Lectric has made it its mission to ensure there are no excuses for not riding an electric bike. Its latest electric bike, the XPedition, is probably the best argument I’ve ever seen for a two-wheeled replacement for your car to date. This cargo e-bike aims to be the ultimate transportation solution with a formidable range and payload capacity. It’s geared towards riders needing extra space and capabilities, such as delivery drivers dropping off heavy loads of groceries or parents dropping off their kids at school. Is the XPedition truly up to the task, or should you wait before you sell your car? Find out in our hands-on review of the Lectric XPedition.
What you need to know about the Lectric XPedition
First of all, the XPedition is a big e-bike. Lectric wasn’t lying when they said this was their biggest e-bike to date, as the XPedition measures just over 70 inches long from the back end of the rear rack to the front wheel. The rear rack is a narrow 25 inches long, boasting a massive payload capacity of 450 lbs. What you can use that rear rack for is seemingly limited by your imagination, with Lectric offering a range of accessories from seat cushions to pannier bags to entire chairs. There’s a unique, web-like design to the frame that does a good job distributing weight, and it has some plexiglass in spaces to protect against splashes or keep the passenger’s feat out.
Being a big bike, the Lectric XPedition arrives in a rather big box, which you’ll need to be shipped to your door because it won’t fit in the back of a car. Thankfully, the XPedition arrives (mainly) fully assembled and is one of the only cargo bike options sold that way. I say mostly because there are a few things you’ll have to do, such as threading the gear chain, which employs a pulley mechanism to help avoid chain slaps. I appreciated that the peddles had a quick pop-and-lock installation, and the process only took me around 20 minutes to finish. Unfortunately, this bike doesn’t fold, so you will need its own parking space to store it.
The Lectric XPedition is available in one color, “fog grey,” with single and dual battery options, allowing you to ride up to 75 or 150 miles on a signal charge. You can remove the batteries, but it isn’t the most straightforward process, as you’ll have to take the seat out. You may as well leave them in while charging the bike. Lectric has also included slime-installed tires to help prevent flats, which previously cost extra.
Both versions also feature Lectric’s latest PWR (Peddle Assist Wattage Regulation) programming, which provides different peddle assist power levels for each PAS setting instead of limiting the assistance by speed. I found the more dynamic peddle assist option extremely helpful, especially when the terrain changes and you have a big load to haul and need extra power while staying focused on the road. Five levels of peddle assist with a twist throttle making this cargo bike fit into Class 1, 2, or 3 categories. However, it hits the ceiling of what a Class 3 e-bike can be.
Here are some things that I liked about the Lectric Xpedition:
- Good bang for the buck: Between the steel fenders, the hydraulic disc brakes on 180mm rotors, a solid front axle for better weight loading and longevity, an ultra-stretched rack for more utility, and not to mention the custom three-inch tires with slime inside, there are a lot of premium components packed in here. Think of it as getting an 80% quality cargo e-bike for just 20% of the price of other cargo e-bikes.
- Can you say “cargo capacity”?: The XPedition has a wider capacity of 330 lbs and a total weight rating of 450 lbs. The rear rack alone has a weight rating of 300 pounds, meaning it can carry a lot of cargo. We had enough space to fit three big boys on this bike, including myself, sitting in the tight right, angular cockpit upfront.
- A kick-less kickstand: Lectric has designed a nifty dual-leg kickstand that really comes in handy. Not only does it help keep the bike balanced while loading up the cargo, but it flips up automatically as you roll forward, so you can just take off when ready without having to raise the kickstand.
What’s not so good?
Here are some things that I didn’t like about the Lectric XPedition:
- Awkward handle stem: Unlike traditional bicycle handlebars that usually slide up and down a straight tube with you clamping it tight at the right height, the XPedition features a different design. Here, an awkward hinge joint sets everything loose when unlocked so that you can move the handlebars forward and back. While a well-intentioned idea, in execution, it can be a little tricky to clamp back down once you have a position you like, and it isn’t the prettiest to look at.
- Waiting to charge: Being a dual-battery bike means there are two batteries to charge. Because there isn’t any splitter between them, you’ll have to charge them one at a time. The included charger is 28 amp hours, meaning it takes roughly 14 hours to charge both batteries completely, each taking seven hours separately.
- Too many keys: Because there are two separate sets of batteries, Lectric also provides you with two separate sets of keys. That means the keys are not universal and will not work with the battery they don’t correspond to, which gets a little confusing. Ultimately, it feels like more things I need to keep track of lest they go missing and my ride-time is cut in half.
Battery – 48V, 14Ah Lithium ion
Motor – 750W nominal, 1,310W peak rear hub motor. 85Nm of torque.
Range – single battery – 75 miles, dual battery – 150 miles
Top speed – 28 mph
Max payload capacity: 450 lbs. (max rear-rack 300 lbs, max front rack 35 lbs)
Lectric XPedition review: Should you buy it?
Whether or not the Lectric XPedition is for you depends on what you want to do with your electric bike. If you only want a bike for quick commutes and leisurely rides, the XPedition is more than overkill. However, if you are someone who works, say, in the gig economy, delivering online grocery orders, or are just a parent who wants a more active way to drop their kids off at school, then the decision is a no-brainer. At $1399 for the single battery model and $1699 for the dual battery version, the Lectric XPedition is the best deal for a cargo e-bike.
The most appealing aspect for cargo-bike riders is probably the massive battery longevity. However, there are a lot of other premium components to love too. For practical use-case purposes, the 750W continuous-rated motor delivers over 1100 peak watts of power. After testing it on some crazy steep slopes around the mountain’s base in North Vancouver, I can say the XPedition is stupidly fast at hill climbing.
When heading downhill, the hydraulic brakes were a welcome addition, as you’ll likely need that additional stopping power with all that added weight. Frankly, It’s baffling that most other cargo bikes don’t have hydraulic brakes and that it is so rare for this class of e-bike.
The new pedal assist is well-designed. Even though it uses a cadence sensor, it compromises by using a less common current limiting feature instead of a speed limiting feature. This means that you get progressively higher current with each pedal assists level, which equates to more power. In effect, you can pedal at whatever speed you want and get more or less assistance.
Overall, the Lectric XPedition should have no problem conquering the -bike cargo space. It is the most capable in the longtail category, can climb the steepest hills, and has the fastest speeds and longest range for the lowest cost (roughly two grand less than your average cargo bike). There are plenty of plug-and-play accessories to suit your needs. In particular, if you plan to do some night riding, I recommend picking up the premium or elite headlight, as the standard one included isn’t the brightest. If you buy the XPedition right now, you also get a free Essentials package, which includes two cushion seats and two running boards ($140 value). Hit the link below to order yours.