Lectric eBikes teased the introduction of its electric trike just weeks after Rad Power Bikes launched the RadTrike with a post from CEO Levi Conlow to an owner’s group on Facebook. This morning, after a few days of teaser posts, Lectric eBikes opened the flood gates and released the full specs for the Lectric XP Trike, with the $1,499 price being the center piece of the announcement.
The price puts Lectric’s three-wheeled e-bike a full $1,000 less than the new RadTrike and boasts specs that will surely make it difficult for many customers to justify coughing up the extra cash for Rad Power Bikes’ build.
Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming Lectric XP Trike:
- Price: $1,499
- 14Ah external battery for up to 60 miles of range per charge
- Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes
- Arrives fully assembled
- Weighs just 65 pounds without the battery
- Rear axle motor that drives both wheels with a peak output of 1,092 watts and 65NM of torque
- Includes a differential axle
- 14 inch standover height is the lowest of any Lectric eBike
- Integrated front and rear parking brakes
- Utilizes off the shelf bike components for easy routine service at any bike shop
- Includes Lectric’s Elite headlight and integrated rear lights
- Compatible with many of Lectric eBikes’ existing accessories including the Wag-Along pet trailer, Cargo Package, and trike-exclusive seat with integrated back support.
Lectric eBikes flew us out to their headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona to be one of the first people outside of the core product team at Lectric to see and ride a few of the pre-production builds of the XP Trike ahead of its official launch. We spent a few hours riding it around Phoenix and interrogating Lectric’s leadership team to see what’s really going on with the XP Trike.
To date, Lectric has made a name for itself by delivering disproportionate value at basement, bottom prices and the XP Trike carries much of that same DNA forward. At $1,499, it is priced higher than all of Lectric eBikes other offerings and that makes sense as it does have a much larger frame, larger battery, more complex powertrain, hydraulic disc brakes, parking brakes, three rear lights, and and aluminum frame. These are all significant upgrades that make it clear that the XP Trike isn’t just their flagship XP 3.0 with an extra wheel thrown into the mix.
The aluminum frame is a critical upgrade from more traditional steel frames as it means the XP Trike weighs in at 65 pounds without its 7 pound 14Ah battery installed. That’s crazy considering that the XP 3.0 with its smaller battery is 64 pounds and helps frame up the quality components that went into the XP Trike. That aluminum is used in bold fashion on the XP Trike, with its oversized rectangular tube frame with a massive folding joint in the middle, highlighted by Lectric’s blocky logo.
To boost the range of the XP Trike, Lectric needed more storage than their frame-integrated 10.4Ah battery could handle so they went with an external battery that slides into place behind the seat tube. The larger battery translates to meaningfully more range, with up to 60 miles of range per charge.
Stored energy from the battery is pushed into the new motor, which is a completely new configuration in the world of e-bikes. The motor on the XP Trike lives in the center of the frame and pushes power to the drivetrain via a chain and cog connection to the rear axle. The rear axle also boasts a differential, to let the two rear wheels spin independently for better handling when turning. Riding the XP Trike around Phoenix, the combination performed beautifully
The center motor and battery on the seat tube mean there is plenty of traction when it’s time to get moving from a dead stop and with its 1,092 watts of peak power, it was more than up to the task. The pre-production build we rode still had the spoke holes on it though Lectric is working on a new casing that would eliminate those flanges for the production version.
The motor is intelligently limited to providing assistance only up to 14 mph for safety. Trikes are by definition less stable than two-wheeled bicycles and this is especially true when turning. Three-wheeled vehicles taking turns at higher speeds have a tendency to flip over. The Lectric XP Trike felt very stable in our testing , where we abused it in a hill climb and a few high speed downhill runs where we hit 23 miles per hour along one straight away. It would be flat out unintelligent to attempt a turn at that kind of speed. As it is, it’s cornering ability is greatly facilitated by leaning into the turn and this is true of any trike.
Lectric’s design team made special efforts to keep the dimensions of the bike optimized for comfortable, stable riding. Functionally, this means sitting in an upright position on a comfortable saddle with handlebars that are easily accessible for a wide range of rider sizes. The stem on the XP Trike has a quick release that lets riders move it up and down vertically several inches on the fly. Up top, the handlebars pay homage to BMX style bars and can be adjusted to lean back towards the rider or forward away from the rider to further optimize the riding position and posture.
The seat post on the trike is oversized allowing for a ton of vertical adjustment which can be augmented by adjusting the saddle’s position forward and back on its own rails. The quick releases on the stem height and seat post mean this bike could easily be shared by a few different people in a family as well.
Lectric eBikes recently started adding tire liners and tire sealant to all of its new bikes which is great for customers considering how difficult it can be to change a flat on many e-bikes. Lectric’s team put a lot of thought into this aspect of the XP Trike as the front wheel is quickly removable with normal hardware and very little fuss. At the rear of the bike, tires and tubes on both rear wheels can be changed without even removing the wheels from the bike as they bolt on with a single bolt from either side. That is a huge improvement and makes customers lives much, much easier for this unfortunately routine maintenance task.
Riding the XP Trike around town, it is in its element. The three wheels provide a stable base and with their three rear lights, increases the visibility of the trike to nearby traffic. Its 14 mph top speed was noticeably slower when riding with other e-bike riders on more powerful bikes but made no meaningful difference in terms of time required to get to our destination. The XP 3.0 is packed with power and the XP Trike is a different kind of vehicle for those looking to take life a bit slower and that’s ok.
After tooling around town on the electric XP trike for a few hours. We decided to put it to the test and headed just outside of town to a utility road heading up to a communications tower. These types of roads, while paved, are poorly maintained and really only suited for four-wheel drive trucks but you only live once, right?
The absurdly steep road winds around the Saguaro cactus-dotted hill, up inclines topping out at about a 20% grade. With a 205 lb rider on the trike, let’s just say I had my eye out for possible bail out options for when the motor started to smoke. To my great surprise, the Lectric eBikes XP Trike not only made it up the mountain, it was able to keep me moving even when I stopped pedaling.
It’s worth remembering that the XP Trike is a single speed bike with no gearing so while its definitely not built to be a mountain slayer, it held its own on this extreme challenge. The mid-axle motor happily kicked in, pushing out its peak output of 1,092 watts and gladly stepped up to fill in the ever increasing gap in the riders output. It tooled away up the pockmarked road and after several hundred feet of elevation gain, emerged victorious. No smoke from the motor, though my small piece of the effort translated to a forehead full of sweat.
After spending the day with the team at Lectric eBikes, it was evident that they are laser-focused on delivering as much value as possible to their customers at the absolute lowest price possible. Talking with CEO and co-founder Levi Conlow over dinner, his eyes lit up talking about the cost of goods sold (COGS) of their bikes compared to the competition and his feverish plan to convert not only traditional bicycle riders, but really, the entire world to riding e-bikes. His passion was eerily reminiscent of Pinky and the Brain, with Levi tapping his fingers together as he hatched one product after another on the road to taking over the world, albeit with a (slightly) less nefarious objective.
His passion for building extremely capable e-bikes at bargain prices for customers doesn’t only sit with him. With his core team of founders, they have spent the last several years very carefully building out a team of more than 100 employees who all share this same passion. Their headquarters is absolutely buzzing with a fervent energy. In the shop, techs were adding fun tires to yet another creative build. In the cafeteria, employees chatted over the company provided coffee and fizzy water. Customer service reps shared stories about calls in the main office area of the building. Their passion for e-bikes oozes out of every surface of the company.
The new trike isn’t for sale or even pre-order yet
though all signs point to pre orders opening up sometime in the next month or two. Update: Pre orders will open up on February 7th and all pre orders will include Lectric’s Cargo Package free of charge (normally $149). Keep your eyes peeled here at CleanTechnica for a full review of the Lectric eBikes XP Trike sometime in the next few months as it moves closer to production and eventually, shipment to customers.
Disclaimer: Lectric eBikes paid for the author’s travel to their headquarters for this test ride.
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