First Ride: The Lectric XPedition Electric Cargo Bike
Lectric eBikes invited CleanTechnica out to Phoenix for what we thought was a first ride of the Lectric XP Trike. We did indeed get to ride Lectric’s XP Trike, but little did we know that we were going to be ambushed with a completely new product, the Lectric eBikes XPedition Series electric cargo bike.
Walking into their warehouse, the faces of Lectric eBikes co-founders Levi Conlow and Robbie Deziel lit up as we walked around the corner to a full row of Lectric XPedition Series bikes built out with a wide range of accessories. The web of rear supports for the integrated rear rack on the lone bike without accessories instantly caught my attention along with its massive 20″ x 3″ fat tires. A fleet of heavily accessorized builds surrounded it, kitted out with Yepp Maxi carseats, a brand new rear adult seat, and the Orbitor rear frame that keeps a pair of medium sized kids safe.
The Lectric eBikes XPedition boasts and all-aluminum frame bolstered by a steel fork up front. The stout frame and steel fork mean the XPedition is expected to come to market with a hefty carrying capacity up around 450 pounds. The structural reinforcements at the rear of the bike translate to an insane 300 pound capacity for the rear rack alone that you can put to use as you see fit. Want to carry a load of bricks or concrete back from the hardware store? How about a couple of kids? Fancy a run to the grocery store? Sure!
With so much capability packed in, it’s sure to give the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon, the Flyer L885, the Yuba Spicy Curry, and the like a run for their money. Speaking of money, the Lectric XPedition starts at just $1,399. That’s the lowest price for an electric cargo bike from a reputable brand we’re aware of and the XPedition blows away many of the higher priced bikes with more capability, power, and capacity.
Right out of the gate, the Lectric eBikes expedition can be kitted out with their Orbitor rear frame accessory, pictured above with two Yepp Maxi carseats inside, to become an instant family mover. Two small children hardly tip the scales when it comes to this thing’s hauling capacity and it can easily be utilized to carry around full-size humans as well.
To that end, Lectric has a single adult seat accessory for the rear rack, which can also be deconstructed, using its back pad and seat pad as seating pads for the entire rear rack. A pair of optional oversized footrests round mount on either side of the rear rack to give passeger’s feet a place to land. Hauling around a pair of kids, your partner, best friend, or just about anything else under 200 lb on the rear of the bike is par for the course for the XPedition.
As a bonafide member of the Lectric eBikes family, the XPedition Series can be kitted out with a front rack, a wide range of baskets, cargo bags, and accessories to customize it to fit your lifestyle. The oversized rear rack can be fitted with a pair of Lectric eBikes’ new full sized panniers. These massive bags have a robust amount of reinforcement in the panels and were designed to support a pair of full-sized grocery bags on either side.
Where the rubber meets the road, the XPedition rides on a pair of oversized 20 x 3 inch tires. These fat tires provide plenty of cushion and all but eliminate the need for a front suspension fork. That’s especially nice as the XPedition doesn’t have one. The tread of the tires are optimized for street with large smooth patches that translate to a low rolling resistance, while a minimal amount of cross cutting helps provide traction on rock, sand, grass and other less accommodating surfaces.
In our first ride of the bike, we spent a few hours tooling around Phoenix on the XPedition. We took the expedition off road on crushed rock, sand, grass and even up a massive off-road mountain that really put the motor to the test. In every situation, it held its own, providing a stable base and ample power for whatever adventure we were looking for. The street friendly tires could have definitely used more traction on the sandy stretches, but that’s to be expected considering they are optimized for paved surfaces.
When it comes to power, the XPedition Series is Lectric eBikes’ most powerful bike yet. It’s rear hub motor boasts, an average output of 750 watts with a staggering peak power output of 1,300 watts. We put it to the test on Lectric’s signature utility road hill climb up the so-called “Lectric mountain” and the motor hardly blinked.
It didn’t care if we were pedaling or not. It didn’t really care if we twisted the throttle. All it knew is that it was getting up that hill whether we liked it or not. It was so much fun that we just kept going at the end of the paved road and blasted up another quarter mile of loamy desert sand.
The XPedition Series bikes deviate from Lectric’s core brand in a few key ways and we’re not upset about it. First off, the frame does not fold in half. That’s sure to disappoint Lectric eBike’s customers with RVs and boats, but I’m guessing that many of them don’t do much frame folding anyhow. It does retail the ability for the entire stem to fold down, meaning it can still fit comfortably on many front racks, in the backs of RVs, and the like.
Second, the battery is not nestled in the frame on the XPedition. To pack more storage capacity in, Lectric opted to use an external battery setup. This is better from the get go as the battery is removable and Lectric took range a step further with the addition of a second optional battery. Both battery rails come with the base $1,399 bike, but for an extra $300 bucks, a second battery can be added. That obviously doubles the base range of the bike and makes it easy to swap batteries if you only want to carry one.
Third, the XPedition raises the bar on the quality front. Lectric eBikes are known for their affordability and that typically translates to lower quality but durable components. We’ll unpack all the details in our full review in a few days, but suffice it to say that if the XPedition Series with its high quality components and class-leading specs are any indication of where Lectric eBikes is headed in the future its customers are going to be blown away by what they’ll get for their hard earned money.
I mean, where else can you get a cargo bike with this much hauling capacity, 1,300 watts of peak motor power, the ability to carry an oversized human as a passenger, and hydraulic brakes for just $1,399? The Lectric eBikes XPedition series can be ordered today from Lectric eBikes with the first shipments starting in two weeks.