Epikgo Classic Review
Pros: All-terrain capable, long battery life, quality customer support
Cons: Heavy, limited agility, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epikgo looks like and performs as an off-road machine should. This board has large 8.5" knobby tires that make it great for driving over all sorts of terrain, from sand to rough pavement. While this board is on the heavier side, it has a range of 7.2 miles and a runtime of nearly two hours.
Here at TechGearLab we understand that, given all the hoverboards on the market, it can be maddening to compile all the appropriate information needed to choose the right board the first time. Good news! You have a friend that's already done the work for you. So kick back, relax, and let TechGearLab do the heavy lifting. We buy and test all the boards we review so you get practical insights into each model's strengths and weaknesses. Our scientific analyses are based on a suite of tests that facilitates direct comparisons amongst test subjects and quantifies all the conclusions made in our reviews. We call our test categories metrics, and the Epikgo Classic's performance in each metric is detailed below.
Making up a whopping 50% of the total score for each board, fun factor is weighted as much as all the other metrics combined. The scoring in this metric is largely derived from our tester's experience in our built-to-purpose obstacle course.
Our aim with the obstacle course evaluation is to put each board into scenarios where their strengths and weaknesses are laid plan. Accordingly, our obstacle course requires in-place spins (pirouettes), rapid back and forth direction changes, cornering, and a slalom. Additionally, we check the top speed of each board. Finally, we add extra points if the board has add-on features like Bluetooth connectivity, speakers, and third-party accessories.
The Epikgo delivered an average performance in this category. Our testers felt that much of this board's appeal comes from it being stable and comfortable to ride. This board is slower in the corners due to its wide wheelbase. The width of this board also makes it less maneuverable when compared to the smaller boards.
On the other hand, the powerful motors required to move this large board make it a standard-setter at the rapid back and forth maneuver. Moreover, they can propel the board at a respectable 9.4 mph in our max speed tests. Unfortunately the Epikgo's tendency to deliver "pushback" when at speed. (Note: pushback is the term our testers applied to the rolling of the standing platform wherein the leading edge of the board tilts up when running at or near top speed).
Our fun factor tests primarily focus on maneuverability in the obstacle course. Given the Classic's design, it's no wonder that it was limited in this regard. The board's bulky dimensions also contribute to its significant weight — at 32.2 lbs the Classic is one of the heaviest boards we've tested. Finally, the Epikgo lacks Bluetooth connectivity and onboard speakers, though it comes in three stock colors option.
The outdoor capabilities metric is where this board shines. In this metric we test each board's ability to climb and descend a steep (14%) grade. Additionally, we assess how they handle a variety of surface types such as sand, dirt, grass, as well as cracked and heaved tarmac. While it didn't take home an award, the Epikgo performance in these tests made it a contender. What testers liked about this model is that it balances an all-terrain capacity with the maneuverability required to engage our fun factor tests. Case in point, while this model is adept at tackling the rougher terrain testers did not feel like they had to muscle their way over obstacles. Rather, this board was responsive and balanced, allowing rough terrain to be traversed at any speed.
We also analyzed how each board performed ascending and descending a steep incline — a task that proves quite difficult for many hoverboards. The Classic did well going both up and down. The board's powerful motors provided testers with a consistent, smooth ascent. Additionally, the motors' braking on descent was stable and even, making for a very comfortable ride despite the steepness of the slope.
As far as surface adversity is concerned, the big wheels on the Classic are adept at handling everything from long, shaggy grass to hard-packed dirt and sand. More than merely managing challenging terrain, the board's beefy wheels provide cushion, making it comfortable to cross cracks and bumps in the road. One aspect of our testing is that we play around with the products at random — to get lunch or run an errand, etcetera. It says a lot that this board was one of a select few would get used in this manner as the smaller boards are, simply put, impractical modes of transportation.
Having reliable customer support is important for any product, but in the case of hoverboards it's paramount. The greater emphasis placed on hoverboard customer service is a result of our long experience with these boards presenting issues that we do not encounter with other electric vehicles. As such, we have weighted this metric to account for 20% of the total score. To evaluate this aspect of hoverboard ownership we investigate how to get in contact with the manufacturer and then we pose a technical, though practical, question to them. In this case, we made contact via email. Once we posed our question we recorded the time it took for them to respond and the quality of the response.
In addition to the basic test of support quality, we analyze the warranty that comes with the product — what it covers and for how long. Finally, we evaluated the durability of the products. We push these products hard in our testing process, and it usually takes a toll. As such, it is a good indicator of how these products will stand up to prolonged use. It is our thinking that a durable product will require less support from the manufacturer.
To our surprise, the Classic suffered some fairly significant cosmetic damage to its plastic shell during our evaluation. This damage was not associated with any particular crash or testing exercise. As such, it is unclear why this board showed more wear than others in the review.
Given the damage that the board sustained, it's a good thing that Epikgo has top-notch customer support. While the manufacturer does not list a phone number they do respond to emails, and they have an active presence on Facebook and Instagram. We made contact via email asking how to recalibrate our board, and they responded within 90 minutes. The response was quite helpful, including the manual and references to the page numbers containing the information we needed. As for warranty, Epikgo includes a limited, one-year warranty with the Classic, and they will allow you to return the board for up to 14 days if you are unhappy with your purchase.
It will be obvious to many readers that batteries are a vital component of an electric vehicle. What may be less obvious is that, unlike electric bikes and scooters, a hoverboard is completely unusable when the battery is dead. Referring back to the weight analysis in the fun factor metric, the reader may recognize how un-fun it would be to carry a 25+ pound board home having drained the battery.
To avoid a scenario like the one described, we took a deep delve into the batteries on these boards. Our tests revealed how many miles an adult rider can expect to travel on flat ground, how many minutes a board can stay active in our obstacle course and finally, how much time is required to recharge a fully drained battery. The Classic performed relatively well in these series of tests.
To assess the range of each board we rode them around a flat, smooth track at a constant speed until the battery was diminished to the point where the board no longer self-balanced. The Classic went a total of 7.2 miles — about average for the class. While this might not seem particularly far, it is a bit taxing for the rider to do it all in one push.
We also ran the boards through our obstacle course to measure their runtime. In contrast to the range test, this test was designed to more accurately reflect how these boards — particularly the small boards — will likely be used. With a runtime of 1 hour, 53 minutes, the Epikgo crushed this evaluation. Few boards boast longer runtimes and those that do offer a nominal increase over the Classic.
Finally, we timed how long it took to fully recharge the board's battery following the previously discussed runtime test. The Classic finished up after 2.5 hours on the charger. This recharge period was in line with the manufacturer's claimed time of 2-3 hours.
While our testers enjoyed the Epikgo Classic, it's not exactly a screaming deal. There are other all-terrain capable products in this review that scored similarly and are more competitively priced.
The Epikgo Classic proves that there is at least one hoverboard on the market that can successfully walk the line between outdoor capabilities and fun factor. This board does a good job of handling rough terrain, it has a long battery life, and it has enough range to keep you riding to your heart's content. Add to this a quality customer support team, and you might be willing to overlook the hefty price tag.
— Nick Miley, David Wise and Austin Palmer