Karmic Koben S — Assembly Instructions

Karmic Bikes
Published in
9 min readAug 15, 2017


As some customers have noted, the New Koben S has enough changes to it that our assembly video is no longer sufficient (though we still recommend that you watch it). We will be recording a new video soon. Hopefully these written instructions will cover the changes in the assembly process for now.

How your Karmic should arrive at your door. #NBD #wheee

As always, please contact us if you have any questions while building up your Karmic. We are happy to help you through the assembly steps. Your feedback helps improve our instructions for the benefit of future owners.

L to R: saddle/post, charger box, larger parts box, Karmic battery (unwrapped)

Open box, take inventory — Once you remove the strapping, and the box lid (careful with the staples) you should see the bike and a few other items. This includes: the bike with front wheel on the side, Karmic parts box, Karmic charger box, Karmic Battery (bubble-wrapped) and saddle installed on the seatpost.

Pro versions of included tools, Park Tools bike grease, and a good pair of scissors

Above are some recommended tools to make the assembly easier. We also provide some hand tools inside the parts box if you’re not a bike mechanic.

Well packaged for a safe journey.

Remove packaging, zip ties — We try to pack the bikes well to protect them in shipping. There’s a bunch of zip ties to keep the contents from moving around and getting scratched. We use cardboard and bubble wrap for the same reason. It may seem excessive, but we want your bike to arrive in perfect condition.

This is starting to look like a bike!

Please recycle everything! We find it easiest to throw all the materials back in the box, but it depends on your local recycling service/facilities. Please contact us and FedEx if there are any problems with your shipment. Please refuse shipment if the box is broken or has obvious damage. We insure all our shipments, but the claims have to be initiated by the customer. We will always work with you to take care of any problems.

Plugged in, battery awake and charging in-progress.

Charge battery (wake up!) — The Karmic Battery is shipped in a “deep-sleep” mode. Simply plug it in to wake it up. The first charge may take 3–4 hours, but you can also test the bike as soon as the battery is awake. The charger has an LED light which indicates the battery and charger status.

  1. Red light — charger is plugged into an outlet (on).
  2. Orange light — battery is being charged. You will hear the fan spinning, which helps keep the temperatures under control.
  3. Blinking Green — battery is ~90% charged. It is okay to unplug the battery if you’d like, but we recommend leaving it until…
  4. Solid Green — battery is now fully charged. The last 10% of the charging process is when the Karmic Smart Charger balances the charge between the different banks of the battery pack. This ensures a healthier pack with longer life and service. The charger shuts itself off when the charge is complete (and you can hear the fan turn off).
Lots of parts inside the Karmic Box (list below)

Small box inventory, tools — Some of the smaller items in the box include: A Thank You card, a Karmic postcard, instruction manuals for the TRP Slate brakes and Gates Belt, Karmic hand tools (Y-wrenches for metric bolts, 8mm pedal wrench, and 5N-m torque wrench for tightening stem, bars, seatpost clamp), wheel and frame reflectors (required by law), left and right pedals, front headlight, bronze bell and most importantly: Your Keys to Freedom!

You can reuse this small box for tools and parts

Every bike includes two keys, and a keycode tag. Please make a note of this code in case you lose both keys. Replacement keys are expensive and take a long time to get made. We recommend keeping the two keys separated in case you lose one, you can still make a copy with the other one. The key is only needed to install and remove the battery from the bike. We recommend removing the battery when transporting and locking up the bike, though it is safe to leave it on if you’d like. Or keep the key with your bike lock key.

Install handlebars/display — The stem is turned backwards in the shipping position. Please rotate it 180 degrees so that it faces forward, with the brake caliper on the left side of the fork/bike. Tighten the stem top-cap with the 5mm wrench. Then remove the stem face-plate with the 4mm wrench.

When the bikes are assembled, everything is double-checked, and then the handlebars are removed for shipping. The bars should go back on easily, but please check that the brake lines and shifter/electronic cables aren’t tangled up. Install the bars and rotate the display out of the way if necessary.

Stem pointed forward, face-plate off, graphic helps with bar alignment

The handlebar should be aligned with the “circle k” logo facing forward. Tighten the face-plate with a 4mm wrench, and then finish with the torque wrench. Align the handlebars with the wheel/fork before tightening the stem bolts (on the backside) with the torque wrench. Angle the display to a comfortable viewing angle, then tighten with the smaller Y-wrench included.

Now is also a good time to adjust the angle of the brake levers and/or the shifter if you’d like. They are clamped on with 4mm or smaller bolts. We try to get these angles right when the bikes are assembled, but it is also a matter of personal preference. If the control pad has excess wiring, you can loosen the clamp and rotate it 360 degrees around the bar to take up the slack.

Brake levers and shifter at a comfortable angle, all cables run smoothly and cleanly

If you’re picky about your cable routing (like me!) small black zip ties and/or electrical tape can work small miracles. We designed the Koben S with a minimum of wiring and cables, but it can still be a lot to manage.

Red wire is positive (+) and black is negative (-)

Install front fender & light — The fender and lights should be installed before the front wheel to give you enough room for wrenches and hands. The two wires coming from the frame should be plugged into the leads on the backside of the front light. The “+” is for the positive/red wire, and the “-”is for the negative/black wire. Push the wire ends firmly into the light. Remove the 5mm bolt from the front of the fork and use it to install the light. Tuck any extra wire back into the frame at the downtube junction.

Fender alignment should be good, but can be adjusted as needed.

Connect the display wire by aligning the arrows on the connectors. As with the light wires, tuck any extra length away into the frame. The fender is held on by four bolts (5mm). We find it easiest to connect the two inside bolts first, then install the outside fender struts on the outside bolts. The fenders may need slight adjustment to align them to the wheel/tire in the next step.

Install front wheel (remove brake pad spacer) — The Koben S has been upgraded to a thru-axle for added stiffness and stability. The instructions are taped to the lever itself if you’re unfamiliar with how they work. It is similar to a traditional quick release (QR) skewer, except the ends are threaded into the fork. You should remove the paper instructions before riding your bike.

Open the lever arm, unthread the axle from the fork, and pull it out. Remove the brake pad spacer from the brake calipers. Please keep this spacer in case you need to remove the front wheel when transporting your bike. It is used to keep the pad spacing open, where the brake disc would usually reside.

PLEASE NOTE: The front hub has two metal end caps that ensure the wheel is properly spaced in order to securely attach to the fork. You may find that the end cap is stuck to the plastic wheel protector, instead of in the hub. Please double check that the front hub has both left and right end caps in place before the next step. Don’t throw away the plastic disc with the end cap in it!

Place the front wheel into the fork, keeping in mind the disc brake caliper is on the left side of the bike. Place the thru-axle back into the fork from the right side, passing through the front wheel hub, and then thread it into the left fork leg. Once it is snug, flip the lever arm back into the closed position. The front brake should be well aligned, but it may need a slight adjustment if it is rubbing. You can do this by loosening the 5mm bolts, squeezing the front brake lever, and tightening the bolts (while holding the lever) to recenter the brake caliper.

Please note: left and right pedals have different threading. Heed the labels.

Install pedals (with care!)— This seemingly simple step has caught out even the best bike mechanics among us. Pedals are specifically threaded for right and left positions. We have placed a small “R” sticker on the right pedal, as well as the right crankarm. Pedals are tightened towards the front of the bike. You can use the 8mm wrench to install the pedals from the backside of the crankarm. Apply a light coat of grease on the pedal threads. Please start slowly by hand to prevent cross-threading. Repeat for the other side, remember to tighten by turning towards the front of the bike.

NB: Installing pedals incorrectly could lead to damage to you or the bike!

Please take care with this important step in the assembly!

Minimum seatpost insertion should be observed for safety

Install saddle and seatpost — The penultimate step is the easiest one! We recommend adding a light grease to both the inside of the seat tube, and on the seatpost itself. Usually we will go up to the “minimum insertion” line with the grease. It is a nice visual reminder of how much seatpost should be inserted into the frame. Adjust your saddle height to your preferred position. Tighten with the 4mm wrench, and then use the torque wrench to finish.

Power on, settings (27.5"!), Go! — Install the (charged) battery onto the frame. The lock requires just a quarter turn to lock and unlock the battery. Power on your bike by pressing/holding the power button. You can double-press the button to enter the display settings menu.

A good overview of the New Koben S color display (DPC-14) can be found on the Electric Bike Blog. They also have the instruction manual for the display HERE. Please note that the speed setting is locked from the factory.

Two small changes are required out of the box. The voltage should be set to 48V and the wheel size should be changed to 27.5" instead of 27". Feel free to change the clock or play with the other settings. You can turn on the lights by pressing/holding the “+” button. You can engage walk mode by pressing/holding the “-” button. There’s also a USB port on the bottom!

Now go for a ride and let us know what you think! Please tag us on Twitter and Instagram in your posts and use our #BeKarmic and #NewBikeDay!





Karmic Bikes

Founder of @KarmicBikes. Former Mentor at @500Startups and Thiel Foundation’s @20Under20. I’ve hired a lot of people.