Foreword and Introductions
While the competition in the budget electric skateboard segment has always been red hot, no company seems to put much thought into the short-board variant. Take the previous gen Meepo Mini and it’s longboard variant Meepo V2, they are just the same board with a different deck.
While the same story goes with Mini 2 ER. This time, however, as the deck of Mini 2 is the star of the show, Meepo Mini 2 is no longer hiding under the shadow of its longboard counterpart and one could even say it will steal the spotlight. (and also, the ESC is different, it’s Hobbyingwing.)
Just one glance and you will be able to tell that Meepo Mini 2 tries to be Boosted Mini. It uses the same dish shape deck, and opt for a similar graphic design. This results in a morally grey but aesthetically pleasing product. I am sensing this will divide the viewers, half of you will be disgusted by the move, the other half will be liking it.
Meepo Mini 2 ER
This the specs of the Meepo Mini 2 and ER (in bracket):
- Top Speed: 24mph/ 39kmh
- Range: 11mil/ 18km
- Weight: 16lbs/ 7.2kg
- Charge Time: 2hrs
- Price: 449USD with shipping included.
Mini 2 ER:
- Top Speed: 29mph/ 46kmh
- Range: 20mil/ 32km
- Weight: 18lbs/ 8kg
- Charge Time: 2hrs
- Price: 629USD with shipping included.
- Features for both: 2 hub motors, regenerative braking, handles up to 30% slope, NR remote (with built in torchlight), swappable PU.
As what I’ve received is a very early review unit (No.002) to be exact, mine doesn’t come with the new Boosted look-alike design. In fact, I felt a bit let down for not getting the prettier version, so I guess I know where I stand on the issue of design copying.
The board came with a T-tool some stickers and hand bands. The remote that comes right out of the box for me is an NR remote, which is cool. I wish Meepo would include a regular generic remote too, though, as NR remote can’t be pocketed, and as portability is one of the key things when it comes to a shortboard. Later I found out that, the inclusion of NR remote is, temporary, once the N2 remote is available, that will be in place substituting the NR remote.
Acceleration and Deceleration
The first thing I notice riding the Mini 2 ER is that, this thing is powerful.
The acceleration is thrillingly fast, ridiculously fast, it beats Boosted Mini S and Wowgo 3 in a drag race! This thing is ridiculously powerful I tell ya, my pal calls it Mini Raptor. It hits its marketed top speed in no time, 29mph(46kmh)!
Although fast, Mini 2 is still perfectly smooth as expected from a Hobbywing ESC. The braking is strong and smooth. Although all are using Hobbywing ESC, Mini 2 ESC is smooth and strong like the Backfire G2T’s unlike Wowgo 3’s which is a bit tamer. I like my brake strong.
It was at that moment I realized that: Mini 2 ER is not Meepo V3 in with smaller footprint, it is Meepo NLS Pro on a Boosted Mini deck. Think about it, it uses the same Hobbywing ESC and same 244wh battery as the NLS Pro. The only difference is deck and wheel size.
Stability & Maneuverability
Shortboards are not generally my favorites as I can’t do tricks, can’t utilize kicktail as good as any skater would, and aside from portability, why would anyone sacrifice the stability of longer wheelbase for no good reason?
Unlike my experience with other shortboards, however, Mini 2 ER rides like a longboard. The heaviness of the board, the larger wheel, the shredder trucks with new bushings that give more a floaty feeling and the bigger wheels comes together to give a very stable ride. The deck is also broad enough for me to feel nice and stable. I love broad decks. I can ride to the top speed, which is a ridiculous 29mph(46kmh) mind you, and only felt wobbly at the very peak of it. That’s without me needing to tighten the trucks. Who rides that fast on a shortboard anyways!
On the other hand, this also meant that unlike most shortboards which is made to be more agile, Mini 2 ER felt more ‘momentous’. It carves comfortably like a longboard but doesn’t change direction as crisply as a shortboard. Tight corners are still easy to navigate thanks to the short wheelbase and the kick tails, it just doesn’t feel crisp.
I think this is also one of the differences between Meepo Mini 2 and the Boosted Mini. Boosted Mini felt agile, while Meepo Mini 2 felt like a short longboard (am I allowed to put it this way?)
While the riding the board has been more fun than expected, vibration handling of Meepo Mini 2 is only average, as expected from a hub motor shortboard where you stand directly above the trucks. It is not atrocious thanks to the thick riser pad and maybe the bushings, unlike some boards that are stiff as steel.
Riding on poor terrain is uncomfortable but tolerable. 3/5 or B grade.
Meepo Mini 2 ER came with Samsung 40T in a 10s2p setting, making it an 8AH pack that total to 288wh. This is the same battery pack found in the new NLS Pro.
The base version of Mini 2 without the extended battery is using a typical 4.0AH 144wh set-up. According to my previous experience with other boards with a similar set-up, should give you around 9miles (14.5km) of range.
*Rider weighs around 176lbs (80kg) and was riding in a mostly flat area in a warm climate.
A closer look at the parts:
The deck of Meepo Mini 2 shouted Boosted Mini. A side by side comparison reveals that the only similarity between these two is the dimension and the shape. Even then, this is a great deck following the design principle of Boosted Mini’s.
Meepo uses 7 plies Canadian maple for this short deck. The dish shape concave are comfortable for the feet, and the deck is pretty broad at 9″ (22.8cm).
As mentioned, there isn’t much room to allow for flex, as the electronic component occupied the whole length of the board. The final version of Mini 2 doesn’t come with a tail guard, yet.
Component Enclosures and ESC
Flipping the deck onto it’s back, we see the typical 2 enclosure set up. Mini 2 uses the same casing as the NLS and V3.
The enclosure is made out of plastics, not aluminum. There is a heat sink in the ESC enclosure. It looks pretty, no more generic parts.
As expected, these are the same hub and wheel that you can find on the Meepo V3. The front wheel is of 78A durometer and the back is the normal stiff hub that we are so used to.
I am guessing the choice of 90mm over the size of 80 or 83mm wheels is of 3 main reasons.
Reason one, the majority of Meepo riders prefer larger wheels to combat unpredictable road condition. You may not agree on this but most people still prefer big wheel over smaller wheels for more ease of mind when rolling over stuff.
Reason two, hub motors are stiff, and giving it extra 10mm helps to soften vibration by a little bit more.
Reason three, 90mm hub have more power in them, and Meepo Mini 2 clearly values power over finesse.
In my opinion, not using 83mm wheels is one of the reason the board felt a tad bit less agile as compare to, for example, Boosted Mini. The need to use a higher riser to prevent wheel bites also means a slightly higher ride height.
In my NLS review, I complained about how Shredder trucks felt too soft with the stock bushing. Macroon bushing seems to be able to address that. At least I find no need to swap the bushing.
For those who don’t know, I think Shredder truck is the best truck we have outside of branded stuffs, and the new bushing definitely further improve that experience.
I’m no expert in bushing so please take my opinion here with a grain of salt: I felt Macroon bushing is soft and floaty, it give a comfortable control, but not that zealous in returning you to center, which leads to the feeling of less agile and more momentous. I am not saying that is a negative thing, it’s just different. Again, don’t quote me on the bushing stuff.
This is NR remote type B.
It doesn’t pair with your LingYi ESC board -V3, NLS, but pairs with all Hobbywing ESC boards -NLS Pro, Classic, City Rider etc.
It has 3 speed mode with different top speed.
It has a torch light built in for night ride.
It has a reverse button, but you have to hold it to activate it.
Don’t be fool by the look, NR remote felt surprisingly comfortable in hand. The throttle dial is big, springing and comfortable.
The only downside of NR remote is that it don’t fit easily in the pocket.
According from what I learnt from Kieran, Meepo Mini 2 is going to ship with the new N2 remote once it is available, in place of the NR remote. N2 is a look-alike of Boosted remote, but we haven’t got any details on that yet.
Meepo Mini 2 ER is obsessed to be the most powerful board in a 30-inch body, and I think it is. For enthusiasts that love speed and torque and want it in a compacted package, Meepo Mini 2 ER fit the bill, maybe even better than Boosted Mini X. I thought I would never pick a shortboard for a cruise or group ride but with Mini 2 ER, I would.
On the other hand, an 18lbs(8kg) body means it is not going to be the most portable companion for someone to travel around with. It is heavy. This is the exact situation with Boosted Mini X.
The base version Meepo Mini 2 at 16lbs/ 7.2kg is a bit lighter and slightly more suited for portable use, mirroring Boosted Mini S.
Let me put them side by side below for ya.
Granted, those who are browsing Boosted probably have very different needs than those shopping for a Meepo. All things considered, I can say Meepo Mini 2 ER is pretty damn good.
Earlier this week Kieran announced that the Mini 2 ER will be using the LingYi ESC (the same in V3) while the Mini 2 will be sticking with the Hobbywing ESC.
With the changes, you can expect the following:
- Acceleration in drag race = Similar Acceleration smoothness in pro mode =-5%
- Braking strength = significantly increased
- Braking smoothness = Depending on which braking mode you choose, similar in mode 1.
- Other changes,
- remote with screen and telemetry (MR remote, bye bye N3 remote)
- The kick to turn on feature will be available on Mini 2 ER. (This is very important for me as I use it for multiple short rides with stops in between, no need to bend down to reach for the power button is a god-send.)