Juiced CrossCurrent S initial review

Nicknick

New Member
Received mine (standard battery, Schwalbe tire upgrade). These are my first impressions.

Building the bike
  • Putting it together was relatively easy using the videos on the juiced site. It's a heavy bike so having someone help while you put on the front tire is nice. Anyone who is comfortable with some basic tools can do this. Don’t forget to tighten the steering.
  • The front fender and headlight will be added later when Juiced ships the missing parts (in a few days). UPDATE: I put these on, was doable. Headlight is super bright, but does not have any "to the side" visibility like some other headlights do.
  • I expected this to have a battery operated rear light, but it seems to be a reflector. UPDATE: It has a tiny light in the box. I ordered the Sweethome rec instead which is about 500x more bright.

The good
  • First of all: this bike looks AWESOME. It is sooo cool. And it looks like a cool bike, not an eBike. The battery design and not having a mid-drive motor helps with that.
  • All parts you touch feel like high quality. Saddle, shifter, handles, rear rack, bike standard, it's super solid.
  • Size is perfect for me, so the Juiced size guide seems spot on.
  • Tires are super wide compared to my regular hybrid bike. They are comfortable, but not as "precise". Great for dealing with potholes, but it'd make me hesitant to get something like the Hyperfat which must have zero “cornering feel".
  • The brakes are INSANE. So powerful. I've never had disc brakes before, so maybe that's why, but it's easy to skid the tire even though the combined weight of me+bike is like 250lbs.
  • There is a lot of power. On a straight road I really doubt I’d go above level 2 (levels are ECO,1,2,3,sport). In sport mode I’m flying by everyone at 28mph before I know it. However, I went to find a super steep San Francisco hill (like 25%+) and even in sport mode I’m pedaling hard to help it get up to 10mph, and the throttle does nothing. These are kind of rare hills and on my regular bike I’d have to get off and walk, so I sort of doubt any eBike could do much there. Even electric scooters seem powerless against these hills. UPDATE: I took it up to Twin Peaks (SF tallest point), was doable, though I was still pretty sweaty when I got up there.
  • The throttle+pedal combo to get a boost when leaving a stoplight is nice. But generally I end up not using the throttle on its own, it just doesn’t give you enough to get that “wheeeeeeee!” feeling, its more fun to pedal and get the boost from that.
  • No regen, which is awesome. Regenerative braking ruins easy coasting, which the most fun part of biking. :)
  • You can easily ride this bike with a dead battery. I rode it for a bit while it was turned off, and even though its heavy it would be fine to ride this home for a few miles.

Things Juiced could do in future CrossCurrent S models to make it even better
  • Putting the battery in is kind of hard. You really need to push it hard while holding the key in "open" position and it feels like more of a hassle than it should be, especially since I’ll be having to do this multiple times a week to charge it. I might try to find a way to make this easier (maybe WD40?).
    • UPDATE: I think I was doing this wrong. I checked out the EBR review video which has come out since I wrote this review and it actually clicks in without using the key. It needs a bit of muscle but it's no longer a hassle.
  • I used “walk mode” to get my bike up the stairs. You have to hold the minus button for a while to enable it, which means you just have to stand there for a few seconds with the brakes on so it doesn’t roll back. You also have to hold that button to keep it active, which means that if you let it go, you need to wait a few seconds again to get going. It would have been better if walk mode just put a 5pmh limit on the throttle (which gives you direct power).
  • AFAIK there is no way to have the light (screen backlight+headlight) on by default. I wish it was “always on” when the bike is on, because there is only upside to more visibility, even during the day. Most new cars are this way too.
  • There is a short jerky feel in the pedals when you go from peddling to coasting and you move the pedals a bit backwards. It’s like the motor isn’t sure whether to help you or not. Not super bothersome though.
  • Bell, chain guard, integrated rear light would be nice.

Nice-to-have’s I’d pay extra for:
  • Frame lock (euro style) for quick stops at the store.
  • Rear rack strong enough to carry a person.
  • An anti-theft security code to turn on the bike (maybe have the motor lock the rear wheel without it).
  • For juiced to put on the Schwalbe tires for me (they did for me as I ordered early, but no longer do this, so you'll have to take it to a LBS to get them put on).
Summary

I'm no expert, so I don’t have a ton to compare this to, but I’ve tried a bunch of other eBikes. Short rides on a Haibike, Gazelle, Stromer ST1 and a longer ride on a Bulls Lacuba Evo 8. The Bulls is the only bike I would consider a similarly great commuting alternative (though its not a speed pedelec), which feels a bit more smooth and has some higher quality parts, but it is $4000, which makes this Juiced CCS a fantastic deal at well under 2k. It would still be a great deal at $2500+ actually.

This bike is great and I'd for Juiced to do well. Looking at the forum comments here they could probably do a bit more “underpromise and overdeliver”, i.e., tell your customers to expect the bike in October, so September comes as a nice surprise. But even then, some people will never be pleased. :)

I’ll update this review in a month or so when I get some more miles on it. But in the meanwhile I’ve ordered one for my wife as well.

UPDATE after 100+ miles: definitely love this bike. I'm excited to ride it every day on my commute. I'm surprised how often I go over 20mph. I didn't expect to care this much, but at this point I'd definitely not buy anything that is not a 28mph speed pedelec. I'm also totally happy with the amount of power. It's rare (few super steep hills) that I wish it had more.
The only thing that is bothersome to me at this point is the weight. With the added u-lock I mounted on, I'm guessing we're at 60lbs+. It's no problem at all when biking, but using any ceiling hook style bike racks, or hauling it up stairs, is a hassle. That said, I'm not sure how much less of a hassle it would be at 50lbs or even 40lbs. And with bikes below that weight you're getting into the Faraday style, which is super entry-level on power and battery. So maybe this is just part of eBike life. :)

TLDR: I love this thing. Would buy again in a heartbeat.
 
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Andy_in_CA

Active Member
I got mine this past weekend and I agree with all of your observations. I'm looking at different locks as well. I just did my first commute to work... 11 miles was easy and smooth. averaged between 20-25 mph. I actually got to work quicker than I do when I drive (west side of Los Angeles).

I'm probably going to switch out the rack at some point as the Performance Bike office pannier is really close to my foot when peddling. want to get one that sticks out away from the seat a bit more.

I added some LEDs from a 20k from Amazon but was disappointed when i plugged it into the usb and got no juice. I'm going to check in with Juiced...but if anyone else has this issue please let me know. I just used a USB phone changer batter thing and it works great. Make me fell better while commuting at night. I would love to seem them incorporate an extra power drop in the future to power some extra things like lights...

I feel like I'm a bit slow off the line...but I get up to speed quickly so its not a huge deal, especially when i'm cruzing at 25 mph with an easy gate.. I'm guessing its a torque vs top running speed issue.

The seat is ok..for now.. I'm not sure if I need to break it in a bit...or the other way around...but its a pretty awesome bike for the price.

I also replace the stock stem for one I can adjust as I want to ride more upright for back\neck issues. I might replace the bars to be more swept as well, but for now its good... more of a creature comfort thing.... there is nothing wrong with those parts.

Couldn't be happier. Just waiting for the headlight from Juiced. It's invoiced hopefully it will ship soon but I have a 1250 lum light now so i'm good. It will be nice to have it wired in.

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Nicknick

New Member
I really like your lights and bag. Do you have some links to those?

Maybe you can raise the stem with one of these Stem Risers, instead of replacing the stem? Having a higher stem would definitely make it more upright/city bike, which is something I loved about the Bulls Lacuba Evo e8.
 

Andy_in_CA

Active Member

Andy_in_CA

Active Member
be warned though the bag is really close to my foot when peddling... either i'm going get a different rack or a bag that is not as wide. A rack that was more set back would work better... and i'm talking a couple of inches...

but i really like the bag too... :)

A
 

doyle

Member
I added some LEDs from a 20k from Amazon but was disappointed when i plugged it into the usb and got no juice.
I believe the USB power is disabled since it was draining packs. I suspect you might be able to tap into the headlight's power with the right adapter cable and voltage regulator. This seems like the kind of thing Juiced might eventually offer, but given how overextended they are, this might be a DIY situation.
 

Andy_in_CA

Active Member
good to know. I'm happy with my solution and for the LEDs... they'll run for a very long time on the usb battery.
 

Andy_in_CA

Active Member
[QUOTE="Maybe you can raise the stem with one of these Stem Risers, instead of replacing the stem? Having a higher stem would definitely make it more upright/city bike, which is something I loved about the Bulls Lacuba Evo e8.[/QUOTE]

I think i'm good for now... I don't want to make any more changes and see how it goes...but thanks for the link. I didn't know those things existed. I'll give it a shot if the neck starts giving me trouble.

A
 

DruDee

New Member
The rear light is a selle royale light. It's the little gray thing in the parts box, it slides into the back of the seat. I'm disappointed with this as I'm replacing the seat and will have to buy a rear light now when I was expecting it to come with one on the rack. Oh well, they're inexpensive and the bike has been great for the couple of rides I've taken it on.
 

Andy_in_CA

Active Member
I just did my first commute to work yesterday. 22 miles round trip. Averaging @ 25 mph.

On the way there I used alittle less than half the battery mostly in S mode but dropped down a few times when on a bike path to say around 20 mph.

I recharged the battery during the day and used a bit more thank half on the way back in the same modes.

There are a bunch of starts and stops on traffic, but everything was smooth and the bike handled nicely.

I'm tweaking a few accessories but overall very happy.

With all my LEDs and the other accessories I have, one for my work friend said it was the nerdiest bike like I was a kid from "Stranger Things" but all grown up. It was a compliment!!!
 

BallzOne

Member
Finally got my large black frame delivered. It's an awesome bike for sure. I'll try to get a decent review and some videos up sometime soon.

One thing I want to mention to new owners is something to be aware of. There are 3 cables that run down along the right chainstay that are zip tied to it. In the area where the front crank is there is not much room between the rear tire, the chainstay, and the crank gear. Be VERY careful that those wires are zip tied taught and along the frame. Mine had slack and was rubbing along the crank gear. If I hadn't noticed and caught it before riding I would have destroyed the wiring for the speed/cadence sensor and brought my fun to a quick end. I cut the zip tie and tied a new one and it's good now but it'll be a spot to always watch to make sure it's staying in the right spot. Photos attached.

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mal robot

New Member
Are your pictures post tightening fix? I noticed there isn't much space between the front of the rear tire and the back of the crank gear for the 2 cables routed through there and my cables have a little give in that area (although they are not rubbing on either the crank gear nor the rear tire).

I also noticed that my rear cable to the motor has exposed wiring. Is that expected? See picture.

IMG_20170909_230844.jpg

EDIT: I'd be interested to see how the wires on an original CrossCurrent are routed in that area as I can't imagine they made any changes for the S.
 
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BallzOne

Member
Are your pictures post tightening fix? I noticed there isn't much space between the front of the rear tire and the back of the crank gear for the 2 cables routed through there and my cables have a little give in that area (although they are not rubbing on either the crank gear nor the rear tire).

I also noticed that my rear cable to the motor has exposed wiring. Is that expected? See picture.

View attachment 18210

EDIT: I'd be interested to see how the wires on an original CrossCurrent are routed in that area as I can't imagine they made any changes for the S.


My motor wire has the same thing. That's not actually wire showing, it's a spring wrapped around the wire I assume for strain relief as it makes the bend into the axle and hub. I attached a photo of mine with the black plastic cap removed.

My other photo is post-tightening of the cables but I'm still not totally comfortable with it so I may electrical tape the whole bundle together and add an extra zip tie halfway between the two that are already there.

Aside: Mine also came with the E715 brakes.


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Andy_in_CA

Active Member
I'm over 100 miles as well. Again I share all of your updates, especially the motor lock out idea. For some reason I feel like if someone wanted to F with my bike they'd turn it on (while its locked up) and gun the throttle. But is that realistic or am i just paranoid?...

I received the front headlight that wasn't in the box originally and its really nice and well made. Easy to install.

The bike is super stable and fun to ride. I feel like there it isn't geared for a lot of torque off the line but it its easy to maintain an zippy running speed easily in the mid 22-25 mph.

I am planning getting a Jones Hbar handlebar set....so I can be more upright and relaxed. Once Tora gets his supply chain worked out he might want to have other options for handle bars as some people might not want leaning forward in a semi forward stance. Just might open the market up for the bike as this was on my list...but again easy to swap out.

Another future consideration is the paint. I also have the black and it looks bad ass but I'd like to see more reflective paint (logo) or something nicely designed in to help visibility at night. I did not get the tire upgrade but will do that soon to get better flat protection and reflective side walls.

A rear light powered by the main battery is my only other wish.. or a power drop to allow me to put one on.... I have to remember to charge a bunch of stuff.... but not a big deal.

It is heavy bike and I may look into a few of the newer "ebike" seats that have a handle on the bottom side of the seat. I also purchased a side load bottle cage. With a small bottle it would not fit on the down tube with a bottle... So it is horizontal, and it works nicely. I guess that can be for a pump or a small lock etc.

All of these things are really nit picky as its super stable, smooth power transitions and I'm in control of the bike even at 27+ mph. Really happy with the bike.

Andy
 
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Nicknick

New Member
Curious to hear how you’ll like the Jones Hbar. It looks interesting, but not higher than the current bar, just more swept back like beach cruiser style, which I guess will also allow you to sit up more straight?

One thing I forgot to mention: my chain has dropped from the front chainring twice now. No big deal as it’s easy to put back (and the throttle always works so I could even go home before fixing it) but any idea how to prevent that? Do you have this problem as well?
 

Andy_in_CA

Active Member
I haven't dropped the chain yet. And I already have a different adjustable height stem... so it is a bit higher now plus the swept bars should take the pressure off my shoulder and neck.

I'll probably pull the trigger in a week or two.

Andy
 

4magoo

New Member
Hi everyone would anyone be interested in finding a company in California for juice bike upgrades controller motor lcd etc. I recently purchased a sondors fold x and found a site that sold such upgrades and purchased them. I spoke to him via email and he would be interested in seeing if he can provide the upgrades for the juice crosscurrent and air. But he would like to look at a bike first crosscurrent or crosscurrent air with the 350 motor. He's in south Cali any takers that would like to meet so he can see the bike.

The place is sierraebike and the persons name is kyle

By the way im a crosscurrent air owner with a 350 motor i dont believe its fair to the buyer that the next batch had the upgraded motors controllers and lcds the buyers should have had informed that these upgrades were occurring .
 
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john peck

Well-Known Member
I too have put 100+ miles on my CCS, (converted from kilometers); I can't seem to change to miles in settings. The overall
performance is outstanding. Once you're familiar with the shifter & modes, hills & traffic are a breeze. One thing I wish it had
is a 52/36 compact chainring. Why? Because I want to tour on this bike. The 36T would give me a mechanical advantage
for powerless pedaling to extend range over greater distances between charging opportunities. It wouldn't even need
a front derailleur; simply manually place the chain on the 36T when you want to go powerless. Another thing I'd like
would be some arrangement for a mirror. I managed a DIY juryrig that's acceptable, but it required modifying the mirror.
Don't get me wrong; it's an amazing machine with capabilities you won't find in bikes costing twice as much. The only
limitation is your body's ability to keep pedaling. I could ride this thing 'til I drop. (21ah pack)
 
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mal robot

New Member
I'm also at 100+ miles. My commute is 28.8 mi and I end up using 60% or so of the 17.4 Ah pack, riding probably at an average of 23 MPH with one or two steep hills (the rest flat). Performance is great and the bike is very fast. My motor does make some funny noises that I'm not sure are normal but other than that it's a great bike.