Luna X-1 is only 2000km on singletrack, is it worth it?

Looking down at the odometer on my Luna X-1 I realized I had clocked over 2000 km. 2000km isn’t much of a milestone for normal ebikes, but considering how I ride my X-1 on trails and thrash it pretty hard every day, I thought I’d do an article on how it’s holding up, and the good, the bad. And ugly about this bike. I have replaced a lot of components due to failures or because I wanted to, there is nothing I regret about this bike. I bought the X-1 on June 2019 and paid $3305 for it from Lunacycle. At the time of purchase it was the most money I have ever spent on an ebike over long distances. The X-1 is no longer sold but has been replaced by the X-2 and X-2.5 which I don’t ride.

A 4.5 year old Lunacycle X-1 with a ridiculous controller that has been loved and abused quite a bit.

My morning routine is always the same, I wake up and head out the door to ride in my double diaper (chamois shorts). Before I eat I go biking or turn on the computer or whatever because if I don’t go out for a ride in the first part of the day, I probably won’t be able to ride that day and the dude won’t be able to commit.

Things that still bug me about the X-1

My biggest complaint about the X-1 is the steel gearing noise. It’s a bit louder and not as stealthy as the BBSHD with nylon gear. The new X-2.5 (Available here) uses Peak/Carbon gear which should be much quieter. Another issue I have is that there is a large ring bearing on the front faceplate that occasionally makes a lot of noise. It already failed once and I couldn’t press the bearing out of the faceplate so Luna sent me a new faceplate with the bearing. Every problem I’ve had with this ebike Luna has been absolutely incredible in helping me get parts for it at a very reasonable price. I give their service department a 10/10 rating.

The rear through axle screws are stripped so if I don’t tighten it down tight it loosens on its own. It’s never been enough of a problem to try to fix, but the axle is so tight that I can’t loosen it on the trails without special tools.

What I changed on the X-1

  • I replaced the derailleur, shifter, main cassette and chain with a 10 speed instead of a 12 speed. When I kept breaking chains and started having derailleur problems I threw everything away and went with a 10sp X9 system stolen from another ebike. The biggest pain with the switch is getting the new shifting cable through the frame.
  • The front hydraulic brake failed and I couldn’t bleed it properly so I replaced the entire mechanism with a BB7 cable brake. The original rear hydraulic still works, but I’m on my 6th set of pads.
  • At some point the chainring bolts came loose and the front chainring became a pretzel. I replaced it with a smaller wider steel ring and really screwed the chainring bolts. I keep an eye on them with a healthy dose of paranoia.
  • The rear freewheel blew so I replaced it with a DT Swiss 350 rear hub 12 x 148mm. It cost me $239 and was a pain to relay but worth every penny. If you are looking for more information about that swap This article A must read. The stock spokes with the X-1 don’t fit on the DT Swiss hubs so I had to order new skinner spokes for the build and the final wheel build wheel is slightly offset by a few mm.
  • The original Luna pedals that came with the bike I completely destroyed the bearings. When I finally replaced them there was over 1cm of wiggle on the pedals, I don’t know how they stayed on the bike without any bearings. All the pedal strikes I have with this bike could be because the BB is low and the cranks are long.
  • One of the bottom frame bolts broke recently and LunaCycle got me a replacement right away even though it didn’t list the replacement part on their website and it was quick and cheap.
I put a strip of velcro tape around the area with the rubber charging port connector to provide extra protection from mud and moisture.

Things I love about the X-1

I ride the X-1 about 5 miles daily and it has been my favorite ebike for the last 4 years. If there is less than 3 inches of snow on the trail it is my goto ebike, more than that and I tend to pull out the 5.05″ fat with a backpack battery. Here’s what I love about this ebike:

  • Having a built-in battery is a bit of a mystery
  • Riding something with full suspension
  • How light
  • 2000W peak power out from a drive system designed for 500W (comedic controller)
  • Both the motor and mosfet have temp sensors that automatically reduce the motor’s power when it gets too hot.
  • It fits my cheap hanging style car bike rack
  • Tires are great in mud and snow (maxxis minions), most ebikes I buy come with crap tires, the X-1 still has the originals on it.
  • The original bike I bought was an XL (21″ frame) which is still a bit small for me at 6’9″ but still surprisingly comfortable.
You can see some grease build up around the rear shock but it holds the air well and I haven’t rebuilt it yet.

Would I buy it again?

I’m knee deep in ebikes with over $35,000 invested over the past decade. Of all the ebikes I’ve owned, the X-1 is my favorite for several reasons. The battery is reliable (the original charger is still left on the porch after 4 years) and gives about 2 hours of riding on single-track with pedaling. I like the torque sensing because it forces me to get more exercise but it has the throttle for really steep stuff so I don’t have to adjust the PAS level. I tend to keep it at PAS level 2 unless the snow is deep then I go to PAS 3. I never use PAS steps 4 or 5, but I like to exercise.

I’m a big fan of the 10 speed setup so I installed it on the X-1 and I’m much happier now.

In deep snow I should get one of my more powerful fatbikes, but the reality is that bigger wheels and a more powerful controller mean I churn through battery power much faster. I have to take my 24Ah 52v backpack battery to ride for 90 minutes in deep snow, which is a pain and quite heavy.

I replaced the front brake with a BB7 cable brake, low maintenance and I only use the front brake in emergencies anyway

In the latest Black Friday sales Luna X-2.5 is out And it was on sale. I’ve really wanted to get one, but the reality is that my 4+ year old X-1 is still so flawlessly preset that there’s really no reason to upgrade. Luna has been shooting themselves in the foot for a long time by selling well-functioning ebikes and providing great customer service for out-of-warranty bikes. I plan to ride the X-1 until the wheels fall off, just like my regular pedal powered bicycles. A typical non-motorized trailbike will last me about 10 years until I upgrade (daily use), and ebike technology seems to have reached the point now that you can invest in a quality single-track ebike and reasonably expect it to last that long. Even the daily ride is long. I honestly never thought we would get here, but now we feel good about it.

As for my X-1 purchase, although this is the first factory-built ebike I’ve bought instead of building myself, I have no regrets and this ebike has exceeded my every expectation.

take a ride

Is X-1 the best part of Ludicrous? Better power, overdrive detection\depowering, torque sensing, suspension, weight and awesome stock tires

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