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ASK Cubby, 07.17.2014, Version- Questions Tougher than Beck Weathers

ASK Cubby

“Child’s Crawler
I am looking to get my 2 kids a crawler each I will also be buying 1 for myself. I was thinking a small one for them and a 1/10th for myself. Since I will be buying 3 price is a bit of a concern. Right now I have a Losi xxx-t but Losi`s have gotten hard to find locally so that is something to consider also.
Any advice will be great
Josh A.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Josh, thanks for the email.

So you wanna get into the crawling scene with your kids, not spend much cash, and might want to stay away from Losi due to the parts availability where you live.

First off props for thinking to buy your kids some trucks to get them involved with the hobby. Good for you, the future of our fine hobby depends on them.

You didn’t say if you’ll be doing actual crawling or just doing general bashing with the new crawlers, so I’ll just wing my answer like I always do.

I wouldn’t buy them a smaller sized crawler than the one you get and here’s why- size matters more than anything else out in the rocks. A section where a 2.2 truck might blow through without issue, a smaller truck can get stuck on the first rock. It would suck to be out crawling/trailing and either have to only do easy sections so your kids small trucks could make it, or have every section where your 2.2 made it no problem but they were constantly getting hung up. I have been on several expeditions involving vastly different sized trail machines, and someone is always getting screwed over by the type of terrain. Running the same size at least makes it the equally hard (or easy) for all involved.

So like I said earlier, size matters in the rocks, so that’s why I would recommend a truck using 2.2 tires for you and your crew. And… because you are wanting to stay away from Losi, I would recommend Axial. Axial has a couple big advantages right now. First off, because of their vast popularity, many local hobby shops are keeping parts for them on the shelves (some shops even more than Traxxas, Gasp!). Two- they are relatively affordable. They aren’t the cheapest out on the market, but they are not near the upper end of price range for the genre either.

If you don’t want to spend the cash for three 2.2 sized Axials, here is an idea. Because runtime is so insanely long on a crawler, you might just want to pick up one or two to start with. This way you can find out for sure if you and your kids are into the crawling scene, and with the insane runtimes one pack will probably be long enough for you and your kids to get an rc fix before having to switch out a pack.

Btw, as far as 2.2 Axial’s go, I’m a fan of the Deadbolt. It has decent speed for a crawler, plus it comes with 2.2 tires that have a good tread for general use. And oh ya, it can wheelie, which kids love to do.

Go fast, spin tires, and shoot us pics of what you end up buying.

Hit the “Read More” button to read one of the best rants I’ve received in a while…

“Going Nuts Over WheelNuts…I Must Vent!
What the hell is wrong with the RC industry?! How can manufactures be so innovative, but yet be so dumb?? Im sorry but i have to vent on this one!

The story goes something like this…..

New ECX Ruckus 4×4. Halfway through the first pack. Then, no power to rear wheels!

After a quick inspection, a rear wheel nut loosened up (which i had tightened prior to using the vehicle for the first time). Wheel hub and adapter is totally shreaded! Brand new tire and wheel is now considered junk!

Hasnt the RC industry learned anything (and i say industry because ive seen this same issue on other vehicles)? It drives me nuts (no pun intended)!!!! In the gazillion years that RC vehicles have been manufactured you would think that there is one Einstein that works in development that says “Hey guys, we need to use serrated wheel nuts with nylon ends to keep the wheels from falling off”. Yes, i said SERRATED WHEEL NUTS with NYLON ENDS!!!!! Theyve been around forever and you can get them anywhere. Its not like theres a shortage of them in China or something. I just ran down to my LHS and picked up a pack of Traxxas 3647’s (comes with 8 nuts) for $3.50 plus tax. And you know darn well that it only costs $1 for the manufacturer to buy 4 of them. Heck, ill pay an extra $3.50 plus tax for my ECX Ruckus 4×4 so that the wheels dont fall off and become useless pieces of plastic and rubber that will cost $25.64 plus tax and shipping (part number ECX43008) to

I dont know who does the research, development, and testing of the RC vehicles at ECX, but WAKE UP! Stop pissing people off with these lame boneheaded designs! Next time let someone that knows something about RC vehicles design and test a new vehicle prior to releasing it to market! And i guarantee you that you wont see inferior wheel nuts on any vehicle.

BTW…i dont want to hear someone say “They put those nuts on there to save money” or “I should of used a gorilla to tighten them down” or “You should of used a gallon of red loctite on the wheel nuts”. Nobody wants to hear it.


David O.”

Cubby- Now that is how you start an email- “What the hell is wrong with the industry!!!”. As Yoda would say, “A man after my own heart you are!”.

Btw, before I forget, you should put two gallons of red Loctite on every axle, use two gorillas to tighten them, and yes, they use those cheap nuts to save money.

Hey, you are a seasoned hobbyist, you know what’s up, and you hit it on the head with the “They do it to save money” comment. But do you know why they do it that way? Do you think they knew that eventually David O would pick up one of their trucks, so they purposely used cheap nuts just to tick you off?

Seriously, here’s the scoop. A few months ago I got a chance to talk quite candidly with one of the “big” guys at one of the “big” name manufacturers. I specifically asked him why one of his new trucks still comes with low end fasteners. Now, with all my work in the industry, I know how much those fasteners cost, which is muchhhh less than the estimate you gave in your email (at the volumes this company buys at). Anyways, I got the response I was expecting, but the person I was talking to put it in a much easier to understand way than usual. He basically said that good fasteners would add a dollar to their cost of the vehicle, which would also mean adding even more than that to the retail price. He went to say that if the truck came with thicker wire on the speedo that was just a few cents more, and if they went with a better connector it just a few more cents, and better tires are just a couple bucks more, etc, etc etc. But… then you end up with a truck with a price point that is way too high. Where exactly do you stop adding on the better parts that only cost a few cents each? As I’ve stated many times before, there are a whole lot of compromises that have to be made during the design process of any new vehicle.

To boil it down, the manufacturers are not stupid. Sure, they never want wheels to fall off their trucks, but because they HAVE to meet a certain price point, they know that better nuts sometimes just aren’t an option. Do you think that increasing the price point of a vehicle even as little as $5 won’t have an effect on total sales? Heck yes it will, there have been plenty of studies that show the effect of price point on sales, and even $5 can make or break a vehicle. And… maybe you want better wheel nuts, but I would rather have a Deans connector, and yet another consumer would rather have better tires. How do you decide where to put the extra money into the product? Like I said above, there are a lot of tough decisions and compromises that have to be made.

Yes, I know how frustrating it is, but hopefully now you have a better understanding of why your nut came loose on the first pack. Oh and, if you didn’t like my explanation, just consider it a sign from the RC Gods that you really wanted to upgrade your wheels and tires anyways.

That’s it for this week ya bunch of lunatics, submit your questions, excellent rants like Dave’s, and whatever else is on that demented mind of yours to Cubby at If your letters makes the big-time you’ll win cool stuff.

YOUR Cub Reporter

PS- I rarely explain why I use wacky titles to ASK Cubby and THE Cub Report (basically, I ran out of good ones years ago), but I feel the need to explain today’s. Of course there is no way the questions/letters today were anywhere near as tough as Beck Weathers. To keep some of you from having to Google his name, he is in my opinion the toughest man walking the planet today. Weathers was left for dead (blind, during a rough storm) in the dead zone high on Mount Everest, yet he is alive today. A couple of simple sentences here can not even begin to equate what he lived through, if you are so inclined, check out some of the books written on the ’96 Everest Disaster to find out why he is the toughest man on the planet.

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Posted by in Ask Cubby on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 12:10 pm