Arc Aileron 2.0 – Review

Foreword

Not the most flashy company, Arc Board EV from Singapore has been putting out quality boards since the launch of their Arc Penny(AKA Arc Board) on 30th August 2016. Following the success of Arc Penny, the Arc team launched the original Arc Aileron, which is also regarded as one of the best electric shortboard available to the market.

Throughout the years and with this 2 main products, Arc has established itself as a trustworthy brand that makes good boards.

Fast forward to the 2nd April 2018, the Arc team announced not one but two up-coming new products, the Arc Finix and Arc Aileron 2.0.
Both of this boards will be rocking the new “Arc Fusion” geared drive designed by the Arc team.
This is exciting as the Arc Aileron V2 will be among the first geared drive powered electric skateboard to hit the market.

I was given the chance to thoroughly test out the pre-production model of the Arc Aileron V2 and get a taste of how well the Arc Fusion drive works, and spoiler alert, its good!

Introduction of Arc Board EV

Being near from Singapore where Arc Board EV is based, I am quite familiar with the Arc team.
In fact, I was given the opportunity to visit their operation in Singapore earlier this year and wrote a story on this small yet respectable start-up.

Click to read more about the entrepreneur story of Arc Board EV.

Though not a very talked about brand in the global Eskate community, the Arc team has gained the trust of those who paid any attention to them. They are a small team of electric skateboard start-up that doesn’t try to do too much, yet everything they did, they did it well.

Ever since they first launched their Kickstarter Campaign on the original Arc Penny in August 2016, Arc team has never let their customers down.
Always on-time in delivering great quality products and follow up that with great customer service, the Arc team is well-loved by the community it serves.

The Arc Line-Up

Listing in the upcoming Arc Aileron V2 and Arc Finix, the Arc team will soon to have 4 products in the line-up: The Arc Penny, Arc Aileron V1, Arc Aileron V2 and the Arc Finix.

While I consider Arc Penny the best electric penny board on the market and Arc Aileron V1 great shortboard balancing riding comfort and portability, the Arc boards were seemingly at risk to be drowned out by competition as more and more new eskate show up with crazy specs and crazier price. This changed with the announcement of Arc Aileron V2 and Arc Finix.

Arc team has chosen to answer the competition through innovation. Their in-house designed geared drive motor, the Arc fusion drive, is looking to give them a significant competitive edge.

While the much anticipated Arc Finix, which should be available by the end of this year, will use a dual motor set-up with two Arc fusion drive; the Arc Aileron V2 will be powered by single Arc fusion drive and be one of the first geared drive board to lead this post-hub motor era.

Arc Aileron V2 Review

So how does Arc Aileron V2 came to be?

“Among all the ideas we have, we choose to go forward with the Arc Aileron V2 and the fusion drive to solve a problem I have – the need for more range. I tried to ride to the office with the original Arc Aileron and couldn’t get all the way through.”

“The fusion drive, on top of many performance improvements, solve the range issue. By changing the belt drive to a more efficient geared drive gives you 2 times the range.”

“Instead of being the last mile solution, we want the Arc Aileron V2 to go the ‘full miles’, so you can skip the MRT or bus and just skate the whole way to your destination on the V2”

Paraphrasing Hung Yi from Arc team

Arc Aileron V2 Specs

Arc Aileron V2 is all-rounded in specs.

  • Top Speed: 25mph (40kmh)
  • Range: 19mil (30km)
  • Weight: 12.1lbs (5.5kg)
  • Charge Time: 70min
  • Features: Weatherproof, Regenerative Braking.
  • Price: less than 1400 USD.

Build Quality

Arc Aileron might be one of the toughest board on the market right now.
It has an industrial black and grey look with none of those fancy color scheme and rounded edges.

The look of the Arc boards definitely reflected Arc team’s philosophy – substances over style.

Deck

The Arc Aileron V2 continue the use of Aileron carbon fiber deck from 121C.

The aerospace grade pure carbon fiber deck allows the deck to be lighter and thinner, something that helped Arc Aileron to be the lightest electric shortboard in the market.

Impressive.

This carbon fiber deck is also very durable. It might be the only skateboard deck that could survive being run over by a car, something that seems to happen more than a few times these recent months… (stay safe guys.)

Fusion Drive

The Arc Aileron V2 will be the first board to use the newly developed geared drive – Arc Fusion Drive.

A few electric skateboard company has their own iteration of the geared drive motor: the Carvon has had theirs for a while now and JED board has been making it their marketing focal point for the delayed JED board.
None of those product has yet to make a significant impact on the mass market so it was so surprising when the Arc team announced that they have a market-ready geared drive!
(note: Carvon’s geared drive is available for purchase, but its complete eskate is currently stuck in delay hell.)
(note2: JED board which made famous the geared drive through its marketing effort is just beginning to start its production phase. So it’s likely that the V2 is going to be available around the same time (June) as the JED preorders (scheduled May but most likely will see slight delays.)

Apparently, the Arc team have been keeping the Arc Fusion R&D close to their chest for a good half year now.

If you are not interested in the geared drives, well, you should!

A lot of words are needed to explain about the geared drive so I will skip the explaining of what they are (think belt drive without the belt) and straight to what it means for the user.

Basically, with geared drive, you have a system that is more efficient while requires less maintenance compares to a belt drive. The geared drive also allows the use of standard longboard wheels – meaning significantly smoother rides. It also made possible the easy swapping of wheels and interchangeable AT/street set-up. These are the things that hub motor could not do.
The geared drive system also retains the responsive feel and instant acceleration that only belt-drives and high-end hub motors can offer.
On the other hand, unlike the belt motor, geared drive free-rolls well. In fact, it free-rolls better than a hub motor!

One of the criticisms of the geared drive as made famous by JED board is having a high-pitch steel to steel grind noise. Hence, many are waiting to hear how the Arc Fusion drive sounds.
After testing out the V2 myself, I am happy to report that Arc Fusion drive is only as noisy as a regular belt drive motor, no high-pitch noise.

Another concern that I have for a geared drive is their durability, especially when Arc Aileron V2 is the ‘virgin voyage’ of a new motor system.

While it is a good comfort to know that Arc team has been running its Arc Fusion drive under the radar for 4 months now, the real comfort lies with knowing that I can trust the team to have my back should there be issues down the line.

That’s the importance of buying from people you trust.

Wheels

With the V2, Arc team finally upgraded the wheels of their boards from 70mm to 90mm. Undoubtedly, it is a move that they were forced to make to allow more ground clearance for the board.
The bigger wheel took abit away from that agile feel I experience from the V1 but allows the board to skate on less than perfect road.

I found wheels size and durometer matters most in dampening vibration and in the case of V2, the four big soft 90mm 75a wheels smooth out vibration better than an ultra flex deck on a hub motor would.

Love the change.

Summary

With the aerospace grade pure carbon fiber deck from 121C, CNC part made in Singapore by REI Promax and with every unit assembled by the Arc-Team themselves, the Arc Aileron’s quality is one of its brightest points.

They have the track record to prove it too.

Riding Experience:

Acceleration and Deceleration

With a well-tuned VESC, the Arc Aileron V2 has a butter smooth acceleration and deceleration curve.
There is no surprise considering the Arc team already manage to nail that in the 1st gen Arc Aileron.

By using the geared drive, the Arc Aileron retained that instant & responsive acceleration that belt-drives are known for. When releasing the acceleration, there are no jolts, and the board free-wheeled so well that it felt as if it might never stop. Significantly better than hubs.

I used to be so nervous trying to brake on an electric skateboard, yet for the Arc Aileron V2, there is no such concern. There were no jolts felt. 100% smooth – I promise.

While most of the skateboard has 2 or even 5 riding modes to cater to different needs, Arc Aileron V2 doesn’t have that and doesn’t need that. It is too easy to control the rate of acceleration and the top speed with the remote dial and you won’t even be thinking about the ride modes.
It was only when I was writing the review that it dawned on me that Arc Aileron V2 doesn’t have different speed modes.

The control is just that awesome.

10/10 man. Bravo.

Vibration & Stability

As per usual, we took the Arc Aileron V2 to a cobblestone road to test out how it handles vibration.

As mentioned prior, the Arc Aileron V2 is quite well in handling vibration.
Though the carbon fiber deck is not known to be the most flexible, the 75a 90mm wheels really help in dampening vibration.

On the downside, the deck doesn’t have any concave to it so it doesn’t help to “grip” your foot during rides. So when my feet were numb during the cobblestone ride, a concave deck might help and ease the feeling of my feet slipping off the deck.
But obviously, you can’t have a thin carbon fiber deck and still ask for it to have concave too, can you?

Remote Control

Using a single dial with plenty of throws, Arc version of eskate remote is among the best out there.
The remote is big and simple in design.

I think the size works for me and I find it very comfortable to hold in hand.

No disconnection of course. And they have chosen to disable the reverse function, a change that I am fans of.

As I mentioned, it is so easy to fine tune the acceleration, braking and top speed that the V2 doesn’t need speed mode to help with the control.

By the way, its using AA battery instead of lithium.

Summary of Riding Experience

Arc Aileron V2 offers the best riding experience one can ask from a shortboard. Riding on the V2, I couldn’t think of anything to improve it on. Good in tight maneuver and awesome in cruising, the V2 does its job perfectly.

The acceleration and deceleration are both so easy to control that I am confident it suits both newbie and the pros.

Capability

Range

19miles or 30kmh range is exactly what an efficient geared drive motor can do – doubling the range of a belt drive system.

Speed

In our testing, the Arc Aileron V2 can reach 23mph (38kmh) for a 165lbs(75kg) rider in a normal stance.
This means that the marketing top speed of 25mph(40kmh) is definitely achievable with a (155lbs)70kg rider in a speed tuck. It’s not something I would want to do on a shortboard deck but hey, you do you!

Torque

The Arc Aileron V2 is marketed to handle 19% uphill climb.

In my standard uphill hill test, the V2 is able to conquer the incline if given a running start.
It couldn’t do a stop-and-go on a steep incline. It is a single drive electric skateboard after all.

Note: If given too big of a load, the geared drive will sputter. This is bad for the motor so it is best not to abuse it.

Customer Service

Customer service is a bright spot for the Arc team. They have been here for a while and their track record has been perfect.

Customer for Singapore has a fast and easy access to the Arc team (its a city-state after all).
For international customers, the Arc team works with other people and company around the world to provide better and faster repair service.

If you are from the US, Long-Hair-Boy will be the one helping the repair if something goes wrong with your Arc while for EU customers, Cedric from Unikboards will be handling the repair and warranty.
Last but not least, the customers from South East Asia and Australia will still be nearest to Arc team and will be serviced by the team themselves.

Other Features

The Arc boards are usually simple boards without much belts and whistles.

The Arc Aileron V2 kept the same philosophy. No smartphone app, no built-in LED.
Just a tough electric skateboard.

Portability

The best part of the Arc Aileron V2 is the portability. At 12lbs(5.5kg), it is only second to the belt-drive Arc Aileron V1 (9.5lbs/ 4.3kg) for the top places as the lightest electric shortboard.

Verdict

While the original Arc Aileron has its niche, the electric shortboard market was seeing fierce competition and the Arc team needed to make a move.

The Arc Aileron V2 with its geared drive is the perfect solution. Instead of going into a price & specs war, Arc team decided to lead the electric skateboard market with their new geared drive technology.

Amongst all the shortboard in the market, I would place the Aileron V2 as a better board over even the recently announced Boosted Mini X. Aileron V2 is simply better in performance and more practical to travel around with considering the weight.
Aileron V2 is also on par with quality and ride feel comparing to the Boosted.
Well, V2 cost $300 more than the Boosted Mini X so it would be only reasonable to expect a better value.

Although as a single drive electric skateboard, the Arc Aileron V2 is not the best hill climber, it is still the perfect electric shortboard for a lot of people.
It can be fast for the pros and it can be tame for the noobs.
It is light enough to travel around and comfortable enough to cruise.

Arc Aileron V2 also has the customer service and the build quality to give the peace of mind.

If you are in the market for an electric shortboard, there shouldn’t be a lot of reason to turn down the V2 if the $1300 price-tag is within your budget.

Check out Arc Aileron V2

3 Replies to “Arc Aileron 2.0 – Review”

  1. Weird that ARC and the JED boards have so much in common,

    Singapore – 3 letter name -geared drives.

    Well put together review very comprehensive,thank you.

    1. Yeah, haha. I can’t wait for more geared drives to be in the market, they are really awesome!

      Thank you for reading!

  2. Well, this looks really cool. But there is just no way in the world I would ever drive a single motor e-skate. When hitting my brakes fully I want the wheels to be on the point of slipping. Because that is the fastest way to a standstill. With a single motor you just can’t brake fast. It’s impossible.

Leave a Reply