Up Steps a New Family R/C Contender

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Stinger EB-1 (image cmldistribution.co.uk)Stinger EB-1 (image cmldistribution.co.uk)

Stinger EB-1 (image cmldistribution.co.uk)

After the great response to my Tamiya Sand Viper review I thought it would be worth looking at what the other R/C brands offered the budding radio controlled car geek. Step Up have been working on a series directly aimed at newcomers. I took the Stinger EB-1 from CML Distribution out for a spin and let the kids loose on it. We added our findings below to our growing family guide for radio controlled cars.

The radio controlled Stinger EB-1 is a great car for beginners to the hobby. Pre-built and strong while keeping both maintenance and driving simple. Strong basic components and quick to get going this is a recipe for some all round R/C fun.

What type of R/C car is this?
The Stinger is a new 1/10 Off-Road 2WD Electric Buggy from Step Up. It is particularly interesting to new radio controlled enthusiast as it’s part of a range designed to be easy to pick up and robust enough to mistreat. The Stinger EB-1 is one of the first in the range and has obviously learned a thing or two from Tamiya’s simple cost effective design.

As with the Sand Viper we recently tried, the Stinger mirrors its components with an eye on ensuring a low center of gravity – helped not least by a center mounted R/C unit and battery in the lightweight bathtub frame. Full ball racing complements grooved front tires and high performance off-road rear tires for good grip both on dirt and tarmac.

Options and expansion
The gearbox and 540 motor felt a lot stiffer that the Sand Viper, although this may be due to the higher initial stresses of the factory build. It has a 3-gear design with an adjustable external slipper clutch to help protect the transmission from shock damage. Unlike the pre-built Sand Viper, the Stinger includes oil filled shocks and comes fully ball raced.

Because the Stinger EB-1 shares components with the Stinger EST-1 Truggy you can interchange parts from one to the other. Wishbones, hub carriers and steering blocks are also interchangeable from left to right which also makes finding spares more likely.

Step Up are promising to support the Stinger EB-1 with a wide range of upgrades to bring the starter kit right up to race readiness.

Time and difficulty to build
The Stinger EB-1 came ready built which just left it for us to install a battery in both controller and car, plug in and go. The body shell also comes pre-printed in a choice of designs.

Build Quality
The Stinger EB-1 took a little while to run in, and felt a little tight at first. This could well be down to the factory rather than home construction. In general it felt pretty solid, and well suited to the knocks a new driver may inflict. While it also seems to have a slightly slower top speed than other cars we’ve tested, this is no bad thing as proved by the ease at which my five year old took to driving it. One thing I to watch out for is to avoid touching the motor soon after running as it gets pretty hot.

Driving Experience
Although the Stinger had a little less bite than the Sand Viper, it still went fast enough to present a challenge to my six year old daughter. The slow speed did mean that the inevitable impacts were reduced and I felt more confident letting her loose on it. Taking the sticks myself, I did miss playing with the under-steer of some of the fast 2WD radio controlled cars in my collection.

The combination of bucket chassis and polycarbonate molded body again means that most mud and dirt stays out of the car. The brushed motor does hang out the read of the car, but is protected by the extension of the chassis. The open wishbone suspension collect anything that hits them – as is unavoidable on Off Road Buggy type cars.

A five minute brush and wipe down is all that is needed on most occasions with a little more attention paid to the motor and internals to ensure clean-running.

Wired: Pre-built and quick to get started.

Tired: Not as fast as a self build though.

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