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BlackM

Why I won't be buying another Electric Unicycle.

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About three years ago I bought myself a Ninebot One, I rode the thing daily for about 2,5 years and a total of 9-10 000 km. With an average of four trips a day usually around 3,5km each. I used it in the summer, in the winter, in the rain, on snow, on ice, to go shopping, with a backpack on my back and a shopping bag in each hand. I used it when going to work and when going home, or when visiting friends and family. I used it on the road, and I used it off the road.

 

And I loved it. Yet I have absolutely no plans to buy another one. Because there is one really huge issue with EUC's which you don't really have with other electric devices such as electric bicycles or kickscooters, namely how there's just a single wheel which is surrounded by a plastic casing. And what that means is that if you get a rock inside which makes the wheel hault, even for just a split second, you fly forwards head first on to the pavement. The same goes for when it gets older if the power starts cutting out and it just starts getting a bit sketchy because you used it a lot. Or if you get a string or a piece of wood which goes in to the wheel. If any of those things or similar things happen, you are going to fly head first towards the pavement at 20-30km/h, and it's going to suck.

So in my experience, as my Ninebot One got older, as I used it more, it got increasingly dangerous. With a bicycle or a kickscooter on the other hand, they just slow down, they become less reliable. But the brakes still work, and if the engine stalls for some reason, or the wheel locks up, you can still maintain balance. The device is going to hault, but you are not going to get hurt.

 

But EUC's with their single wheel, if they stall at high speed,  you are going to fall. And as the devices get older, they eventually will. And you are very likely going to hurt yourself in the process. And because of this, I chose to buy a Ninebot ES2 this time around.

 

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28 minutes ago, Steven D Wheeler said:

I have owned 5 different wheels over 2 years and have never had a rock get caught in my wheel and stop it.

I'm not even Irish? :eff006f726::eff00eab1e:

 

Possibly because you have owned 5 in 2 years instead of 1 for 2 years? I'm talking about the issues I had as the EUC got older and I got more mileage on it.

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So the mileage on the wheel caused the rock to get caught in it?

Were you riding on gravel or in the woods? I've had a piece of tree bark get caught in my ACM once but it just bounced loose right away.

I was drinking Mickeys that day though. ;)

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1. You have to be rich enough to afford it.

2. You have to be skilled enough to ride it.

3. You have to be crazy enough to enjoy it.

4. You have to be confident enough remount after crashes and snide comments from civilians.

I will say I also have an eBike for the faceplant reason, and I have gotten several items stuck in the back of my wheels forcing a run of. Interestingly they were all on my Segway S1. I wonder if the Segway/Ninebot design is prone to junk getting caught in the wheel.

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@LanghamP, nice list.

To be fair, I have near face planted going 15mph on a 2 wheel scooter (front tire blew). Heck, even walking is dangerous if you're not looking while you walk (staring at cell phone).

I think there is some substantial effort required in "knowing your ride" and on an EUC that is accentuated by the single wheel experience. I only have about 3K miles on my scooters, but with tire replacement coming up, I am very aware of the safety issues. I am looking forward to getting a new tire on my 16S and going back to using that more.

@BlackM, It's very easy to see how anyone would not want to put forth the effort for a safe ride, or deal with the risk. And, it's also understandable if you have 10K miles on an EUC to say , "Been there, done that". I also wonder what the next cool thing might be. But I think I have some way to go before I stop my EUC riding.

There is nothing to compare (yet) to gliding smoothly on an EUC. 2 wheel scooters tend to be very "bumpy" as one or the other wheel is always going to be a little out of sync. With 1 wheel, you get a perfect gliding experience.

 

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11 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

First of all congrats on joining the high mileage club.  :whistling:  But it took you 10,000 kms to realize this?  :blink:  After 10,000 kms that wheel owes you nothing.  You got your money’s worth out of it and more.  I think I realized these wheels were only for the clinically insane after taking weeks and weeks trying to learn to ride one.  :wacko:  Then the riding addiction and euphoria made me forget about all that...

I think I would have swapped in a new battery pack at around 7-8000 km or sooner.   10,000 km / 20 km is around 500 charges so more frequent charging likely increases those cycles quite a bit.  I think most packs are rated at 500 charges?  Also maybe some basic maintenance and inspection every 2000 km or earlier couldn’t hurt.

Maybe you’re wise to quit the hobby while still physically intact.  Some keep getting back onto the same death trap without fail, never learning the lesson.  That’s why it’s crazy fun!  :w00t2:  You’re crazy to be riding one, and crazy to get back on it!

  Reveal hidden contents

 

That's not really the point, you don't know when a device is going to fail you, it could be 500km ,it could be 5000. But EUCs are inherently unsafe when they fail. Because when they halt or shut off, you instantly loose balance, you don't have the natural balance which comes with a two wheeled device.

And that's the difference, if my kick scooter shuts off because of engine failure, it stops, and I have to carry it home, but I'm still safe. But if an EUC stops, its going to try to kill me.

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So ... anything inherently unsafe you'll avoid from now on? Sounds dull. But as we get older, we do tend to think more and more about risk reduction.

Personally I like my chances on an euc far better than on an electric skateboard because I'm facing the direction of travel and if I'm keeping a sane speed, I've a good chance of stepping out of any failure. Motorcycle or bike ... lose control and it's taking you with it. Even in a car, lose a tie rod end or ball joint at speed and you're going to have a real bad few weeks. Naturally, a sudden full stop is going to be bad .... in any vehicle. Some a-hole runs a stop sign and you t-bone him .... ouch... no matter what you're driving or riding.  If you got in 10k and haven't an injury (presumed since you didn't mention one) I'd say that's a huge testament to just how safe these things can be with a skilled rider.

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I'll be soon an owner of inmotion V5f.. and yes reading stuff like this makes bells ring all around my head :blink1:

but I've 20 years experience in scooter driving in Italy and trust. me if I tell. you that I'm a mf good driver *wink*which daily avoid accidents and crazy drivers! 

even 2 wheels and my good driving skills one day might not be enough... if I get one of the many holes(they are as big as craters) on roman streets I might fall down and eventually be hit by another car, I might just fall when roads are wet or blow one wheel while going at 80km/h and there only God will decide about my life! 

there is not certainty ever.. what I do is try to be safe even when I drive crazy, keep my eyes open and keep my scooter in good conditions.. that's all I can do... ah actually I try also to stay positive and avoid any thoughts of having a scooter accident ;)

 

Edited by Simone Malicius
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16 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Some keep getting back onto the same death trap without fail, never learning the lesson.

My ears are :furious:

Edited by Rehab1
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Every device that moves faster than your legs can carry you is dangerous when it fails, but hella fun when it works. 

I hate flying for two reasons:

1. My life is entirely in the hands of a stranger. 

2. If the plane fails while I am in the sky I will most likely die.

This is true for everyone who fly's. Yet we do it all the time. 

With the wheel:

1. a FP and a fatality have yet to correlate. 

2. Since I will usually get back up from an FP, I may as well get back up and keep riding. 

3. Your plane crashes, you probably won't fly again. 

Edited by Lutalo
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3 hours ago, Simone Malicius said:

I'll be soon an owner of inmotion V5f.. and yes reading stuff like this makes bells ring all around my head :blink1:

but I've 20 years experience in scooter driving in Italy and trust. me if I tell. you that I'm a mf good driver *wink*which daily avoid accidents and crazy drivers! 

even 2 wheels and my good driving skills one day might not be enough... if I get one of the many holes(they are as big as craters) on roman streets I might fall down and eventually be hit by another car, I might just fall when roads are wet or blow one wheel while going at 80km/h and there only God will decide about my life! 

there is not certainty ever.. what I do is try to be safe even when I drive crazy, keep my eyes open and keep my scooter in good conditions.. that's all I can do... ah actually I try also to stay positive and avoid any thoughts of having a scooter accident ;)

 

  As I have said many times, We usually ride with bicycles and they crash much more often than the EUCs. The latest example was last weekend.  One of the trails we ride is mostly shaded wooden walkways. The wood has been wet for several months and is growing slippery algae. The bicycles crashed twice before having to walk for  1/2 a mile. The three EUCs made it through without any problems. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lutalo said:

I think many different people have many different ways that they assess personal risk. That is why one man's OK is another man's ludicrous.

The main factor that we consider in our personal risk assessment is probability. However, we don't consider it mathematically. We consider probability intuitively when it comes to our personal health and welfare. 

For the adrenalin junky the underlying reasoning is that if something hasn't happened yet, it probably never will. If an accident has happened once then it will probably never happen again. If an accident has happened twice it will definitely never happen again. 

The not-so adrenalin junky feels that if an accident hasnt happened it probably will so, brace for impact. If it happened once the chances are good that it will happen again. If it happens twice I should consider sitting down. happened three times and it is time to find a new hobby.  

Adrenalin junkies make the world a fun and exciting place to be. 

Not-so adrenalin junkies make the world safe and comfortable. 

A happy medium gives us the best of both worlds. 

Some junkies have wrecked so many things so many times they don’t think they can get hurt or figure when they do it will have been worth it. ( Still better than drugs of death by recliner) 

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6 hours ago, Circuitmage said:

stop my EUC riding

And do what?

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1 minute ago, RockyTop said:

Some junkies have wrecked so many things so many times they don’t think they can get hurt or figure when they do it will have been worth it. ( Still better than drugs of death by recliner) 

Right, right. I totally forgot to mention delusions of grandeur.

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1 hour ago, Lutalo said:

Right, right. I totally forgot to mention delusions of grandeur.

:roflmao:Hey man, you got me all wrong. I am more of a masochist!   

Edited by RockyTop

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A slightly dated study, however I did read per trip motorcycles were most dangerous, followed by walking, followed by bicycling, followed by cars.

However, showing statistics can lie like a rug, the added health benefits of bicycling compared to cars adds more years to your life than takes away in accidents.

Again, your biggest danger on an EUC is simply being hit by a driver. Note that walking your wheel increases your risk of being hit by a driver! 

While cutouts are injurious, and other wheel malfunctions are numerous, it's the driver coming up to hit you that you should be concerned most about, and if you're walking you should be especially alert as a walker is more likely to be hit (I observed crosswalks' design encourages drivers to hit pedestrians).

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/environment/transportation/comparing-fatality-risks-united-states-transportation-across-modes-time/

  • Between 2000 and 2009, on average 6,067 pedestrians and bicyclists died on U.S. highways and in collisions with other modes of transport. Of these, 4,930 died when hit by cars and trucks operated by private users, 545 deaths resulted from collisions with commercial carriers, and 592 from commercial users not on highways.
  • In all, fatalities of pedestrians and bicyclists make up nearly 15% of annual average highway fatalities. More than 90% of pedestrian fatalities occurred when the victims were hit by automobiles and light trucks.
  • A related study on risk factors for on-road cycling commuters indicated that prior to car-bicycle accidents, 89% of cyclists were traveled in a safe and legal manner. In addition, vehicle drivers were at fault in 87% of the events.

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11 minutes ago, RockyTop said:

:roflmao:Hey man, you got me all wrong. I am more masochist!   

My bad dude. I wasn't directing that comment at you. I only meant adrenalin junky types in general. But, then again that's sort of all of us who ride these "death traps" as @Hunka Hunka Burning Love likes to call them. :D

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8 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

(I observed crosswalks' design encourages drivers to hit pedestrians).

So does texting while driving ;)

Edited by Lutalo

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15 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

A slightly dated study, however I did read per trip motorcycles were most dangerous, followed by walking, followed by bicycling, followed by cars.

However, showing statistics can lie like a rug, the added health benefits of bicycling compared to cars adds more years to your life than takes away in accidents.

Again, your biggest danger on an EUC is simply being hit by a driver. Note that walking your wheel increases your risk of being hit by a driver! 

While cutouts are injurious, and other wheel malfunctions are numerous, it's the driver coming up to hit you that you should be concerned most about, and if you're walking you should be especially alert as a walker is more likely to be hit (I observed crosswalks' design encourages drivers to hit pedestrians).

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/environment/transportation/comparing-fatality-risks-united-states-transportation-across-modes-time/

  • Between 2000 and 2009, on average 6,067 pedestrians and bicyclists died on U.S. highways and in collisions with other modes of transport. Of these, 4,930 died when hit by cars and trucks operated by private users, 545 deaths resulted from collisions with commercial carriers, and 592 from commercial users not on highways.
  • In all, fatalities of pedestrians and bicyclists make up nearly 15% of annual average highway fatalities. More than 90% of pedestrian fatalities occurred when the victims were hit by automobiles and light trucks.
  • A related study on risk factors for on-road cycling commuters indicated that prior to car-bicycle accidents, 89% of cyclists were traveled in a safe and legal manner. In addition, vehicle drivers were at fault in 87% of the events.

It would be interesting to see a more recent study that accounts for the massive impact of electric mobility transport devices in recent years. If the nine year spread holds true one is due. 

I look at a lot of statistics in my line of work. One thing I know is that they can be tricky; often using one dimension of information to shape four dimensions of public opinion. 

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