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Katie Wierenga

Used Rockwheel

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I'm looking into a used Rockwheel, but it's sight-unseen and untested. I might get it for nearly free (it's an auction), but I don't know if it works and it doesn't appear to have a power cable.

 

How easy is it to get a power cable? Are they pretty standard? I might be able to do some repairs myself, and I'm not planning to invest a LOT of money, but just curious about how practical it is to get it up and running again.

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8 hours ago, Katie Wierenga said:

How easy is it to get a power cable?

I don’t personally know the Rockwheels well but i do know that there are both 84V wheels (GT16) and, I think, also 67V  Rockwheels. So you will need to identify the model first as only the correct voltage and pinout charger may be used.

The chargers are available, from Chinese stores like Aliexpress or any other Rockwheel supplier. The pinout on the charging plug may be the same as some other makes as well, but it would need a more knowledgable user to know?

However there are some issues to further consider before buying it:

  1. a charger will be in the range of $60 - $120 depending on model and output current so that needs to be budgeted for.
  2. If the seller doesn’t have the charger or has broken it, or is simply too careless to remember where he/she put it then it doesn’t bode well for the state of the batteries. Left for a long time (say 3-6 months or more) fully charged or fully discharged will degrade the batteries. More than a year fully discharged will have destroyed them for sure. (They should be stored at 40%- 50% charge.)
  3. One likely reason for not having the charger or any other paperwork for the wheel is that it was stolen which, apart from the moral issue,  guarantees it hasn’t been looked after and may well have been “played with” until the batteries went flat. You would need to get a clear reason from the seller why they do not have the charger, how long it hasn’t been charged and what voltage state it has been left in? If they don’t understand the questions or give vague answers - walk away!
Edited by Keith

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Keith - thanks for the thoughts. It's a thrift store auction, so yes, an unloved piece of equipment, but I doubt it's stolen. Would likely need a new battery, as you've stated. But a couple hundred bucks in and I could have an EUC, where right now I don't. :unsure:

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The original charger is available at around $60 and has a Standard 3pin socket. But if there is a problem with the battery it starts at $600 for the smaller battery (860wh) to $800 for the 1036wh battery.  The 84V Model would be the better choice - I would (that is my personal opinion, only) not buy the 60 volt version... 

With the risk of a defective battery the wheel should have a really, really low pricetag.

Edited by s.m.

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first check if it's not the old rockwheel GR16... that's a really ancient wheel - loud and prone to failures due to a geared mechanism. might be good for learning first steps if (almost) free, but replacing battery and buying a new charger might be a waste of money, time and energy.

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You see, my first year out of college I purchased a large pickle jarWow! This is depressing news but confirms what have been hearing. 

I have 2 Rockwheels that I bought new 18 months ago, so I could ride with a friend or one of my kids. 

It was fun learning to ride, and then just riding. This was a totally “fun” and frivolous and frivolous purchase. You see, my first year out of college I purchased a large pickle pickle jar at a garage sale. I thought it would be a great place to deposit my coins each day when I got undressed.  I cut a narrow hole in the metal screw on lid for deposits and then glue the lid under the glass jar. The jar stands about 28 inches tall and about 12 inches wide in the midsection. 

 As I was taking the coins out with my youngest son at my local credit union for accounting, I could see the farther I went down  The last quarters there were and the more pennies there were. Aside from a two week period where I cut my younger brother stealing money out of my coin jar well I was allowing him to stay in the basement for no rent, No money had been taken out of this JR (that I know of) sense I fill the jar with mostly coins and a little paper money or year and a half ago.

 No money had been taken out of this jar (that I know of) since I fill the jar with mostly coins and a little paper money or year and a half ago.

 Of course, I do have the exact amount of money that was retrieved from the jar that day but I don’t have it in front of me. But let’s just let me off the hook from finding that exact amount by letting you know it was just under $3000. 

 I have videos of all three of my sons as toddlers putting money into my manager, and in all three cases they are very excited and happy to do so. 

 I had lots of time to think about and answer the same question multiple times over the years of, “what are you gonna do with the money once you get it filled?“  for the first half of the chores filling my answer was, “I just don’t know yet.“ But then, for a while I have a ties to my boys that they could pick out a vacation for the family, anywhere they wanted to go,  provided the money could take us there. I thought they might get excited picking the details planning a trip; However, in the end there is no real excitement, no consensus, and no mobility toward action.

 Therefore, over the last year of the money jar filling up the plan for spending change to something that I would typically not buy for myself or the family, but would be hopefully really fun. 

Needless to say I had a lot of time to think and research about my purchase. However, I never truly understood that lead filled batteries  would totally and completely become useless once left and charged for less than six months and that would be so expensive to re-purchase them. 

In what scenario would anyone knowingly purchase  $600 battery that was certainly not going to be used month in and month out where it can only be stored at 40 to 60% power - let alone two???

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, tyancey said:

However, I never truly understood that lead filled batteries  would totally and completely become useless once left and charged for less than six months and that would be so expensive to re-purchase them. 

There is no lead in Lithium Ion batteries - there is, unsurprisingly, Lithium. We wouldn’t be riding EUC’s if the battery technology hadn’t advanced beyond lead acid batteries!

I did not say “it can only be stored at 40% to 60% power”. I said leaving it fully charged or fully discharged for long periods is harmful. The word “should” in the English language means something is advisable. 

Something as expensive as a Tesla car (which owners have paid very many thousands for the battery in) has systems and software that does its damnedest to prevent the user from abusing the battery and indeed doesn’t fully charge the battery if possible.  EUC’s are still really at the early adopter phase and and the user needs to have something of an understanding of all the technologies involved to ride them safely.

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2 hours ago, tyancey said:

You see, my first year out of college I purchased a large pickle jarWow! This is depressing news but confirms what have been hearing. 

I have 2 Rockwheels that I bought new 18 months ago, so I could ride with a friend or one of my kids. 

It was fun learning to ride, and then just riding. This was a totally “fun” and frivolous and frivolous purchase. You see, my first year out of college I purchased a large pickle pickle jar at a garage sale. I thought it would be a great place to deposit my coins each day when I got undressed.  I cut a narrow hole in the metal screw on lid for deposits and then glue the lid under the glass jar. The jar stands about 28 inches tall and about 12 inches wide in the midsection. 

 As I was taking the coins out with my youngest son at my local credit union for accounting, I could see the farther I went down  The last quarters there were and the more pennies there were. Aside from a two week period where I cut my younger brother stealing money out of my coin jar well I was allowing him to stay in the basement for no rent, No money had been taken out of this JR (that I know of) sense I fill the jar with mostly coins and a little paper money or year and a half ago.

 No money had been taken out of this jar (that I know of) since I fill the jar with mostly coins and a little paper money or year and a half ago.

 Of course, I do have the exact amount of money that was retrieved from the jar that day but I don’t have it in front of me. But let’s just let me off the hook from finding that exact amount by letting you know it was just under $3000. 

 I have videos of all three of my sons as toddlers putting money into my manager, and in all three cases they are very excited and happy to do so. 

 I had lots of time to think about and answer the same question multiple times over the years of, “what are you gonna do with the money once you get it filled?“  for the first half of the chores filling my answer was, “I just don’t know yet.“ But then, for a while I have a ties to my boys that they could pick out a vacation for the family, anywhere they wanted to go,  provided the money could take us there. I thought they might get excited picking the details planning a trip; However, in the end there is no real excitement, no consensus, and no mobility toward action.

 Therefore, over the last year of the money jar filling up the plan for spending change to something that I would typically not buy for myself or the family, but would be hopefully really fun. 

Needless to say I had a lot of time to think and research about my purchase. However, I never truly understood that lead filled batteries  would totally and completely become useless once left and charged for less than six months and that would be so expensive to re-purchase them. 

In what scenario would anyone knowingly purchase  $600 battery that was certainly not going to be used month in and month out where it can only be stored at 40 to 60% power - let alone two???

 

 

 

The only way to keep the batteries from going bad from self discharge is to charge them at least every three months whether you are going to ride or not.  Interestingly, Ninebot used to have that in the owners manual, but the latest update to the app shows that they now recommend charging every month.

In your case, it might not be worth it to replace the batteries on those older wheels.  Maybe buy a couple of newer wheels, more money yes, but newer technology.

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Thank you to steve454 and Keith for their comments. 

After my experience of spending almost 3K on two EUCs and then having them both become worthless because I forgot to keep the batteries charged during the bad weather months has left me with a very bitter experience. I am afraid that I both don't trust myself to charge the batteries every one to three months and nor do I believe a new EUC battery would last a couple of years even if I did remember to charge it as recommended.  3K for 5 to 7 summer weekend days of EUC fun is a difficult hump for me to overcome. :-( 

Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do with my two GR18 Rockwheels with dead batteries? Or, do I just throw them away??? [I hurt all over again just typing that... "just throw them away...." Ouch... :-(  

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On 10/17/2018 at 9:59 AM, tyancey said:

Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do with my two GR18 Rockwheels with dead batteries? Or, do I just throw them away??? [I hurt all over again just typing that... "just throw them away...." Ouch... :-(  

You may try to sell one of them for parts or to someone who wants to repair it by replacing the battery, an eBay auction maybe.

Not sure if there is a way to "revive" the battery.

Otherwise if there is some man shed club, or some hackerspace in your area they will most likely love getting one as a donation as for sure someone will try to repair it to have a new toy.

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