About a year ago, I bought an InMotion V8 secondhand for $550 (it had about 500 miles on it). It was a great wheel to learn on, and it turned out to be perfect for commuting. At only 30 pounds, it wasn’t too heavy to lug up the stairs in the train station and up to the second floor of MetroLink train cars. It topped off at 19 mph, but that was plenty fast for my six-mile wheel commute each way (four miles from Cerritos to the Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs MetroLink station, and two miles from the Glendale MetroLink station to work). The trolly handle was very easy to engage and disengage, which was perfect for transitioning from train to train (I have to transfer at Los Angeles Union Station to another train that takes me one stop to Glendale).
The problem is that over the past year, the battery life deteriorated dramatically (or it could be that I started using up more battery since I’ve gained weight over the past year). Toward the end of a one-way commute, I noticed that the top speed would get more and more limited. Thus I decided it was time to buy a new wheel.
After a lot of research, and watching a lot of Marty Backe’s videos, I decided that the GotWay MCM5 was the wheel for me. Well, today was my first commute on the MCM5, and here are my thoughts.
Although it weighs only seven pounds more than the V8, that seven pounds makes a big difference when picking up the wheel to climb stairs. I definitely need to get used to the weight.
The V8 was much easier to push around using the trolly. This might be a function of the sharp trolly handle on the MCM5.
The because of its weird shape, MCM5 is more difficult to set next to me on the train. I used to lean the V8 against my seat at such an angle that I didn’t have to worry about it falling over during a rough train ride. I have to rest the MCM5 on its end and trust that it won’t get knocked over, or keep my hand on it while sitting to give me peace of mind.
The MCM5 gets hot. I never felt heat emanate from the V8 (but that may be because I had a cover on it). I nervously monitored my temperature on DarknessBot as the temperature climbed to 117 degrees Fahrenheit on the way home today. I never used DarknessBot with the V8, so I had no sense of whether this was too hot (upon searching this forum, my fears were allayed).
The smaller, 14-inch wheel didn't translate into a harsher ride. In fact, I hardly noticed that I was rolling on a smaller wheel.
The MCM5 is a joy to ride. It is much zippier than the V8, and it feels much more stable at speeds exceeding 18 mph. Moreover, it is much easier to mount the MCM5.
I still haven’t experienced the tilt-back. So far my top speed is 23 mph. I would hit the tilt-back on the V8 all the time.
Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase of the MCM5, but on my first day of commuting, I can appreciate what a great commuter wheel the V8 was.
I’ll use this thread to update my thoughts on the MCM5 as a commuter as I get more experience with it. In the meantime, I plan to use the V8 to teach my friends how to ride. I eventually want my daughters to learn, too, so perhaps I’ll buy a new battery for it down the line.
Thanks for reading!