A tale of two Apollos

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This post is a long time coming. About 11 months ago, I purchased a Luna Apollo. A few months later, we purchased a second Apollo for my wife.

First, the good news: we love our bikes. We can ride anywhere: on-road, off-road, long trips, up steep hills, etc. The full-suspension works well, is more comfortable on road than a suspension seatpost. I was able to swap out some components to make them comfortable for us. Here's a photo of them mid-ride in world-renown Pebble Beach:

IMG_6281.jpg


Now the bad news: My wife's Apollo was cheaper than mine to buy, but the components weren't nearly as nice. Heck, they even had to lock out the high gear at the factory because they couldn't get it to work! That meant a not-so-high gear (12 tooth), which may be OK for off-road, but not on-road. Buying upgrades, even after selling the take-offs ended up making the second bike more expensive than the first. But even after spending for upgrades, the price is still cheaper than anything else of equal quality and capability (eg, 1.1 kilowatt battery).

The first bike came with a SRAM GX drivetrain with 12-speed 10-50 rear cassette, Shimano dual-piston hydraulic brakes, a wonderful Wren inverted front fork, and nice Wren carbon stem and handlebars. The riding position with the stem and handlebars wasn't quite right for me, so I ended up with an SQLabs handlebar and a 45 degree stem. Easy swap. The bike came with a dropper post, but even at high it wasn't high enough for me, so I had to raise the dropper post base in the bike. Not the easiest thing given the cable, but I got it done. While the WTB seat was pretty decent, I ended up replacing it with a SQLabs seat.

It also came with 27.5 Boost wheels whose 26mm rims weren't really wide enough for the 3" wide tires the bike came with and which I wanted to run (those wheels are still for sale cheap if anyone wants a set of 27.5" wheels, tubeless ready). I found a set at closeout that had wider 35mm rims and was lighter to boot. Got a second set for my wife's bike. One issue was the rear wheel needed to support the SRAM XD driver, which supports the 10 tooth high gear.

I ended up buying an EggRider to replace the built-in Luna-branded Bafang display. It's pretty small, but I always mount my phone front and center (for navigation and trip data), so it's actually a cleaner setup for me, and the programmability for the Bafang Ultra is good to have. Check out the "Show Us Your Cockpit" thread for photos of what I've done there. Programming wise, the only changes I've made are to support 10 levels instead of the stock 5, and adjusted the max output at the lower levels to not be so high. I *want* the exercise.

Another issue was that being a carbon fiber full-suspension bike, there's no easy way to get a rear rack. I ended up with a Topeak QR Beam Rack MTX Bicycle Rack (A Type), which has a quick release clamp so I only use it when I need it. And since I had raised the dropper post, I'm able to clamp the rack onto the non-movable part of the post and I can still use the dropper! I don't put a lot of weight on the rear (mostly sandwiches and such). Here's a photo with the rear rack:
IMG_5722.jpg


Getting the second Apollo was quite a let-down. The SRAM NX drivetrain isn't nearly as nice as the GX drivetrain, doesn't support the 10 tooth high gear and heck, didn't even support the 11 tooth high gear! The wheels had wider 30mm rims so they would have been OK for the 3" wide tires, but as we wanted the high 10-tooth gear we needed to change the rear wheel anyway to support the XD driver, so I swapped both to the same wheelset as on my bike. The brakes on the second Apollo were now SRAM Guides, which are nice, but since I had Shimano on my bike I wanted both bikes to support the same brake fluid and bleed procedure. Instead of the Wren inverted fork my wife's bike came with a Rockshox Debonair Yari 160mm fork. It also came with a slightly downgraded Rockshox rear shock. Ugh. It also came with a regular aluminum alloy stem and handlebar, which was fine since we replaced those anyway for comfort.

I bought an SRAM GX derailleur, 10-50 cassette, and some X01 chains (after reading that the X01 chains last the longest of any chain). The chain length I needed was a few links longer than the length SRAM supplies, so I've got two master links in place. Come to think of it, the original chain was exactly the 126 link length supplied by SRAM so maybe that's why Luna couldn't get all the gears to work. I sold the NX cassette and derailleur. I ended up buying quad-piston Shimano brakes for my wife and sold the SRAM Guides.

My wife needs a more upright posture than even I need. I used an adjustable stem to find out that we needed a 45 degree Charisma from ErgoTech and then got her a Jones handlebar. I don't have a good photo of her cockpit, but here's another photo of both bikes:

IMG_6045.jpg


A side note. Eric at Luna is an interesting character, and from the comments in his videos I'm sure he wouldn't approve of our comfort handlebars and seats. I'll argue my age with Eric should that ever come up (my beautiful wife will always be young).

We did end up buying the handlebar bag that Jones sells that fit right in the space between the two bars. It was more expensive than the handlebar itself! But, it fits perfectly and my wife keeps her water bottle in it. That reminds me - there are no attachments for a water bottle cage - not even any space for one. I got a top tube bag to hold my water bottle.

IMG_6260.jpg


Recently, I purchased the Topeak Tetrarack M1 Rack, which fits onto suspension forks. My wife's fork isn't inverted, so she gets it. Haven't fitted it yet.

One ironic thing is that the second Apollo came with better tires: Maxxis Minons instead of Chronicles. However, those are for off-road only so I ended up selling the Minions and buying another set of Chronicles, which run smoother on pavement. I just can't win.

Some other details: The bikes come with shift sensors that temporarily halt motor output while shifting. Took a bit to get used to it, but it's good to have. The brakes do not have motor inhibitors, which is just fine.

Anyway, at the end of the day after the swaps (which, btw, I never asked nor expected Luna to perform for me ;)) we now have two very capable and comfortable for us e-bikes with a 500% gear ratio, 1100 watt-hour batteries, and strong Bafang Ultra motors. We're quite happy, although in the back of my mind I'm still considering saving up for a Watt Wagon Archon controller Bafang Ultra motor upgrade. Downside there is I don't think I could continue to use the EggRider.

We do get a bit of attention from other riders, people in cars, and even pedestrians at stop lights. The combination of a full-suspension carbon-fiber frame with a big carbon fiber cased battery filling up just about the whole triangle is pretty unique.


Do I recommend the Apollo? I would recommend the bike if it came like our first one. The second one reduces utility far more than any money saved. If anyone in the Silicon Valley area has a Watt Wagon Travalanche, it'd be fun to get not-so-close together to compare/contrast. I can say that after the modifications, we're really happy with out setups and we ride as often as we can.

IMG_7635.jpg




IMG_6909.jpg


IMG_6279.jpg



Finally, I still have some components for sale:
2 sets of 27.5" Boost wheels - Luna Apollo pulls
Luna alloy Handlebars for Sale
Ritchey carbon seatpost, Ritchey "clipless" pedals
A Smorgasbord of Stems! (Risers Sold)
Kriket Gauge for Gates Belt tensioning, $12 plus shipping
 
Last edited:

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
This post is a long time coming. About 11 months ago, I purchased a Luna Apollo. A few months later, we purchased a second Apollo for my wife.

First, the good news: we love our bikes. We can ride anywhere: on-road, off-road, long trips, up steep hills, etc. The full-suspension works well, is more comfortable on road than a suspension seatpost. I was able to swap out some components to make them comfortable for us. Here's a photo of them mid-ride in world-renown Pebble Beach:

View attachment 71882

Now the bad news: My wife's Apollo was cheaper than mine to buy, but the components weren't nearly as nice. Heck, they even had to lock out the high gear at the factory because they couldn't get it to work! That meant a not-so-high gear (12 tooth), which may be OK for off-road, but not on-road. Buying upgrades, even after selling the take-offs ended up making the second bike more expensive than the first. But even after spending for upgrades, the price is still cheaper than anything else of equal quality and capability (eg, 1.1 kilowatt battery).

The first nbike came with a SRAM GX drivetrain with 12-speed 10-50 rear cassette, Shimano dual-piston hydraulic brakes, a wonderful Wren inverted front fork, and nice Wren carbon stem and handlebars. The riding position with the stem and handlebars wasn't quite right for me, so I ended up with an SQLabs handlebar and a 45 degree stem. Easy swap. The bike came with a dropper post, but even at high it wasn't high enough for me, so I had to raise the dropper post base in the bike. Not the easiest thing given the cable, but I got it done. While the WTB seat was pretty decent, I ended up replacing it with a SQLabs seat.

It also came with 27.5 Boost wheels whose 26mm rims weren't really wide enough for the 3" wide tires the bike came with and which I wanted to run (those wheels are still for sale cheap if anyone wants a set of 27.5" wheels, tubeless ready). I found a set at closeout that had wider 35mm rims and was lighter to boot. Got a second set for my wife's bike. One issue was the rear wheel needed to support the SRAM XD driver, which supports the 10 tooth high gear.

I ended up buying an EggRider to replace the built-in Luna-branded Bafang display. It's pretty small, but I always mount my phone front and center (for navigation and trip data), so it's actually a cleaner setup for me, and the programmability for the Bafang Ultra is good to have. Check out the "Show Us Your Cockpit" thread for photos of what I've done there. Programming wise, the only changes I've made are to support 10 levels instead of the stock 5, and adjusted the max output at the lower levels to not be so high. I *want* the exercise.

Another issue was that being a carbon fiber full-suspension bike, there's no easy way to get a rear rack. I ended up with a Topeak QR Beam Rack MTX Bicycle Rack (A Type), which has a quick release clamp so I only use it when I need it. And since I had raised the dropper post, I'm able to clamp the rack onto the non-movable part of the post and I can still use the dropper! I don't put a lot of weight on the rear (mostly sandwiches and such). Here's a photo with the rear rack:
View attachment 71887

Getting the second Apollo was quite a let-down. The SRAM NX drivetrain isn't nearly as nice as the GX drivetrain, doesn't support the 10 tooth high gear and heck, didn't even support the 11 tooth high gear! The wheels had wider 30mm rims so they would have been OK for the 3" wide tires, but as we wanted the high 10-tooth gear we needed to change the rear wheel anyway to support the XD driver, so I swapped both to the same wheelset as on my bike. The brakes on the second Apollo were now SRAM Guides, which are nice, but since I had Shimano on my bike I wanted both bikes to support the same brake fluid and bleed procedure. Instead of the Wren inverted fork my wife's bike came with a Rockshox Debonair Yari 160mm fork. It also came with a slightly downgraded Rockshox rear shock. Ugh. It also came with a regular aluminum alloy stem and handlebar, which was fine since we replaced those anyway for comfort.

I bought an SRAM GX derailleur, 10-50 cassette, and some X01 chains (after reading that the X01 chains last the longest of any chain). The chain length I needed was a few links longer than the length SRAM supplies, so I've got two master links in place. Come to think of it, the original chain was exactly the 126 link length supplied by SRAM so maybe that's why Luna couldn't get all the gears to work. I sold the NX cassette and derailleur. I ended up buying quad-piston Shimano brakes for my wife and sold the SRAM Guides.

My wife needs a more upright posture than even I need. I used an adjustable stem to find out that we needed a 45 degree Charisma from ErgoTech and then got her a Jones handlebar. I don't have a good photo of her cockpit, but here's another photo of both bikes:

View attachment 71895

A side note. Eric at Luna is an interesting character, and from the comments in his videos I'm sure he wouldn't approve of our comfort handlebars and seats. I'll argue my age with Eric should that ever come up (my beautiful wife will always be young).

We did end up buying the handlebar bag that Jones sells that fit right in the space between the two bars. It was more expensive than the handlebar itself! But, it fits perfectly and my wife keeps her water bottle in it. That reminds me - there are not attachments for a water bottle cage - not even any space for one. I got a top tube bag to hold my water bottle.

View attachment 71896

Recently, I purchased the Topeak Tetrarack M1 Rack, which fits onto suspension forks. My wife's fork isn't inverted, so she gets it. Haven't fitted it yet.

One ironic thing is that the second Apollo came with better tires: Maxxis Minons instead of Chronicles. However, those are for off-road only so I ended up selling the Minions and buying another set of Chronicles, which run smoother on pavement. I just can't win.

Some other details: The bikes come with shift sensors that temporarily halt motor output while shifting. Took a bit to get used to it, but it's good to have. The brakes do not have motor inhibitors, which is just fine.

Anyway, at the end of the day after the swaps (which, btw, I never asked nor expected Luna to perform for me ;)) we now have two very capable and comfortable for us e-bikes with a 500% gear ratio, 1100 watt-hour batteries, and strong Bafang Ultra motors. We're quite happy, although in the back of my mind I'm still considering saving up for a Watt Wagon Archon controller Bafang Ultra motor upgrade. Downside there is I don't think I could continue to use the EggRider.

We do get a bit of attention from other riders, people in cars, and even pedestrians at stop lights. The combination of a full-suspension carbon-fiber frame with a big carbon fiber cased battery filling up just about the whole triangle is pretty unique.


Do I recommend the Apollo? I would recommend the bike if it came like our first one. The second one reduces utility far more than any money saved. If anyone in the Silicon Valley area has a Watt Wagon Travalanche, it'd be fun to get not-so-close together to compare/contrast. I can say that after the modifications, we're really happy with out setups and we ride as often as we can.

View attachment 71902
View attachment 71903
View attachment 71904

Finally, I still have some components for sale:
2 sets of 27.5" Boost wheels - Luna Apollo pulls
Luna alloy Handlebars for Sale
Ritchey carbon seatpost, Ritchey "clipless" pedals
A Smorgasbord of Stems! (Risers Sold)
Kriket Gauge for Gates Belt tensioning, $12 plus shipping
The Luna bikes look great sitting in front of the Lone Cypress! 😉
It sounds like you have them well dialed-in with your modifications.
Let me know when you are in the area and I can join you for a 17-mile-ride!

1605826370731.png
 

onlineaddy

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Thank you for taking the time to share with us your tale. Sounds like you're quite capable in setting up your bikes to exactly the way you like. Enjoy them for many miles to come.
Excellent photos too, btw. 👍
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Very nice write up, and you get bonus points for the preserverance to get it right for you. 😁
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The Luna bikes look great sitting in front of the Lone Cypress! 😉
It sounds like you have them well dialed-in with your modifications.
Let me know when you are in the area and I can join you for a 17-mile-ride!
We normally do about 35-40 miles, starting in Pacific Grove, riding through Pebble Beach into Carmel. The short version turns back at the Carmel Mission (or the nearby Mission Ranch), the long version takes us into Point Lobos.
Can your battery do that long a ride?
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
This post is a long time coming. About 11 months ago, I purchased a Luna Apollo. A few months later, we purchased a second Apollo for my wife.

First, the good news: we love our bikes. We can ride anywhere: on-road, off-road, long trips, up steep hills, etc. The full-suspension works well, is more comfortable on road than a suspension seatpost. I was able to swap out some components to make them comfortable for us. Here's a photo of them mid-ride in world-renown Pebble Beach:

View attachment 71882

Now the bad news: My wife's Apollo was cheaper than mine to buy, but the components weren't nearly as nice. Heck, they even had to lock out the high gear at the factory because they couldn't get it to work! That meant a not-so-high gear (12 tooth), which may be OK for off-road, but not on-road. Buying upgrades, even after selling the take-offs ended up making the second bike more expensive than the first. But even after spending for upgrades, the price is still cheaper than anything else of equal quality and capability (eg, 1.1 kilowatt battery).

The first nbike came with a SRAM GX drivetrain with 12-speed 10-50 rear cassette, Shimano dual-piston hydraulic brakes, a wonderful Wren inverted front fork, and nice Wren carbon stem and handlebars. The riding position with the stem and handlebars wasn't quite right for me, so I ended up with an SQLabs handlebar and a 45 degree stem. Easy swap. The bike came with a dropper post, but even at high it wasn't high enough for me, so I had to raise the dropper post base in the bike. Not the easiest thing given the cable, but I got it done. While the WTB seat was pretty decent, I ended up replacing it with a SQLabs seat.

It also came with 27.5 Boost wheels whose 26mm rims weren't really wide enough for the 3" wide tires the bike came with and which I wanted to run (those wheels are still for sale cheap if anyone wants a set of 27.5" wheels, tubeless ready). I found a set at closeout that had wider 35mm rims and was lighter to boot. Got a second set for my wife's bike. One issue was the rear wheel needed to support the SRAM XD driver, which supports the 10 tooth high gear.

I ended up buying an EggRider to replace the built-in Luna-branded Bafang display. It's pretty small, but I always mount my phone front and center (for navigation and trip data), so it's actually a cleaner setup for me, and the programmability for the Bafang Ultra is good to have. Check out the "Show Us Your Cockpit" thread for photos of what I've done there. Programming wise, the only changes I've made are to support 10 levels instead of the stock 5, and adjusted the max output at the lower levels to not be so high. I *want* the exercise.

Another issue was that being a carbon fiber full-suspension bike, there's no easy way to get a rear rack. I ended up with a Topeak QR Beam Rack MTX Bicycle Rack (A Type), which has a quick release clamp so I only use it when I need it. And since I had raised the dropper post, I'm able to clamp the rack onto the non-movable part of the post and I can still use the dropper! I don't put a lot of weight on the rear (mostly sandwiches and such). Here's a photo with the rear rack:
View attachment 71887

Getting the second Apollo was quite a let-down. The SRAM NX drivetrain isn't nearly as nice as the GX drivetrain, doesn't support the 10 tooth high gear and heck, didn't even support the 11 tooth high gear! The wheels had wider 30mm rims so they would have been OK for the 3" wide tires, but as we wanted the high 10-tooth gear we needed to change the rear wheel anyway to support the XD driver, so I swapped both to the same wheelset as on my bike. The brakes on the second Apollo were now SRAM Guides, which are nice, but since I had Shimano on my bike I wanted both bikes to support the same brake fluid and bleed procedure. Instead of the Wren inverted fork my wife's bike came with a Rockshox Debonair Yari 160mm fork. It also came with a slightly downgraded Rockshox rear shock. Ugh. It also came with a regular aluminum alloy stem and handlebar, which was fine since we replaced those anyway for comfort.

I bought an SRAM GX derailleur, 10-50 cassette, and some X01 chains (after reading that the X01 chains last the longest of any chain). The chain length I needed was a few links longer than the length SRAM supplies, so I've got two master links in place. Come to think of it, the original chain was exactly the 126 link length supplied by SRAM so maybe that's why Luna couldn't get all the gears to work. I sold the NX cassette and derailleur. I ended up buying quad-piston Shimano brakes for my wife and sold the SRAM Guides.

My wife needs a more upright posture than even I need. I used an adjustable stem to find out that we needed a 45 degree Charisma from ErgoTech and then got her a Jones handlebar. I don't have a good photo of her cockpit, but here's another photo of both bikes:

View attachment 71895

A side note. Eric at Luna is an interesting character, and from the comments in his videos I'm sure he wouldn't approve of our comfort handlebars and seats. I'll argue my age with Eric should that ever come up (my beautiful wife will always be young).

We did end up buying the handlebar bag that Jones sells that fit right in the space between the two bars. It was more expensive than the handlebar itself! But, it fits perfectly and my wife keeps her water bottle in it. That reminds me - there are not attachments for a water bottle cage - not even any space for one. I got a top tube bag to hold my water bottle.

View attachment 71896

Recently, I purchased the Topeak Tetrarack M1 Rack, which fits onto suspension forks. My wife's fork isn't inverted, so she gets it. Haven't fitted it yet.

One ironic thing is that the second Apollo came with better tires: Maxxis Minons instead of Chronicles. However, those are for off-road only so I ended up selling the Minions and buying another set of Chronicles, which run smoother on pavement. I just can't win.

Some other details: The bikes come with shift sensors that temporarily halt motor output while shifting. Took a bit to get used to it, but it's good to have. The brakes do not have motor inhibitors, which is just fine.

Anyway, at the end of the day after the swaps (which, btw, I never asked nor expected Luna to perform for me ;)) we now have two very capable and comfortable for us e-bikes with a 500% gear ratio, 1100 watt-hour batteries, and strong Bafang Ultra motors. We're quite happy, although in the back of my mind I'm still considering saving up for a Watt Wagon Archon controller Bafang Ultra motor upgrade. Downside there is I don't think I could continue to use the EggRider.

We do get a bit of attention from other riders, people in cars, and even pedestrians at stop lights. The combination of a full-suspension carbon-fiber frame with a big carbon fiber cased battery filling up just about the whole triangle is pretty unique.


Do I recommend the Apollo? I would recommend the bike if it came like our first one. The second one reduces utility far more than any money saved. If anyone in the Silicon Valley area has a Watt Wagon Travalanche, it'd be fun to get not-so-close together to compare/contrast. I can say that after the modifications, we're really happy with out setups and we ride as often as we can.

View attachment 71902



View attachment 71903

View attachment 71904


Finally, I still have some components for sale:
2 sets of 27.5" Boost wheels - Luna Apollo pulls
Luna alloy Handlebars for Sale
Ritchey carbon seatpost, Ritchey "clipless" pedals
A Smorgasbord of Stems! (Risers Sold)
Kriket Gauge for Gates Belt tensioning, $12 plus shipping
GREAT post. Until last night I would have envied the bejeebers out of you. I really wanted an Apollo. I had a major mad on for Eric over ceasing production. But last night I ordered a Hydra from Wattwagons and I think that will take my pain away real good. :D

I should add: That's the best pic of Jones Bars and how they work I've yet seen. I could never figure out what's the deal with Jones bars but now, with your pic, I get it. Thanks
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
GREAT post. Until last night I would have envied the bejeebers out of you. I really wanted an Apollo. I had a major mad on for Eric over ceasing production. But last night I ordered a Hydra from Wattwagons and I think that will take my pain away real good. :D

I should add: That's the best pic of Jones Bars and how they work I've yet seen. I could never figure out what's the deal with Jones bars but now, with your pic, I get it. Thanks
Is production truly ceased? Previously, the bike would sell out quickly, then become "unavailable" for a while, then a batch would be ready. I even saw that the Apex was available a week or so ago, but is sold out now, too.

The Hydra looks interesting. At 884 watt-hours the battery is, for me, big enough, and I'm pretty amazed they got that integrated into the frame.
I do wonder about the gearing, though. 39 teeth in the front with only 11-42 in the rear is off-road gearing - not high enough for on road speeds. The Apollo has a 44 tooth front and 11-50 (or 10-50) in the rear, and I am going to try a 48 tooth front soon (already bought).

In the Hydra new? The page has a mix of photos of other WW bikes. I didn't see the Travalanche on the WW site - is it discontinued?

Anyway, I'm sure the Hydra is great and WW's custom ordering will help reduce the final cost compared to my post-purchase substitutions.
 
Last edited:

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
We normally do about 35-40 miles, starting in Pacific Grove, riding through Pebble Beach into Carmel.
The short version turns back at the Carmel Mission (or the nearby Mission Ranch), the long version takes us into Point Lobos.
Can your battery do that long a ride?
For sure... ;)
I will be in Carmel next week with my family for Thanksgiving. PM me.

1605845273883.png
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Is production truly ceased? Previously, the bike would sell out quickly, then become "unavailable" for a while, then a batch would be ready. I even say that the Apex was available a week or so ago, but is sold out now, too.

The Hydra looks interesting. At 884 watt-hours the battery is, for me, big enough, and I'm pretty amazed they got that integrated into the frame.
I do wonder about the gearing, though. 39 teeth in the front with only 11-42 in the rear is off-road gearing - not high enough for on road speeds. The Apollo has a 48 tooth front and 11-50 (or 10-50) in the rear, and I was even toying with the idea of trying a 52 tooth front.

In the Hydra new? The page has a mix of photos of other WW bikes. I didn't see the Travalanche on the WW site - is it discontinued?

Anyway, I'm sure the Hydra is great and WW's custom ordering will help reduce the final cost compared to my post-purchase substitutions.
I hear you on the gearing. Probably ok for me as I ride on private land with my dog mostly and don't go very fast. Plus will be pulling a trailer some for when the dog gets tuckered out. Yeah, looks like the travalanche is gone. I don't know if production is gone for the Apollo but I think you need some special connection to Luna to actually get one ... or be a Californian. ;)
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
WOW an Apollo sighting. I don't know how many of those bikes are actually in circulation but I'm betting not to many. Having had a BBSHD hardtail bike for a couple of years and trying to deal with the crew up at L--- I gave up on trying to get an Apollo as I could never find them available, I have been on the "E-mail notification" list forever and have never been contacted as to when they would be available. Had the $ put aside as did a couple of my friends ready to go and living down in San Diego I could of easily picked them up directly from their shop no problem as I have made that trip for various components or returns in the past. But alas I grew tired of waiting and stumbled onto Pushkar and his Wattwagon site. Purchased a Travelanche frame and upgraded motor and built up my own bike. Been using Wren forks for the last year so I got a 150mm longer travel fork and it works great. Not sure either if WW will still carry the Travelanche as they are ramping up production on their own design Hydra frame. The one advantage on the Travelanche frame over a lot of others is being able to fit a 52v/34.5ahr battery inside the main triangle. Congrats on your bikes they look great.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Note: I edited my reply (#8 in this thread) since I had the wrong tooth counts listed. As corrected:

Both Apollos shipped with 44 tooth Wolf Tooth front chainring (narrow-wide drop-stop).
I bought a 48 tooth chainring (same brand and style) to try on my bike. I'm pretty sure it'll fit (clearance with the swing arm is the restriction) although I'll have to replace the chain with a longer one (and go two pieces like I did on my wife's upgrade). This will hurt my lowest gear, but I can't recall really needing it that low, and if I do SRAM now has a 10-52 rear instead of the 10-50 that I have today.

@greeno, both Apollos were bought after being notified from the sign-up list on that page, so that does work. But, your 1794 watt-hour battery is crazy large! Do you do centuries or just multi-day rides without charging - or are you throttle crazy?
 

Edrummer

Active Member
WOW an Apollo sighting. I don't know how many of those bikes are actually in circulation but I'm betting not to many. Having had a BBSHD hardtail bike for a couple of years and trying to deal with the crew up at L--- I gave up on trying to get an Apollo as I could never find them available, I have been on the "E-mail notification" list forever and have never been contacted as to when they would be available. Had the $ put aside as did a couple of my friends ready to go and living down in San Diego I could of easily picked them up directly from their shop no problem as I have made that trip for various components or returns in the past. But alas I grew tired of waiting and stumbled onto Pushkar and his Wattwagon site. Purchased a Travelanche frame and upgraded motor and built up my own bike. Been using Wren forks for the last year so I got a 150mm longer travel fork and it works great. Not sure either if WW will still carry the Travelanche as they are ramping up production on their own design Hydra frame. The one advantage on the Travelanche frame over a lot of others is being able to fit a 52v/34.5ahr battery inside the main triangle. Congrats on your bikes they look great.
Where did you get such a large battery?
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
This post is a long time coming. About 11 months ago, I purchased a Luna Apollo. A few months later, we purchased a second Apollo for my wife.

First, the good news: we love our bikes. We can ride anywhere: on-road, off-road, long trips, up steep hills, etc. The full-suspension works well, is more comfortable on road than a suspension seatpost. I was able to swap out some components to make them comfortable for us. Here's a photo of them mid-ride in world-renown Pebble Beach:

View attachment 71882

Now the bad news: My wife's Apollo was cheaper than mine to buy, but the components weren't nearly as nice. Heck, they even had to lock out the high gear at the factory because they couldn't get it to work! That meant a not-so-high gear (12 tooth), which may be OK for off-road, but not on-road. Buying upgrades, even after selling the take-offs ended up making the second bike more expensive than the first. But even after spending for upgrades, the price is still cheaper than anything else of equal quality and capability (eg, 1.1 kilowatt battery).

The first bike came with a SRAM GX drivetrain with 12-speed 10-50 rear cassette, Shimano dual-piston hydraulic brakes, a wonderful Wren inverted front fork, and nice Wren carbon stem and handlebars. The riding position with the stem and handlebars wasn't quite right for me, so I ended up with an SQLabs handlebar and a 45 degree stem. Easy swap. The bike came with a dropper post, but even at high it wasn't high enough for me, so I had to raise the dropper post base in the bike. Not the easiest thing given the cable, but I got it done. While the WTB seat was pretty decent, I ended up replacing it with a SQLabs seat.

It also came with 27.5 Boost wheels whose 26mm rims weren't really wide enough for the 3" wide tires the bike came with and which I wanted to run (those wheels are still for sale cheap if anyone wants a set of 27.5" wheels, tubeless ready). I found a set at closeout that had wider 35mm rims and was lighter to boot. Got a second set for my wife's bike. One issue was the rear wheel needed to support the SRAM XD driver, which supports the 10 tooth high gear.

I ended up buying an EggRider to replace the built-in Luna-branded Bafang display. It's pretty small, but I always mount my phone front and center (for navigation and trip data), so it's actually a cleaner setup for me, and the programmability for the Bafang Ultra is good to have. Check out the "Show Us Your Cockpit" thread for photos of what I've done there. Programming wise, the only changes I've made are to support 10 levels instead of the stock 5, and adjusted the max output at the lower levels to not be so high. I *want* the exercise.

Another issue was that being a carbon fiber full-suspension bike, there's no easy way to get a rear rack. I ended up with a Topeak QR Beam Rack MTX Bicycle Rack (A Type), which has a quick release clamp so I only use it when I need it. And since I had raised the dropper post, I'm able to clamp the rack onto the non-movable part of the post and I can still use the dropper! I don't put a lot of weight on the rear (mostly sandwiches and such). Here's a photo with the rear rack:
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Getting the second Apollo was quite a let-down. The SRAM NX drivetrain isn't nearly as nice as the GX drivetrain, doesn't support the 10 tooth high gear and heck, didn't even support the 11 tooth high gear! The wheels had wider 30mm rims so they would have been OK for the 3" wide tires, but as we wanted the high 10-tooth gear we needed to change the rear wheel anyway to support the XD driver, so I swapped both to the same wheelset as on my bike. The brakes on the second Apollo were now SRAM Guides, which are nice, but since I had Shimano on my bike I wanted both bikes to support the same brake fluid and bleed procedure. Instead of the Wren inverted fork my wife's bike came with a Rockshox Debonair Yari 160mm fork. It also came with a slightly downgraded Rockshox rear shock. Ugh. It also came with a regular aluminum alloy stem and handlebar, which was fine since we replaced those anyway for comfort.

I bought an SRAM GX derailleur, 10-50 cassette, and some X01 chains (after reading that the X01 chains last the longest of any chain). The chain length I needed was a few links longer than the length SRAM supplies, so I've got two master links in place. Come to think of it, the original chain was exactly the 126 link length supplied by SRAM so maybe that's why Luna couldn't get all the gears to work. I sold the NX cassette and derailleur. I ended up buying quad-piston Shimano brakes for my wife and sold the SRAM Guides.

My wife needs a more upright posture than even I need. I used an adjustable stem to find out that we needed a 45 degree Charisma from ErgoTech and then got her a Jones handlebar. I don't have a good photo of her cockpit, but here's another photo of both bikes:

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A side note. Eric at Luna is an interesting character, and from the comments in his videos I'm sure he wouldn't approve of our comfort handlebars and seats. I'll argue my age with Eric should that ever come up (my beautiful wife will always be young).

We did end up buying the handlebar bag that Jones sells that fit right in the space between the two bars. It was more expensive than the handlebar itself! But, it fits perfectly and my wife keeps her water bottle in it. That reminds me - there are no attachments for a water bottle cage - not even any space for one. I got a top tube bag to hold my water bottle.

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Recently, I purchased the Topeak Tetrarack M1 Rack, which fits onto suspension forks. My wife's fork isn't inverted, so she gets it. Haven't fitted it yet.

One ironic thing is that the second Apollo came with better tires: Maxxis Minons instead of Chronicles. However, those are for off-road only so I ended up selling the Minions and buying another set of Chronicles, which run smoother on pavement. I just can't win.

Some other details: The bikes come with shift sensors that temporarily halt motor output while shifting. Took a bit to get used to it, but it's good to have. The brakes do not have motor inhibitors, which is just fine.

Anyway, at the end of the day after the swaps (which, btw, I never asked nor expected Luna to perform for me ;)) we now have two very capable and comfortable for us e-bikes with a 500% gear ratio, 1100 watt-hour batteries, and strong Bafang Ultra motors. We're quite happy, although in the back of my mind I'm still considering saving up for a Watt Wagon Archon controller Bafang Ultra motor upgrade. Downside there is I don't think I could continue to use the EggRider.

We do get a bit of attention from other riders, people in cars, and even pedestrians at stop lights. The combination of a full-suspension carbon-fiber frame with a big carbon fiber cased battery filling up just about the whole triangle is pretty unique.


Do I recommend the Apollo? I would recommend the bike if it came like our first one. The second one reduces utility far more than any money saved. If anyone in the Silicon Valley area has a Watt Wagon Travalanche, it'd be fun to get not-so-close together to compare/contrast. I can say that after the modifications, we're really happy with out setups and we ride as often as we can.

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Finally, I still have some components for sale:
2 sets of 27.5" Boost wheels - Luna Apollo pulls
Luna alloy Handlebars for Sale
Ritchey carbon seatpost, Ritchey "clipless" pedals
A Smorgasbord of Stems! (Risers Sold)
Kriket Gauge for Gates Belt tensioning, $12 plus shipping
I think this post deserves an award for just about as good of a job as can be done in reporting an interesting and compelling ebikeology experience. Kudos !
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
I signed up for the Apollo notification back in 2019. still waiting on battery bag notice also. No matter I moved on for both so no big deal.
As far as battery is concerned I have been making my own for a couple of years for myself and friends. after running out of power a few times with the older shark pack 13.5ahr and having to (actually pedal the bike). I probably could of gone smaller with the ultra motor as I pedal alot more instead of soft pedaling alot with my other bike.
Typical big ride 30 miles or so I leave with 58.8v and return back with 54v or close to it, typically ride in level 3 power. So I only charge up every other ride. Battery weighs in at about 17 lbs.
Tc5VRe8hTEOP7iG9mRk+qQ.jpg
IMG_1098.JPG
 

kurt_s

Member
Hi Smorgasboard,

Great post. My Apollo is with the earlier components and I agree with your preferences. My wheelset was Sunringle MTX 33 so I think they are fine with the Maxxis Chronicles 120 TPI 3". I don't have a lot of experience with tires but they have served well so far. I guess they don't make them any longer.

You mentioned the rear rack and suspension. I am using the Old Man Mountain rear pannier rack and of course, the suspension has to deal with the load but it is working fine so far. Ortlieb bags work well with easy on and off feature.

I have this trailer on-order as well.

 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I was too chicken to put a rack on the rear swing-arm. Does OMM even recommend attaching to all carbon-fiber swing arms?

I really like the Chronicles and was thinking of picking up a spare set from EBay. How long do tires last in storage?

I do think the Sunringle MTX 33 rims are too narrow for 3" tires. They're like 26mm wide, right? I mean, you'll get away with it on the straights, but on turns the tire has got be deflecting a lot more.
 

kurt_s

Member
I was too chicken to put a rack on the rear swing-arm. Does OMM even recommend attaching to all carbon-fiber swing arms?

I really like the Chronicles and was thinking of picking up a spare set from EBay. How long do tires last in storage?

I do think the Sunringle MTX 33 rims are too narrow for 3" tires. They're like 26mm wide, right? I mean, you'll get away with it on the straights, but on turns the tire has got be deflecting a lot more.
I think the MTX 33 is 31mm... I converted to tubless and Cushcore.