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Cameron McColl

Has anyone had their Solowheel turn off without warning?

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I’ve had a Solowheel for several months and use it to get between buildings I work in in Seattle. A few nights ago I went on a 5mile journey and right before I got to my destination it suddenly shutoff causing me to face plant. Luckily I wasn’t going full speed but I’m shocked that there is any possibility of these devices doing such a thing. I can’t find any other posts of this happening to others so I’m a bit mystified. The best theory I have is damage from water spray but all the manual says is don’t ride in heavy rain. The streets I rode on were still damp from earlier rain but nothing like heavy rain, plus I see others riding these wheels in Seattle all the time and in the rain. 

The unit is now dead and doesn’t turn on or charge.

Just curious if anyone has heard or situations like this? I’ve contacted the company and I’m waiting to hear what they have say.

Heres the post I made to my friends about the incident if you care.

 

Had a bit of a nightmare situation last night. Some may know that I bought a Solowheel a while back and I’ve been using it to get around the Amazon campus so I can get to and from back to back meetings in different buildings. 
Last night we had a team dinner that was 5miles from the office in Seattle and with traffic being so bad I thought this would be a fun opportunity to ride it there. I’d never ridden it so far and I wanted to see how it would handle on the rough city sidewalks.
Well I was doing just fine and was only two blocks from the restaurant when suddenly I found myself flat on the ground and sliding to a stop basically on my hands and elbows. I think I was going around 10-15mph. Evidently the unit decided to shutoff with no warning. It’s a direct drive motor which means when it shut off the wheel stopped turning.
I had zero time to react and fell like a tree except a tree travelling at 15mph as it falls. I had thought about what would happen if the machine malfunctioned and turned off and had naively thought I’d have time to react by running forward to catch myself. Boy was I wrong. I don’t even remember falling, one second I was whizzing along and the next I was sliding forward on my face. Actually it’s amazing that I didn’t face plant I must have instinctively placed my arms out as I ended up sort of in the plank position.

So what happened? Best I can tell I think the unit shorted out from water. The streets were wet from earlier rain and a few times I went though some pretty wet spots. It’s also a possibility that the battery gave out since near the end it was getting low but I don’t think that’s it since a low battery is supposed to result in a gradual slow down in speed not an immediate shutdown.

Overall I’m amazed I’m not more injured. I ripped my jacket and jeans and I have scrapes on my hands, elbows and one of my knees. This morning I’m really stiff and sore but thankful it didn’t end worse.

As for the solowheel I left it plugged in at the office last night but there was no sign of life so I may have fried the electronics. Not sure I can trust it now even if it comes back to life.

 

E5922A19-B7F7-45DD-A08A-3D37C27D5814.jpeg

Edited by Cameron McColl
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Just some arm scratches? What gear did you wear? Or were you just lucky?

This is what happens when any EUC electronics fail. Matter of principle.

Not sure if this happened on Solowheels before. But current, modern wheels (this does not include an old ass Solowheel as opposed to Inmotions rebranded to Solowheel) in general don't just fail without specific reason. That's why you don't find any posts about this.

For the as unavoidable as theoretical residual risk, you have the protective gear you're wearing anyways (because self- or other-caused crashes are much much much more likely).

What Solowheel model is yours? Only definitive way to find out what happened is to find the defective part.

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I’ve been having inconsistent mileage on my SoloWheel Glide 3 but luckily it has not shut off on me. That’s terrifying. I ride less than 1 mile after a full charge and the vehicle drops from 5 to 4 bars. It used to take at least 4 miles before dropping so low.

As a result I’ve stopped using the wheel because I’m afraid of the kind of shutoff you’re describing. InMotion says it’s probably an issue with the app on my phone showing the wrong charge but that doesn’t make any sense because the display on the wheel also indicates a low charge after less than a mile.

I should also note I’m using the InMotion App because the SoloWheel app stopped working. Honestly I feel a bit like I chose the wrong company to buy an EUC from since I’ve only had it a few months and already having issues that have caused me to stop riding. 

I will say the INMOTION service team have been very helpful and responsive. They sent me a new charger to rule out a bad charger but I’m getting the same results, unfortunately.

Again they say it’s a glitch in the app but I just don’t trust the wheel anymore. I work with my hands and can’t risk a cutoff. 

On the subject of reliability which EUC is considered the most reliable investment? Should I have held out for the Ninebot/Segway Z10? I never had this kind of issue with my Segway Mini Pro.

I've attached a screengrab of my charge levels after an overnight charge. The wheel refuses to charge to 100% and I can’t top it off in fact sometimes when trying to top it off the charge level actually goes DOWN. F9F86252-1FC2-4690-9110-8976CA861544.thumb.png.6e2e4141168d0922f42d77497141c3fc.pngF9F86252-1FC2-4690-9110-8976CA861544.thumb.png.6e2e4141168d0922f42d77497141c3fc.png

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On 12/17/2018 at 8:17 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

Just some arm scratches? What gear did you wear? Or were you just lucky?

This is what happens when any EUC electronics fail. Matter of principle.

Not sure if this happened on Solowheels before. But current, modern wheels (this does not include an old ass Solowheel as opposed to Inmotions rebranded to Solowheel) in general don't just fail without specific reason. That's why you don't find any posts about this.

For the as unavoidable as theoretical residual risk, you have the protective gear you're wearing anyways (because self- or other-caused crashes are much much much more likely).

What Solowheel model is yours? Only definitive way to find out what happened is to find the defective part.

Apologies for the delay. I figured I would get an email notification when there was a reply to my post.

i only had a light jacket on which got a few rips but think I got really lucky that it happened at way less than top speed and on pretty flat pavement.

I sent the wheel back for repair and long story short they don’t know why the unit cut out. The circuit fuse blew but they don’t know if that happened as a result of the crash or something else that then caused the crash. This has left me very nervous about riding again.

they put a new circuit board in and fixed the damaged shell and have shipped it back to me.

heres what the tech listed as possible causes:

The fuse blowing can be caused by a few different scenarios. 1. Overpowering the wheel (meaning you tried to accelerate too hard and caused a spike in current). 2. Water (crossed connections and safety feature to blow. No water damage/rulling it out). 3. Sustained high speed with hills (result from pushing past its boundaries). 4. Hit a ditch or jump (too much current demand).

Also the tech ruled out water damage so that’s good.

Here’s my response to the 4 scenarios:

So it wasn’t #1 for sure, you have ruled #2 out.
Not sure about #3 as I had only gone 5 miles and not very hilly at all. Plus for #3 the idea that sustained speed could cause a fuse to blow is very concerning. Surely the unit should have a safety feature to slow down or warn the rider to take a break. 
Mostly certain I didn’t hit a ditch or jump as I was traveling along a smooth sidewalk. However, I do recall encountering a nasty bump on the sidewalk a minute or so prior to the incident. Again seems like there should be safety feature to slow the machine down when something has gone wrong. 
 
The point of a fuse is to protect the circuitry which makes sense but I’m failing to understand why the device doesn’t have a safety feature to slow the device down in a controlled fashion as any condition approaches the point where the fuse would blow.
 
I’m still super nervous that whatever happened will happen again. Both 3 and 4 seem very hard to know when they are too much and when the fuse might blow.

So in summary I feel like we don’t have a root cause and that worries me greatly.

 

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The root cause: the Solowheel is a very old and weak model that's easy to overpower and apparently to kill the board. Good customer service, though.

While in principle this problem (hardware failure = cut-out) persists with any wheel, all current wheels never showed such a problem, sudden cut-outs just don't happen without reason. So don't take this too hard as an experience speaking against EUCs, but against old and weak EUCs like the original Solowheels:efee47c9c8:

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@houseofjob mine is a solowheel Glide 3. Is that also ancient? I didn’t realize this was considered an old wheel. What is considered a premium wheel these days? I’m certainly very nervous about continuing to ride a machine that might decide to cutout again.

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Glide 3 is a rebranded Inmotion V8. Not one of the old and shitty actual Solowheels we thought you have. 

Looks like you really just had the one in a million problem of a hardware failure during riding, I guess. You definitely should get a new board, or must identify what exactly failed and confirm that the board is 100% ok, if you want to ride this wheel again.

I assume you're still in contact with their support to get this sorted out?

Anyways, wrist guards are a must. Whether you need them because of this freak accident or the usual falls for whatever external reason:efee47c9c8:

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Posted (edited)

A 40 cell Wheel 16" is in the lower tier these days, a decent Wheel will have 60+ cells—you need more when going up in diameter. 

On 12/16/2018 at 1:49 PM, Cameron McColl said:

The unit is now dead and doesn’t turn on or charge.

This detail suggests that in this instance you had not fallen off the power cliff, but rather that the controller simply failed on you, a statistical risk that is higher on the V8/Glide 3 than on say a King Song or the newer Gotways, because Inmotion use weaker MOSFETs—during a production run of say 100,000 MOSFETS, there might be a microscopic imperfection in 1:20,000 that leads to an underspec chip. Unfortunately one cannot predict this type of failure, the best advice is to try to minimize the impact by wearing at least wrist-guards at all time. 

On 12/19/2018 at 9:14 PM, NightRider said:

That’s terrifying. I ride less than 1 mile after a full charge and the vehicle drops from 5 to 4 bars. It used to take at least 4 miles before dropping so low.

What sort of range are you able to realize? We've sold close to 1000 V8s, in my experience, this is characteristic of a bad cell in the pack & the battery will likely need to be replaced.  

Minimum-Battery-Size-for-Power.png

Edited by Jason McNeil
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13 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

What sort of range are you able to realize? We've sold close to 1000 V8s, in my experience, this is characteristic of a bad cell in the pack & the battery will likely need to be replaced.  

Plus ONE on that...

Also a bad cell in a INmotion V8 leads exactly to that failure: Unexspected cutout, as the One cell can cause the BMS to go into Undervoltageprotection Status, which means Nothing else then shutting off......

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If it's the battery (looks like it), no financial sense in repairing it unless they do it on warranty. Battery failure is really, really rare.

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Anecdotally, all four of the OW riders I've met in the wild have experienced similar cutouts; the combination of weak motor, batteries, sketchy terrain, and heavy riders all encourage faceplants.

OW technology and price is what we had five years ago. The best thing is your OneWheel turns off and stays dead. However, should OW comes out with a modern wheel by our present standards then I could see myself buying one, as the fat tire is pretty fun.

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6 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

@LanghamP Wrong thread? 100% agree, though.

Oops.

Solowheel and OneWheels, both are underpowered pieces of shit. I should know; I had a Mobo go out on one...

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On 1/8/2019 at 6:56 AM, meepmeepmayer said:

Glide 3 is a rebranded Inmotion V8. Not one of the old and shitty actual Solowheels we thought you have. 

Looks like you really just had the one in a million problem of a hardware failure during riding, I guess. You definitely should get a new board, or must identify what exactly failed and confirm that the board is 100% ok, if you want to ride this wheel again.

I assume you're still in contact with their support to get this sorted out?

Anyways, wrist guards are a must. Whether you need them because of this freak accident or the usual falls for whatever external reason:efee47c9c8:

In the end they did replace the board but without any explanation of why this happened. Despite that they wouldn’t cover it under warranty which I find very disappointing. What I don’t understand is why the board had to be replaced when they initially said the fuse blew which of course should have protected the board.

anyway I have the wheel back now and all seems well but as you might imagine I’m way more hesitant to go above a slow running speed.

thanks for all the advice.

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Replacing the board makes good sense. Since a single tiny failure means a crash, you don't just assume your board is ok after "something electrical" happened. You just use a new one. That is best practice for EUCs. Probably they don't know what went wrong either. Why diagnose if they'd replace the board anyways?

You having to pay for the repair is not ok, though!:efeed51798:

I understand your hesitation now. Not sure if you'd notice if the problem was actually the battery, but I think you should, probably the wheel simply wouldn't work, or a battery cell failure caused the crash but now the battery works? @Jason McNeil Do you know?

You could do a range test and see if it's normal.

Wear protection (wrist guards, knee pads, full face helmet) and you'll feel safer.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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11 hours ago, Cameron McColl said:

they did replace the board but without any explanation of why this happened. Despite that they wouldn’t cover it under warranty which I find very disappointing. What I don’t understand is why the board had to be replaced when they initially said the fuse blew which of course should have protected the board.

A blown fuse is typically symptomatic of a board/MOSFET failure, if it's a failure of this type, even when the fuse is replaced, it will immediately blow again. Don't understand why they didn't offer a warranty board replacement; what is the point of a 'warranty' if it's not for something as clear-cut as riding along on level ground with the Wheel cutting out from under you. 

Edited by Jason McNeil
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11 hours ago, Cameron McColl said:

What I don’t understand is why the board had to be replaced when they initially said the fuse blew which of course should have protected the board.

The purpose of the fuse is to protect the battery from the effects of mainboard damage, and not to protect the mainboard itself. The fuse is simply acting too slow to protect MOSFETs from, for example, short-circuit in the motor windings. As @Jason McNeil wrote, blown fuse is almost always an indication that the motherboard should be replaced.

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As a person that just got a Glide 3. This scares me a bit honestly. I know there’s is an inherent risk but still..... maybe the Glide 3 wasn’t the right one to get as a first EUC. 

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V8 was the right first wheel for me,    has been utterly brilliant and very forgiving both on and offroad for 1300k's for a big ass rider.      
Considering how many have been sold and are out there,  vs number of complaints...    I think you're ok with your choice.

 

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2 hours ago, t0me said:

V8 was the right first wheel for me,    has been utterly brilliant and very forgiving both on and offroad for 1300k's for a big ass rider.      
Considering how many have been sold and are out there,  vs number of complaints...    I think you're ok with your choice.

 

Glad to hear you’ve had a good experience!

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:02 AM, IRK said:

As a person that just got a Glide 3. This scares me a bit honestly. I know there’s is an inherent risk but still..... maybe the Glide 3 wasn’t the right one to get as a first EUC. 

As @t0me wrote, the Solowheel Glide 3 == InMotion V8 is sold many more times than most other wheels, so you have to divide the number of reports by the sold units. Mine broke (mechanically) down after 8000km and I bought another one right on the spot.

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6 hours ago, Mono said:

As @t0me wrote, the Solowheel Glide 3 == InMotion V8 is sold many more times than most other wheels, so you have to divide the number of reports by the sold units. Mine broke (mechanically) down after 8000km and I bought another one right on the spot.

Yowzer!

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I have while i was riding my g3 by my house and at top speed wheel just shut off. That was a painful one

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