Foreword and Introductions
On 28th April 2019, MeepoBoard announced something that many Meepo fans have been waiting for – their version of the All-Terrain electric skateboard.
Meepo City Rider while not marketed as an all-terrain board, features a 6-inch airless tire that could, in theory, handle rough terrains; at least the rougher roads on a city street. This is probably what most of the Meepo fans were asking for, not an affordable Trampa but more of an affordable Lacroix.
So the 719 dollar question is, after long being the go-to option for anyone looking for a budget electric longboard, can Meepoboard recreate the magic for the AT segment?
Meepo City Rider Review
These are the specs of Meepo City Rider:
- Top Speed: 22mph (35kmh)
- Range: 15mil (25km)
- Weight: 28.7lbs (13kg)
- Charge Time: 4.7hrs
- Features: 2 hub motors, regenerative braking, handles up to 30% slope, 6-inch airless wheels.
- Price: 719USD with shipping included.
Meepo’s unboxing experience is pretty standard. A box, plenty of foams to protect the products, and some mask shift A4 paper printed manual.
It’s not quite the Apple unboxing experience but everything was quite neat.
The City Rider uses the same deck as the one found on AWD GT.
It is a drop-through deck with the tiniest amount of micro-drop.
The deck is pretty wide with good concave, and has a fair amount of flex.
Longtime readers probably know that I have a thing for drop-decks and haven’t yet found one that I don’t like. Of course, this deck is no exception.
City Rider’s deck is wide enough to pair with the wide trucks. The flexibility is right where I want it too. Flexible enough to eat up vibration or terrain changes without turning the board into too much of a trampoline.
Component Enclosures and ESC
Meepo City Rider uses two enclosure set- ups, per usual.
This time, however, it’s aluminum.
No fancy design, no USB port, just two steel box holding the component safe. Pretty industrial design, that suits the theme of the board.
Inside the enclosure houses a big pack of 10s4p battery and Hobbywing ESC! Rejoice!
City Riders comes with 6″ airless rubber wheels.
All 4 of them look the same, both hub wheels and normal wheels.
Going in without doing any homework, I thought this was a 4 wheel-drive set up. Alas no, it is just dual wheel-drive.
More on how the wheels impact the riding experience later.
Instead of using a double kingpin like most of its competitors, City Rider again uses Shredder trucks.
I will talk about its performance later but I would guess the truck is probably the reason why City Rider is marketed for city rides instead of all-terrain uses. It looks robust but I would never trust a steel rod to get air-time like Cédric Okp.
Can 10s4p Samsung 35E 14AH (504WH) power a board with 6″ tires to the marketed 15mil(25km) range? Well turns out it can!
I think the range was helped by the fact that the top speed was limited to a modest 20mph(35kmh).
There is no significant reduction in top speed until the very last few minutes – something I came to expect from every board in 2019.
*I weigh around 154lbs (70kg) and was riding in a mostly flat area in a warm climate.
Speed and Torque
According to Strava, I did manage to go over the marketed top speed and hit 24.6mph/39kmh when the battery is full. After that, the top speed was consistently 20mph/35kmh as per marketed specs.
I was doubtful of the 30% incline claim that Meepo made, so I took the effort to try it on the steepest incline I could find. I did a stop-n-go test on a 23% incline, and the dual 650W motors were almost able to overcome it. Without stopping, City Rider can climb through the 23% incline without much issue.
Acceleration and Deceleration
The City Rider uses customized Hobbywing ESC, enough said?
Both the acceleration and braking are as smooth as they can be.
Braking is smooth and with enough strength; it still can’t stop the board completely down a 15% incline but it almost can, almost.
Of course, the board doesn’t take off from the starting line as fast as belt-drive AT set-up would be able to.
Stability & Maneuvrability & Vibration
Maneuverability is where City Rider absolutely shines. Even without using double kingpin trucks (which some people hate anyway), City Rider is very agile.
You can easily maneuver it around obstacles, potholes, and traffic cones very easily and comfortably. Or you can always just choose to ride over them, potholes I mean, not traffic cones.
I would say the board is more agile than some lower end street-wheel longboard that I’ve reviewed, and obviously much more so than a mountainboard like the Trampa.
It is so easy to carve in, I think Meepo should have named them City Carver instead, too bad, name taken.
Wide trucks and a modest 25mph/35kmh top speed means the board will never challenge your sense of balance. The story is different of course if you insist to bring the City Rider out of the City.
Riding on grass and stone trails, you get a sense of City Rider wasn’t designed for that. Rough trails tend to throw me off the deck due to the bounce of the deck, the regular trucks and of course, no foot bindings. After half an hour of playing around in the park trails, I decided that this is the case of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
What is the comfort level when riding over rougher but flat terrain though?
While the 6-inch airless wheels perform amazingly to get you through ramps, cracks, and stuffs; the comfort level is not comparable to pneumatic tires.
Pneumatic tires absorb some of the bumps, the airless wheel is not soft and did none of that. Just think of it as a very big urethane wheel.
With that said City Rider is designed to handle the worst terrain found in a city setting and this set-up did exactly that, it is all you need in a city environment.
The City Rider comes with the typical Hobbywing remote, which needs no further explanation.
It is also compatible with the Night Ride remote type B, which despite its look, is actually very comfortable in hand and practical in use. NR remote doesn’t come in the box and requires separate purchase.
Meepo customer service is still the same old, same old. Some swear by it, some swear at it. Consistency is definitely an issue but they at their core has every intention to resolve every customer service issue.
You can reach them via email, via Facebook or if all else failed, leave a message here – that will definitely bring attention to Kieran and the team.
As you can tell, I am a huge fan of the City Rider. I think it solves the problem it set out to solve perfectly, which is, to be the board that’s agile for a city environment and at the same time able to handle the worst road condition a city commute may face. The riding experience simply left nothing for me to nitpick.
However, as we often associate AT setup as rugged, plowing, and powerful; I feel like it is important for me to emphasize that City Rider is not that.
It is a comfortable ride that handles poor terrain, has pretty good torque to drive the 6-inch wheel, but it is not a mountain board, don’t expect the performance of a $2000 Trampa build. It definitely can’t do trail riding, don’t even think about it.
All in all, priced at $719, it is safe to say that City Rider is currently the most affordable and the best deal for someone looking for a really big wheel.
(And it’s $599 for US buyer who are willing to wait for sea shipping.)