Lectric XP Step-Thru review: The 28 mph king of fun and affordable e-bikes

From nearly the instant that Phoenix-based electric bicycle startup Lectric Bikes first unveiled the Lectric XP last year, the affordable little folding e-bike rocketed to the forefront of the budget e-bike market. And now that the company has added the Lectric XP Step-Thru as the second model in the lineup, even more riders are discovering the joy of an e-bike that offers big thrills for a small price.

After spending time riding the $899 Lectric XP Step-Thru for this review, I think it might be my new favorite model from Lectric Bikes since it’s even more comfortable to use than the original Lectric XP.

Let’s start with the tech specs so you can get an idea of what you’ll find in this e-bike. If you’re already familiar with the standard frame Lectric XP, you’ll likely notice that the Step-Thru version shares essentially identical specs. It simply offers a new step-through frame for increased accessibility and more comfortable mounts/dismounts.

Lectric XP Step-Thru tech specs

  • Motor: 500 W (800 W peak) geared rear hub motor
  • Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
  • Range: 25-50 miles (45-80 km)
  • Battery: 48V 10.4 Ah (500 Wh)
  • Charge time: 4-6 hours
  • Weight: 63 lb (28.6 kg )
  • Max load: 275 lb (125 kg)
  • Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Extras: Large easy-to-read LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer and tripmeter, front and rear LED lights, five pedal assist speed settings, half-twist throttle, removable battery, rear rack, and metal fenders (rack and fenders included!)

Lectric XP Step-Thru video review

Seeing is believing, right? So watch my review video below to see the Lectric XP Step-Thru in action. Then keep reading for my complete thoughts on this awesome little deal-of-an-e-bike!

Lectric XP Step-Thru folding e-bike: The key points

Look, I’m going to lay out the main point of this bike here fairly simply: The Lectric XP Step-Thru (and the standard Lectric XP, for that matter) isn’t designed to be a top-of-the-line e-bike. There is exactly nothing about the bike that would be considered premium.

And yet the bike is still an amazingly fun ride with its thrilling performance.

So what gives?

Essentially, the Lectric XP Step-Thru is an e-bike with all the right compromises. It offers a powerful 800W peak-rated motor and a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) when you add a bit of pedal power, or a lower top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle only.

And with those fat tires, it’s fun for riding on both pavement and off-road trails — or just cutting right across the park.

But it does make smart compromises, like with a somewhat smaller battery. At 500 Wh, the battery capacity is around average or even a bit below average compared to much of the industry.

For most recreational riders, that’s still plenty of capacity. I find that I can get around 20 miles (32 km) of range when pushing it hard, or more than that when I ride easier or add in some pedal assist.

Next, there’s no suspension. So don’t expect to do any impressive jumps. Or ride comfortably on rutted-out trails.

That doesn’t mean you can’t leave the manicured streets behind, though. I’ve done plenty of riding on grass and gravel trails, but I also make a point of lifting out of the saddle a bit when I see the trail is about to get extra bumpy. So while I know going in that I’m not getting suspension, the reminder that this e-bike only costs $899 soothes my concerns. And extra air volume in those fat tires soothes my behind.

Lastly, none of the components are super nice. You get simple Tektro brakes, simple Shimano 6-speed transmission, and a simple Shimano SIS shifter. This is all lower-tier stuff, but it all works perfectly fine. If I was a competition rider, I’d need to upgrade. But if I just want to have an enjoyable ride on an e-bike with “good enough” quality parts, this is the ticket right here.

So while compromises were made, they all seem to have been made in the right places to preserve enough quality, comfort, and value to make this a seriously awesome e-bike.

It’s fast and powerful, it can ride on varied terrain with those wide tires, and it folds for easy stowage in a trunk, RV, boat, or wherever else you need to stuff a bike.

You even get an included rear rack, full metal fenders, and a pair of front and rear LED lights — all parts that can often cost extra on other budget e-bikes!

Lectric XP Step-Thru

And for those worried about legality issues, if 28 mph (45 km/h) speeds aren’t allowed in your area, you can easily limit the bike back down to Class 2 speeds of 20 mph (32 km/h).

In fact, it comes programmed in Class 2 mode, and it is up to the rider to unlock the Class 3 top speed if he or she chooses.

The bottom line

The bottom line is this: I don’t know how anyone can beat the Lectric XP Step-Thru at this price. It brings all of the same value of the original Lectric XP, yet drops the frame even lower to make it easier and more comfortable to mount.

There’s still a place out there for premium electric bicycles. I own one and I love it. It gives me features and components I don’t have on the Lectric XP. But at three times the price, it’s not for everyone.

The Lectric XP, on the other hand, is a great entry into the world of electric bikes for anyone that wants a high-performance e-bike without a high price tag.

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https://electrek.co/2020/11/03/lectric-xp-step-thru-review-the-28-mph-king-of-fun-and-affordable-e-bikes/

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