Lectric XP Lite Review Thread

Smaug

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I got the XP Lite yesterday. I put it together in my cube here at work and got it charging the rest of the afternoon.

This post will be my first impressions and I'll revise it (in italic text) as I get more miles on it. Other owners are welcome to put their thoughts on the bike in this thread too.


PROS:
+ Excellent paint job!

+ Good fit & finish (though the charging port plug could fit the hole in the frame a bit better)

+ (revising my comment in the video) the brakes are excellent. Not a strong initial bite, but they're strong enough once you squeeze a bit harder. Very progressive feel.

+ One gear keeps it simple for non-technical people

+ Lightweight; it barely weighs more than a purely mechanical bike. It was not a problem to lift this into a tote, and then put the tote in the back seat of my car. (I'm 45 and in decent shape)

+ 2.4" tires are a perfect compromise to act as suspension and still not having fat tires that jack the weight and rolling resistance up

+ No tools needed for assembly, except a pump

+ Very nice display; easy to see in all lighting

+ The PAS electric speeds are well-chosen:
1 = 6.5 mph (can't help the motor hardly at all. Counter-intuitively, it's a bad hill-climbing gear)
2 = 11 (slow cadence; relaxed, but not that efficient, as we can't assist much due to high gearing)
3 = 13.5 (perfect cadence)
4 = 16 (fast cadence, like you see serious cyclists doing in the Tour)
5 = 20 (ridiculously fast cadence, like we used to do as kids when going for top speed on our single speed bikes)

+ The seat post is long enough (and the design accommodates a long seat post) for me to get full leg extension; I'm 5'8 with a 30" inseam. It's also graduated, so we can return to the height we like easily after transport. (I'll report later on its adequacy for shorties)

+ The motor is torquey. Either the motor itself is wound for more torque or its gearing is lower, or both. It pulls harder than my "500 W" heybike Ranger with its larger battery. (added 7/20)

+ The instruction manual appears to have been written by a native English speaker, which is refreshing in this day and age. It's of good physical quality and is easy to follow. It has details on how to customize the programming to one's liking and even includes torque specs (in Nm) for the main fasteners. It's well worth keeping. In the future, Lectric may want to also include ft-lbs or in-lbs in parenthesis, for those of us with old SAE torque wrenches. (added 7/20)


CONS:
- They didn't wait for the paint to dry fully before inserting the charging jack plug. They managed to keep paint out of the contacts, though. (see video)

- No horn. I humbly recommend an electronic horn with a polite tone like an old fashioned bicycle bell. "BRRRINGG!"

- No fenders included; front tire will roost the key hole in the frame. I don't know about you, but I would accept an extra 1/2 lb. and $5 in price for a set of plastic fenders.

- Cable harness is routed right below the keyhole. Wires have to be pushed out of the way to insert the key

- Cables could be routed a bit better; maybe through the frame. This is admittedly a nitpick. Look how Sailnovo did it and how heybike does it on their Ranger; much neater.

- Headlight is wimpy, It's good for maybe 10-12 mph. In this day & age, we should not have to pay again to upgrade the headlight for the top assisted speed of the bike. Rather than pay for the upgraded headlight from Lectric, I'll probably put on a nice aftermarket one for a fraction of the cost.

- Range advertised on Lectric's site is with tires @ 45 psi, but the tires are marked 35 psi max. That's pretty sketchy.

- Seat is awful. It makes the pereneal area burn after just 10-15 minutes, and I'm not even that heavy, at 185 lbs. Paid reviewers seem to brush this off, but (even at $800) we shouldn't have to immediately spend more on a decent seat. I did spend the extra hunge to order the comfort package, mainly for the shock seatpost, but it was back-ordered at the time of my order. I'll report on that later. I have the Grean seat on my Sailnovo ebike, and it is a lot better. (and only $20)

- Packaging job is not great. I can see why some customers are getting bikes with display smashed, right out of the box. heybike does a much nicer job here. (though they cost more, for the specification level)

- Charger has no safety certifications. Folks don't care about this until their house gets burned down. They should source a better charger. You might say it was to keep costs down, but my Sailnovo, which cost $300 less, has a UL Listed charger and even the BIKE has a UL Listing!


OTHER THOUGHTS:
+/- The one gear is high; like 5th gear on a 7 gear bike in this class. This means climbing hills is going to be quite demanding on the battery, because the rider can't help much, even standing up and pumping. If it were lower, it would not be useful in the higher gears, so I think they made the right choice here.

+/- Tires came out of the bike at about 16 psi, maybe to save space in the box or to act as an extra cushion

+/- It would have been nice to have more speeds from which to choose, for more resolution. Maybe two extra speeds in the spaces between 2nd and 3rd in the PAS list above.

+/- Different tail light modes would have been nice. At least have it blink during braking, which some affordable brands now do. (both of my other eBikes do this)


A QUICK VIDEO:



8/15/2022 UPDATE:
It's got about 100 miles on it now. It is doing great. The brakes only squeak a tiny bit; nothing objectionable.

I received the Comfort Seat Package from Lectric and it is quite nice. The seat alone would not be worth $100, but the seat and shock seatpost are. The comfort seat strikes a nice balance between being wide and thickly-padded enough for sitting comfort, but not so wide that it impedes pedaling.

I also bought the folding lock from Lectric. It is really neat; seems like higher security than a cable lock, but not quite as high as a U-lock. It's also a great size & weight compromise. It came with a bracket to mount it behind the seat tube. It is REALLY difficult to get it mounted. Needs the seat removed (no biggy) and the rear light bracket removed. Removing the rear wheel would make it even easier, but I didn't want to do that unless I had to, so I just struggled with the tiny hex key inside the lock case until I finally got 'er mounted. The lock case is not the best fit, as the cables routed through that part of the frame push it off at an angle, but it works. It is SO convenient to have a case for the lock and it's a lot less obtrusive than any other lock I've mounted to a bike.

If you don't want to go to this trouble, the lock takes up less room in a back than a U-lock and about the same as a smaller cable lock. (weighs more than a cable lock, but is a lot more dense, when folded.)

The overall quality of components and fit & finish is higher than that of my heybike Ranger, which cost $1400 instead of $800.

The torque of the motor continues to impress.

Next step: rack & fenders, to make this a proper commuter/shopper. I see there is a carry package on Lectric's site, and that pannier would do OK in lieu of a rear fender for a while, but there's nothing for the front tire. I'd rather have a front fender
than a front rack, if I have to choose. I'll be keeping an eye on their site and emailing customer service about the fenders. I could've sworn I saw something there that the XP Lite fenders were "coming soon".


9/29/2022 Update: I'm starting to ride this more as the weather cools down. When I take this bike, I wear a backpack, which makes my back sweaty before I get to work in the summer months. Lectric doesn't seem to have the fenders for it yet. I would like their rear rack and front/rear fenders, but not the front rack or pannier bag, so I'm waiting, still; can't get the combo I want. The quality of the bike is holding up. Brakes are quiet, motor is torquey. I really like it. My only regret is that I didn't get the Lectric XP 2.0 instead of my heybike Ranger for my other bike. The Sailnovo is gone; too unstable and it took significant damage from being crashed 3x by teen girls who won't quit messing with devices while riding.
 

Snoop

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Great review, Smaug! Thanks for taking the time to put all that together, especially the video.

I‘m sure someone looking into that bike would find it very helpful.

On your Ranger, have you looked into why the breaks are so earsplitting (commented on in your video)? Contaminated pads maybe?
 

Smaug

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I added +'s about the motor torque and instruction manual above.

I've got a few more commutes under my belt now; I'm really liking this bike. Compared to my Ranger, I occasionally miss the ability to cruise at 20 mph with a comfortable cadence. On this bike, comfortable speed matching the cadence is PAS 3 at 13-14 mph.

I like Lectric's display, how it shows voltage and current. The current display really helps to show me how much juice I'm using, and I find it challenges me to keep it at or below 3 A.

Some critique on the display:
- The current display has a tenths place current, but it's always zero. How about we drop that tenths place then?
- When the headlight is on, it has "MANUAL" above the light icon, as if there's also an automatic settings. Looking in the manual, there is a an AUTO indicator too, but this bike just doesn't have a provision for it. I'd recommend just removing MANUAL in the firmware.
- There is a trip meter called TRIP A. Having the A indicates there is also a TRIP B, but there isn't here. Drop the 'A'.

Wrench Tip: As I mentioned above, I needed to reduce the chain tension. The axle nuts are 18 mm. For the left side, I had an 18 mm socket, but for the right side, we cannot use a socket because the cable is exiting there through the hollow axle bolt. There is also the guard, which is held in place by the axle nut. 18 mm isn't a standard size wrench in either of my metric combination wrench sets. If you're thinking of buying this bike, do yourself a favor and confirm you have an 18 mm box or combination wrench ahead of time. I did it with an 8" adjustable "Crescent" wrench and it was a HASSLE; I could only turn it a few degrees at a time; it was VERY tight. I was worried I would start to round the two corners of the nut, but the nut seems to be of high quality and it still looks good.
 

Smaug

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I'm not in SF, but if I were, I would NOT buy an XP Lite. All those steep hills will kill the battery fast. Get something with gears, so you can legitimately help it. Better yet, a mid drive bike, so the motor can take advantage of the bike's mechanical gearing.
 

walschuler

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I am not a high hill climber so I think that I might still use a Lite. A neutral reviewer showed it has reasonable hill climbing power, but I am also looking at a mid drive with gears. Thanks for your advice, Smaug.
 

the_mace

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Hi folks, I got a Lectric XP Lite a few months ago and have about 150 miles on it from both road and gravel riding. The bike has been great and has better range than I expected although the charge estimate still baffles me.

I have one problem I’d like to figure out. When pedaling hard on the bike the bike “creaks”. It doesn’t seem to be the chain or wheels, but more like the frame. I’ve tried folding/unfolding again, I’ve lubricated the wheels/chain with proper materials and still get a creak. Any ideas what could cause this and how to solve it?

BTW I agree with comments above on the default seat. Its terrible. I ride a road bike on my true workout days and the eBike for lighter days. The road bike has a classic road bike saddle which is WAY more comfortable than this padded one on the Lectric.

Couple other comments:
  • The little rubber plug to go into the charge port when not using it is hard to get placed. The charge cord goes in easy, but that little rubber stopper is a real pain
  • I do 1,000 ft - 2,000 ft in elevation change rides so far up to 20 miles in range on the bike. Mostly ride in PAS 3, but if I have plenty of charge near the end I boost to PAS 5 and cruise. Battery does surprisingly well
  • My main concern is if I run out of juice, the gear is pretty high so hills with that weight will be a real pain if it comes to that. Not sure I'd go single gear again.
  • Also as soon as you get any downhill slope you cant pedal fast enough to assist as there's only 1 gear so you're just limited to what gravity can do which is generally less than what you can do on a road bike with more gears and less friction.
  • On heavy slopes/gravel the slight delays in the PAS/Throttle make navigating those slopes tricky and somewhat dangerous, be careful
 

Smaug

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Hi folks, I got a Lectric XP Lite a few months ago and have about 150 miles on it from both road and gravel riding. The bike has been great and has better range than I expected although the charge estimate still baffles me.

I have one problem I’d like to figure out. When pedaling hard on the bike the bike “creaks”. It doesn’t seem to be the chain or wheels, but more like the frame. I’ve tried folding/unfolding again, I’ve lubricated the wheels/chain with proper materials and still get a creak. Any ideas what could cause this and how to solve it?
Check the pedals. On another bike of mine (heybike Ranger) the pedal bearings seemed to be completely dry. Once I put some 3-in-1 oil in them, that squeak stopped. (the brakes are still merrily squeaking away, though...)

[...]
  • My main concern is if I run out of juice, the gear is pretty high so hills with that weight will be a real pain if it comes to that. Not sure I'd go single gear again.
Yeah, single gear was a concession to save weight. It's way too high for any kind of climbing. With the elevation change you're talking about, you'd better plan on pushing it if you run out.

  • Also as soon as you get any downhill slope you cant pedal fast enough to assist as there's only 1 gear so you're just limited to what gravity can do which is generally less than what you can do on a road bike with more gears and less friction.
Yep, you can only coast if you want. With a lot of hills though, you'll STILL be picking up speed.

  • On heavy slopes/gravel the slight delays in the PAS/Throttle make navigating those slopes tricky and somewhat dangerous, be careful
You can tune down how quickly and gently the power gets applied. They tell you how in the manual. I think they left it a bit abrupt to show us how torquey the motor is. ;-)
 

the_mace

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Check the pedals. On another bike of mine (heybike Ranger) the pedal bearings seemed to be completely dry. Once I put some 3-in-1 oil in them, that squeak stopped. (the brakes are still merrily squeaking away, though...)


Yeah, single gear was a concession to save weight. It's way too high for any kind of climbing. With the elevation change you're talking about, you'd better plan on pushing it if you run out.


Yep, you can only coast if you want. With a lot of hills though, you'll STILL be picking up speed.


You can tune down how quickly and gently the power gets applied. They tell you how in the manual. I think they left it a bit abrupt to show us how torquey the motor is. ;-)
Thanks. Will do on the pedals. In adjusting the seat today it sounded like maybe the seat bar is creaking around the tensioner they have. I loosened it and cleaned out some dust but its not an area you'd want to apply oil to.

Upgraded the seat today with this:

81HCe1BDdcL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Will post an update on the experience.
 

Smaug

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I added an update to the end of the review in the first post.
 

woworcas

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I'm not in SF, but if I were, I would NOT buy an XP Lite. All those steep hills will kill the battery fast. Get something with gears, so you can legitimately help it. Better yet, a mid drive bike, so the motor can take advantage of the bike's mechanical gearing.
I too brought 2 Lectric XP 2.0, 1 regular and 1 step thru. Here is my experience. My wife's white step thru arrived with a bent rim on the rear wheel. The carton appeared to be a return and was beat up badly. Lectric promptly replaced the wheel at my labor expense. She has a fraction of the miles I have but it is still performing as expected. My XP however has been a different story. Right off the bat my XP controller burnt out with minimal gentle use as I was getting acclimated. Then the second controller burned out after 600 miles with lots of hill climbing. I did not want to give up my favorite ride route so I changed to a 11-34 free wheel and limited my hill climbing to 1st gear and PA 1, yet still burned out another controller. I have noticed that the stock controllers are rated at 18A but at times the display reads a 19A draw in PA 2 on a moderate hill. I resigned myself to the fact this bike would not be suitable for much hill climbing. I have switched my routine to an easy rolling hill route and have not burnt out any more controllers, but the motor noise has gotten worse and amp draw regularly exceeds the 18A the controller is rated. It finally got so bad I could not take the extreme droning noise. I contacted seller support, sent videos and they insisted the noise was probably a loose component and sent me a JPG of vibration points to tighten up. The noise completely abated when throttle was cut off or when peddling stopped and no it was not motor induced vibration. I am a former Aircraft mechanic, Locksmith, and currently an experienced Jeweler so I am pretty mechanically adept. After a lot of back and forth and pleading with them I could not even unload this lemon until this issue was corrected, I was able to get a price on a replacement motor without having to replace the display and controller. Having said all this, if you only want to have a folding Electric bike to put in your RV to ride in level ground in State parks in moderation, then this is your bike. TBH this was a big part of my buying consideration, but even then, the performance longevity is questionable. Lectric offered to sell me the replacement wheel and motor at $250+ tx (could probably do better if I could find just a motor but wheel and spoke mounting and truing would add greatly) so I'll probably burn out my existing motor and then have the replacement for reselling my bike down the road if the worn out motor does not drive me crazy first. In the meantime, I have headphones. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 

woworcas

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I have one problem I’d like to figure out. When pedaling hard on the bike the bike “creaks”.
Have you checked the spokes on the back wheel to make sure they are all tight? Also I have heard of putting a light spray of silicone at the hub and spoke connection. Be sure not to get any on the Brake Disc.
 

Smaug

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Now that it's getting cooler out, I'm starting to ride the XP Lite more. (I don't have the rack, so I didn't want to wear my backpack and get a sweaty back in the warmer months)

I really appreciate the quiet brakes and torquey motor on this bike. It is geared high enough that electric assist is nearly always needed to get going, but I guess that's the price of the light weight/single speed aspect.

Adding another update to the first post here shortly.
 
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