Having had my 16S now for 3 days I thought I'd string together a few sentences outlining my first impressions for the benefit of anyone thinking of buying one. At the moment there is much hype surrounding the more powerful 16x but what is the 16S like?
The technical stuff
My 16S is the 1200w motor, 840wh battery model, the quoted speed is 35kph max and a range of 70 - 80km. It weighs approx 17kg. The tyre is 16" x 2.125"
I bought the matt black version and the finish is attractive but I think will scratch very easily on the lower parts when off roading. Overall I'd rate the look of the machine as pleasing on the eye, aesthetics are very much personal thing so whilst I like the round 'bar of soap' shape it may not be to everyones taste. The collapsible suitcase style handle blends in with the overall shape nicely when not in use.
Footpedals and leg pads
The pedals measure 210mm x 130mm and have a sand paper type upper surface that offers good grip, at a size 9 shoe they seem fine for my use although they are a little stiff to fold up and down, it may be that I can loosen them or adjust the spring but so far I haven't needed to do so. My one slight issue is I wish they were slightly higher, I'm practising at turning very tight turns by leaning the wheel right over and have found it easy to scrape them.
No ankle padding is provided but the calf pads protrude quite a bit so I think pressure on the ankles is unlikely. The pads are a large size (220 x 180mm) so should suit most riders and in my experience they have just the right amount of cushioning to feel comfortable and have good control.
Headlight / taillight
The headlight is powerful and gives a good spread of light, it gives confidence to ride at reasonably fast speeds in total darkness. The tail light is of a generous size giving a good clear aspect to motorists behind, it also acts as a brake light. One novel feature is the lights change their function when travelling in reverse so the that the headlight becomes the tail light and vice versa
The headlight has low light sensor meaning it turns on automatically in poor light, it can be overridden manually via a button on the top surface so that it can be set to permanently on, permanently off or auto - it can also be set to steady or flashing mode.
One ring of coloured LEDS is added on each side and they give an attractive rolling motion cascading through about 5 or 6 colours, the app allows the pattern to be set in 1 of 3 settings. I'm not a big fan of audacious lights but these are attractive and the choice of colours give the wheel a 'happy' feel to it .
When the wheel is not in motion the coloured LEDS revert to steady green showing battery strength. I'd have preferred a separate battery strength indication that can be seen whilst riding (like the Inmotion wheels) but the Kingsong lights do the job so it's a minor complaint.
The trolley handle is the usual suitcase style collapsible arrangement, it looks and feels a bit flimsy but does the job and can take the weight of the machine. It appears to be easy to replace if it did get damaged, I've only had this wheel for 3 days so it's difficult to comment on it's long term reliability.
A lot of people complain about the look of the 'scorpions tail' on the V5F and V10 but personally I think that is the best arrangement - it means it is possible to push the wheel then lift without needing to collapse the handle so from that point of view I think the Kingsong handle is inferior.
The Kingsong app
The app gives plenty of information but is a bit cluttered and not user friendly, it does however seem to be stable and connects first time every time, it stays connected without issue. I guess what you want from an app depends how much you are into technology, in my case all I'm interested in is speed, distance travelled and battery life so I tend to look at the simpler 'WheelLog' app.
The Kingong app does allow for calibration of the pedal angle and selection of 3 riding 'hardness' modes, it also can be used to control the headlight, set the alarm levels and sound a warning horn that sounds like a 1950s car horn and is loud enough to scare anyone.
The on/off button and selector button for the headlight mode are solid looking metal items and they both seem to have a positive, expensive feel to them, the charger socket has a similar robust feel to it.
4 Speakers are provided and they offer significant volume though I can't really comment on how good the sound quality is if you want to play music.
A USB output is not provided which is a minor let down but nothing to lose sleep over.
So, onto the important bit - what does it ride like?
I've had the machine now for 3 days and ridden it for about 60 miles over a mix of terrain so have now got an idea of its capability.
At 1200w it clearly isn't going to compete with the 2000w models of today but it does offer a surprisingly nippy machine at a lot lower price, I've ridden it at 20+mph and felt it offered a comfortable and stable ride and a no time did I get wobbles or feel unsafe. Its acceleration is fast enough for most riders and even when being worked hard it is near silent.
I did some riding up steep country lanes today and climbing a steep hill for over 1000yds it climbed effortlessly at a good healthy speed without any alarms / tilt back and I'm sure it would have climbed faster if I'd wanted to. Coming downhill was also no problem. It is agile enough for tight turns etc and is very easy to control, I'd expected one or 2 aches and pains for a few days when switching to a new wheel but so far I've felt nothing - I'm sure the large side pads help greatly.
The 16" tyre copes well with the bit of roading I've done, a mix of rocky dirt tracks, gravel and some grass, the motor gives enough power to handle most off road situations unless you are into really challenging situations.
As for the range well I haven't yet run the battery right down but first impressions look promising, the app says on full charge that it has 46miles remaining (we all know they are incredibly optimistic) and after doing 18 miles today it showed 61% battery left - that would suggest I'd get close to 40 miles, that sounds a bit optimistic to me but I'd expect perhaps 35 miles?
Do I like it, would I recommend it?
The short answer is yes on both counts. If you are into hard core off roading or want high performance then this wheel isn't for you and you'll probably need to spend significantly more to satisfy your need - however if you want a mid price wheel to use mainly on the road with adequate performance and range then the KS16S is well worth a look at. I'll probably buy another more powerful wheel next year when the summer comes but for now I'm very impressed with how it performs.