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EUC Evolution Plateau


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I'm curious what people think might be the limit of development for these EUCs that we ride.  Speed capabilities will creep up with new models coming out.  We likely will see 70-80 kph wheels from the enthusiast makers (Gotway), but will others follow suit or drift off and concentrate on other improvements?  At one point there does reach a practical limit where the wheel makers go okay should we make a 100 kph wheel?  Who is going to ride that, and how dangerous will it be if it accelerates out of control on its own?  I doubt we will ever see a 200 kph wheel for example.  Although it would be cool, and I'm sure some would still want to buy it, I seriously doubt anyone could ride that fast without some other stability control measures.

Is there a hard limit?  We're seeing 1600-2400 Wh battery capacities.  Is that the top?  3000 Wh is going to be slipping some lumbar discs out of place if trying to lift something like that.  We haven't seen too many leaps and bounds in cell energy density versus weight ratio.

Also wheel diameters are creeping up.  How big is too big?  We've seen some custom 26" wheels... but at a certain point it just gets too unwieldy to ride.  I doubt we will see super large wheels come to market.

Spoiler

 

More powerful electric motors are always welcome.  The 1900-2000 watt Tesla motor really was a game changer in the world of single wheel riding.  That spread like wild fire to other models with competitors chasing to catch up.  Reliability?  We hear less and less about MOSFET failures now with built-in fuses, larger heatsinks, and more capable MOSFETs themselves.  I suppose control boards will continue to evolve in reliability and hopefully shrink over time.  Imagine a small 2" x 2" x 1" waterproof control box that you can place almost anywhere in a wheel design.

Waterproofing.  Com'on people!  How many times do I have to keep repeating myself?  :yawn:  These are outdoor vehicles.  There is water and rain outside.  Storms happen.  Just ask @n2eus what happened to his Monster 100V.

Let's hear your take on what you think the limit is for these wheels.  Or is there a limit?  :blink:

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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Batteries getting lighter-weight will strengthen the market for practical, not-very-speedy last-mile devices.  

Perceived safety would get a boost from a virtual tether that inhibits unsupervised roll-away after the pilot ejects.  

But the limit, as OP asks, is best defined in societal terms.  I can see a day when I pop out of the subway, make my way to the nearby heap of municipal unicycles, tap my chip-embedded forehead on one, sail off on it, and drop it off wherever it is that I'm going.  Er - and along the way, it plays me advertisements.  Well, you can't have everything!!

 

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I guess there will always be new improvements shell design.  Everyone drooled over that InMotion concept off-road EUC.

https://www.myinmotion.com/blogs/news/insights-inmotion-v10

IPS is near to their release of their new metal alloy shell S5.  Maybe hybrid metal frame with Lexan bolt on panels and subframes will be next on the horizon.

Maybe a ride assist gyro module that can be clamped or bolted on might be something coming down the line.  That might make the learning curve less steep.  Think of a small, dense flywheel gyro that changes direction with the sole purpose of side to side balance.   Slowly turning down its response setting would allow people to be weaned off eventually.  Think "training wheel for EUCs!"

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4 hours ago, RockyTop said:

They are working on air bags for motocycles and and motorcycle jackets.   Picture wrecking at 70 mph and turning into an eight foot ball.  

Those airbag suits have existed for several years now. Dainese was the first to bring them to market.

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While several models now achieve 50km/h and above, for most the maximum travel speed seems to set around 40km/h. I don’t think there is a need to continue the speed competition. A 65km/h wheel wouldn’t sell many units purely on speed vs a 50km/h wheel.

Battery size is a compromise with weight and space. Until battery tech improves, we will keep seeing small wheels with sub-800 Wh, all-purpose ones concentrated at 1000-1300Wh, and the Monster climbing to 3000Wh.

Power will climb up only slowly, since we have reached a point where the amount power is quite well suitable for the available speeds.

I think notable progress is sooner found in other features. Perhaps a surprise element that turns out to be great and liked, and will be copied by most manufacturers. A well working suspension / shock absorbers is the one I’m dearly waiting for. I have prototyped a few designs myself, and while I wish to never ride without, I understand the challenges in mass producing a wheel with them.

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30 minutes ago, Mark Lee said:

Would like to see lighter, portable, more powerful and longer range Mten3 like EUC...

The main issue is battery tech. Notwithstanding all the good news we hear every 3 months concerning some "revolution" in battery tech we are basically still using the same battery systems as 15 years ago. Some increase in density, but nothing really earth-shattering. Until that problem really gets solved we're stuck. Same with electric cars. They are heavy beasts because of the batteries. Imagine the possibilities if we could keep the same amount of energy in 25% of the current packaging size (with a similar reduction in weight too,  not some material that's 4 times as heavy). You could build an MSuperX with 200 miles of range.

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Just now, mrelwood said:

I have prototyped a few designs myself, and while I wish to never ride without, I understand the challenges in mass producing a wheel with them.

I'm all ears. Please tell us more :) 

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I created a topic on the first design last year, just elastic material between the pedal hinge that is luckily quite prominent in the KingSongs. Recently I scrapped that and have used silicone bits between the pedal frame and the pedal top plate. A thin steel plate is connected to the top plate at the front, and pedal frame at the back, eliminating sideways movement.

What can’t be avoided with this design is a softer feel to acceleration and braking. I think most of us would prefer a solid construction, but for my knees it’s a must. I also do get a better grip both to the pedals and to the ground. Rough dirt uphills go up easier, as the suspension does it’s job and the rider’s weight is not 100% on while the wheel accelerates over bumps. And less airtime ofcourse.

FCD0A361-ED9F-4E9D-BC86-54BE2D253EF1.thumb.jpeg.d231f1968f736e850af0869a4097fe56.jpeg

There are two bolts through threaded holes on the pedal frame to set the high position. The steel plate limits the sideways tilt.

The biggest issue right now is the precision required for the size and placement of the silicones. And variation due to temperature. But I have yet to figure out a material that could compete with the elasticity and durability.

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I see. What you need are shock absorbers with different low speed and high speed compression and rebound properties (as used in cars/motorcycles).

If you could have the high speed compression and rebound be quite soft while keeping the low speed ones hard, you'd get good shock absorption over bumps, without having the wheel feel all mushy when leaning in to accelerate or brake.

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The low-hanging fruit is easily pointed out like battery extensions and whatnot. But I also think that eventually, there will be some more American or European companies who decide the market is large enough that making their own premium wheel will profitable and we might see some more exotic but costly materials, like real carbon fibre. As battery energy density gets better, after a point they'll probably opt for lighter wheels instead of just increasing the range, too.

I'd love to see a wheel with shocks, but haven't been able to wrap my head around how decoupling the pedals from the hub would work without severely compromising the handling. 

I can't see wheel size changing all that much, beyond novelty wheels, just like how motorcycle wheels are all roughly the same size. 

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11 minutes ago, Kael said:

The low-hanging fruit is easily pointed out like battery extensions and whatnot. But I also think that eventually, there will be some more American or European companies who decide the market is large enough that making their own premium wheel will profitable and we might see some more exotic but costly materials, like real carbon fibre.

I don't think we'll see that anytime soon.

Everyone can ride an electric scooter or bicycle (biggest market). Lots of people can ride an electric skateboard (smaller market). How many people can ride an EUC? (tiny market). I think the potential return is too small. There is not much to be gained either by using carbon fiber on something where the weight is determined for 90% by the battery pack and the motor.

Also don't forget carbon fiber doesn't bend on impact. It breaks, chips, can give you nasty scars/cuts (nothing more fun than carbon fibres penetrating your skin) and is very expensive.  Better stick a carbon fibre print sticker on something made out of ABS I guess :) . The 2 major advantages are weight (irrelevant on an EUC right now) and stiffness for that low weight (also not relevant as we have metal parts for what needs to be stiff, and the case should not be too stiff or it will break on every impact).

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46 minutes ago, ir_fuel said:

I don't think we'll see that anytime soon.

Everyone can ride an electric scooter or bicycle (biggest market). Lots of people can ride an electric skateboard (smaller market). How many people can ride an EUC? (tiny market). I think the potential return is too small. There is not much to be gained either by using carbon fiber on something where the weight is determined for 90% by the battery pack and the motor.

Also don't forget carbon fiber doesn't bend on impact. It breaks, chips, can give you nasty scars/cuts (nothing more fun than carbon fibres penetrating your skin) and is very expensive.  Better stick a carbon fibre print sticker on something made out of ABS I guess :) . The 2 major advantages are weight (irrelevant on an EUC right now) and stiffness for that low weight (also not relevant as we have metal parts for what needs to be stiff, and the case should not be too stiff or it will break on every impact).

Does carbon fibre's strength depend on its quality? I've heard that bikes made from it are still fragile and should be looked after, but then I've seen videos where they make drive shafts out of the stuff and it can withstand 4 times the torque of a steel shaft. So are you saying it's stiff but also brittle?

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1 hour ago, ir_fuel said:

If you could have the high speed compression and rebound be quite soft while keeping the low speed ones hard, you'd get good shock absorption over bumps, without having the wheel feel all mushy when leaning in to accelerate or brake.

That would be optimal, yes. But considering that comparisons are done against no absorbing at all, I wouldn’t go far enough to hope for active suspension systems. A slightly smaller travel than I currently have and the system could very well be a good compromise.

One issue with the positioning is that if you squeeze silicone far enough (too small chunks), the bounce back is a bit brutal. If there was a space for the silicone to stretch/squeeze into, the suspension could bottom out gracefully on a thin rubber mat. This is what I’m hoping to do once I get the sizes and positioning down.

1 hour ago, Kael said:

I'd love to see a wheel with shocks, but haven't been able to wrap my head around how decoupling the pedals from the hub would work without severely compromising the handling.

As with a pair of thick and bouncy insoles, I don’t think they compromise anything. Quite the opposite, my feet are no longer shaking against and bouncing on top of the pedals. In many situations the bumps are just a lot smaller, nothing else. As if the tire was deflated to 2.0 bars during the bumps. And the whole idea with a pneumatic rubber tire is to decouple the wheel from the ground. It’s not like you’d be riding on a beach ball, the max travel is less than 1cm.

This MAX project is a very different animal though:

 

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A good suspension system would be a game changer. It would reduce the amount of cut-outs due to overpowering over bumps by a huge percentage, as the wheel only has the suspension to fight against, and not the entire rider's body weight.

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1 hour ago, mrelwood said:

One issue with the positioning is that if you squeeze silicone far enough (too small chunks), the bounce back is a bit brutal. If there was a space for the silicone to stretch/squeeze into, the suspension could bottom out gracefully on a thin rubber mat. This is what I’m hoping to do once I get the sizes and positioning down.

Or you need a radically different solution. Your problem is space constraints, so what you would need is a system whereby the vertical shock motion is converted into a rotational motion, so the damping can take place in the horizontal plane where you have a lot more space. Like some kind of disk where the shock system itself sticks out of the top, your upper pedal goes on top of that and compresses into the disk, which itself has some kind of dampened rotating spring mechanism inside.

But this is where things get really complicated ? 

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One improvement I would like see is a better connection between my shoe and pedal.  If you had shoes that have several 1/2” wide V grooves  1/2” deep that go from right to left in the midle 3 inches of the shoe that lines up with one angle adjustable V bump on the pedal you could pick a groove front to back for riding conditions and your foot would not move forward when you hit a bump while allowing you to jump off when needed. 

WooHoo!! Run on sentence of the day! ?

Edited by RockyTop
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The tiny size and/or lack of proper grip still on all EUC pedals is what kind of makes me lose hope on actual advancements in atleast riding comfort. It’s such a basic thing. I’d think most western riders share the criticism. Yet, same old, same old.

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12 hours ago, mrelwood said:

While several models now achieve 50km/h and above, for most the maximum travel speed seems to set around 40km/h. I don’t think there is a need to continue the speed competition. A 65km/h wheel wouldn’t sell many units purely on speed vs a 50km/h wheel.

I'd buy a 65 kph wheel.  :whistling:  I likely wouldn't go that fast for long periods of time, but it's good to know you have some reserve capability if you need it.  I never thought I'd be riding at 48 kph regularly, but once you do it gets pretty addictive. :w00t2:  I was happy with my 22 kph Ninebot One E+ speeds for the longest time, but I could see the greener grass just over the tilt back.

But I'm curious what the upper limit would be.  Remember the old megapixel race in digital cameras?  I had a 4 megapixel camera that took beautiful photos.  Now it's collecting dust and dated.  I think the megapixel race came to an end as file sizes became too impractical.  We're not seeing any 1000 megapixel cameras in the consumer market.  With EUCs, maybe 80 kph is the hard limit?  Or 100 kph?  Where could you legally and safely ride it assuming that you even could factoring in the wind blast?

I think climbing ability will see a limit.  Once the motors are powerful enough to carry 250-300 pounds up a 45 degree incline for 2 hours without overheating at 60 kph that likely would satisfy any extreme mountain rider.  Considering the R&D budget on a niche market vehicle, that may also be a limiting factor.  Why make a wheel that can achieve these limits if only 0.01% of the customer base needs it?

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1 minute ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

But I'm curious what the upper limit would be.  Remember the old megapixel race in digital cameras?  I had a 4 megapixel camera that took beautiful photos.  Now it's collecting dust and dated.  I think the megapixel race came to an end as file sizes became too impractical.  We're not seeing any 1000 megapixel cameras in the consumer market. 

That's because there is more to image quality than just megapixels, and you also get diminishing returns from increasing the megapixels. 

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I just need an EUC that can: 

  • dominate road bikers on a closed course 
  • agile enough to dodge potholes at speed 
  • <50lbs
  • 40-50 miles of HARD riding
  • V10f sized pedals with a flat grip-tape surface
  • a handle or rim that I can slide a Kryptonite U-lock thru

MSuperX gets me ALMOST there. Expecting the tire to treat my knees better than my MCM4 

I would rather have "legal" access to the sidewalk than speeds over 40 mph. Need faster? Buy a Ducati

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14 minutes ago, dieterGRAMS said:

I just need an EUC that can: 

  • dominate road bikers on a closed course 
  • agile enough to dodge potholes at speed 
  • <50lbs
  • 40-50 miles of HARD riding
  • V10f sized pedals with a flat grip-tape surface
  • a handle or rim that I can slide a Kryptonite U-lock thru

MSuperX gets me ALMOST there. Expecting the tire to treat my knees better than my MCM4 

I would rather have "legal" access to the sidewalk than speeds over 40 mph. Need faster? Buy a Ducati

That is a great list.  It is so fun to ride with and dominate triathlon cyclists on the bike paths.  I still need to find a good way to lock my KS16s.  I am thinking about just drilling a 1/2” hole through the top of the pedal.  The MSuper has two places you can put a lock.  Wheel and handle. You could lock the handle on the KS but it is easy to break off.

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