Eric from Lunacycle has a great scam going. He sends me new products for testing on his dime, I beat on them for a few months then eventually fall in love with whatever he sends me and end up buying it. I was skeptical about how I would feel about the new Wolfpack he had been designing for many months, but after 3 months of hard abuse, this frame pack has taken everything I’ve thrown at it without breaking a sweat. One of my pet peeves about Lunacycle in the past is when they sell a 50 Amp Ludicrous BBDHD on a bike with a Hailong based ‘shark pack’. The Hailong shark batteries can only put out 50 amps for just a second or so and then drop back down to the 30ish Amp range. This ends up feeling like you bought a racecar that you can only get 60% of the power out of. The Wolf packs have been a long time coming and with a 14S4P configuration and 30Q cells they can easily put out 50 Amps continuous without significant voltage sag. To be fair with only a 12Ah pack if you pull 50 amps continuous the pack will only last about 15 minutes, but it’s unlikely that anyone would really do that. This article is about my many months of testing the new Wolfpack, some of the new features it has that you won’t find in any other frame pack, and why I think this is an ideal battery pack for non-winter Ludicrous controlled BBSHD riding.
Lunacycle has dumped hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars into a bold move away from spot welding their battery packs. They decided that ebike packs have evolved with nickel strips spot welded to 18650 cells not because this is the ideal way to manufacture packs, but because it is cheap and can be done with unskilled labor. I’m pretty clueless and have never spot welded anything and was able to build a 14S7P 30Q pack with a $200 ebay spot welder on my first try. Wire bonding is the way that Tesla builds their monster electric car packs and although it is much more difficult and costly to produce, the ultrasonic wire bonding system, if done right, creates a much better and much safer battery than spot welding nickel strips ever could.
The high power magnet installation takes about 5 minutes with the included magnets and tapered head stainless water bottle bolts. I highly recommend using blue locktite on the threads as well as throwing on the rubber frame washers that come with the shark pack kits if you are installing it on an aluminum frame. When you have an alloy frame bike the studs for the water bottle are steel so they are press-fit into place. The problem is that these little studs are designed to hold a water bottle (about a pound or two) and not a rigid battery that weighs over 9lbs. While the pack, in my opinion, is ridiculously over-engineered, if you have problems with this frame pack, it will probably be with the mounting studs on your frame working their way loose. My latest build is an all steel frame with welded water bottle studs which is not likely to break off. This problem is not one specific to the wolf pack, I’ve had 2 other studs work their way loose using the Hailong ‘shark packs’.
The case on the Wolfpack is nigh-indestructible. I’m on my third case with my shark pack because the tabs on the bottom keep snapping off. If you opt for the ‘naked’ pack option you get a clear case where the wire bonding is clearly shown as is the BMS through the side of the pack. One of the issues with potting the entire pack is that if the BMS fails then the entire pack is scrap. For most people, this should not be an issue, as the BMS on this pack is the new 100amp continuous ‘Terminator’ pack custom-built for Lunacycle. Because the BMS is rated to run at 100Amps and this pack will only do 50 amps continuous the failure rates from BMSs on this pack should be low. That being said Luna has always been very fair with me and worked things out even when I’ve destroyed the packs and it was clearly my fault. Honesty is always the best policy (I broke your thing, it really is my fault, I really am sorry, I am willing to pay whatever you want me to get it fixed).
- Frame pack that can deliver 50 amps continuous with little voltage sag
- The pack is waterproof and shockproof (but the connectors are not)
- The magnetic mounting system means it will easily fit into 90% of the frames, even many full-suspension frames
- Stays in place even when thrashing hard on it
- Wirebonded with aluminum conductors and custom 3D printed cell holders riveted together
- Assembled in the USA (the only production ebike frame pack I know of that is)
- It’s a 52v pack not a 48v nominal pack
- 100 Amp rated BMS running at a ‘mere’ 50 Amps continuous
- The potting adds some extra weight (about a pound)
- If improperly mounted on an alloy frame bike then over time there is a good chance the threaded steel studs will work loose and spin freely in the frame
- Cannot be mounted in a hanging upside-down configuration
- About $100 more than a comparable Hailong case ‘shark pack’
- If the BMS dies then it cannot be replaced
- The 18650 cells are is not easily recyclable once potted
- You need to build a charging port waterproof plug if you want to ride in deep snow like I do or if you want to ride in heavy rain or thick mud
This pack is so durable that I bet even if the magnets failed and the pack flew off your bike at 40 mph it would still be perfectly fine afterward. After years of cheap crappy Chinese case after cheap crappy Chinese case and ‘soft packs’ wrapped in duct tape and thin cardboard, the Wolf pack sets a new standard in ebike packs. Do I recommend this pack? Well, I personally bought one because it totally fit in my arsenal of batteries. The biggest downside to this pack is the limited 12 Ah of capacity. The problem is that when the pack will deliver 50 amps continuous you really have to exercise some thumb control when it comes to the throttle or you’ll drain this pack before you know it. When I hit hills with this pack I always use the PAS and never the throttle because you can waste a lot of power on getting up a hill to fast and not have a lot of fun. I save the throttle for when I want wheelie-popping power coming off of jumps or dropping into berms. At $599 (available here) for the base pack, this is the most expensive frame pack that Luna sells, but it has high-quality 30Q cells and it should last for years of continuous use before it finally dies. I beat on mine for months and I can happily say that I didn’t have any issues at all with this pack.
This pack really shows how American manufacturing can kick the Chinese’s ass if we really want to. While most ebike ‘manufacturers’ in the US are really just glorified box pushers, this pack represents a huge step forward and a major milestone for American ebike manufacturing.
America, F*ck Yeah.