luna ebike pricing

Crazy Ebike Pricing Full Suspension Mountain Bike (part 2)

February 8, 2017
5,470 Views
Now the author explores the differences in High End Full suspension bikes.

by Patrick M.

DISCLAIMER and FULL DISCLOSURE STUFF: The owner of electricbike.com, Eric, is also the owner of Luna Cycle. Eric did not contribute any input into this article. The author of this article is not an employee of Luna Cycle, nor does he have any financial interest in that business. Also, I am not affiliated with any of the other businesses discussed in this article. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of electricbike.com. Or anybody else. This is not a comparison riding test of each bike – I didn’t ride the bikes listed here – my e-bike riding experience is limited to the Kuberg FreeRider and a KHS 4 Season 500 / BBSHD. It’s a comparison of features, specs, and pricing – the data culled from many public sources – for some groups of similar bikes.

 

Midrange Full-Suspension e- Mountain Bikes

Now we’re coming to a category I am really interested in – good quality, FS mountain bikes that have been converted to high-performance e-bikes. This is the Holy Grail that I was looking for: good performance that gives me much of the feeling of my Kuberg FreeRider, but in a package that is much more stealthy and public trail-friendly because it still looks like a bike. I’ll start with mid-priced bikes, which have good quality components but are by no means high-end. One important thing to note: most (if not all) of these bikes come standard with a Shark Pack-style frame battery pack. On many FS bikes, it’s difficult to even fit a Shark Pack inside the frame triangle, due to the intrusion of the rear shock into that area. If you’re shopping for a FS bike for a DIY build, be sure to get it in either L or XL size to allow the most possible area for the battery pack. That said, there’s another problem: If you ever plan to go the route of “super-high” performance – 2500w, 3000w, and above – on your bike, you should look for one with a frame triangle design that will fit a larger triangle battery pack inside. This is because you’ll need the larger pack to provide the 50A-60A continuous (or the higher voltage) the more powerful motor will need. This comparison looks at 2 different sellers for the same bike, the KHS SixFifty 2500, along with another competing entry-level FS mountain bike.

 

LUNA CYCLE KHS SixFifty 2500

The KHS SixFifty 2500 is a well-reviewed midrange FS mountain bike. It comes quite well-spec’d, with lower-priced RockShox suspension front and rear, a hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame, and a quality SRAM 10-speed drivetrain. Special note goes to the included RockShox Recon Silver fork. While this 120mm unit only costs about $200, it has received rave reviews from buyers, so it seems to be an excellent choice for the money. The bike has good-quality Shimano BR-M396 hydraulic brakes (I have the cheaper BR-M355s on two of my un-powered mountain bikes, and I like them very much). Luna fits its e-bike kit to this bike with the usual full complement of goodies: 1500w BBSHD, 52v Panasonic GA shark pack, color display, and matching red Mosso pedals. But perhaps the trickest addition to this bike is the matching red Luna 30T Mighty Mini chainring, which gives the bike a massive increase in torque and acceleration over that detestably ugly and heavy stock steel chainring. It’s just a really nicely-spec’d FS mountain bike with good quality components from KHS, topped off by a great Luna drivetrain and battery. Cons? Again, a 1-year warranty will cost you $400 additional. The bike isn’t offered with a 2500w Ludicrous controller option, and I’m not sure if the needed triangle battery pack for that upgrade would fit inside the bike’s frame triangle.

Pros:

High-quality KHS FS bike platform

Components – brakes, drivetrain, rims, handlebar, etc. – are all very good right out of the box

1500w BBSHD

52v battery pack, made in USA with genuine Panasonic GA cells

BBSHD settings are user-programmable with an interface cable

Includes color display and tool kit

Cool matching 30T Mighty Mini chainring

Professionally assembled

RockShox fork and shock

Cons:

No included warranty (except DOA); a 1-year warranty is an additional $400

No 2500w Ludicrous upgrade offered

Components (drivetrain, brakes, etc.) are good quality but not top-end

E-RAD 2015 KHS SixFifty 2500

Lectric Cycle’s e-RAD version of this same bike is in some ways very similar to the Luna version, but in some ways it’s very different. First, it is specified as a 2015 model year bike. But perhaps the biggest difference is that this KHS 2500 looks to be using the 750w BBS02, not the BBSHD. While not explicitly stated on the company’s site, I can infer this by the 350w/750w power options for the bike – the BBSHD’s options of 750w/1000w/1500w are notably absent. Lectric re-brands the Bafang motors under their own label. Also, the 750w power option costs buyers an additional $300 – but I believe this involves no actual mechanical changes to the motor or controller. It’s simply a programming change to the BBS02’s controller, an amp limit adjustment that’s accomplished with a programming cable and about 5 minutes of time. So, for this 5-minute reprogramming of the motor controller, Lectric Cycles charges you a cool $300. The bike’s base price is $2995, but that’s with the 350w power level and a tiny, 432wh 48v battery pack. For this comparison, I maxed out the bike’s specs to 750w power level, and a 48v/14Ah (672wh) battery – a $400 additional cost option. Again, brand and model of cells used, as well as BMS power capability, are not listed. Spec’d out this way, the bike costs $3655. $100 US shipping brings the total to $3755. Keep in mind, unlike Luna, included in the price is a 1-year warranty.

Pros:

All KHS SixFifty 2500 pros apply

Professionally assembled

Very good underlying bike and components

1 year warranty on motor/battery

Cons:

About $1000 more than the Luna version

48v battery, not 52v

2015 model

Only 750w BBS02 motor, no way for end user to increase power level

HPC TRAILBLAZER FULL SUSPENSION MID DRIVE

HPC calls the Trailblazer their entry-level full suspension e- mountain bike. At $5099 as spec’d for this comparison, some might argue that’s a little expensive for an entry-level product, but I guess that depends on your budget and resources. After my in-depth analysis of this bike and its pricing structure, I think HPC would be better off re-naming this bike the “HPC Unconscionable”, rather than the HPC Trailblazer.

Now, while I can’t say definitively that this bike is based on the KHS SixFifty 2500 (HPC rebadges the underlying bikes they sell), looking at the spec sheet I do see a lot of similarities. First of all, the frames on both bikes look the same. 6061 hydroformed aluminum frame, with the shock fully inside the triangle. RockShox Recon Silver 120mm fork, RockShox Monarch R shock. SRAM X7 drivetrain, 10-speed cassette. Brakes on the HPC bike are again upgraded to Magura MT4e hydraulics, and HPC replaces the stock Bafang chainring with a better alloy one. You be the judge, but if it looks like a KHS 2500, smells like a KHS 2500, then it probably is a KHS 2500.

The bike’s base price is $3799 – but you wouldn’t want it in that configuration, with a 577wh battery and 750w of power. Again, I spec’d the larger 672wh battery pack (a +$200 option) to provide a closer comparison to the Luna bike, however it’s still a 48v unit rather than 52v. But things got really interesting when I went to look at the power option drop-down box on this bike’s page (see image below).

You see, the $3799 base price appears (from photos on the company’s site) to include the 750w maximum BBS02. This mid-drive costs about $200 less than the BBSHD if you were to purchase it directly. Now, when spec’ing out your bike, you can choose to increase the power level to 1200w. For 1200w output, HPC would need to be using the $200 more expensive BBSHD. 1200w costs you an additional $500. Not so bad, you think, maybe it’s worth it for the increased power. Looking further at the drop-down box, you see that you can also spec your bike for a huge 1500w of power, for a $1000 upcharge from HPC.  Well, you think, maybe to have the maximum power available it’s worth it. After all, they must be making some extensive mechanical modifications to the motor, controller, battery, or other components to achieve such a big power increase, right?

Wrong. From my knowledge of the BBSHD and its programming, I know that this mid-drive is actually engineered from the factory to handle 1500w of power – it won’t self-destruct or explode at this level. And upgrading the unit from 1200w to 1500w (or even from 750w to 1500w) is simply a matter of changing the maximum amp limit setting – by using a software program and a $20 programming cable. (While all 3 advertised power levels could be provided from the same BBSHD power unit,  photos on the company’s site appear to show the bike with the BBS02 – so it’s possible the 750w version comes with that less-expensive motor and the 1200w/1500w versions use the BBSHD.) It took me about 5 minutes to program my BBSHD’s controller, but that’s because it was my first time, and after changing the setting to 30A (I tried 40A, and 50A, to no avail) I looked through all the other menus and finally decided I was best off using the settings developed by a BBSHD power user after much trial and error. I loaded the Karl’s Special Sauce settings, discussed here, made sure my 30A limit was still intact, and was very happy with the results.

                                                                                               HPC charges a $1000 premium  for 1500w

 

So, basically what I am saying is that:

1. If the BBSHD is used for all 3 power levels offered, HPC charges you, the customer, an additional $1000 premium to connect a cable to your BBSHD and change the controller program from 15A to 30A (750w to 1500w) – probably a 120 second job for an experienced technician. That’s an hourly rate even the sharky-est corporate attorneys would be jealous of.

2. If the BBS02 is used for the 750w version, and the BBSHD for the two higher power offerings, then the company charges $500 additional to upgrade to a mid-drive that costs $200 more (750w to 1200w). And on top of that, if you choose 1500w, they charge an extra $500 for 2 minutes of programming to up the BBSHD controller from 1200w to 1500w.

The total price, spec’d with 1500w, the 672wh battery, and a 3A charger, comes to $5099. Add $199 shipping, and you’re at $5298. This time, the HPC bike is a little less than double the equivalent Luna bike’s price – but not by much. And I didn’t even mention here HPC’s Pro Version of the Trailblazer, which features a 14-speed Rohloff internally geared hub and upgraded suspension, all for a cool $8299 with 1500w power and 672wh battery. Is this the beauty of a free-market economy, or taking advantage of customers who don’t know any better? You be the judge.

Pros:

All previous KHS SixFifty 2500 bike pros apply

HPC has upgraded brakes to Magura MT4e quad piston

Doesn’t use stock hideous chainring

Professionally assembled

Includes a 36-month limited warranty (first 12 months free replacement & labor for defective parts)

Cons:

Unconscionably high price

$1000 additional for a 2-minute reprogramming to 1500w

No 2500w upgrade available

Battery pack cells used, and max Amp output, are not stated

48v system rather than 52v

Did I mention the price?

DIY – KHS SixFifty 2500 & LUNA CYCLE COMPONENTS

All the previous information regarding the Luna DIY builds applies here too. Again, no separate section for DIY’ing this bike with direct-from-China parts, savings would still be only about $100 over buying components from Luna.

The Luna component list is the same as I spec’d in the previous build, with one addition: the slick red 30T Mighty Mini chainring, which adds $55.95 to the kit. The total cost of the BBSHD kit from Luna with a 52v 13.5Ah GA shark pack, and these add-ons, is $1355.85 plus $45 for US shipping.  The 2017 KHS SixFifty 2500 is $1598.90 on bikecraze.com, plus $40 shipping. Total shipped price for everything: $3039.75. Once again, it’s actually cheaper to buy the professionally-built bike from Luna than it is to DIY. That blows me away.

Pros:

Same pros as previously mentioned for Luna KHS 4 Season 3000 bike

Others have done this – you can watch videos or read forums for help with the DIY build

Um… a sense of accomplishment?

Cons:

Spend over $300 more to do it yourself

Time and effort for building bike yourself, but can be rewarding too

You can’t buy the 2500w Ludicrous controller separately for a DIY build

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Upper Level Full-Suspension e- Mountain Bikes

These FS e- mountain bikes feature better components than those in the previous group. Better quality drivetrain, cassette, and brakes all add up to a higher price. But perhaps the biggest price increase here is for the suspension – a top-quality fork with 160mm or more of travel can cost $600, $700, or more. And the top-level 200mm travel forks used on high-end downhill race bikes can run well over $1000. Two of the bikes in this comparison are built directly on the KHS SixFifty 7200 platform. The HPC bike also looks like it’s based on the KHS 7200 to me, so I’m including it in this comparo.

LUNA CYCLE KHS SixFifty 7200

All reviews I’ve seen for the KHS SixFifty 7200 agree that this is a really nice FS mountain bike. Main upgrades over the 2500 are to the suspension. The bike has the renowned RockShox Pike RCT3 fork, and the equally-loved RockShox Monarch RT3 shock. These components add a lot of cost to the bike. Further upgrades include a Shimano SLX 10-speed drivetrain, and Shimano SLX M657 brakes. Luna’s kit includes the 1500w BBSHD, 52v Panasonic GA shark pack, color display, Mosso pedals, and the Mighty Mini chainring. But I think the biggest bonus for this bike is that Luna offers it with the 2500w, 50A Ludicrous controller – for only $250 more. To me, it’s a no-brainer and a very small incremental cost for a huge increase in power and performance. Owners of bikes with the BBSHD/Ludicrous/Mighty Mini combo can’t stop laughing at the ridiculous torque and acceleration the combo provides. Some call it a “wheelie monster.” It’s a great quality mountain bike with a great Luna drivetrain and battery. The bike costs $3695 without the Ludicrous controller or shipping. Cons? Again, other than no DOA, warranty is not included. A 1-year plan will cost you $400 additional.

Pros:

High-quality KHS FS bike platform

Components – brakes, drivetrain, rims, handlebar, etc. – are excellent right out of the box

High-end RockShox Pike RCT3 fork and Monarch RT3 shock

1500w BBSHD

52v battery pack, made in USA with genuine Panasonic GA cells

BBSHD settings are user-programmable with an interface cable

Includes color display and tool kit

30T Mighty Mini chainring

2500w Ludicrous upgrade is a no-brainer for only $250 more

Professionally assembled

Cons:

No included warranty (except DOA); a 1-year warranty is an additional $400

If you upgrade to the Ludicrous controller, you really must buy a more expensive triangle battery pack that puts out at least 50A continuous

It’s the 2015 model year bike

Um, I’m thinking….

E-RAD 2016 KHS SixFifty 7200

Lectric Cycle’s e-RAD version of this same bike is – again – in some ways very similar to the Luna version, but in some ways it’s very different. The Lectric Cycles version does feature an 11-speed SRAM cassette, a definite upgrade over the Luna’s 10-speed Shimano unit. The main thing that I found shocking about this bike is that the company is offering a $5000+ plus e-bike with the outdated and underpowered 750w BBS02. Like the e-RAD KHS 2500, the e-RAD KHS 7200 also seems to be using the 750w BBS02 and not the BBSHD. Again, power options listed for the bike are 350w/750w – not the BBSHD’s options of 750w/1000w/1500w. Again, 750w will cost you an additional $300. The bike’s base price is $4795, but that’s with 350w and the miniscule 432wh 48v battery. I again maxed out the bike’s specs to 750w, and the 672wh battery. Battery cells used and BMS capacity are still a mystery. Spec’d out this way, the bike costs a cool $5455. $100 US shipping brings the total to an easy-to-remember $5555. They do give you that 1-year warranty, though.

Pros:

All KHS SixFifty 7200 pros apply

Professionally assembled

Very good underlying bike and components

1 year warranty on motor/battery

Cons:

Only 750w BBS02 motor, no way for end user to increase power level

About $1000 more than the Luna version

48v battery, not 52v

2015 model

 

2017 HPC ENDURO

If you’re starting to notice a pattern here while looking at the chart, then you’re not alone. At a total price of a rather jaw-dropping $7698 shipped, HPC’s version of the KHS SixFifty 7200 is priced almost exactly double what the same bike costs from Luna Cycle ($3845 shipped). It almost seems like HPC’s pricing methodology was really simple: “Hey, what does Luna charge for that bike? OK, just double it.” How can this be, you ask, in a free market where people can easily check prices and read reviews using the Internet? I really don’t know.

The long and short of it: This bike is based on a KHS SixFifty 7200, although going by the bike’s component list it appears to be the 2016 model, as opposed to the 2015 model that Luna uses. The same great RockShox suspension is used, as well as the Shimano SLX-M675 hydraulic brakes. This bike has SRAM GX1 drivetrain, and a SRAM XG-1150 11-speed cassette. And it does have a cool dropper seatpost, which I’m not sure that Luna includes with their bike.

The bike’s base price is $5999 – again, with the 577wh battery and 750w of power. I again spec’d the larger 672wh battery pack (here +$400 option) to provide a closer comparison to the Luna bike, however it’s still a 48v unit rather than 52v.

And, just like the KHS2500-based bike from HPC, you pay dearly for increased power above the 750w base level. As I described earlier for the HPC Trailblazer, the company charges you an additional $1000 to upgrade from 750w to 1500w. While the 750w to 1200w jump could be attributed to upgrading from a BBS02 to the BBSHD, changing from 1200w to 1500w is a simple 2-minute programming job that HPC charges an extra $500 for. And I should make one thing clear: If the ‘base model’ 750w version of this bike does come with the BBS02 (as shown in photos on the HPC site), that means that they are selling a $6000+ bike with an outdated and underpowered mid-drive. That’s like buying the most expensive trim-level Lamborghini Huracan, then finding out it has the 1 liter 3-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine inside. Total add-ons: the 672wh battery is $400 additional, the 3A charger costs an extra $100, and as mentioned the 1500w BBSHD upgrade will run you $1000. The total comes to $7499. Add $199 shipping, and you’re at $7698. Again, almost exactly double the price, for essentially the same bike from Luna. But it does include a warranty.

Pros:

All previous KHS SixFifty 7200 bike pros apply

Doesn’t use stock hideous chainring

Professionally assembled

Includes a 36-month limited warranty (first 12 months free replacement & labor for defective parts)

Cons:

Eye-wateringly high price

$1000 additional for a 2-minute reprogramming to 1500w

No 2500w upgrade available

Battery pack cells used, and max Amp output, are not stated

48v system rather than 52v

Did I mention the price?

DIY – KHS SixFifty 7200 & LUNA CYCLE COMPONENTS

All the previous information regarding the Luna DIY builds applies here too. Again, no separate section for DIY’ing this bike with direct-from-China parts, savings would still be only about $100 over buying components from Luna.

The Luna component list is the same as I spec’d in the previous build, including the 30T Mighty Mini chainring. The total cost of the BBSHD kit from Luna with a 52v 13.5Ah GA shark pack, and these add-ons, is $1355.85 plus $45 for US shipping.  The 2015 KHS SixFifty 7200 is for sale on closeout for $1999.97 at bikecraze.com, plus $40 shipping. Total shipped price for everything: $3440.82. This is the only example I’ve found, so far, where you actually save money by DIY’ing the bike instead of buying it assembled from Luna. By my calculations, you’d be saving about $400 by going the DIY route.

Pros:

Same pros as previously mentioned for the Luna KHS 7200 bike

Others have done this – you can watch videos or read forums for help with the DIY build

In this case, you’re saving about $400

Cons:

Time and effort for building bike yourself, but can be rewarding too

You can’t buy the 2500w Ludicrous controller separately for a DIY build

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The Final Chart: Dream / Fantasy Downhill e-MTBs

This final chart is me dreaming, trying to uncover the most mouth-watering electric downhill bikes available. Downhill race bikes are the ultimate in off-road mountain bikes, with advanced carbon fiber frames and ultra-high travel suspension: usually 200mm of fork and shock travel. They are heavier than enduro or all-mountain bikes, though, and this makes them bad for pedaling back uphill. That’s not an issue, so much, if you are motorizing them – especially with an ultra high-power setup.  DH bikes are really meant for tearing downhill, on rough trails, at the fastest possible speed. They’re the closest you can get in the bicycle world to a full-blown 125cc motocross bike. Not only that, but to me they are the coolest, most bad-ass looking bikes on the market today.

One big problem, however: DH bikes typically use a frame geometry where the top tube is very low, and the vertical dimension of the frame is compressed compared to normal mountain bike geometry. Combine this very long and squat frame shape with a rear shock that extends into the frame triangle, and this means that you have almost no space for a battery mounted inside the frame. Sure, you could take a shark pack and mount it ‘gas-tank’ style on top of the top tube, but I think that’d look hokey for most frames. I’ve seen some owners mount a Shark Pack below the bottom tube, but in this case the  front tire could actually rub on the battery pack when the front fork fully compresses, a not-too-safe option. I’ve seen small packs mounted under the seat of DH bikes, but this doesn’t provide the constant amps needed for high-performance motors. Unfortunately, the only practical solution in many cases is to use a backpack battery. I tried one with my BBSHD/ KHS 4 Seasons 500 build and hated it – but that could be because it was an old battery that weighs 22lbs. Probably, a 7-8lb. battery would be more tolerable.

One thing: in all my searching for the ultimate e-downhill bike, I could find no DH bikes being built by the independent e-bike shops. Looking on the sites for Luna, HPC, and Lectric Cycles, I found no shop-built ‘hot-rod’ downhill bikes using the BBSHD, Cyclone, or Tangent Ascent. All I could find were some very expensive factory bikes – that’s when I decided I’d just have to build my own. Well, at least fantasy-build my own.

HAIBIKE xDuro DWNHILL 9.0 7200

First off: yes, it’s spelled Dwnhill.  Haibike is a very popular e-bike manufacturer in Europe, producing a full line of road and mountain bikes. This Dwnhill 9.0 model stands at the peak of their product line. Even without considering the motor assist, this is one serious downhill bike. It has the geometry of a race bike, and ultra high-end components like the Fox 40 Float shock and Fox Float X2 shock. The bike has a 36v Bosch 500wh power pack and the US-spec version has the PAS-only 350w Bosch Performance CX drive. There is no doubt, this is one hot-looking and beautifully-designed downhill bike. And it has great components. But all that – and a $9000 price tag – with only 350w of power? I though there has to be a way to build an equally nice-looking and well-spec’d DH bike, but with serious power, for less money.

Pros:

Great design

Sleek integration of power unit and battery into tight DH frame space

High-end components including 200mm Fox 40 Float fork

Haibike is a proven high-quality manufacturer in Europe

Cons:

$9000 price tag

36v battery, only 500wh

350w of power, PAS only – no throttle

No way for end-user to increase power

DIY – CANYON SENDER CF, TANGENT ASCENT 6kW & LUNA 100A BATTERY PACK

This is my absolute ultimate, fantasy e-bike dream build. Let’s start with the bike – many Americans have not yet heard of Canyon bikes. But the German direct-to-consumer manufacturer is well-known in Europe and across the world. Their road and Enduro racing teams have been extremely successful. And in comparison test after comparison test, Canyon bikes are praised as not only having great performance – but incredible value. Being a direct-to-consumer manufacturer, Canyon can omit the large dealer markups of other bike brands, and they pass the savings along to the consumer. At any given performance/spec level, Canyon bikes turn out to be a bargain compared to the competition. Frames are made in Taiwan, but the bikes are designed by the company, and all bike assembly and testing is done by Canyon in Germany. Like me, they value high performance and great bang for the buck – a perfect match for my philosophy.

Because of these qualities, I see there is now huge demand for the company’s bikes in the States – every post I read on their Facebook page has numerous comments below it from American enthusiasts, impatiently waiting, asking when the company will start selling their bikes in the US. Canyon says it will launch its products here sometime in 2017. For now, if you want a Canyon bike, you’ll need to buy it from their German site and then use a freight forwarder to ship the bike to the States. After reading dozens of reviews and watching literally hundreds of videos about the bikes, I’ve bought into the Canyon cult, and put my money where my mouth is. I purchased two of the company’s bikes to use for e-builds here in America (a CF fat bike and an aluminum DS Enduro bike) – they are on the way here from Germany now.

My bike of choice for this fantasy build is their sleek, sexy, gorgeous Sender CF 7.0. Sender is the company’s line of DH bikes, with 3 models (all carbon fiber) having different equipment levels. At 3699 euro, the 7.0 is the company’s ‘budget’ model in the downhill line, but its spec list is more than good enough for me: 200mm Fox Performance 40 fork, Fox Float shock, Shimano Zee drivetrain and brakes, DT Swiss FR2020 wheels, and a Renthal handlebar and stem. The bike comes in at a pretty hefty 17.4kg (38 pounds), much of that due to the heavy-duty fork. But with 6000w of power moving it, I don’t think the weight will be much of an issue.

Powering this dream bike is the ultimate mid-drive on the market today: the $2300 Tangent Ascent 6kW. This drive has already been fully reviewed here by Ron (spinningmagnets), so I won’t repeat what he’s already said about it. Suffice it to say that Dave, the owner of Tangent, makes a chr-moly 20:1 or 40:1 gear reduction system for the powerful Astro 3220 motor that is simply a work of art. Combined with a Castle Creations TalonHV120 controller that can handle 120A at 52v, and you have one incredible mid-drive powerplant.

Although you could probably find somewhere to tie a Shark Pack onto this bike, interfering with the Sender’s Ferrari-like lines by strapping a plastic pack onto the top tube would be sacrilegious. Not only that, but a small frame pack would only put out 30A continuous – and this motor/controller combo needs to be fed more. A lot more. So that’s why for this build I have spec’d a 52v Samsung 25R triangle pack from Luna, which will be carried in a backpack. This pack costs $595.95 with the company’s 3A charger, and normally comes with a 50A BMS. But the Samsung 25R cells can handle 20A each continuous, so this 5p pack can actually produce 100A of continuous output. I think a custom 100A continuous/120A peak BMS would be the perfect finishing touch for this compact and lightweight, yet powerful battery pack. Ideally, this pack would be enlarged slightly to a 6p configuration, to put out 120A continuous. I would probably have to beg Luna to build it for me, and I might have to source the BMS myself. But this is my fantasy build, so that’s the battery.

In total, we have $3957.93 for the bike, $2300 for the Tangent Ascent, and $625.95 for the battery. With shipping, the grand total comes to $7085.08. Admittedly, to this you might want to add in for a super-strong chain and cassette, as I think these will be the first to go when you unleash the Ascent’s full power. So, it’s nearly $2000 less than the factory bike, for a DH dream machine with components as good or better than the Haibike. Oh yes, and 17 times the power.

Pros:

Based on one of the best DH bikes on the market today

An incredible value for the level of components – CF frame, Fox 200mm suspension, Shimano Zee drivetrain

6000w Tangent Ascent is the ultimate mid-drive on the market today – light, compact, and brutally powerful

52v Samsung 25R pack is light enough to go in a backpack, yet powerful enough to power the Ascent

$2000 cheaper than 350w factory bike

Cons:

Over $7000 total price

Bike must be ordered from Germany

Long wait time to get the Tangent Ascent after ordering

The Ascent is also quite loud

12.Ah pack will run out of juice quickly when feeding this beast 100A

All your friends will want to try it

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Conclusion: Do Higher-Priced Sellers Provide Added Value?

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. This was a long article. If it sounds like I am biased in favor of Luna, I will tell you this: 6 months ago, I knew nothing about the e-bike market. I came into this market a completely blank slate, with no good or bad predisposition toward any of the e-bike vendors or manufacturers. Before last year, the picture I had in my mind of e-bikes and e-bike riders was those hideous commuter bikes  from Pedego, being ridden at 7mph by a group of 80+ seniors. (I used to live in a heavily retirement-oriented area in Florida – my county’s target demographic was the elderly, and their parents. So I saw a lot of this there.)

It wasn’t until about 4 months ago that I realized I wanted to get an e-fat bike or e- mountain bike. I started researching the market, and all the players in it, in great depth. I was happy to learn that there were people building high-performance, cool-looking and fast e-bikes. From many, many weeks of research I found that Luna Cycle’s philosophy of providing the most performance for the lowest possible price matched my own. But that of course doesn’t mean they are the best or the only good choice in this market – I’m more a DIY-type and don’t need or want to pay for a lot of dealer hand-holding or white-glove customer service. For others, extreme amounts of customer service is a huge priority, and they’re more than happy to pay a premium for that.

This article has a lot of numbers, specs, facts & figures in it – data that came from publicly-available sources, which I organized here in a way that’s easy to read and compare. Along with the data, I gave my opinions about those facts & figures. You can certainly agree or disagree with me about Luna providing the best value, but even if you removed the sections with my opinion from the article, the facts & figures presented here speak for themselves. There is a huge price gap between different sellers, for similar e-bikes.

So, the big question is: Do the higher-priced sellers in this market provide added value for the prices they charge? To me, added value would be something like offering a 24k gold-plated, Swarovski crystal-encrusted BBSHD that even Lil’ Wayne would be proud to own. But to others, added value might mean white-glove and super-attentive customer service before a sale, or free warranty coverage 18 months down the line, even if the thing that broke was your fault. I can’t say if the higher-priced shop bikes shown here, or the factory bikes, provide that added value for you – you’ll have to decide for yourself. I presented the data to help make you a more informed consumer. And as informed consumers, together we have power.

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Links to products mentioned in this article:

Luna Cycle e-Bikes

HPC e-bikes

Lectric Cycles eRAD e-bikes

Sondors

Addmotor M-550

Rad Power Bikes

Luna BBSHD Kit

Aliexpress BBSHD Kit – Eunorau

Aliexpress Battery Supplier – Passion eBike

Rambo Bikes Camo

Bikecraze – seller of KHS Bikes for DIY builds

Specialized Turbo Levo

Haibike

Salsa Bucksaw GX1

Canyon Sender CF 7.0

Tangent Ascent 6kW

 

About the Author:

Patrick M. is a A former coupon-book entrepreneur and travel agency owner, and Patrick developed one of the first consumer-review web sites way back in 1996. In the early 2000s, he worked as a journalist, serving as contributing editor for two home theater magazines. Now, Patrick splits his time between producing documentary movies and renovating homes – but his true passion has always been anything with wheels and ultra-high performance.

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Written by Patrick M, January 2016

  • George Sears

    If a bike has 17x the power, how much better is it? A lot of people say that Haibikes have the right amount of power for what they are doing. I have motors that run from 500 watts to 1500 watts, and I leave them around 750 watts because it matches how I ride. You need a ton of power to get through snow, maybe sand. You might need power to get up a hill, but how fast can you go and maintain control? The watts needed to go 40 mph are probably in the 2k region, but the bikes are not designed for those speeds. One way to look at a $7000 ebike is that it costs what a Zero costs, with the rebates, and the Zero is street legal, for what that is worth. Speed moves you into the electric motorcycle area for street use. And on trails it isn’t clear what the best bike is, and how much the power/torque thing matters.

    The problem with comparing the converted bikes to a Haibike is that no one really does the serious user testing to identify the strengths and weaknesses. A lot of people, even dealers, say the Bosch motors will pull 700 watts. There are dongles to change the performance and the programming. The batteries are a straight up rip off, but people are paying for an integrated look. Would a Haibike be better with 1500 watts? Why?

    One reason there is no competition, other than price, is that there is one basic sub=$1,000 mid-drive line. Bafang. If Bafang had the torque sensing PAS systems, it would be more competitive with Bosch in the rider experience area. But Bafang is gaming the US ebike market, putting TS on their Max drive, an OEM drive, and not on the DIY stuff. It would be nice if the different DIY companies were selling different motors, different PAS systems, different rider experiences. They aren’t, really. Someone could develop more of a mainstream mid-drive and make it in the US. Maybe Tariffs will force that.

    What you say is true, and I don’t know how Lectric stays in business. But there’s no ‘news’ in the ebike industry, no place a noob can go for the facts about this stuff. Every site has angle, a sponsor, a group of friends. I think Eric has a real business model, which is compete on price. From there he goes into performance stuff that I can’t really explain, but maybe it sells. There is almost no way you can reconcile the mainstream bikes, the BH, Haibike, etc, with the Assembled DIY bikes that Luna makes and sells.

    People like Rad and Juiced are making bikes with custom frames and DIY kinds of parts. I think there is more room for growth there. Roshan at Biktrix made a bike that looked like a Haibike, with the integrated Max drive, I think. The MonteCapro. There’s a lot of stuff out there. DIY doesn’t have a great reputation for rider experience. The slogan “Yeah, but it’s FAST” only goes so far. I expect the European bikes to become totally integrated, to learn what the rider wants and do it, probably with no manual shifting. That’s where you want the ‘right’ amount of power, not something theoretical.

  • gopikrishna swargam

    Nice comparison Matt. 7000$ is a lot of money and somehow it makes me think “Is the bike really worth it?” as George pointed out It falls under motorcycle territory. Time is gonna answer many questions.. I would love to watch how this unfolds. Keep writing

  • Al

    The main problem with the DIY Bafang mid-drive for MTB’s (real off road riding) is vulnerability.
    The motor sits:
    a) too low (not enough ground clearance) and
    b) is too exposed in the frame (no bash plate).

  • Robert Foy

    I am curious to know why Electric Bike Review doesn’t cover Luna. ?

    • Electric Bike

      me too.

  • tom smith

    Hello,
    Nice information you provided.I helps for choosing bike. We are looking forward for your next post. Keep writing. Thanks

  • Gaurav Sharma

    Nice comparison It helps for choosing e-bike.
    Keep sharing this kind of information.
    Thanks a lot..