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.

Mechanical Longboard Brakes

I have been looking, purely out of interest, at various mechanical braking options for conventional longboards.
Most people will either just run-off the board if things are getting all scary, or footbrake if not going too fast. A few, with more experience and practice, can slide a board, but that still needs space and safe situation to do so. The concept here is of having another mechanical option.

In summary, there seems to be three different types of solutions:

1. Braking on the wheel – Mingo Skateboard ‘The Frog’

Mingo brake
Mingo Skateboard’s ‘Frog’ device is attached to the exposed truck (drop-through deck) and foot pressure forces brake levers on to the wheels. The reviews I read were not that complimentary, including it scaring the wheels – a shame, and I might still try it, as it does not require any drilling into the board.

2. Braking on the road – Pogo, Handmade & Boolah Boards

German company Pogo, Korean Handmade and US Boolah Boards use the same simple mechanism of the foot forcing down a brake bad against the road. Some require a hole drilling for the foot pad and others use the space some trucks have with drop-through deck mounting. All require the arm with the brake pad attached to be attached (screwed or bolted) to the deck.

3. Braking on the truck – Brakeboards

Australian Brakeboard use a daily sophisticated truck based mechanism a little bit like a bike disk-brake. Mechanical more complex than the others, but can be used without screwing or drilling any holes into the deck. Shipping and tax are sadly incurred getting it to the UK, plus the only options seem to be either buying that Rat Board, with 150mm trucks, or their custom 180mm trucks at $500; add in tax and shipping and the latter is a very expensive solution.
(As ever, let me know if I have missed any other solutions).


To start with, I thought I would try with a braking on the road solution and ordered the Korean company Handmade’s Slide Brake (which seems to be just sold on Amazon). It is quite a simple solution, to work with one of our drop-throughs (probably the ZenitAB, but might use the Kaliber Affe) but it does require me to drill a hole for the arm screw/bolt… which will hurt!
I will do another update once installed and tested.

Interesting Gear: Waterbourne Surf Adaptor

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Spotted the interesting Waterborne Skateboards ‘Surf’ (truck) adaptor.

What I like about this idea is that, unlike some of the other surf and carve trucks, it has some form of progressive resistance from the bushing. It looks crude with the single bushing, and with some potential risky stress and fracture points, but worth a try and  I will order one (hey no freebies on this blog, LOL – just my hard earned money being spent).

skateboard-surf-adapter-articulation

 

Braille Skateboard Review Video

Patrick Dumas Video Footage

Truck bushing how tight?

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A common question I see on various forums, and talking to new boarders, is “how tight should I run my trucks?“, which is really how tight should the kingpin nut be in compressing the bushings and holding the hanger in place.

The thing to understand is that the bushings on a conventional truck have to do a very complex job of reacting to multi-dimensional forces and keeping you out of hospital. Importantly, there is an optimum for the nut tightness and bushing compression. Too slack and the hanger will move unpredictably and reduce control, especially with speed wobbles; however, too tight and the bushing will deform and not work properly with poor progression, even damage. Meaning there is an optimum for tightness and over tightening does not help, it can actually make things more dangerous. Better stability and control does not come from overtightening tightening the kingpin nut, it comes from using a different bushing shape and durometer. Similarly, if a board won’t turn well, requiring too much brute force, loosening the nut more also does not work; use a different shape or software durometer.

Below is an excellent video from New Zealand skater Crunchie, which shows how to tighten on the bushings.

E-boards’ trucks & bushings

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Red 93a Paris bushing

With rain outside (yet again), I changed the bushings on the Boosted Dual. The stock bushings are apparently 86a durometer, which in theory are too soft for me at 85kg (187lb). I say “in theory” because they don’t feel like 86a, they feel much firmer; however, they are easy to change, so why not. I had some spare Paris made barrels, so put in 93a board-side and 90a roadside. I may step-up to 94a+93a, but will try the 93a+90a combination first.

UPDATE: After trying it (I am 85kg), I moved up to the 94a+93a combination and have settled on that.

I used Paris bushings for now (the 94a’s I have are DohDoh), as they are what I had spare, but any good make – Venom, Oust, Blood Orange, Riptide etc. – would work. I see a lot of e-boarders talking about Orantang Nipples (I guess it is the Loaded marketing machine again), but they are too soft for me for downhill and speed, even their supposed “hard” ones are only 89a.

I like to run the e-boards like conventional downhill boards, based on the premise that both need to be stable at speed: two barrels and firm, rather than my usual barrel+cone cruising set-up on the conventional push boards. In simple terms, barrels have more surface area over cones and will hold their shape more.

 

 

With e-boards and their high-speeds, my preference would be to not run bushings at all and use spring trucks, like the Trampas or Seismic G5s. A polyurethane bushing has a complex job to do, given all the multi-dimensional forces it has to react against. Their dominance of the truck world comes from skateboarding, where they are cheap and make truck manufacturing easy; but skateboarding is not e-boarding, especially at speed. For now, however, I will live with the Boosted and Yuneec running conventional longboard trucks, but if there is ever an upgrade option, or I replace one of the boards with a Nottingham made Trampa or some exotic derivative, I will do it and go for springs.

trampa_vertigo_truck_i

Finally, I see a lot of people jumping into e-boarding having not ridden push boards before, not a problem if people take it easy to learn e-boarding and build up the speed carefully. One thing, however, that does become apparent, with those who have not push boarded before, is that lack of awareness of how important bushings are and the need to use ones with a durometer that matches the rider and type of riding. Given how inexpensive and simple they are to change, there is a need to get greater awareness in the community and new riders using what is right for them; especially, given the job of a bushing is to keep you out of a hospital and enjoying the ride.

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Riptide bushings (note – there is no color standard, all manufacturers use different colors for their various durometer ratings).

Links:

 

First Impressions of the Curfboard

 

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So finally got some time out on the new Curfboard this weekend with its unique carving front truck (the rear truck is a standard RKP design).

As mentioned when it first arrived, the whole board is well made; the 33″ (84cm) deck with a 62cm wheelbase is nice, with a good level of flex for me as an 85kg rider, the trucks feel quality and the 70mm wheels, which feel around 82a, are well finished with no obvious crack/splinter faults.

Link to Curfboard Ad Video

Curfboard video of the front trucks working

I had a couple of questions on Reddit Longboard forum, one “was it a gimmick?” and two, “does it feel divey?“. The first is “no” and the second is “yes”. I don’t feel it is a gimmick at all, it is different from a conventional longboard and, for me, very enjoyable to use in the right situation, and that is a key point I will come back to. “Divey” because there is no rebound to work with, no force to exert against to make the movement more progressive; there are no bushings to push down against (except on the rear truck). I get why not, and the principal involved; I may get used to it more, but I miss that opposing force to give a more progressive feel. It carves well, in the right situation, and pumps well, but I still miss some progressive movement in the trucks.

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The key here as mentioned before is “in the right situation” – this front truck, for me, is in its element on a gentle to moderate hill, where you want to carve; with an advantage over some of my other caving boards, in that it does not need much road width – it can carve tight. On that gentle long, but narrow road, this is a near perfect weapon.

I would, however, not fast downhill on this; speed wobbles for me came quick and its short quick carving does not slow the experience down nor dampen the wobbles. I will choose my hills very carefully when out on the Curfboard. I did not try any sliding nor am encouraged to do so, but this might be my inexperience and sliding capability.

Another aspect I would recommend being careful of is just pushing off – if the front foot weight, and your balance, is not perfectly balanced, the board will dive immediately. First time out and, every now and then, this caught me out – this is a truck that you very much need to build your confidence on carefully. Consequently, unlike some of my rock solid boards like the Zenit AB, this is a board I would not take to casually, half-sleep, cruise around town. I know the local roads and paths I will use this on and look forward to it, but only those. Sadly I don’t have a smooth pump track near me, as I suspect this would also be its natural home but will search one out just for the experience.

Finally, coming back to the lack of resistance progression, I can’t help feeling that there could be a future development of this truck to add an element of progressive resistance, and if so, I will be at the front of the queue.

Nicely made Curfboard.

More Information:

 

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Wheels and trucks arrived – another lesson learned 

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My little vanity project is nearing completion with the Paris 180 trucks and Hawgs Mini Monster wheels arriving, from SkateDeluxe, for the gorgeous Hackbrett balance deck.
paris trucks
… and another lesson learned- remember to order the bolts to attach the truck to
the board! Arrghhh. My fault, for forgetting; great service as ever from SkateDeluxe to feel sorry for me and just send some. Thanks guys – great service.
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Went with the translucent red Hawgs Mini Monsters purely for the looks, which is not really a sound reason, but they will be fine for my easy cruising on this board. This is a show board, for pavement skipping into Richmond and hanging out at the local cafes by the river – let’s be honest here 🙂
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Interestingly, I could not find a supplier in the U.K for the Mini Monsters, hence, got them from Germany, but the on-line service, cost and shipping were no different to other good UK suppliers.
Happily use again. My experience so far is that the Dutch and Germans markets, compared to the UK, seem to have a slightly broader range of parts and boards available to them. Lots of great stuff available from UK retailers, just less of the rarer and small-time made stuff, especially German and Austrian made decks.
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