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svenomous last won the day on May 28

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About svenomous

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Seattle (Eastside), Washington, USA
  • EUC
    KingSong 18XL

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  1. I got the Switchback pants, @Darrell Wesh.
  2. @ir_fuel, Darrell has recommended the Knox Orsa Leather MK2, and I ordered these. It's my impression that these are the ones he uses. I decided to further extend my wallet and go with Darrell's recommendation on jacket as well (and have cancelled the cheaper jacket order that I had mentioned). I didn't order the shorts in the end, and will decide later. Initially I want to see exactly how the pants fit and where the protection on them is, and how tough the fabric is, and I'll decide later if I want to add additional butt padding or just go with the abrasion protection. My current injury down there is entirely abrasion, not impact. It's the elbow that has the impact damage. My arm is more mobile but extremely swollen, and with stabs of pain when I try to rotate the forearm. I can flex the wrist and fingers normally, and have limited mobility on the elbow joint itself (can't fully straighten nor fully bend the arm). The arm is so swollen that when people see it they do a double take, which is a lot of fun to use for shock value. I had to take the metal band off my watch and put on an adjustable silicone band to be able to wear it. Tomorrow morning I see the ortho specialist, and I've been warned there will probably a second set of x-rays now that the tissues around the elbow have calmed down a bit. My butt is actually more bothersome right now than my arm. It's still "weeping" and painful, and I have to change the gauze pad on it every few hours as it soaks through. It's painful to sit and I have to keep disinfecting the area to prevent infection.
  3. Tailbone pad is what I thought would give the impact resistance in the area in question. I did notice the redundant padding compared to the pants. Klim Marrakesh...expensive. Considering.
  4. OK, I think I have my choices: Feet: stick with the skate shoes, or use the tougher (and waterproof) hiking shoes when it seems appropriate. Not ready to go for reinforced, armored riding boots. Legs: KLIM Switchback per Darrell's recommendation. I'll try to have them hemmed if they're just too long for me to wear unmodified. This has D30 hip and knee armor, so no more separate skateboarding knee protectors, and it should be abrasion resistant. Ass: Knox Defender MK3 lycra shorts, with hip, thigh, and tailbone pads. Impact resistance to go with the abrasion resistance from the pants. Upper body: A motorcycle mesh jacket, the Viking Cycle "Warlock," which seems highly rated (despite being pretty cheap compared to the other stuff I've listed). Spine pad and C.E. shoulder and elbow pads. No more separate elbow guards. Hands/wrists: Knox Orsa Leather MK2 gloves, as recommended by Darrell. No more flexmeters. Head: I already have a full-face motorcyle helmet with visor for poor weather, and a full-face motocross helmet for warm weather, and will continue to use these. I'm getting the pants and jacket large enough that I'm hoping to just slip these on over street clothes. Then, when I get to my destination (like my office) I'd just strip off the outer garments and be reasonably dressed for work. The shorts present the only wrinkle in this plan, apart from not knowing if I can get things to fit right over jeans and whatnot.
  5. @Darrell Wesh, thanks for the additional suggestions. The KLIM Switchback looks interesting, and I'm seriously considering it. Good to know that the knee pad position is adjustable. I guess I'll just have to roll up the cuffs as needed, or maybe I can get them modified (although non-standard fabric may not be alterable in the normal way). Regarding the X2 shorts, wouldn't abrasion-resistant pants like the KLIMs provide sufficient protection by themselves? All my butt damage is from skin decelerating from 20mph to a stop in direct contact with asphalt. There's little bruising and no other damage down there. The tailbone is a potential concern, though, if landing just right...hmmm. I'm researching and building up the wardrobe change list, should have everything figured out by this evening. Btw two other areas that received damage (minor) are the shoes (quite a bit of sole material abraded off the heel edges of the Adidas skate shoes) and hands (some abrasions and bleeding on 2 fingers and one outer palm just past where the wrist sliders end). I'm back to wondering if I need an armored shoe/boot, although this time there was no foot damage...but the right fall could damage the toes, I'm sure. I'm also back to thinking about gloves, as much as those are a nuisance in the summer (and in general, in terms of dexterity and ability to interact with normal objects like keys and smartphones). I've managed to slide my flexmeters over thin full-finger bicycle gloves, which should provide at least some protection against scrapes during falls. Armored gloves seem to not provide the kind of wrist protection I can get from something like the flexmeters, nor the sliders that help dissipate energy during a forward fall.
  6. The tampon thing made me laugh! Got it, @LanghamP, will try to remember this, although in the heat of the moment there's very little time to react, much less think. Thanks for the advice and well wishes, everyone. I'll check out all the specific gear suggestions/mentions made, and will go watch that YouTube video now. If the "stealth armor" option doesn't bankrupt me it sure looks great. I looked at the KLIMs, and my biggest problem with those is the sizing. I'm "squat" in that I have a reasonable waist (36) but an unreasonable inseam (29), and it's hard to find "active" pants, which are often sized less granularly than street clothes, that don't have pant legs dragging on the ground and knee pads somewhere around my shins. @Nils, I get what you're saying about protection, and that it can never be enough for all possible accidents. Look at Rehab1's accident, where even with protection the force simply traveled up his arm and destroyed his shoulder. No pad is going to prevent that. Still, there are obvious danger zones when riding an EUC, including the face, knees, wrists/palms for forward falls, the buttocks, lower/inner arms and elbows, and back of the head for rearward falls, and the hips and shoulders for sideways falls. The latter fall modality seems like the least likely, so looking at my existing gear what seems to be missing is accounting for rearward falls and protecting the buttocks and a better circumference of the inner arms and elbows. I'm feeling marginally better today in some ways, and marginally worse in others. The arm is more swollen, but less painful. I'm cheating and touch typing with both hands, even though it causes some pain after a few minutes. Am on clinical doses of naproxen for 3 days, to combat swelling. The butt is still a bleeding/weeping mess, and in some ways it's worse (or at least more inconvenient) than the arm injury. Based on progress I feel like I might be 75% functional by the weekend, in terms of arm/hand movement. The wheel will come home in my car's trunk in the next few days, and it will be serving a work commute again as soon as I have my new gear selection figured out, and feel sufficiently healed. I'll update this thread about my condition, and also about what gear changes I end up going with.
  7. I fully sympathize with the desire to remove the feeling of being observed and judged during a skill learning experience. I felt the same way, and knowing that I should just ignore people etc. didn't help in those earliest stages. My solutions: A park & ride lot (you can look up where these are located). In and out traffic is limited to morning and afternoon rush hours. It's pretty much deserted after 7pm, and during weekends. Any parking lot that's large enough and has periods of inactivity. If you have a closed/abandoned Sears or whatnot nearby that hasn't been re-purposed yet, you may even have a large lot that sees nearly no traffic 24 hours a day. Any business park is pretty much a ghost town of connected parking lots on weekends. Any commercial district with medium to large buildings. Behind these buildings are loading dock areas with a lot of open asphalt. During late evening and on weekends these are deserted (as long as the businesses they're associated with don't operate 24/7), and hidden behind buildings where even passing traffic cannot see. The bigger buildings have as many as 10 or more loading docks and a giant practice space leading up to them. I've even found ramps I could practice climbs/descents and tight turns on. This was my favorite "private practice" option. I scouted by car, wheel in trunk, and tried out a few promising places before settling on my favorite. Go drive around and you'll be amazed how many places you can find to learn and practice privately!
  8. I took a fall this morning during my commute to work, due to speed wobble while going downhill at about 8% grade, and my inability to ride it out. I've had wobbles before, some severe enough that I worried I might get bucked off, but so far each time I had ridden it out and managed to reduce the wobble by slowing or turning ("carving") or clamping down my legs. I've also seen a big reduction in wobbles in general, as I build confidence and "EUC legs." This time, though, it started fast, became a rapid hammering vibration within 2-3 seconds, and I started losing directional control while next to rush hour traffic on a road shoulder. It's frustrating to struggle with these wobbles, especially downhill, only to have them magically disappear for weeks, before suddenly reappearing on a commute route I've taken quite a few times by now. My confidence is shot to pieces for now. In some ways it was a benign fall: not a faceplant, as I went off backward and the wheel continued without me for about 30ft before going into the roadside ditch. However, I was going about 20mph and the impact and sliding to a stop had some effects, as both impact areas bypassed my protective gear altogether. I ride with double-sided flexmeters on the wrists, G-Form Elite RPT compression elbow guards, and hard-shell skater strap-on knee guards, plus a full-face motocross helmet. As I picked myself up, the immediate adrenaline rush made assessment difficult, but I went to find the wheel and turn it off, and just waited for about 2 minutes for the shaking to stop and the pain signals to start coming in to the brain. My first impression was that I had slid pretty hard on my butt, and that my left arm was damaged and not working properly. My pants were ripped up at my left upper buttock. I could move the fingers, wrist, and shoulder of the left arm normally, but forearm rotation and lifting was very difficult and starting to hurt. I almost turned around and went home, but still wasn't sure of my condition, and in any case at work I would be closer to professional help, so after about another 3-4 minutes I got back on the wheel (after removing debris from the pedals and wheel well) and continued the ride (slowly!), with left arm hanging limp as much as possible. I did have to signal some left turns, half-raising the arm to do so. I must've been quite the sight with the hole and bleeding on my left side. Got to my office, slowly removed all the gear, took 800mg Ibuprofen, and went to my first meeting, where the pain and difficulty moving my arm started properly registering. Afterward I walked across the street to my primary care facility (luckily right next to where I work). They cleaned and bandaged: - A small bleeding circular bruise on the inside of my very swollen left elbow joint - A giant bleeding abraded and bruised section of upper left buttock An NP palpated my left hand, wrist, forearm, and arm, and had me show that I could move fingers, wrist, and shoulder OK. What hurts is forearm lifting and rotation. Got 2 x-rays done on the elbow, which show no major fracture, but a small anomaly that may be a "subtle" avulsion fracture on the inside of the elbow, right about where the circular bruise is. In other words, a small bit of bone may have chipped off. Will see an orthopedic specialist on Thursday. Meanwhile the arm is in a sling and I'm trying not to use it. The wheel stayed at work and I got a ride home at the end of the day. So, no wheel until I heal, which hopefully will consist simply of a bunch of swollen soft tissue getting less angry with me. Given where the damage happened, I need to reevaluate my protective equipment. On the elbow, the G-Form Elite has a flexible RPT pad that covers the elbow and wraps part-way around the arm. This is fine, except that on impact my arm was rotated in such a way that what hit the asphalt was not the armor pad but a spot about half an inch from the edge of it, which means that the only thing between skin and ground was a very thin flexible compression layer, something like lycra. This part of the elbow sleeve now has a nice little hole in it. As for my behind, my shorts and underwear provided very little protection and bare skin scraped along the asphalt as I decelerated, creating a giant bleeding mess. While I recover I'll be looking for new protection options, such as motorcycle pants/jeans with armor pads, and a different type of elbow protection that has better lateral coverage. I'm trying to stop short of going full "Alien Android in a B Movie." Marty Backe looks awesome and futuristic in his gear, but I don't see how I can reasonably commute to/from work in something so elaborate. I'm open to any suggestions btw.
  9. Uhh...wrong thread?
  10. I agree that battery age and cycle count should not be enough (yet) to account for a major drop in capacity. It may be noticeable, but shouldn't be much at this point. Even if you've charged it 100 times, that's not 100 cycles unless the pack was basically empty each time. Probably closer to 50-60 in terms of cycle count, and these cells are rated for several hundred full cycles before their capacity decays too much. I don't have the specs for the cells used in the 18L at hand, but the Samsung 35e used in the 18XL specifies that after 500 cycles it should retain >=60% capacity. Time also ages a cell, even if not used, but unless you're storing at high temperatures, after a year you shouldn't have lost much capacity yet. So, under normal storage and usage conditions 50 cycles (and less than a year) is very little. Give it another year and you'll definitely be seeing significant decay, as you would with any lithium ion battery pack that's 2 years old. As for a bad cell, you can't tell whether there's a bad cell based on overall battery voltage. I believe 18L is a 20s4p pack, so a single bad cell could (at worst, if the cell was just about dead) cause you to lose one of the four parallel strings of 20 cells, losing you 25% capacity, but the remaining three strings would still charge up to the right voltage (making the battery look "normal" from that perspective), and the wheel would still work. You would just see sharply reduced range, more rapid voltage sag, etc. Given the more subtle signs you've reported, and the assertion by Mike that the range "sounds about right" for an 18L, maybe other factors are to blame, such as a combination of more aggressive riding style developed over time (as Mike also suggested) and the increased commute distance you've mentioned. This may be adding up to a "sense" that things aren't like they used to be. The only way to be sure is to gather some data. Do you use Android or iPhone? On Android you could use WheelLog to gather and download some data about voltage during your commutes, and could compare the curves for a fully charged wheel on a normal commute, over time, to see if there's a measurable change happening. DarknessBot on iPhone can also do some graphing, but I don't remember if it can export the data like WheelLog can.
  11. Many factors affect how quickly and how badly battery packs "age," including how frequently they are charged/discharged, whether they tend to be deep-discharged, whether they're stored fully charged, the temperatures they're exposed to, etc. Assuming "normal" usage patterns and an otherwise non-abusive environment, the change should be barely noticeable at this point. If you routinely charge to less than 100% you should occasionally (maybe once a month) do a full charge to ensure the cells get balanced (which the BMS only does when they cells are near their maximum voltages). Was the 27-mile range test you performed done on challenging terrain (lots of climbs), or with hard accelerations and high speeds? This has a lot of impact. Did you do an equivalent range test early in the wheel's life, that you can compare to? As for battery LEDs and battery level vs. warnings while riding, I don't know what account for the discrepancy between LED count and battery percentage reported by the app, but in general if you're down to 30-40% while standing still (when you get to see the LEDs) the voltage will sag during riding, especially hard riding or hills, and can easily get down to 10% or even 0% (meaning 60V in this case), and as soon as you stop the voltage recovers and the percentage is back up to 30% within a minute. As the pack ages, the sag under load will be more pronounced. A bad cell, of course, would make this much worse, as you would effectively lose one of the parallel strings in the pack altogether and have a lower overall capacity (and faster sags/recoveries on voltages).
  12. Riding at very low tire pressure: cushy, yes, and better suspension characteristics, but this is because the tire and tube is flexing/deforming more than designed to. The lateral/torsional load in turns causes even greater distortion, especially with centripetal force at speed. The tire is routinely exposed to momentarily multiple times the static load when it has to absorb a vector change. One day you might fly over just enough of a bump/curb/twig/pebble at just enough speed, and the tube will get compressed just enough to fail catastrophically: pinch flat. A pinch flat can be small enough to happen over several seconds, or it can be a large gash that flattens the tire in less than a second (depending on the shape and size of the pinch). In case of rapid pressure loss at higher than walking speed that's probably a faceplant on an EUC. I'm about 210lbs fully geared up, so not a light-weight, and on a KS18XL 40-42psi feels about right to me. Have tried 35 and didn't like the handling (turns were mushy). I think less than 35 at my weight would be asking for trouble. At the other end of the spectrum I think that 60psi, even if the rim, tube, and tire can take it, would feel rock hard to me, and would take away what little "suspension" the tire does provide. I've read on this forum that the tires, even the ones that recommend fairly low pressures, can handle quite high pressures safely, and maybe that's true, but I've experienced the sudden "bang" of a blowout when an inner tube suddenly poked out through the sidewall of a bicycle tire, for no apparent reason (in that case it was a manufacturing defect in a new tire, during the 2nd time it was ever ridden), so assuming that a tire that says "don't go above 45psi" can take 60psi seems like taking a risk regarding manufacturing tolerances. Also, don't forget traction, tread, contact patch, etc. A super-inflated tire will have an out-of-spec profile and tread contact with the ground. You're a "test pilot" if you go too far beyond recommended specs. All that said, you can have pressure right at recommended levels, and do everything right, and still have a material defect in the tube/tire, or a nail in the road that you didn't see, and bam! So wear that protective gear! Too bad an EUC takes about 20 million screws (and several high-voltage connectors) to take apart to get at the tire, or else I would carry a spare tube on my rides as I do when I cycle. Instead my plan B for a flat tire on my EUC is...phone a friend, or Uber.
  13. I agree, but only partially. Using wheel revolutions to measure speeds and distance can be more accurate than GPS distance, assuming appropriate calibration. Bicycle computers use wheel revolutions and are quite accurate when set up correctly. GPS samples position relatively infrequently (especially on phones that are trying to balance battery usage vs. position accuracy), so GPS speed/distance is less accurate when there are lots of curved paths involved. All that said, if I'm on my KS wheel going 20mph per KS app (or DarknessBot), and I'm on a perfectly straight path (as perfectly straight as possible), a GPS speedometer reads 16mph in my case. I'm not saying all KS wheels are exactly 20% off, but this one is, and apparently so are others. It grossly over-measures distance and speed, to a degree that GPS inaccuracies and carving/weaving and curved paths cannot even begin to explain. On a 50-mile bike ride, if I track via the accurate bike computer and via the phone at the same time (using an app), the instantaneous speed reading at any point in time is very close (within 0.1mph), although GPS reading on the phone lags behind the bike computer's reading from the wheel sensor, and the final odometer reading is within 0.3 miles. That's less than 1% error. I'm sure if I rode my bike by doing constant S-turns and other unusual maneuvers I could greatly increase this error margin, but I doubt I could raise it to 20% unless doing near-acrobatic maneuvers.
  14. Piling on the off-topic part of this thread about inaccurate distance/speed reporting: This is my biggest issue with my new KS18XL wheel. It reports inflated speed and distance via BLE. GPS speed reading inaccuracy is not sufficient to explain this, as a it's clear in testing known distances that distance is inflated by 20(ish) percent, and the distance reading is derived from the same wheel revolution data as the speed reading. The speed is therefore as inaccurate as the distance. Apart from having to constantly think in "KS miles" vs "real miles" when looking at miles ridden and speeds ridden at, this also means that the 18XL's real maximum speed before tiltback is closer to 25mph (40kmh) than the 31mph (50kmh) the specs claim. I'm personally OK with my wheel only going up to 25mph, by the way, as I'd like to keep some of my skin and bones if I take a big tumble, but it's not accurate when advertising to the speed demons who want to ride the tiltback and go as fast as possible.
  15. I'd guess grass is OK on an actual playing field (like a football/soccer field), where one normally sees nice flat ground, close-mowed grass, and no holes or sprinkler heads anywhere. As long as the ground isn't too soggy from recent rains, that should be OK for initial learning/practice. A random grass lawn/field, on the other hand, is probably an adventure waiting to happen.
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