After riding Juiced Bikes' CampScrambler more than 400 miles, I can easily say it's one of the most comfortable bikes I've ever ridden -- on or off the road. The unique design -- a cross between a classic moped and a Ross Apollo five-speed with its long banana seat and wide-open frame -- keeps you in an upright position on its nicely cushioned seat, instead of shifted over the handlebars with your weight on your hands like many other bikes I've tested.
The position means riders aren't going to get that full leg extension on the Scrambler, but you won't have sore palms at the end of a long ride. I'd equate the comfort to the difference between the more relaxed ride of a motorcycle like a Harley-Davidson to the ride of a racing bike. Combine the design with features like its adjustable coiled-front suspension and Kenda 20x4 knobby tires and you get a fun, smooth ride even on bumpy terrain.
The CampScrambler has both throttle and pedal assist. The $2,099 model I tested is powered by a 52v, 19Ah battery; there is also a 52v, 13Ah option. The motor is a rear hub 750-watt Bafang that's triggered by a cadence sensor, which gets this bike up to 20 mph using the throttle and 28 mph with pedal assist. For stopping, the Scrambler comes equipped with front and rear Tektro Dorado 180mm hydraulic disc brakes. To assist with braking, power is cut to the motor when they're applied.
For those who want less motor assistance, the CampScrambler comes with a Shimano seven-speed freewheel. When you do want some help there are five levels of assistance to choose from: Eco,1, 2, 3, S (Speed) and R (Race). Each one progressively gives more push for your pedaling.
In addition, for an added boost, the throttle and pedal assist can be used together for an increased take-off speed or small burst to get up hills. The CampScrambler has cruise control and Walk modes, too. While riding, if you hold down the minus button for a few seconds the Scrambler will maintain its speed. While walking alongside the bike with it powered on, holding down the minus button will roll the bike at a pace no more than 4 mph, making it easy to push the 71-pound bike up a hill for example.
To see or be seen coming down the road, the CampScrambler comes equipped with a bright headlight that's controlled from the main display and is powered by the bike's battery. A rear light with a separate on/off button is powered by two AA-sized batteries. (It would be nice to see the front and rear power and control combined in future models.) There's also an optional horn that doubles as an alarm. For safety concerns, it would be nice to have that included and not an extra cost.
The CampScrambler's display shows battery voltage, power currently being drawn by the motor, speed, distance traveled and assist mode. There's even an advanced setting mode that allows more information on the display along with advance settings that can be customized, such as speed, trip meter reset and battery reserve.
As for range, I would typically get 40 to 50 miles out of it before I'd top the battery off. Range is dependent on so many things -- ride mode, throttle use, terrain, rider weight and so on -- that it's truly a case of YMMV. Charge time was roughly 4 hours, but again this will depend on where you're starting from, and to maintain battery health you should avoid fully discharging the battery entirely.
Basically, the CampScrambler's unique design, features and performance add up to a great ride. It's hard to describe, but something that's easy to understand once you've ridden it. There's a reason I've put on it the most miles of.
Originally published Oct. 18, 4:00 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:20 a.m.: Adds details on battery range and charging.