You have no idea how hard it has been to be quiet about secretly testing the 50 Amp custom controller for the BBSHD for the last 6 months. Every single person that has test driven my ebike has two questions.
How much and where can I get one?
Well after 6 months I finally have an answer for all of them. It costs a cool $3499 for a full suspension fat bike and it is available right here from Lunacycle. My biggest complaint about the BBSHD initially is that it is designed to run at much higher power than 30 Amps, although the nylon gear will quickly self destruct when driven with 65 Amps (as I proved here). When I first got Lunacycle’s custom BBSHD controller I started riding it at 40 Amps then slowly upped it to 50 Amps over the following months. At any moment I expected the motor or the nylon gear to self destruct, but that never happened, even when driving it really hard at full throttle (2500 Watts) on the highway for several minutes (not recommended). This article is about my experiences over the last 6 months with the 50 Amp Luna BBSHD controller and why I have chosen to stand behind Eric and support him over the last year as much as I can.
I currently have about 10 BBS02 drive units and 3 BBSHD units. The problem I have been having is that all that I want to ride is my single precious 50Amp BBSHD. Although the top speed is not much higher than the stock BBSHD, the power is 60% more than the stock BBSHD. When you lean on the throttle, especially from a standstill you can really feel it. When you are going up hills it also feels like a completely different drive unit. For the first several months I tested the 50 Amp BBSHD unit on my Rebel Scum build which is also a full suspension fatty sold by Bikes Direct. On the road at high speeds the crappy rear shock and geometry of the Sniper did not fare well with the extra power, but in the woods at lower speeds it was pretty manageable as long as the rear shock was pumped up to 200PSI before every ride. This was a limitation of the design of that donor bike frame and I have no idea how well the frame that Luna is using on the Ludicrous will work on the highway or in the woods. I have not ridden the Ludicrous ebike and I honestly have no idea how it will perform, this article is only about the performance of the 50 Amp BBSHD and nothing else.
The 50Amp BBSHD easily hits 35mph and also climbs 10 degree grades at around 25mph if you are leaning on the throttle. With the stock 30 Amp BBSHD you can lean on the throttle all day long and the drive unit will not overheat or self-destruct. When you are running the stock 30 Amp unit at PAS level 9 then it tends to put out about 20 Amps continuous which is well within the capabilities of the design of the BBSHD. With the 50 amp BBSHD controller, I found that it was actually fun to ride at PAS level 9 and I could ride it up the steepest hills around without any fear of drive failure. At the highest PAS levels without a throttle the BBSHD does not really put out much more than 35 or 40 Amps. When you lean on the throttle you get the full 50 Amps (over 2500 watts) and if you use full throttle for several minutes on a steep hill with the 50 Amp BBSHD I’m quite certain you could get the nylon gear to melt (so don’t do it).
If you’re holding out for Lunacycle to sell the 50 Amp BBSHD on its own (and not mounted on a pre-existing bike) don’t hold your breath. Lunacycle has built their reputation as a mid drive kit dealer but they want to make a big splash in the ebike market and they have absolutely no plans to sell just a 50 Amp BBSHD direct to kit builders. For $3500 a full suspension fatbike with a 50 Amp BBSHD stands alone as far as ebike value. If you can point to a better deal for an ebike, I’d be very interested in knowing what it is.
After several months of trail riding with a 10 speed, I decided to mount the 50 Amp BBSHD on my Burning Chrome 3 speed IGH commuter. I found that I enjoyed having the BBSHD much more on that build than using the 3000W cyclone kit. It was not only much quieter but also it was great to have the PAS system so I could actually get some exercise around town. With the 50 Amp controller pedaling quickly seemed silly, as I would get up to cruising speed extremely fast. Suddenly it really annoyed me how slow all the cars were and I found myself riding even more recklessly than I usually do.
So why do I write articles about so many Lunacycle products?
A little over a year ago I wrote this article introducing Lunacycle.com when a loyal reader stumbled upon their site that had just popped up. Before I wrote that article I had already purchased about $10,000 worth of ebike gear from Alibaba, em3ev, Lectric Cycles, Empowered Cycles and a bunch of non-reputable Chinese vendors that I’m not even going to mention here. I had never met or talked to Eric at all and I had no idea who he was, although I was a pretty big fan of electricbike.com . Ron (spinningmagnets) made the introduction and over the last year Eric and I have become very close friends. Lunacycle has gone from not existing to being the biggest ebike kit dealer in the US in less than a year.
…let that sink in a minute.
Eric started with nothing and has built the biggest ebike kit company in less than a year. There are a handful of ebike kit dealers that have recently united to try to undermine his business and stop Lunacycle.com. Instead of lowering their ridiculous 100+% markups and charging a competitive price like Eric does, they have decided that the best course of action is to try to drive him out of business. In all honesty, I find this attitude pretty reprehensible. They continue to spread lies and rumors about Lunacycle including:
- His drive units are not production and are only pre-production or prototypes
- His BBS02/BBSHD controllers have inferior mosfets
- Their firmware is sub-standard
- His batteries are re-purposed cells or are counterfeit
- Luna does not stand behind the products they sell
Let me be perfectly clear. These statements are all lies. The BBSxx units that Luna buys are EXACTLY the same as other BBSxx drive units you buy from China or US-based dealers. It might have a different logo on the side of the drive unit, but they all come off the EXACT same production line. The only exception is the custom add-on Lunacycle sells like the controller for the 50 Amp BBSHD, the Luna Eclipse chainring, chainring adapters and other custom machined parts.
I stand behind Eric because he is honest and forthcoming about his products and he stands behind what he sells. He has worked hard to let me help test products that he plans to market in the real world, like the 50 Amp BBSHD controller. Other ebike kit dealers give me lots of empty promises, but when it comes to getting product to my door to test they come up short time and time again. When I order stuff from his website it actually ships the same day and arrives at my door in about a week. When I ordered stuff from China I often had to wait several months for it to arrive. If the price is the same then the choice is a no-brainer since I know that Eric will support his units every time there is a problem without any harassment or delay.
Unless Eric does something drastic to betray my trust I will continue to do everything I can to help Lunacycle.com grow to be the biggest ebike retailer in the world. The question I have for these ebike dealers that have united against Eric to protect their over-sized profit margins is this – “What do you have to lose by actually making an effort to compete instead of trying to marginalize Lunacycle with these smear campaigns?”
Luna has a very loyal fan base that grows every day, and I am happy to say that I am a part of it.
Eric’s sights are now clearly pointed at becoming the largest ebike dealer in the USA. I believe he can do it, and it will probably happen faster than anyone expects. If you bet against Lunacycles you will probably lose.