If you’ve been browsing around for an affordable electric bike lately, you’ve almost certainly heard of the Lectric XP e-bike. One year ago, the bike didn’t exist, and today they are so popular that it’s difficult to even get your hands on one. While there are plenty of e-bike companies out there doing well right now, few have achieved so much success so quickly.

Here’s the story of how it happened.

[Update 5/24: OK, now it’s $14 million. Things are moving fast over there!]

Lectric Ebike’s founders Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel met playing video games together in middle school.

Now both 24, the two set their sites on building a new e-bike company last year.

The idea is nothing novel per se; new e-bike companies pop up all the time. The barriers to entry for a garage startup just aren’t all that high these days.

The tricky part is succeeding.

Pooling their cash, Levi and Robby were able to order 10 prototypes of their Lectric XP e-bike. With fat tires, a 28 mph (45 km/h) top speed, around 25 miles (40 km/h) of range, and a folding frame for easy transport, the pair hoped they had settled on the right bike design for the market.

They had chosen what they thought would be the ultimate combination of parts and features, with an $899 price as the cherry on top. But now it was time to see what the market thought. That was May 30, 2019 — less than one year ago.

Lectric XP e-bike

The pair sent those first 10 prototypes out to 10 different YouTube channels and hoped for the best. Instead of taking the traditional route of focusing on e-bike channels, they instead mostly sought out other niches such as RV channels that had audiences who could benefit from e-bikes but likely weren’t yet being targeted directly.

As the first reviews hit the internet, a trickle of orders soon turned into a flood. Levi and Robby had their answer: The public loved the Lectric XP.

The bikes were quickly sold out for months in advance. Every time the guys got in a new shipment, the bikes were gone almost immediately.

As more reviews rolled in, the hype only grew. I made a pair of videos about my experiences on the Lectric XP that got more than 200,000 views. Now there are over 150 video reviews of the Lectric XP on YouTube with a combined over 3 million views.

In less than one year, Lectric Ebikes has made almost $13 million in revenue and is on track to hit that mark by their one-year anniversary.

Lectric XP founders

So what was the secret to success? Like most startups that make it, the answer is usually a combination of factors. In this case, it was like a mix of influencer marketing and eye-catching pricing. Instead of spending big bucks on traditional ads, Levi and Robby simply sent 10 bikes out into the wild and let real people talk about them.

The bikes as well as the ordering process are also quite simple. You want a bike? You get a bike. Don’t expect a lot of customization options. There are only four accessories available, and two of those are just a spare battery and a spare charger. Racks, fenders, lights… they all come standard. That simplifies the ordering and fulfillment process, plus it buys a lot of goodwill from customers who don’t want to be nickel-and-dimed for every little add-on.

No one ever said that the Lectric XP e-bikes were the best electric bicycles in the world (I believe my wording was, “It’s a good e-bike at a great price”), but they were decently made, offered good performance in terms of speed and power, and fit the lifestyle of many people who had been considering an e-bike but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger due to cost concerns.

In all fairness, the Lectric XP doesn’t quite compare to other budget-oriented e-bikes like Rad Power Bikes or Juiced Bikes. If you put them side by side, you’ll see that a RadMini has a bigger battery, and a Juiced Scorpion has better power and nicer brakes. But such bikes cost 60-80% more than a Lectric XP, and that’s the difference that has made so many budget-oriented riders say, “This is the e-bike for me.”

The two-dudes-in-a-garage startup story isn’t unique, but achieving this level of success in under a year certainly is.

So for that, and for the ability to offer a decent e-bike at a great price, I say, hats off to these guys.

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