Juiced Bikes has beefed up its flagship commuter e-bike with a 52-volt, 13-Ah battery and a torque- and cadence-sensing 750-watt Bafang hub drive motor to offer a fast, fun bike with a 50-to-100 mile (80-to-160 km) range and an impressive US$1,799 price tag.
Juiced has been quietly beavering away to make 52-volt batteries standard across its range, and it makes sense. In comparison to 36- and 48-volt packs, the 52-volt systems offer better performance, energy efficiency and cycle life, and they're becoming more common in the e-bike market. Indeed, it seems likely that's where the industry will eventually settle, as a fully charged 52-volt pack sits at 58.8 volts when fully charged, just under the 60-volt limit beyond which all electronics need to be classified as "high voltage."
The new CrossCurrent S2's 52-V/13-Ah battery equates to 676 watt-hours of energy, and represents a range somewhere around 34 mi (55 km) if you ride it around solely on the throttle at 20 mph (32 km/h). That would be an incredibly silly way to ride it, though, and 50-100 mi (80-160 km) ranges are possible if you use pedal assist, kick in some energy yourself and slow down a bit.
Juiced is using a dual torque/cadence-sensing system to operate the pedal assist, and these are much more natural and intuitive to ride than cadence-only systems. Effectively, the bike senses how much torque you're putting on the crank through the pedals, and immediately multiplies your effort. The motor, for its part, is a USA-legal 750-watt geared hub drive unit from Bafang that peaks at 1,300 watts for pedal-assist speeds up to 33 mph (53 km/h).
The rest of the gear looks solid too, including a basic LCD display, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, adjustable coil spring forks with hydraulic lockout switch, a nine-speed Shimano shift on the back, ergo grips, a gel seat, a 1,050-lumen headlight thrown in, and a free pack rack and set of fenders for early buyers until Juiced runs out of stock. It's decently lightweight for an e-bike, weighing in at 59 lb (23.4 kg), and beefy enough to carry riders up to 275 lb (125 kg).
If we were to level criticisms at the design, we'd question why Juiced has stuck with hub drives instead of mid-drive motors since mid-drives can squeeze significantly more range out of a battery, even if they do tend to punish the drivetrain more severely. We'd also raise an eyebrow at the chunky, non-integrated battery pack and wonder if future Juiced bikes will fit the batteries into the downtube – and we'd wonder why there's not a larger battery option or two available.
On the other hand, we've heard lots of good things about previous Juiced bikes using similar configurations, and the CrossCurrent S2 looks like another solid, reliable product for an impressive price.
The $1,799 asking price will make this a very attractive package for people looking into the idea of e-bike commuting, with the ability to knock off the average ride to work and back quickly and easily, without any tolls, registration, insurance, fuel or parking costs. E-bikes are already making a compelling case for themselves as daily drivers, and they continue to improve and become more affordable every year.
Source: Juiced Bikes
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