Juiced Bikes has been cranking out a range of high performance electric bikes with massive batteries and equally impressive power for years now. We reviewed the Juiced Bikes Scorpion and were thrilled when they reached out to us about their latest creation — the RipCurrent S Step-Through.
Disclaimer: Juiced Bikes provided this bike to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
The Rip Current is Juiced Bikes’ stalwart fat tire e-bike that’s available in both a traditional high-step frame build and now, in a step-through frame. The company sent us the RipCurrent S Step-Through, which includes the larger 19.2 Ah battery, packing a bit more range and more power than the standard 13 Ah battery. Both versions of the RipCurrent integrate the battery into the downtube of the bike for a cleaner look while still retaining the ability to remove the battery. The massive battery on the S translates to a range of around 70 miles per charge, though actual range will vary depending on the amount of assist being used, terrain, rider weight, and weather.
Right out of the gate, the RipCurrent S Step-Through dominates the room. The large 26″ x 4″ fat tires give it a broad stance, with the oversized step-through frame making it feel like a purpose-built special ops vehicle. Smack dab in the middle, the RipCurrent’s massive battery is a reminder of just how much range and power this thing is packing under the hood.
The intimidating posture is amplified by the matte black paint on our test bike and is quickly softened by the beautiful blue, yellow, and white color options it is also available in. While it has a solid presence on the road, the RipCurrent S Step-Through was designed as a more accessible version of the popular high-step frame build. The low-step frame paired with the adjustable BMX-style handlebar makes this bike a great option for a wide range of riders.
Juiced Bikes says the bike is ideal for riders from 5’3″ to 6’1″, but at 6’2″, I’m extremely comfortable on the bike and would have no issue setting it up properly for riders up to 6’4″. The seat post and frame pairing translate to another inch of upward adjustment from my already high set point and the handlebars can easily be angled forward or backward to accommodate different rider preferences.
The bike arrived in a traditional bike box and requires an average amount of assembly to get everything put together. Our assembly time was just over 30 minutes, largely due to taking extra care with the heavier than average weight of the bike. Juiced Bikes has a helpful setup guide and assembly video to ensure a successful launch after the bike arrives, but as always, if you’re not comfortable with putting on wheels or pedals, it’s best to ask a professional at your local bike shop to help out. After assembly, we put the bike on the charger and took a few minutes to review the manual before the first ride.
Juiced includes all the tools you’ll need to get started, though you’ll also want to have something on hand to cut the straps holding the box together from the outside and the range of cable ties holding everything in place. Pro tip: remove the zip ties without cutting them and reuse them later using a simple life hack (video). It’s like getting a free pack of zip ties with your bike!
Heading out on the RipCurrent S Step-Through, it feels very solid and stable. Charging down the hills at the start of our test route, the 26″ x 4″ Kenda Krusade fat tires absorbed most of the smaller bumps in the road while the adjustable front suspension fork absorbed most of the larger hits. It’s not designed to be a singletrack mountain trail slayer as its heavy weight makes it less agile, but we had a blast taking it off road on a handful of trails.
The powerful rear hub 750 watt Bafang motor makes it easy to transform any patch of road, trail, grass, or beach into an exciting trail. In fact, one of my favorite stretches to thrash around on with e-bikes is a section of farm road that’s often littered with soft mud, bumps, rocks, and the like. Cranking the pedal assist up to the max or just leaning into the throttle on the RipCurrent instantly triggers an adrenaline rush.
The hydraulic front and rear disc brakes with 180 mm rotors provide a reassuring slowing power, even from a 30-miles per hour downhill sprint. When slowing, the Kenda tires provided plenty of traction and stability, even under extremely rapid deceleration.
As the route flattened out, the beautiful interplay between the 9-speed manual transmission out back and the 5-speed electric pedal assist system was able to shine. The bike features both a torque sensor and a cadence sensor, to help the bike understand both the pedal rotation speed and power output from the rider. The result is the smoothest integration of pedal assist we’ve seen on any bike to date. It seamlessly applied the perfect amount of power regardless of the mechanical gear we selected.
We had a blast on the RipCurrent S Step-Through and found it to be extremely versatile. The low-step frame makes it an option for both my normal-sized wife and I, while the included rear rack made it easy to add a basket for groceries, a crate for our pup, or to clip on some panniers for an extended weekend ride. The full fenders on the bike ease the burden of any puddles or rain that might come your way and, somewhat surprisingly, make it a very easy bike to use for commuting to work. A set of integrated front and rear LED lights are nice additions for additional visibility, with the headlight doing a very solid job of lighting up the path ahead after dark.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as efficient as a street slayer commuter bike with narrow tires, but with such a massive battery, it doesn’t have to be. And truly, that’s part of the beauty of electric bikes like the RipCurrent. They are built for comfort and functionality with the ability to simply call on the motor to power through any weak legs, heavy tires, long distances, or extra cargo you might want to haul. Do it all with an e-bike. Why not?
Flatlands are great, but we really put the powertrain to the test on the back half of the route as we start to climb uphill. Shifting mechanical gears while laying down as much power as my feeble legs can muster paired with changes to the assist levels from the motor over the last mile on our route is the most challenging test we’ve found and the RipCurrent S Step-Through handled it without batting an eye.
I’ve personally had bikes gobble up entire rear derailleurs and spit them out on this route but the RipCurrent S Step-Through wasn’t even phased. It was able to seamlessly shift gears, change assist levels, and call on the full power of the motor with the throttle on the steepest and most strenuous sections of the route.
Overall, the Juiced Bikes RipCurrent S Step-Through is an impressive fat tire bike that’s suited for a wide range of rider sizes. Thanks to its cadence sensor and torque sensor pairing, it has one of the smoothest integrations of the power from the motor and the mechanical gearing that we’ve seen. When needed, the powerful 750-watt motor out back and massive 994 Wh battery work together to power through some of the most challenging terrain around, even with my oversized 205 lb frame weighing it down.
At $2,699, it is not a value-priced e-bike, raising the bar in quality of components, range per charge, and overall functionality compared to much of the competition. Head over to Juiced Bikes for all the details on the RipCurrent S Step-Through or to purchase one for yourself.
All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
Juiced RipCurrent S Step-Through Electric Bike Specs
- Motor: 750 watt rear hub motor
- Battery: 19.2 Ah, 994 Wh, 52V frame-integrated battery
- Range: 70+ mile range per charge
- Top Speed: 28 mph
- Sensors: Torque & cadence sensors
- Pedal Assist Mode: Eco, 1-3, and sport for 5 assist levels total & left thumb throttle
- E-bike Class: Class 3 w/pedal assist up to 28 mph
- Weight: 76 lb
- Gearing: 9 speed mechanical drivetrain
- Brakes: Hydraulic front and rear disc brakes w/180 mm rotors
- Tires: 26″ x 4″ puncture resistant Kenda Krusade tires
- Rider Height: 5’3 to 6’1
- Accessories: Rear rack and fenders included
- Price: $2,699