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  1. #1
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    Luna Bikes...not the best customer service I have ever experienced

    So I finally have enough money to do a conversion. I really wanted to do a mid-drive, but not being mechanically inclined, and the local bike shops wanting a ridiculous amount for the conversion, $500-800 labor only, I wussed out and bought a front hub wheel for $425 off Amazon (Bafang 48V 500W). I was going to buy a Luna one, because supposedly their hub wheel is lighter, but their customer service is terrible, not sure if this has been brought up before on here.

    They have one phone number. No one answers. I left a message, saying I wanted to buy their smart pie V5 front hub. Hours roll by. No response. I try to e-mail them. They have a 'support' webpage. A legitimate business (and I know, because I'm self-employed), will have a contact page where you can type in your request and then get a response back within 48 hrs. Luna doesn't even have that. They redirect you to a technical support Q and A page and hope you can find some archived answer to your problem. What a joke. I don't understand how they can stay in business with such a terrible communication system. And it's not hard to spend a couple of hours making a contact webpage. They must really be understaffed. Anyway, they lost my business because they were a lot more unprofessional than I originally thought. If they are the best American E-bike DIY distributor, we have some very serious problems, folks.

    People bash on cheap Chinese products, but in America you are supposed to call a business during business hours and have a fellow human answer the phone. That's just doing good business. I wanted to spend my American-earned $$$ with an American company, but guess what, they blew it, so now I buy a Chinese product by default. This should be a lesson learned for my fellow small-business compatriots in this country. Practice good customer service, answer phone calls, contact pages, e-mails promptly. Otherwise you get rants like this one, and lose business in more ways than one.
    Hypercritical is good. Hypocritical is bad. Nice people can still be bad people.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
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    It's a common complaint on other forums. They're growing like mad and should really hire a GM to build the infrastructure while they continue to play with new toys. The owner isn't that kind of guy though

  3. #3
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    In my experience, none of the diy distibutors are very good, except Grin. The Luna website does say to email, not call, and Iíve always gotten a fairly quick reply to emails. They are not the typical business model though for sure.

  4. #4
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    "the local bike shops wanting a ridiculous amount for the conversion, $500-800 labor only"

    Must be some high overhead in your area. You can get one done here where I live same day for $200 even if you bring the kit in yourself.

    Converting to a mid drive isn't that hard. It does help to know what you are doing though and have the right tools to do the job. Just like any type of mechanics. At least now there is you tube and it doesn't take any particularly different tools than normal bike tech.

    Trick is getting the person wanting one the right one for their intended purpose. Most people read about the BBSHD and must have only that. I installed one a few weeks ago on a GT Outback from the early 90's with canti brakes. Made sure I put on both brake cutout levers and they were nicer than the OEM ones on the bike.

    There are other options available including in the Bafang line that would satisfy most anyones needs. Unless you don't like cadence sensing then I would stay away from Bafang altogether.

    I would suggest a torque arm install on your front hub build. Use washers fit inside the lawyer lip recess then the nut, not just the nut. Try the axle in the drop out first as there is a good chance the 10mm on the hub won't fit your dropout. I use a 10mm rotary burr file in a die grinder and it does the job in about a minute. The tabbed washers are worthless for engaging the drop outs thus the need for a torque arm but they are nice and beefy so use them. You might have to play with the washer config to get the wheel center and to properly allow the rotor to engage the caliper if you have disc. A washer inside the dropout is not unusual. Grease the axle threads lightly and crank the nuts down tight, really tight and check them once in awhile. Your smile will thank you. Otherwise a front hub conversion can work just fine and co-exist with the front fork just fine if properly installed. I have over 2k none too easy miles on a 1000w front hub on a CF fork with no issues using the above method.

    Stock up on zip ties in several sizes as the cables will be way too long going to all points. If someone is willing to pay for an extra hour I'll cut and splice them using solder and heat shrink to size. Makes for a much cleaner look even if they aren't routed through the frame. Other wise gather all the slack you can in one place and bundle it with zip ties, hopefully somewhere inconspicuous. I use under the battery if it is mounted to the dt and sometimes above the bb. I use Anderson 30A Power Pole connectors for the power transfer from the battery to the controller. Takes a special set of pliers to get it done right but they are very reliable and easily dis/re connected.

    BTW the 25% tariffs affect the Chinese kit motors and batteries as of 7/6 so they won't be as cheap from now on.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  5. #5
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    Very good info BigWheel. I just installed a direct drive front hub on a rigid steel mtb fork, and had most of the issues you just described! Axle did not quite fit all the way up into the fork drop outs, so I had to grind it slightly with an angle grinder (shouldíve used a die grinder). A little bit unnerving to be taking material off an axle, but the thing is massive.

    Mine had two sets of washers; one pair with the tabs, one regular pair without tabs. The regular washers (I guess) are supposed to go to the inside of the dropout like you said, so thatís where I put them. The tabs on the other washers donít even contact the fork, not sure what the tabs purpose is. Put them outside of the dropout. Used a torque arm for sure.

    I test rode the bike with the hub installed but no battery yet, to see how rideable it is unpowered. I donít notice any drag at all from the DD hub, which was weird. What I do notice is how insanely heavy the hub is. My steel fork is flexing all over the place over bumps, and riding out of the saddle is not even possible, because the fork turns into a wet noodle. Any thoughts on that? The bike is a late 80s Mongoose ATB, basically your typical triple-butted chromoly tig frame, with an xtracycle longtail kit attached. I would love a stouter fork.
    Last edited by 18/21; 1 Week Ago at 07:04 AM. Reason: Typo

  6. #6
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    Iím a Luna battery customer. They make good solid constructed quality BMS Panasonic GA battery packs (my favorite). Personally I run into simple issues ordering from them that many small companies have like: out of stock, partial orders filled, wrong item received, etc... In each instance the issue was easily resolved with an email and more recently using their 30 minute response forum that they refer you to on their site, that the OP doesnít mention.

    Granted this is not the best high end customer service, but very cost affective for a small fast growing business and better than many other larger businesses I tried to get resolution from. Sometimes the 30 minute response will simply recommend you email the link they provide; which I do and resolution follows over time. Nothing is typically same day and if you are on a time schedule (planned trip, etc...) it can be frustrating to have an issue with any business that does get timely results.

    That said, I rate them as average on time resolution and above average on actual resolution. Many other businesses simply donít provide any resolution. Luna usually does very well in the end. I highly recommend them for quality USA seller batteries.

    OP - Sorry to hear about your issues. Did they get resolved in the end?
    eSurly ECR (BBS02B)
    eNiner Jet 9 (MY1018)
    eSoma B-Side Belt-Drive (BBS02B)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18/21 View Post
    Very good info BigWheel. I just installed a direct drive front hub on a rigid steel mtb fork, and had most of the issues you just described! Axle did not quite fit all the way up into the fork drop outs, so I had to grind it slightly with an angle grinder (shouldíve used a die grinder). A little bit unnerving to be taking material off an axle, but the thing is massive.

    I don't use the burr file to take down the axle width it is a 10mm file so I just feed it slowly up into the dropout. Unless you use a mill setup I don't see how you can be exact enough for a proper fit. If it is a bit too tight it puts undo pressure on the drop outs and too loose it can shuck back and for a little.

    Mine had two sets of washers; one pair with the tabs, one regular pair without tabs. The regular washers (I guess) are supposed to go to the inside of the dropout like you said, so thatís where I put them. The tabs on the other washers donít even contact the fork, not sure what the tabs purpose is. Put them outside of the dropout. Used a torque arm for sure.

    The tabs are worthless but have always come with hub kits, both geared and DD that I have seen. My 9c is heavy but my Grin is light due to it's revised construction. Under power and underway you may notice that it is not that noticeable.

    I test rode the bike with the hub installed but no battery yet, to see how rideable it is unpowered. I donít notice any drag at all from the DD hub, which was weird. What I do notice is how insanely heavy the hub is. My steel fork is flexing all over the place over bumps, and riding out of the saddle is not even possible, because the fork turns into a wet noodle. Any thoughts on that? The bike is a late 80s Mongoose ATB, basically your typical triple-butted chromoly tig frame, with an xtracycle longtail kit attached. I would love a stouter fork.

    Get a stronger fork then. Sounds sketchy
    ........
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  8. #8
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    I am a Luna customer having bought 8 kits so far. I kind of agree with Harryman. I know what I am doing so it has not been an issue. E mail is easier with them. Printed material is not their strong suit. If you want all the bells and whistles you will likely pay for it. That is what commercial bikes are all about.

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