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.
aileron
Nice one Teamgee.
(just redesign your remote and that forward/reverse button and stick a more powerful motor on it).

Teamgee H6 & H3 remote issue

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Teamgee H3 remote, with the SHIFT button on top

I really like our Teamgee H6 and H3, but both remotes have a feature that has now caused me to spill twice (thankfully only minor grazes).

Both the H6 and H3 remotes have a ‘SHIFT’ button for switching between forward & reverse. If this button is accidentally/unknowingly pressed and you just push off (I always push off instinctively, being a long-time border) and then bring in the power to continue riding, when the button has been pressed into reverse, the board shoots backward and you fly off.

This happened once when the remote had been in my pocket and another time when my 8-year-old thought it would be a laugh to give the board back to me in reverse (lesson learned). I now ALWAYS test the direction of the board first before setting off, which I recommend others do.

I have passed my comment on to Teamgee and, as usual, they responded quickly (I have found them very good to communicate with), and said they will look into the design.

As said, I really like the boards and would happily buy another – it is just if you have a current model, or an H9 on order, check before setting off (especially if you have an 8-year-old with an evil sense of humor!).

The big Boas on the Boosted

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Fitted the big (and they are big) 100mm Boa Constrictors on the Boosted. Fitting them is relatively easy, it is just like swapping the stock Kegels. The big advantage they have is the off-set core which means you can use the stock motor-covers, no replacement or trimming is needed.

To remove the drive-wheels:

  1. Wheel nut and speed-ring/washer off (don’t lose it).
  2. Motor-covers off.
  3. Carefully, wiggle the wheel and belt off (check the belts has no damage).
  4. Remove the long spacer and big inside speed-ring (again don’t lose it) – you can leave these on if you want, but I prefer not to lose them when I forget and tip the board on its side.
  5. Carefully (you do not want to break it) lever around the pulley with a flat-edge screwdriver and prise, bit by bit, the pulley out. It will come, just be patient. If necessary, you could soak in warm water to help, but mine have never needed it.
  6. Remove the small outside bearing from the Kegel, if you are going to re-use.

To fit the new drive-wheels:

  1. Carefully press the pulley into the wheel – I used some silicon spray on the pulley to help it go in smooth, but it is not essential.
  2. Press in the outside bearing – easy to do by hand, given the large wheel.
  3. Put back on the large inside speed ring and long spacer.
  4. Put the belt on the pulley and motor and wiggle the wheel into place.
  5. Re-fit the motor-cover.
  6. Fit the outside speed ring and tighten the wheel-nut
  7. Important, turn the board on its side and press forcefully on the top wheel to ensure everything is in nice and tight; then reverse and do it again. Listen for clicks.
  8. Re-tighten the wheel nuts.

Changing the front wheels is just like with any longboard/skateboard – if you are not sure how this is a good general video: changing wheels & bearings

If there are rattles from any wheels when you first try it, it is highly likely that things are still not fully in and it is spacers rattling. Again just turn it on its side and press hard, if you hear a click, that was it.

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Showing just how big the Boas are – 20mm increase in diameter, 10mm in clearance.

I have not had a chance to fully ride them, but my initial impressions are (1) that the increase in ride height is very noticeable; (2) they are significantly better, the ride is better, with our crappy old victorian roads; and (3), to be expected, there is also a noticeable loss in torque and acceleration (given I am using the stock pulleys), not a party killer, but it is noticeable. I will ride more and write up a full review over the next few weeks, especially if the loss of torque is worth the ride improvement, and if it is worth changing the pulleys and belts to get back the torque.

I would also add that the massive contact patch of the new wheels, makes it feel very planted – in some ways, too planted and did not entice me to carve it; but it is early days so this might be me not used to new ride-height. Anyway, I will ride a lot more over the next few weeks and do a full review.

 

UPDATE: I really like these wheels and highly recommend them to anyone with a Boosted, or any e-skate that will work with a Kegel core, as a change for fun or rougher roads and pavements.

These are a well-made and quality wheel – not some cheap cold-cast knock-off. Although a slightly higher duro, 83a, than the stock Kegel, they still feel and grip the surface as a soft wheel. And with a bigger contact area, there is no loss of grip at all; in fact, more grip on sharp corners than the already excellent soft Kegels. White is not my favorite color for wheels (although strangely I like the white Alkamist Ahmyos) and it does show up dirt and grim immediately, but then we can wear that as a badge of honor and you can always dye them if you want another color.

Although there will be some loss of torque, I have not really noticed it and have climbed happily all the usual hills. I am no speed-demon, so maybe it is just my casual cruising around that does not push the limit of using these; anyway, if you just want to cruise around, just stick these on the stock pulleys and don’t worry.

Similar with the top-speed, yes there is an increase, but I don’t really care – in my crowded city on backroads (where the police do not want us on main roads with traffic) 20mph is plenty fast enough. If you want a faster board (really?), just buy or assemble a board with with more battery juice and powerful motors; just putting bigger wheels on is not the answer to your speed crave.

The board does ride noticeably higher and feels a bit like a ‘boat’ – my friend’s comments of “oh’ part Boosted, part invalid mobility scooter” did may me laugh and ring a little true; but then, that is the price for greater clearance.

For me, the reason to use these wheels, occasionally or full time, is crappy roads and paths, where they make a very noticeable difference over the stock Kegels. The ride is smoother and more stress-free – you just have to avoid less in front of you.

Last word – given how relatively easy they are to fit, these Boa Constrictors are a great option to just have in the kit-bag and swap to when you fancy a change, then back to the Kegels (or Cags) when you want more nimble carving. Here is the irony, swap back to the Kegels and the overall experience feels faster. Mathematically it is not, but it feels that way – I guess this down to acceleration being more noticeable than speed. Just don’t throw out those Kegels just because you now have the Boas – they make a fine compliment to each other. The answer is run both.

Well done Boa (Jed), nice product – big thumbs up from me.

 

Teamgee H3 finally mounted

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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.

The H3 arrived

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The Teamgee H3 finally arrived today – finally, once again UPS took their time and got the delivery wrong (why are you so bad UPS?).

This is a low-cost unit (more on pricing to come, as this is not yet officially sold in Europe right now) – and for the record, I paid for this with my own money. Bit of information on it: 85 cm wheels, 2200mah battery, single hub-motor (left-side drive). Published specs: 12km range and 25 km top – not as far, or as quick, as the H6 (and certainly not a competitor to Mellow), but then it is significantly cheaper than the H6 and I suspect aimed at a different customer and market.

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The motor unit (battery, truck and motor) comes with: screws for mounting, remote, charger, front truck and wheels and T-tool. The remote, pictured above, is the cheaper and simpler remote (compared to the H6 unit). Speed and Power switches on the side, the usual thumb-lever (with click4cruise) and the quirky shift button to reverse the board.

The plan was to temporarily fit this to our 32″ Hecs Decks custom Fish, even though it would cover a good part of the wood-burning artwork I did on the board, however, it really needs a riser pad for the trucks, so that the battery unit mounts flush to the deck.

A bit of a pain to not have it immediately up and running,  but easy to fix – riser pad on order… 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}.

Helmet: Giro Switchblade

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A few notes on the Giro Switchblade downhill MTB helmet, which I now use most of the time when out on the e-boards. In summary, I really like it, have no issues with it and very happy to recommend it.

I looked at the Switchblade, the Bell Super 3r and DH, some of the Fox Racing ones and the Met Parachute; in the end, I chose the Switchblade primarily for the:
  • Graphics/colors scheme (my Red and White).
  • Detachable chin guard (the Parachute does not detach).
  • Half-shell having more coverage (over some of the others).
  • Reasonable cost.

They all fitted well, which surprised me, and they all had the MIPS safety system, so my choice was really about just color, style, and cost. The cost new, after a bit of hunting around, was £160; which I was pleased with. I could not find discounted deals on the Foxes or the Bell DH, but the 3r Super and Met Parachute were available with deals at roughly the same price.

The Switchblade with chin-guard weighs 985g, which is a bit heavier than the very-light Met Parachute at 700g (but it has no metal chin lock mechanism, as the guard is not removable), but not an issue for me – I am used to much heavier motorcycle helmets. The foam padding is excellent and really comfortable. It has the RocLoc® Air DH system, where you just twist the wheel at the back of the head, to tighten or loosen the fit.

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The detachable chin guard is nice, but given I bought this primarily for the extra protection over my normal skate helmet, I could have lived easily with it being none-removable, like with the Met Parachute. Removing and fitting the chin-guard is easy, needing two hands. The fitting is snug and secure.
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What, however, does differentiate some of the helmets with removable chin-guards is what kind of half-shell is left when the chin-guard is removed. This is very noticeable between the Bell Super 3r and the Switchblade, with the Giro having more jaw-side cover/protection when used without the chin-guard. Not that one is better than the other, it is really just a preference thing.

 

I went with the downhill MTB style of helmet, over a full-cover motorcycle style, like the popular TSG Pass, for the extra ventilation and, being honest, it felt less conspicuous – a kind of a dumb rationale in some ways, but that is vanity for you.

It comes with alternative foam inserts, a nice carry/storage bag, and a spare visor.

Some review videos:

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.

Teamgee on its way

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Being an old-time (or older-timer!) longboard fan, I am a sucker for a retro pintail (owning two conventional pintails already); so I was immediately interested when I saw Teamgee’s new stylish electric ‘stealth’ pintail announced, with its hub-motors, hidden in-board battery and twin-stripe grip-tape.
Having talked to the company (thumbs up for their initial responsiveness) about importing one, a nice new one is now heading our way (at my cost) to join the stable. I will post comments and a review, once it is here and we have taken it out a few times.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a good video Ronnie Sarmiento did on the Teamgee board.