The past 40 years of performance innovation have birthed some interesting trends. Among them, version 3.0 – whether that be of a product, an experience, or a person – tends to be the most epic, the one that fans remember for decades to come. Windows 3.0 revolutionized personal computing by giving users clickable icons. Super Mario 3 introduced Racoon Mario. And we all know what happens when you put Michael Jordan in a third consecutive NBA championship series. Today, the trend continues with the Lectric XP 3.0 e-bike, a Class 3 romper that is poised to push the burgeoning PEV market into new territory.
An e-bike’s most productive use is for commuting. But Class 1 and Class 2 models, and even most Class 3 e-bikes, can typically only replace a car for most trips if you stay within close proximity of home, say 10 to 15 miles. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are limited by a top speed of 20 mph, and lower-price-point class 3 e-bikes, though permitted to reach 28 mph with a throttle, have historically had a range of just 25 to 40 miles, leaving many who commute to work and errands on the daily with a serious case of range anxiety.
Lectric’s original XP model, then its XP 2.0 and XP Lite, established the brand as a top player in the throttle e-bike market. Still, with all the hype surrounding e-bikes since 2020, Lectric felt it could do better. The company knew that it needed to give its customers an urban transportation solution that actually could become their go-to daily driver. That meant boosting the range and performance, without sending the price through the roof.
Lectric’s design and product teams rode the XP 3.0 nearly into the ground across a variety of real-world and simulated challenges (including trips up San Francisco’s steepest urban streets). They took note of every shortcoming in the 2.0, from its inner-thigh-rubbing saddle to the relatively unimpressive 25- to 45-mile range and (considering it’s a cargo bike) 75-pound carrying capacity of its rear rack.
The team then went back to the drawing board, determined to create the most durable, practical, and efficient Class 3 e-bike on the market. And, the kicker: they were under strict orders from CEO Levi Conlow not to raise the base price above $999.
This seemingly brutal process resulted in the most impressive Class 3 option available at its price point. The team boosted the motor’s 35nm torque to 55nm. The controller (which powers the bike up a steep hill) grew from 18 amps to 20 amps, with a battery range of up to 65 miles. Brake rotors and handlebar grips received improvements as well. The rear rack carrying capacity was doubled to 150 pounds. And the saddle? It’s now custom-made specifically to fit the contours of the XP 3.0.
The bike steps into new territory by adding an optional rear passenger seat and speed-restricted “passenger mode,” perfect for when a partner or friend wants to tag along for the ride. Plus, the 3.0 is foldable for easy storage.
I’ve tested my fair share of e-bikes over the years. Most are decent, but it’s rare that a product impresses me as much as the Lectric XP 3.0 did. I rode the bike first on a couple of neighborhood spins, and finally on the bike-laned streets of Phoenix. On the neighborhood roads, the bike rode like you’d expect an e-bike to ride – fast, fun, and without leaving me sweating through my shirt. But it was on an actual commute through a busy city that the bike really stood out. Its rapid-response throttle performance had me feeling as though I were on a Vespa cruising through urban Southeast Asia, albeit in a bike lane. The bike handled hills with ease and I never felt nervous approaching a left-hand turn.
At its sub-$1,000 price point, you won’t find a more reliable way to keep your car parked in the garage.
Lectric XP 3.0 specs
- Bike Weight: 64 lbs
- Max Payload Capacity: 330 lbs
- Max Load for Rear Rack: 150 lbs
- Unfolded Dimensions: 66 x 25 x 47 in
- Folded Dimensions: 37 x 18 x 28 in
- Range: 45 miles (standard battery) or 65 miles (long-range battery)