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2009 Giant trance x3 26" wheels and BBSHD

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    2009 Giant trance x3 26" wheels and BBSHD

    I thought I would share my initial post that I had made in June on the other forum. I will add some additional information and pics below now that I have ridden over 325 miles on the most fun bike ever!

    My review of my first diy bbshd

    Thought I would share some info regarding my first ebike build / conversion as well as my opinions/ review:

    2009 giant trance x3 large 26" wheels full suspension with hydraulic brakes (my old mtn bike)
    BBSHD kit from LUNAcycles (68-73mm)
    with upgraded color dpc14, gear sensor, and bafang 42th aluminum chain ring* (I have purchased the luna eclipse 42th to adjust chain line but need the 5mm spacer to prevent the ring form hitting chain stay- on order) left hand thumb throttle, and hydraulic brake sensors
    Panasonic bottle battery 11.5 amh PF

    about 2 hours and if you are remotely mechanically inclined is not hard - if nec. luna had links for instruction on their website but none in the kit which I did not need. I did spend the extra and bought the bafang tools as well which made install much easier. The motor came with the "hot rod" programming already so the only thing I changed was shifting the pas settings from 5 to 9. More on this later but I have found that I generally don't use anypas level above 3(of 9) and if want/need more power I use the thumb throttle.
    The trance has an almost horizontal downtube near the BB due to the rear suspension- this means the motor does not "swing up" as high as on a hardtail frame but still has plenty of ground clearance- could be an issue for riding over logs and slamming motor- but I have not had an issue other then having to dismount once to get over a log on some single track.

    key notes-
    1. brake sensor- I did not install the brake sensors since a slight back pedal will kill the motor and the install option is no good with out having to fabricate some type of mount- would not recommend at this time.
    2. Gear sensor- I love it, I did not install it initially and while I was able to easily stop the motor and think about shifting so was not so violent- the sensor makes shifting without the motor torque so much easier- not nec but I think the convenience and the reduction in torque when changing gears will extend the life of the drive train- defiantly think it is worth the money.
    3. monitor /screen- no real opinion over others works fine and I have setup a startup password otherwise it just works do wish that it did a better job of monitoring voltage but if I run into issues may add a Battman or some other gauge that can better monitor "how much fuel" is in the tank

    initial results or thoughts after putting 150 miles on it in 2 weeks (yeah it is that fun)
    1. top speed- with full throttle, pedaling, and slight downhill - 43.5mph (verified on bike and also iphone app)
    2. My sweet spot- On pavement with knobby 2.2 tires- I have found that with pas set at 3 of 9 I can general avg 14-16 mphs on variety terrain / hills and will not break a sweat while riding- have gone up to pas 5 on steeper or longer grade hills but never higher than that
    3. distance ride- using the parameters of my sweet spot above was able to ride 24 miles with a max speed of 35.5 avg spd of 15.9 mph and total elevation gain of 1400 ft with the steepest grade of 6.8% and steepest decent of 6.5% - OH I weigh 235 lbs and bike with motor and battery is ~52lbs- this took the battery to as low as I am willing to go (when putting it under full load and throttle the voltage would drop to 43.3 volts) but just running at PAS1 would show battery voltage of 48v and when placed on charger the charger read 49.2 volts- so yes I could have gone farther but it is my desire to never use the last 20% of the battery- as well I only charge to 80% and then to 100% right before I begin my ride.
    4. All battery- flat cruising 26-28 mphs, climbs went up a 20% grass hill 42/36 gear ratio 8 miles an hr and had a hard time keeping front wheel on ground with no motor strain at all.

    I have no other experience other than riding a fat tire ebike of a friends on flat land(beach) so limited knowledge but so far this motor has been more than awesome and has me riding my bike again as well as considering using it to commute to work (14 miles one way with several 8% grade hills). The kit from luna was complete and came with all the spacers and items I needed and shipped quickly. Motor has never been too hot to touch as a matter of fact warm to the touch at best. Will try to post a pic

    Here are a couple of pics from after the very first ride and my utter amazement of how well it ran- other then liked to jump chain with the upgraded bafang 42 chainring- That has been completely resolved with the luna eclipse chain ring- for this build I would almost consider the luna eclipse a mandatory piece of kit


      follow up from the original build from above: I now have over 300 miles on this ebike and I continue to be amazed- I originally designed the ebike to be used a shuttle vehicle for whitewater boating and it actually had to be able to climb a 10-15% grade 4wd road for 2 1/2 miles then continue for another 6 miles of rolling fire road before finishing a 6 mile road ride for a total of 14.5 miles. For a comparision it took me 51 minutes to drive the shuttle and only 45 minutes to ride it with the bike- difference was the speed I could climb the 4wd road avg 12 mph where as top speed in the truck was maybe 5 mph here is another pic of my setup getting ready to run the shuttle


        updated pros and cons:

        1. My original advanced charger stopped working after about 6 charges- Luna was out of stock so they gave me credit and I picked up the basic charger along with the watt meter so I could evaluate how much juice I was putting in the battery. Very easy to work with luna on the exchange and while I like the new setup - I have ordered the advanced again because o like being able to set it to 80% charge although I will continue to use the watt meter to measure the "fuel" level. would really appreciate if the dpc 14 display was able to accurately display amps used.
        2. I would not consider the eclipse chain ring an optional item but more of a required item to get a really smooth and straight chain line- I am now running a 12-38 cassette and can use all of the gears- with the bang chainring I was unable to use either extremes without the chain coming off.
        3. I am starting to get some movement in the bottom bracket when pedaling not much but notice it.
        4. I have kept an informal log and would estimate that with the 11.5 AH battery and my participation I can ride between 12-15 miles on single track that involves both some steep climbs and more gradual longer ones and on road it is closer to 20 miles ( on road that is keeping an 18 mph avg speed on rolling hills and no climbs over 7%)
        5. I intend to replace the battery with a dolphin pack (made a model and it will fit in the frame) so that I have a little more clearance or stand over height
        6. reiterate that the gear sensor is mandatory in my book- the motor has so much torque that trying to "kill" the motor before shifting is just a pita- the sensor makes it effortless and preserves your gears
        7. brake sensors- in my opinion a waste of money
        8. when riding off road, I tend to have the PAS at 0 and use the throttle to assist me when I need a little more- this works for me but I think it defineelty generates a lot of heat since I am usually adding throttle when my legs are slowing down- never been an issue other than I think that is the reason for the reduced mileage compared to road

        want to know something else? ask me


          thought i would go ahead and to a price list as well:

          giant trance mtn bike (already had) $ 0
          Luna BBshd kit base kit (free upgrade to luna 42th) $669
          package addons:
          bafang tool set (older one ) $ 45
          color screen upgrade $ 45
          left thumb throttle $ 7
          magnetic sensors for my brakes $ 15 (never used and dont plan on it)
          Gear sensor $ 45
          Battery bottle 11.5 ah 52v $435
          Advanced charger Package $ 80

          total initial outlay $1,341

          second order :)
          Luna eclipse 42t (priceless) $100
          second charger 3 amp $ 45
          watt meter $ 27
          eclipse spacers $ 5

          total in : $1518 excluding bike (best money i have spent in a while)


            Thanks for all the information, you've put together a nice build report. I've been bad about doing this myself mostly because I just ride it every day, totally clears my mind from work. I've been riding a hard tail commuter bike since I built up my chomoly steel framed BBSHD w/11.5AhPF dolphin pack bike kit in December 2015. At 1500 miles I noticed I had nearly cracked my seat tube all the way through at the bottom bracket. So I'm now thinking about switching to a FS mtb to possibly minimize stress on the frame. I'm heavy like you, 230# and I think that contributed to the bike failure, the only contribution from the electric kit is that I put lots of miles on it. Bike is probably designed for people 80# lighter not to mention 25 extra pounds of electric hardware and then 30# of commuting gear. My bike weighs 52#'s and I use panniers to carry charger to work along with gear, sometimes even a big laptop.
            1. In your situation did the suspension sag beyond what you could adjust for preload wise?
            2. Do you feel the suspension reacting to the torque of the motor? If not any ideas why not? Maybe geometry or high shock preload?
            3. Bottom bracket should not move at all, try retightening possibly verify the toothed plate is square after tightening makes it bite in. After riding maybe 100miles I got my own set of BB tools so I loosened the outer nut and re tightened it just to test it. A couple rides later that outer nut came off completely. My drive didn't drop down and I didn't have tools so I just hand tightened and finished ride to work. At work I discovered that both nuts on BB were only finger tight. Only the 2 plate bolts held my motor from moving and it didn't move a bit. Tightened everything solid and in 1400 miles since I haven't touched it. I punish my setup, average 25mph for 13 miles of rolling hills and a 600ft 6% grade for 2.5miles at 20-25 mph depending on wind. Current from 25-30 amps depending on how steady I hold the throttle.
            4. I don't know how you can pedal that bike at 0% pas, I find I need pas of 3 (0-9, I leave at 9 got to 45 mph on Garmin GPS pedaling only, downhill with pas current 16A level 9) just to make the bike feel like it doesn't weigh 2-2.5x what it does without everything else, you must be a beast of a cyclist.

            I hope your bike has been treating you well and give it an inspection from time to time, saved my ass.


              Hi Slickwheelie, any updated pictures? I have a 2009 Anthem and am looking to do the same thing. The hard part seem to be the battery. I am not sure which one to get and how to fix it to the frame. I want to avoid drilling holes in it. Thank you.


                Gatto- I have posted a new pic in the full suspension build thread- woth the new battery. I went with the dolphin pack 52v 14ah and it fits into the triangle wonderfully. I did add an additional rivnut for security. I am also pretty sure that a shark pack would have fit as well since this time I created a model of each battery but liked the profile of the dolphin better.


                  Here is the pic with my new dolphin 13.5 ah battery (am almost certain that a shark would have fit ( I mocked up both of them with some dollar tree foam board) but liked the way the dolphin looked and fit better. Here is my original build notes with my bottle battery (mismeasured and thought it would fit but not a chance)


                    I just finished installing a BBSHD on a Medium 2009 trance as well. I went with the 100mm BB kit because of the black friday sale (included a 52v 13.5ah shark pack). I was able to make it work by going to home depot and having them cut a 1 inch section of 36mm ID pipe (brought one of the BBSHD spacers in to compare with). I had to file the metal burs down but it ended up fitting perfectly.

                    I was able to mount the sharkpack on the frame downtube (upside down) due to the water bottle cage bolt holes. I would love suggestions on how to mount a shark pack by alternative bolt points/ drilling through the metal portion of the connector plate.

                    Also happy to answer any build questions people might have!