Building an evolve AT clone

Hi, newbie here! I’ve been reading up on electric skateboards and longboards for the past few months both here, there and everywhere, and I’ve gotten to the point of wanting to get a longboard of my own. I’ll add a tl;dr at the bottom, this could be a bit of a read.
I really like what I’ve seen of the evolve bamboo AT, with its offroad(ish) tires and good power and range. That $1500 price is a sticking point though, mainly because of some of the flaws I’ve read about the board. For that kind of money, it is reasonable to expect to have at least some rain resistance, right? So I’m trying to figure out if I can build a board as good or better for the same price. I have done a bit of snowboarding, and I’m part of a maker community and love to tinker and build stuff, so I’ve no real problem building my own.
I weigh 67kg, so in descending order here is what I want from my board:
Comfortable ride/easy handling Good range
Good torque/hill climbing
Decent speed

Given my weight and ride requirements, I’m hoping to start with just one motor, and upgrade to two sometime later on. I’m also hoping to be able to make some sort of modular add-ons later, such as lights, but that’s not important right now. I’m not planning on doing any kind of fancy tricks. Just cruising around the city and some light offroading on dirt and gravel trails.
I think I have enough info to make an intelligent choice of motors and electronics, but I’m really not sure which deck and trucks to get, despite having read what I can on this site. I would like to use trampa 7 or 8 inch tires, and I’m assuming that I’ll want to use trampa trucks and motor mounts as well, but since this won’t be a mountainboard I’m not sure what the right choice is. I don’t feel the need for a fancy carbon deck, just something simple and solid, preferably a good blank deck I can add my own graphics to. Any suggestions?

Tl;dr - trying to make an evolve bamboo GT (with the tires) clone that is as good or better for the same price or less, 1000-1500 dollar budget maximum.
I especially need recommendations of the board, trucks, tires and motor mount. Here’s what I’m looking at right now: Trucks: Or:

Wheels: Deck: or anything of similar design. No idea which motor mounts to use, the trampa ones don’t seem to work with the trucks. Any and all help is appreciated!

I’d stick with the Trampa trucks. The sidewinders are a bit sketch at high speeds. For decks, it’s better to have something more stiff than a dancer. If you want flex, you’ll need to split your enclosures. So batteries at one end, electronics on the other. If you go for a stiff board, you’re fine with a standard enclosure.

Have you checked out Trampa’s motor mount/truck/motor/pulley kits? You can slap those onto a regular deck and be good to go.

Thanks! I have checked the trampa kits, they all seem to need at least a 15 degree mounting angle, so I’d need some kind of wedge. I just found dinodave’s build, which is actually pretty close to what I have in mind:

Is this deck better for that? Has anyone here heard of 99factory? If so does anyone know what they charge for a custom job? Since it looks like I’ll try to put wedges in, is it worth getting mountain trucks? It sounds like they’re easier to adjust for firm or soft steering, not to mention shock absorption. Or will the tires alone be enough for that? I should explain, this will likely be my only all-out board build, so I want to make it as “modular” and adjustable as possible, so I can grow into it and improve it along the way.

upgrade the rubbers and thesidewinders are fine. Running 91a’s on my tesseract with sidewinders. Evolve use them as well.

Have you mounted a motor on them?

So something like this?

Yup, hard bushing will solve the stability issue but your turning radius goes up. I had an Gen2 Evolve and I was constantly swapping bushing depending on how I was planning to ride. Not hard to do, but kind of a pain. I liked how they rode with soft bushings. Feels like you’re surfing on the streets. Hard bushings, not so much.

I have my CGT bushings set pretty loose and I have had absolutely zero speed wobbles issues. I am also running bigger motor pulleys so my top speed is higher than stock, still blasting down the streets at max speed.

Yes I have, evolve spares with a custom mount


I’m looking forward to seeing how this build progresses. I just cancelled my evolve GT order to go for the DIY route, since I would’ve probably voided the warranty in a heartbeat anyways. Better to save a bit of money and avoid all the remote hassles.

I think I’ll be building something similar myself. I’ll let you know how it goes.

evolve GT would probably be cheaper ! :smiley:

Thanks, I’d love to compare notes! I want to make sure I have space to change out different size tires, between say 6-8 inches max. Not that I’ll be doing that a lot, but it’s easier to switch out a set a of tires than a whole board.

Not so sure about that. Here’s a rough sketch of my build:

The above amounts to a little savings, actually. Add in the fact that I have half of the above parts already, and it’s quite a substantial savings! Then, of course, there’s the GT Carbon remote issues I won’t have to deal with.

Of course, I generally agree with the sentiment. Going the DIY route to save a few bucks is not good idea imho.

Bamboo is $1450 AUD I have a carbon GT and have had no issues at all. With my gen 2 or the GT. Found evolve to be extremely reliable and great customer service. at least here in Australia. However, thats not why I build! Love my custom boards just as much.

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Reliability depends a lot where you ride. I had a Gen2 and my remote was constantly dropping. I sent it back to Evolve a couple times and it worked perfectly fine on their end. I relocated their antenna and receiver per their videos and it improved the connection, but it still wasn’t great. I sold it to a guy who live far out from the city.

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I just make sure bluetooth is off on my phone.

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So I wrote to the guys at Trampa, explaining what I wanted to do, and pointed to @dinodave’s build as an example. Here’s how it went:

thanks for the quick response. My intent is to use a fairly flat wooden deck, since I prefer the “classic” look. I was inspired by this guy’s DIY build:

              All terrain flat deck | Loaded Fattail Deck | MBS 

Matrix Pro ii trucks | MBS wheels | Dual Ollin 170kv | Custom mount | 8S | VESCAs you mentioned, he does indeed use wedges to put the trucks at the proper angle.
I was hoping to do something similar. There are several fairly easy biking trails in my area, some asphalt, others are dry loose dirt. I wouldn’t mind using 7 inch tires if I thought they could handle it, but since that’s questionable I’d prefer to use tires with more tread. In short, I’d like to be prepared for anything, but I also would like to save a bit of money where I can (without being cheap and skimping on quality, of course). Do I understand correctly that the main problem is clearance between the board and the wheels? Thank you again

------- 8:28 PM (1 hour ago)to me HI ---------, no mate… its not going to work… ur ride height will be so far off the ground, i would not recommend it… and adding the sort of wedges you are thinking about, i would not recommend this either mate… Unless your mounted at 25-30º ur wasting your time and money bro… and im sorry but it seems your off on a trip thats so far away from what i can offer you, as i am so short of time it seems pointless advising from here… I wouldnt add the spring trucks to a longboard deck… and currently longboard trucks are not wide enough to fit our hubs onto in order to fit the 7 inch wheels… Regards

I realize that the folks at Trampa might see this, and I am not trying to cause an argument. However, since it seems that it in fact IS possible to do this to some degree, I want to know if anyone else out there has tried? What where your results and conclusions?

Well it sure worked well for me! I honestly have no idea why more people aren’t making these sorts of builds. I went on a 29km ride the other day over an hour and a half (average 20kph). Gravel paths, paved roads, up and down curbs, over grassy areas, stoney areas, sandy areas, no problems. The high ride height poses no issues, and the wedges are rock solid.

I’m going to be building a new Trampa based similar board in the new year, so looking forward to seeing how yours goes. Cheers :slight_smile:

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wow… @dinodave how big battery are u having now? or you just have two 16ah multistars ?

Oh, I should probably have said, I have 2x4S 8000mah, as well as 2x5S 8000mah. On long journeys I set off with the 2x4S, and carry the 2x5S in a backpack . That way when the 2x4S run out, I know I should have enough juice to get back.