Aileron + H3

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Finally got round to putting the Teamgee H3 unit on to the 121c Aileron deck and boy does it look good.

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I really like this 31″carbon-fiber deck (it is one of my favorites), which has a nice concave top and big aggressive kick-tail. It feels more like a rigid downhill board but still carves really nicely.

Although the H3 unit is slow uphills (single low power motor) it is still surprisingly fun on flat ground carving under power. This is the same deck that is being used on the new Arc Board Aileron, with the Arc Board fusion drive; which should make for one hell of a board – I am looking forward to testing one.

Aileron-Dimensions

Fitting the H3 was easy, as it is meant to be. I used two half-risers (a riser bad cut in half) to cover a gap between the rear of the motor unit and the foam on the front of the unit.

SkateMetric DIY build spec

The excellent folks are SkateMetric (who do really good reviews) have done a blueprint and set of instructions for an excellent self-build they call their ‘Foosted’. It is using easily sourced components such as the Loaded Vanguard deck (but could use something else), Caliber II trucks, Wowgo battery and various components from Torque Boards.

parts

I estimate for us to build this (to the same spec and parts list), sourcing as much as possible from European suppliers would cost us around £1200 (€1350). At that cost, you are getting better specification (motors and battery) than something like a Boosted Dual; however, a less informative remote (the LED display) and obviously no company to support you. It is not a clear call, IMO; I guess you build it because you want the fun of the project.

The Skate Metrics instructions are here: Foosted Build

Teamgee H3

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I have been enjoying the H3 on the 32″ Hecs deck, more than I expected and, apart from testing the Boosted with the new big Boa wheels (see the previous post), it is all I have used in the last month.
What makes it fun is the combination of short deck, silent easy push hub-motor, and smooth power controls. The cheap H3 remote is a little too sensitive for my liking, especially on braking, but liveable with. In the end, I picked up another H6 remote and paired that with the H3. The H6 remote is a significant improvement and, given it is relatively inexpensive I highly recommend upgrading to it. The wheel control on the H6 is just better and more progressive than the thumb lever on the H6; breaking is just more controlled and IMO safer.
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The H3 remote controller (let) and the H6 one (right) that has replaced it.
I love the BB with its flexy deck, belt drive and soft wheels for going anywhere, and not worrying too much about bad roads and pavements, but for quick hooning around on nice roads and pavements, nipping to the shop, the short deck and H3 combination is great and always makes me smile as I find myself carving like salmon heading upstream, way more than I can do on the BB.
Before the good points, lets get the negatives out of the way:
  • The H3 remote control is basic and cheap (get the H6 remote) and has a potentially dangerous forward/reverse button prominent on the remote (the H6 is less prominent and less prone to accidental pressing).
  • The single motor top-speed is not powerful enough, it accelerates OK and tops out around 15mpg, but the big issue is that it really struggles to get up steep hills and cannot even sustain its average speed on moderate ones.
The good points:
  • It is inexpensive.
  • It is well made (for the cost) and uses the well-made trucks from the H6.
  • The power control is smooth and progressive; an easy e-skate to get confident on quickly. No disconnects or connection issues.
  • It is easy to fit (see link).
  • There is minimal resistance (this is just a single hub-motor), so pushing off, using it like a conventional longboard is easy, you can even pump it if you want.
In summary: easy to fit, just works, but struggles with hills.
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The range I have been getting from the 2200mah battery is just over 6 miles when out easy cruising and occasionally hitting the 15mph top speed (for the record I am 185lb/84kg). Charging time from empty is roughly 1.5 hours.
Like the H6, the H3 remote has a hard-switch two-setting speed limiter which works well with my 8-year-old and restricting his top speed.
Regarding the price, my unit is an advanced one (paid for with my own money) but Teamgee has not put this up for general sale, so I don’t know the official cost. If it was me, looking at the alternatives, I would happily pay $250-300 for this unit.
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Final word, I have ordered an exotic 31″ 121c Aileron carbon-fiber deck (19″/48cm wheelbase) for it to live on longer term. If Teamgee bring out a more powerful drive version, I will get it.
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Nice one Teamgee.
(just redesign your remote and that forward/reverse button and stick a more powerful motor on it).

Team H3 & H6 upgrades

I made a number of changes to the Teamgee H3 and H6 e-skates. First off was new bushings on both boards – a mixture of Venom SHR 91a barrels and Thunder 90a cones. The stock Teamgee bushings are the usual cheap budget bushings and not great on quick and progressive rebound. Changing the H3 bushings is straightforward, but the rear board-side bushings on the H6 is a little tricky to swap-out. On the rear of the H6, the hub-motor cables limit’s the movement of the hanger and how far down the kingpin nut can drop, so that the board-side bushing cannot be removed.

The only way to move the hanger enough to remove the board-side bushing is to unfasten the truck baseplate, but this requires an allen-key turning the heads of the truck bolts, which can only be done by punching a hole through the grip-tape, so not great if you want a perfect grip-tape look.

In addition, I picked up another H6 controller and paired that with the H3. The basic H3 controller is OK, but the H6 wheel has a nicer movement and feel in the hand.

Finally, replacement polyurethane wraps for the hub-motors arrived – not needed right now, the current ones are lasting OK, but just forward thinking and a bit of fun to put red on the H6 motots.

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Comparison of how thin even a 90mm hub-motor wrap is, compared to a standard wheel – it is not hard to understand why there is more vibration from hub-motor boars.

Teamgee H3 finally mounted

H3-2

Finally got to mount the H3 unit (this is an advance/pilot unit) to our 32″ custom made Hecs Deck. It took longer than I thought because I lost the remote, which has now thankfully turned up.

H3-1

Fitting the unit was relatively easy; I used one 2.5mm riser pad and half of another to build up the gap the trucks had with my deck curving quickly away for the kick-tail.

This is effectively a slightly smaller battery (2200mah) and single motor version of the H6 – it rides virtually the same, with nice progressive control, sharp braking (be careful) and the odd reverse button.

Our reference V2 next to it for scale.

H3-4

Full review to come.

Teamgee H6 arrives

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The eagerly awaited Teamgee H6 finally arrived after UPS messed around for a week (my experiences lately with UPS have been universally not good). Unpacked and straight out on the road 🙂 – why do people make dull unpacking videos on youtube, even worse with music overlay?

First impressions from the weekend are really good. It’s big selling point obviously is the board’s looks and it does not disappoint – it looks great and is a real stealth board, apart from the big red “Electrical Skateboard” stickers on the underside, which did make me laugh (they will no doubt be taken off quickly).

The power delivery with the remote and ESC is sharp, but nice and progressive. This is a board easy to get confident on quickly. The remote wheel is nice and smooth, although the overall weight of the remote is a little light and feels a bit cheap; but it does not impact the control and ride experience.

The L1 and L2 settings are via a simple hard-switch on the side of the remote, rather than a soft programme control, which is good. The speed-range between L1 and L2 seems nicely spread, so that L1 does not carry you at warp speed, but it is also not boring so you are forced to go full speed. In fact, the board spent most of its time over the weekend on L1 being tested and used by my neighbours’ young teenage kids – and got the big thumbs up from them.

Next, oldest son has to take it on some speed tests. Will do a full write-up shortly. Nice one Teamgee {thumbs up}.

E-Board: Bolt Motion

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Bolt Motion, a new company in Bergamo Italy, has launched a really small motorized board, just 23″ (60cm) long. Looks very cute and I really like the simplicity. personally, I am not a fan of e-skates with small wheelbases – I get the advantage of portability but prefer to have the greater stability at speed of longer wheelbases.

They quote a 14km (8.5 miles) range and a top speed of 30km/h (18.5mp/h), which is easily fast enough for me, on such a small wheelbase.

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Teamgee Adaptor Unit

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Video link: Teamgee Factory

A nice little video from Daniel Kwan who visited the Teamgee offices in Shenzhen; however, what is really interesting (at 1:58 in the video) is you see their adaptor unit which apparently is already sold in China. Competition for LandWheel, Onan, Ride Unlimited and the crazily expensive Mellow.

I am really interested to see how good this unit is, as we have a big stable of longboard decks that could work with such a unit.

Short e-Boards and Long e-Boards

With Riptide entering the market with their two short e-boards, and Boosted Boards announcing yesterday the Boosted Minis, there is now more than ever interest in shorter e-boards, as opposed to the well established bottle-nose longboard. We have had short boards, typically based on sub-30” decks, for a while, but it is Riptide and Boosted who have generated the latest marketing noise. Plus, I also suspect that, as e-boards become more established, a lot of people are thinking about portability for last-mile commuting.

Note: I stand by my views on commuting on an e-board: unless you are already familiar with skateboarding/longboarding, get a scooter or cycle – they are cheaper, easier, safer, usually faster A-B and more robust. Not as fun as an e-board, IMO, but better commuting options for the mass majority of people.

For those who do want a shorter e-board (putting aside hub-motor vs belt for a minute), I would consider that there are actually two very different types of short boards available:
  • Kick-tail and short wheelbase
  • No kick-tail and longer wheelbase
For example, a 28″ Predator Banshee is shorter than the 31″ Riptide, but has a longer wheelbase at 23″, compared to the Riptide’s 14″. This is because roughly a third of the Rip’s deck is a kick-tail hanging off the rear drive wheels. Having such kick-tail means that changing your stance (pressure on the kick-tail) will quickly change the ride and balance of the board – way more than on a shape like the Predator. If you know what you are doing, skateboard already, this will not be an issue and give you lots of control for quick turns, even an olly. If, however, you are not used to this type of short kick-tale deck, you could easily move your stance too heavily and be off the board.

Why I would get one?

For me personally, the main reason to get one (and I am considering) would be that it would be fun and different from our existing longboards. Although I don’t need one to commute on (I prefer cycling), I can also see the portability advantages, especially as a last-mile commute option: easier to take on public transport, put under your desk, even stick in a backpack.

 

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Arc Board portability

 

When to not get a short-board?

It is a (relatively) free world, so if you want one – get one; however, I would advise caution if:
  • You have not skateboard/longboarded before – longer boards are easier to get used to, more stable at speed and help build up your confidence quicker.
  • You are a heavier rider – given they are all top-mounted and not bottle-nose, you have an increased risk of wheel-bite, especially if you are a heavier and more aggressive rider. Wheel-bite at speed is a whole world of pain.
  • You are riding constantly over rough roads and pavements – a lot fo the ride dampening and bump handling comes from deck flex. Short-boards have little or no real flex to take the bombs. Especially with hub-motors their rides are harsh and really need smooth surfaces.
  • You like going fast – longer wheelbase will just be more stable, shorter less so.

Hub vs Belt?

The pros and cons of hub Vs belt are well documented (overly documented), however, I think the choice is a key part of choosing a short-board. Short-boards have little or no deck flex, as the battery has to go the length of the board and make the best use of the space that it can, this means that there is little protection from vibration in the deck. Although hub-motors have their benefits, being quieter and with more clearance, they will add to that the vibration and can produce on short-boards a harsher ride. Using all real (soft) wheels, with a belt system like on the Rip or Boosted mini, will give some help and protection on bad street surfaces. Not a reason to ride hub-motor short-boards, just that the surface you want to ride over most of the time needs to be taken into account in making your choice.
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Medium Article: https://medium.com/@michaelgatti/raptor-2-part-2-the-comprehensive-comparison-1c8bf438f1b8
Personally, I would accept all the downsides of a belt-motor for the ride comfort, given I live in London with all our crappy Victorian pavements and roads, but that is just my preference.
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So what short-boards to consider?

For me, the #1 rule still stands: get a board you can fix easily and cheaply, the company has great customer service and you can get individual parts easily and fix things yourself. This applies even more to short-boards, which are probably going to lead an even harder life than longboards, especially if you are using that kick-tail to slam up and down curbs.
Some options to consider:
There is also one other excellent option for a short-board, which is to assemble (from a kit), build (from parts) or adapt (using a unit) your own deck. A good option because there are lots of decks you can use and lots of options for building, assembling or adapting; plus fixing any issues after can be relatively simple especially if you built it using a kit or parts. People have been doing transplants to short boards ever since the first board sold, this is nothing new.
See:
As ever, let me know if I have missed some make/board?
(I am sure others will come to market quickly with an option and I will try and add them as quickly as I can)
UPDATE: Added Ownboard & Bolt Motion.

Sad to see Yuneec Boards no longer made

 

Yuneec gen1
Yuneec E-Go gen-1

 

Sadly it looks like Yuneec has stopped making e-boards (although I have found no official statement). They are still making their other products, drones etc., it seems that they have just stopped selling their e-boards. I say “sad” as we have had one of the first-gen boards and it is still going strong, it has been bomb-proof, and now used very happily by my 8-year-old.

Its single belt-motor is now a little slow compared to most current modern 20mph+ boards, but now perfect for my youngest getting used to real e-boards (and not toys). It has excellent real 90cm wheels, a progressive remote control, and a nice flexing deck; plus, as said, ours has had great reliability and with minimal battery age sag after 2 years!

You can still buy them from some independent retailers, some of them now significantly discounting them, however, I imagine getting support and things fixed will not be so easy going forward unless you can pick up cheap salvage units to strip for the parts.

I can understand why they stopped, it is still a niche market that is overcrowded with options and now a flood of budget hub-motor boards, some of them really good. Tough competition and not really the market demand to scale up manufacturing and make a good profit – the same reason most of the crowd-funded struggle and sadly will disappear.

Virtually all of the budget boards are now hub-motors; not my favorite technology for our crappy old victorian pavements, but they are significantly cheaper to make than belt-drives – just basically fewer parts and assembly. Hence, it was good to see Riptide and Jed Boards launch recently belt and gear-drive options, I hope they do well and make it to some form of sustainable scale.

 

Sad to see the E-Go be no more.
Been great; thanks, Yuneec for the excellent work and all the fun.

Yuneec gen2
Yuneec E-Go gen2