Excellent review, any updates on your Rattan experience?A comparison between the Lectric XP and Rattan Fat Bear. Just a disclaimer, I don't work for either company, I bought 2 XPs and a Rattan Fat Bear Plus, all with my own money.
The first impression out of the box, the Rattan FB weighs in at 58.8 lbs which is impressive since it's full suspension but the Lectric does have a rack and front/rear fenders. Lectric comes in at 63.6 lbs for comparison
The Rattan FB sits higher than the Lectric XP, by 2-3 inches because of the suspension fork, which might be a problem with step-over height for shorter people. My wife is 4'11" so she felt more comfortable stepping over on the XP.
Packing- The Rattan FB and Lectric XP were packed similarly but the Rattan came with zero damage out of the box. The Lectric XP came out with a big scratch/damage on the midsection where it folds, also a deep scratch on the fender as well.
The computer is UNLOCKED on the Rattan so you can change the wheel sizes in P06 if you please but keep in mind it only allows you to go from 18 to 20 to 24. It was factory set at 24, I found out of the box the speedo is pretty spot on so I didn't mess with it. The default speed for the Rattan was set at 40km/h in P08 but you can set it to max 51 in the settings, it doesn't go any higher than that. The Lectric will error out anything above 45.
Build quality and details -
I'm going to be straight to the point and blunt. The Lectric XP feels like a Walmart/Target bike, the Rattan, on the other hand, feels like it should cost 3x more and come from a pro bike shop, everything from the cable management to the components screams bike shop quality on the Rattan, very premium. The cable management on the Lectric looks like electrical tape, the Rattan has these nice little cable wraps, it's all in the little details. Even the seat posts and kick stands look very cheap on the Lectric XP compared to the Rattan FB. Here are some comparison shots.
The Rattan uses the Shimano Atlus "groupset" which is a big step above the Tourney on the Lectric in my opinion. The chainring/crank on the Rattan looks like a lightweight beautiful machined piece that would look right at home on a higher-end Cannondale or Giant, the Lectric XP uses one that looks very cheap, plastic-covered and what you would see on a $99 Walmart kids bike.
The Shimano SL-M310 rapid-fire trigger shifter is MUCH more satisfying and accurate to use on the Rattan FB, a single click up or down and it will change gears correctly, the thumb shifter or what I shall call it the "dumb shifter" on the Tourney equipped Lectric is quite terrible in comparison, you can totally miss your gear change by using too much force since there isn't a definitive stop you can always feel, you can do a full sweep gear change by pushing it all the way, I find myself having to look at the numbers while changing gears on the Lectric. Shifting seems to be much smoother overall on the Atlus equipped Rattan. The Rattan FB uses an 8-speed system, with an 11T-32T cassette compared to the Lectric XP which uses a 7-speed system, and it looks to be a 14T-28T. The extra-low gear on the Rattan FB should definitely give it good torque if you ever take it off road or up really crazy hills and the 11T high gear will allow you to actually pedal at top speed without feeling like you're freewheeling. A few Lectric XP owners are swapping cassettes to get the 11T, with the Rattan FB it already comes with it. Another bonus, the handles on the Rattan FB are nice soft leather stitched and locked compared to the cheap friction fitted hard plastic ones on the Lectric XP which can move when you give it some twisting pressure. Tires on the Lectric XP are puncture-resistant which is a great thing to have, not exactly sure if the Rattan has any protective liner inside because the website doesn't list it.
The Rattan FB uses Logan hydraulic disc brakes and the Lectric XP uses Tektro mechanical, now if you've ever used hydraulic you would never go back to the cable mechanical type. It just feels way more potent and much MUCH smoother, for example, if you pull just 25 percent effort on a Hydraulic system, it's about 100 percent on a mechanical system. You have A LOT more braking confidence and clamping power with a hydraulic actuated system. The brakes on the Rattan feels smooth like butter, the Lectric XP feels gritty and noisy in comparison and not that reassuring going downhills. Things like smooth shifting action and brakes make the bikes feel in a totally different class.
So as you can tell, the Rattan FB is a full suspension bike, front and rear shocks so yes it absolutely rides like a Lexus. The front shock has BOTH pre-load adjustment and lockout, again another area where it just screams higher end. The Lectric XP still isn't a bad ride, but with a solid fork and no rear suspension, it's stiff compared to the Rattan FB. The ride quality comparison as you expect though is night and day, the Rattan feels like you're on a cloud over any imperfections on the road. I blasted at top speed through a pretty big dip and barely felt it on the Rattan. More on that next...
Speed and Power -
Okay, so here is where the biggest surprise comes. The Rattan FB is rated at 500watt, same as the Lectric XP, the XP can crank it up to 750W peak but the Rattan can do almost 1000W peak and holy cow can you feel the difference. On a flat road, both computer set to their highest allowable speed setting, 45 for the Lectric and 51 for the Rattan, I'm 210lbs THROTTLE ONLY I can get up to 22mph on the Lectric XP, on the Rattan I can do 27MPH on Throttle only, no pedaling. Both verified by my DRAGY performance meter. The Rattan feels much more powerful.
Another area where the Rattan excels is the PAS system, it seems to be more sensitive to your input, half a crank rotation will engage PAS, on the Lectric XP it feels very hit or miss, sometimes it almost feels like I need to pedal 2 complete rotations for it to pick up. I even went into the menu and changed P011 sensitivity to 1 and it made no difference in the XP. The difference is surprising because looking at both cadence sensors, they seem to use the same one. I'm guessing it comes down to the programming? The motor engagement feels smoother as well on the Rattan with a nice ramp-up in power, it uses a Gearless motor that feels very refined and quiet.
Battery and Endurance -
Rattan "Claims" 70-90 mile range which I think is a bit optimistic, it does use a larger battery though - 11.6Ah vs 10.4 for the Lectric XP and does have regen, when you brake, coast or pedal quicker than your PAS setting which in theory should help put some charge back into your battery. I haven't been able to test the regen features since Rattan sent me a Pro model, I ordered the PLUS model which comes with regen activated and a nice color LCD display. I reached out to Rattan and they said the difference is in the LCD display, they sent me a "PLUS" display (still in the mail) and I just need to swap it out and the I-PAS regen features will be activated automatically. The PLUS LCD display also comes with a side USB charging port, which is a nice feature the Lectric XP is missing. The Plus model is $100 more and I think it's definitely worth it for the cool Color LCD, USB charging port and regen features. The plan was to ride 25+ miles today and check out the battery life but things changed and we only did a 5-mile ride. Both Rattan and Lectric still show full bars, towing two girls behind us on their Co-Pilot tandem attachment. I will update once we have more miles on the two.
Pricing and Extras.
The front LED on the Rattan FB is nice and bright, projects a wider beam with a nice cutoff, similar to a car. The LED headlight on the Lectric XP feels like a spotlight, not very bright and seems less efficient since it just throws light everywhere. The Lectric XP also comes with a rear LED, the Rattan FB only comes with a rear reflector.
You also get fenders and a rear bike rack on the Lectric XP, which my wife LOVES. There seems to be nowhere to attach fenders or a rear bike rack on the Rattan FB, this could possibly be a deal-breaker for some. You could opt for a seat post mounted rack if needed on the Rattan FB.
The Rattan FB Plus is currently still on Pre-Order sale for $1199, which is $200 more than the Lectric XP. If you don't need the regenerative features, USB charge port and color LCD of the Plus, you can opt for the Pro model for $1099.
For $100 more than the XP, you don't get fenders or a rear rack but the bikes themselves feel like they're in a totally different class category. Like I said earlier, the Rattan sure feels like a $2000-3000 bike. It's an absolute no brainer to choose the Rattan FB over the Lectric XP, even if it cost $500-600 more I'd still recommend the Rattan.
For $999 the Lectric XP seems like a good value.
For $1099 or $1199, the Rattan FB PRO/PLUS feels like you're stealing it from the company. I know it almost sounds like I'm working for Rattan with all the positive praise I have for this bike, unfortunately, I'm no way sponsored by them but hey if they want to send me an extra battery that would be very nice. I'm a little upset they sent me a Pro model instead of the Plus I paid for but communication and customer service has been very good, no phone number so you'll have to communicate with them through email or Facebook which is less than ideal. I hope you enjoy the review guys, be safe out there.