Crazy Ebike Pricing Full Suspension Mountain Bike (part 2)

Matt Feb 08, 2017 February 8, 2017 7 Comments 13, 293 Views Electric Bikes, Reviews Matt Editor’s note: This is a continuation of last weeks Crazy Fat Ebike story which is a must read for a background on the current state of ebike  pricing. Now the author explores the differences in High End Full suspension bikes.

by Patrick M.

DISCLAIMER and FULL DISCLOSURE STUFF: The owner of electricbike.com, Eric, is also the owner of Luna Cycle. Eric did not contribute any input into this article. The author of this article is not an employee of Luna Cycle, nor does he have any financial interest in that business. Also, I am not affiliated with any of the other businesses discussed in this article. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of electricbike.com. Or anybody else. This is not a comparison riding test of each bike – I didn’t ride the bikes listed here – my e-bike riding experience is limited to the Kuberg FreeRider and a KHS 4 Season 500 / BBSHD. It’s a comparison of features, specs, and pricing – the data culled from many public sources – for some groups of similar bikes.

Midrange Full-Suspension e- Mountain Bikes

Now we’re coming to a category I am really interested in – good quality, FS mountain bikes that have been converted to high-performance e-bikes. This is the Holy Grail that I was looking for: good performance that gives me much of the feeling of my Kuberg FreeRider, but in a package that is much more stealthy and public trail-friendly because it still looks like a bike. I’ll start with mid-priced bikes, which have good quality components but are by no means high-end. One important thing to note: most (if not all) of these bikes come standard with a Shark Pack-style frame battery pack. On many FS bikes, it’s difficult to even fit a Shark Pack inside the frame triangle, due to the intrusion of the rear shock into that area. If you’re shopping for a FS bike for a DIY build, be sure to get it in either L or XL size to allow the most possible area for the battery pack. That said, there’s another problem: If you ever plan to go the route of “super-high” performance – 2500w, 3000w, and above – on your bike, you should look for one with a frame triangle design that will fit a larger triangle battery pack inside. This is because you’ll need the larger pack to provide the 50A-60A continuous (or the higher voltage) the more powerful motor will need. This comparison looks at 2 different sellers for the same bike, the KHS SixFifty 2500, along with another competing entry-level FS mountain bike.

LUNA CYCLE KHS SixFifty 2500

The KHS SixFifty 2500 is a well-reviewed midrange FS mountain bike. It comes quite well-spec’d, with lower-priced RockShox suspension front and rear, a hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame, and a quality SRAM 10-speed drivetrain. Special note goes to the included RockShox Recon Silver fork. While this 120mm unit only costs about $200, it has received rave reviews from buyers, so it seems to be an excellent choice for the money. The bike has good-quality Shimano BR-M396 hydraulic brakes (I have the cheaper BR-M355s on two of my un-powered mountain bikes, and I like them very much). Luna fits its e-bike kit to this bike with the usual full complement of goodies: 1500w BBSHD, 52v Panasonic GA shark pack, color display, and matching red Mosso pedals. But perhaps the trickest addition to this bike is the matching red Luna 30T Mighty Mini chainring, which gives the bike a massive increase in torque and acceleration over that detestably ugly and heavy stock steel chainring. It’s just a really nicely-spec’d FS mountain bike with good quality components from KHS, topped off by a great Luna drivetrain and battery. Cons? Again, a 1-year warranty will cost you $400 additional. The bike isn’t offered with a 2500w Ludicrous controller option, and I’m not sure if the needed triangle battery pack for that upgrade would fit inside the bike’s frame triangle.

Pros:

High-quality KHS FS bike platform

Components – brakes, drivetrain, rims, handlebar, etc. – are all very good right out of the box

1500w BBSHD

52v battery pack, made in USA with genuine Panasonic GA cells

BBSHD settings are user-programmable with an interface cable

Includes color display and tool kit

Cool matching 30T Mighty Mini chainring

Professionally assembled

RockShox fork and shock

Cons:

No included warranty (except DOA); a 1-year warranty is an additional $400

No 2500w Ludicrous upgrade offered

Components (drivetrain, brakes, etc.) are good quality but not top-end

E-RAD 2015 KHS SixFifty 2500

Lectric Cycle’s e-RAD version of this same bike is in some ways very similar to the Luna version, but in some ways it’s very different. First, it is specified as a 2015 model year bike. But perhaps the biggest difference is that this KHS 2500 looks to be using the 750w BBS02, not the BBSHD. While not explicitly stated on the company’s site, I can infer this by the 350w/750w power options for the bike – the BBSHD’s options of 750w/1000w/1500w are notably absent. Lectric re-brands the Bafang motors under their own label. Also, the 750w power option costs buyers an additional $300 – but I believe this involves no actual mechanical changes to the motor or controller. It’s simply a programming change to the BBS02’s controller, an amp limit adjustment that’s accomplished with a programming cable and about 5 minutes of time. So, for this 5-minute reprogramming of the motor controller, Lectric Cycles charges you a cool $300. The bike’s base price is $2995, but that’s with the 350w power level and a tiny, 432wh 48v battery pack. For this comparison, I maxed out the bike’s specs to 750w power level, and a 48v/14Ah (672wh) battery – a $400 additional cost option. Again, brand and model of cells used, as well as BMS power capability, are not listed. Spec’d out this way, the bike costs $3655. $100 US shipping brings the total to $3755. Keep in mind, unlike Luna, included in the price is a 1-year warranty.