The team over at Phoenix, Arizona-based Lectric eBikes has just launched their newest and most affordable electric bicycle yet: the Lectric XP LITE. At just $799, it packs in much of what riders already loved about the brand’s flagship Lectric XP 2.0 folding e-bike, yet shaves off some serious dollars and poundage.
When the original XP was launched and then followed by the XP 2.0, Lectric eBike co-founder Levi Conlow told me that he was convinced that it would soon face competition from the other US-based major e-bike companies. “I was sure that Rad and the other big guys were going to immediately come out with a bike that was priced low enough to compete with us. So I pretty quickly worked up this design for an even more affordable e-bike to top them.”
But as years went by and no low-cost challengers arose, Levi finally decided that they shouldn’t just sit on the design anymore. If no one else would compete with Lectric to push prices even lower, they’d just do it themselves. And thus, the Lectric XP LITE was born, coming in at just $799.
Levi and his co-founder/childhood friend Robby Deziel invited me out to Phoenix recently to see the Lectric XP LITE e-bike in person and put some miles on one of the first units off the line. After just one afternoon with the bike, I can already tell you that this is the #1 electric bike I will recommend to anyone shopping on a tight budget. If I’ve learned one thing about low-cost e-bikes, it’s that there’s a lot of junk in the $500-$800 e-bike category. But the XP LITE is finally a ray of light – a quality offering at a super low price. It may not have the same high performance as the XP 2.0, but the LITE version still offers way more than any other e-bike in its price range.
Take a look at my test ride video below to watch as I get my first ever ride on this new budget e-bike.
Lectric XP LITE first ride video
Lectric XP LITE quick specs
- Motor: 300 W (720 W peak) geared hub
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Range: Up to 72 km (45 mi)
- Battery: 48V 7.8 Ah (375 Wh)
- Weight: 20.8 kg (46 lb)
- Max load: 124 kg (275 lb)
- Brakes: Mechanical disc brake calipers
- Price: $799!
Keep the best, get rid of the rest.
The Lectric XP LITE keeps much of what makes the XP 2.0 so well loved then chucks anything extra to cut down on extra cost and weight.
For example, it’s still a class 2 e-bike with a 20 mph top speed and a twist throttle to get you there without pedaling (though of course you can ignore or remove the throttle and use the pedal assist to ride it as a class 1 e-bike). The nominally 300W motor actually puts out 720W of peak power, so it’s got decent pep, despite not being a powerhouse. I did some uphill riding on grassy knolls and it was up to the task. I’m not sure how it would do in San Francisco, but moderate hills were not a problem.
It’s also got a minimalist folding frame that keeps the bike at a mere 46 lb (20.8 kg). That’s not light by folding-bike standards, but it sure is light by folding electric bike standards!
Then you’ve got your backlit LCD display with giant visible readout, 160 mm disc brakes, integrated lights, IP65 water resistant build, etc. All of it is backed by a US-based company with local shipping and a team of young Arizonans manning the customer support phone lines and email/chat boxes. You just can’t get that with pretty much any other ultra-budget electric bike these days.
Now there are some compromises here, to be fair.
For example, this is a single-speed e-bike, so there’s no multi-speed transmission to run through the gears. But with that 720W peak-rated motor, you likely won’t need to downshift when climbing up hills.
And there’s no suspension, which brings us back to the Lectric XP 1.0 days when a rigid fork kept the weight down and longevity up.
The tires are also narrower at 2.6 inches wide. So, this is a more urban-oriented electric bike, though that didn’t stop me from doing some off-road riding in parks (see my video above). The lack of suspension means that rutted out grassy areas will give you a bit of a shock, but the bike is still powerful enough and rugged enough to handle it, as long as your body is equally capable.
The last compromise is the XP LITE’s smaller battery. It’s small in terms of capacity, but it’s still a relatively high voltage system at 48V, which makes this likely the most affordable 48V e-bike on the market. Even so, the Ah rating is just 7.8, for a total of 375 Wh. That’s not a huge battery by any stretch of the imagination. They claim a maximum range of 45 miles (72 km), but that’s with serious pedaling effort on your part. For throttle-only riding, 15–25 miles is a more realistic real-world figure.
So, the bike isn’t perfect. It lacks the 28 mph speed of the XP 2.0 and the larger battery, suspension, and 7-speed shifter. But it’s smaller, 20 pounds lighter, easier to move around, more nimble, and of course even more affordable. And it comes in four color options, which is a fun little bonus over the black and white options for the XP 2.0.
Plus, the Lectric XP LITE can even take advantage of much of the same ecosystem of accessories like the racks and baskets, upgraded lights, comfort package, pre-slimed tires for automatically-sealing tires, etc.
Including fenders and rack would have been a nice touch, but I find it hard to complain about missing accessories when the base price is just $799. They did give us an LED headlight and tail light, which is more than I can say for so many e-bikes these days that hold out on lights.
Now just because this is a pretty awesome price point doesn’t imply this e-bike is for everyone. The narrower tires and lack of suspension mean it isn’t going to be as adventure-friendly as the wider tire and front-suspended XP 2.0. And, the smaller battery won’t let the rides last quite as long as other e-bikes with bigger batteries, though the medium power level will help the battery last longer than a higher power motor would have allowed.
So, if you’re power hungry or want the most comfortable ride out there, this likely isn’t the bike for you. But as long as “normal” bike tires (i.e. not ridiculously fat tires) are acceptable and you can get by with 20 mph speeds and modest power, the XP LITE offers a truly fun ride. The bike feels like you should have paid much more for it, that’s for sure.
I look forward to getting more time on the bike for a complete review. But after just one afternoon of riding, I’m pretty darn smitten with the XP LITE. And, I’ve got a feeling you’ll love it too. At this price, there’s just no point in going with some off-brand anymore.
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