23 April I’m glad I ordered a new deck, because Alextech’s just snapped at the front truck whenI went over a bump in the pavement, and then the truck plowed through the enclosure and wrecked it. I knew this deck was busted, but I was hoping it would hold on until the new deck I ordered came in, so I could repair the damage before this happened.
Good thing Alextech sent that enclosure to replace this one, which arrived damaged. My new deck should arrive Mon-Tues this week. I think when the deck separated and began cracking laterally, the ply that wasn’t cracked had to take the full load of my weight, plus the bump.
I’m fine, I wasn’t going fast at all when it happened (less than 10mph), but it shouldn’t have happened. The ply was already separating when I received it in the mail, so it was really just a matter of time before it gave. I’m surprised it broke in such dramatic fashion, but I guess that is neither here nor there.
20 April Took it to work today, in 28°F weather. No issues!
16 April Decent run today. A little less than thirty minutes in and the brakes cut out, and the remote became unresponsive. I thought maybe the battery was dead, but couldn’t make sense of it because it cut out during braking.
I got home and took off the enclosure, and the red power connector had come undone. I secured on side to the enclosure with hot glue, but the other other side wasn’t ave it must have vibrated loose.
Great ride though. As little as I rode it with the hubs, this setup is much smoother on both acceleration and braking, and is outperforming my expectations. It was supposed to rain today and it didn’t. If the forecast is won’t writing again tomorrow and it’s clear again, I’ll take it the entire way to work.
-----Older Review— 14 April Up until this point, I have had a tough time with Alextech’s Mach 1 Elite. The first build I received had a blown VESC, then a burned out hub motor. Alex sent me replacements for those components, but one replacement VESC went bad and the corresponding hub burned out within a mile of extremely light riding. I can’t figure out what went wrong with them, but when they burned out I was just about done with it. I wrote Alex and demanded a refund. He suggested I downgrade from his Mach 1 Elite with a dual-hub setup to a Mach 1 with a single satellite motor. I was skeptical, but I told him I would give him one more try. Yesterday I received the replacement VESC, trucks, motor, and a Nano remote. This post serves as an initial review of that product, the Mach 1.
Packing/Packaging The trucks/wheels/mounted motor and VESC were shipped with adequate packing material. The Nano remote was packaged separately within the larger box which held everything. Boring, I know, but it was good to see he took the time to package everything in such a way as to mitigate the effects of transit, considering this was probably the cause of the first board and one VESC to arrive damaged. The remote and VESC were both boxed in a separate box and arrived in pristine condition.
Trucks/wheels I am not sure what brand/make/model the trucks are, but they are all black, and have one motor mount bolted on. Alex originally sent a drop-through deck, but I cannot get the truck with the motor mount to sit correctly unless I top mount it, which is what I ended up doing. I have a good low/wide stance on the board, so there hasn’t been any real issues braking, which is what I was afraid of with the slightly higher rear truck. The wheels are black (not sure what size) flywheels. They aren’t as wide as the previous ones, but they are larger (again, not sure but I’m assuming 90mm?), so they are pretty smooth. I had to go over a few …curb ramps (not sure the proper terminology) which I rolled over easily.
Motor The motor is a sensored 6365 Maytech satellite mounted motor. It ran fairly cold the entire ride, although it was relatively flat for most of the ride. I can start from a standstill no problem (loads of torque), but I prefer the rolling start. Still, it has smoother throttle than the hubs did when they worked (as far as I noticed). My next ride will traverse what I think are substantial hills, but I don’t anticipate there being any problems.
Deck The deck is kind of shot. It is cracking a lot near one of the bolts on the front truck. It’s a little unexpected given this is honestly the first good ride I’ve ever taken, and it was only about ten to fifteen minutes long. I may try to get some wood glue and a couple of clamps to try and inject a little life into it since it’s supposed to rain for the next three days. If that doesn’t work, I am eyeing another 9 ply board which is running around $40 on amazon.
Remote I had no problems with the Mini remote Alex sent me the first time, but the Nano remote he sent this time is head and shoulders better. I feel more comfortable with a thumb trigger than a finger one. There are two settings to the remote, a fast and a slower setting. I only tried out the faster setting, mostly because I didn’t realize the second setting was any different. I plan on going into Ackmaniac’s app and changing one of the settings to cruise control though.
The ride I took this setup for a longer run this afternoon than the first two hub setups combined. No issues. I went as fast as I was comfortable with, which seemed to be like a rocket. I also tried going slow with no issues. Brakes worked really well the entire time. I stopped about halfway and checked the motor and belt and both were hardly warm. I was shocked, because the hubs’ terrible performance convinced me nothing could carry my fat ass around without croaking less than a mile into the journey. I didn’t go up any long steep hills, but it took me up and over some shorter steep ones which I was concerned about to begin with.
Customer Service Alex has been pretty approachable and has walked me through some of the nuances of BLDC Tool while we tried to troubleshoot the original two hub setups. He is also quick to throw extras into the mix, like extra PU for the hubs, or a new remote which I didn’t ask for, and that is really nice. However, he often struggles to stick to his own timelines, and of course I never received a working model which I originally ordered (Mach 1 Elite). I originally ordered the board at the beginning of January, and now halfway through April I finally have a working model one tier down. Also worth noting, at this time he has told me he would refund me the cost difference between the Elite and Mach 1, but I haven’t seen anything.
Alex tells me he has also shipped a new enclosure and a couple of extra belts in a separate shipment. The belts are extras, although it seems like most companies do this because they know people are going to break belts with time. The enclosure is a replacement for the current one I’m rocking (the original) which has three excess holes from the original two-hub/two-vesc setup, and which was cracked all down one corner when I originally received it.
All in all, I am still unhappy about the amount of time/trial and error it took us to arrive to this point, but I have a very positive first impressions of the product now in my possession. I think it’s going to work out.
I’ll leave my previous review just for posterity. If the weatherman is wrong tomorrow (crossing my fingers) then I will take it on a more substantial ride and write some more / take pictures/video. if not, it looks like I will have to wait until Wed or Thurs of next week.
------Older review------------------ 13 March In December I posted on the forum that I was looking to get into Esk8, but I was on a budget and not sure which was better; buy a chinese boosted knockoff/complete, or buy a used complete off of someone on the forum.
Alextech wrote me back, and after some back and forth I decided to order his “Mach 1 Elite”. The idea of two hub motors for only slightly more than my original budget seemed like a pretty good deal. On 9 January I made the order. I received the board last Thurs, 8 March. There have been some hiccups with the entire process, but I said I would post a review when I ordered it so here are my initial thoughts. My apologies for the long post.
- The board arrived in a cardboard box, with not much packing material inside.
- I am almost certain the problems with the bad VESC could have been avoided if there was more packing material within the box in which the board shipped.
- After unboxing, I noticed the board was cracked on one end and the enclosure was also cracked on one corner.
- I conducted a motor test with no load (board upside-down in my lap). One motor wouldn’t spin. I opened up the enclosure to discover the VESC running hot to the touch. Also, the LEDs on the hot VESC weren’t responding to the remote like the VESC which was performing well. After reconfiguring the bullet connectors I determined there was nothing wrong with the hub motor, it was most likely the VESC that was faulty. Finally, after prying some of the hot glue up I discovered one of the pieces of the VESC to be cracked/broken. I figure this could have only happened during shipping, since Alex sent me a video of the board performing well with both motors operational in a road test.
- If I seem a little perturbed about this, it’s because I really think this is the only reason why the board is nerfed right now and waiting on repair parts. We’ll get through this, hopefully within a week or so.
- Alex included two replacement PU hub wheels, which I don’t think was originally part of the deal- which I really appreciate.
- I paid Alex for a 10s2p battery pack. I think he gave me a 10s3p 9ah? Anyways I appreciate he hooked me up. Very nice.
- Alex was honest and up front about the delays he had from a bad batch of VESCs he got (his reason for the delay), and has been responsive to any questions/requests I have had since ordering.
- Alex told me he would send me a replacement VESC, a soldering iron, and some solder, since my location (Germany) wouldn’t allow for me to ship the electronics assembly back to him with the battery, I didn’t want to spend extra money to ship the entire board back and forth again, and I have very limited experience with soldering electronics. The extent of my skill began and ended when I began playing the bass guitar as a teenager and fixed my home-made first amp almost weekly (most likely because I was just winging it).
- He also said he would send me a replacement enclosure.
- Alex was available to help me diagnose the problem being the VESC and is pretty responsive to my questions, which is nice considering I am 10 hours ahead of him.
Performance Yesterday after I clipped/taped the hot battery wire and disconnected the servo wire going to the bad VESC, I took the board for a spin back and forth behind my building.
- I am almost glad both VESCs aren’t working for a test run, because I configured the mini remote settings poorly before the test, and almost threw myself from the board a couple times when I let off of the throttle.
- Right now it doesn’t have much torque, but it is operating at no more than 50% so that makes sense. It has trouble starting from a standstill, but it is best when I give it a push start (which I don’t mind because the throttle kicks in but seems less awkward). I am a larger rider, about 210lbs and 6’ tall. I plan on using this to get to work and back again most mornings/evenings, but I will wait until I get the second motor up and running to try going up and down hills. Once the board gets going it seems to perform well. Unfortunately, I noticed some screws/bolts were backing themselves out of the hub motors so I stopped my test early.
- I think with two working hubs I will have plenty of torque. Seeing how Alex’s test ride went, who is an similar sized rider, I think I should be fine.
Anticipated Maintenance/Future Challenges
- The deck itself is stiff, but I do feel a little bit of flex still. After reading horror stories in this forum about deck flex leading to battery destruction, I am going to try to reinforce the deck just to make sure it doesn’t happen to me. Also, I guess foot placement above/near the trucks will minimize this problem. I could always lose weight, and I probably will, which will probably help to mitigate this issue (but I’m not counting on it). Any suggestions from the big brains on the forum is appreciated.
- I will loc-tite all the hub-motor screws before I go on another ride (sometime this week).
- To reinforce the enclosure, I am going to try coating it with some truck-bed liner (if I can find it in Germany). I saw a video on youtube where they coated a watermelon with it and then dropped it from a tower with the melon intact (although liquified inside of the liner-shell). I don’t intend to go grinding on curbs/rails with this anytime soon, but I do think it needs just a little help.
- I want to be able to ride this in the rain if I need to, so I am considering wrapping the entire battery in heat tubing, sealing the enclosure (once I hook up the replacement VESC), and maybe using some type of epoxy resin/sealant on the board and then reapplying grip tape.
- The board did not take long to get here once it shipped (only about a week and a half from Cali to Germany)!
- Alex threw some unexpected extras in my shipment which I appreciated.
- He is really approachable about fixing this situation, and is willing to ship me not only a replacement pre-configured VESC, but also tools with which to do the work, and a new enclosure.
- The motors both work well independently, and should have plenty of torque when they are both running.
- It took a considerable amount of time for the board to ship, which was caused by a few factors such as parts availability. It still sucked to wait for two months for something I initially thought would be ready for shipment in about a week. Expectation management!
- The board arrived a little banged up, and enclosure was cracked, and VESC damaged. Could have been avoided, but maybe it couldn’t. Either way this was a huge bummer.
I will post a better review once I replace the bad VESC.[