- An affordably priced speed pedelec that's well balanced, not too heavy and available in three frame sizes for a good fit, you can also upgrade the battery size
- Comes stock with a powerful 48 volt battery but lower 7.8 amp hours, uses a torque sensor to activate pedal assist which requires more effort but extends range (optional throttle)
- Simple LED display panel with limited readouts (battery charge level and assist mode), it blends in and is easy to use but you don't get speed or odometer, neat Sport button for instant high power
- Fatter tires and suspension fork improve comfort, battery can be difficult to plug in for charging while mounted to the frame, the kickstand is kind of basic, quick release on the front wheel but not the rear
The highly anticipated, industry disrupting affordable speed pedelec from Juiced Bikes has finally arrived. The CrossCurrent is a $1,500 electric bike that can go ~28 mph if you are willing to pedal with some gusto… Or you can get the optional trigger throttle and struggle to hit higher speeds while draining the battery more quickly. For this review I got to test ride a red, XL sized Cross Current using the stock 48 volt 7.8 amp hour battery. The motor on all models is 350 watts, what I usually see for average specced 20 mph ebikes, made by one of China’s largest manufacturers Bafang / 8Fun. In short, this bike is awesome because it gives you choices. You can upgrade the battery, add that throttle, get a size that fits, choose a color that’s cool or get two and keep them separate. Nothing on the bike is truly remarkable but the combination of thoughtful design, solid mid-level parts and an impressively low price point make it a winner.
This electric bike would make for an excellent commuting platform because it goes fast, is well balanced, isn’t too heavy, has a removable battery pack to top off during the day at your desk, is easy to lift and carry up stairs if necessary (due to the wide open triangle frame) and can accommodate both a bottle cage and rear rack! Bingo… and you won’t feel terrible if it gets a little dinged up at the rack because it didn’t cost $3k+. Note that the display panel is simple and limited… but also compact and less noticeable. It’s not removable but even as-is won’t take the same damage and attention that a large fancy LCD might. So many good choices have been made with this bike… To me it’s like they took a standard affordable decent looking ebike and just unlocked the higher speed. In my opinion you’re not really getting higher power, just a motor that’s not governed. And with the mid-level Shimano Alivio drivetrain offering 9 speeds you can move the bike with or without power efficiently at a wide range of speeds on varied terrain.
I love that the bike comes with slightly fatter tires but that it still opts for 700c large wheels for improved road efficiency. I like the suspension fork, not only does it add comfort but it blends in and gives you some adjustability with lockout. Sometimes cheap bikes try to make up for their lower price with flashy colors and stickers and graphics… and ahh, it’s a mess. With this bike Juiced Riders kept style points up by limiting decals and it paid off. The list of features that deserve recognition and appreciate is long so here goes: integrated downtube battery that feels solid when mounted and stays hidden (especially on the black frame), large hydraulic disc brakes for easy but powerful sstopping, upgraded Wellgo brand platform pedals that offer good power delivery and stability, a quality name brand saddle that feels good, locking grips, a kickstand! (though it could be better), thicker rear spokes to help support the weight of a fully loaded rack, name brand stem, headset, chainring and crankset and a quick release front wheel.
So should you buy this bike!? That’s an impossible question to answer without knowing the budget, proposed load weight, intended use and ride style but I do think it would work well for many situations. For me the body position felt aggressive and active and the torque sensor was smooth so it’s great if you like pedaling and just want some help going faster and further. If you want to relax, don’t want to work as much and plan on encountering bumpy terrain this design might be less comfortable than a cruiser or fatter tire city bike. I love the different size options and the colors are fun but would love to see some options for integrated lights, fenders and a rack. I think it’s smart that they offer an upgraded battery size and the throttle (wish I could have tested it). Note that the USB charging port seems to have been disabled and that actually plugging in a USB device or even the charger is kind of tight at the base of the pack. If the USB worked I’d praise it for facing the plug up vs. sideways where it could be more easily kicked. All things considered it’s a cool bike and one that I have been waiting to review for a while. They are dialing in the features here and I suspect that as with their cargo bike, we’ll see minor adjustments and improvements over time.
- I didn’t get to test this bike with the official saddle but have used Selle Royale before and know they are high quality, someone else bought the seat right off the bike! I believe it has a little clip underneath to add a light or other accessory
- You get a mid level derailleur from Shimano with nine gears allowing for comfortable pedal cadence at low and high speeds, the front chainring is extra large to support higher speeds as well
- I love the integrated battery design, it’s still removable for easy charging and reduced weight during transport but it doesn’t stick up and just feels more solid than an external pack, I love that the main triangle is so open because it makes hanging on a car rack easier and there’s even room for a bottle cage!
- The seat stays have threaded eyelets so you can add a rear cargo rack which makes this bike perfect for commuting! Consider something like this with wider mounting points for disc brakes
- Large hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, dissipate heat better and don’t require as much hand strength or force as smaller options, both levers have motor inhibitors as well to cut power as you actuate them
- Bumps are more noticeable at high speed so I love that they included a suspension fork but went with one that has a lockout too so you don’t lose power when pedaling on the smoothest tarmac, for even more comfort consider a suspension seat post in 27.2 mm diameter like the Thudbuster ST
- The 700c 28″ wheels are large which improves rolling momentum and spans cracks for comfort but the tires are wider than traditional road bikes which reduces vibration, I like the setup but wish they had reflective sidewall strips for improved side-visibility at night
- I like the angled look of the frame tubing, appreciate the two color options and LOVE that it’s available in three different sizes… hopefully we see a step-thru version someday too!
- Great choice on the oversized, sturdy Wellgo pedals! Usually I have to buy these aftermarket because I dislike the smaller cage pedals and softer plastic ones, they also installed a bash guard to keep the larger chainring safe and prevent snags on pants
- The control pad is extremely easy to understand and use, it’s easy to reach from the left grip and I like the “boost” button that switches between your current level of assist and full… great for catching up to a friend or squashing a hill briefly then returning to normal
- Unlike some other bikes with a similar battery design, this one does not require that you take two steps to get the bike going, just press the display pad once
- The charging port at the base of the battery is difficult to reach when mounted and the USB port located next to it has been disabled (apparently due to some issues where the port was draining the battery)
- The torque sensor applies power smoothly and is more responsive than a cadence sensor but requires you to apply force, there’s no throttle stock (but they do sell one as an upgrade!) so I’d call this a more “active” electric bike
- At first it didn’t feel like the bike was hitting the ~28 mph top speeds, after a bit of riding and testing I realized you just have to be in the highest level of assist and pedal with a bit more effort, the motor isn’t as zippy feeling because there’s no throttle mode and assist is based on force with the TMM4 torque sensor
- The display panel is minimal with just five LED dots indicating battery charge level and five LED dots indicating assist level, no speed or distance indicators… so I used my phone GPS with the Strava app for testing, you could always add a simple cycle computer like this after market
- The front wheel offers quick release which is great for loading into a car or doing maintenance but the rear wheel does not, this is probably due to the torque sensor design vs. cadence
- While this is a beautiful looking purpose built electric bike, the wires are not integrated through the frame, they’re tacked along the downtube and right chain stay (which could make fixes easier) I would like to see a slap guard to reduce chips on the chainstay
- Glad this bike has a kickstand but the part chosen seems kind of basic (maybe they went for cost savings and weight savings?) it is not adjustable length and the plastic end piece falls off (it was lost on the demo unit I tried)
- The rear spokes are thicker than normal at 12 gauge but sometimes they come loose according to some shops, consider having them checked, balanced and tightened or even using Loctite glue to keep them in place