Ride Review: Lectric XPedition Electric Cargo Bike


Hello friends, welcome back for another Ride Review! I'm reviewing a lot of cargo e-bikes these days, with the Haoqi Camel last week, and a new Radio Flyer model on deck for next week. For today's review I spent the day on Lectric's XPedition, a long-tail cargo bike with a payload capacity of 450 lbs (204 kg). You could use it to transport two kiddos in child seats, or a whole boatload of groceries on a Costco run. Or perhaps a camping trip? The possibilities are endless, but you'll need to budget a bit extra for the right accessories, which you can get from Lectric or possibly cheaper from a local bike shop.

Another day, another cargo e-bike... what makes the XPedition different?

The XPedition is certainly cheaper than most cargo haulers, which is no surprise for Lectric Ebikes; they've built their impressive reputation in part by keeping their prices impressively low. Even more impressive is the quality of those products; while they aren't the most premium, they're built well, and perhaps more importantly designed well. Many e-bike companies make cargo bikes simply because the category is hot, but they don't understand what makes a cargo bike useful. I'm happy to report that Lectric "gets it".

The XPedition frame is rock-solid sturdy, with particularly thick tubing for the rack, which can carry 300 lbs (136 kg) of weight all by itself. The front fork is solid steel too, which adds more stability. This is an area where many competitors have a suspension fork to increase ride comfort, but I think Lectric has the right idea here:

Cargo e-bikes tend to be pretty big heavy, which makes them cumbersome to ride and more difficult to store. The XPedition, thankfully, is relatively small; It sits low to the ground, and it's easy to get on thanks to the low standover height of the step-thru frame. It is still fairly long, but storage is helped by the folding stem and easily removable pedals.

Powerful electronics, highlighted by the smooth pedaling experience of PWR

You can get the XPedition for just $1,399 with a single battery, or with dual batteries for $1,699... which is quite a steal especially considering these batteries are UL certified and using high-quality cells from the likes of Samsung and LG. These batteries power a 750 watt rear hub motor that peaks at over 1300 watts, with a hefty 85 newton-meters of torque. That's important on a cargo machine that needs to move a lot of weight; when riding un-encumbered it's amazingly powerful. This is a Class 2/3 e-bike, which means you can use just the throttle to reach speeds of 20 mph (32 kph), or pedal assist for a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph).

Speaking of pedal assist: This is where Lectric's Power Wattage Regulation (PWR) system comes into play. It's a configuration for the pedal assist system and in my opinion it's simply excellent, because it feels more intuitive and requires less fiddling with display controls. It also gives more control to the rider to opt for more exercise in the lower assist levels. Here's how it works:

In practice, this means that if you have pedal assist set to Level 3, you get 50% power, but you can still reach the maximum top speed with some brisk pedaling. If you set it to Level 5 you get 100% power so it's much easier to reach that top speed; less exercise, but some days that's just what you need.

This means that even though the XPedition has a fairly basic cadence sensor, it feels fairly responsive and engaging to ride. For contrast, most e-bikes with this sensor give full power in any assist level and only cap the speed (so Level 1 stops at 12 mph, Level 2 stops at 15, and so on). That's a more jarring experience and it requires a lot of pushing display buttons, which I don't love... so props to Lectric for PWR!

Ride comfort is great, even without a suspension fork

Despite its small size, the XPedition should fit just about any size of rider thanks to its wide range of adjustability. The tool-free adjustable stem has a wide range, and the seatpost is almost ridiculously long (I'm quite tall at 6'3" / 190cm and I couldn't reach the pedals at max height). This makes dialing in the fit easy, and you can also choose between an upright seating position or one more forward and aggressive. This is especially nice on a cargo e-bike because these vehicles often end up being shared between multiple riders, so being able to adjust fit quickly without tools is important for quality of life.

Once you're in motion it's a pretty smooth ride experience, mostly due to the tires which are 20x3 and have a good volume of air for absorbing bumps and vibrations. Of course, if you venture off the asphalt onto trails, it's going to be a rougher ride... but again, why would you? This is designed for urban utility. The tread pattern is also street slicks for maximum rolling efficiency and traction on asphalt.

The pedaling drivetrain is Class 3 capable while still budget friendly

The XPedition is rocking Shimano's Tourney derailleur, their entry-level setup. These derailleurs are often paired with a 14-28 tooth freewheel, which are relatively poor quality and have a limited pedaling range, especially on the top end. Lectric made a small upgrade here with a cassette (higher quality) with an 11-28 tooth spread; this is a small upgrade with big results, because it allows for easier pedaling on the top end, allowing you to actually reach the 28 mph (45 kph) top speed without ghost pedaling or too much exertion. I was able to sustain maximum cruising speeds quite easily, which felt quite stable due to the sturdy frame and solid steel fork.

The Bottom Line: one of the best quality-for-money cargo bikes I've ever ridden

I'm not going to tell you the XPedition is the best cargo bike on the market; there's some really premium, purpose-built stuff out there from the likes of Yuba, Tern, and Benno that are really amazing to ride. The thing is, you're going to pay a lot for those, typically at least $5,000 USD (and usually more). The XPedition checks all the important boxes, providing amazing utility and a solid riding experience, and doing it at an incredibly low price point. When you combine that with Lectric's excellent reputation and reliable customer service? Well, let's just say it's easy to see why this is the best selling cargo e-bike in the US.

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