My eMTB (Mistfall) is… how do I put this… a hefty girl. Wrestling her around is quite a challenge, especially after a 35 mile ride. And while the Hypertrucks make for an excellently comfortable ride, they make for a very uncomfortable grip to drag my board around.
If you’re like me, you want a better way to wheel your board through your home, up/down stairs, in elevators, into the liquor store, and any other place where riding your massive electric fun-box is frowned upon.
“So,” I thought to myself, “I’m an enterprising Duck, I can solve this problem for myself.” Thus the DuckGripz were born!
They are lazer cut out of 1/4" (6.5mm) thick 6061 Aluminum stock.
They have both old school and new school truck bolt patterns.
Size at the largest points is 120mm x 171mm
Weight is 235g.
I had two made as a test run. @SeanHacker and I will be testing them out to make sure they are solid, and if all goes well then I’ll buy a few dozen and list them for sale on DuckBatterySystems.com.
I am aiming to keep these as cheap as possible, hopefully below $40 for a handle and a TPU printed grip. Therefore I wont be doing any post-processing on this first production batch. The edges will be a little rough from the lazer cutting process, and they will be bare aluminum. If there is enough interest then I can look into making them a more polished/premium product for future batches.
I’m using this thread to post updates on the project so I can stop clogging up my build thread, and so I can gauge interest in these. To that end, here’s a poll:
First impressions, the handle is awesome. Really helps to get more control over the board, much more comfortable than grabbing the trucks. Also much easier. The angled deck puts it in the perfect place, and mounting it above the deck like this keeps it well out of the way of the motors (though I’m sure that mounting it under the deck would be fine for most drivetrains too).
The truck mounting holes are like a fraction of a mm off. They work fine, but it bugs me so I’ll fix it for the production batch.
I would love to work that functionality in, but I am not sure how I would make that work since the aluminum stock is 1/4" thick, and the lazer cutting process can only do 2D cuts. If anyone has any ideas how that would work, I would be happy to take a crack at it!
I can see two non-ideal options, one is that generally a flat edge of the right width works fairly well as a bottle opener even if it doesn’t have a lip in the Z dimension. The other is by having the user file the lip in themself if they want to go the extra mile (like for instance someone who really wants a duck on their board and is asking about a bottle opener). I’ve had the not so pleasant experience of filing a large amount of aluminium this week but it’s really not too bad for a job as small as this.
I presume it would interfere with the grip if it was put on the top side, is there space on the duck side or would that mess with your knuckles?
But doesnt the mechanics of a bottle opener hinge on having something on top of the cap to brace the bottle against and lever it open? These edges are square enough that I’m sure they could get a decent grip on a bottle cap, but without something in the z dimension to brace the bottle against, then you dont have any way to force the cap off other than just applying a lot of pressure manually.
Not sure if that makes any sense, I’m not a bottle opener designer haha.
I could definitely draw out a design like that and have it lazer-cut, but I went with my design for a couple of reasons:
I dont personally feel that the brass-knuckles style grip would be very comfortable to lift 50 pounds.
I wear pretty thick gloves, and so sticking my fingers in those holes might be more awkward, which reduces the convenience of the handle.
Etoxx is an expert machinist, and makes beautiful CNC’d parts where every corner and edge is nicely rounded. I am going for something very cheap here, which means lazer-cutting. That brass-knuckles style design I think would be really uncomfortable with sharp lazer cut corners in every hole.
With my current design it’s easy for me to model and print a soft, comfortable TPU grip that snaps onto the handle, but I couldn’t do that for the brass-knuckles style design.
You might be right when comparing bare metal to bare metal, but when you add the TPU grip on my design to the comparison, I feel strongly that mine will be a more comfortable grip Though of course comfort is all subjective.
Another note about the brass-knuckles style design for eMTB grab handles:
Is it just me or are they always upside down? Like, when holding brass knuckles, the holes line up with the natural curve of your fingers, so your grip is like this:
I just ordered a de-burring tool to test out. If it works nicely and isn’t too much work, then I’ll consider doing that to the production units. I am trying to avoid post-processing as much as possible, because I simply dont have the time and I want to keep these cheap. But if this is simple and quick then I’ll probably do it, cus I want to sell nice products.
Also went on a sweet ride yesterday around Portland with my buddy Liam. The handle is awesome, makes moving the board around so much easier! It seems to be rock solid so far, no sign of it bending even when I am lifting the board completely off the ground with it. I tested out putting most of my weight (225lbs) on the end of the handle, and it didn’t bend.