To ride in the city, play in the streets, we have a great Loaded Unlimited Solo Board ; This is really a great cruiser sized board, with enough power to ride a 37 kph (verified on Gilles Villeneuve F1 track of Montréal), and a wonderful light weight of 2 kg. It can ride 9 degrees up hill and have a range of 11 km (7 miles). We can carry this board anywhere, jump, roll, slide and it is very easy to recharge. But at some point, we wanted to see if we could design a similar board a little bit shorter, with more power, and much more autonomy. The idea of the beetle was born !
Motor and Electronics and trucks
So we began to design and order the components : Flipsky trucks, Flipsky motor mount, Flipsky motor: the Flipsky motor is a 6354 140 KV 2450W Battle Hardened Version. We ordered a FSESC 4.12 50A from Flipsky too and a remote 2.4Ghtz with its receiver for VESC 4.
As for wheels, we choose Caguma Purple (we could have ordered the Orange one like the Solo, but we wanted more capacity to slide. Note that since few months, Unlimited offer the three colors and durometer of the Caguma wheels for the Solo).
We ordered at Ownboard a set of cases (for the battery, and the VESC). The metal cases is delivered with a lcd display. The battery is a Samsung 22R 4.0 Ah. This is a 10P2S that currently costing 179.99 $ with its case and charger. Onwboard deliver good quality but you will have to wait (we received ours within 1 month, accoding to our freight choice).
Ownboard is a great company for parts (that make also very cool long board and small electric cruisers). We will try the Mini in some months.
The Deck comes from Skateshred : it is a 33 x 9 inches old school blank deck with colour blue applied. To be compared, our Solo board (on the picture) is the Omakase Loaded desk version: it is one of the most wonderfull deck you can imagine in term of flexibility, absorption of road imperfections and return of road sensations. To compare both, the deck of the Beetle is a little bit shorter than the Omakasa one (33.5” vs 33” for our Beetle. This make the Beetle more easy to maneuver.
In terms of sensation, you have to take into account that the Omakase is made of a three-layer bamboo core sandwiched between fiberglass/epoxy layers: this means a very stiff and lightweight board. The Skateshred Old School is made of cold hard pressed Canadian maple. A very traditional board, heavier, with a tendency to return the vibrations to the rider (something that the Omakase really excel not to do).
We made this choice, but it would be very easy to use an Omakase board for the Beetle : of course, price is not the same. An Omakase is 137 $ (including your griptape choice), while the Skateshred Old School colored is 43.98 $ (57 with a colored Griptape applied)! No doubt here, the difference of price means a lot of differences in term of sensations …
Lets build it !
To be honest, we were not happy with the first iteration of the Beetle : troubles came from the Flipsky trucks (really heavy) and the motor mount, This system (slowly abandoned by Flipsky and every other vendors) of round truck with a motor mount fixed on it using cone point hex socket Grub screw applying pressure on the hanger of the truck simply do not work. We tried everything, including (see on the picture) piercing trough the hanger to stabilize the motor mount using a screw trough the hanger ! So at this point we decided to change the trucks and the motor mount for something more stable and robust.
We ordered a Caliber 2 Fifty 10” truck (colors Midnight Satin Blue) commanded for long boards (and great for e.skate) at our favorite dealer in Montreal, Boutique Rollin. And associated it with a Caliber Mount V 2.1 from Electriboard Solutions (a great European dealer for e.skates parts).
And as Electricboard solutions had some of those legendary ABEC 11 in stock (there is no more on the market) we decided to replace the Caguma with it for two reasons :
- ABEC 11 are 97 mm wide in diameter (Caguma are only 85mm), so we gain in elevation of the deck (and this give a better protection to the motor). You can see it on the picture bellow.
- The 74A Durometer (softer that the softest 77a Blue Caguma) appeared to be safer when we slide at high speed or use the accelerations provided by our configuration.
Last but not least, those 97 mm wheels with our 2 risers give to this board a great crazy Beetle look, high on wheels, that no one have in the street : attention capture guaranteed !
With all those final modifications, we had the Beatle we wanted : faster than the Solo, with a great truck, compatible with any wheels we want, and a larger autonomy.
The initial idea was to try to find a competitive alternative proposition to our Solo board for street and cruising with a DIY project. We have it, 200 $ less than the solo ! But lets be honest : the feeling from our Beetle board is not as good as the Solo.
- Advantage ? It cost less, have more power, more autonomy, and it is DIY so we can change and reconfigure the electronics (using the VESC open source tools) or the mechanical elements (as seen with the weels and the trucks).
- Inconvenient ? Clearly, the Solo Omakase board gives a much better feeling to ride, and play. It is also lighter. Because of the motor in the wheel, the electric part is very discrete and protected and we can use it in skateparks and in ramps to enjoy tricks. We cant do that with the Beetle : too heavy, the motors too exposed.
The autonomy question was an issue with the Solo that is partially solved with the Beetle (with our 144 wh we can hope to ride 16 to 18 km, vs 11 with the Solo) , but this problem can also be fixed (partially) with an additional battery (when they are not sold out) for the Solo, pre-charged and stored in the backpack.
|Trucks||Caliber 2 Fifty 10”||80||Rollin|
|Risers (2*1/2)||1/2 Ruber riser||10||Skateshred|
|Wheels||Orangatang Caguama 85 mm Purple 77a||80||Or ABEC if you find some ….|
|Deck||33” X 9” Old School Blue||58||Skateshred|
|Bearings||ABEC 7 Bearings||5,99||Skateshred|
|Motor (with 10 mmm shaft)||6354 140 KV 2450W Battle Hardened||96||Flipsky|
|VESC||FSESC 4.12 50A||107||Flipsky|
|Enclosure Vesc||ESC Enclosure||20||Ownboard|
|Motor Mount & polley||27,50||Electric Board Solution|
|Kegel Wheel Polley||36T Kegel Wheel Pulley||24,99||Mboards Or Electric Board|
|Remote||2.4Ghz Remote VX1||49||Flipsky|
|Nuts and bolts||Varia||10||Amazon|