The Lectric XP 3.0 is the best-selling electric bike model in the US for one simple reason: value. The $999 e-bike has been the go-to electric bike for bang-for-your-buck riders since it launched last year. And now it is getting better than ever with the inclusion of hydraulic disc brakes.
I’m a huge fan of the Lectric XP 3.0. I ride one myself and have long espoused its high-value offering, getting new e-bike riders out the door with a fast, powerful e-bike for under $1,000.
But I’ll be the first to say it’s not an amazing-quality bike. It’s what I call “good, not great.” And that makes sense, since most e-bikes cost considerably more than the XP 3.0. The bike is good enough for most riders, and that is what counts for most people. It’s not going to unseat a Tern, but it’s also not meant to. It has made a few compromises to offer incredible pricing and get more folks on e-bikes than ever before.
One of the few major drawbacks to the Lectric XP 3.0, and one of the most common requests from its rider community, was related to its mechanical disc brakes. They stop the bike fine, but they’re quite basic. Like all mechanical disc brakes, they require fairly regular tuning to maintain good braking performance. And for first time e-bike owners, which represent a large portion of Lectric’s ridership, routinely tuning brakes is not an easily formed habit.
So to add even more value and convenience to the e-bike, Phoenix-based Lectric eBikes has now announced that the XP 3.0 will immediately switch over to hydraulic disc brakes and will maintain the same $999 price tag.
Unlike mechanical disc brakes, hydraulic disc brakes require little to no maintenance, at least until the pads are depleted and need to be replaced. That’s because the hydraulic fluid keeps the brake pads in the proper position all the time.
That’s a major advantage over mechanical brakes, which tend to need position adjustments over time as the mechanical cable stretches. Without making those adjustments on mechanical brakes, stopping force becomes progressively weaker.
Another major benefit of hydraulic disc brakes on e-bikes is the greater stopping power with less finger strength. That allows for one-finger braking for many riders, meaning more fingers can be left on the handlebars for control.
This isn’t the first e-bike from Lectric eBikes to come with hydraulic disc brakes. That honor goes to the higher end Lectric XPremium, though the lower cost Lectric XPedition cargo bike also launched with hydraulic brakes earlier this year, as did the popular three-wheeled Lectric XP Trike.
Hydraulic disc brakes are often seen as one major delineator between cheaper and nicer e-bikes. It’s not just that they improve the quality and performance of the ebike, but they also demonstrate that the manufacturer cares about providing an upgraded experience for the rider. For example, when Rad Power Bikes launched their popular “Plus” line a couple years ago with the RadCity 5 Plus and RadRover 6 Plus, hydraulic disc brakes were one of the major upgraded features.
The downside to these running product upgrades that occur in the middle of a product cycle like this is that they tend to leave out early adopters. Hydraulic disc brakes will be a nice upgrade for new Lectric XP 3.0 riders, but what about anyone who bought a Lectric XP 3.0 last week, last month, or even last year?
Fortunately, Lectric eBikes has announced that they’ll be providing a free hydraulic disc brake upgrade kit for any current XP3.0 owners who want one.
Not bad for a sub-$1,000 e-bike!
I love everything about this. As I mentioned, the XP 3.0 was already a good bike. But the mechanical disc brakes, while sufficient, were one of its weak links. Literally just a couple days ago I was adjusting my XP 3.0’s brake cables after a fairly rigorous 25-mile (40 km) ride through South Beach with plenty of stop-and-go riding.
But to also offer a free upgrade kit for all current XP 3.0 owners seems like an awesome move. I want to be all rose-colored glasses here and assume it’s altruistic, and I’m sure part of it is. But I’m also sure that the company expected to field thousands of calls and emails from owners who recently bought an XP 3.0 with mechanical brakes and were annoyed that if they had just waited, they’d have gotten an upgraded hydraulic brake bike.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad to see an already popular e-bike getting even better.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.