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2012 Juicy Bike Sport review

Discussion in 'Electric Bike Reviews' started by Ryan220, Jul 12, 2012.

  1.  
    Ryan220

    Ryan220 Just Joined

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    Reviewer: Ryan

    Purchased From: Eco Republic

    Purchase Price: £850 Delivered (Cyclescheme)

    Time Owned:1 month

    Local Terrain: Moderate Hills / Very Hilly in places


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    Strengths:

    Great price
    Good build quality
    Great customer service
    Good ride quality
    Distinctive looks
    Good hill climb ability



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    Weaknesses:

    Seat post/ battery interference
    Saddle removal for battery access



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    Summary:

    A great, great bike

    See below for full review

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    Overall Rating (out of 10) : 9.5








    Hello all

    I thought I might share my thoughts on my new Juicy Bike Sport that I recently purchased on Cyclescheme.

    I’ve been a cyclist for many years and my current stable consists of a Specialized Sirrus Expert and a Trek Fuel EX8. I carry out all my own repairs and servicing. I am of course no expert, but then I am no beginner either. This will hopefully give you a little insight into my perspective during this review

    My requirement.

    I wanted a bike for a 16 mile round trip commute to reduce my fuel costs - my car has rather poor fuel economy.
    My journey undulates the entire way, with one very steep 1 mile climb and several minor climbs.
    A worsening long term back injury has made cycling a sometimes uncomfortable experience so a pedelec seemed a good choice to reduce the load on my aching joints.

    Why a Juicy Sport?

    I liked the style – it has a very distinctive frame which appealed to me.
    Price – it looked very well specced for its price point.

    My expectations from a Pedelec?

    For me this was simple - I wanted to be able to ride a bike to work for a few days each week without my back problem flaring up and not have to spend those days at work wondering if my legs were going to fall off because they were aching so much.


    Initial impressions

    The bike arrived on the day that Juicy said it would with no problems in a big sturdy undamaged box.

    On opening, there is plenty of bubble wrap evident to protect your new bike for the usual knocks and bumps that we come to expect from couriers.

    The bike comes pretty much fully built and only requires some minor assembly (fitting of front mud guard, front wheel, pedals, bars etc – nothing too difficult) A word of advice here, don’t let family members help with the assembly – I let my father “help” with the assembly and he managed to put the pedals onto the wrong cranks and ruined both the threads in the pedals and the cranks – a quick phone call to Juicy revealed that they had the parts in stock, at an excellent price. I ordered a set which were promptly dispatched and the parts arrived the very next morning – that’s good service.

    The Components

    To keeps things in perspective here, we are talking a sub £1000 bike (£850 delivered on the Cyclescheme to be precise) where a great deal of the cost goes into the motor, control system and battery. With this review Ive always kept in mind that the bike is not going to be fitted with high end components as a result.

    The frame – the finish of the frame is excellent – despite a good look around the bike I couldn’t see any obvious flaws or imperfections in the finish. The welds are very neat too.

    The wheels are of a deep dish type design and they look rather smart. The spokes look to be of a good gauge and there's no obvious wobble/ rim deformation. Tyres are Kenda branded and look to be fine.

    The front fork is a basic unit with no discernable adjustment. I’m surprised how well it worked to be honest. Its pretty smooth and the rebound isn’t too harsh. It hasn’t bottomed out on me yet (I am a gentle rider). There's a little bit of top out clunk, but that’s not a problem as someone on a pedelec shouldn’t really be doing the sort of manoeuvres that cause top out clunk.

    The brakes are of a mechanical disc brake variety – I don’t know the make. Prior to buying my Juicy Sport I had reservations about mechanical discs (based on previous experience from 10 years ago) and had every intention of swapping them out for V brakes (the Juicy Sport has bosses for V brake fitment should you choose to change them). However, I am pleased to say that the Zoom mechanical units work really well. They don’t have the modulation of the hydraulic units on my mountain bike, but they offer such good performance that I wont be swapping for V’s. The one thing that does annoy me is the tendency for the brakes to squeal when braking lightly – I will try and rectify this sometime. The levers are an unknown make but seem fine so far.

    The saddle/ seat post are unbranded – the later being a suspension unit. I’ve never used a suspension seat post before so I cannot compare it to anything so can only say what I find ,which is it absorbs the bumps. The saddle is a rather large item, but surprisingly is quite comfortable. I’m normally a staunch Spesh BG user, but in this case I’ll stick with the OE.
    The saddle has to be removed to be able to take the battery out and more annoyingly, the seat post clamp has to be removed too otherwise the battery fouls on it.

    The stem is an unbranded, angle adjustable unit which looks solid with no discernible play.

    The drive train consists of Shimano shifters and rear mech, an unbranded single chain ring chain-set and I have no idea regarding the cassette. Gear shifting worked fine straight out of the box. It doesn’t have the finesse of a well tuned XT set up (I’ve never had XTR) but it operates well and positively engages each cog with no clicking or grinding.

    The lights are simple, but functional LEDs that are controlled from a switch on the handlebar. I tend to use these lights in the morning during my commute when the weather is a little dull and the car drivers are half asleep. When the dark mornings and nights return I will add an extra front and rear light for extra safety.

    The ride – before I start I just wanted to remind you that this is my first pedelec. It is also the only pedelec I have ridden as I never went about test riding any, so I have nothing to compare it against.
    So, with battery fitted and power turned on I took it out for a ride – the pedal assist kicks in with gusto and accelerates the bike rapidly up to approximately 12/13 mph. It has enough ‘oooomph’ to maintain 8mph (with a small amount of rider effort in 2nd gear) on the steepest of hills that I encounter, which effectively ‘irons out’ any hill you should happen across. The motor makes a humming noise as it is running but it is certainly not intrusive.

    As mentioned earlier, the pedal assist cruising speed is approximately 12mph. This can be achieved using very little effort by riding along in 3rd gear or moderate effort by riding in 4th. For my level of fitness (which is rather low) 5th gear is for ‘on the flat without head wind’ roads and 6th is reserved for downhill stretches only.
    A twist of the throttle sees the bike accelerate from the ‘cruising’ speed up to (I assume) 15mph and can maintain this effortlessly on the flat. (speeds are taken from a GPS app in my phone)
    It seemed that the motors out increased after the few rides – whether or not the battery or motor (or both) benefit from some ‘running in’ I don’t know, but it just seems to have a bit more oooompf now.

    The bike handles very well considering its weight and handles very well at both low and high speeds.
    There are very few rattles when riding, other than the usual big bump induced noises
    The forks and seat post do a wonderful job of ironing out the bumps making every ride a comfortable one.
    The frame comes in one size and is perfect for my height of 5’11. There is plenty of extra seat tube for the taller rider


    How does this bike perform for my commute? Does it meet my expectations?

    In short, yes. I am able to ride the 8 miles into work and not suffer with aching legs and more importantly, I don’t get that feeling of dread when the time to cycle home again approaches and another 8 miles loom.
    It has turned riding a 16 mile round trip commute into a pleasure rather than a chore.
    I am commuting three times a week at the moment as other commitments prevent me for cycling more, but I would happily do another day if I could.


    Given the benefit of hindsight, would I still buy it? A resounding YES
    Would I recommend one to others? Again a resounding YES


    I find my Juicy Sport to be a joy to ride and it has exceeded all of my expectations for a pedelec commuter.

    Should anyone have any questions please feel free to ask



    Positives

    Great price
    Good build quality
    Great customer service
    Good ride quality
    Distinctive looks
    Good hill climb ability


    Negatives

    Seat post/ battery interference
    Saddle removal for battery access
     
  2.  
    JuicyBike

    JuicyBike Trade Member

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    Really pleased you like the bike Ryan. Thanks for such a detailed review which I hope you will follow-up after some months of use.
    A tip-up saddle option is available, but without the suspension. Give the shop a call if you want one sent over for you to try.
     
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    trefor

    trefor Just Joined

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    I have the same bike and it is performing very well.
    I find I can just get the battery out if I turn the saddle through 90 plus degrees. I had to remove the suspension saddle stem to get my feet on the floor being only around 5'7" but its still fine to ride as the seat is gel filled or similar. With a couple of minor mods it is running faster and with more hill climbing ability than when I had it. It climbs 1.7 miles out of the very steep ironbridge gorge when I need it too and still has enough juice to get me home. The only worry is battery cost when the time comes for that. It does look good and is a great buy new or second hand.
     

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