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REVIEW ~ Ascender with Castle Mamba X Sensored

REVIEW ~ Ascender with Castle Mamba X Sensored

We have to start this off by saying that we are huge fans of “STRANGER THINGS” and just after binge watching Season 2 the sparks started flying on a custom build based on Chief Hoppers Blazer. This is what we love about this hobby,  you can build a smaller version of your 1 to 1 inspiration yourself or have it built for you! We started formulating and building and decided the truck needed to have two sides just like “Stranger Things” one would be the scaled out custom creation that Chief Hopper would be happy to “HOP” into (Pun Totally Intended)! Then we had to make a lid and minor adjustments for it to be able to be a very capable truck out on the trails!


Fun Factor –

Do you Crawl? That’s what we are talking about here folks a crawler. So we have to admit that this sounded a little silly to see how slow you could go but all we can say here is do yourself a favor and just try it. We almost did the little girl giggle when we cracked open the K5 Kit in the Ascender platform. First we are a bit Old School and love a kit. This one went together like a dream, just follow the directions open a bag do the job…Next Bag… Next Task. The build process really got us pumped about doing some custom work on the body with accessories and custom paint… Yes the body you see was all painted from the inside just like all Lexan Bodies start off basic life. Once you get all your gears installed you really get a sense of the amount that  went into this kit and man o man how pretty is that Castle System. To be honest we had been wanting or more like begging Castle to drop a Sensored system. From the first trigger pull you know this is something that Castle took their time and made sure they got it right coming out of the gate. Then the on the fly Tap you can be placed into a third channel in your remote to change some ESC Functions …. Very NICE! We chose the Crawler/Rock Racer Mode and could not stop smiling.


Durability –

So we are not about to take something that we respect and drive it into a wall just to say we did. We take each rig and use it as its intended, pushing where we know smart people will push them. After several tumbles, some ending in some end over end cartwheels the truck was solid and ran with no issues. Body scuffs be damned, it’s going to happen people! But this truck is solid in all the right areas, beefy axles stout driveshaft’s, transmission that’s up to the task and then when its paired with this Brute of a power system in the 2850 Sensored Combo from Castle there is no stopping this truck. The only thing we didn’t add was an external BEC but that was on purpose to put the ESC to the test. Running a Spektrum S6250 there was never even a flutter…

Handling –

  Should a Crawler handle like a race buggy? The funny part here is that we feel like this one could. Having more than enough power from the internal BEC this truck didn’t even hesitate to push the wheels into any direction. Side hilling, holding a line, turning in to that crazy hill climb your body struggled with was not a problem. The stock tires did a lot better than we expected it’s a kit so you decide what grip will be the best for you. But with the crazy amount of steering throw and just the right amount of spring rates on all 4 corners this truck just did what it was told and seemed to laugh at us when we were convinced it couldn’t tackle that next ledge.


Issues –

Ahhh this sticky question that not everyone will even mention. Well truth is we made a couple mistakes during assembly specifically with the Front Links. Now we were very excited during the build and definitely didn’t triple check a couple things so our lengths did not match up causing the entire front end to be crooked. The funny part is that we got pretty far before realizing the mistake so please TAKE YOUR TIME and READ TWICE assemble ONCE. That Mamba X looks scary at a glance, wires everywhere and I had to pause, but again back off the caffeine and pay attention and it actually is a super clean install. The only suggestion for Castle is maybe have a Side Sensor port as well as the Rear of the can, in case there is no room at all you can still get the sensor wire in there.



Upgrades –

Let’s be honest here people Nobody … NOBODY will keep this thing stock… That’s the point, change it make it yours! First up in our book would be a set of good bead-lock wheels and your preferred tires. With hundreds of options out there we really want you guys to show us what you come up with. But if you got this far you have seen the Pit Bull growlers on those very factory looking wheels from Boom Racing! It is the perfect Complement to this custom do it all build we like to call ….. “Stranger Blazer”!


So what’s the Verdict? …

Save your pennies if you have to, buy one thing at a time, go shovel some snow but if crawling is something that has even peaked your interest, everything that we talked about here will not let you down and we highly recommend it. Ascender was just flawless on the trails and did things smoother than any other stock build (excluding the castle system) crawling rig we have tested. Castle has had a special place in our hearts for a long time if we are honest, we may be a little biased. To be clear we did not get paid to write any of this and neither Horizon or Castle pay to advertise on this site. This Sensored system was more than worth the wait. They took their time, evaluated what was happening, saw what the industry really needed and answered every question we could have asked for in the Mamba X line of Crawler Motor/ESC Combos!


Click here to get over to Vaterra the check out the Ascender

Click here to get some RC goodies ordered from Horizon Hobby

Click here to check out Castle Creations

How about more Crawler related items on RC HUB

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