Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 3

Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 3

In Part 1 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report, I showed you the sights and sounds of Day 1, or Wednesday, at Axialfest 2018. In Part 2, I recapped my Thursday at Axialfest 2018 where I visited more vendors, saw more people trailing, checked out the Concours builds, and finished the day off with the CKRC Dollar Dash!

This is Part 3 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report.  In this edition, I will be running the Altra Ultra 5K, checking out more vendors and trails, monster trucking, parading, and finishing up with a nighttime trial run.  Come see what I saw on Friday at Axialfest 2018.

IMG_20180720_065645

My morning started off with Mista Tree cooking us breakfast, so I would be fueled up for the Altra Ultra 5K.

IMG_20180720_065348

Tree had the brilliant idea to reheat the sirloins and have a little steak and eggs for breakfast.  It was delicious.

IMG_20180720_073633

After fueling my belly, I was pumped and ready to run! My servo was upgraded after Axialfest 2017, so I was confident that I could finish this year.

IMG_20180720_072049

Looks like a pretty good crowd already, and it was only 7:30 a.m.

IMG_20180720_073238

Even Mr. Cru Jones looked a little sleepy, but he woke up and ran the Altra Ultra 5K, too. Hey, #47, that was my number last year.

IMG_20180720_072025

Two things I want, a new set of Lone Peaks and a 2018 Altra Ultra 5K FINISHER plaque.

IMG_20180720_075852

I noticed quite a few runner sporting gators. I took that to mean they were serious.

IMG_20180720_072429

Question: Should gators be color coordinated or mismatched to stand out? Asking for a friend.

IMG_20180720_075520

Mr. Hobby Wing aka Swanky Su aka Charlie Sue aka Charlie Suanka was ready to test out his new Hobby Wing brushless setup; totally programmable by Bluetooth, sweet!

IMG_20180720_081049

A little National Anthem before lighting the lipos!

IMG_20180720_075253

Ready to go.  I think there were 64 of us this year.  Are you running the Altra Ultra 5K next year?

IMG_20180720_081638

Mighty Mike T headed out WAY before me.

IMG_20180720_081646

That’s MTB legend Mike Bier, I mean Mark Weir, in the far lane.  He had prior commitments and couldn’t attend the whole time at Axialfest 2018, but he made sure he stopped by just to run the Altra Ultra 5K.

IMG_20180720_082152

It’s a bad sign when you have a mechanical before the first turn.  I hope they get it sorted and get back out there quickly.

IMG_20180720_082253

I didn’t do much running through the river bed.  All the rocks made footing a little sketchy and I didn’t want to risk a twisted ankle, so I settled for a quick walk. Also, it’s difficult to jog, drive, and take pictures all at the same time.

IMG_20180720_082309

That’s Half Link in the rear.  I tried to keep pace with him, but he eventually left me in his dust.

IMG_20180720_082429

The DWTS Crew set up a little fun log jump obstacle be their campsite. You could crawl it to the right or send it to the left.  Best believe I sent it every lap.  I wasn’t scurred.

IMG_20180720_090033

This hill was the Widowmaker.  It was steep and made you see stars by the time you got to the top, especially once you were over a mile in on your second and third laps.

IMG_20180720_083056

At least there was some relief after the climb in this downhill section.

IMG_20180720_084042

There’s that dang Half Link again.  I thought I was about to catch him here while straw hat man did some trail maintenance.

IMG_20180720_142646

You had to keep your ears open because there were logging trucks running.  You didn’t want to run out in front of one of those. Luckily, marshals were on the look out for you and let you know when it was safe to cross the road.

IMG_20180720_084654

Ben Thomas tried to catch me here in the old waterfall section.

IMG_20180720_085202

Since I wasn’t in contention to podium and was just out to have fun and finish, I decided to take a small detour and drive through the MyTrickRC highway.  Glad I didn’t get stuck on the broken bridge.

IMG_20180720_082823

Just as I was finishing the second climb on the Widowmaker, my daughter texted me.

SjWater

She reminded me to stay hydrated, and not die.

IMG_20180720_090112

Thanks, Skeeno Jr.  I took a moment to take a sip from my water pack.

IMG_20180720_091004

There’s Mr. Chris all awake and running wild.

IMG_20180720_091127

Hmm, clear dirt, should I play it safe and take the high line?

IMG_20180720_091129_1

No, SEND IT!

IMG_20180720_091130

My Tekin RX8 held up without an issue.  Are those waterproof?

IMG_20180720_092222

Wait, are those scale buildings on the Altra 5K course? I better stop for a picture.

IMG_20180720_093539_1

Last lap.  I stopped to admire my Bomber snaking through some various obstacles.  These Axial RR10 Bombers definitely work well.

Taz 5K

I did it! I finished! Thanks to Tristan Judkins for the photo. I ran the whole race with my phone in one hand and the controller in the other; those are the sacrifices I make to bring you the Skeeno Blog.

IMG_20180720_100041

Heck ya! Got my plaque.  That’s going on the wall of fame in my garage.

5k

I knocked almost 20 minutes off my time for the last 5K I ran, and the course was really more like a 6.3K.

IMG_20180720_103425

And I got a Finishing Selfie with Mike Bier!

IMG_20180720_104959

The 2018 Altra 6.3K finishers! Who won?  I guess I’ll have to wait for the awards ceremony to find out.

IMG_20180720_134326

After the Altra 5K, I had some time to check out the trailing and some more vendors.  I noticed the REEF’s RC guys finally at their spot and got to ask what those cables were for. They told me they were to lock up their rigs when they weren’t around, so they didn’t drive off on their own, smart!

IMG_20180720_134754

The trails were pretty packed in the morning.

IMG_20180720_134913

Even Mr. Tree was out wheeling his Yota.

IMG_20180720_135204

The Bay Bridge was very busy.

IMG_20180720_135437

It was a long drive across, but not as scary as the Golden Gate bridge of last year.

IMG_20180720_135311

Shh, don’t wake that camper in the tent.

IMG_20180720_135543

I can’t believe MMA star Jamie Varner is an RC fan.

IMG_20180720_135701

Getting off the bridge was easy.

IMG_20180720_140004

These slick rocks are always more tricky than they look.

IMG_20180720_140018

These two were having a good time on the slick rocks.

IMG_20180720_140341

More people on the handicapped accessible trail.

IMG_20180720_140439

This was the start of the handicapped accessible trail.

IMG_20180720_140509

OG Chino was still rocking his Half Cab and twin sticks.  I don’t think he even noticed me he was so focused on this section.

IMG_20180720_140606

Feel the Powa! of the Power Wagon.

IMG_20180720_140815

Looks like Registration is closed for lunch. #flossanddab

IMG_20180720_195022

Back at the DWTS camp, Big Country and all his homies were set up and wrenching away.

IMG_20180720_195016

It’s like a sea of RC in there.

IMG_20180720_195127

Is that a DWTS bumper sticker?

IMG_20180720_141120

Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.  Enjoy the scenery and appreciate the beauty of the mountains.

IMG_20180720_142724

As the sun rose to mid afternoon, the temps also rose and people left the trails to try to stay cool. Under this bridge was a good chilling spot.

IMG_20180720_142741

I was only able to catch a few hardcore drivers out in the heat.

IMG_20180720_142846

Mr. Tree approves of this 4Runner.

IMG_20180720_143141

Some of the  rocks in this river bed were crazy big.

IMG_20180720_143150

Smile guys.

IMG_20180720_143214

I’m not sure if this is an action shot or a flex pose.

IMG_20180720_143220

He’s headed into the Unknown.

IMG_20180720_143409

Wait a minute, his rig wants to cool off in the river, too.

IMG_20180720_143317

It must have been refreshing, because this guy jumped in, as well.

IMG_20180720_143517

This is right about were I got hot and headed back for some more water and a snack.

IMG_20180720_144446

One thing I learned from our Austrian Axialfesters from a few years back is that they are not used to seeing big trucks on the road.  Even Average Joe and the Canucks were impressed with the 37″ tires on my trip up to the first Canadian G6. At Axialfest, there are big tires everywhere you turn your head.  RPP has big tires.

IMG_20180720_141658

Rivas’s A.T.A.C. 4Runner has pretty big tires.

IMG_20180720_161030

This FJ40 has big tires.

IMG_20180720_161044

This YJ has big tires.

IMG_20180720_161100

This XJ has big tires.

IMG_20180720_071730

KOH Champ Mr. Scherer definitely has big tires.

IMG_20180720_144506

The Prairie City SVRA approves of big tires. But, remember to use proper trail etiquette.

IMG_20180720_144610

I’m not sure where she’s riding, but that helmet and elbow pads say, SEND IT!

IMG_20180720_144748

Hey look, Magnaflow came again and brought some cool stuff for tomorrow night.

IMG_20180720_155954

I was lucky to spot Axialfest OG Brokenib out on the trail.

IMG_20180720_160017

He is still running the iconic Blue Bastard.

IMG_20180720_160305

I wonder if it’s still on 6S?

IMG_20180720_160155

The SPOD crew was following close behind.

IMG_20180720_161139

Down by the river more people were running the Knights Customs trail.

IMG_20180720_161248

This trail was popular with the kids.

IMG_20180720_161343

This Wraith is packed and ready for the long haul.

IMG_20180720_161351

This little girl was in a hurry.  She got a little annoyed when her father took a little too long on an obstacle.

IMG_20180720_161827

Dude, no cell phones when driving.  Don’t you know the rules?

IMG_20180720_161831

Luckily, we were off road, so no tickets this time.

IMG_20180720_162424

A fellow educator on the trial with his newborn.  I had a good time chatting with him and his wife.

IMG_20180720_161653

LOOK OUT!!!! DINOSAUR!!!!!

IMG_20180720_163156

These crazy aliens drove by like they weren’t even scared.

IMG_20180720_163344

What the heck? Is that the 1:1 Bomber? You never know what you’ll see at Axialfest.

IMG_20180720_163355

PS The Bomber has big tires.

IMG_20180720_164647

This guy was brave enough to save the submariners from the Jurassic Mosasaurus.

IMG_20180720_164832

The Dinosaur patrol is a little late.  The Raptors have already escaped.

IMG_20180720_164750

This was a great looking XJ.

IMG_20180720_170657

Rage at the River!!! There was quite a party going on by the overpass.

IMG_20180720_170912

This crew was enjoying the cold tub.  I kinda wished I had on my swim trunks.  The water looked great.

IMG_20180720_171042

It’s always cool under here with the breeze blowing off the water.

IMG_20180720_171118

Yoga by the river?

IMG_20180720_171203

Yup, more cooling off with the kids.

IMG_20180720_171439

Same idea but a little more controlled for the littles.

IMG_20180720_171907

I spotted this scale garage next to the road.  I loved the scale Ledgestone under the window.

IMG_20180720_172020

A couple years ago I spotted this teardrop at Axialfest.  It was in the initial stages of its build back then.

IMG_20180720_172033

It was a little more polished now with even more modifications to come. I wonder what it will look like next year.

IMG_20180720_172652

Those skeletons were still pickin and grinnin.

IMG_20180720_172926

I didn’t notice this scale garage at MyTrickRC when I ran by during the Altra 5K.

IMG_20180720_173836

Wait a minute, what’s this?

IMG_20180720_173227

The Monster Jam?!?!?!? I almost missed it.

IMG_20180720_173413

I’m always amazed at how difficult such an easy looking course is.  Competition makes the trigger finger get whiskey throttle.

IMG_20180720_173629

Elio and Pham look pretty serious.

IMG_20180720_180646

The kids were definitely serious.

IMG_20180720_180652

The kids love watching the carnage of the Monster Jam.

IMG_20180720_173634_1

Photo finish jump!

IMG_20180720_175028

Time for highest air.

IMG_20180720_175128

This guy blew his lid off.

IMG_20180720_180712

Hmmm, cool trophies. I don’t know what the classes were, but you can see the winners below.

IMG_20180720_181006 IMG_20180720_181057 IMG_20180720_181133 IMG_20180720_181144 IMG_20180720_181247 IMG_20180720_181933 IMG_20180720_194341

I swear, I turned around and the parade was just cruising by.  I almost missed this, too. There’s so much going on at Axialfest. Fun is everywhere!

IMG_20180720_194349

Is that a mile long Axialfest train?  It sure did feel like it. How long is a line with 2,000 people in it?

IMG_20180720_195741

The Monterrey Bay family was back again.  I recognized her pink livery from last year.

IMG_20180720_203921

At dusk, Tree, Mike, and I set out for a trail run.

IMG_20180720_211933

I see Mr. Tree back there trying to keep up.

IMG_20180720_211607

Dang, this day seemed extra long.  I woke up extra early to Altra 5K and stayed out late trailing into the Great Unknown.  See you in Part 4 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno report where we Rock Race and end a great week with the Axialfest 2018 Awards Ceremony and Raffle.

Axialfest 2018 Rock Racing And Altra Ultra 5K Results

Axialfest2018Racing_Results
The Rock Racing event at Axialfest is a fast paced and challenging race open to anyone who attends Axialfest. Many prep their rigs specifically for the event and others just arrive for fun. Racers stage in each class for qualifying to narrow the fields. Qualifying however involves strategy as there are no marshals to assist you in roll overs on the course for most of the racing. You flip, you’re done unless you can wiggle your wheels and rip the throttle to right yourself. After qualifying, the field is narrowed up and the mains are run to determine the top three finishers. Here, drivers tend to toss strategy and go for the win. Sometimes this new style of driving works and other times it does not as this year we saw some favorites on their roof early on. Drivers take on the rock, sand, wood. jump and even pinecone littered course for three laps in the  main and the following drivers made it to the top to claim their positions at one of the toughest Rock Racing events; Axialfest!

Rocking Racing
Axialfest 2018 Racing 6
Factory Bomber
1. Chris Jones
2. Cary Reese
3. Asher Sibole

Axialfest 2018 Racing 7
Yeti
1. Spencer Bell
2. Zach Whitrock
3. Chris Duran

Axialfest 2018 Racing 8
Unlimited Tuber
1. Griffin Dean
2. Michael Pham
3. Gene Boyd

Axialfest 2018 Racing 9
11-15
1. Ethan Bell
2. Claton Pleming
3. Donnie Barron

Axialfest 2018 Racing 10
Brushed 1.9
1. Ken Mejica
2. Adam Nudelman
3. Sebastian Velencia

Axialfest 2018 Racing 11
1.9 Brushless
1. Forest Ward
2. Gabe Fleming
3. Tommy Thompson

Axialfest 2018 Racing 12
2.2 Mod
1. Michael Pham
2. Seth Reese
3. Angelo Lanford

10 and Under Kids
1. Sierra Reese
2. Jason Hernandez
3. Jaxson Hall

Yeti Jr
1. Mike Thompson

2018 Altra Running Ultra 5k Enduro
This year’s Ultra 5K was exciting from the start as 62 entrants lined up to compete in the challenge that tests the runners endurance, their rigs durability and ability to navigate the course. Brad Perry put a lot of work into laying out a challenging course and that it was. Runners took off two at a time on their own clock to conquer the trails that lined Cisco Grove. The path had technical challenges that went up hill, through loose dirt, through rocky terrain, past fallen logs and over lots of rough natural terrain. There were a number of dropouts in the race, mainly due to mechanical failure, but most runners kept their hearts in it to say they finished an Axialfest Ultra 5K. In the end, there were some familiar faces on top. Jake Wright took home the win ahead of Mike Thompson who just grabbed the second place podium spot thirty seconds in front of third place Chris Jones. The top three all sported Altra Running gear to help them to their victory.
Axialfest 2018 Racing 5
1- Jake Wright (BFGoodrich Tires)
2- Mike Thompson (Method Race Wheels)
3- Chris Cru Jones (Magnaflow Exhaust)

Think you can take on the racing events at Axialfest? Start prepparing now and we’ll see you at Axialfest 2019!

Axialfest Rock Racer Preparation Tips

AxialfestRockRacerPrep

If you are a regular follower of the Axial Blog and we know you are, you probably saw the Trail Rig Prep blog for Axialfest. It’s loaded with great tips to help trail truck drivers and don’t think we forgot about you Rock Racers either. Rock Racing is a whole other experience at Axialfest and prepping a rig for the Rock Racing course or the Altra Ultra 5K can require a bit more preparation than a trail rig. Trail rig courses are not timed anymore at Axialfest and its a run at your own pace experience. But for Rock Racing and the 5K, there is much more on the line. Although they are fun events, there are prizes at the end for the winners and so you want to spend a bit more time making sure your rig is ready for what it is about to endure. We’ve altered our suggestions just a bit here, so if you read the previous trail blog, you should reread everything seen here.

AF18 Rock Prep2

Hardware Check

Set-Screws- Set-screws can be a headache in the RC world, they are used in several areas on just about any rig. The most common is the pinion gear. If the set-screw goes into metal, it’s a good idea to add some blue thread locking compound to it before installing it. The thread locking compound is a measure to ensure the screw doesn’t back out during use. Most people use a blue thread locking compound which is serviceable, but in a Rock Racing competition, some have been known to use Red which is a permanent compound. Some heat can be used in the future to help break free hardware secured with red thread lock.
Lock-nut- Sometimes standard nuts are used in several locations on a rig and perhaps you’ve installed a nut or two along the way while working on or customizing your truck. Consider swapping out all standard nuts with ny-lock nuts. These nuts have a plastic insert ring that helps prevent the nut from backing off of the screw. You may also want to consider using threadlock compound as an additional way to secure the nut and some have even gone as far as installing two nuts to secure bolts in place.
Machine Screws- Machine screws have a much finer thread than a self-tapping screw. This finer thread often offers more “bite” into a part for extra security. Consider using machines screws wherever you can. And like that pesky set-screw, always use blue thread-locking compound on machine screws that go into metal so they don’t vibrate out while in use.

AF18 Rock Prep4

Steering Tips

Super Servo Arm- Kits and ready to runs include plastic servo arms that will certainly get you underway, but in an Axialfest Rock Racing competition, they have been known to strip out. Axial’s option aluminum servo horns are some of the best available and are often used by builders in builds beyond installs in Axial vehicles. These option horns are available for different servo splines, have a double clamp and two holes for the steering link. The strong aluminum horns will hold up to the abuse on the course.
Servo Upgrade- Many drivers upgrade to higher torque servos with strong metal gears to withstand the abuse on the course. If you do upgrade, consider using a servo with an aluminum case. The mounting ears on a plastic case servo can break on hard impacts. At the very least, use a wide head screw to support the servo in the mounting bracket.
Steering Links- Steering links are often the first thing to hit rocks and other on course debris on the front of RR10 Bombers, Wraiths and on SCX10’s. Plastic links can flex, lead to weakening or can even break. Many upgrade to aluminum links to handle more abrasive action and still deliver precise steering.

 

AF18 Rock Prep1Suspension Work

Shocks- Before heading out on the rock racing course or 5K, its a great idea to rebuild your shocks with new oil and even better replace the seals. The shocks on a rock racer or even trail truck are among the most abused shocks in RC. Not only do they move up and down, but receive side loading as well that can wear on the shock and even cause it to leak. After rebuilding your shocks, make sure they have some “wiggle room” don’t clamp down on the shock mounts with the retaining screws. Let them slide on the mounting bolts a bit. This will give the shock additional movement that will lessen the wear of the shocks internals.

Trailing Links- The lower trailing links see a lot of ground action while damping the rig on the trails. When using plastic links, check to make sure the ball ends have not elongated and may break during the run. Use the aluminum plates to make the plastic links more rigid or there are plenty of aluminum options available from various Axial supporting aftermarket manufacturers.

 

AF18 Rock Prep6

Driveline Tips

Screw Pins- Screw pins are used to secure the universal yokes to the axle drive pinions, if your rig doesn’t have them and you have a through-hole in the bevel pinion shaft, go with a screw-pin instead of a set-screw. This will ensure drive instead of a set-screw that can back out and slip. Use thread-lock here too of course.
Universals- We’ve seen some torn-up universals in our day. These components take a lot of abuse. Replacing the cross-pins before your course run can be a good idea. At the very least, check your universals for binding or regrease them if they look dry.
Bearings- Do you want to be “The Squeaky Guy?” Bearings take a lot of abuse and as they get covered in dirt or submerged in water, you risk the chance of bearing failure. If you hear squeaking, consider cleaning your bearings, blast them with a cleaner and re-oil them. Some go so far as to repack the bearing with grease. A bad bearing can eventually wreak havoc on your driveline on the trail. Fix it before it causes other possibly more expensive problems or dropping out of the race.
Gears- This is an important topic here. Many of crunchy transmissions have been heard along the trails at Axialfest. During your pretrip check, take a look at all of the gears. Do any look sharp, missing parts of their teeth, is your gearcase full of metal dust? Don’t leave it to a trail run to find our you needed to replace gears. In the axles, make sure the gear lash is correct between the bevel pinion and ring gear. Shims may be used to adjust gear lash. Inside of the center transmission, make sure your gears are well lubricated with grease. And finally, your pinion and spur. Make sure your mesh is correct, not too loose that your gears can skip and not too tight that it binds.
Slipper- Your slipper clutch is often the line of defense to protecting your transmission. When your rig gets caught up in a gap in the rocks and you pin the throttle, the slipper will slip rather than the gears skipping. You want the slipper tight enough so you get through gnarly obstacles, but you do need that slip for protection. A little trial and error works here in terms of setting. Always lean toward the loose side to start with.
Grease- As mentioned above a number of times. Grease, grease grease. Grease the gears, consider greasing the bearings, add grease to metal shafts inside of the axles, grease universal joints. Grease will keep these parts smooth and offer some protection from the elements.
Axle caps- The ends of the axles are secured with screws which if they back out can wreak havoc in many ways. Place a small dab of CA glue under the screw head before installing it to help secure it and prevent it from backing out during your run.

 

AF18 Rock Prep3

What To Carry

Parts Supplies- Beyond prepping your rig for the course, you should prep for those what if moments. What if a screw falls out, what if a part breaks. It’s a good idea to carry a small parts bin of hardware with you at all times. Pack the bin with an assortment of screws, nuts, set-screws, body pins, flanged bushings for the steering knuckles, axles pins and washers in case something falls off on a run. Next you’ll want to carry some more substantial parts like a spare shock, some spare links, a spare center universal set-up. An extra servo horn or even and extra servo. There are even some drivers who will pack an entire assembled axle, or center transmission, just in case…
Batteries- During a rock race or during the 5K you may need to swap batteries. For better performance or to make it to the end. Have several packs on hand for the events and stored in a LiPo sack for safe transport.
Tools- You know those little bags of allen wrenches and the box wrench that came with your kit? They make great lightweight travel tools and can fix most of the issues you’ll have to deal with on your rig. Now granted hand tools make the job easier, carry the basics, 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm hex drivers; 5.5mm and 7.0mm nut drivers, long nose pliers, scissors and cutters can also be useful. Place them in a bag and put them in your backpack during your adventure.
Survival- Always carry water with you for hydration, in fact its pretty much mandatory for the 5K and a must for between rock racing runs.. Cisco Grove is at a higher elevation and having water on hand will keep you hydrated during your hikes. Also have some nutrition with you. Some power bars, trail mix or other foods can take the edge off your hunger while competing on the courses. It’s also good to have a small first aid kit in case you get a scratch or scrape on the trail. Wear a hat, use moisture wicking clothing, wear proper footwear such as Altra shoes that will keep you sure footed on the course.

AF18 Rock Prep5

The Axialfest Rock Racing and Altra Ultra events test both man or woman and machine. It’s a good idea to prep both your rig and yourself for these events. Train ahead of time for quick sprints and lengthy runs. Be prepared for all types of weather too. It can be cold in the mornings and hot in the afternoons. These events at Axialfest are to promote fun first and foremost, but racing can always get intense and being prepared can help you make it to the finish with success.

How To: Install Beef Patties in Method Beadlock Wheels

Install Beef Patties

 

Running weights in the front wheels of your trail rig or rocker racer can have significant benefits such as a lower center of gravity and improved stability.  After searching through options that would work with my Altra 5K Bomber Build, I came across these Beef Patties made by the same company that made the Beef Tubes I used inside my axles on the Bomber Build. The Beef Patties add 4.5 ounces to the front.  These along with the Beef Tubes inside my axles increased axle weight by 6 ounces.  These are not made specifically for the Axial Method Beadlock wheels, but they can be installed with minimal modification.

IMG_20170602_162405

As you can see, the hubs don’t quite slide into the Beef Patties.  The hubs are just about 1mm too large in diameter, so a little sanding is necessary.

IMG_20170602_162448

I used some 60 grit. It made quick work of the job.  Just a few passes on each nub is enough.

IMG_20170602_162520

I stopped and checked clearance, almost there.  I just needed another pass on the sandpaper.

IMG_20170602_162713

Boom, slid in like a glove.IMG_20170602_163046

The Beef Patties fit perfectly in behind the wheels.

IMG_20170602_163040

Beef Tubes includes longer beefier hardware to mount them up. You can just see them poking out behind the spokes.

IMG_20170602_165304

Best part is they are a close match to the color of all the aluminum bling on my Altra 5K Bomber.  You know bling is important, because it adds 3hp per bling. I’ve already done a test run and am very happy with the improved crawling and handling.  Definitely a great, quick, and easy hop up to improve the stability of your RR10 or other rig.

More Information: Beef Patties

Bomber Adventure – Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K

Words and photos by: Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau
Guest photography by: The Great Dominic Longoria

IMG_20170930_113508The ScaleUltra.com tour made a stop in Reno, Nevada recently, so I finally got a chance to redeem myself after having to DNF in the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro at Axialfest 2017 due to a broken servo. If you’re not familiar with this race, you can read up on it’s history here: Altra Ultra 5K History

IMG_20170929_195406

Since the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is a self supported race, I needed to make sure I had what I needed to finish. First up was making sure I had enough mAh to power my RR10 Bomber for over 3 miles. You can learn more about mAh/mile here: mAh/Mile  I didn’t take any chances and charged up all my batteries, 15,800mAh! I hoped it would be enough.  I also packed my tools and water into my hydration pack.

IMG_20170930_090157

The next morning when I arrived, there was already a good sized crowd gathered at the Wild West Motorsports Complex.

IMG_20170930_082948

The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro was part of a larger event hosted by CKRC Hobbies that included comp crawlers, rock racing, and scale trails. CKRC’s Jason Copeland was handling the sign ups and even had some tasty doughnuts for anyone that wanted them.  I wanted them, but decided I better refrain since I was about to run/jog/speed-walk/hike for over 3 miles. I did grab one after I finished, and they were delicious.

IMG_20170930_082445

It was easy to find the race coordinator with this sweet wrapped Sprinter van. I couldn’t resist a quick photo with my Bomber. Also, that guy is wearing my favorite Altra model, the Lone Peak 2.5.

IMG_20170930_091753

Mr. Chris Cru Jones was already set up and taking entries. Check out those sweet decals from S.O.R. Graphics. What’s that stuff behind Chris?

IMG_20170930_083106

Those are some sweet finishing prizes, hats, windbreakers, Camelbaks, kits, RTRs, and my favorite…

IMG_20170930_083155

…these Axial Adventure sweatshirts.  XL too, just my size.

IMG_20170930_091848

You probably recognize these 801 legends, MikeyT and PaulieB!

IMG_20170930_093706

Mr. Chris Cru Jones gave us a quick driver’s meeting, so we all knew the rules. The rules are pretty basic, finish as fast as you can.

IMG_20170930_093646

Can you find the Skeeno Bomber?

IMG_20170930_093618

Mandatory group photo of the Fourteen Fuegos. Don’t be scared to come run an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, you don’t really have to run the entire time.  My goal was to keep a good pace and finish.

IMG_20170930_101255

Here’s a POV shot what it’s like to run a Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. It’s amazing how the difficulty level is raised when you are trying to hustle down the trail and drive at the same time.  It’s hard to watch your driving line and running line at the same time.  I can’t tell you how many times I center punched a rock with my front differential because I wasn’t watching my Bomber for a second.

IMG_20170930_102107

The first part of this race was a pretty good climb to the top of this hill, 500′ of climbing in .3 mile. According to my Strava data, it was a 25-30% grade.

IMG_20170930_102118

Luckily, there were some fun technical sections near the top to take your mind off the climbing.

IMG_20170930_102355

Almost to the top here.

IMG_20170930_102405

Those flags are the top, thank goodness!

IMG_20170930_102450

I was feeling it already and this was only the first lap.  There were three laps in this race.

IMG_20170930_102740

Ok, just kidding.  That wasn’t the top.  It was a false peak, and there was one last climb to the summit. That’s my trail-buddy, Tony Mazza down there.

IMG_20170930_102654

He was getting close to these flagstone kickers.  It’s probably not the wise choice, but jumping was the fun choice.

IMG_20170930_102733

I even waited to catch a photo of Mr. Mazza’s Bomber taking the jump.

IMG_20170930_102952

We trail-raced at the summit for a while, so I could catch a few photos.

IMG_20170930_103333

Ol’ Mista Werty was commissioned to be course marshal at the midway point.  I’m not sure why he has that umbrella, I don’t see any rain clouds in the sky.

IMG_20170930_104837

After the summit, we turned and headed back towards the start.

IMG_20170930_103620

Mr. Mazza left me in his dust when I stopped to refuel my Bomber.  Maybe I need to rethink my battery capacity.  5000mAh packs sound like a better choice than the 2200mAh packs I usually run.

IMG_20170930_104132

You can see the start at the top, left of this picture. That’s about half a mile from here according to my Strava.

IMG_20170930_104944

There was some fun technical sections back here.  Here Mighty Mike T.  pops an ollie down this section.

IMG_20170930_104949

Mikey T. was pretty pleased with his performance, so much so that he even paused for a photo for me.

IMG_20170930_101142

When arriving at this section the second time, I quickly ran over to the Dominic Longoria of CKRC requested he catch some photos of me while he was live streaming.

IMG_20170930_101157

Dom took some great shots for trying to execute two film duties at once all while commentating. You are a great multitasker, Mr. Longoria.

00002IMG_00002_BURST20170930101215

I remember that rock trying to trip me, but my Altra Lone Peak 3.0′s kept me sure footed.

Screenshot_20171011-152818

After an exciting event, I was excited to finish in the Top 10. When looking at my lap times, it was clear my decision to run lower capacity 2200mAh batteries as well as stop to take photos affected my time.  These choices slowed me down, and without them, I think I would have cut almost 10 minutes off my lap times and finished several places higher.  Perhaps I’ll rethink my strategy at the next Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

IMG_20170930_114039
So who wound up on top? Mike Thompson wearing the number 20 took home the win in a time of 1:08:21 with his personal fast lap being 22:03.7.  The “Altra Hot Lap” winner was Brandon Copeland (17) who set a blistering pace of 18.44 and finished second overall in 1:09:41.1. Taking the final podium spot was Paul Blackner (19) finishing in 1:14:11.9 and clicked off a personal fast lap of 23:03. Congrats on your finishes and walking home with some impressive Axial and Altra prizes. Congratulations are also in order for everyone who participated in the event as well as the staff behind the show. Now, will we see you at the next Altra Ultra 5K?

Find out more about Altra Ultra 5K Events:
ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY
Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno’s Altra Ultra Bomber Build

Axialfest 2016 marked the debut of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro race.  This new race combined the traditional closed course racing with the athleticism of a traditional cross country run.  Here is a little background on how the whole thing started: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073920724. After watching the participants running five kilometers piloting and chasing their vehicles, I knew I wanted to add this to my to-do list at Axialfest 2017. If you haven’t seen the Axialfest 2016 coverage of the Altra 5K Enduro you can check it out here: Skeeno’s Axialfest 2016 Report Part 2IMG_20170112_121703First up was deciding a rig to pilot.  This was fairly simple as the Axial RR10 Bomber is the rig of choice for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  While the RTR version is more than capable, I decided I wanted to build my own, so I ordered up the kit version. The kit version is awesome because it comes with a ton of hop ups already in the kit such as aluminum links, CVD axles, and heavy duty differential gears. IMG_20170330_131204 I didn’t stop at just the kit hop-ups, I kicked it up a few notches with a full compliment of genuine Axial green tags. imag00656 First up, I got those heavy duty bevel gears assembled. imag00657 Maybe not glamorous, but definitely durable. imag00653 Next step was to throw those differentials into the axles.  See those Beef Tubes? This is only non-Axial modification I did to my build. imag00666 I also added some extra bling with these aluminum diff covers (AX30829) imag00649 While these add some extra strength to the axles, the real reason I did this was to lower the center of gravity a little (BT004B). You can check out Beef Tubes at www.beeftubes.com
imag00665 The Beef Tubes just slid right into the plastic housing.  All the necessary holes have already been milled and threaded for you. imag00658 A slight modification had to be done to the drive shafts to get them to slide though the Beef Tubes. You can see the shaft on the left has been milled down a tiny bit, approximately 1mm. imag00663 It’s easily accomplished with a drill and a file.  Spin it for a bit and check to see if a will slide through the Beef Tube. imag00664 Yup, that’s what I was looking for.  You need to do this on both sides. imag00667 My next hop up was adding aluminium knuckles, hubs, and rear lockouts (AX30760, AX30762, AX3078). imag00668 Don’t forget to add the bearings when installing the rear lockouts. imag00671 While I was at it, I added aluminum link mounts (AX30830). imag00689 Looking pretty good so far. imag00690 Next step was to build the aluminum steering and suspension links.  These are standard kit parts. imag00693 Right in the middle of my build, I discovered a few new bits updated for the RR10, new diff covers, steering knuckles, and link mounts (AX31429, AX31434, AX31433). The new link mounts add the mounting location for the rear sway bar. imag00694 Dang, those new diff covers are beautiful. imag00695 Started to look blingy, just like I like it. imag00698 A little more bling added with the links installed. imag00699 Time to get the transmission built.  I added the aluminum motor mount for added cooling, well really it was for the bling. You might have also spotted my decision to add the 2-Speed transmission components.  Just what the doctor ordered for high speed running and low speed crawling the Altra Ultra 5K calls for.(AX31156, AX31181) imag00700 No wimpy plastic in this transmission, heavy duty steel only. imag00710 Here’s that 2-speed going together.  Don’t forget to order an extra servo for shifting. imag00701 Boom, heavy duty power blaster! imag00712 These shocks are shiny! imag00772 All mounted up and ready for the cage to go on.  Oh, do you see the custom wraps back there?  If you’ve read my other blogs, you know I love the P40 Warhawk, so I contacted Jay Kendall over at SOR Racing to hook me up with some customized wraps.  He added the Altra logo and my name to the wraps.  He also customized my colors to match my wheels.  He can customize yours for you as well.  Check his work out at www.sorgraphics.com IMAG00154 A couple more goodies showed up during my build.  First up was the aluminum shock spring retainers.  These look great and match the blue anodized caps on the shocks (AX31431). IMAG00155 The other bit was the new aluminum servo mounts and servo horns (AX31432, AX30836). You can also see I used Tactic TSX55 servos.  They are a slight upgrade over the servos that come on the RTR version of the RR10. IMAG00147 (2) The AE-3 ESC and Vanguard motor mounted up nicely and should be plenty powerful enough (AX24260, AX24010). I also got the cage built up and my SOR wrap applied. IMAG00153 Here’s the reason for the orange wrap.  I wanted to use the orange Method Beadlock wheels (AX31364). I think it’s going to be the best looking at Axialfest 2017.  Will there be a Concourse class for the RR10 Bombers? IMAG00023 Skeeno Jr. was feeling a little left out until she found the green tape in the garage.  Inside was a custom wrapped RTR version of the RR10 Bomber courtesy of SOR Graphics.  Now, I have a training partner to get my cardio ready for running 3.10686 miles.

A1653LOW_BlackOrange

One last Pro Tip to end this blog, the new Hawtness is to color match your shoes to your rig.  Since this build is for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, I guess I’ll need to be picking myself up a pair of these Altra Lone Peak 3.0 trail running shoes in their waterproof NeoShell.  With all the precipitation the Sierras got this winter, we’re bound to see water at Axialfest 2017. You can check out all the awesome Altra products at https://www.altrarunning.com/

IMAG00181 So there they are, the Team Skeeno Axial RR10 Bombers ready for the Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  You better get building, so you are ready to compete at the World’s Largest RC Celebration.

Parts List for Skeeno’s Altra Ultra 5K RR10 Bomber Build

AX90053 RR10 Bomber Kit

AX30829 AR60 Low Profile Differential Covers

AX30760 XR10 Aluminum Steering Knuckles

AX30762 XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier

AX30789 AR60 OCP Straight Axle Hub Carrier

AX30830 AR60 OCP Machined Link Mount

AX31429 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover

AX31434 AR60 Machined Steering Knuckles

AX31433 Machined Link Mounts

AX31156 Machined Adjustable Motor Mount

AX31181 2-Speed Hi/Lo Transmission Components

AX31431 Aluminum Shock Retainer

AX30836 Aluminum Servo Horn 25T

AX31432 AR60 Machined Servo Plate and Mounts

AX31364 Orange 2.2 Method Beadlock Wheels

AX24260 AE-3 Vanguard Brushless ESC

AX24010 Vanguard 2900KV Brushless motor

ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY

ULTRA_5K_ENDURO_HISTORY_v2_500px

ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY
Written by: Rodney Wills
Photos by: Tristan “TAZZ” Judkins and Rodney Wills

Driving a radio control vehicle from a “control area” or commonly known as a driver stand or even from a stationary position, has been the hobby standard. Axial’s stance on the subject is to not stand in one place, but to move with the vehicle, covering vast terrain with a variety of obstacles.

DSCF0897

Axial is already known for getting enthusiasts out on trail, and hiking behind their rigs over the desired terrain in the name of adventure during its annual customer appreciation event, AXIALFEST.

8100945970_918e327be6_z
With the launch of the AX90028  SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale vehicle in 2012, inspiration was further set in motion when we hiked across the Rubicon Trail for three days, driving an SCX10 to earn it’s “Trail Rated” merit badge. See the 5-part docs-blogs: RUBICON TREK.

Axialfest2016-168_500px

As Axial’s Global Marketing Director, and personally for myself, I want to change the game even more!  We planted the new structure at AXIALFEST2016. In conjunction with sponsor Altra Running, we put man and machine to the physical test through a closed course trail for a full-scale Ultra 5K Enduro!

But how did it go from hiking to running?
Rock racing is the most physically demanding and brutal motorsport, the most famous event being The ULTRA4 King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California. Yes, we are talking about the full size motorsport event with a global impact.

IMG_9313_500px

Axial’s customer-base and product design are in large part a reflection of vehicles competing in the event, and vehicles that belong to the spectators of this iconic motorsport event! Even though Axial is known for “moving with the vehicle” there is one sub-sector of the hobby driving their R/C rock racing rigs from the traditional drivers stand, the other sector is driving their rigs along side of their scale trail counterparts, just at speed, thus running. Like at ULTRA4 King of the Hammers, it is the 4X4 trails that were turned into a competition course, a competition decided by who could drive the trails the fastest, thus Axial is mimicking the action and it’s why we call them Ultra Drivers.

“ULTRA DRIVER COMING THROUGH!”
For years within AXIALFEST, we’ve had the “Ultra Class” whose participants ran past all the adventurist class participants on the same trails. We traditionally ran the two classes at the same time, but as the event grew, the separation of the two classes was needed due to the two “attitudes” of the two class of drivers.

Axialfest 2012 181_500px

One is chasing the checkered flag, the other is chasing scale adventure. When the adventurist drivers started hearing the phrase, “Ultra driver coming through!” that is when it dawned on me that these classes would eventully have to be separated. It’s like being in the desert and you get on a live race course and you know a 100mph trophy truck is approaching and you get that excited, yet uneasy feeling in your stomach! You know you need to get out of the way! While we all love racing, we also like our adventures and we do not want to see any race trucks on our adventure route. We want to see and experience something different  than being at a race, so we knew we had to separate the classes. Each adventurist deserves his own experience without race cars bumping them off the cliff while Ultra drivers are chasing their checkered flag.

THE ULTRA 5K ENDURO PLAYGROUND
The thought was, that if our Ultra Drivers want to be full size race vehicle drivers, then they need to train like them and get the full physical impact of driving a race vehicle. When you see drivers come over the finish line at the King of the Hammers, they are drenched with sweat and physically depleted, but they feel accomplished!

Axialfest2016-208_500px

Racing is physically demanding so the only way I knew to interject the physicality, is to build a race course specifically for the Ultra Class and turn them loose!

Axialfest2016-196_500px

ENDURO inˈd(y)o͝orō,enˈd(y)o͝orō/
A long-distance race, especially for motor vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles, typically over rough terrain, designed to test endurance.

Regarding the course design, I grew up riding motorcycles in the woods of Alabama and the deserts of southern California, racing BMX and have done my fair share of mountain biking. These have all been influences on me, so I took elements from those and added it to our Ultra Course design. The idea was to give our Ultra drivers the ultimate “ENDURO” experience. But hey, I’m in marketing and the word enduro just sounds cool and I did not see it in use in our segment at that time.

Axialfest2016-173_500px

We’ve had that select few who just wanted to go fast, thus run fast as if it was some big checked flag affair, so if competition they seek, a 5K they will get! Adventure running is becoming very popular and is on the trajectory to be the most popular extreme sport in America according to Richard Burgunder’s editorial piece “Trail Running: Racing Towards the Top in Popularity”

.

Axialfest2016-198_500px

By mixing adventure running and King of the Hammers style driving, our Ultra Drivers will get the full physical impact. Case in point, Casey Currie is a prominent driver who races at King of the Hammers. He was in attendance at AXIALFEST2016 and competed in the Ultra Class. Afterwards at the awards ceremony, Casey stated, “that running in Ultra Class was like racing at King of the Hammers – PHYSICALLY!” That was authentic enough for me! With the demand of physically running through the woods while driving a R/C vehicle through the same course at the same time, this is a full capacity challenge making it a true ULTRA CLASS!

Axialfest2016-199_500px

The R/C community has never been physical…
Since 2011, Axial has organized events that have gotten people out hiking through the woods in pursuit of driving their R/C vehicles over challenging terrain. Yes, we are hiking and driving at the same time, complete with backpacks and hiking amenities. We have helped change the role-play of R/C, meaning most see R/C as a hobby where you stand in one place and drive your vehicle, whereas we are getting our R/C community in motion! We have seen our event t-shirt sizes dropping over the past six years and that is simply awesome! If we can help create paths to physicality while pursuing a hobby, what’s not to like!? Over the years, attendance has been on the rise right along with the fitness of our attendees!

Axialfest2016-129_500px

Why the Axial RR10 Bomber for Ultra 5K Enduro?
Randy Slawson is PHYSICALLY FIT!
HIS BOMBER FABRICATION CHASSIS IS AWESOME!
The Axial version makes a great spec-car for the Ultra 5K Enduro class as it’s not about having tons of modifications. You do have to run as fast as your rig and we want to see the athletic side of this Ultra-minded R/C enthusiast!