I follow the ebike world pretty closely so when the Luna Cycles started pre-selling the BBS02 for $499 + $20 US shipping I took notice. From reputable Chinese vendors you won’t find a cheaper price shipped. The question then becomes why would you want to deal with having to buy stuff from China if you didn’t have to? The savings get even more dramatic when you start looking at their battery offerings.
There has been a huge need for an ebike vendor to start importing individual cells and building high power ebike packs in the US. As shipping lithium packs from China gets more expensive and more risky the market is now ripe for real garage builders to start thinking about assembling their own 18650 packs. Eric from electricbike.com is the owner of Luna Cycles and he has decided to do just that. He has just imported 15,000 cells to sell to the general public and has a monthly commitment for even more.
There are plenty of battery spot welders readily available on ebay for around $150 and there is a wonderful video of the entire pack building process here. The hardest part to source without getting screwed in the process is the batteries, as there are tons of counterfeits as well as Grade B and Grade C batteries on the Chinese market. To have a reputable US vendor sourcing these Grade A batteries is a necessity. The batteries are being sold by the 50 pack with several different kinds to chose from, including the Samsung 25R.
Their assembled battery offerings are much cheaper than what you could get from China once you factor in the outrageous Chinese shipping costs. I really like that Luna Cycles has standardized on the XT60 connectors for charging and the XT 90 connectors for power. It’s also nice that they include a spark arrester with their batteries as some of the bigger units would generate a pretty big spark. Many of the pre-built HIGH POWER packs have powerful BMS that can take 50Amps continuous and 80 Amps burst. My favorite pack the Monster Pack Extreme not only sports an incredibly silly name but at 60v with a 100Amp BMS it means you get a whooping 6000 watts continuous and 10000 watts burst. That should be enough to keep any garage ebike builder happy. I have an overwhelming urge to buy one of these batteries and touch the XT90 connector to my tongue just to see what happens. (I dare you)
Luna Cycles also sells a direct drive hubmotor available laced with a Fatbike rim that can take 1450 watts with a 52v battery for $349 + $40 shipping. Although DD motors are useless for single-track trail-riding (see why here) this would make a viable option for a commuter that would average around 30mph top-speed and should be able to handle most hills if you opt for a 52v battery.
The sales item that I was most excited to see from Luna Cycles was a custom aluminum cargo-fatbike frame available for $485 + $100 shipping. This frame was designed from the ground up to be the ultimate cargo fatbike. It has two beautiful cargo racks, custom shaped fenders, an extended wheelbase and a giant battery box. There is also plenty of room for a Lightning Rods Big Block kit right behind the battery box. Mike from Lightning Rods has designed a custom bracket which makes for a perfect fit for this bike. High power mid-drive systems and fat tire cargo bikes go together like peanut butter and jelly. For a nice collection of photos documenting the build process for this bike check this site out.
It’s pretty rare for me to get this excited about any vendor, but Eric is positioning Luna Cycles to take the entire ebike industry to the next level. The reality of not having to buy batteries and motors from China and still getting the best price I can is something that I’ve been waiting for a very long time.
Home ebike builders = Cheapskates that like to go fast.