Daniel (E-Skateboarder)- Aug,9th 2022
Maxfind FF-Belt Review
Maxfind has been offering stylish, aggressively priced electric boards since 2015, and they’ve steadily progressed into more advanced setups with increasingly capable features. This is a path we’ve seen many brands follow as they come into maturity, and I think it’s reflective of healthy competition in the space. As brands become more established and growing pains develop into experience, companies are able to more confidently explore new board models.View on maxfind.com
The FF Belt has a much heavier ride-feel than it’s hub-driven counterpart, the FF Street. A belt-drive system is in fact weightier, bringing the heft of the Belt model up a full 4 pounds to 24 total. This, combined with a stiffer composite deck, makes for a very controlled feeling while riding. The ride height is the same on both boards, a comfortable 5.5” to the top of the arch from ground level. The added heft and reduced flex in the deck make for a very stable feel, and the double kingpin trucks performed nicely after tightening them down.
The added stiffness and weight is appreciated, because the additional torque offered by this board is felt along it’s length. A noticeable jolt can be felt if the rider slams the throttle mid cruise…not jarring, but present. The acceleration is strong and even, although the acceleration is not the strongest I’ve seen from dual 1500w motor setup. This is not necessarily a drawback, because unless you’re looking to drag race you may prefer the smoother feel as you reach top speed.
The FF Belt comes equipped with CloudWheel clones, and they seem to be pretty good approximations of their idols. Matching the Cloud’s 105mm, they’re black with a half-whitewall and feature a honeycomb tread pattern instead of the Isosceles triangle’s (“special multi-step tread pattern”) found on the authentic Clouds that were paired with the FF Street when we reviewed it. They have performed well so far, although they may be more prone to sliding under hard braking than the Clouds…this sliding has been predictable, manageable and very fun for this rider, so it’s not necessarily a downside, just a characteristic. At the time of this writing, it seems Maxfind is still pairing the official Clouds as an option with the Street model…I wonder if they’ll eventually start offering their clones instead?
Accelerating and braking
The FF Belt offers smooth acceleration from a standstill to top speed, never feeling uncontrolled or jarring. There is significantly more torque than you’ll find on the FF Street, as expected. This isn’t the kind of board that’s likely to rip out from under you if you hit the throttle too hard…it’s a more humble acceleration than some of the competitors with similar setups, and I almost feel like I’m missing a “passing gear” to quickly accelerate from 20-30mph. The pull is stronger than the FF Streets hub motors, but the sensation is similar.
The Braking on the FF Belt can be exhilarating, if that’s what you’re into! The belt drive is quite capable of stopping the wheels at high speeds, “causing” or “allowing” you to slide, depending on whether you’ve got it under control! I found the slides to be predictable, and simply releasing the brake brings the board back under full control. I don’t incorporate an abundance of flare into my riding, but I did enjoy the freedom this braking system offers. You can certainly stop gradually and smoothly, even abruptly without sliding…but if you see a nice patch that needs a bit of drifting, locking the rear wheels is always an option!
The top speed on the FF Belt caught me by surprise because I got there so smoothly. My daily driver is a dual 1500w system with a much larger battery, and it screams to 33mph. The FF Belt took my 165lb payload up to 31mph for a moment on very ideal terrain, but it snuck up on me. I am able to reproduce a top speed of 29mph with no issue, but I find I’m not often on a long enough stretch of straightaway to achieve it. I consider anything with a top speed in excess of 25mph to be reasonable for most, and the FF Belt achieves this without issue. The FF Belt has also been able to carry me up inclines in excess of 30% incline, verifying the advertised capabilities.
Weight and portability
The FF Belt maintains the deck design of it’s Street-branded counterpart, even if the construction is quite different. This means we still get the tow handle on the nose, but the motor guards may complicate things for very tall riders hoping to pull it alongside them. As always, we recommend you avoid this situation with any board…during our review testing, we were comparing the FF Street directly to the new Belt model in the field, which meant the Street model often ran out of juice…that board is 4 pounds lighter, has a handle, you can kick-push it and I still advise you don’t run out of juice. Turn back around halfway through your charge, always. This board will fit in the backseat of many vehicles and the trunks of most, but we promise you don’t want to carry it.
Finally, let’s get closer to the ground and talk about the ones that keep the ride rolling—the 105mm Cloudwheel clones. Maxfind FF-Belt was destined to do well in vibration handling given that it was designed with a flexible deck and big 105mm wheels.Riding on rough roads with this one wasn’t too bad, but we have to say that these wheels are inferior compared to the original Cloudwheels. These 105mm shock-absorbing wheels are harder and seem to have less grip than Cloudwheels. Even though these Maxfind wheels absorb less shock compared to the original Cloudwheels, these wheels still do their job well enough to reduce the vibrations. Size does help, after all.
Maxfind has hit it’s stride in terms of build quality, and that’s a huge factor in our review. Specs don’t mean much if they only hold for a week or two, and shipping these things back across the globe for repairs in not feasible. They need to arrive finished, tested, and essentially perfect.
We see Maxfind re-using parts across models, and this is a brilliant tactic for any company making hard goods. Taking the deck as an example, using one shape and style across many boards allows them to perfect that form and to drive its construction cost own by reducing the need to create new tooling. The longboard design equipped with front handle is used on all four of Maxfind’s FF series longboards, although the materials used vary. We also see the rubberized grip carrying across models, reflecting Maxfind’s opinion that it is superior to grit.
As Maxfind achieves milestones in their product design, we may expect to see more similarities between models with major changes having more to do with motor and battery technology than deck and truck configurations.
This review article was reposted from www.e-skateboarder.comShop now