A CCS 300-mile Review

Surpassed 300 miles on the CCS this season so far so here's a review. I always appreciate when people post reviews after having spent some time with the thing they're reviewing, so I thought I'd give back. Overall, it's been great! It's a game-changer for me in terms of keeping me out of the car. Bike commuting has gone from "maybe I could make it work today" to my default. 23-mile round trip commute. I have the 2nd generation CCS. 17.4Ah battery.

Some minor technical things I'm still working out. Getting the fenders right has been a bit of a chore - though I also have to say they have also been a huge help with the sloppy end of winter/start of spring here. For keeping crap off of me and my stuff, they work fantastically well. Three problems: they rattle over bumps due to the loose clamps on the rear. I've been tightening them but still don't have it quite right. Second, the front fender is super fussy to get just right so that there's even clearance front to back and side to side. I keep adjusting and re-adjusting and thinking I finally have it dialed in but no. Third, the front fender wiggles laterally a lot, so it hits the wheels on bumps or when turning if not set just right. I saw others here say that removing the mud flaps reduces side-to-side wiggle but I'm not ready to go there yet. I thought I had it locked in finally as the last few days have been blissfully issue-free, but today it creeped up again. Will keep playing. It's not constant but frequent enough to be annoying.

This week my downshifting has become unreliable... it's taking like 1.5 clicks to get it to shift. That's probably just a break-in/adjustment thing, I haven't had a chance to play with it.

I'm still trying to learn all the sounds and moods of the motor (and the rest of the bike). It definitely sounds different in different scenarios and I'm trying to decipher between "normal different" vs. "maybe you're pushing me a little hard" different. I don't really have a need to push the bike super hard so I'm happy to learn those situations and avoid them. I also feel like there's occasionally some moodiness in the responsiveness of the torque sensor, but that's totally unscientific on my part. But for instance coming home tonight, I was kinda feeling like the torque response was a little sluggish given where the battery charge was sitting, then I stopped at the grocery store for a few minutes and when I got back on the bike it felt way more responsive. Maybe I'm imagining it.

Little thing I love: the solid-ness of the kickstand. Loading up the bike for departure is nice and stable. Little thing I don't love: the rear light. I wish it were wired in, I wish it had a slightly easier to operate button (with gloves especially), and I wish it had more modes than just on/off.

Tires (standard Kendas) seem to be holding up extremely well and I feel very confident handling with them at speed. I haven't looked yet, but I expect I'm eating through brakes rather quickly, given my commute pattern.

I am pondering a couple other modifications, including a suspension post and raising the handlebars. Will probably wait a bit on those to see how much I really need them.

So that's the bike itself. Now for how I'm using it...

I've settled into a good charging routine. I'm using the Luna charger at home set to 80% and 2A. I know Luna gets mixed reviews here but it's working well for me. I bought a second XLR adapter from Juiced and took the original charger to work. I top off sometimes, even though range-wise I don't need it, in case I want to take a lunchtime ride or the long way home or just have a little extra pep. But honestly, even at the lower end of the 80%/20% window the bike is plenty peppy for my purposes. I generally ride in level 1 or 2. Prolific throttle use due to lots of stops/starts in parts of commute, saves me from tons of shifting. Once I figured out that setting the low-voltage cutoff to 42 really behaves like setting it to 43 (documented in an earlier thread here) I adjusted settings accordingly and haven't had any issue with throttle cutout towards the end of my day since.

I'm speed limiting to 20mph almost always. I find there are several good reasons to do so, including battery life, local legality, ride comfort/safety for the environments I'm going through, and most importantly, as the weather has improved and trails have gotten more crowded, I find it's a good balance between getting there fast while not creating a commute that consists of an endless series of slow-down-passing-slower-bikes-in-cramped-quarters followed by quickly getting back up to speed. I'm also sensitive to being a good trail citizen because I don't want to create an anti e-bike sentiment on our shared infrastructure. Somewhat related, I added a Spurcycle steel bell, expensive but worth it. I find that a good loud clear bell is really helpful for giving earlier warning without screaming "on your left!" way earlier than I am used to doing on my regular bike.

It's been interesting to see how I have to dress differently than I do on my regular bike, because of the faster speed + less work situation. Wearing long sleeves, multiple layers, and pants in way warmer temps than I ever would on my non-ebike commuter.

I'm also looking for the best way to haul all my stuff. My pannier is getting super heavy and it's making the bike and rack unbalanced. On my regular bike I have the u-lock mount on the frame but there's no room on the frame on this bike due to the extended battery. I need to distribute my u-lock and probably my toolkit elsewhere on the bike. Going to fashion something up to hang the u-lock on the opposite side of the rack (my Kryptonite frame mount won't work on the rack, I tried), and I just bought the little bag others recommended here (Bruce/Reid) for the top tube to hold some tools and parts and my cell phone. We'll see how that works. (Semi-related: looking for pannier/backpack convertible options. I've done a lot of research and I think I'm headed for an Arkel Bug. All others seem awkward to convert or mediocre at being a backpack, and I really need something that's solid at both jobs as I will use it as a backpack not just to get from bike to office but also around a large campus between meetings, and on days I'm in the car).

Overall, it's been an absolute joy. I'm happy that I have a bike that can do a lot more than I ask it to do on a daily basis, whether that's range or performance. On occasions where I need to push it and get home a little faster or I need to add some miles on to do extra errands, the bike can accommodate that. And on a typical day, it's just a nice smooth quick ride into work that's keeping me out of the car. Very happy with the purchase so far!
 

LS3Miata

Member
Nice review, i’m Within a few miles of 300 as well. Ive given up on the fenders and just accept it. I don’t feel the need for a suspension seat post, but did raise the handlebar and went to a 650mm straight bar.

I rode my carbon road bike today and it was quite a shock how far down the drop down bars are :)

If you want to ride mine with the raised handlebar, you are welcome to do so.
 

Barry S

Well-Known Member
Look forward to hearing how the Arkel Bug works out for you if you get it. I have the Bug bookmarked, but at $190 I need to hear more "real world" reviews instead of just the ones the manufacturer has on their site before I pull out my credit card.
 

SlowRider

Member
Surpassed 300 miles on the CCS this season so far so here's a review. I always appreciate when people post reviews after having spent some time with the thing they're reviewing, so I thought I'd give back. Overall, it's been great! It's a game-changer for me in terms of keeping me out of the car. Bike commuting has gone from "maybe I could make it work today" to my default. 23-mile round trip commute. I have the 2nd generation CCS. 17.4Ah battery.

Some minor technical things I'm still working out. Getting the fenders right has been a bit of a chore - though I also have to say they have also been a huge help with the sloppy end of winter/start of spring here. For keeping crap off of me and my stuff, they work fantastically well. Three problems: they rattle over bumps due to the loose clamps on the rear. I've been tightening them but still don't have it quite right. Second, the front fender is super fussy to get just right so that there's even clearance front to back and side to side. I keep adjusting and re-adjusting and thinking I finally have it dialed in but no. Third, the front fender wiggles laterally a lot, so it hits the wheels on bumps or when turning if not set just right. I saw others here say that removing the mud flaps reduces side-to-side wiggle but I'm not ready to go there yet. I thought I had it locked in finally as the last few days have been blissfully issue-free, but today it creeped up again. Will keep playing. It's not constant but frequent enough to be annoying.

This week my downshifting has become unreliable... it's taking like 1.5 clicks to get it to shift. That's probably just a break-in/adjustment thing, I haven't had a chance to play with it.

I'm still trying to learn all the sounds and moods of the motor (and the rest of the bike). It definitely sounds different in different scenarios and I'm trying to decipher between "normal different" vs. "maybe you're pushing me a little hard" different. I don't really have a need to push the bike super hard so I'm happy to learn those situations and avoid them. I also feel like there's occasionally some moodiness in the responsiveness of the torque sensor, but that's totally unscientific on my part. But for instance coming home tonight, I was kinda feeling like the torque response was a little sluggish given where the battery charge was sitting, then I stopped at the grocery store for a few minutes and when I got back on the bike it felt way more responsive. Maybe I'm imagining it.

Little thing I love: the solid-ness of the kickstand. Loading up the bike for departure is nice and stable. Little thing I don't love: the rear light. I wish it were wired in, I wish it had a slightly easier to operate button (with gloves especially), and I wish it had more modes than just on/off.

Tires (standard Kendas) seem to be holding up extremely well and I feel very confident handling with them at speed. I haven't looked yet, but I expect I'm eating through brakes rather quickly, given my commute pattern.

I am pondering a couple other modifications, including a suspension post and raising the handlebars. Will probably wait a bit on those to see how much I really need them.

So that's the bike itself. Now for how I'm using it...

I've settled into a good charging routine. I'm using the Luna charger at home set to 80% and 2A. I know Luna gets mixed reviews here but it's working well for me. I bought a second XLR adapter from Juiced and took the original charger to work. I top off sometimes, even though range-wise I don't need it, in case I want to take a lunchtime ride or the long way home or just have a little extra pep. But honestly, even at the lower end of the 80%/20% window the bike is plenty peppy for my purposes. I generally ride in level 1 or 2. Prolific throttle use due to lots of stops/starts in parts of commute, saves me from tons of shifting. Once I figured out that setting the low-voltage cutoff to 42 really behaves like setting it to 43 (documented in an earlier thread here) I adjusted settings accordingly and haven't had any issue with throttle cutout towards the end of my day since.

I'm speed limiting to 20mph almost always. I find there are several good reasons to do so, including battery life, local legality, ride comfort/safety for the environments I'm going through, and most importantly, as the weather has improved and trails have gotten more crowded, I find it's a good balance between getting there fast while not creating a commute that consists of an endless series of slow-down-passing-slower-bikes-in-cramped-quarters followed by quickly getting back up to speed. I'm also sensitive to being a good trail citizen because I don't want to create an anti e-bike sentiment on our shared infrastructure. Somewhat related, I added a Spurcycle steel bell, expensive but worth it. I find that a good loud clear bell is really helpful for giving earlier warning without screaming "on your left!" way earlier than I am used to doing on my regular bike.

It's been interesting to see how I have to dress differently than I do on my regular bike, because of the faster speed + less work situation. Wearing long sleeves, multiple layers, and pants in way warmer temps than I ever would on my non-ebike commuter.

I'm also looking for the best way to haul all my stuff. My pannier is getting super heavy and it's making the bike and rack unbalanced. On my regular bike I have the u-lock mount on the frame but there's no room on the frame on this bike due to the extended battery. I need to distribute my u-lock and probably my toolkit elsewhere on the bike. Going to fashion something up to hang the u-lock on the opposite side of the rack (my Kryptonite frame mount won't work on the rack, I tried), and I just bought the little bag others recommended here (Bruce/Reid) for the top tube to hold some tools and parts and my cell phone. We'll see how that works. (Semi-related: looking for pannier/backpack convertible options. I've done a lot of research and I think I'm headed for an Arkel Bug. All others seem awkward to convert or mediocre at being a backpack, and I really need something that's solid at both jobs as I will use it as a backpack not just to get from bike to office but also around a large campus between meetings, and on days I'm in the car).

Overall, it's been an absolute joy. I'm happy that I have a bike that can do a lot more than I ask it to do on a daily basis, whether that's range or performance. On occasions where I need to push it and get home a little faster or I need to add some miles on to do extra errands, the bike can accommodate that. And on a typical day, it's just a nice smooth quick ride into work that's keeping me out of the car. Very happy with the purchase so far!
32CED0F2-DE44-49D4-AD79-7C1E38715569.jpeg
The rattling of the front fenders drove me crazy as well. I picked up a tip from a guy somewhere on YouTube that fixed the problem for me: rotate the fender stays inwards or outwards as much as possible. The “twist” makes them much “stiffer” lengthwise and you have noticeably less side-to-side movement. Here is a picture how it looks on my bike.
 

Veeru

New Member
I wonder if adding additional fender braces would help. Tora, can you add these to your available parts? I can't find similar fender braces elsewhere.
 
View attachment 21704
The rattling of the front fenders drove me crazy as well. I picked up a tip from a guy somewhere on YouTube that fixed the problem for me: rotate the fender stays inwards or outwards as much as possible. The “twist” makes them much “stiffer” lengthwise and you have noticeably less side-to-side movement. Here is a picture how it looks on my bike.

Great idea! Will give that a try this weekend. Thanks!
 

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the thorough and delightful review, Fran. Looking forward to more as your experience continues. I learn so much from what people share here that improves my handling and enjoyment of my CCS.