Juiced CrossCurrent S2 Review
Cons: Slightly less comfortable than some, limited features
Manufacturer: Juiced Bikes
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Juiced Bikes was established in 2009 and launched their first electric bike model in 2010. This California based company now makes a full line of e-bikes to meet various needs, including the CrossCurrent S2 commuter bike we tested. This powerful bike impressed our testers with its good ride quality, distance range, and especially its speed. This is the fastest bike we tested and easily secured our Top Pick for Speed Award.
The CrossCurrent S2 has a great ride quality with predictable, responsive handling and a sporty demeanor. This zippy e-bike is fast-rolling, smooth, and stable, with a geometry that promotes a more performance-oriented, active, and engaged body position. It can't quite match the comfort of some of the cruiser-style bikes we tested, but it felt good considering its racier manners.
We found the CrossCurrent S2 to be very smooth, with large 700c wheels and tires that roll quickly on pavement. The Suntour suspension fork works surprisingly well and helps take the edge off of rough surfaces, cracks, and bumps in the road. Handling is sharp and responsive, and we found it to be steady and predictable while making all turn sizes and shapes, and at a range of speeds. We were also very impressed with its stability, with a nicely damped and calm feel even when pushed up to and beyond its 28 mph speed limit.
During our range and handling testing, we found the CrossCurrent S2 to be relatively comfortable, though with a notably more athletic body position. Unlike cruiser-style bikes with more upright and relaxed seated positions, this bike is a bit sportier with a lower, flat handlebar and generally more engaged rider position. While it isn't the most comfortable or laid-back feeling bike we tested, this seated position makes a lot of sense for this zippy and fast city/commuter style bike. It also has a slimmer, firmer, performance-oriented seat along with comfortable ergonomic grips. Our size medium test bike fits a wide range of user heights, and the seatpost was even long enough for our long-legged six-foot-tall tester. It is also offered in Large and XL sizes for even taller riders.
The 9-speed Shimano drivetrain provided a large gear range and didn't give us any issues during testing. Should you run out of battery on a ride, the CrossCurrent S2 pedals relatively well under human power on flat terrain. Due to the heavy, 60 lb, weight of this bike, however, riding it uphill without pedal assistance is no picnic. The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes felt plenty powerful and provided ample control for this heavy and powerful e-bike. The 700c x 45c Kenda tires have a fast-rolling street tread that performs very well on smooth paved surfaces. The S2 also comes equipped with a bright, 1,050 lumen LED headlight for increased visibility and safety when riding at night.
With a large 676Wh (52V 13.0Ah) battery storage capacity, it came as no surprise that the CrossCurrent S2 had one of the best distance ranges in our test. While it didn't take top honors in this metric, it wasn't far off, plus it had one of the highest average speeds in our range testing.
Using the throttle only, we rode the CrossCurrent S2 for 27 miles with 1,400 feet of elevation gain/loss on our gently rolling test course. The test took one hour and 30 minutes with an average speed of 17.5 mph. Thanks to the powerful 750W rear hub motor, this average speed was a few mph faster than most of the competition, and we were very impressed with how quick this bike felt and held speed uphill. Since this test was performed using only the bike's power with the throttle, we consider this to be the low-end of its range potential. Assuming perfectly flat ground and ideal conditions, we imagine you could squeeze a couple more miles out of it. We are also reasonably confident that riders using pedal assist and doing some pedaling could easily double and possibly even triple the range depending on the assistance level and rider effort. We feel that Juiced's claimed range of 50-75 miles seems perfectly reasonable, assuming the rider is putting in some work.
Power is one thing that the CrossCurrent S2 is not lacking. With a strong 750W rear hub motor and a top pedal-assisted speed of 28mph, this is the fastest e-bike in the test. Not only is it quick, but its power delivery feels especially smooth and refined thanks to its advanced torque sensor.
Juiced Bikes bills the CrossCurrent S2 as a Class 2 electric bike that is Class 3 capable. Interestingly, our test bike arrived in its Class 3 settings with a top throttle speed of 20 mph and a top pedal-assisted speed of 28 mph. While conducting our throttle only range test, it quickly became apparent that this bike is fast. The 750W motor gets up to speed quickly, and this bike was one of the fastest in acceleration in our test. It also holds speed impressively well, with an average speed of 17.5 mph for a 27-mile ride that featured a fair amount of gradual climbing. It easily crested our short test hill at 18 mph, and it had the ability to accelerate while going up a long, moderately pitched slope where other, less powerful bikes would bog down.
The CrossCurrent S2 can be configured as a Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike by adjusting its settings. Since our test bike came in its US Class 3 configuration, that is how we tested it. In this configuration, it has five pedal assist levels, Eco, 1, 2, 3, and Sport, and it can also be ridden with no assist, of course. These assist levels provide a wide range of pedal support from relatively light to very strong. The S2 has no problem getting up to its top speed of 28 mph and can supposedly go up to 33 mph if you put it in Race Track mode. We didn't test the Race mode, but we can verify that this bike is plenty fast as is. The CrossCurrent uses both cadence and torque sensors, and it has a very smooth and refined power delivery as a result. It provides pedal support after about a half pedal stroke, and it comes on gradually and consistently, ramping up with your effort. The "precision strain gauge" of the "proportional torque sensing" system monitors your pedaling effort and provides power accordingly. The harder you pedal, the more support it gives. We feel that this fast-moving bike is a great option for riders looking to drive less but still want to get places relatively quickly.
The CrossCurrent S2 comes with an LCD Advanced Matrix Display that is an all-in-one console with a small digital display screen and button controls. It's not the best interface we tested, but it has good ergonomics and is far better than more basic systems. The large battery sits in the downtube of the frame, and it can be removed for charging or storage.
The LCD display is attached to the handlebar by the left grip. This small unit is home to both the display screen and the buttons that control the bike. The power button is located on the backside of the console in an out of the way location. The + and - buttons are located on the front of the unit below the screen and to the left closest to the thumb in a relatively ergonomic position that is easy to reach. The + and - buttons are used to increase or decrease the pedal assistance. A long press on the + button turns on the screen's backlight and the bike's headlight. All three buttons are also used to adjust and customize the bike's settings or turn on cruise control or walk mode functions. The throttle is a thumb paddle that is situated between the console and the left grip in a very easy to reach location. The throttle can be mounted on either side of the handlebar or removed completely if you prefer.
The LCD display screen is relatively small but is loaded with information relevant to your ride. The top of the screen shows your battery charge numerically as the voltage level on the left, and graphically on the right. The battery graphic has 9 bars that turn off progressively as the charge is depleted. On the right middle of the screen, large numbers display your current speed, with trip distance shown just below that. On the left side of the screen is a small headlight graphic that turns on when your headlight is on, and below that in the lower left corner is the assist level indicator. In the middle, at the bottom of the display is a power indicator that shows how many watts the motor is using at any given time. While we appreciate the information that the display provided at a glance, the smaller screen size and smaller numbers were a little more challenging to read than on larger displays. We also found the screen surface to be highly reflective and occasionally challenging to see in bright, sunny conditions.
The 676Wh battery pack is attached in a large cutout in the down tube of the frame. Anytime the battery is properly on the bike, it will be locked to the frame. The battery has a separate power button, and it must be turned on before pressing the power button on the handlebar controls. It can easily be removed from the bike for charging or storage by disengaging the lock with a key. The charging port is located on the left side of the battery, and it has a plastic cover that rotates out of the way when in use. Charging time is claimed to be 5-7 hours.
The CrossCurrent S2 was relatively easy to assemble and scored about average in this metric. It arrived with the majority of the assembly completed, with only a few basic steps remaining to complete the process.
The CrossCurrent S2 arrived in a heavy-duty cardboard box with reinforced holes that was clearly intended to provide ample protection during the shipping process. The reinforced holes also help to make moving the heavy box a little easier on the hands. Our complete test bike weighed in at 59 lbs, and it weighed in the neighborhood of 65 lbs in the box with all of its shipping materials. We found that it was much easier to move this heavyweight box with two people, and removing the bike from the box was a task for two sets of hands. The bike itself was very well packaged with foam padding and zip ties securing the loose parts like the front wheel and handlebar to the frame. It took a few minutes to remove all of the packing materials from the bike before finishing the remaining steps of the assembly. The only parts that aren't attached to the bike are the front wheel, handlebar, headlight, and pedals. Juiced has several short how-to videos on their website that provide detailed instructions to complete the assembly at home. After checking all of the bolts, brakes, and shifting, the entire process took right around 35 minutes.
It would be hard not to call the CrossCurrent S2 a good value. This bike is fast, and we feel it is a great option for commuters who are looking to replace their car with a quick e-bike that makes getting to and from work a breeze. Whether your commute is 5 minutes or 15 miles, this reliable bike will quickly pay for itself in the money you saved by not putting gas in your vehicle.
The CrossCurrent S2 is a zippy electric commuter/city bike that earned our Top Pick for Speed Award. This Class 3 bike is fast with a 750W motor, a top pedal-assist speed of 28 mph, and quick handling to go along with it. It has a sporty geometry and a slightly racier body position that works well for this bike's need for speed. It also has an impressive distance range, making it a viable option for commuters looking to ditch their vehicles or public transportation.
The CrossCurrent S2 comes in three sizes, M, L, and XL, and is currently only offered in black.
In addition to the CrossCurrent S2, Juiced also makes the CrossCurrent X, which is an upgraded version that features a 995Wh battery, custom fenders, and rear rack, upgraded tires, and an upgraded suspension fork. All those upgrades bump the price up to $2,499.Juiced also makes several other electric bike models, including the Scorpion, HyperScorpion, Scrambler, RipCurrent, and RipCurrent S.
— Jeremy Benson