DIY without the DIY

George S.

Well-Known Member
The folks at eRad have been selling their Bafang kits installed on specific bikes for a while. Now Eric at Luna is doing the same thing. The Giant Stance 2 seems to be a pretty nice FS bike, with good reviews. It retails around $1500. Luna adds the BBSHD and sells it for $2800. It looks pretty nice to me, and with all the batteries Eric offers, he found one that fits pretty well. There is a basic FS bike with the 02 for $1800.

I guess the point is that people keep saying that a Haibike or Bulls is a real ebike, crafted from the start to be an ebike. The Luna Stance is a nice MTB with a motor installed and a battery installed. There's not a ton of engineering involved, in doing this. The cables are going to show, as they run to the bars. How does all this affect how well the bikes work, in the field, under some stress? Which motor is better? What's the offroad and on road experience? This is a US bike versus Eurobikes, in some ways.

Out of the box, Luna will sell you a high capacity version of the battery with the GA cells for $100 more. You'll always have control of the battery with the DIY type build. BUT.... You can't get torque sensing. That has to be a deal breaker for many. Still, if you look at the package, people like Eric keep the industry honest by offering solid alternatives. Eventually Bafang may move the torque sensor tech in the Max to the HD. Would there be anything magical left about a Haibike if the BBSHD has a solid torque sensor? How far does hydroforming take you?

Why don't we have some real competition? Selling kit bikes with a specific frame and assembled, it makes the BBSHD more of a test bed. If all the little problems are worked out, it's hopefully the best you can do with the drive, and maybe people will start to compare the bikes. Luna is selling a street legal version.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hi George. I watched that whole scenario unfold in a thread on Endless-Sphere. Wow. First, a lot of rancor between posters on what constitutes value, and abruptly, a new product line consisting of assembled bike kits is developed overnight and offered for sale. I wonder if both vendors you mentioned have the size to deal with bikes vs kits.

Kit builders break something. They know when it's their fault. At least I do. When a bike buyer burn up a motor because they don't know how to ride. They will want their money back. Trouble ahead. It doesn't help that Luna batteries are designed to pump power, and their mid drives are reprogrammed for max power delivery.

From my experience with the BBS02 kit, I'm sure the Luna bikes will win any races against Bosch, Yamaha,and Max mid drives. And though I like DIY, I feel the ebikes from Haibike, et al, are better packages because they do not stress the bike components with high power levels. The control systems may have some safegards to deal with the riders who lug motors and overheat batteries.

The BBSO2 mounting system is pretty primitive, for example. Anyone who has put one together will pull out the tools and check it on occasion for tightness. Conventional wisdom says it comes loose after the first 30 days, and once retightened will stay tight. Sure enough, mine was finger tight when I checked. Hope it stays tight. I also check the axle nuts on my hub motors. It's what DIY guys do, at least the older ones.

I just think you get a higher level of reliability in a commercial ebike, and that is a good reason for going that route. A good hands on person can have fun with DIY kits too, but it requires a commitment to keeping everything in shape.
 

sexton Tom

Member
Boy fella's ! I sold my Ezip Trailz this spring with the intent of moving up. Every time I am a fraction away from doing something I read a post and change my mine. I really thought I was ready for a RadMini . It was something I could take camping and everyone could ride. Then I read about some of the problems that go with it and back out. I have a nice Giant Yukon I like and was thinking the mid-drive from Luna. That would be for me and then a Ridekick for my wife and my Giant hybrid. If I could save a little more , then a Sun Drifter with a geared hub for a relaxing ride in the country.

If all this is a little confusing , I am VERY confused with what route to take. There is new e-bikes and DIY kits coming out all the time. Will you older fella's PLEASE HELP !!! I'm 63, 5'7 and 170 THANK YOU !!!!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Boy fella's ! I sold my Ezip Trailz this spring with the intent of moving up. Every time I am a fraction away from doing something I read a post and change my mine. I really thought I was ready for a RadMini . It was something I could take camping and everyone could ride. Then I read about some of the problems that go with it and back out. I have a nice Giant Yukon I like and was thinking the mid-drive from Luna. That would be for me and then a Ridekick for my wife and my Giant hybrid. If I could save a little more , then a Sun Drifter with a geared hub for a relaxing ride in the country.

If all this is a little confusing , I am VERY confused with what route to take. There is new e-bikes and DIY kits coming out all the time. Will you older fella's PLEASE HELP !!! I'm 63, 5'7 and 170 THANK YOU !!!!
The Mini is a production DIY bike, basically. It's sort of an interesting frame with a good battery and a fairly basic Bafang hub motor. They may have problems with the controller.

My view is: 1) the frame is probably solid 2) the battery has quality cells, so it should not be an issue 3) the motor is a basic Bafang and they make millions or zillions for the Chinese market. If you built you could move up a notch, get more torque, more bulk, but the Bafang should be cheap to replace. It may be a drop in replacement.

I think they will find a controller that works. It's easy to replace. They've had problems with tires and they may not have done things right with the rims. Not sure what is going on. You might have to find a good tire, even a Moped tire.

You could do something with the Yukon, but it depends if you want an MTB for anything serious. That would shift you to a mid-drive. If not the Golden Motor Smart pie is nice, super quiet, and easy to install. For shorter and slower runs the Luna Mini packs are great, and they fit anywhere.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Hi George. I watched that whole scenario unfold in a thread on Endless-Sphere. Wow. First, a lot of rancor between posters on what constitutes value, and abruptly, a new product line consisting of assembled bike kits is developed overnight and offered for sale. I wonder if both vendors you mentioned have the size to deal with bikes vs kits.

Kit builders break something. They know when it's their fault. At least I do. When a bike buyer burn up a motor because they don't know how to ride. They will want their money back. Trouble ahead. It doesn't help that Luna batteries are designed to pump power, and their mid drives are reprogrammed for max power delivery.

From my experience with the BBS02 kit, I'm sure the Luna bikes will win any races against Bosch, Yamaha,and Max mid drives. And though I like DIY, I feel the ebikes from Haibike, et al, are better packages because they do not stress the bike components with high power levels. The control systems may have some safegards to deal with the riders who lug motors and overheat batteries.

The BBSO2 mounting system is pretty primitive, for example. Anyone who has put one together will pull out the tools and check it on occasion for tightness. Conventional wisdom says it comes loose after the first 30 days, and once retightened will stay tight. Sure enough, mine was finger tight when I checked. Hope it stays tight. I also check the axle nuts on my hub motors. It's what DIY guys do, at least the older ones.

I just think you get a higher level of reliability in a commercial ebike, and that is a good reason for going that route. A good hands on person can have fun with DIY kits too, but it requires a commitment to keeping everything in shape.

Hi Harry,

Don’t really follow much on Endless Sphere. Karl called it Endless Drama. I know the people know a lot more than I do in any technical area.

It seems like Lectric Cycle has gotten pretty heavily involved in these DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself) kits, prebuilt kits. So I assume over the last year or so it hasn’t blown up in their face. The difference in price between Lectric and Luna is a little shocking.

The mounting point of Bafang drives is the weak link, I guess. Maybe they can beef it up if they sell specific bikes. Put an additional mount somewhere, built for the Giant. Luna is trying to sell the BBSHD as a street legal version. If that’s really 750 watts, the drive is going to be pretty bullet-proof. Maybe they can include the tools to keep it tight. I don’t know how bulletproof the packs are in the cradles, but I’m sure there are ways to insure the integrity. I use fasteners on my Luna Shark.

I have a hard time buying into the argument there is something magical in the engineering of a bike built to be an ebike. Trying to adapt the BBS drives to every bike out there is tough, and some people have real problems. How many people really ride the bikes hard? Some of this is about comfort. But if you find a really nice bike and work through all the stuff that makes the build a good build, I wonder how different it is? The reviews say the Giant MTB is a very nice bike, great value. The HD has been reliable, and the street version is a half power version of an over-engineered drive. I’m asking for an objective comparison of real bikes that people actually use. With the Giant/HD, there is a bike you can compare to something in the Bulls or Haibike lines. Is it going to happen? The industry doesn’t really want to take DIY stuff that seriously. And the industry is too small.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Is the Max really DIY? It takes a dedicated frame, so it could be argued that it's just another drive.
Yes, it's definitely a custom frame. I wish they would incorporate the torque sensor tech from the Max in the HD, but leave the throttle for the HD.

This whole obsolesence and renewabality factor stuff impresses me as something to consider very seriously.

It's a fair question to ask how long an ebike frame (like a Bulls or Haibike) can be useful. Can you get the basic parts? Will later generations of motors mount and have the capability to carry new electronics and other parts? An expensive and proprietary battery eventually reduces the value of an aging ebike to zero.

I think the very first bikes I looked at are all, essentially, obsolete. This is in 3 years. I bought a Prodeco X3 and the battery system is gone. You can upgrade to the newer system, but it's fairly expensive. Other bikes had tiny batteries or they used 350 watt motors that many people would not want now. Some of the PAS systems were too basic. Is anyone going to take a 3 year old BH product with a weak hub motor and upgrade the motor? As 48 volt systems replace 36 volt systems, what options are going to be out there? In the US, in the past year, they put the emphais on 28 mph ebikes, so every bike that is governed to go no faster than 20 mph is worth less and moving down the road, rapidly, to obsolescence.

I'm not thrilled that Bafang reworked the BBS02, and no one knows what it means, why they did it.

So, yes, if you start with a decent frame, something with a 20 year life, and then add a bottom bracket motor or a hub motor, it seems logical that you could just convert it back to a regular bike, or upgrade the DIY type motor. It's better to use bluetooth, where you can upgrade the display by upgrading the app. It's better to try to build the PAS into the motor, limiting mounts on the frame. It's appealing to think that a good bike could spend some time as an ebike and, as technology overtook it, the bike could be upgraded or even returned to service as a standard bike, not scrapped.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
I read the thread on Endless Sphere and agree with the "Endless Drama" sentiments. The folks from Lunacycle really embarrassed themselves on that thread by being so hostile, though I do appreciate their militant dedication to low cost products and providing value to customers. I don't understand why the folks from Lunacycle don't just chill out and realize that there is enough room in the marketplace for everyone, and not all retailers are going to have the same ethos. There's no need for contentious behavior in the ebike community.

I've recently built up a full suspension Giant Anthem with a BBSHD and a shark pack from Lunacycle and I'm very happy with it (although the build process was lengthy and frustrating). It's a shame that there's no torque sensor, but the PAS actually isn't as bad as I thought it would be. The battery is simply amazing. That's the biggest reason I'm not likely to buy another retail ebike anytime soon. My previous bike had a modest 48V/8.7Ah/417Wh battery, and paired with a relatively powerful hub motor, the range wasn't so good. With a more efficient mid-drive and a 700Wh/13.5Ah shark pack battery, not only has my range doubled, but I can also easily upgrade my battery in the future, and I don't have to be stuck with the choice of just getting a one-size-fits-all replacement battery. The only company that has been doing a good job with batteries (i.e. offering battery upgrades instead of just replacements) is Stromer, however, their batteries are really expensive. Bosch and Yamaha are being helpful with their introduction of the 500Wh packs, however, that's not really such a great offering when you take into account that I can buy a 700Wh battery for my bike, and Yamaha and Bosch owners are stuck with only two options.

I'd love to see a Bafang mid-drive motor with torque-sensing that could be retrofitted like the BBS01/02. I think that would be a game-changer. The Bafang Max is a fantastic motor, but the fact that it requires a custom frame really damages the whole modular use case.
 

sexton Tom

Member
The Mini is a production DIY bike, basically. It's sort of an interesting frame with a good battery and a fairly basic Bafang hub motor. They may have problems with the controller.

My view is: 1) the frame is probably solid 2) the battery has quality cells, so it should not be an issue 3) the motor is a basic Bafang and they make millions or zillions for the Chinese market. If you built you could move up a notch, get more torque, more bulk, but the Bafang should be cheap to replace. It may be a drop in replacement.

I think they will find a controller that works. It's easy to replace. They've had problems with tires and they may not have done things right with the rims. Not sure what is going on. You might have to find a good tire, even a Moped tire.

You could do something with the Yukon, but it depends if you want an MTB for anything serious. That would shift you to a mid-drive. If not the Golden Motor Smart pie is nice, super quiet, and easy to install. For shorter and slower runs the Luna Mini packs are great, and they fit anywhere.


Thank you George S.!! Since I have been following this forum I have always respected your advice and opinions. For the price and utility of the Mini it might not be a bad choice.

After reading some of the other DIY posts I also like the fact that I could always go back to stock and not have to throw my bike away because of out-dated or wore out electronics.

I do have one other question on the Smart Pie. Since I like to take it SLOW when I'm off- road would it bog down and heat up the Smart Pie ?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Thank you George S.!! Since I have been following this forum I have always respected your advice and opinions. For the price and utility of the Mini it might not be a bad choice.

After reading some of the other DIY posts I also like the fact that I could always go back to stock and not have to throw my bike away because of out-dated or wore out electronics.

I do have one other question on the Smart Pie. Since I like to take it SLOW when I'm off- road would it bog down and heat up the Smart Pie ?[/QUOTE

A mid-drive is better for slow because you can be in a low gear and keep the motor turning. The SP does fine when I go 10 mph on really rough flat terrain. Hills are the problem. It helps, going slow, to pedal. Going slow over rough terrain and hitting a small but steep hill is not good on a DD motor.


If the Yukon is an aluminum frame that tips things to the BBS mid-drives. The quality hubs will accept peak power levels that are hard on the dropouts. You can use torque arms. You might find a specific reference to installing a BBS02 on your bike, either a writeup or a video. There have been tons of 02 installs.

There are a lot of videos where people just dive in and get the thing done. You can get a shop to do the bottom bracket removal.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
et al, are better packages because they do not stress the bike components with high power levels. The control systems may have some safegards to deal with the riders who lug motors and overheat batteries.

If you are so inclined you can order the programming cable and change several of the control parameters that would effect over stressing. For instance; my last DIY was the BBS02 750W 48V with the Luna 52V Shark. When I programed the controller the 1st thing I did was change the amp limit from 25 down to 20, essentially de-rating the controller to a more stress friendly top output. I also changed the ramp up to power setting at each specific PAS level to apply power at a slower rate for a longer time period, to avoid applying power to quickly. This allows the bike (and me) to get up to speed in each PAS without over applying power. The BBS cuts out when pedal cadence drops below a certain minimum to protect the motor and controller. So there are a number of safe guards built in and programmable. The addition of temperature feedback would be a big plus to monitoring and perhaps controlling power output. I think the BBS series mid-drives are a good choice for many DIY builds, but like any machine, a little bit of knowledge and care go a long way.

Court J.
 

sexton Tom

Member
If I purchase a BBSHD from Luna and tell them what kind of rider I am will they program accordingly ? If I do any off-road, I definitely want to be as mellow as possible. ( 63 years old but loves the out doors )
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
@Court J, I deliberately avoided the BBS02 programming cable. For me, that's a doorway into an endless path of obsessive fiddling and maybe breaking something.. What you describe sounds pretty useful. Still, I'm happy with my BBS02 (also 750W) with the 9 level PAS.

@sexton Tom, if you want to be mellow, set the PAS to nine levels and stay in the lower levels.

As far as my BBS02 DIY, there were only two roadblocks during the install and none were Bafang's fault.
-Both pedal cranks were frozen to the shaft. Had to bring out the sawzall after the torch failed.
-There was some minor casting slag inside the BB housing blocking the BBS02. Had to get my rotary file.
Once these were resolved, the rest was simple, maybe even boring. For me, DIY is half the fun of an ebike.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
If I purchase a BBSHD from Luna and tell them what kind of rider I am will they program accordingly
I assume they would do anything you like. I bought the programing cable because I have changed the variables three or four times to get the function of the motor to match my riding style. It's not easy to get everything perfect on the 1st pass.

Court J.
 

sexton Tom

Member
I know you guys can't hold my hand and lead me,BUT !! If I could go to my local bike shop and pluck down 1000 or 1200 or what ever I would have done this month's ago,but sending someone or a business this amount kind of makes me nervous ... I guess I worry way to much but just need a little reassuring I will be riding off in to the sunset on my converted Giant Yukon in no time !!!!!!! Just dive in !!! Right George
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
It's just plain silly to say Luna programing and batteries will burn up the BBSHD. If readers take the time to check out the programming you'll see it's not significantly different than the settings proven over time to be safe and reliable. Karl does a good job of breaking them down on his blog. No secret formulas. There are other modifications and fine tuning items that can be done but no one has the inside line on reliability. As long as users stay within posted parameter your Luna motor is safer and secure. I have two and essentially the programming is like what came on my Lectric and EM3ev motors. I also have one from each of them. The use of the term Hot Rodded is unfortunate. Better if he had said most usable, but faster sells. I still run two BBS01's as guest bikes and occasionally ride them. Actually did a 6 mile bike path today on them. Essentially the same settings for more than 2 years.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Oh BTW I'm Tom. I have a terrible BBS series habit. I can't be helped. But I'm happy to share. I have 48V and 52V batteries on two BBSHD bikes. The 52V didn't show any more heat than the 52V. 5 miles of WOT and 30MPH does get a warm motor, but none the worse for wear. The first thing I did on ES when I bought it was take it apart to examine and compare. I'm pretty anal about monitoring and maintaining. I don't expect any problem with the standard settings from Luna for any rider. Karl has some good tweaks for those who ride like a maniac. <wink>
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
If I purchase a BBSHD from Luna and tell them what kind of rider I am will they program accordingly ? If I do any off-road, I definitely want to be as mellow as possible. ( 63 years old but loves the out doors )
I saw your post on their web site. You're safe with the programing it comes with. No need for anything special. Do get a programing cable and get those guys to guide you if you need help. Enjoy. Mrs and I ride 10 miles nearly everyday for fun. Your choices are solid.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I read the thread on Endless Sphere and agree with the "Endless Drama" sentiments. The folks from Lunacycle really embarrassed themselves on that thread by being so hostile, though I do appreciate their militant dedication to low cost products and providing value to customers..
I read it and added to the fire I'm afraid. The poster came on and advertised, first post, his great deal from Lectric, but felt the need to slam Luna for it's customer service. And yet Luna didn't sell the bike he wanted. I think it just touched off a sore spot. When someone, Luna comes to the market and drops [prices so drastically there was bound to be friction. We'll see if it's sustainable.

If I had my way there would be no negative posts allowed taking pot shots at vendors. It was a policy Modern Vespa has had for ten years. We never get the whole story and the negatives just don't help, there seems to always be more to the story. In this case it looked like a total shill post. "Luna sucks, but see what I got from the other guy". There is enough room. The claims made about exclusivity of products and settings were just not true. Neither has anything more than motors from Bafang. The only differences are the pricing, and a phone system. Something we did without for years with EM3ev. Arguably one of the best vendors.