Got Juiced? RipCurrent S Log

Jeff in WA

New Member
So, I took the plunge and ordered a RipCurrent S. The price seemed okay with the sale and in comparison to other products. Seems to be a lot of hit and miss with Juiced and other similar vendors who are not as capitalized and technical as the incumbent companies.

With that, I've decided to keep a log to show my experience and help anyone else in the future. I'll include sales process, unboxing, defects/damage, use, mods, etc.

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4/27/19 - Filled out the order form, but didn't submit as I wanted to do more research.
4/28/19 - Received an email from Juiced asking why I didn't submit; email came with $50 off code. Order placed, Juiced responded with automated confirmation email.
4/30/19 - Opened a support ticket asking about the voltage range stemming from the EBR debate about 80/20 charging parameters.
5/1/19 - Received an email from Juiced indicating the bike has shipped via FedEx Ground tracking with expected delivery on 5/3/19.
5/1/19 - Received a response from support ticket reiterating the current Juiced 52v voltage range. I replied back asking if the Juiced values are resting or under any kind of load. Juiced responded back quickly stating that the values are at rest. I replied back asking if the battery cells are protected or unprotected and who the manufacturer(s) may be.
5/3/19 - Bike arrived:
  • No significant damage to the packaging. Packaging was a B+. The bottom of the box was not taped (3 strips of tape broke) and had there been no straps, the bottom would have fallen out.
  • There were a few bits of paint damage.
  • The top of the forks will dig into the frame when the handle bars are turned extreme left or right, this is where some of the paint damage is.
  • Setup was relative easy given the sparse instructions. In reality, there really isn't much to it and if a person has any sense of how to work with basic tools, nuts and bolts, it really isn't a big deal.
  • Front tire was inflated a few PSI. Back tire was flat.
  • The bottom of the forks were unprotected and dug into the shipping box really well.
  • The rear fender and rack came in a separate box requiring installation. Installing them was the most hassle out of it all.
  • A little tiny front reflector is provided, but the stem to which it is sized to attached (assuming the handle bar) is way too small. It really won't attach anywhere.
  • The battery arrived with a 51.7v charge.

  • First impressions:
    • Build quality is acceptable.
    • Bike is heavy, mostly in the rear.
    • For a medium frame, it is quite tall given the fat tires.
    • Tires are too thin
    • Could be a 10 speed, lowest gear is just enough to get moving. Could use another lower sprocket in the cassette. To ride w/o electric motor engaged isn't really going to happen with such a big front chain ring and fat tires.
    • Seat is satisfactory. Upgrade is probable.
    • When all put together it is a good looking and burly bike.
5/4/19 -​
Charged the battery to 57.5 volts. 2A charger casing gets really warm almost hot. Battery casing stayed cold to the touch. Let battery sit overnight. In the morning, the voltage was 57.1. Took the bike for a quick spin for a couple of miles. ECO no problem getting the bike moving in the lowest gear. Bike accelerates well. Little bit of noise from the hub motor. Tires make much more noise on pavement. Shifting will need a little tuning at the shifter. Display is nice with all kinds of default feedback. I like how it tells how many Watts is being consumed. Will hit the logging roads later today.....​
Back from the logging roads.... So, the bike did okay. It is really not geared for going up. It needs a much smaller front chain ring, at least another lower gear in the rear. I did about 20 miles off of this charge with about 6 on paved roads, where I also tested a bit of going up. No problem on setting 2 going up a couple of paved switch backs. The particular logging road I hit was a different animal. About 7 miles going up. I had to use the throttle boost much of the time on some of the steeper inclines. Any other setting was useless. Lots of watts being drawn…​
That worked for quite a ways until the built in thermal regulator in the controller kicked in. This is a feature that Juiced added years ago to ensure the thing didn't catastrophically overheat. Sure enough, I was throttled back and the display read an 85d C temp. Feeling the bar is the area it is housed, it was slightly warm. The temp does dissipate and go down quite quickly. When stopping it dropped 10d really fast. Outside temp was 65d F.​
So, for three bits of stretches, I had to push. Gave me the opportunity to test the walk mode. It wasn't much help going up as I walked with it. I used the throttle a bit, but that was hit and miss in the gravel. I can see where it would do well in the flats and rolling hills or not such a big and slippery hill situation.​
The temp sensor and display of the controller is a really nice feature, so is the amps and watt hours used. Cant read it at all bouncing around since the screen and text is so small.​
I went up with tires inflated to 15psi. Coming down, I set to 10psi. I couldn't tell any difference. The bike is a rolling tank going down hill. Tires did well at all times, never lost traction. The breaks were okay, at one point, at higher speeds, the front break was making a throbbing like sound when applied. Couldn't tell if it was coming from the break's reservoir at the handle or at the caliper.​
The seat is rough on that kind of stuff, namely going down. Bike goes so fast anyway that I had to stand and squat for better control. Felt weird in this position without my feet clipped in. A seat post replacement that has some flex is in the cards.​
The pedals are limited. I like clip-less pedals in all situations. They have more control. I may look for a dual sided pedal replacement.​
As for the forks, I haven't tested to see what the air pressure is in them. I had then tuned down to absorb as much as possible. Still pretty bouncy 20+mph down a logging road, but would have been terrible without them. Judging from the grease marks, they were moving well. Never did bottom out.​
The grips are nice. They have a bit of meat to them and are relatively comfortable.​
Didn't have much issue if any shifting. Still, all these bikes should be 10 speed from the factory.​
The battery did well. Didn't even expend 1/2 of it from the Ah perspective (assuming 15Ah is a low point). I think from my initial observations on this ride, the Juiced recommended numbers valid. I started out at 56.5 as read from the display (57.1 from the multi-meter). Throttling, it was getting down to 52v. It pretty much hung out at 51 - 53v for much of the ride. Towards the top of the paved, it would go a bit below 50v when throttled. Never did the casing feel warm. Cool to the touch everywhere on the battery.​
By the time I got to the bottom, the whole bike was cold (except brakes of course) and the next 4 miles or so paved with slight grades, the bike at 2 setting had no problem getting me past 30mph with minor effort on my part. Finished it off by going up some paved switch backs, which was like butter in mode 2.​
Overall, the bike plowed up the terrain. But, it was at it limit in some parts. Other parts, it was really helpful pushing my butt up. It was pretty bouncy coming down. I need to play around with tire pressure a bit to find a good fit for different situations. Look forward to more tests on different terrain.​
5/5/19 -
Second trip on the RipCurrent S was for 22 miles on paved roads and paths, mostly flat except for a 400' climb to and from the house. Power consumption was nearly the same as the off road trip the day before burning 6.8 Ah ending at 51.2v.​
It was nice to be able to use the throttle in and around town when I needed the boost or felt lazy and didn't want to peddle, but propel the bike forward.​
Numerous compliments on the bike as I was on a paved path.​
Really wasn't too much effort on setting 1 to keep the bike rolling at 17 - 20mph. On the flat paths, ECO mode was better since it wasn't much more work and what work there was is necessary work on my part. Nice to be able to turn it off or on (0 - ECO) with no fuss.​
The engagement of the motor is pretty seamless. Really nice and adds a lot of opportunity for anyone who wants to bike, but doesn't want to grind up hills or push all the time. Where I live there are lots of hills 300' - 1000', so the motor and big battery really help!​
I ended up strapping a wicker basked on the rack and got about 10lbs of groceries biking them 11 miles home. I now know how most of my grocery shopping will be done this summer. ;)
5/7/19 -
Installed a new saddle, an Planet Bike ARS Spring. Light years difference between it and the stock seat the RipCurrent S comes with. The ergonomic design of the new seat is perfect, no nut crushing at all. The cutout in this seat is wider than other seats, which is nice. The padding good, but not over bearing. The seat is larger than the OEM seat, but not huge like other comfort seats. Since my butt still hurts from the previous two rides, it was really nice getting on this one. Sit bones fit just right after some height and seat angle adjustments. No pain.​
5/8/19 -
Added a Sunlite wire basket to the rack. Seems to fit on no problem. Don't have to drill any holes. Took the bike on a 28 mile ride on an old railroad grade mix of rock, gravel, dirt, grass, etc. The new seat worked well, but still the bike could use more rear suspension support. The basket didn't make a sound, its on solid. Ride was mostly on ECO. Used mode 1 and 2 getting over a 400' hill both directions. Was able to keep a steady speed of 15-18mph. Got a bit too bouncy going faster. Trip consumed 6.2Ah with the battery going from 56.3v to 50.2v.​
5/10/19 -
Swapped out the seat post for a Satori Animaris. It was a more affordable option than other products. Soaks up bumps well and is way more adjustable that the stock stem. It seems to work well with the Planet Bike ARS Spring seat.​
Swapped out the stock Shimano HG201-9 11-32 cassette for a Shimano HG400-9 12-36 cassette. IHMO this is what should be on there in the first place. I don't loose anything in the high gears, but gain way more in the low gears with a nice 28t-32t-36t low gears. The chain works fine with this no adjustments need with it. However, the derailer will need total readjustment of high, low and b screw along with barrel adjustments. The bike is noticeably different on the hills. Honestly, this bike should be a 1x10 minimum with a 40t low gear. Most Juiced bikes seem to be designed for flat to rolling grades. Its not as if the mechanical tech to make the RipCurrents or HyperFat more bushwack/non-flat trail oriented isn't available, it is. Maybe in a year or so I'll upgrade it to a 1x11.​
Added the Juiced Horn/Alarm. After looking at a lot of horns, this one seemed to be the best price/performance that is loud and sounds more like a horn than birds, whistles, etc. It installed pretty seamlessly and works well. The gyro setting off the alarm is pretty sensitive, too sensitive. Don't have to move the bike much for it to go off. But when it does, its loud. The charging port is on the bottom and it should be covered with some electrical tape to keep dust and water out. There is not little cover that comes with it.​
Added an Aduro frame bag. It is just a tad too big, but I can make it fit. The water bottle cage bosses are in the way and the battery is a tad too high (as compared to the 48v, which is reported to fit no problem). But, it all fits enough to have room for tools and other small items (no tubes...).​
5/13/19 -
Swapped out the stock pedals for a pair of Venzo Clipless Pedals. My brain is wired to use clipless pedals. They make the bike feel much more under my control. These pedals seem good. Since weight is already out the window with this bike, lower cost pedals and such are fine. I don't see these not holding up. They seem pretty solid.​
Hit the logging roads again today with all the upgrades and changes on this bike, 25 miles for this trip, 7.9Ah used. Still the steeper grades make it a challenge for this bike (and rider). Perhaps when I am 40 lbs lighter I'll get more performance out of the bike and my legs. But, the motor just doesn't have the torque and gearing to be a good uphill bike. The controller will quickly go to 85d C under the kind of load needed to help push me up steep grades even with the new 12t-36t cassette. However, the 12t-36t cassette is a significant improvement over the stock 11t-32t. If there is anything else to change to make this better in the low range it would be exploring a 48t chainring. It would be great it Juiced could make the RipCurrent into say RipCurrent SX with more torque in the motor and lower gearing so that it can handle going up steep grades in style. In other words, don't have to get off and push, yet pedal and work on my end, but have the power to help without overheating the controller.​
The Satori Animaris seat post and Planet Bike ARS Spring saddle combo worked very well. Didn't bottom out on any of the dips and the washboard roads in parts were a non issue. In fact, my nards et al., were free as ever and my sit bones comfortable and pain free. It was so far the most comfortable ride yet.​
The Audro frame bag will need some velcro to attach it to the top of the battery. The bumpy terrain going down hill causes the bag to hang out over the top of the batter just a bit. Nothing that gets in the way. Some velcro may be the trick to keep it and its contents from flopping around.​
11/15/19 -
After 1260 miles, the battery had decided to not work. The battery, just suddenly and without any previous issues, decided to not function. Pressing the battery's power button, the light comes on, then after 30 seconds, it fades as if there is no power. The battery is not drained or without a charge. The bike is inoperable. A service ticket has been submitted.​
11/18/19 -
After being instructed to check the fuses, which are fine, the case has been escalated to Tier 2 support.​
 

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BrianMura

Active Member
Welcome to the forum, Jeff. I look forward to seeing pictures of your new RipCurrent S. :cool: I kinda wish I got that one instead of the CCX, so that I could go off road anytime! :D
 

iamjcl

Member
I didn't see any either. But, Juiced should be able to answer. They've been really good at answering my relevant questions.
I had ended up asking since I couldn't find documentation (my forks have a small sticker at the bottom that identifies them as Suntour, but no model number).

They wouldn't confirm model, but Juiced told me the max PSI is 120. Mine was so high from factory (not sure what it was because putting the gauge on let some air out fast) that it basically wouldn't compress. So I'm waiting on a bike specific gauge / pump, but after just that little air release it's much better as far as movement.
 

Jeff in WA

New Member
That's a new issue to me. Can you check the voltage at the pins? How do the pins look? Sounds like you might have a problem with the BMS.
Voltage is fine at the charger interface. Since the button doesn't power on the battery, there is no voltage at the interface to the frame. The fuses are fine. Its something about the button that is not working. Nothing is sticking or seemingly blocked. It just doesn't work.

It'll be interesting to see how Juiced manages this since it is under warranty. But, the Juiced warranty is very subjective and since there is no visible anything from the user perspective, it is unclear whether the problem will be considered a manufacture defect or "wear and tear". We shall see.
 
Voltage is fine at the charger interface. Since the button doesn't power on the battery, there is no voltage at the interface to the frame. The fuses are fine. Its something about the button that is not working. Nothing is sticking or seemingly blocked. It just doesn't work.

It'll be interesting to see how Juiced manages this since it is under warranty. But, the Juiced warranty is very subjective and since there is no visible anything from the user perspective, it is unclear whether the problem will be considered a manufacture defect or "wear and tear". We shall see.
They sent me a box to send my battery back in. One thing I've learned, the support can be bargained with. If they want you to pay for return shipping, be very adamant about not doing so and they'll probably back down.