BaconLiker

What's wrong with Airwheels?

69 posts in this topic

On 6/18/2016 at 7:59 PM, AndrewArthur said:

and at 9.5 mph it started tilt back. It is definitely enough to ride on pedestrian walk but too slow on bike lane. The good thing it is cheap - you won't feel bad to put scratches on it :)

I think there is nothing wrong with 9.5 mph top speed.  I have reached 9.0 with no tiltback and got scared on my Ninebotone E+.  I wish the tiltback was more selectable on Ninebot.  I think you should be able to set any speed tiltback you want, up to the maximum speed the device can go.:rolleyes:

Probably you can and I just don't know about it.:(

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32 minutes ago, steve454 said:

I think there is nothing wrong with 9.5 mph top speed.  I have reached 9.0 with no tiltback and got scared on my Ninebotone E+.  I wish the tiltback was more selectable on Ninebot.  I think you should be able to set any speed tiltback you want, up to the maximum speed the device can go.:rolleyes:

Probably you can and I just don't know about it.:(

Can't you set the maximum speed from the smartphone app? 

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On 6/18/2016 at 7:59 PM, AndrewArthur said:

and at 9.5 mph it started tilt back. It is definitely enough to ride on pedestrian walk but too slow on bike lane. The good thing it is cheap - you won't feel bad to put scratches on it :)

I think there is nothing wrong with 9.5 mph top speed.  I have reached 9.0 with no tiltback and got scared on my Ninebotone E+.  I wish the tiltback was more selectable on Ninebot.  I think you should be able to set any speed tiltback you want, up to the maximum speed the device can go.:rolleyes:

@The Fat Unicyclist on my smartphone the speed limited settings are 2.5mph, 3.1, 3.7, 4.3, 5.0, 5.6, and >6.2mph, and that's it.  5.6 mph is way too slow and > 6.2 seems to mean regular tiltback at max speed if you are not in speed limited mode, but not sure about that as I have never reached tiltback in non speed limited mode, which I think is around 12.5 mph.  The fastest I went according to the app was very briefly about 9.5 mph then I slowed down because I was riding offroad and didn't want to get bumped off at that speed.  I set the speed limited mode to >6.2 and will see what happens next ride.  

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It was nice to read the less that stellar reviews and various theories concerning Airwheel X3 performance.  I purchased one a month ago as my first EUC, and I've been frustrated by the very problems cited repeatedly in this thread: tiltback at "low" speeds, constant beeping, etc.  This has helped me adjust my expectations and riding style (as well as convince me that my battery is still good).   I've been riding the X3 on the lakefront bike trails in Chicago, and constantly had to deal with frustrating beeps and tiltback; but by slowing down, I get all this under control, and also practice stability at low speeds.   The Airwheel has been a decent first wheel; but my IPS Zero is coming tomorrow, and I am anticipating a few more smiles after that ...

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On 9/30/2015 at 9:23 PM, Jason McNeil said:

In certain countries, like the UK, there is the misconception that AirWheels are somehow a 'brand-name' product, where the X8 is almost the same cost as the King Song 800W/680Wh with all the bells & whistles like the fast-charger, while it's not even remotely in the same class of product. 

If the pricing reflected it's real value & they would keep their claims more down to earth—no matter how you try, you will not get 10-14 miles on the X8 for instance—people might be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt in some areas. Has anyone tried to take them to task for inflated speed, 12mph quoted, more like 10mph in fact; range, about half of quoted & even the product's weight!? 

I gps tested the speed on an X8 and i maxed out at 8.6mph ,i managed to (dangerously) push through to 8.9mph but that is it ,safe-ish cruising speed at 7mph (with ear plugs in). I weigh 83kg and could never get more than 5-6 miles per charge ,the tyre size and weight is about the only genuine factory stats they put out ... Marketing wise they are outstanding Hence people normally stumble across  AW first. (like me) also all the insides are hot glued so i struggle to understand why they cost so much ... I guess you are paying for the name.

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1 hour ago, Gray Goodbarn said:

... Marketing wise they are outstanding Hence people normally stumble across  AW first. (like me) also all the insides are hot glued so i struggle to understand why they cost so much ...

You've got both question and good answer in the same sentence.

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If you are beginner, there is nothing wrong with Airwheels. They are supremely reliable, very tolerant of early driving mistakes, and don't go fast enough to cause much harm.

My Airwheel served me flawlessly for nearly 3 years. Its battery pack surpassed all my expectations. The only issue I could level at mine was the speed limit beeps, which were frustrating once I knew what I was doing - although it was easy to ride without triggering them I always wished I had more speed and less beeping.

Having now upgraded to a Gotway MSuper, the airwheel looks pretty pathetic in comparison, but I mustn't forget that my little X5 did a really really good job for a very long time, and as a first wheel, was pretty much perfect. 

 

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12 hours ago, Cerbera said:

If you are beginner, there is nothing wrong with Airwheels. They are supremely reliable, very tolerant of early driving mistakes, and don't go fast enough to cause much harm.

That is the main impression I got about Airwheels.  They seem to be one of the best starter wheels.  That is probably why they are more expensive than the TGT3 I learned on, it was way too weak for my weight.  They must have better batteries than the cheap wheels, or maybe I just got a bad one.:wacko:

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I have owned an X3 and an X8 and really enjoyed riding both of them. I did a lot of upgrades to my X8 and had about 15 months of good times riding it around Seattle. The one drawback that I would highlight is the constant beeping when you get closer to the top speeds....unless you want people turning to find out what all the beeping is about everywhere you go, then your top speed on the wheel is actually much lower than what they market.  

13686527_10208652726908952_7946776261674708934_n.jpg

13903246_10208652726708947_874552147583028816_n.jpg

20160912_004133.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

What's that black tube mounted to the front?

Trolley handle attachment ?

Edited by Cerbera
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Yep I see the trolley handle.  On the other side could be a drink holder, but it's tilted 90 degrees.  Second guess - airhorn?

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Oh, THAT tube :) My guess is rocket launcher.

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:lol: Maybe it's a headlight as it's tilted down and over is my third guess.

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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1 minute ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

:lol: Maybe it's a headlight as it's tilted down and over is my third guess.

Yeah I think that's the right guess :)

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It's an RGB LED light strip I have mounted to the front and back of the wheel. It's powered by 8 AA batteries I soldered together and mounted inside the handle of the wheel. There's also a headlight on the front left with an Odometer/Speedometer attached.  Both lights run off the same battery pack but have seperate switches that I mounted into the casing so I can turn them on/off as needed.

Here is an early video of the lights before adding the switches, head light and Odometer/Speedometer, and telescoping handle.

 

 

TK X8 Light Show 1.6.wmv

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I think you should emphasise the heritage more: go back a couple of years and AirWheels were pretty much all there was, at least in the UK, and had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, as there simply was no other choice. IIRC they then lost (or fled from) a monopoly case and so there's now some competition. At least that's they way they want us to look at it. However, they also failed to fix the problems they expected everyone to put up with, and for that there is no excuse, under UK Health and Safety Law. They're given a chance to sort matters, however if they fail to do so then the entire weight of Trading Standards is likely to come down on them - the things can be banned as dangerous. We saw that with the Sinclair C5, for all that the company was groundbreaking in putting a pocket calculator and then a PC in everyone's hands, putting a washing machine motor on a plastic shell was so stupid they had to e told to cease and desist and that was that.

I looked at this back in 2014-15, when EUCs first launched, and it was a clear case of Early Adopter Syndrome: what I was concerned at was that the danger level of AirWheels suddenly stopping due to a systems fault was significant,and so I desisted, and it's truly shocking to see they haven't addressed it since. The Chinese have a historic record of endemically fatalistic attitudes to Health and Safety, and that is why H&S exists, to stop such people committing moderate genocide. If they won't listen - and they haven't - then they must be stopped, it's the same for all. Which I guess is what is happening now, their main UK distributor, Maplin, have pulled the product.

Returning to what is at heart a good idea after a couple of years shows a distinct headache, though: you still endorse them as a beginner's machine. I guess that's one approach, pure Darwinism. On the other hand, I'm starting going through the specs, which seem a right mess: perhaps its time for retailers to call the manufacturers bluff on performance and publish real figures? Questions like battery life: the stats should show what we can expect from a run-in battery. We live in a polyvalent environment, where few of us have a private estate large enough to justify one as a runabout, or have the cycle lanes on every pavement to be found in the Netherlands and Germany, which almost splits the market in half, those machines which are pedestrian-friendly (slow, premeditatedly noisy, for use on pavements, so low-range, low-power) and those which are roadworthy, which can accelerate and even more importantly brake in traffic. The headache in the UK is that local streets off main roads are almost all discrete blocks, if you're lucky there's a footpath to the next one, if not then the first model inevitably has to mix with the traffic - which they're not designed to do. My argument drives in the direction of the second, of course, however with a secondary preconfiguration suitable for starters like me, throttled-back to stop me killing myself learning. If you like, by analogy to learning to ride a bike, you start in a low gear and trade power for speed as you improve. I learned as a kid, using a cousin's bike, however as my family home was lethally positioned on the outside of an 80-degree corner which drivers took as a 90-degree one it wasn't safe to continue. Oddly enough, we never had another one demolish the front garden after my father built a launch-ramp disguised as a rockery at the point they entered the garden through, with deeply-embedded concrete fenceposts at the exact point they'd land, dragon's teeth in the civil community guaranteed to stop them dead, with an impaled chassis which would require a crane to remove. The existence of Guardian Angels is proved.

After that doubtless fascinating diversion, the lesson from years of cycling in London traffic is to keep a power boost in reserve to get you out of trouble. If the homicidal maniac behind the wheel discovers he missed you, or wakes up, or whatever, you've time to engage in escape and evasion. I'm not going to mince matters here: some are careless drivers, a few - yet enough to make car drivers statistically more dangerous to cyclists than terrorists - think it's GTA or something. 60 points for wiping out a cyclist. That's Road Rage, or Murder 1 in Law. The answer's not to be there when he comes at you. Or the driver who only sees what he's expecting to see, or the bus driver who doesn't see you because you're too small and he's never seen one of those before. You go with the flow and that means you may have to travel at 30. And stop as fast. The old saying about driving in Belgium is, Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Way. Can you do so here? On a bike, I have my upper torso held to the frame through my arms and the handlebars, my pelvis on the saddle, my legs on the pedals: a triangle is a far more rigid structure, even if it is somewhat shifting, by comparison with two points on an inverted pendulum, the body. The saving grace is we live vertically, so we're used to working with such instability, however it is what it is and whatever else gives, the one thing we are certain of is that it isn't stable. 

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Posted (edited)

On 13/07/2017 at 0:04 AM, Rahere said:

go back a couple of years and AirWheels were pretty much all there was, at least in the UK, and had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude,

Not really at all true, it was simply the fact that Maplin (the UK equivalent of Radio Shack) decided to stock it and, as a result, gave it a high, if totally undeserved, profile. Minimal research "a couple of years ago" led me to @Jason McNeil and the far superior, higher specification, not to mention £200 cheaper (than the Airwheel at the time as sold by Maplin) KingSong KS-14. Pretty sure Speedyfeet and the Ninebot range were also around at the time as well and also cheaper than the Airwheel.

On 13/07/2017 at 0:04 AM, Rahere said:

We saw that with the Sinclair C5, for all that the company was groundbreaking in putting a pocket calculator and then a PC in everyone's hands, putting a washing machine motor on a plastic shell was so stupid they had to be told to cease and desist and that was that.

Errr..... no, they made 14,000 of them, sold only 8000 to a totally underwhelmed British public (and a bunch of journalists giggling like little schoolboys) and went broke. They are still legal on British roads and have quite an enthusiastic following - albeit some of them fit 24 Volt (instead of 12V) batteries making them both considerably more usable and illegal under outmoded British laws. Oh and it was powered by a modified truck fan motor - not a washing machine motor.

i sort of lost the will to live before reading through the rest of your considerable essay above.

Edited by Keith
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Posted (edited)

On 7/12/2017 at 7:04 PM, Rahere said:

We saw that with the Sinclair C5, for all that the company was groundbreaking in putting a pocket calculator and then a PC in everyone's hands, putting a washing machine motor on a plastic shell was so stupid they had to e told to cease and desist and that was that.

I was only aware of the Sinclair computer. I never heard of this C5 vehicle.

According to Wikipedia,

Sinclair developed the C5 as an electrically powered tricycle with a polypropylene body and a chassis designed by Lotus Cars. It was intended to be the first in a series of increasingly ambitious electric vehicles, but in the event the planned development of the follow-up C10 and C15 electric cars never got further than the drawing board.

Thousands of unsold C5s were purchased by investors and sold for hugely inflated prices – as much as £5,000, compared to the original retail value of £399. Enthusiasts have established owners' clubs and some have modified their vehicles substantially, adding monster wheels, jet engines, and high-powered electric motors to propel their C5s at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour (240 km/h).

SinclairC5.jpg

Photo by Prioryman - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35368168

Edited by MaxLinux
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