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Evolve GT Bamboo Street Review

The Evolve GT Bamboo.
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $1,450 List
Pros:  Powers up steep hills, fast, seriously scary acceleration
Cons:  Heavy, long time to charge on standard charger
Bottom line:  The best, highest performing board out there
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Evolve

Our Verdict

The best of the best, this board blew us away. This model was the top scorer in the majority of our rating metrics, and just narrowly beat out in the others. This board felt like it had the most power out of the bunch, and had enough acceleration to actually throw us from the board if we weren't expecting it. We couldn't find a steep enough hill to stump this board. It is a little on the larger side when compared to some of the other boards.

Carbon or Bamboo, That is the Question?
Evolve also manufactures a carbon version of our Editors' Choice. This board is longer, stiffer, and has a much larger battery, drastically improving the range of the board — all while maintaining the same weight. However, there appears to be some supply issues for this board, as it is only available to pre-order and costs about $500 more. While this might be worth it for the extreme electric skateboard enthusiast, we found that the GT Bamboo was more than enough for our electric skateboard needs.


RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Electric Skateboards of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Friday
February 10, 2017

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New to our skateboard review, the Evolve easily climbed its way to the top to net an award. This board was great all around, and beloved by both expert riders and total beginners, due to the wide range of speed profiles available. While it was a little on the heavy side and did not have the snappiest brakes, there was very little that we could find to complain about on this product. In addition, while we tested this board in its standard configuration for an apples-to-apples comparison with the others, we also tried this board with the off road wheelset. This completely expands the capabilities of this board, and proves to be a ridiculous amount of fun. All of this combines to show why the Evolve came out on top.

Performance Comparison


Just a quick glance at the scores below show why the Evolve netted the Editors' Choice award. Its score (shown in blue) topped every other model's by at least 5 points.


Keep reading to see the exact breakdown of how the Evolve handled the grueling battery of tests we put it through, and how it fit with the other models for each of the metrics.

While we don't condone graffiti  we did take advantage of some we found at the skatepark to highlight how the Evolve scored overall.
While we don't condone graffiti, we did take advantage of some we found at the skatepark to highlight how the Evolve scored overall.

Speed


One of the first questions on your mind when you see these products for many people is: How fast can that thing go? And the answer is fast. Stupid fast. Fast enough that all of the proper safety equipment should definitely be worn. You can see the top speed of all the boards in the chart below, with the Evolve in blue.


This metric made up 25% of the overall score, and the test was split into two parts: maximum speed, and acceleration. The Evolve earned a 9 out of 10, tying with the Boosted Dual+ for the highest score in the maximum speed test, and blew the other boards out of the water with its unmatched acceleration. We timed how long it took for our expert rider to complete a 200' smooth, flat test section, giving him plenty of runway to accelerate and reach the max speed before entering the course

Our lead tester conducting speed tests on the Evolve.
Our lead tester conducting speed tests on the Evolve.

We averaged the results of three trials to calculate our top speed measurement. The Evolve hit 22 mph with our average, adult male tester on board, perfectly aligning with the manufacturer's claims regarding top speed. We performed a similar procedure for acceleration, though the board was stationary at the starting line, and only traveled a 50' course. The Evolve finished close to a second faster than its nearest competitors, accelerating fast enough to alarm even our veteran testers. This was all conducted with the board in "GT" mode — the most advanced — and beginners can dial back the speed and acceleration until their skill matches the board's!

range


Range is almost as important of a metric as speed, making up 20% of the overall score. We tested how far each board went on flat ground in an economical riding profile, as well as how long it took to charge the battery. You can see the results below, with the Evolve highlighted.


The Evolve scored a 7 out of 10 in this metric, just narrowly getting edged out of the top spot by the Metroboard Slim Stealth. This board traveled about 18.2 miles over 85 minutes in "Eco" mode before it kicked the bucket, maintaining about 13 mph the entire time. This board did take a relatively long time to charge, clocking in at around 220 minutes with the standard charger. There is also an 80 minute, fast charger that can be purchased.

Drag racing  or cruising around  the Evolve does it all well.
Drag racing, or cruising around, the Evolve does it all well.

ride


The ride metric for each board was based on how comfortable it was, how it handled life's rougher roads and unexpected cracks, and the certain je ne sais quoi that (hopefully!) drew us to each board. The Evolve did well, receiving the top score of 7 out of 10, as you can see in the chart below.


This board was exceptionally comfortable to ride, having a large deck, and was the most comfortable board of the bunch in the opinion of our veteran electric skateboard testers. This board handled rougher roads and cracks well.

Dirt and mud were no match for the Evolve.
Dirt and mud were no match for the Evolve.

The addition of the all-terrain wheelset turns this board into a veritable off-road monster, with this board zipping over cracks and bumps in the road like they weren't even there, as well as allowing you to ride over some extreme terrain.



All of this combined to make it one of the boards that we were the most drawn to, making this one of the default choices for trips around town, or just riding for the fun of it.

Hills


While all of these models can adequately scoot you around town on level ground, the hill test was what separated the winners and the losers. The test was simple: ride the board up steeper and steeper hills until it wouldn't go anymore. In the case of the Evolve, it powered past the competition, as you can see in the chart below.


This board earned the highest score of the group, with a 9 out of 10. We actually had a hard time finding a hill that was steep enough to stop the Evolve, as this board powered up the steepest hill around (23% grade).

The remote for this board features a small screen to easily display relevant riding data.
The remote for this board features a small screen to easily display relevant riding data.

Build


This metric dealt with some of the features of these products, such as how responsive the board was to the remote, how ergonomic the remote was, how heavy the board was, whether or not it had regenerative braking, and how helpful the customer support was from the manufacturer. As you can see in the chart below, the Evolve — highlighted in blue — did very well once again.


This board scored an 8 out of 10 for this metric, only getting slightly knocked down from its weight. At 17.3 lbs, it wasn't the heaviest board we tested, but there were a handful that were lighter. The remote felt nice and solid in our hands, and the board was very responsive to commands from the remote. The manufacturer has both a contact phone number and email, and responded promptly to our questions via email. They also have a warranty and return policy . This board does possess regenerative braking.

Braking


For this metric, we evaluated how the board did at controlling our speed down a steep hill, as well as how quickly it could come to a stop on flat ground. You can see how the Evolve stacked up against the others in the chart below.


The Evolve earned the second-highest score of 7 out of 10, tying with the Metroboard for the runner-up position. This model wouldn't quite come to a complete stop when heading down the steepest hills with its brakes, instead slowing down to about 1 mph on the 14-15% grade and about 3 mph on the 23% grade. The story was slightly different on flat ground, with this board stopping abruptly enough to buck testers off if they were unprepared. It had a stopping distance of 20' for our tester when going about 12 mph. You can see how this compares to the other boards in the chart below.


Value


This model performed fantastically throughout all of our tests, and is essentially the Ferrari of electric skateboards. Unfortunately, it comes with a Ferrari level price, not necessarily the best value.

Conclusion


The Evolve is the best of the best, the cream of the crop and is a great board for practically every use. It has plenty of power for the most extreme riders, has a range to match, and is comfortable to ride. In addition, the all-terrain wheel kit and the fast charger are great upgrades that give this board a chance to outperform its already unparalleled performance.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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