ASK Cub Reporter, 12.08.2011- Way More Good Questions Than Good Answers
Please help – looking for a recommendation – most durable fast RC truck – for my 20 year old son to race his 80 year old Grandpa – durability – off road, sand, rocks etc. is much more important than name brand or paint job. Looking to spend less than $150 on each, will buy one for each of them. Both live near the ocean. Want more than we can purchase at a “big box” store. Thanks, Merry Christmas!
Cubby– Well hey now Anita. Aren’t you the coolest woman ever by hit’n up the number one rc news/review site on the net to find the perfect Christmas present for your son and your dad. Kudos to you and Santa had better be hook’n you up.
So the criteria are…
1. Gotta cost less than 150 clams each.
2. Gotta be a truck.
3. Willing to sacrifice some looks for durability.
Here ya go Anita, here’s my top 3 picks based on what you are looking for…
Up sides- Fastest truck at the price point, quite durable, drives well, and has a Star Trek inspired transmitter.
Downsides- Local hobby shops are unlikely to keep parts in stock for this truck. Does not come with batteries or a charger.
Up sides- Larger tires will work better in sand, very durable, and lots of fun to drive. Comes with everything in the box you need to actually drive the truck.
Downsides- Not the best parts support at local hobby shops, stock motor doesn’t last long.
Up sides- Decent parts support at local hobby shops, drives well, has good power and quite durable.
Downsides- Does not come with batteries or a battery charger.
So take a look at the links and our reviews, then pull the trigger. All three of those trucks are hobby grade and a huge leap in performance over what is sold in Wally World, and most importantly, all three will put a huge smile on the face of those receiving them.
Merry Christmas to you as well!
Hello Squid Folk,
Hope all is well under the sea. I have a question for Cubby. I need a brushless system for my Losi XXX-SCT. I don’t have a lot to spend, I’ve been considering the Duratrax Element 3800kv combo, it comes with the Deans plug pre-installed, or the Castle Sidewider SCT, also a 3800kv system, but no plug. But now I read the review of the Speed Passion Citrix Short Course system, 3600kv. The Speed Passion is the least expensive, but may involve the most soldering (a task I hate). Which of these would be my best option. I use my truck for bashing and for occasional novice class racing.
Also, I must agree on the awesomeness of the Axial EXO, if an RTR doesn’t come soon, that could be my first real kit build.
Eagle Mountain, Utah
Cubby– Yo what’s up Adam?
I’ve been driving our test XXX-SCT a ton, mainly indoors on carpet and on clay-doh type tracks, and I gotta say it freak’n hauls. Hope you are liking yours as much as I am liking ours (I think I was supposed to return it to our guy at Losi, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.. LOL). It’s not the best “bash” machine out there, but it’s dern near magical on a high grip surfaces.
First off about your soldering. When I was 8 years old my lil’ “boom box” quit working and I decided I was going to give a shot at fixing it. I took out the screws and suddenly had the guts of my radio in my hands. I noticed the wire going to the speaker had come off, sweet, so all I needed to do was solder it back on. No biggie I thought, I’d just ask my dad to solder it back on for me, he was a wiz at that type of stuff, so it shouldn’t have been a big deal. So I ask my dad “Can you solder this wire back on for me?”. Without saying a word my dad went out to the garage then come back with his old trusty soldering iron (the big gun type with a trigger.. LOL) and some solder. He promptly put them on the kitchen table and left. And he didn’t come back for 4 hours. LOL. So that day I taught myself to solder. I was smart enough to not learn on the item I actually wanted to fix, so I went to the garage and got a few pieces of wires, then spent the next hour trying to make two wires into just one. LOL. Soldering does take practice but it’s not rocket science, anyone can do. Seriously.
To digress- you may hate soldering, but it really is easy, it just takes practice. And if you intend on staying in the rc hobby it’s a skill that you must possess. Period. And… it’s a skill you will use in everyday life. So bite the bullet, get out your iron, get out some scrap pieces of wires, then practice till you can solder two pieces of wire into one piece (that won’t come apart when you yank HARD on them).
Btw, I can tell you dozens of stories of “high end” factory racers that have had wires come off during a race. Even I make a bad solder joint from time to time and come to a dead stop half way during a race. The worst that can happen because of a poor solder joint on a speedo/motor/battery is the wire coming off, it’s no biggie, seriously.
The Speed Passion Cirtix system will require some soldering. It will require you cut off the crap battery plug it comes with and put on a real one, so there is 2 solder joints. It comes with a 3 way connector for the motor wires, so there is 3 solder joints to the connector, and 3 more at the motor, so you are looking at 8 solder joints total. All of them are easy to get to and easy to do. There are dozens (hundreds?) of “how to solder” videos on YouTube should you need a bit more confidence. But I’m the type that would just lock you in a room with an iron, some solder and the Speed Passion system, and I wouldn’t let you out until it was all soldered up. 🙂
To really digress, the Speed Passion system is affordable and ultra smooth. The Castle and Duratrax systems aren’t as smooth, but can put out a lot more power. I think your buying decision boils down to this- if your current driving skills aren’t so good or if you plan on racing a lot, the Speed Passion system is a great one to learn on and/or race with. If you are looking to jump over your house or pull a mile long wheelie, you’ll want the Castle or Duratrax.
Why are you always recommending Traxxas connectors? Are you on commission or something?
Cubby– No, unfortunately I am not on commission from Traxxas (hint, hint, Peter). And I recommend them because they kick a$$. You are a moron if you don’t use them. Duh.
Keep reading! We have a bunch more questions and answers, our mail boxes were over flowing this week!!!
My 12 year old grandson wants to move up from the toy RC trucks to a more
durable, faster model.. I’ve read a few of your reviews but need more
We live in Arizona and he would like a truck that can go over rough desert terrain and jumps rapidly with dependability. I’ve considered the Evader DT and Ext2 b/c of the manufacture warranty and the price. But I’ve also heard good things about Exceed and a few of the other brands. Much of the terminology is new to me but I’ve been learning and know that I want to buy him an entry level(but fast) battery powered RC car or truck rather than a nitro or gas model. I’ll save those for later if his interest remains by next Christmas 🙂
Thanks much for you help.
Cubby– Yo hey what’s up Kelly?
You and I are tight right? Remember the summer we spent in Ibiza? Remember that one night at Pure inside Caesars (with the triplets!! Woot Woot!)? Or I’m not even going to bring up Oslo. LOL
Well friends don’t let friends buy Exceed product.
Wait a minute, now that I think about it, I really have no idea who you are. But that doesn’t really matter because even strangers don’t let other strangers buy Exceed. Seriously.
So your buying criteria are…
3. Entry level
4. Good jumper
I think you are staring straight at the Speed Passion RS2 I mentioned in another answer this week. It’s electric, it’s entry level, and it’s crazy fast for the hundred dollar price point. Merry Christmas to you, and write back in and let us know how it goes.
Hello I read a random forum that said the Revo VXL is a good little Basher so I bought a revo vxl and had it for a little more than a month but it breaks constantly – before I was able to even start bashing with it brand new out of the box the battery wouldn’t hold a charge and the servo would stick, Traxxas cust service is awesome though and sent me the new parts fast and without any hassle – when I did start bashing with it taking mild jumps and doing some cart wheels on my not so glorious landings – nothing 2 crazy
I have broke and replaced most of the plastic parts in the front of it including A arms, push/tie rods, ball cups, and the cheap plastic rims – I decided to put aluminum push/tie rods on it after the continual breakage of the plastic ones but one bent and one snapped in the front end within a few short sessions. The forum post I read was completely wrong this truck is not made for bashing. So im out to find something bigger and better – This site has some of the best reviews and info on different trucks but I gotta ask if I were going to fork out $500 to $800 to get something I could beat the piss outa (any scale) what would you recommend?
Cubby– So you destroy your 16th scale Revo VXL on a regular basis? You sound like our kinda guy. 🙂
To get to an actual answer…
If you asked 5 guys around the ridiculously lavish BSRC offices what they’d recommend for you most likely you’d get 5 different answers. But you asked me, so here’s mine.
You didn’t have the best luck with your Traxxas, so lets try another brand, let’s go with Thunder Tiger this time around. The new Thunder Tigers aren’t like the old ones, the new ones are designed well, are fairly rock solid, and have good parts support via Great Planes. So… drumroll…. I’m gonna say go with the Thunder Tiger MT4-G3. It’s huge, it’s fast, and it takes a good beating. If you are serious about bashing it’s a great machine to beat on. It jumps well, it’s fast on 4S (and just plain stupid on 6), and it spits lil’ tenth scale trucks out the back like gravel. It’s not cheap at close to $550, but it is gnarly. Click HERE for our review, and have a nice day.
Hey guys, I am getting back into the RC world. Its been a long time and I am getting the redcat shredder xb. What do you guys think of it? And can you do a review? I took your advice and will be getting the high-tech 4x charger and switching to the deans connectors. ThanksThanks
Cubby– So you are wanting to get a RedCat Shredder XB (a 6th scale electric buggy) and think we should review one.
Wanna hear a little story? Craig “The Crazy Ramp Builder Guy” bought 2 RedCats a couple months ago and reviewed them for BSRC. One truck worked great, the worked ok but had a few issues here and there. However… Jeff has been attempting to review a RedCat product for several weeks. Problem is- he has had the truck for 2 months but has only run it for half a pack because it keeps breaking so much. He’ll drive it for 30 seconds then it breaks. Then he orders parts, fixes it, then drives it for another 30 seconds before it breaks again. It’s a viscous circle. Jeff refuses to review the truck because he’s driven it for a total of less than one battery pack. Yet… I think he needs to do the review because he’s had it for two months and it’s just a pile. Our readers need/deserve to know that. Jeff does have a point that he probably shouldn’t do a review on a truck he’s driven for less than 5 minutes, but I have my point that consumers need to know when a truck breaks constantly and is a POS.
Anywhos… what do I think of the Shredder XB? I’ve never driven one, nor seen one run, so I can not give you a good first hand opinion. All I’m gonna say is there are lot of Really good choices out there at the $500 price point that aren’t made by RedCat. Choices that are already known to be rock solid, have great parts support, and lots of hop-up options.
Oh and… while we are on the briefest of speaking terms with RedCat, they never give us anything to review (Craig reviewed trucks he bought). Maybe that’s because they aren’t feel’n the love for BigSquid, maybe it’s because the reviews might not be so favorable. Who knows, but I wouldn’t hold your breathe for any RedCat reviews any time soon.
That’s gotta be more than enough for this week. We’ve been get’n a lot of emails lately, so if you are look’n to make the front page it’s gonna take something special and/or extra original. If you think your question has what it takes shoot it to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!
YOUR Cub Reporter