38T Drive Gear Upgrade: Is it worth it?

We now have 38T Drive Gear Kits that are compatible with both Abec11 and Evolve wheels, and Kegel and Caguama wheels from Orangatang. But we’ve had plenty of customers ask if it’s really worth it, and why they might want to upgrade. We thought we would answer these questions with some things to consider if you’re on the fence.

What does the kit do?

The 38 in the name refers to the number of teeth on the drive gear – this is in comparison to Evolve’s standard drive gears, which have 32 teeth. This is a significant difference, and as such, the 38T drive gears are noticeably larger than the 32T ones. The larger size adds torque to the board, which in turn gives a pretty hefty boost to acceleration. At the same time, the larger drive gear system won’t be able to spin as fast as the standard one, which means that you’re looking at a slightly lower top speed than if you use the standard gears.


Increased control in urban environments. If you’re someone who likes riding in a busy urban environment, you know how important it is to be able to react quickly to what’s going on around you. Faster acceleration means that you can speed up faster when the green light turns on, and you will generally feel like you have greater control of the board when riding in the 0 – 20 km/h speed range, which is quite common when riding in most parts of a city.

Increased uphill performance. While Evolve boards handle most hills just fine, accelerating up steeper ones can be a painfully slow process and put a brake to an otherwise smooth ride. If you have lots of hills in your commute, or generally ride in hilly areas, the added acceleration power of these kits will make zyou ride much smoother.

Great for heavier riders. Evolve’s skateboards are officially certified for riders of max 100 kg, but we know of plenty of riders that weigh in excess of that who ride the hell out of their boards. However, if you are in this category, you might notice that you board will be a bit slower to pick up speed – this is particularly noticeable if you ride side-by-side of a featherweight. While it’s still possible to enjoy a ride with slower acceleration, these kits do a bit to rectify that drawback, and you’ll notice that you don’t have to go as far to hit fun speeds. Heavier riders who try these out generally never want to go back!


Lower top speed. We know that some of you are real speed demons, and are only satisfied if you’re riding at speeds in excess of 45 km/h. If that’s you, the larger drive gears aren’t for you. While most riders don’t travel fast enough to notice the drop in top speed, those that push GT mode to the max probably will. Depending on the wheels you’re using, the drop in top speed can be anywhere from 3 to 7 km/h compared to the speeds you normally hit.

Potentially more dangerous. Kind of. The added torque means that pushing the trigger just a bit will set off some serious acceleration power. If you aren’t that heavy and push the trigger quite a bit, this can set the board of faster than you might be prepared for, meaning you might be more likely to fall off the board. However, this won’t be an issue as long as you’re aware that the acceleration will be more powerful than normal, and are ready for it. As always, practice makes perfect, and once you’re used to the power, you should be able to handle it just fine.

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