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I'm new to electric unicycles and I've seen people talk about how they've crashed well under the speed limits of their wheels. What are ways that people crash and how can they be avoided?

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Become totally comfortable with getting on and off without holding onto things.

I found in the early days that I would try to navigate through some dicey situations, timing traffic lights etc,  just because I was trying to avoid stopping.

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One that is important is to know your environment.
Even if you do know it quite well, something unexpected could happen and effect the ground.
Things to keep an eye out for are;

  • Sharp objects (glass, nails, thorns, etc)
  • Uneven terrain (cracks, potholes, etc)
  • Water on a smooth surface (ie, tiles/bricks/metal)
  • Gravel/sand (anything you can sink into)

It is always a good idea to take it slow in an area you have not been through before. If it rains where you live, take it slow. These tips are in addition to the others provided above my post.

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Posted (edited)

Crash reasons:

1) Inability to see big obstacles on a road, like cracks, boulders

2) Riding too close to walls and curbs. You hit it, got forced turn and go off balance

3) Stress induced: sudden change of environment: aggravated dog, fast car, unexpected pedestrian move. You instinctively try to avoid it and go off balance

5) Turns at high speed and going off balance on turn exit

4) EUC can kill you by engine cutoff regardless of your skill. Be ready to die or wear full protection :)

 

How to avoid:

You need to develop some skill. Good skiers for example can hit a rock at speed, lose 1 ski and safely stop on 1 leg without falling

1) Ride a lot at slow to moderate speed. This way your body will get used to a new activity

2) Make turns, climb hills, switch road-sidewalk-road, rough terrain, slow to moderate speed, diversify your learning experience.

3) In case of any potential obstacle slow down immediately. Ride defensively. Its much more fun to accelerate-decelerate than ride with constant speed

 

Edited by maxkan
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How to avoid it? Experience is the only way to minimize risk, in general and with the particular wheel as each are different in size, handling and limits.. Obviously, even the most veteran rider can succumb to unavoidable accidents hence the name, a way to mitigate those are to know the limits of your wheel by heart, and know the warning signs.. again, experience, but on everything but Gotways you don't need experience to heed the multiple, and sometimes extremely annoying warnings haha.. I am not saying that Gotway is unsafe in general, just if you don't know what you're doing as no other brand will allow you to go so fast as to cause a cutout.. or at least, not if your'e not actually trying to.

The best way to avoid accidents is always be prepared.. know the safe stopping distance for your current speed, always go slow around corners, check driveways, know your surroundings, signal if on the road, and be vigilant in scanning the road ahead.. even a small pothole can and will violently throw you if you're inexperienced/not prepared.. in the beginning keep your knees bent to absorb shocks, ive seen new riders come off from just the curb of a sidewalk because of the unexpected jolt. It helps too if you practice going as slow as you possibly can as this will definitely come in handy and will improve your balance.. I can easily ride 2 kph indefinitely when going behind supremely slow walkers going downtown or on thin sidewalks etc when its not ideal to go on to the road. Also, I say this as a complete hypocrite but you should not be wearing headphones for obvious reasons :)

One last thing, ideally you would not ever ride under 20% battery as that is what I consider the safe buffer, sometimes you do though be it intentionally or not so much, but if you are under 20% battery go very slow, and slow right down over any big bumps as any surge could possibly cause a cutout, usually under 30% I drive a lot more cautiously and keep my top speed slower but in general I just keep my battery above 30%.. That is why you will constantly hear people saying always buy the biggest battery version available, even if you don't think you will need it as you should always have a large buffer.

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Posted (edited)

Most important points are pretty much covered by previous posts, but I would add: be visible. Reflectors, headlight, tail/brake light. EUCs are legal here, but are required to have same type of reflectors as bicycles; white to front, yellow/orange to sides and front and back of pedal, red to back. White or yellow light to front is required when riding in dark (if it's strong enough to show you the way, good, but the actual idea of the law is to make you visible to others). Wear a finger bell to signal people, use your hands to signal your turns in intersections. When people see/notice you and know where you're about to go, they're less likely to walk/bicycle/turn their car right in front of you.

Edited by esaj
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The only way to completely avoid an EUC accident is to not to ride an EUC.  Well ? even then you might get hit by one.  You could ride a bike instead but those things crash too. You could just sit on your couch and die from inactivity.  I hear that is painful too.  Just be careful ...........and avoid pedal strikes.

 If you don't die living you will live dying. 

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On 7/9/2018 at 11:07 PM, Esper said:

One that is important is to know your environment.
Even if you do know it quite well, something unexpected could happen and effect the ground.
Things to keep an eye out for are;

  • Sharp objects (glass, nails, thorns, etc)
  • Uneven terrain (cracks, potholes, etc)
  • Water on a smooth surface (ie, tiles/bricks/metal)
  • Gravel/sand (anything you can sink into)

It is always a good idea to take it slow in an area you have not been through before. If it rains where you live, take it slow. These tips are in addition to the others provided above my post.

I think your list is good, but I like to add from my experience this one:

• Look out for where water puddles have dried up. It might just look like a little sandy patch, but it can both be slippery and hide pot holes or cracks.

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1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

The only way to completely avoid an EUC accident is to not to ride an EUC.  

This is the only correct answer.

Be realistic, you will crash.

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Posted (edited)

Great tips, everyone!

I might add that innexperienced riders can sometimes cause their accidents by bailing. If a tricky situation happens don't prematurely try to get off your machine. Try to have nerves of steel and ride it out. Stay loose and low, and you may not crash. Bailing only guarantees that you will crash without learning or gaining confidence.

Then when you get good, don't get over-confident. Always respect the limits of the Wheel and your environment.

Wear protective gear everytime..

Edited by Mmhmmm
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56 minutes ago, Mmhmmm said:

I might add that innexperienced riders can sometimes cause their accidents by bailing. If a tricky situation happens don't prematurely try to get off your machine. Try to have nerves of steel and ride it out. Stay loose and low, and you may not crash. Bailing only guarantees that you will crash without learning or gaining confidence.

For me, in the beginning stages, not committing / leaning into / putting weight into a sharp turn would cause the wheel to go in front of me and spin out.  I would have to consciously tell myself to keep leaning forward during sharp turns.

Gaining riding experience is a good way to avoid future accidents.  Ride in different places in different situations! 

My initial riding territory was my neighborhood,  which is about 4-6 miles (depending on which dead ends I omit) and it was full of different "bosses" to conquer.  An obnoxiously steep driveway ending with a curved curb made for a challenging entrance/exit.   Lots of cul-de-sacs forced 180 degree turns.  One somewhat active crossing road forced stopping and remounting.  One scary section requires going up an uneven curved curb, slaloming past a divider that splits the narrow path, and making a right angle turn, all within 4 feet or so. 

Once all that was conquered and learned, riding around Clemson's campus brought a whole new slew of more advanced challenges. Lots of hair pin turns on narrow paths.  Sharp angles on hills.  Take the wrong route and you have to do a 180 on a very narrow piece of concrete.  College campuses can level you up pretty quickly.  They've really made me appreciate turning and acceleration over top speed.

Riding in downtown Greenville, SC has forced me to be better at deciding when to just get off the wheel and trolley it past groups.  There's one bit of path where families/kids are a bit oblivious, take up the whole path, and seemingly jump in random directions...and there's a river immediately adjacent (with no rail) that leads to a waterfall.  I'm trying to find some type of retractable strap/cord i can attach to my EUC's handle for chaotic times like these.

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5 hours ago, Unventor said:

I think your list is good, but I like to add from my experience this one:

• Look out for where water puddles have dried up. It might just look like a little sandy patch, but it can both be slippery and hide pot holes or cracks.

and wet leaves!! omg in autumn here those are the absolute worse like an ice patch.. I nailed a big patch of wet leaves once when taking a corner at speed and literally slid around 15 feet.. managed to stay on but I nearly shat myself.. I like to go so a lot slower in wet conditions on a 2.125" tire it's not difficult to hydroplane

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14 hours ago, Rywokast said:

it's not difficult to hydroplane

You are right in that worst cases of wet leaves and especially wet mud have the friction of a wet ice. But to hydroplane means something else.

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yea I was just referring to when it's raining and slippery road conditions in general.. I have definitely had the feeling before that the wheel hydroplaned for a second or two when in these conditions going fast.. I tend to avoid doing that nowadays.. glad to say I haven't hit wet mud before but I did skid through a giant puddle of puke once, cleaning that off the euc was fun

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Rywokast said:

yea I was just referring to when it's raining and slippery road conditions in general.. I have definitely had the feeling before that the wheel hydroplaned for a second or two when in these conditions going fast.. I tend to avoid doing that nowadays.. glad to say I haven't hit wet mud before but I did skid through a giant puddle of puke once, cleaning that off the euc was fun

I fell when my wheel slipped in a curve with a shallow pool of wet mud at about 20km/h. Pitch black but a familiar spot. It didn’t look wet in the modest 16S front light, and I didn’t think the ground would still be wet. Zero friction. There was time to go thru a lot of things in my mind, I guess it was a slow fall. I wear MC gear, got zero damage. Yet been suffering from mild mudophobia since then...

Edited by mrelwood

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I've had a tendency so far to keep my falls to low speed situations. A puncture in the middle of a turn. Overloading of batteries when almost standing still. Touching a curb with the pedals when going really slow etcetera. I seriously do hope it will stay that way, because the only damage done in those situations are slightly sore muscles afterwards.

But avoiding accidents... I think that is impossible, or pretty darn close to at least. There are so many situations where you will get ambushed by slick ground, stupid fellow road users - bikers, pedestrians, car drivers etcetera. In some cases your choices are a small accident or a larger one when the f*cking car outside you suddenly decides the road ain't big enough for both of you.

What you CAN do is to avoid being overly stupid. I tend to scan my surroundings about 50 yards away, to see if there are potential upcoming hazards. Cars, buses, bikes, pedestrians, dogs, puddles, rocks, pot-holes, whatever. If you know where everybody and everything is in relation to you, you have a lot more time for predictions and to react safely. Also keep tabs on the quality of road and your speed, and what that means for maneuverability and braking ability.

Have a plan B at hand if something goes wrong. I seldom go full bore without speculating ahead on what to do if the fecal matter hits the rotating impeller. Can I turn or snake rather than just braking? If that bike suddenly swerves, will I have the time and space to compensate. Does that dog owner seem to take control of their loose canine? Is that skater aware of my presence? Etcetera. It's not even annoying anymore, it becomes second nature.

Also keep in mind what would happen if you fall. Are there stuff that can break your bones or skull and ruin your whole day? Are there kiddies or their trams within a distance close enough that your wheel might reach them like a bloody missile?

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5 hours ago, mrelwood said:

You are right in that worst cases of wet leaves and especially wet mud have the friction of a wet ice. But to hydroplane means something else.

I just had this riding home today. It is a temp pathway of stamped gravel and Sandy. Now as it started to rain I hit a cycle track that collected some water. I felt the balance sliding but managed to somehow get out of the tyretrack and gain some grip again. But it was a whooaa feeling for a brief moment. I were only riding at 10ish kmh as it is a twist to get on the pathway. 

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1 hour ago, Scatcat said:

Also keep in mind what would happen if you fall. Are there stuff that can break your bones or skull and ruin your whole day? Are there kiddies or their trams within a distance close enough that your wheel might reach them like a bloody missile?

Ohh come to think of this due to your post..

Be aware what you have in your pockets. My wallet saved my butt when I landed flat on my lower back and buttom. 

On the list of trying to not have in pockets are keys. They can shift and become like an arrowhead or spear. Same hoes for battery items e.g. smart phone. If you are so unlock that a device get punctured and the battery get physical punctured or squish, it has a very high risk of bursting into flames. It can even become an explosive fire development.  

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8 hours ago, Unventor said:

I just had this riding home today. It is a temp pathway of stamped gravel and Sandy. Now as it started to rain I hit a cycle track that collected some water. I felt the balance sliding but managed to somehow get out of the tyretrack and gain some grip again. But it was a whooaa feeling for a brief moment. I were only riding at 10ish kmh as it is a twist to get on the pathway. 

Yes, losing grip is a terrifying. Still not hydroplaning. Hydroplaning happens when the tire stays on top of the layer of water at a very fast speed. It’s what would enable one to literally ride on top of a lake.

...”about 66 mph before we would have an issue on an EUC [hydroplaning] in the rain.

 

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1 hour ago, mrelwood said:

...”about 66 mph before we would have an issue on an EUC [hydroplaning] in the rain.

I wonder what the real speed is.  I know that it relates to the PSI.  Meaning the total weight in proportion  to area touching the ground.  A sports car with wide tires will hydroplane at a much lower speed than a large truck.  Also the round edge tires used on vehicles that lean to turn ( motorcycles, unicycles) do not hydroplane as easily. 

I can't wait til the day I see a guy on an electric unicycle skipping across a pond at 150? MPH.   :w00t2:

 

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1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

 

Now THAT is cool! Doesn’t show the modifications though. These guys even do it with an unmodified dirtbike! Some pant-peeing (for me) wobbles included:

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Yes, losing grip is a terrifying. Still not hydroplaning. 

 

Nope. I don't  think I called it that either. ?

The sliding was due to waterpit with (slippery) muddy layer underneath the water with a concrete-like hard earth that the water don't soak into due the hot and dry weather this summer. 

I knew the risk it posed, but when it happened, it surprised me as I never experienced the sensation before.

Had it been on my Inmotion V8 I had bailed out, but I have much more confident in my KS18L as it feel much more direction stable properly due to the bigger rim combined with mass and a fatter tyre. It all result into better balance and absorption of rought terrain. 

Long story short, I saved it and for brief moment got a very high puls ? one thing is reading about it, another thing is to feel it happening. Now I can tag of that box too, done it?

Edited by Unventor

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