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1997 Kona ManoMano - Old School full suspension mtb - BBSHD powered

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    1997 Kona ManoMano - Old School full suspension mtb - BBSHD powered

    Hi all,

    First post here. I'd like to give a big shout out of thanks to all the folks here and at Endless Sphere. I have lurked you all for about 4 months now and learned so much. What an incredible resource you have. Without you all there is no way I'd be making this post tonight.

    I present to you my diamond in the rough, a 1997 Kona ManoMano. This baby is so luxurious the top tube even says, "Suspension Experience." It has to be seen to be believed. So I guess that means you'll have to check out the photos.

    This bike came to me off of the Craigslist where she was found ridden hard and put away wet for the princely sum of $180. Sadly I neglected to take photos of her in the state that she came in - which was filthy and needing an almost-complete rebuild.

    Prior to this I'd never built up a bike before. Now I can say I've done almost everything except true the wheels (or build them) and replace the headset. Almost everything had to go: brakes cables, calipers, brake handles, shifters, derailleurs, chain, cassette, shifter cabling, grips, and tires. Now they are all new. Oh yeah, I serviced the rear hub too.

    Looking at the photos you might be inclined to say/think "whooooa" when you see the seatpost and handlebar riser. Yes, this baby is cranked way up. I'm 6'1" and that's a small frame. This is a happy accident really -- I think the bike is going to end up being my wife's in a year or so after seeing how much fun I'm having. It will fit her better than me but in the meantime I'll just enjoy pretending I'm freakishly big.

    In the next day or two I'm expecting my BBSHD and 13.5ah Shark Pack to arrive. It was supposed to come to my house today but I missed the delivery (darn!) so I'm having it sent to a UPS store for pickup to avoid another miss.

    After all the effort that has gone into the build so far I'm hopeful that the BBSHD will go pretty smoothly. I'll try to take more photos along the way.

    In the meantime, thanks for being a cool community and so helpful to each other.

    Last edited by jed; 03-26-2017, 09:00 AM.

    Jed you can only have 5 photos on each page, love your build though, link to inserting photos:
    Last edited by Rodney64; 02-28-2017, 02:34 AM.


      I have 2 bikes with stem risers, one of them being too small for me, and the other is actually too large. The small one just gets me into an acceptable riding position. The bike that's too large, I built up to be an upright riding Dutch-inspired utility bike (which will be getting a BBS02 next week). I have basically zero standover clearance on that one, but when riding it feels awesome!


        I've been having a hard time making it back on here to provide an update (and to fix the photo issues, thanks Rodney64 for pointing me in the right direction --didn't read the instructions first!).

        BUT, suffice to say that the beast lives and is pretty freaking amazing. I didn't know what to expect having only ridden a couple of off-the-shelf ebikes before. This thing blows them out fo the water running Karl's Special Sauce program. My goodness it is fast.

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        There are some additional updates coming where I will detail the build adventure a little more closely, documenting where I went astray and how I've gotten back to the right path.

        Happy riding, all!



          Okay, I'm coming back to try and do this right. That photo in the first post give a little view into what I started with -- after replacing just about everything on the bike. Too bad I didn't take any real 'before' photos -- it was a filthy mess.

          Anyhoo, here are some more 'pre-electrification' view:

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          The "Suspension Experience" kinda makes the bike rad in my opinion, even though said suspension is probably hopelessly outdates by today's standards. For my purposes (95% commuting) it is perfect.

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          Bombe Z2 forks and new Schwalbe Marathons. Those tires with their wire bead were by far the hardest thing (physically) about this build. I *still* don't have them seated 100% properly and need to go back and try again. Total PITA.

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          New "Single Digit 5" brake calipers and KoolStop Dual Compound brake pads. These brake pads really are worth $12 each. They are the best brakes I've ever used, hands down. Also, adjusting brakes is a pain but I've gotten pretty good having done it about 15 times on this bike build.

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          New ODI Rogue grips, Avid Speed Dial 7 brake handles (I wouldn't buy these again, more on that later) and Shimano M310 Acera 8 speed shifter.

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          Craaaazy big riser. I'm 6'1" and this bike is a small 15" frame. (It's working out great and I'm hoping my wife will want to steal this from me in a year or two.) Plus all new brake and shifter cables and housings. I used a Shimano MTB Stainless Brake Cable Set and a Shimano MTB Sil-tec Coated Shifter Cable Set. Super easy to work with as long as you've purchased a cable cutter. Just do it.
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            But wait! There's more!
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            New cassette and derailuer. The cassette is an 8 speed Shimano HG51, which I think is steel. The deraileur is a Shimano M310 Altus. Learning to adjust the derailuer was a lot easier than I expected. The Park Tool guys have the best guides and videos on how to do stuff. A really great resource for those who haven't done it before.

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            I had a little cleanup to do where the metal on the swingarm had gotten chewed up by some chain derailments in the past. This is the before shot. Also before I cleaned the bottom bracket.

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            And here it is after a little 'editing' with the angle grinder. Go sloooooow and easy. Don't forget to stuff the bottom bracket full of cloth before you start editing to keep the metal shavings out. Ask me how I know.

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            I did all this work on my poor mans bike stand -- a rear rack for a car wedged underneath my bench vise. Zero cost solution if you've already got on of these in your house.

            Okay...that's all the before photos. Now on to the electric build.

            Attached Files
            Last edited by jed; 03-26-2017, 09:25 AM.


              First the motor goes in.

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              Getting the motor in there was pretty easy. I had to do a little spacing on drive side and add some washers on the non-drive side to make the bolts line up properly but no big deal. That said, you really have to tighten it down -- way way way tight. It came loose after the first few rides and I had to retighten, literally stepping on the luna wrench. That wrench worked great but if I was doing this again I'd buy the real tool for better leverage and the ability to place it better.

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              Here's the pie plate chain ring that ships with the BBSHD. The eclispe ring I wanted wasn't in stock when I placed my order so this went on for a while. Worked fine but not so pretty. I did get a slightly higher top speed with this ring than the Eclipse (46 teeth vs 42).

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              I had a couple minor hiccups: Luna sent two left pedals. Whoopsie. They made it right very quickly after I emailed them.

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              This was the other hiccup. The shark case had a weird scrape/ground down area on it. I emailed Luna about it and they think it probably happened in shipping to them (and I should note that the way they pack things up for shipping is pretty incredible and there is no way it happened on the way to me). It's a bummer aesthetically but Luna gave me a discount on the Eclipse I ordered as a result so I'm a happy customer. Plus, they had tested the battery when they saw the damage to make sure it was working okay. That actually was my main concern.

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              Getting the battery mounted took some effort as my water bottle braket holes did not line up. So I did it The Luna Way and drilled through the aluminum housing and put the bolts through there. It makes for a very solid connection but the upper end float up a little as a result (you can't really see that in the photos). I may get a bike shop to install a rivnut through one of the upper mount holes to really nail it down.

              Also you can see here quick, get-er-done-with-zip-ties approach to the initial wiring and testing. I have since cleaned that up. One of my coworkers even asked if the whole bike was put together with zip ties. The way he said it made me think he thought that would be a bad thing. I didn't have any zip ties around when he asked -- otherwise he might still be strapped to his desk. :)
              Attached Files
              Last edited by jed; 03-26-2017, 11:49 AM.


                So...this bike is going to be my main commuter. I live in Portland, OR. This means fenders are super important. And a rack is a necessity. My first stab at fenders were ugly but functional:

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                Those were made from repurposed PVC sewer pipe since I didn't have any mass produced fenders on hand. They worked but were sub-optimal visually. Also in this photo you can see my mismatched pedal system (while I waited for Luna to send another pedal) and the ball of wires that were not yet put away better.

                I wanted a hard wired lights - front and rear - and that gave me an 'opportunity' to re-wire things more nicely.

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                I started at the bottom. Above the motor you can see a DC-DC converter that drops the battery voltage down to 12v for the lighting system. I determined that was the best course of action because I wanted to use a flasher relay to make the tail light blink. Most of those come in a 12 volt variety, hence a conversion. It worked out really well that an existing mount was available on the bottom of the down tube to attach the converter in.

                I also hard wired the battery mount, significantly shortening the wire length to the motor. Doing that enabled me to split off the power to the converter. Mucho soldering and shrink wrapping later you see the result as the above photo. Making it look as clean as possible take sooooo much time. I spent more time on the wiring than any other part of the build by a factor of 3 or 4. I easily spent 6 hours on wiring.

                Anyhoo, from there I worked my way back to the tail light based on how I wanted to route the wires.

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                The wire run from the tail light is pretty clean. It runs along the bike rack struts and then up the rear triangle. You can also see the new-and-improved fender in this photo. I got some off-the-shelf mtb fenders from ebay. They required significant modification in order to get them in. And the back fender was too short. So I added some more PVC to that one. This time I painted the PVC flat black so it doesn't stand out so much.

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                Here you can see the wiring a little better. Again, lots of shrink wrap and time. I realized later that I could have gotten a straighter and shorter run if I routed the wires on the other side. As it turns out the tail light is totally insufficient and will be replaced so that gives me another go at the wiring. Yay?

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                Here it is from the back. It looks decent but it is dimmer than a night light. Lesson learned.

                In this photo you can also see the gear sensor right below the seat tube. One of the early things I learned it that you shouldn't plug the gear sensor in until you actually have the cable routed through it. Otherwise every single bump makes your motor cut out. Another lesson learned.
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                  I finally worked my way up to the front. Here you can see the little single-red-button light switch I found on ebay:

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                  Wiring this part was also a royal PITA. Here is what I learned:
                  1) I would go with the banfang brake handles next time to save time on wiring.
                  2) Mounting the brake sensors is hard and kludgy. I used epoxy putty. It works great but then I had 39" of cable to deal with.
                  3) You can see how I coil wrapped things. It worked pretty well but less cable would be cleaner.

                  Also --- that screen is super easy to scratch. I saw someone else say they put a cell phone cover on theirs. I'll be doing that too. Wiping some wet road water off mine has left permanent scratches. Bummer.

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                  Here's the headlight. This thing is BRIGHT. ~$14 on ebay. Wiring is thick but pretty clean.

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                  Here's that DC converter I was talking about above. According to the seller it is actually rated for 60 volts and I haven't had any issues with it.

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                  Brake sensors mounted with epoxy. These things work really well.

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                  Another shot of the light switch wiring. I mounted the switch "backwards" because it is not something you push all the time and I wanted it out of the way.
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                    Final product?

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                    The bike is fully operational and is pretty dreamy to ride. The suspension is nice on the bumpy streets we have here and it is (almost too) easy to keep it around 25 mph (confirmed with phone GPS) on my commute. It is so fast that I bought a moto helmet to feel safer about the speeds I am doing. I'm thinking I'll actually go back and make some other programming changes to have different settings than currently. Right now anything beyond level 4 (of 9 -- using Karl's special sauce) is almost ridiculous.

                    Without the battery the bike weighs 50.2 pounds. The battery is ~7 pounds. Fully loaded this is carrying around 250 pounds (I'm about 185).

                    All in cost is right around $2,400. I'm going to post a full break out of costs next because I haven't seen too many of those.
                    Attached Files


                      I hope that providing my costs is helpful for folks who might be contemplating a build. Going into the build I knew I wanted a bike that could handle commuting with ease. Talking to a co-worker with a hard tail ebike he commented on his desire for full suspension. That sealed the deal for me. I figure with a full suspension bike I'll probably also be able to do some light mountain biking -- but the gearing probably isn't perfect for super steep climbs -- though I haven't tried yet.

                      In terms of the build-out parts I wanted my goal was basically to buy the combination of "toughest part" and "reasonable price." I'm a believer in paying more for something that will last and is durable --- but I'm not willing to part with $1,000 for a Rohloff hub. Though they do look amazing.
                      Bike subtotal $ 653.63
                      Electrification subtotal $ 1,641.75
                      Tools subtotal $ 113.11
                      Total $ 2,408.49

                      Here is my break down on the bike re-build:
                      Component Cost Notes
                      Bike $ 180.00 Kona ManoMano 16"
                      Brake levers $ 20.00 Avid Speed Dial 7
                      Brakes $ 21.00 Avid Single Digit 5
                      Brake pads $ 24.00 KoolStop Dual Compound
                      Brake cables $ 15.00 Shimano Mtb Stainless Brake Cable Set
                      shifter cable $ 18.00 Shimano Mtb Sil-Tec Coat Shift Cable Set
                      Riser $ 10.40 Outerdoo
                      Grips $ 23.47 Odi rogue
                      Chain $ 60.00 DON’T BUY THIS: Wipperman Connex 7e8 + 2 connex links
                      Cassette $ 20.00 Shimano HG51
                      Derailuer $ 23.00 Shimano RD-M310 Altus
                      Shifter $ 18.00 Shimano Sl-M310 Acera
                      Chain - 2 $ 16.28 KHS x8.99
                      Seat post $ 17.00 ebay
                      Thule Pack n Pedal Tour $ 86.00 ebay, with side racks
                      Wheel truing $ 40.00 LBS
                      fenders $ 13.00 ebay
                      Tires $ 48.48 Schwalbe Marathons x2 through Wiggle

                      And here are the tools I had to buy to make everything go:
                      Permatex $ 5.69 Dielectric Grease
                      Heat shrink tubing $ 8.50
                      Zip ties $ 5.50
                      Grease $ 7.50 Park tool grease
                      cable cutter $ 17.00 Jensonusa 767 Cable Cutter
                      Chain Lube $ 12.00 "Chain L"
                      Crank puller $ 13.45
                      Bottom bracket remover $ 6.99
                      Chain breaker $ 9.99
                      Cassette lockring tool $ 8.49
                      Spanner wrench $ 5.00 For hub maintenance
                      1/4" ball bearings $ 13.00

                      Not included here is the new $80 moto helmet I bought after feeling the power and speed were beyond my regular bike helmet.

                      There is about $80 'wasted' here: The Connex chain is amazing and huge and even though it says it will fit an 8 speed cassette it does not. There is no doubt in my mind that the Connex chain is super tough and durable but it doesn't matter because it is unusable. Really too bad because that was the one thing I "splurged" on. I'm sure it could be used on a single speed to great effect. The other waste is the ebay tail light for $19. Ugh.

                      So after all this work what's left?

                      1) I need to get those darn tires seated properly still. I'm going to pull them, get new tubes in there (the tubes were original to the bike when I bought it), and then do the whole soapy water and high pressure thing. It is hard to build up the motivation honestly but I just can't see paying someone to do it.

                      2) I need to swap out the rear light. Amazingly, two days after I got the crappy light soldered in, one of the directors at my work gave me his old, very powerful halogen bike light set. They take an MR11 style bulb and it looks like an LED bulb could replace the halogen that's in there. My plan at this point is to leave the halogen in until it burns out (it is rated for 6 volts and I'm going to give it 12 so it shouldn't be long) and then put a bright LED in and put a red colored piece of glass or gel in front of it.

                      3) I also need to wire in the blinker when I replace the tail light. I'm contemplating making it switchable so that it can also make the front light flash -- which could really get driver's attention but might also cause seisures if not set up right.

                      4) I may get a bike shop to add a rivnut to make sure the battery bracket is super-duper secure. Belt, suspenders, and an elastic waistband? Yes, please!

                      5) Reprogram the controller. I read somewhere about someone who had two separate settings areas -- essentially using 1-5 for one purpose and 6-9 for another. I really like that idea and I think I'm going to give it a go. I'd like to have some settings that were more in 'legal' territory and some that are 'fully operational battle station.'

                      But also I'm really enjoying this bike. Even though the weather here has been pretty cruddy the last few weeks I've got about 100 miles on the odomoter already and have used it for my commute 9 or 10 times. The tires and the brakes handle the wet just great. The only downside I've noticed is the amount of crud/grime/dirt/mess is greatly increased from riding at a higher speed. The bike gets pretty yucky.

                      Charging has been pretty simple. I did a lot of reading about charging safety but there are not a lot of lithium safe charging backs that will fit a shark pack. I had an old fire safe lying around (being used to keep the lid on the chest freezer securely closed naturally) and so I drilled a small hole in the side of that. The pack fits inside perfectly and I can plu it in and close the top. If there were a fire I think it would be fairly contained - though toxic fumes would escape. If there were an explosion --- I don't know. Then the whole thing might be a pipe bomb. Either way I charge it away from flammable items.

                      Once again I'd like to that Luna for offering up great products at a fair price and I'd like to thanks all the folks that came before me and documented their work. I learned a lot from you all!

                      Last edited by jed; 03-26-2017, 03:54 PM.


                        Be aware that with white LED's (if you use an MR11 LED replacement), with a red lens in front, you'll lose a lot of the light output. The red lens cuts out all the non-red wavelengths from the light coming from the LED's, and only lets the red wavelength pass through. Unless it's super bright to begin with, it's better to use something with red LED's to start out, which only emit the red wavelength of visible light.

                        Why not just go with a bright daylight-visible light such as the Cygolite Hotshot Pro 80 or the new 150? I run 2 at all times and love them. It has tons of modes and adjustments, which make it just about perfect for any condition.


                          That is a very good point you bring up. The main reasons for what I'm thinking of doing are as follows:

                          1) I have two perfectly good MR11 compatible light cases I can recycle and hard wire so no charging is necessary

                          2) You can get a ~200+ lumen MR11 LED (white) for like $8 these days versus $50ish for the cygolight. (I have one of their earlier products and love it by the way).


                          There are few, if any, high lumen red LEDs that I could find. I think that wavelength eats power.

                          I'm also thinking about putting a white LED light strip inside the case of the light I purchased to recycle that some way.


                            I had such a bike at school. It was just perfect. But he was stolen when I was 13. I even stopped studying for a while because of this. Just at that time I needed to write research papers and I had to use an PapersOwl service. It saved me from bad grades at school. I even used this website when I was in college.


                              That is really good blog I get lost of information from here I was wondering about buy new bike. I also find being marketer they are too good they help me in earlly when me and my dad started new business.