone needing to get around with a little person in tow. For the commuter who needs to get junior from an after-school program or sports, the XP 3.0 represents a chance to get some fresh air and save on gas. Thanks to the new higher gear on the XP 3.0, it is a more capable commuter as well, thanks to its greater ability to go 20 mph—or faster, should someone choose to ride it as a Class 3 e-bike.
This is also an easy e-bike to recommend to anyone on a tight budget. Perhaps the best thing we can say about the XP 3.0 is that it asks the question, “Why spend more if it’s not necessary?”
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Lectric Bikes XP 3.0.