When Eric and I first talked about Lunacycle bypassing Pedego as the biggest ebike dealer in the USA several months ago, I told him that I thought he should shoot high, but I didn’t honestly think they could really do it. After a week at the Three Ring Circus that is the Luna warehouse I’m realizing that I’ve got quite a bit of egg on my face. You better believe that this is really happening, and the reason Lunacycle is going to dominate the US ebike market is because of insane custom ebikes like this one. This is NOT your Grand-dad’s ebike.
I admit it, I’m a cheapskate when it comes to bikes. If you look at the bikes in my bike shed almost all of them cost less than $1000 for the bike alone (before electrification). The electric fatbikes I ride the most are built out of the venerable $400 Deadeye monster with the rear hub swapped out with an IGH. When you build an ebike out of a dirt cheap donor bicycle it frees up your capital to get a nicer motor and battery, at the expense of the bike’s performance. When I hopped on the Lunacycle BBSHD powered Giant Anthem 2 I could immediately tell that I was NOT riding one of my cheap, crappy, one foot in the grave ebikes that I generally ride. The Giant Anthem 2 (available now here for $3779) is the nicest full suspension XC bicycles I’ve ever thrown my leg over. Paired with a BBSHD this ebike is more fun to ride than TWO barrels of monkeys.
When you ride a fixed suspension bike you are pretty limited with how far you can jump in the air or bunny hop. Although most of my shocks on my bikes are Rock Shox, the Anthem 2 has a 34 Rhythm 120mm travel front fork and a FOX Float performance EVOL rear shock. Fox is taking mountain bike shocks to the next level and has whipped Rock Shox into submission in the US suspension mountain bike shock market. My 10-year-old Reba shock is on its last leg and I’ve heard that I can replace the internals with Fox parts when I do my next rebuild. I have to admit I am sorely tempted to give that a shot, as I much prefer the feeling of the newer Fox shocks to my old craptastic Rock Shox forks. The Reba was pretty much obsolete as soon as it was released.
The Giant Contact SL Switch-R seatpost is automatically adjustable and very similar to the Rock Shox Dropper seatpost. This option is amazing and I think it should be standard issue on all mountain bikes. The ride was so cushy that I didn’t feel like I even needed a Thudbuster LT seatpost. Even with my FS build My Little Bronie I find the ride with the Rock Shox Monarch 2.0 rear shock so brutal that I only ride that bike with a Thudbuster LT and a comfort seat. The Monarch 2.0 is the worst rear shock I have ever used and I don’t recommend it to anyone. The seat on the Giant was decent and I fell in love with the 27.5″ tires. The thought that kept going through my mind as I rode this ebike was ‘damn Giant makes some really nice bikes’.
Lunacycle has hired a new head bike mechanic named Kyle who used to work for Giant. Kyle is not only a really pleasant guy to talk to, he totally ‘gets it’ when it comes to ebikes and is something of an obsessive perfectionist. His ebike builds are better than any I have ever seen, and every time he builds a bike he tries to think of ways to make the builds even more attractive and functional. Kyle fits firmly into the category of ‘ebike fanatic’ and now has a hard time getting motivated to throw his leg over anything without a motor on it. The cables on the Anthem 2 are routed through the downtube and everything is hidden neatly out of the way so that you can’t see any wiring rats nest on the builds. Luna is also very excited about a new bell that they are installing on every prebuilt ebike. The new bell looks bling and it’s great to scare the bears away or warn people when you’re coming around a blind corner at high speeds.
The chainline on this bike was very clean and I had no issues shifting. The Shimano M615 hydraulic brakes were smooth and worked amazingly well. The Anthem 2 has a 180mm front rotor and a 160mm rear which are the sizes that I think are best. The SLX 11 speed shifter was very nice with a wide 11T-42T range and steel cogs. I’m not crazy about using an 11-speed chain with a BBSHD but that cassette pairs well with the 42T Lekkie BBSHD ring. As long as you’re not shifting under load you should not have too many problems.
The Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.25 folding bead tires were great tires for singletrack and I would not swap them out. The gripped well on everything I threw at it and did not have an overwhelming amount of road noise. The main downside I could find on this build is the curved forward downtube mounts the BBSHD almost vertically giving it less ground clearance to clear logs and large logpiles. The good news is that this bike is solid enough that you can just pour on the power and jump over most anything that gets in your way, and have a smile plastered on your face while doing it.
- The bike just feels awesome when jumping it or bunny hopping like a pro
- One of the lightest ebikes I’ve ridden
- The BBSHD is a wheelie machine in the lower gears
- 27.5 tires are a perfect size for singletrack riding
- Enough shock travel that you can jump the bike a foot or two in the air with impunity
- The adjustable seatpost is awesome, just get your ass off the seat and hit a button and it automagically raises up with what sounds like an air charged shock
- Clean chainline
- Plenty of room in the triangle for a 50 Amp Cont soft pack (recommended if you opt for the Ludicrous controller)
- Decent seat
- Mosso suspension pedals
- For what you get, the price is cheaper than what you will find anywhere else for a comparable bike
- Having a motor on your Giant will void the manufacturer warranty
- Ebike is sold without any warranty (it costs extra)
- BBSHD hangs down like a cow udder, smashy, smashy
- Limited room in the triangle for a larger battery
- You have to pay extra for the 50 Amp Ludicrous controller (don’t get it with a 30 Amp cont shark pack, get a 50 Amp 52v continuous triangle)
- At $3779 this kind of awesomeness does not come cheap
I can’t imagine any serious singletrack trail rider buying this ebike and being the slightest bit disappointed. This bike beats any other full suspension ebikes I’ve ever ridden hands down for weight, performance, and durability. The bottom line is if you want a good trail ebike then you need to start with a nice bike. The Giant Anthem 2 is probably the nicest full suspension bike I’ve ever ridden, and the price is right. If you’re looking for an ebike to cruise around the streets with, get something else, but if you want the ultimate singletrack machine you should seriously consider the Luna BBSHD Anthem 2.
Eric and I talk about some of the features of the Luna Athem 2 at the Luna Warehouse.
|Frame||ALUXX SL-grade aluminum, Advanced Forged composite upper rocker, 110mm Maestro suspension|
|Rear Shock||Fox Float Performance EVOL, Trunnion mount|
|Fork||Fox 34 Rhythm, Grip damper, 15mm QR, Boost, OverDrive, 120mm travel|
|Rims||Sun Mulefut 50, 650B, 32H, Tubeless Ready|
|Hubs (F/R)||Giant Performance Tracker Disc, [F] Boost 110x15mm 28h, [R] Boost 148x12mm 32h|
|Tires||[F] Schwalbe Nobby Nic, 27.5×2.25, Performance, Folding [R] Schwalbe Racing Ralph, 27.5×2.25, Performance, Folding|
|Spokes||Sapim Race, 14/15g|
|Derailleur, Rear||Shimano SLX, Shadow+|
|Cassette||Shimano SLX 11×42, 11-speed|
|Seatpost||Giant Contact SL Switch-R, 30.9mm|
|Saddle||Giant Contact Neutral|
|Handlebar||Giant Contact Trail, 31.8mm|
|Handlebar Grips||Giant Stock Handlebart Grips|
|Brake Levers||Shimano M615|
|Brakes||Shimano M615, Hydraulic Disc, 180/160mm Rotors|
19 thoughts on “Bunny Hop Like It’s Easter – The Lunacycle Giant Anthem 2 BBSHD Reviewed”
Any Idea how much triangle battery would fit in there? Also, this bag here: http://www.hi-powercycles.com/2017-hpc-waterproof-battery-frame-bags-w-kevlar-nomex-liner/ would fit great in that frame i think. Would love your review of that setup
I can’t find the info on how much distance you can get in miles out of a single charge and what the top speed of this bike is? I am interested in buying one but need to know the top speed of the 2500watt Motor option before I make a decision
It’s not really a DIY business anymore. Maybe the hubs. I can’t believe how quickly this has happened. Luna developed the market for the HD, but clearly the HD is doing well when you don’t actually do the build yourself. I don’t know if the high power Max shifts things. It’s a more integrated look. I like the BBS02 level of power, and I think a torque sensor is something you can refine over time. Then it is a different frame situation, not just taking existing bikes and converting.
I don’t see this bike putting Pedego out of business. But Pedego is just too expensive. Eric could make a Pedego bike with a hub and sell it for $900. That might put Pedego out of business. The question is whether this forces Haibike and the other Bosch companies to shift, but they face pretty daunting power regulations in Europe. They’ve never embraced the US idea of wide open bikes that are ridden off road. No one really defines off-road for ebikes. It’s like snow and sand and forest roads and some dedicated bike trails, maybe jeep trails. I don’t know. I know they sell a lot of ATV’s and they make trails for them, at least around here. Not sure if that would be fun on an ebike. There are huge OHV areas in California. One of the big corporate e-MTB companies says to avoid the issue of ebikes on MTB trails, that there are enough other places to ride.
I like the $2000 bikes that Eric sells. They are just nicer bikes than what you get from a big company. If he could put a studio light on the bikes when he takes the pictures for the website, it would help. Also, he could link to the bikes on the page where they are sold without motors.
Luna is going to drive down prices by dealing in large volumes and being opportunistic on the frames. It’s a good discount model, if you ask me, and it pressures everyone. You already see some stuff from Juiced that is much more deeply discounted, for example. It’s curious how Juiced and Rad have stuck to hubs. Juiced has something with a MAC, which is nice to see.
Luna has great products at great prices, but I hope Luna can handle such rapid growth. Many businesses have severe problems when they grow too rapidly.
A full suspension 27.5+ (3″ tires) bike with a Luna mini-cyclone or tangent ascent in the triangle would be sweet. This Giant has the rear shock mounted vertical, but something like the Fezzari Cascade Plus that has it horizontal would be a great candidate. Battery in the backpack.
Sell all your <$1k builds and build the e-bike of your dreams. Or 2 maybe, one for street one for dirt.. or 3 I guess, street, dirt and snow.. Now I see why you have 15.
Awesome review, I’ve been watching the Luna site, since I’m planning to buy a KHS full susp ebike for my 44th bday in April. 🙂 Now I’m torn because I have a 52V 25R triangle pack from EM3Ev that I was going to try to mount in a frame bag. This will be to support the ludicrous option at 45-50A (no brainer there). I need a medium frame (I’m 5’6″), so it didn’t seem like a triangle pack would fit in the KHS offerings. The Anthem looks like it could work. I was looking for the geometry of a more dh oriented bike, but I think this one should do the trick. I have an enduro rear hub bike built anyway for the long travel slack geometry. Thanks as always for a great article.
To costly for the average consumer.
Damn I want one of these with a 6kw tangent midrive but I just cannot justify the cost.
I wish they’d use a bike frame that allowed the mid drive to be mounted higher. That’s a nice bike, but the way Giant down tubes extend forward from the bottom bracket makes the motor hang down too low, in my opinion..
Agreed, it is my #1 complaint about this ebike.
Karl the low motor wouldn’t be an issue for me if this were converted to a street bike. Right now there’s a hole in the conventional E-bike market for dual suspension street bikes with only the Riese & Muller Delite getting it anywhere near right. But its heavy and slow and expensive. Would you consider the Anthem or the KHS a good platform to create a high performance dual suspension street bike?
This bike is fun on the street, but you end up wanting to do motard stuff. Total overkill really. The bike wants to jump in the air and scare pedestrians.
I live in the hilly Bay Area and have a 15 mile commute over a lot of rough pavement. What would your suggestion be for a high performance street bike with dual suspension?
Note: The quality of the photography from Luna looks like some guy just bought himself a nice camera and took some snapshots. Or they asked the bike mechanic to shoot some pics. Sheesh. Luna: Hire a REAL pro photographer who will charge a few big bucks to come over and shoot some GREAT shots of the bikes. It will increase sales and make Luna prouder. Better yet, hire one hot babe and guy to model with the bikes. This is marketing 101. Just look at Pedego’s site to see great. . . wait, their photos suck too. WTF? Anyway, try Vespa scooters. Now THEY know how to market. They’re not selling scooters, they’re selling lifestyle, sex, speed, fun, and sex (or did I already mention that?)
This Anthem 2 e-bike is bike is very fairly priced at about $1300 over the cost of the bike alone. Why is the 52V Stance 2 sold for closer to $2200 over the cost of the bike?
Beats me, ask Luna. Not affiliated with them, just a friend of Eric’s. All the good ebikes are out of stock right now anyway which sucks.
Top speed anyone? Very curious, my current ebike goes a little over 35 throttle only and around 42 with pedaling. This 2500watt Motor is much larger so I would assume it’s much faster but I can’t find the info anywhere
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