Keeping a Mountainboard build light | First build

Hi guys! I’m planning to do my first build with a MTB that I had.

I’d like to keep this board light so I can commute with it!
I’ve taken a look at a few builds and I see a lot of them that are heavy with a big (ugly…sorry) middle battery box. Only the high ends like Lacroix look nice.

What do I need to think about to keep this build on the lighter side?
Will keeping things lighter mean more expensive build?
I’m trying to keep the budget around $800 and I’ve heard that i need a 1.2k budget minimum.

I was also thinking of buying this one and doing a deck swap.

Final note, would love to see some relatively cheap AT builds!

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If you’re not going to use regular longboard trucks, you need tipped ends or angled risers. Channel trucks like trampa/mbs/kaly/the ones in the for sale thread you linked, need around 35 degrees of angle in order to turn correctly, so they won’t work on the deck you have w/o angled risers.

Anyways, your first hurdle is going to be coming up w/ an enclosure that fits the deck.

An AT build for $800 is pretty much impossible. I’ve got what I would consider a bare minimum AT build, and it rings up at about $1.3k paying off the shelf prices. If you’re as patient and lucky as I’ve been, you might be able to get it closer to 1k.

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You’re not the only one who thinks that.

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You wanna build a MTB or an AT board?
Lacroix isn’t a mtb hence a bottom mount battery tray makes sense.

You can save a bit of weight here and there, but the main thing you need to decide on is:
Long range = heavy
Short range = light

If you want to get ultra light, think about a single belt drive maybe. Might lack in torque, but you can’t have everything :sweat_smile:

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Don’t tell lies!!! Everybody love them!
First time I heard about it :roll_eyes::rofl:

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I actually don’t mind it or even think it looks nice - as long as the box isn’t too high :joy:

I think that even 1.2k is tight if you use regular DIY esk8 parts and don’t do something like the deck swap you proposed. I already spent around 3k€ on my MTB build (including some upgrades and spare parts).
Basically lighter means either more expensive or (way) less powerful. So you need to decide what you want and need in terms of power and range.
You can save a lot of weight by going single vs dual drive, very small battery vs large battery, 50xx vs 63xx or even 80xxx, belt vs gear or chain. These things will also cost less. But then you will have a very underpowered, tiny range board that isn’t very agile.
There are also weight saving parts that are more expensive than the regular ones, like e.g. Vertigo vs Infinity trucks, Holypro vs HS11. But the difference is marginal.

Also an undertray battery enclosure costs way more than a waterproof top mounted box.

As a side note: I wouldn’t recommend foot straps for a commuter, except you ride 100% off road without any street. Because foot straps are very dangerous in traffic.

I‘m super happy with my top mount boxes.
It’s cheaper, it’s easier to waterproof, I can use one battery pack for different boards, I can take the battery off to store them save when I’m back home and I do not need to worry that I crack the enclosure/damage cells when bottom out or rub over stones.

I didn’t like the look when I started with esk8 stuff. Meanwhile my opinion changed on it. Definitely like the look of my boxes :joy:

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I don’t like the top box, but after a lot of riding I’ve scraped the shit outta my undermount battery and im always wishing I had more range. Plus undermount is really difficult to waterproof.

I’ve come to the realisation that it is ugly but way more practical. Also you don’t have to make it huge if you don’t want the rage. You could easily make a small 12s4p top mount.

On the subject of keeping things light. Maybe dual 6355 if you don’t need as much power. Weighs the same as a single drive of larger motor.

Belt drive with some plastic pulleys seems to be the lightest option for drives.

Mbs Rockstar ii are the lightest and cheapest hubs I’ve found. A full set saves a few hundred grams over trampa. Matrix 2 are also lighter than Tampa trucks.

Saving small amounts of weight here and there saves a lot overall.

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I built mine for ~800€, but i got a cheap board and an ugly ass middle battery box :stuck_out_tongue:.
But it’s my battery box, she’s special in my hearth and i love her. And it was wayyy easier for a first real build :sweat_smile:

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No one has called out that deck swap idea so I will.

It could totally work, but you have have to restructure the battery. The battery in that board is built as a flat pack which goes underneath the deck and does move or flex.

If you try to do that, just take it off one board and strap it to the mtb, that’s going to equal problems. Like @Andy87 and @ducktaperules were talking about, mtb decks flex a lot, so the battery needs to be build specifically for that, allowing it to flex with the board.

You mentioned lacroix, notice how the enclosure is in separate segments? This allows the battery to flex when the deck does. That’s another part of the reason most people top mount when building with these types of decks

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Everyone’s advice is top notch.

If you want a light mtb setup but that still had a punch, I would choose

  • a decent Vesc
  • mbs trucks
  • dual 6355 motors
  • @IDEA motor mounts
  • use lipo batteries (more energie dense than li ion but has may be half the life span than li ion) with top mount batteries. Just get a cheap pelicase. Sure I understand it is ugly but you are on a budget and that is your top priority. My mtb is going to look super clean, but guesse what? It’s costing me 2.5k :grimacing:
  • with little motors like 6355 I would choose no more than 8" tires, 7" would be good.
  • have fun :laughing:
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Everything you said, I agree with and would only be repeating by giving my ¢0.02.

@bwahl602 did some interesting math the other day about threaded inserts.

I have ~20 in my bottom mount enclosure, and only 4 in my top mounted box.

I have yet to raw weigh them for an exact measure but I quote

“The biggest difference (brass) is the weight. The soft inserts weigh 0.032 ounces each. The hardwood weighs 0.212 ounces each. Multiply that by 24 for some of these MTB enclosures and you could be adding 1/4 to 1/2 a pound to the board’s weight.”

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Hum i’m not sure if I understand The board has somewhat tip ends and came with these trucks


Should I get longboard trucks (something like caliber II trucks) or some other MTB trucks.
If I keep the current trucks what would be the best motor mounts that fit these?

I saw this pack from Flipsky which seems like a good deal.
They also have a smaller and cheaper pack with 6354 motors.

For the battery, i’m thinking of going with a top case (haha) and 2 or 3 lipos - I have had good experience with Tattu and CNHL lipos with my drones.

Don’t get longboard trucks for a MTB. You’ll want channel trucks.

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I’m about to order everything - would love some last minute tips before I spend $$$$

  • Has anybody ordered form Flipsky, how long did it take to reach the US? Good quality?
  • This FlipSky Bundle seems like a good package , are there other options I’m missing?
  • Can I go with 6354 or will they be underpowered for this MTB board (i weight 165 lbs)
  • I’m still not sure what to use for the motor mounts (thinking of keeping the trucks I shared to save on cost) - any advice?

@PixelatedPolyeurthan thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

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I wouldn’t FlipSky, buy twice pay twice and all, but others may differ.

Also, there’s more than one way to make an MTB light.

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dude, just buy this. he’s like :30 min from you, you should at least check it out

WTS Complete Mountain board build 10s14p $550 plus shipping?

has a lot of the same parts or better than the flipsky kit. Drop the lipos in there and loose a couple pounds of lithium :v:

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Amen brotha!! I can also make a smaller lighter battery in a smaller box, and all the parts have been tested and proven to work well! Even the flipsky!

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only you can answer this. I will say that the TB6355’s that are on @Skyart 's board are the same motors I have on a street build and they have a very respectable amount of power.

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My 6355s get me up a 20-30% grade no problem! The gearing ration on my build is 14:72 on 8" wheels, if you are local to bay area you are free to try out the board any time!

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