Recommended Class 3 ebike (Juiced CCX Purchase)

I’m looking for a reliable and affordable class 3 eBike for commuting and recreation. I have a drop handlebar gravel bike, after having done road biking some years ago. So I am far from the typical hard core road cyclist, but I am an experienced rider who would shake his head at something like a cruiser or upright positioning. I’m also used to, and comfortable with speed, so would prefer a class 3 if I can afford it. Commute is about 10 miles each way. I’ve been looking at Giant, Trek, and Specialized, and also a Gazelle. I don’t want a bike that will give me a lot of headaches—this would really ruin my first eBike experience, so am thinking getting something from LBS makes more sense. I’d like to keep it under 3k, but am not sure that’s attainable. The price is my biggest concern since I recently bought my gravel bike, but I’m real serious about commuting 2-3 days a week. FastRoad E looks nice, but pricey, and a Trek Class 3 seem to cost more. Specialized sounds dicey in terms of parts support long term. Gazelle CityZen?
 
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Stefan Mikes

Active Member
@planetbike, I am a user of a 2017 Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0. I got it as a new bike in 2019 so the dealer could offer me a substantial discount. Otherwise, new Vados are pricey. I can only tell you that although there are some issues (will describe them soon), the Vado 5.0 feels like a dream.

First of all, that's a beauty. No photo can show how nice this e-bike is. Secondly, the geometry is fantastic. When you ride, you feel as if you drove a Ferrari. Next, the way Vado 5 supports pedalling is breath-taking. You push the pedals and the bike just flies reaching high speed in several seconds. The bike is made of class components and you appreciate having totally silent and powerful Brose/Specialized motor, natural pedalling feeling (as if Lance Armstrong helped you pedal), excellent brakes, Shimano 1x11 SLX M7000 drivetrain etc.

There are issues and I only mention these I experience myself:
1. Not sure about the 2020 model but older Speed Vados use an obsolete BLOKS display. The dealer has to install a software update for you and you cannot control anything from your smartphone (you can do it for "slow" Vados having the TCD-W display)
2. As the bike moves very fast, the battery range is somewhat disappointing.
3. Spare batteries are expensive.

There are not too many classy S-Pedelecs around; good ones tend to be expensive. I gave you an example of a speed e-bike I own and use. Hope more Forum members will share their views.
 
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e-boy

Active Member
@planetbike, I am a user of a 2017 Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0. I got it as a new bike in 2019 so the dealer could offer me a substantial discount. Otherwise, new Vados are pricey. I can only tell you that although there are some issues (will describe them soon), the Vado 5.0 feels like a dream.

First of all, that's a beauty. No photo can show how nice this e-bike is. Secondly, the geometry is fantastic. When you ride, you feel as if you drove a Ferrari. Next, the way Vado 5 supports pedalling is breath-taking. You push the pedals and the bike just flies reaching high speed in several seconds. The bike is made of class components and you appreciate having totally silent and powerful Brose/Specialized motor, natural pedalling feeling (as if Lance Armstrong helped you pedal), excellent brakes, Shimano 1x11 SLX M7000 drivetrain etc.

There are issues and I only mention these I experience myself:
1. Not sure about the 2020 model but older Speed Vados use an obsolete BLOKS display. The dealer has to install a software update for you and you cannot control anything from your smartphone (you can do it for "slow" Vados having the TCD-W display)
2. As the bike moves very fast, the battery range is somewhat disappointing.
3. Spare batteries are expensive.

There are not too many classy S-Pedelecs around; good ones tend to be expensive. I gave you an example of a speed e-bike I own and use. Hope more Forum members will share their views.
What is the battery range ?
 

linklemming

Active Member
All the big brands you mentioned are going to be more $$ especially if you get it from an LBS. That being said, they all have wonderful class3 mid-drive pedelecs.

Giant is probably the cheapest, the Quick-E is a wonderful bike for $3150. I love the Yamaha motors, second to the Brose. Im not a bosch motor fan(yet) but the Gen 4 motors like used on the trek allant look promising. The Allant 8s with black friday discount of $400 (total price of $3800) sure was tempting.

As Stefan has mentioned the Brose motor as used on the Vado has a fantastic feel and is super quiet. Probably not the most reliable but the sensation while riding beats everything else I have tried. Every ride on my Brose bikes (Bulls Evo 3 27.5+ class 1 and iZip Moda E3 class 3) is a treat. I have yet to meet a Vado owner who didnt love their bike....all commenting on the natural pedal feel. Thats the one common thing I hear about brose motor bikes. I try to stop/talk to any ebike riders I find while riding and while I hear many things they like about their rides, the brose riders always talk about the feel.

No experience with Gazelle, nothing in their lineup interests me. I have done road and MTBs for a really long time and just prefer MTB inspired designs these days.

Perhaps something like the Juiced CCX? While not as high on the quality scale as the other brands, it has all the goods for a fast commuter and will likely be more cost efficient in the long run. I love my Juiced CCX for its speed and reasonable price, although its my least favorite for 'experience' unless the experience is just going fast.

If someone wanted a sub $3k fast commuter with best range in the class, I wouldnt hesitate to recommend the juiced CCX(and why I own one)
 
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Stefan Mikes

Active Member
What is the battery range
Promised range for 2017 Vado was 80 km on Eco, 56 on Sport and I think less than 40 km for Turbo mode. The cold weather as it is now further reduces the range. The quote as above was published by Specialized in 2017 then they changed the wording to "refer to our Range Calculator". The range calculator is for Class 1 e-bikes and untrue for speed Vados.
 
@planetbike, I am a user of a 2017 Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0. I got it as a new bike in 2019 so the dealer could offer me a substantial discount. Otherwise, new Vados are pricey. I can only tell you that although there are some issues (will describe them soon), the Vado 5.0 feels like a dream.

First of all, that's a beauty. No photo can show how nice this e-bike is. Secondly, the geometry is fantastic. When you ride, you feel as if you drove a Ferrari. Next, the way Vado 5 supports pedalling is breath-taking. You push the pedals and the bike just flies reaching high speed in several seconds. The bike is made of class components and you appreciate having totally silent and powerful Brose/Specialized motor, natural pedalling feeling (as if Lance Armstrong helped you pedal), excellent brakes, Shimano 1x11 SLX M7000 drivetrain etc.

There are issues and I only mention these I experience myself:
1. Not sure about the 2020 model but older Speed Vados use an obsolete BLOKS display. The dealer has to install a software update for you and you cannot control anything from your smartphone (you can do it for "slow" Vados having the TCD-W display)
2. As the bike moves very fast, the battery range is somewhat disappointing.
3. Spare batteries are expensive.

There are not too many classy S-Pedelecs around; good ones tend to be expensive. I gave you an example of a speed e-bike I own and use. Hope more Forum members will share their views.
Thank you so much for your input. I did look at the Vados for a time, as I respect the company. I got a general impression that longevity and support might be an issue (only for the long term), but I don’t know how accurate that is. I also prefer a rigid, but the Como is definitely not for me. I’m probably the kind of person that will use the bike for as long as humanly possible, and thus care about things like support and reliability. I am okay with spending the money but I really fear the headaches and having the bike go obsolete in a few years. I despise it when there are car problems, and the idea of my bike having electrical/motor issues is an anathema—especially when going to work.

I also would very much appreciate the feel of the pedaling, as I use clipless and wouldn’t like an experience that doesn’t feel like normal spinning. Is the Brose that much more authentic than the Yamaha? Deal breaker? I don’t know how I would use it, but I imagine I’d enjoy not using the motor sometimes. I don’t need a ton of power as it’s pretty flat here, but I do want to sustain high speeds without sweating a ton.
 
All the big brands you mentioned are going to be more $$ especially if you get it from an LBS. That being said, they all have wonderful class3 mid-drive pedelecs.

Giant is probably the cheapest, the Quick-E is a wonderful bike for $3150. I love the Yamaha motors, second to the Brose. Im not a bosch motor fan(yet) but the Gen 4 motors like used on the trek allant look promising. The Allant 8s with black friday discount of $400 (total price of $3800) sure was tempting.

As Stefan has mentioned the Brose motor as used on the Vado has a fantastic feel and is super quiet. Probably not the most reliable but the sensation while riding beats everything else I have tried. Every ride on my Brose bikes (Bulls Evo 3 27.5+ class 1 and iZip Moda E3 class 3) is a treat. I have yet to meet a Vado owner who didnt love their bike....all commenting on the natural pedal feel. Thats the one common thing I hear about brose motor bikes. I try to stop/talk to any ebike riders I find while riding and while I hear many things they like about their rides, the brose riders always talk about the feel.

No experience with Gazelle, nothing in their lineup interests me. I have done road and MTBs for a really long time and just prefer MTB inspired designs these days.

Perhaps something like the Juiced CCX? While not as high on the quality scale as the other brands, it has all the goods for a fast commuter and will likely be more cost efficient in the long run. I love my Juiced CCX for its speed and reasonable price, although its my least favorite for 'experience' unless the experience is just going fast.

If someone wanted a sub $3k fast commuter with best range in the class, I wouldnt hesitate to recommend the juiced CCX(and why I own one)
Thank you! Wow, sounds like you have a nice collection of bikes. Sweet. Of all the direct to consumer offerings, it seemed like Juiced Crosscurrent S2 (not sure what the X adds) was the way to go back when I was trying to keep my budget under 2k. How do you fix your bike when something goes wrong? I don’t mind if it doesn’t perform as well as the big brands, as you get what you pay for, but reliability matters to me, and I’m no electrical engineer. If I recall correctly on reading the Juiced forum here, there were a littany of issues, and it’s not like my LBS can easily fix a Juiced. In fact, my LBS guy—who’s a great guy in a tiny shop, said he wouldn’t deal with another eBike due to how much of a pain they were, unless they were from what he carried (giant). does Juiced have a good team to support the bike over the next 3-4 years? I’d love to hear more about your assessment of the company, and the reliability.

So I’d be willing to pay more for reliability specifically, and would appreciate any input as to whether or not that’s actually what you get when you pay up for one of the bigger brands like Giant, Specialized. Trek seems to be too pricey. At this point, my LBS is willing to give me a slight discount on a new Fast Road, but we are still looking at a serious chunk of money. The Quick E is all out of stock in size Large. I prefer the Revolt style, as I’m a drop handlebar and gravel kind of guy, and my cervical spine appreciated a little less angle, but that costs more and I’d have to add all the lights for commuting.
 

DÖST

New Member
Hey Planet Bike, DOST Bikes here. We'll be launching our speed pedelecs in the next month or so, might be something to consider. We're using the 750W BBSO2 mid-drive + throttle - incredibly powerful and quickly capable of 28 mph. Regarding your budget - they'll start at $2799. Though this is a new brand, we've been in the eBike business for years, stay tuned to our website for upcoming 3rd party reviews and details on dealers etc. - if you sign up for emails we'll be offering BONUSES if you do decide to purchse, cheers
 

linklemming

Active Member
Thank you! Wow, sounds like you have a nice collection of bikes. Sweet. Of all the direct to consumer offerings, it seemed like Juiced Crosscurrent S2 (not sure what the X adds) was the way to go back when I was trying to keep my budget under 2k. How do you fix your bike when something goes wrong? I don’t mind if it doesn’t perform as well as the big brands, as you get what you pay for, but reliability matters to me, and I’m no electrical engineer. If I recall correctly on reading the Juiced forum here, there were a littany of issues, and it’s not like my LBS can easily fix a Juiced. In fact, my LBS guy—who’s a great guy in a tiny shop, said he wouldn’t deal with another eBike due to how much of a pain they were, unless they were from what he carried (giant). does Juiced have a good team to support the bike over the next 3-4 years? I’d love to hear more about your assessment of the company, and the reliability.

So I’d be willing to pay more for reliability specifically, and would appreciate any input as to whether or not that’s actually what you get when you pay up for one of the bigger brands like Giant, Specialized. Trek seems to be too pricey. At this point, my LBS is willing to give me a slight discount on a new Fast Road, but we are still looking at a serious chunk of money. The Quick E is all out of stock in size Large. I prefer the Revolt style, as I’m a drop handlebar and gravel kind of guy, and my cervical spine appreciated a little less angle, but that costs more and I’d have to add all the lights for commuting.
If you really want to buy thru your LBS sounds like giant is the way to go.

That being said, you can get significant discounts online on black friday/end of year sales for the big name brands. Almost bought a FS eMTB haibike online (from haibike) this black friday.

Both the eLBS I have used will work on any bike. That being said, I bought from them for my Brose Bulls Evo 3 and iZIP Moda (huge discount).

I do all the work on my bikes. Most of my bikes in the last 20 years I have built up from the frameset. I would rather spend the money on tools than paying a shop. I have only taken a bike in for service once (the Bulls ebike) due to a potential warranty issue with the suntour front suspension fork leaking air. The only reason I did this is because its hard to find out how to service suntour forks. While they did fix the fork, they misdiagnosed a few other problems I had(which I fixed myself) and made an error reassembling the fork causing it to leak suspension fluid(which I also had to fix myself). Frankly I could have done a better job and saved the $90 for shop time. I will be putting on a Rockshox one of these days just so I can service it myself. The other eLBS is MUCH better and I wouldnt hesitate to have them do any work.

So other than the electrical stuff, I work on my own bikes. Im actually an EE but the Brose Systems are not servicable by me anyways.

Getting to the Juiced CCX. What will I do if something goes wrong? I will fix it myself. If the coil front fork has issues, it would be easier for me to just replace it than to pay a shop for anything. Same for the electronics/motor, the controller/motor/display can all be easily replaced by just buying new parts and in the end will probably be cheaper than paying a shop. In a year and 2500 or so miles, it has required nothing other than a new chain and a set of rear brake pads. It has seen several different tires as I have been trying several.
 
I just tried a 2019 Vado 3.0 today. Smooth, quiet, this was my first ebike experience. I enjoyed it, though against the crazy headwinds today it was not really possible to hit 28mph.

So is the CCX pedaling experience is that much of a step down from the Vado? I’m reweighing buying that bike.
 
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linklemming

Active Member
I just tried a 2019 Vado 3.0 today. Smooth, quiet, this was my first experience. I enjoyed it, though against the crazy headwinds today it was peculiar. So the CCX pedaling experience is that much of a step down from the Vado? I’m reweighing that bike.
The CCX definately isnt up to the Brose on 'quality of pedal feel'. It does have a torque sensor but isnt up to par with the Brose. That being said, at higher speeds it really doesnt matter as much IMHO. Note Im being super picky here. The speed/power will make you forget that quickly.

Besides the Brose, I like the Yamaha/Giant motor the best. I havnt liked bosch that much yet although I have not tried their 4th gen motors.

The CCX really comes into its own at about 22+mph. While the european based mid-drive speed pedalecs (brose, yamaha, bosch) can technically get to 28mph, their lower power (250watts up to 600 or so) means its alot of work past around 22mph (no headwind). The CCX at 750-1000watts just flys at these higher speeds and takes alot less effort. If you want the least effort commuter and your hills arent too much (<10%) its the best choice. I technically dont commute since I work from home but ride many of the same routes commuters do for many of my rides. I ride everyday when possible and the CCX is for my lower effort lazy days and really windy days (20-30mph head/crosswind yesterday). FWIW, many of my CCX rides could be considered 'gravel rides' and im using fatter schwalbe marathon plus MTB tires.

That being said, if I had to get rid of a bike, the CCX would be the first to go.....unless I was commuting, then the CCX would stay.

Im super picky/anal about bikes, Im kindof a bike parts snob since I have been building my own bikes for many years, picking the exact parts I want. While many of the parts on the CCX are lower quality, they are all fully functional and sturdy.

Yes, there are reports of people having issues with their CCX, I have not had any of the issues personally. My battery connector looks fine with no apparent arching on the contacts. You can also find people having issues with brose motors, giant motors, stromers etc... Add to that the confusion of people who hate brands they dont own and preach on every single issue of those brands.

The Giant FastRoad E also looks like a great bike, I doubt you would regret buying either one.
 
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@linklemming, that’s really useful info! You are addressing things I hadn’t read yet in other posts, and it meets my experience yesterday. I edited my last post to say that I found it almost impossible (without clipless) to get even to 22 yesterday against some major headwinds. I was surprised by that. In the winter months here it’s quite windy.

I am particular, too, especially when it comes to how something feels, and the quality of the build. This is true with the shoes I wear to how I notice the shoddy build quality on my two year old home, and certainly with how transportation/recreation feels like on a bike. If the CCX is 80% of the feel of the Vado, I’m fine. If it’s 60% of the feel, then I may question it more. I just don’t want something that would feel really inconsistent, feel like it’s grinding, or some other issue that would bother my still young knees. I’m no longer in great riding shape, but I know how to spin efficiently like most serious road bikers.

On the Giant forum a lot of people are complaining about the 2020 models being reduced to 375wh battery. I don’t know what that means in practice though. So if sounds like some of the bigger brands are moving to less power (Giant), while Juiced is providing more. If the CCX and it’s younger sibling are capable of hitting 28 without as much work, then that alone might be the dealbreaker. I’d be fine with 2x support when just doing regular rides for exercise/recreation, like in the Specialized Creo, but since this is for commuting, I’m concerned about other issues. I had hoped for a one bike for all purposes (commuting, gravel, long rides), but that may not be possible...yet.

I would probably get the S2 with my 18 mile round trip commute, but they’re back ordered. Really wish the CCX had a 10 or 11 speed drivetrain.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Given your parameters, I would be looking for a 2019 Trek Crossrip+ on year end closeout. I think this bike comes closest to your specs. You could swap out handlebars, brake levers and shifter to get a flat bar.


The best recommendation for a well supported LBS bike would be the new Trek Allant 8+ It would require your to expand your budget to $4000 but it gets you the latest generation of Bosch technology and a bike at the beginning of its run rather than at the end. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/hybrid-bikes/electric-hybrid-bikes/allant/allant-8/p/30197/

 
That is a very nice bike, for sure, at a cool $4000+ out the door. I actually prefer the drop handlebars. Flat bars are not ideal if you care about optimal positioning options; they’re really made for stability on single track.
 

Browneye

Active Member
Be sure to try a geared hub drive type bike, and a premium or two mid-drive pedalic. They're quite different in feel, but get you to the same speed as long as your mid-drive is a C3 - there are a LOT of C1's and the motor shuts off at about 20mph unless you derestrict them. The 28mph bikes really zoom!

For the most part, a premium mid-drive is going to cost more than a lesser-known hub-drive ebike. The big-3 or 4 are really proud of their ebikes, and priced as such. But they seem much more refined to me, aesthetically, the components, fit and finish, better battery integration, etc.

A mid-drive has a more 'pure bike riding' feel to them. The hub drive feels more like an electric motor you switch on when you need/want it. We have one of each. ;)
 

Rob2000

New Member
Another approach you may want to consider is a "professional" or custom conversion, using a new bike as a donor bike. I am an experienced cyclist, too, (own a Specialized carbon road bike and Specialized hardtail mtb) and when I was shopping for my ebike I was concerned about getting locked into a manufacturer's proprietary system with uncertain support in a few years as models change rather quickly, and also considering rapidly evolving changes in motor and battery technology. So I became interested in more of an "open source" opt,ion.

A local LBS sells several models of factory ebikes, but has also been doing custom conversions for a number of years. So, I went with a new Trek Dual Sport 3 outfitted with a Bafang BBSH02 500W motor. Total cost was $2500. I only have about 2000 miles on it at this point but I'm very happy with it. I have a solid bike under me, a decently powered motor (with throttle), both with warranty and LBS support, and easily repaired or upgraded. I wanted a bike for fun and exercise and although the motor and battery add some weight, it rides like a regular bike and handles well. I get about 50 miles of range. It seems like professional conversions with new bikes don't get mentioned too often on this forum but it was a very good solution for me.
 

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Rob, thanks for sharing. This in fact is what I really wanted to do, with a plus sized gravel bike. Are you at Class 3 speeds with that? I haven’t found a lot of eBike support in North Texas (huge business opportunity), and would also prefer to go through a LBS. But as it is, I gave in yesterday and ordered a Juiced. Just didn’t have a lot of time to research the best conversions and bike combos. did the price include the original bike?
 

Browneye

Active Member
Another approach you may want to consider is a "professional" or custom conversion, using a new bike as a donor bike. I am an experienced cyclist, too, (own a Specialized carbon road bike and Specialized hardtail mtb) and when I was shopping for my ebike I was concerned about getting locked into a manufacturer's proprietary system with uncertain support in a few years as models change rather quickly, and also considering rapidly evolving changes in motor and battery technology. So I became interested in more of an "open source" opt,ion.

A local LBS sells several models of factory ebikes, but has also been doing custom conversions for a number of years. So, I went with a new Trek Dual Sport 3 outfitted with a Bafang BBSH02 500W motor. Total cost was $2500. I only have about 2000 miles on it at this point but I'm very happy with it. I have a solid bike under me, a decently powered motor (with throttle), both with warranty and LBS support, and easily repaired or upgraded. I wanted a bike for fun and exercise and although the motor and battery add some weight, it rides like a regular bike and handles well. I get about 50 miles of range. It seems like professional conversions with new bikes don't get mentioned too often on this forum but it was a very good solution for me.
That's a great-looking bike. We took the same type of approach since we already had an outstanding donor for a conversion. Her ROLL is everything she wants in a ebike, and yes, up to 30mph. Dear god that's fast on that kind of bike. 🤣 I have it set to max 22 for her - it's perfect.

@planetbike - which model did you order?
Juiced sells a lot of bikes!
 
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Rob2000

New Member
Rob, thanks for sharing. This in fact is what I really wanted to do, with a plus sized gravel bike. Are you at Class 3 speeds with that? I haven’t found a lot of eBike support in North Texas (huge business opportunity), and would also prefer to go through a LBS. But as it is, I gave in yesterday and ordered a Juiced. Just didn’t have a lot of time to research the best conversions and bike combos. did the price include the original bike?
Yes, its a Class 3, with a throttle. Throttle only max is 20 mph, 28 mph with pedal assist. Price included the new donor bike.

Best of luck with your Juiced. People on here seem to like them a lot.