The market for electric bikes has seen incredible growth recently, but the wealth of ebikes available only makes it that much harder to hone in on the ones that are actually worth your while.
While some aim to provide a little extra assistance to get you on your way without breaking as much of a sweat, others are built to be a powerhouse that can amp up your ride to incredible levels or just take all the effort out of your ride. The Juiced CrossCurrent X belongs in that latter camp.
This ebike comes at a modest price of $2,199, though it can often be found on sale for a few hundred dollars less. While that’s somewhat expensive, it’s hardly a high price in the ebike market, which often sees rides cost more than twice as much. And, with all that Juiced packs onto this ride, including a roughly 1,000Wh battery, it begins to feel justified very quickly.
JUICED CROSSCURRENT X REVIEW: DESIGN AND FEATURES
The Juiced CrossCurrent X feels a bit like an SUV in the bike world. It's built big and meaty. The frame has a chunky down tube to house the even chunkier battery. The fork gets the added girth of suspension shocks a la SR Suntour. In the case of the unit I tested, it included a Suntour NEX fork.
Large 700c x 45-millimeter tires further boost the size of the ride, though Juiced also offers the RipCurrent, which is a similar bike rolling on fat tires. But I’m not done stacking things on. The CrossCurrent X includes fenders for the front and rear, and tops it off with a rear rack. The bike is further kitted out with an integrated headlight that runs off the battery and a rack-mounted tail light that has its own battery.
In terms of drivetrain, the Juiced CrossCurrent X features a 1x9 setup with a cassette in the back. The gear ratio is wide enough for loads of torque at the low end and a casual cadence at high speeds. The gears shift with a Marvo LT microSHIFT system that proved snappy and reliable and felt comparable to Shimano’s Deore transmission.
The handlebars are fitted with a bell, a sizable LCD display for controlling the electronics and seeing ride metrics, a very basic thumb throttle, ergonomic hand grips and hydraulic brake levers with electronic cutoffs. This makes for a busy handlebar in spite of its considerable width.
The cabling coming out at the front of the bike is a bit of a rat’s nest, even with Juiced making attempts to bundle up at least some of the cables together. Fortunately, the cables are tidied up elsewhere on the bike for a cleaner aesthetic everywhere else.
The bike stops using dual-piston disc brakes. Juiced listed the Tektro HD-E350 among the specs – a nearly $200 brake system – but my review unit came with Logan brakes. To their credit, they weren’t very fussy.
Perhaps the weakest part of the package is the basic Wellgo pedals that I’ve seen coming on plenty of ebikes.
The CrossCurrent X runs on a 750W nominal Bafang rear hub motor. It can operate in Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 modes, as well as off-road modes that don’t restrict the bike’s speed. The display allows for quickly switching between these modes and provides deeper settings for extra tuning. The display shows things like speed and battery life while also providing useful metrics like the current wattage being used by the bike and the voltage of the battery.
All of this hardware adds up and tips the scales. The bike weighs 66.2 pounds, making it fairly unpleasant to carry up a flight of stairs. The battery is removable at least, and that takes a full 11 pounds off the thing. The battery includes a handle for easy carrying, too.
For such a complicated bike, it shipped in remarkably good condition. Juiced did just about the best packaging job I’ve seen from all the ebikes I’ve tested, fitting sculpted foam around much of the bike so it wouldn’t bounce around in its shipping box. There were no bent rotors, no wiggly spokes and even the gears came without any need for indexing.
All I had to do was attach the handlebars, slot in the front wheel and mount the front fender. Sadly, the front fender was incredibly fussy and I couldn’t get it mounted evenly, no matter what I tried.
JUICED CROSSCURRENT X REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
It’s all in the name. Juiced bikes are juiced up. While the CrossCurrent X is built like a bike and rides like a bike, many of the brand's ebikes seem to have more in common with scooters and vespas than they do traditional bicycles.
The CrossCurrent X inherits some of this DNA with its 750W motor that’s not so shy about putting out wattages above that in bursts to up the acceleration. With a 52V battery, it can get plenty of torque, too. Juiced rates it at 80 N.m of torque before factoring in the extra torque coming from the rider.
All that is to say this bike gets up and goes quickly. The throttle can do all the work of going from 0 to 20 mph, but it’s much quicker to get a little pedaling in alongside it. The throttle stops working once the bike is going more than 20 mph, so speed demons will be encouraged to keep doing a little pedaling no matter what.
And since the bike uses a combination of a torque and a cadence sensor, it feels much more natural to ride. The motor really only tries to assist when I’m pushing on the pedals with some intention in my feet.
Even at the bike’s lowest setting, I can feel the motor giving me a hearty dose of assistance. With the bike maxed out, this bike wants to fly. It’s easy to zip up to 20 mph, and 28 mph is always within reach on a good straightaway. With proper conditions, I could find the bike capping out above 30 mph, but the circumstances were rare – especially as I’m running the bike near its limit with a combined weight near 300 pounds.
The ride below 20 mph is fairly smooth, with the front suspension doing a nice job soaking up some of the shock, and the thick wheels and slightly cushy saddle absorbing a bit of the rest. At higher speeds, the bike transmits a bit more. It’s never too bad in the handlebars, but bumps really hit the saddle when you’re going 28 mph. Those who plan to do a lot of fast riding would be wise to upgrade with a suspension seatpost.
As impressive as the potential speeds are, the range of the bike is even more noteworthy. Plenty of expensive ebikes are content to offer smaller batteries, often below 500Wh. The roughly 1000Wh battery here is a different beast entirely. I totally slammed the bike, going on fast rides and cruising with no regard for battery life, and I saw the battery average 43 miles per charge over three full cycles.
To my surprise, even with the battery dead and immense weight of the CrossCurrent X, the low rolling resistance of the tires and the helpful gearing made it rather comfortable to get the bike moving at about 15 mph, where most other ebikes I’ve tested have begun to fight me if I tried getting past 12 mph without motor assistance.
Despite its size, the CrossCurrent X feels fairly nimble to ride. I weaved through the streets of Chicago on it as easily as any other bike, with the only thing adding difficulty being the extra-wide handlebars. Shifting is impressively smooth and quick, making it easy to drop gears before a red light and then get right back up to speed moments later. And, crucially, the brakes have no trouble bringing the whole ride to a screeching halt in a short distance even when flying along.
JUICED CROSSCURRENT X REVIEW: VERDICT
The Juiced CrossCurrent X is a great bike with a serious electronics system to back it up. It can not only go far but it also goes fast.
While it rides like a bike, it might almost be better viewed as an electric motorcycle. If that’s what you’re really aiming for when considering an ebike, then you won’t be disappointed with this brilliant, low-key beast. It’s all the better that Juiced is delivering an exceptional value with the bike, as well, especially when it’s on sale.
JUICED CROSSCURRENT X REVIEW: ALSO CONSIDER
As mentioned earlier, there’s no shortage of competition in the electric bike market these days. If you’re looking for an ebike but interested in something different than the Juiced CrossCurrent X, there are a few great options.
The Ride1Up Roadster V2 tops our list of the best ebikes of 2023 – the best option for most people, offering plenty of speed with superb looks and a price that won’t break the bank. The premium Priority Current is among the smoothest, most capable ebikes available, with a top speed of 28 mph, virtually no maintenance and a high-end price tag. Or, if you’re just looking for a recreational bike to keep up with your kids on neighborhood rides or get a little exercise on the weekends, the Kent Electric Cruiser review is the best budget ebike out there.