Lectric XP 2.0 Step Thruburningman bikes gear first impressions reviews
tl;dr; So far so good!
I’ve used the bike for all of 7 rides so far, just around 40 miles total. First test ride, and the first commute left me a bit sour on it, but the tires weren’t properly inflated then. This issue only lasted until getting to the office though where the pumps have guages. The rest of the rides this week were much more pleasant. Fun even!
A summary of my first impressions. Everything matches what I heard from the reviews I looked at. It’s fun to ride. It has very good Zooms. It’s not too big. It’s heavy, but manageable for me to manuever it into my storage tent. The pedal assist is a bit tempermental. I’m not a fan of fat tires on bikes on a commute. I still need to adjust the seat angle. I think it’s going to work for me.
Other than the sampling I did the other weekend, I’ve mostly experienced ebikes through Lime. I knew I kinda liked the experience, but lime’s a different experience, since they’re public bikes. As a rule, you’re lucky when you get a bike that doesn’t have weird problems. In this case, the weird problems are more intrinsic concerns, rather than maintenance. None are deal breakers though.
First: Pedal Assist
The pedal assist is more of an “accelerate to a speed matching the assist level” rather than a degree of assistance. This is disappointing, but not surprising. I think that’s due to having a pedal cadence trigger for assistance instead of a torque based trigger. I would prefer if it gave some specific fraction of assist, but as it’s implemented, it drops assistance to 0 once you’re at the level of speed that assistance is set for. This didn’t take long to get used to at least. The acceleration isn’t gradual either. When it’s set to the highest assist, it gets there ASAP. All this means I need to treat the assistance like a gear shift, and remember to downshift to 1 when I come to a stop.
Next: Fat tires are weird.
I think I am not a fan of the rolling friction the additional width introduces. That’s partly due to the weight of the bike, and myself on it. It’s a drag when I’m cycling without assistance from the motor. The gearing helps pretty well for dealing with it, but it’s easy to feel like you’re going slow when no assistance is active. Since I’m using the bike for commuting, the fat tires are going to hurt more than help.
I think the way I’ll handle this is to go on adventures with it over the summer with less road. I have it, so why not?
Finally: I think I’m a touch too tall for this bike.
I haven’t been able to adjust the seat yet. Mostly needing to bring the right pliers or wrench out. The seat is angled further forward than I like, and possibly positioned further forward than I’d like too. Either might be fine if I got a longer seat post than standard, but until then I should try adjusting it.
This is mildly frustrating since this was an aspect I looked for specifically in the reviews. Until I adjust the seat, it’s not something I’ll worry about too much. A seat post is easy to change out.
The bike will do what I want it to do for the year. We shall see if I hold onto it afterwards. I have a few months to think of how I can decorate the bike for the burn, and the right way to charge it there too.
My current thought is to get one of those portable “solar generators”, along with a ~100W folding solar panel. I need to see how much peak wattage the charger uses. It’s OK if I can’t do a full charge on it each night, if I don’t fully use the battery each time. That’ll give me power for my tent and other stuff, be able to charge my bike, and more. I may instead learn more about the camp’s power grid and try to use that, but knowing me, I’ll just over prepare with my own solution.
Otherwise, I’m already fantasizing about replacing this bike for commute purposes with a Brompton Electric. The whole concept of the Brompton: it’s well engineered fold, it’s sturdiness and weight, and that it enables convenient mixed mode travel are appealing. Being able to bike somewhere, then not worry about being able to grab a Lyft or a bus afterwards to take it home is comforting. It seems like it would also be handy if I got a flat too. The real question is how much I want it to be electric vs ~10 lbs lighter and manual?