The large-frame red Juiced Bikes Crosscurrent X (CCX) commuter arrived yesterday, well packed in its sturdy cardboard box with ample foam packing. Unboxing revealed no damage. The bike was fully assembled, except for pedals, front wheel, front fender, and bell. The included 13-lb 19.1 Ah battery came already attached to the frame, and could be charged in place, but I decided to use the key, dismount the battery, and charge it separately on the Grin Technology 72-volt Satiator I had purchased in anticipation of the bike’s arrival. The battery arrived mostly charged, so a top-off consumed merely an hour and a half. The 72-V model only charges at about 4 amperes, but has sophisticated circuitry to deliver an optimally shaped charge at a rate that will not sap the life of the thousand-dollar battery.
Help in final assembly is given by a series of videos on the Juiced website. While these were not very detailed, with some steps one would like to have seen “miraculously” completed off-screen, they were generally sufficient to enable completion. Note that the pedals are not the same: you must identify the left pedal for the left side and the right for the right, or they will not thread into the crankset. Be very careful not to cross-thread them.
A complete manual in .pdf format is available for download from the Juiced website. Reading this is recommended to get full utility from the bike, as it is a feature-rich device.
The bike has a very solid but heavy frame - at 50 lb., no titanium featherweight this! It would have been tough getting up the cellar stairs after final assembly, were it not for the handy-dandy “walk” mode, invoked by pressing and holding the (-) button on the display panel.
Some e-bikes look like an explosion in a spaghetti factory, but the CCX has its cables neatly dressed on the handlebars and concealed down a channel on the downtube on their way to the controller and Bafang 750-W motor, serving as the rear axle. The controller is concealed in the motor housing. A Shimano 9-gear dérailleur assembly is also mounted there. The crankset drives a single sprocket, so a total of nine gears are available. Given the presence of the lusty motor, this seems largely sufficient for achieving a reasonable cadence at the available range of speed.
The battery has a locking, proprietary mounting system on the down tube, holding the heavy battery securely. Be sure, after mounting the battery, that it is firmly seated to the right to ensure proper electrical contact. The battery has two fuses, externally accessible and each protected by a plastic cap. One of these kept falling off and had to be taped on.
Once charged and in place, and after checking that all hardware was properly torqued, it’s time to power up.
Briefly pressing the button on the top surface of the battery applies power to the bike from the battery management system, and illuminates the button. A two-second press of the power button on the back of the display brings it to life. The display is backlit for day or night use. The thumb-operated throttle is ready to hand left of the display. The display has a (+) and (-) pair of buttons accessible to the left thumb. Pressing and holding the (-) button supplies a small amount of power to the motor for assistance walking up steep slopes or stairs.
Once ready on the road, pressing and holding the (+) button toggles on or off the powerful front light. Some initial adjustment was necessary to correctly direct the beam onto the road.
The main screen displays a graphic of the state of charge, total miles ridden, voltage readings, and current speed, making monitoring of energy reserves easy.
Brief presses of the (+) and (-) buttons invoke the various levels of electric assistance: ECO mode, which provides an absurd amount of range while still providing noticeable assistance. You can then proceed through levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and R, each providing an increased level of assistance. “R” stands for “Race,” and should only be used off public roads. Max power, without the 20 mph limit, then is applied to the motor. I found that level 2 was plenty for flats or modest hills; indeed, even “ECO” mode provided noticeable assistance on the flat, while just sipping power from the battery.
The bike is equipped with both cadence and torque sensors, which lets the motor provide on-demand pedelec assistance in a smooth and intelligent manner. The thumb throttle is there for momentary boosts, or for taking a break from pedalling. Non-pedalling “cruise control” is available for a set speed of up to 20 mph. Squeezing either brake cuts power.
When riding the CCX bike, one feels almost “bionic.” You pedal the bike, using its nine gears, but you feel like suddenly you have much more effective muscles, and for a given level of effort you go much faster and farther. It’s a delight, really; superior results for the same level of exercise. Of course, to feel totally virtuous, invoke “0” mode to turn the magic chariot back into just a reasonably good road bike. After you have worked up a sweat, invoke pedal-free cruise control and enjoy the breeze.
The CCX is optimized as a commuter; it would make short work of a 20-mile trip to the office, while getting you there cool and comfortable without causing your coworkers to drop dead from your otherwise fragrant allure upon arrival. It comes with a very sturdy rack, to which panniers could be attached for groceries or your work stuff. A bright rear tailight adds to safety. Rugged tires with good puncture resistance make a timely arrival more likely. Even a bell is provided. The battery has more than enough reserve for the return 20-mile trip, but if you want to recharge at work, penurious bosses will be relieved to hear that a full recharge costs less than a quarter.
The bike was intelligently designed by Juiced Bikes in Chula Vista, California, but is well built in China and shipped back to the U.S. Juiced then checks each bike, then ships them (for free within the lower 48 states) to the end user. It costs $2499 (including the new 25% tariff). To me, the bike provides appropriate value for the price. Recommended.
- B. Peters