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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.

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 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.

 

Beercan Boards

I really like the look of these recycled aluminum decks from the small US maker Beercan Boards of Douglas, Gorgia – yes, they are made from recycled beer cans and other aluminum and plastic products. Very cool, and I am very tempted but suspect I would have to incur import tax and duty.

They do some nice custom/limited editions versions, including a stunning 38″ Punisher version.

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They also make their own wheels in 70, 72, 73 and 76mm

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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.