Ebike #5 -- My Personal Thoughts on the XP ST V2.0

George S.

Well-Known Member
XP Thoughts – XP v2 ST --- Part One

It comes in a nice box. The Fedex guy hoisted it on his shoulder and brought it up to the door. I Unboxed it outside, on a nice day. It’s shocking that it is shipped fully assembled. I have built a few Bikes Direct bikes, and they were a pain. This was done. Removing the many layers of foam and wrap revealed something that almost blew me away – a small folded bike. I’ve watched a dozen videos, but this still caught me off guard. It’s a nice size, let’s put it that way.

I did all the checks. When I rode it for the first time I noticed the gears were not going lower. I had the two big cogs and nothing else. This stumped me, but after fifteen minutes I noticed the derailleur was locked against the derailleur guard. I thought about cutting the guard off. The general consensus is that it is OK for kids, but not necessary for adults. I finally found a video where the guy bent it out with a crescent wrench across the bottom and one side. That gave the leverage. Kind of a surprising problem but maybe the guard was pushed in and did what it should. The rear disk was rubbing some. If I lifted the rear wheel off the ground and gave it some power, the rubbing sound was obvious and the wheel did not coast very long. The cheap and dirty disk adjustment is to loosen the mounts for the caliper and then activate the rear brake. While the brake is engaged, tighten down the caliper bolts. The caliper is bolted to the mount. The mount is bolted to the bike. You want the caliper. This worked.

Most of my first impressions were good. It’s not like the last folder I had, which felt small and vulnerable. The three inch tires are not something for precision cornering. But the combination of fairly big tires at low pressure, the seat post suspension, and the front suspension, actually works. I live on a very washboarded road. My other bike is a cheap commuter from Bikes Direct with a Bafang BBS02. It can be sheer torture on bad washboards. This is somewhat better. Both bikes have front suspension and the seat post spring. The difference is the commuter has 26x2.15 tires that run 45 psi. The Lectric was set at 17 psi. The high pressure is something you feel instantly. They say the Tannus inserts soften the ride a bit more. The 3 inch tires give this bike a little bit of a motorcycle look. It’s not clownish, which is where folding, small wheel bikes tend to go. A Honda Grom has 12 inch wheels. That does shift how a bike looks.

As a step through design, this is very good. A lot of the step through models are somewhat compromised, just a lower bar. This ebike has a teeny tiny top tube, which I’m sure serves much of the purpose, the stability, without getting in the way. The bar on the XP is around 18 inches, but the bar on my commuter is over 30 inches. The commuter works for riding, but for getting the mail or dealing with the garbage, it gets old. I used to lean the bike against my leg, when I was off the pedals. XP just sort of falls over, which is unnerving. That ends pretty quickly. The bars are now wider than v1.0, they say. They are a very good width for control and comfort. The fact that the bars can be raised many inches helps to find a point where you aren’t stressing your hands or wrists. On most bikes, raising or adjusting the bars can be difficult and require some parts.

For me, hill climbing comes down to one hill. The town is 500 feet higher than my valley location. Some roads do the climb slowly, others have very steep spots. I went to a steep spot with the display showing amps, or current. The motor was drawing 18 amps, which is around 800 watts. That’s about the legal limit. The bike was climbing well in PAS 3. The XP can definitely climb a local hill, and it is definitely a legal limit motor. I am still using the 20 mph Class 2 cutoff. The freewheel is not well matched to higher speeds, in terms of using the PAS and doing real pedal action. That’s not hard to fix.

People argue endlessly about hubs versus mid-drives. A lot depends on how well the hub gets off the line and how well it climbs the hills where you ride. The mid-drive requires a lot of shifting to be really efficient. The hub is a fixed speed motor and the only variable is how hard you can pedal. This is a sub-thousand dollar ebike with a decent hub. I don’t know how much people need to spend on a hub. No one knows the failure rates of different hubs, and companies will shift suppliers. Overall, the hub has practical advantages, starting with cost.

I figure brakes are what determine top speed, and I’d opt for good brakes if I wanted to go 28 mph in traffic. If you use front and rear and are going around 20 mph, I doubt there is a problem with these cheap mechs. They aren’t very satisfying, but they work. The hydraulics are more expensive. My first bike had big name hydraulic brakes, and that was luxury. You could use one finger and really control the stopping power. But, for a thousand dollar bike, that might be too much to ask. It doesn’t take a genius to see the rough edges on this bike, but overall it is quite pleasant to ride. I had a 20 inch folder and it was not really pleasant to ride. I’ve ridden this bike at 20 mph and I barely think about the speed I am going. I look down at the display and thing “Wow, I am at the max (Class 2) and nothing is really a problem”.

The bike comes with a very nice rack. It has some mounting hardware and I wanted to use their hex screws to attach a basket I have. The screws were very strange, hard to remove and then hard to thread back into the threads. I finally gave up and just wired the basket. In a YT video, someone replaces the controller on their XP. He said the screws that hold the controller inside the frame were rather low quality. He was going to go buy better ones. I hope this isn’t an example of getting too cheap on stuff. I plan to open the bike to look at the controller, but I’ll try not to strip the screws.

The display they provide is good, bright, clear and capable. I have always added amp meters and volt meters to my DIY bikes. This bike has both, on two different screens. Voltage is how you know when the battery is getting low. A watt hour meter is useful for knowing how much energy has come out of the battery, but the voltmeter is pretty precise by itself. Even the basic ‘bar’ display has enough segments to work quite well, but the volt meter is better to watch the voltage under load and with the load removed. If you run the voltage down to 43 or so, and give it a lot of throttle, the BMS does seem to cut off ALL the power for a second. The odometer is very easy to read, and the trip meter resets when the power is reset. I like that system, but if the display times out, you lose the trip mileage to that point. A manual reset is annoying if you are a little bit into a new ride and see the trip odometer is at 12 miles, or something. People have to understand the BMS. If you run the voltage down, a good BMS protects the battery and cuts the power. To me, I like a cutoff that does not require some kind of reset, like a poweroff/power on thing. Basically, if the BMS cuts the power, you try to keep the voltage up by babying the motor.

There are a lot of settings in this display/controller combo. It’s worth thinking about how fast you want to go. Once you get used to the PAS, the point where it activates can make a real difference in controlling the ebike. People don’t get any ebike training, for sure, and the combination of throttle, PAS, and brake cutoff is not that simple. I use the throttle a lot, but the PAS can be tightly controlled if you have a hand on the brake and just shut it down. I guess some throttles are not very precise, but this one works for me. The PAS should never run away. You should have a hand on the brake to kill the motor. I will use the cruise control, which is easy to set and gives you a speed for just moving along. The PAS is OK, but the power ramp can be jerky, cut in abruptly. There are a lot of options and it takes a while to learn what you want and what the bike can do. A wider range free wheel would help.

The PAS is dependent on the voltage of the battery. A fresh battery means that the PAS speed will go higher. Basically, PAS 3 works out to around 16 mph, but it drops as the battery voltage drops. The basic concept is that when you turn the pedals and the PAS cuts in, you are going to 16 mph.

PAS 1 is very slow. When the PAS activates at the levels 3, 4, and 5 there can be a bit of a jolt. The throttle is great for getting off the line at a stop sign. There’s enough power to get across a road in minimal time.
 

Dorkyman

Active Member
Region
USA
Enjoyed the review. Just got two XPst bikes for Christmas, white and black. Rear axle guard also bent on one of them,easily fixed. Brake cables bone dry; fixed that. Disabled PAS, just use throttle for far more control. Installed 11-34 free wheels, great improvement.
Great bikes.
 

ValeD

New Member
Region
USA
Enjoyed the review. Just got two XPst bikes for Christmas, white and black. Rear axle guard also bent on one of them,easily fixed. Brake cables bone dry; fixed that. Disabled PAS, just use throttle for far more control. Installed 11-34 free wheels, great improvement.
Great bikes.
Hi everyone. First post/comment/Q. Am from Central Calif, am "old", and from birth have had probs w/my back and in the past few yrs have developed a few neurological problems w/my legs and feet (causing a 30 lb wgt gain to 235 lbs). I have a DP Placard, but can (cautiously) walk 75-100 yds on the flats before needing to sit for a bit. Had ridden a 10 spd road bike until 31 yrs ago. Now, I always grab a cart when shopping to have something to lean on. One foot has an easily irritated Morton's neuroma which can feel like a 16 p nail sticking up through the ball of the foot. I take several pills 3 times a day. Not what an athlete/outdoorsman pictured for his retirement.

Will get to my reply/Q to this post in a bit. I have been doing ebike research for long hrs since the beginning of March 2022. My main use, I was thinking, would have been to get me closer to the water in Kings Canyon NP in CA. Just recently found out that ebikes are treated the same as regular bikes (a good thing), but reg bikes are (also) regulated to "Paved" roads in NPs. When I'm near a stream, I've never been just a hiker; I was literally in the water. SoI'm not very versed on whether (some) of the "hiking" paths near the streams in our NPs are paved and if any are shared w/bikes. I expect I will be able to get more answers directly from "Visitor Information" just shortly. Until that happens, my trigger pulling will have to wait a bit.

I have a very small car which will accept no bumper or hitch racks of any kind, so my choice will have to fit inside the car or trunk. I think the Lectric 2.0 ST will fit but haven't made a dedicated effort to confirm that yet. My actual main hesitancy was my plan of riding the 2.0 ST from Boyden Cavern upstream to the End of Road "Loop", and back again, stopping many times to fish; a prox 15 mi trip with a prox 1915 ft elevation gain. Hoping someone else may have done this, and know how much real pedaling was necessary. My next trip there, I can take degree measurements, but the capability of the 2.0 is a "?".

Ok; the Q for Dorkyman; does the new freewheel slow the advertised "Slow Walk" down to at least a more normal walk speed? And, has anyone tried "walking" the 2.0 up and down stairs (I'm thinking stairs are prox 45º)?

Thanks for reading! And yes, I've read what there is avail re the XPremium incl the $800 bump. Didn't see a mention re the "walk" feature; wondering why not increase to min 750W motor (think CA still allows as a Class 2); procedure to remove battery #2 re seat; do the batteries have 3 key positions (A. Power Off and key removal; B. power off, battery Locked, key removal; C. power ON, battery Locked, key not removable); does battery #2 have a lifting handle. I still have to do those car measurements, and the Premium is at min 2" longer folded, but w/both batts removed, it'll only be 61 lbs to lift into car, etc.