Obly

Buying advice requested: Monster vs. Msuper 3S+

26 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I bought a KS-14C (840 Wh) as my first EUC last Spring and have had a blast learning to ride with it. It's still a good wheel and I'm not ready to retire it, but my main complaint is the short range; at my weight (~95 kg) and typical wheeling terrain (moderately hilly), I'm only getting about 25-30 miles for a full charge. My main interest is in going on long, leisurely tours on backcountry roads, so I'm back in the market for a wheel that can at least double that range. I'd like to try some off-roading too, so naturally I'm eyeing 18"+ wheels with large batteries.

I'm no daredevil or speed demon, and originally went with KS because of its reputation for prizing safety over muscle. But after a long winter break away from wheeling, it's been interesting to come back and read about GW's growing reputation as the design leader in all departments. I haven't ruled out the KS-18B/S as my next buy, but (shocking to myself) I'm seriously considering GW too.

Here's my dilemma. In terms of its motor power and battery size options, the Monster seems like a good choice for my needs. It's also (IMO) a more stylish wheel than the MSuper 3S+ --I'm not vain or anything, but looks do count for something (tbh, I think the KS-18's slick form factor is the best looking of the three... I know many disagree, but to each his own). The huge con for the Monster is the weight. I mean, 72 lbs, my God... I'd need a motorcycle ramp just to get the thing in and out of my trunk or into the house. It just adds a whole new layer of complication to trying to enjoy using a EUC.

The MSuper 3S+ has great specs too, only a bit lower than the Monster. It also has the huge bonus of a built-in trolley handle. And at 50 lbs, there's an additional 22 reasons to go with this one. 

So my question is, to folks who have ridden both the MSuper 3S+ and the Monster, does the added performance capability of the Monster actually justify dealing with the extra weight and the loss of the handle? And the added cost for the machine too, although that isn't the top concern.

Thanks in advance for thoughts and opinions!

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You seem open to all tire sizes. What about the ACM, if you're coming from 14 inch? For really hard conditions, if that's your thing, lightweight (well sort of) might trump riding comfort due to the bigger tire. Read @Marty Backe's survival tale for more on that.

1 hour ago, Obly said:

But after a long winter break away from wheeling, it's been interesting to come back and read about GW's growing reputation as the design leader in all departments. I haven't ruled out the KS-18B/S as my next buy, but (shocking to myself) I'm seriously considering GW too.

Leader? Let's say they were/are improving and listening to suggestions and new information surprisingly well, and not resting on their laurels;) The important thing is, the "obvious"/critical stuff has been fixed, and you can safely buy GW wheels now! But my (unqualified) opinion says KS is still quite a lot ahead in terms of overall electrical design and safety efforts.

35 minutes ago, dmethvin said:

Have you thought about getting an external battery, putting it in a backpack, and connecting it through the charge port? You'll need to be sure the voltages are relatively equalized which usually means keeping it plugged in for the duration of the ride so that the batteries discharge equally.

Never realized you could connect additional batteries via the charge port! No invasive modifications needed to the internal wiring!

Though I do NOT recommend external batteries, too cumbersome. If you need the capacity, it should be in the wheel.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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2 hours ago, Obly said:

Hi all,

I bought a KS-14C (840 Wh) as my first EUC last Spring and have had a blast learning to ride with it. It's still a good wheel and I'm not ready to retire it, but my main complaint is the short range; at my weight (~95 kg) and typical wheeling terrain (moderately hilly), I'm only getting about 25-30 miles for a full charge. My main interest is in going on long, leisurely tours on backcountry roads, so I'm back in the market for a wheel that can at least double that range. I'd like to try some off-roading too, so naturally I'm eyeing 18"+ wheels with large batteries.

I'm no daredevil or speed demon, and originally went with KS because of its reputation for prizing safety over muscle. But after a long winter break away from wheeling, it's been interesting to come back and read about GW's growing reputation as the design leader in all departments. I haven't ruled out the KS-18B/S as my next buy, but (shocking to myself) I'm seriously considering GW too.

Here's my dilemma. In terms of its motor power and battery size options, the Monster seems like a good choice for my needs. It's also (IMO) a more stylish wheel than the MSuper 3S+ --I'm not vain or anything, but looks do count for something (tbh, I think the KS-18's slick form factor is the best looking of the three... I know many disagree, but to each his own). The huge con for the Monster is the weight. I mean, 72 lbs, my God... I'd need a motorcycle ramp just to get the thing in and out of my trunk or into the house. It just adds a whole new layer of complication to trying to enjoy using a EUC.

The MSuper 3S+ has great specs too, only a bit lower than the Monster. It also has the huge bonus of a built-in trolley handle. And at 50 lbs, there's an additional 22 reasons to go with this one. 

So my question is, to folks who have ridden both the MSuper 3S+ and the Monster, does the added performance capability of the Monster actually justify dealing with the extra weight and the loss of the handle? And the added cost for the machine too, although that isn't the top concern.

Thanks in advance for thoughts and opinions!

I can get ~30+ miles on my KS14C (my riding weight is ~80kg). I do tend to ride fast so maybe that's why my range is less than what you've been getting.

Based on your desire for long range (60 miles) and leisurely backcountry tours, I think the Monster is your wheel. It's an incredibly comfortable street machine. For touring I seriously doubt that anyone could argue that it's not the best. It's fantastic for off-road riding too as long as steep hills aren't involved. I can easily get 60 miles out of my 2400wh version. You might be able to squeeze a total of 70 miles out of it, but that might be a stretch with your added weight. However, range is really affected by speed. If you ride the Monster at 15mph you may exceed 70 miles. I usually ride mine between 20 and 23mph.

The MSuper (I also own) is also a very nice machine, but it really can't hold a candle to the touring capability of the Monster.

The Monster is in a class by itself with no competitors within or outside of Gotway (when this was written - May 2017).

I really don't think the weight of the Monster is an issue. You don't plan on carrying it do you ;) The extreme heaviness of the Monster makes for a very stable ride that is just about impervious to wind. My MSuper feels like a sail when I'm riding it in windy conditions. The Monster laughs at wind.

You may enjoy my early observations of the Monster, which I still stand by. I've also posted various Monster videos that you can find on my YouTube channel: 

 

 

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I wouldn't recommend hooking up an external battery to the charge port and expect it to be used in that configuration while riding.  Seems like the current draw would exceed the current rating the wiring to the charge port has. 

(Just a thought though since I don't know for sure.)

 

Allen

 

Edited by abinder3
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That's actually a very good thought. 5A max (for GW) on the port, whereas wheel consumption can easily be multiples of that (even just a non-extreme case of 1500W nominal/84V max voltage = 18A current). Not sure how much of that would end up on the charge port, but could easily be >5A.

So much for the dream of non-invasive battery extensions, but now it's time to wake up. Charge ports are indeed for charging only. It was a nice dream though...:whistling:

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16 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

That's actually a very good thought. 5A max (for GW) on the port, whereas wheel consumption can easily be multiples of that (even just a non-extreme case of 1500W nominal/84V max voltage = 18A current). Not sure how much of that would end up on the charge port, but could easily be >5A.

So much for the dream of non-invasive battery extensions, but now it's time to wake up. Charge ports are indeed for charging only. It was a nice dream though...:whistling:

Using a "suitable" power resistor, or better, a proper constant current source/sink in-between this shouldn't be a problem. Even a constant current source/sink doesn't need to be much more than something like an op-amp, a few resistors and capacitors to measure/set voltages and kill off oscillation, and a suitable power-device, like either a P-channel (high-side) or N-channel (low side) mosfet  with "good enough" heatsinking for the maximum current. Maybe a voltage reference and such, but the parts costs is peanuts. Probably would need something to lower the voltage for the op-amp (unless it can be powered straight from up to 84V ;)) , or just keep it simple and power the circuit from something like a separate 9V battery... I'd expect you could find a suitable device fairly easy ready-made.

That's a bit long-winded way to say that it's possible to control the current between the external and internal packs, no matter how much current the motor is actually drawing ;)  Just that you might be using the internal battery faster than it's being charged from the external (but it would still be charged while riding), so you might have to stop at some point and wait a bit.

Edited by esaj
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13 hours ago, esaj said:

Just that you might be using the internal battery faster than it's being charged from the external (but it would still be charged while riding), so you might have to stop at some point and wait a bit.

This is what I wanted to ask yesterday, luckily it was too late and I didn't and you expanded on your answer in the mean time;) So the external battery would act like a charge pack/power bank, not like an internal battery in equilibrium with the system (and there's no way to do that with only one 5A connection).

Is there any reason why an external battery/charge pack would NOT be able charge with the full 5A maximum possible current?

Because if it can: for 84V system (as an example) that is 420 Wh/h, so something >320 Wh/h (320 corresponds to minimum voltage 64V = 20*3.2V per cell at 0%) may easily be fast enough to keep up with demand (I use ~250Wh/h with the ACM in the flat at leisurely speeds, so it would be enough there).

Also, is there a way to prevent "flow back" to the charge pack (so the wheel would never charge the external battery)? That could be a problem otherwise, the wheel must run and charge the external thing at the same time, and suddenly you kiss the ground unexpectedly.

13 hours ago, esaj said:

Using a "suitable" power resistor, or better, a proper constant current source/sink in-between this shouldn't be a problem. Even a constant current source/sink doesn't need to be much more than something like an op-amp, a few resistors and capacitors to measure/set voltages and kill off oscillation, and a suitable power-device, like either a P-channel (high-side) or N-channel (low side) mosfet  with "good enough" heatsinking for the maximum current. Maybe a voltage reference and such, but the parts costs is peanuts. Probably would need something to lower the voltage for the op-amp (unless it can be powered straight from up to 84V ;)) , or just keep it simple and power the circuit from something like a separate 9V battery... I'd expect you could find a suitable device fairly easy ready-made.

:ph34r: I know some of these words :P

You think there's a "no more than 5A thingie" ready to be bought somewhere?

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36 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

This is what I wanted to ask yesterday, luckily it was too late and I didn't and you expanded on your answer in the mean time;) So the external battery would act like a charge pack/power bank, not like an internal battery in equilibrium with the system (and there's no way to do that with only one 5A connection).

Is there any reason why an external battery/charge pack would NOT be able charge with the full 5A maximum possible current?

When the voltage difference between the internal and external battery is small enough, the current will drop. Basically what the "constant" current means is that it won't allow the current to go above the set value, but it may go below it. Personally, I'd still keep it below 5A (say, 4A), just to keep it below the 5A max reported for the GX16-3 charge port. Also, the external pack cannot charge the internal battery above it's own voltage without a step-up -stage.

 

Quote

Because if it can: for 84V system (as an example) that is 420 Wh/h, so something >320 Wh/h (320 corresponds to minimum voltage 64V = 20*3.2V per cell at 0%) may easily be fast enough to keep up with demand (I use ~250Wh/h with the ACM in the flat at leisurely speeds, so it would be enough there).

It's easier to look at amphours vs. watthours when dealing with charging current. Charging at steady 4A (for example) for one hour, you get 4Ah charged into the packs per hour. 

 

Quote

Also, is there a way to prevent "flow back" to the charge pack (so the wheel would never charge the external battery)? That could be a problem otherwise, the wheel must run and charge the external thing at the same time, and suddenly you kiss the ground unexpectedly.

At least something like a simple power diode (or multiple in parallel) could handle that, a low(er) voltage drop Schottky's are available with >10A continuous currents (probably with a heatsink) , or a mosfet-based solution

 

Quote

:ph34r: I know some of these words :P

You think there's a "no more than 5A thingie" ready to be bought somewhere?

Probably, haven't looked around much, but it's not really a complicated or expensive device to build, so I'd expect those to be available. The high voltage might make it more difficult to find a suitable one though (unless you use a separate power source for the circuit with lower voltage), most of the ones I've seen have been for things like 12V LED-lighting or similar.

 

Edited by esaj
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Do not connect a battery pack on the charge port without it being engineered with current limiting. 

YOU WILL CAUSE A FIRE!

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Thanks all, I really appreciate the thoughts. The idea about the external battery pack is interesting, I remember reading a thread at some point from a guy who had actually pulled that off in practice. I'm not sure I'd try it though; even if I could build it properly, I'd be too worried about damaging the charge port or the battery pack if I took a spill while riding. Plus it's not just the battery I'm eager to upgrade; I'm hopeful that a larger tire and pedals will improve comfort for the long rides I like.

On that note, I'll look at the ACM more closely, but tbh, going from 14 to 16" doesn't (intuitively) seem like it would improve riding comfort enough to justify the cost of a new wheel. But maybe I'm wrong? It just seemed like if I was going to buy a second wheel, why not have one at the two ends of the spectrum instead of just an incremental difference.

Thanks @Marty Backe, your perspective is super helpful. Sounds like you have no doubt that the Monster gives a more comfortable ride than the Msuper. I'm surprised to hear that even the 50 lb Msuper is susceptible to wind sheer. I find that to be a huge problem on the KS-14; I can barely ride it on a windy day without feeling like I'm going to swerve into traffic, so wind resistance is a big factor.

Out of curiosity, you may have mentioned this somewhere else, but have you tried both Msuper and ACM pedals on your Monster? Having tried neither myself, I'm curious if it makes a big difference and which one would be more comfortable for someone with largish feet (US men's 12).

One other question: Do you find that either the Monster or Msuper is easier to start from a standstill, in terms of being able to kick off and get proper foot placement easily and smoothly (for whatever reason: pedal size, wheel weight, etc.). I ask because, no matter how much I practice, I can't seem to nail starts on my KS-14 100% of the time. I think it's because the pedals are too small relative to my feet. My foot placement has to be pretty exact to have control of the wheel, and I often have to try a few times to get it right when kicking off. So when I need to cross busy streets, I'll often just get off the darn thing and use the trolley handle to push it across instead of flopping my start several times and missing a traffic signal or otherwise irritating waiting drivers. I can keep doing that if need be with the Msuper (and its built-in trolley), but I'm worried that trying to wrangle a Monster across an intersection would be a total pain if I'm forced to do that. Maybe I just need more practice. -_-

On 5/18/2017 at 8:25 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

Leader? Let's say they were/are improving and listening to suggestions and new information surprisingly well, and not resting on their laurels;) The important thing is, the "obvious"/critical stuff has been fixed, and you can safely buy GW wheels now! But my (unqualified) opinion says KS is still quite a lot ahead in terms of overall electrical design and safety efforts.

Point taken. I guess I'm just impressed by GW's progress. Looking around now, people are talking about GW's wheels as both fun and (relatively) safe. Just a few months ago, GW's marketing slogan might as well have been: "Yee-hoo!! At least you'll go out in a blaze of glory!!" :w00t2:

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Going from ACM to Msuper V3s 1300 battery, Its build like a Tank... or at least if feels that way :).  Seriously, feels so solid and absolutely enjoy how it goes over bumps. Acceleration is very smooth. I'm in Love with this machine...

Edited by yourtoys7
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Just mentioned the ACM because maybe, if you come from 14, you want something with a similar size/not too much bigger. But if I had only a 14 inch wheel, I'd probably also go for 18 or bigger for the next (Warning: I have no experience with anything but my ACM).

From what people say, I believe the KS18 seems to be between the msuper and Monster in terms of directional stability, so maybe you can consider it an intermediate step? (no experience myself!)

5 hours ago, Obly said:

Point taken. I guess I'm just impressed by GW's progress. Looking around now, people are talking about GW's wheels as both fun and (relatively) safe. Just a few months ago, GW's marketing slogan might as well have been: "Yee-hoo!! At least you'll go out in a blaze of glory!!" :w00t2:

Splendid description! (though I believe the earlier GW wheels are also fine, except that one issue with the motor connectors)

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6 hours ago, Obly said:

One other question: Do you find that either the Monster or Msuper is easier to start from a standstill, in terms of being able to kick off and get proper foot placement easily and smoothly (for whatever reason: pedal size, wheel weight, etc.). I ask because, no matter how much I practice, I can't seem to nail starts on my KS-14 100% of the time. I think it's because the pedals are too small relative to my feet. My foot placement has to be pretty exact to have control of the wheel, and I often have to try a few times to get it right when kicking off. So when I need to cross busy streets, I'll often just get off the darn thing and use the trolley handle to push it across instead of flopping my start several times and missing a traffic signal or otherwise irritating waiting drivers. I can keep doing that if need be with the Msuper (and its built-in trolley), but I'm worried that trying to wrangle a Monster across an intersection would be a total pain if I'm forced to do that. Maybe I just need more practice. -_-

 

The monster is so huge -- and what's more, it's top is so high of the ground -- that it seems a natural for a trolley.  Kind of like a shopping cart is a natural for a handle and would be awkward without one.  Though it would have to be a very robust one not to bend itself or crack the shell.  So maybe not so natural after all.  

Marty has said he doesn't have trouble maneuvering the beast when he's not riding it, if I recall correctly.  But I bet having a really strong trolley would still make things much easier.

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4 minutes ago, Dingfelder said:

The monster is so huge -- and what's more, it's top is so high of the ground -- that it seems a natural for a trolley.  Kind of like a shopping cart is a natural for a handle and would be awkward without one.  Though it would have to be a very robust one not to bend itself or crack the shell.  So maybe not so natural after all.  

Marty has said he doesn't have trouble maneuvering the beast when he's not riding it, if I recall correctly.  But I bet having a really strong trolley would still make things much easier.

I agree that a trolley handle would be nice for the Monster

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4 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

Maybe it's the added width of the tire. I don't know. But I can definitely say that the Monster is a pure pleasure to ride in strong wind conditions. I'll ride it along the beach with strong side winds and I don't have to fight it at all. That's not the case with any of my other wheels. And for some reason my MSuper seems harder to ride in windy conditions compared to my ACM.

...

You need to practice your mounts. It's worth the effort. There is a practice technique that I recommend, and it'll have you smoothly mounting like a pro in no time. Try it.

Practice walking the wheel. Let's assume you normally mount by putting your right foot on the pedal and then pushing/jumping with your left foot. So with your right foot on the pedal and the wheel pressed against your inner right leg, push off with your left foot so that you can hop with your left foot a short distance (1 foot). You are not attempt to put your left foot on the pedal. You are just moving the wheel forward with your right leg and hopping with your left. Walk your wheel in this manner for 30 feet. Repeat a few times.

What you are doing is developing some muscle memory and leg coordination. After doing this for a short while you should begin to feel that your right leg is able to take the entire weight/balance of the wheel. It then becomes easier to simply lift your left leg onto the pedal in a smooth non-anxious manner. Trust me, you can do this easily with the KS14 too. And then you can practice and do the same thing with your other leg.

15 to 30 minutes and you'll be mounting smoothly and confidently 100 percent of the time. No more hopping onto the pedal. Let me know if you give it a go and are successful.

Interesting, Marty.  Do you think the different size presented to the wind could possibly make such a difference?  The MSuper is bigger, but it doesn't seem that much bigger.  Or do the pedals raise you up higher on the MSuper, creating a taller "sail" against the wind in general?  

Also that looks like a good tip.  I'll practice that too.  Thanks!

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7 minutes ago, Dingfelder said:

Interesting, Marty.  Do you think the different size presented to the wind could possibly make such a difference?  The MSuper is bigger, but it doesn't seem that much bigger.  Or do the pedals raise you up higher on the MSuper, creating a taller "sail" against the wind in general?  

Also that looks like a good tip.  I'll practice that too.  Thanks!

I'm sure it's because of the bigger shell. The newer MSuper's are much heavier so they may be less affected by the wind. I just ordered a 1600wh MSuper so I'll know better in a short while.

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1 minute ago, Marty Backe said:

I'm sure it's because of the bigger shell. The newer MSuper's are much heavier so they may be less affected by the wind. I just ordered a 1600wh MSuper so I'll know better in a short while.

We'll both be on them then. :)  

We do get some stiff winds over here sometimes, being well above sea level in series of valleys.  I will have to be very careful riding on some of our roads if I'm likely to be buffeted about by winds.  I don't want to be sent into a ditch!

When is your wheel coming?  Jason said it'll be the first week or two of June for mine.

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I'm sure that mine's in the same batch as yours. We'll probably get them the same day since we are both on the west coast. It's always fun waiting for a new wheel :)

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26 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

I just ordered a 1600wh MSuper so I'll know better in a short while.

So when is the ACM 1600 coming?

When will you be getting the 14D/14S?

;)

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Just now, meepmeepmayer said:

So when is the ACM 1600 coming?

When will you be getting the 14D/14S?

;)

As soon as Jason can get it in my hands. Hopefully within a couple of weeks. Oh, and I'm getting the 1600wh MSuper. I already have the ACM.

If I get the 14S (the D does not interest me) it'll probably be in the fall.

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6 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

I already have the ACM.

You misunderstood me:)

You ONLY have the 1300 Wh ACM when you could have the 1600 Wh !!! Think of that!

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this is difficult. 

Ther is no question the smaller wheel is more nimble. 

Might you need nibblenes, up speed down speed stop go wiggle or follow people, crowded commuter bike lane or paths, then a bigger wheel will be frustrating.  But bigger wheels are nice for cruising and forgiving on road imperfections.  But you can not lift to transport. 

If you want a touring. Wheel the monster is fantastic but putting in the trunk of your care is asking for an injury. You probably need a motorcycle trailer seriously. 

The next choice to talk about is the MSuper. The V2 seams to be amble to take a beating. the V3 seams to self destruct when it tumbles by multiple videos of crashes. 

The ACM at 16 and from reviews looks to be the more versatile of all. Same motor as MSuperV3 with smaller wheel means tons more power to climb. Small enough to still be able to transport. It also looks like it can take spills and survive well.  One use upgraded the tire to 2.5 instead of 2.125 inches with some minor modifications which would increase the confort. 

I almost feel that for a monster I might be better off buying a motor cross bike instead. 

Yes. Difficult. To find high portability, long range and comfort in the same wheel. 

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12 minutes ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

<snip>

The next choice to talk about is the MSuper. The V2 seams to be amble to take a beating. the V3 seams to self destruct when it tumbles by multiple videos of crashes. 

<snip>

If you can point me to one of those videos I'd love to watch it. I'm sure there must be a couple of instances, but really, the MSuper V3 is not a wheel that self destructs very easily. There are always freak accidents, but I worry that you are painting the MSuper with too broad of a brush.

It always had the reputation of getting scratched too easily because of the plastic finish that Gotway chose, but that's been remedied with the new finish that they are now using.

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