BaconLiker

What's wrong with Airwheels?

69 posts in this topic

I've only just found this forum and have noticed quite a few negative comments about Airwheels.  Are there any specific issues I should be aware of or is it just that they're not as good as some of the alternatives?

I'm currently learning to ride an X8 with a view to commuting to work, 5km each way.

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I started on an AirWheel X8.  Good starter wheel.  Overall, safety has to do with staying within the boundaries of what your wheel is capable of.  The capabilities of the AirWheel X8 are much narrower boundaries than many (most) of the top wheels today.  Higher speed capabilities (even if you don't use them), higher battery capabilities (even if you don't use them), more powerful motors (even if you don't use the extra power), keep you more safely within the boundaries of safety. 

I had a bad fall and was injured (bruised ribs) by trying to go outside the X8's boundaries.   Once one learns to ride well, the speed limit of the X8 and the constant beeping, beeping, beeping, and tiltback inspires one to attempt to keep riding the X8 during tiltback, even maybe with a low battery.  This is not safe.

If you stay within the boundaries of safety, and you continue to enjoy that, there is perhaps nothing wrong with an X8.  The next generation rides (which are out already - reference the Ninebot One E+ and others) do offer wider boundaries of safety, and frankly quite a few amazing refinements.  And the price differential does not appear to some (like me) to be great enough to compromise.  I could show you my rib x-rays, but perhaps that is going too far. 

Wanna buy a used X8?

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The thing that surprises me about the Airwheels is that they haven't really tried to keep up. Several of the other old brands like Solowheel, IPS, Gotway, Ninebot, have at least tried to keep refining their offerings: different sized wheels, faster speeds, more features, whatever. Airwheel's lineup feels about the same as it did 9 months ago, and that's an eternity in EUC time. Maybe they'll ship some new stuff soon.

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I got an airwheel x3 for 2 months when I learned ... I tried to go beyond the boundaries and got a bad fall with bruises. After that I learn how to ride safely with it and I had lots of fun.

Now, I'm having  way more fun with my 9bot E+....

So I guess it is good to start with but you mostly will want more power and range afterwards.

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The main problems are unexpected shutdowns. It appears they suffer BMS shutdowns, main-board shutdowns, and voltage drop shutdowns (not sure these last 2 are always different)

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On top of what everyone else above has mentioned, at least here the Airwheels are insanely expensive compared to their specs (I've seen X8 sold here 830€ + shipping or 980€ + shipping, depending where you order :o)... you can get an IPS or a Ninebot One E(+) for about the same price as an X8, one shop actually sells Ninebot One E+ at the same price as X8 Carbon (which, afaik, is just the color/texturing, it's not really carbon fibre). Even the smaller models (like X3 at 590€ + shipping) are very expensive, especially considering the batteries are either 132Wh or 174Wh. To me they seem about on par with the better generics, except they cost about twice the generic price. Of course they're probably cheaper elsewhere.

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My take on it is, they offer the best of NO worlds.

There seem to be two types of wheel at the mo. Aesthetically very slick looking ones like the solowheel and Ninebot (which some people liken to an iPhone) and the boxier but much more powerful beasts like the msuper and King songs.

Airwheel on the other hand offers neither advantage. And as Esaj said, are bizarrely expensive.

The X8 is on sale in my local Maplins in London for £850! That's the same price as a Ninebot e+!!

Edited by paddylaz
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Thanks for the info everyone.  I should've looked here before purchasing a wheel but Airwheel are just about the only 'visible' brand in the UK so I went with them.

I'll stick with the X8 until I've finished learning at least, then maybe consider an upgrade.  I'll ask Airwheel about the BMS issues and wear full body armour in the meantime ;-)

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When Airwheel is the only one putting out daily press releases (the only one!) and don't update to complete with equal features/prices you know something is wrong.... I fell for the same delusion (unknowledge decision)...

But they are broading their offers with a variety of different vehicles....

Edited by MetricUSA
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I also found airwheel first, but during my following internet musings, on youtube and the social networks I found that there were many different makers.

Dont get us wrong here, its not a bad device, its just that there are many better devices (price and featurewise) out there. Almost as available but a lot less visible from a consumer standpoint.

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I agree.  From a marketing standpoint, "AirWheel" is a great name to have.  But it is not as great a name as it used to be.  

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It also seems that Airwheel uses a lot more money for advertising and brand recognition than the others. For example, here in Finland, they've hired a very popular (mostly among kids)  singer, who appeared in TV-shows riding an Airwheel and sold the damn things in his web-shop (there was some campaign where you'd get an Airwheel & tickets to his show). 

Edited by esaj
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Its always interesting to see what department is actually "driving" the company... In this case, its not R&D :D

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Well to the point that @Jason McNeil makes, there is a LOT to a name. AirWheel sounds like a reputable brand name, so simple and actually a bit better than SoloWheel to be honest. (Who wants to be alone on their wheel?)  As for a name like King Song, to me it evokes the feeling of a low-quality Asian manufacturer. The reviews I've seen here indicate that isn't true, but the name leaves that first impression and it takes work to overcome versus a name like AirWheel. There's a reason that Lucky Goldstar changed its name to LG.

Agree 100% When I first heard of King Song, I almost immediately dismissed it because I felt the same thing, it sounded like a low-quality Asian copy... The styling even seemed to point to that.

It took a LOT of reading vendors experiences, reviews and features for me to overcome that initial name bias and finally decide on one. In fact if it weren't for the high capacity battery they offered, I would have gone with another brand -- A long range capable Ninebot One would have been good enough for me and the one I would have purchased with if one actually existed. But I know some people aren't as open minded and as a result probably will write off King Song and go with a cooler sounding/looking wheel instead. 

King Song's products are great, but their marketing team leaves a lot to be desired. "KS" with a nicer logo, (more low key than what they have on the 14") along with some refinements in styling would go a long way towards helping them overcome this. 

Edited by zentype
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I had a similar impression of King Song.  I don't know how long they've been around but they seemed to have come out of nowhere while I was researching what to buy.   I've also had trouble getting over my first impression of GotWay.  I've heard references to them being made out of someone's garage.  I haven't found a web site with English.  It even took me a while to find their official website (which I am thinking is www.kebye.com.).  I've used Google translate on that site but I still can't get all of the answers that I want.  I've only found answers to some of my questions on this forum.  I guess I am going to email Jane Mo or Donald Lin.  I didn't want to bother them since I am not sure I am ready to buy.  Oh, and what about real Owner's Manuals?  I like to download PDF's of Owner's Manuals of things I am about to buy so I can learn all about them before I buy.  It's part of my research.

Oh, and like others have mentioned I found AirWheel first.  But found this forum and found other brands and did my research before buying. I am happy with my choice to learn on.  Now I am looking to buy my next one.  Only 2 things slowing me down.  The cost and the 2 that I am considering aren't available. (KS16 and Gen 4 MSuper (unless I settle on a previous Gen)).

 

Edited by SirGeraint
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Does anyone have a contact at King Song?  I'm sure they'd appreciate feedback about how they could better appeal to the western market.

Incidentally, I recently contacted AirWheel about the BMS cut-off issue and this was their response:

"our units have an 8 stage surge protection meaning the units will never just cut out on a user unless ridden passed the limitations of the unit (past warning beeps)"

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@KaleOsaurusRex is in contact with them as far as I know and reports they are listening to feedback, wich is really promising. But I dont know if they will accept a namechange proposal right away..

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I think a US rebrand would be a great idea. I'm not kidding when I almost wrote off King Song because of their name and branding...  It took an open mind and a lot of research to realize my initial impressions were very wrong.

Do you have a logo designer handy? I may be able to recruit the help of our GA's here.... 

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Go for it @KaleOsaurusRex! Maybe you could convince them get help with their web site and general marketing as well. They seem to make a very good product, they just need to improve their image so people will appreciate the great engineering work they've done.

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I don't think so, but I am considering creating a branding of King Song with a more appealing name for the US market. I have some really good names I've thought of, and I know they would be open to the prospect. Good idea? Bad idea?

So just a thought....  I know you said you've thought of "some really good names"... But.. How do I say this... If the name has things like "Kale" or "Spinach" or "Leafy Greens" or any other healthy-eating-minded moniker in there..("Organo-Wheel 5000") it might not sound all that awesome to everyone else.

Just had to throw that in there  :P:lol:

 

Edited by zentype
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Not so much that there's something 'wrong' with them, but they will try to kill you every once in a while.

It's a matter of taste, really - in many ways they remind me of my ex-girlfriend.

 Your ex-girlfriend tries to kill you every once in a while? :-P

Edited by citiboi
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