The Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X goes 28+ mph and has ridiculous range

I am convinced personal electric vehicles like e-bikes and e-scooters are the best way to get around a crowded metropolis like New York City. No vehicle has convinced me more than the Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X.

This $2,500 e-bike is a standout commuter vehicle, checking off a formidable list of features at a price that won’t break the bank, at least relative to other e-bikes with similar features. 28+ mph adjustable top speed? Check. Real-world range of 70 miles for an average rider? Check. Ultra-durable tires? Check. Both smooth pedal assist and throttle operation? Check. A sturdy rear rack, front suspension, hydraulic brakes, a bright integrated headlight? Check.

For a well-rounded commuter bike — and short of building your own DIY e-bike — you’d likely have to spend a lot more money to beat what the CCX offers.

Juiced Bikes is a California-based company that’s been making e-bikes since 2011. As an internet-direct company, you don’t get the same personal attention you might have with a bike from a local dealer, and processing warranty claims can take longer. The company also only ships to the US, so you’d have to use an expensive forwarding service elsewhere. Nonetheless, Juiced provides some of the best specs per dollar in the country, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular online e-bike retailers here.

The CCX actually stands out a bit from the rest of Juiced’s models. While most of the company’s other e-bikes, such as the moped-style Scorpion, feature trendy and cushy fat tires, the Juiced CCX is the company’s flagship ‘normal’ e-bike. Replace the massive battery with a normal downtube, and it’d just look like a fancy bike.

In fact, being a solid normal bike first is one of the things I appreciate about the CCX. It’s equipped stock with 28 x 1.75 inch (700c x 45c) Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, known to repel flats better than almost any other tires. There’s a 9-speed Shimano Cassette drivetrain, the metal Wellgo pedals have a nice amount of grip to them, and the Tektro hydraulic brakes need just a light touch to stop this 270lb rider on a dime.

The bike comes in three frame sizes rated for users from 5′ 4″ to 6′ 4+,” each available in matte black, glossy red, or brushed aluminum. I tested the smallest ‘medium’ frame meant for users 5′ 4″ to 6′ 0; I’m six feet tall, but I wanted to let my other half give it a go as well. I found the CCX required a moderate riding position that puts your weight slightly forward, for which I appreciated the chunky ergo grips, front suspension fork, and comfy Selle Royal Lookin saddle (too small for me, but among the comfiest stock saddles I’ve tried). A sturdy rear rack and fenders complete the package, though I wish Juiced offered a front basket option like many competitors.

Of course, it’s the e-bike components that stand out. The bike features a 750W custom Bafang motor, which is at the US federal power limit for public roads. This motor actually allows the bike to go a little over 30 mph on a flat road in its de-limited ‘race mode’ with some pedal assist, but by default, it’s configured to the federal limit of 28mph (most other e-bikes are limited to 20mph). That said, you can easily adjust that limit in the display’s menu to fit your local ordinances (25mph in NYC, 20mph in much of the country).

All this makes for a bike that is a veritable blast to ride. That difference between 20 mph and 28 is greater than you might think – it’s the difference between being able to keep up with cars or be at their mercy. Though most of my time was spent riding around a comfortable 18 mph – still enough to zip past cars stuck in traffic – the extra speed actually helped me feel safer when the cars around me sped up. It’s also nice to not feel like I’m holding up traffic.

Notably, the CCX is equipped with both torque and cadence sensors, making for smoother pedaling than cadence-only systems. If you don’t know what those words mean, Juiced has an explainer here. Basically, a cadence sensor is like a pedal-powered on/off switch for the motor, providing a fixed amount of power based on your assist level once it detects you’re pedaling. A torque sensor, on the other hand, actually adjusts power depending on how hard you’re pedaling. It will provide more power from a dead stop or up a hill than while in motion on a straightaway.

That can mean a significantly more enjoyable ride. To make a crude analogy, a cadence sensor feels like riding a bike with a rocket that turns on whenever you start pedaling. It makes the ride easier, but you don’t feel totally in control of that speed. A torque sensor feels a lot more like riding a regular bike, except you’ve never skipped leg day and can squat 1,600 pounds.

There are six assist levels: Eco, 1, 2, 3, ‘Sport,’ and the de-limited and sparsely legal ‘Race’-mode(There’s also a ‘0’ mode if you don’t. Despite being a heavy rider, I spent most of my time using assist levels 1 and 2. Eco feels like riding a light bike in a tailwind – a small boost to make that makes your ride just a smidge easier. It’s great for those long leisurely rides where you want to conserve battery.