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Flyboy10

From a 14" to an 18": Experiences, Advice, and Cautions

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Recently got the 18XL, have ridden the 14S since September last year. I am 140 lbs and  5' 10". Just went on a 6 mile ride and the 18XL was very difficult to work with. I felt like I could stop just fine but accelerating was very difficult. While riding, the wheel felt very stable but almost uncomfortably so. I know that each wheel has its own learning curve so I started this thread to ask others how their experience was going from a 14" to an 18" wheel. Should I stand more forward on the pedals to accelerate faster? If there is another thread like this already, please let me know. 

Hoping to get advice handling a wheel almost half my weight and how to tame the beast. Specifically how to practice maneuvering. 

Thanks!

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The 18XL has a higher center of gravity vs the shorter/lighter 14S, therefore the initiation and overall action has to come from up higher in your body.

On short 14's, you can literally control everything from the knees down, so-called "leg lean".

On taller wheels like your 18XL, the action needs to start up higher, waist/hips. In general, riding & maneuvering the 18XL will involve more upper body/torso movement / bigger variance in body displacement in juxtaposition to the wheel body. And whereas short body 14's only need slight toe/knee lean for acceleration, aided by the smaller wheel diameter physics, the 18XL will require harder force coming from driving your hips down on the pedal (I only do 1-at-a-time (outer turn hip/leg locked and back, wheel body leaning in to the curve), then go hip-to-hip).

Also, for King Song 18's in general, due to the rubbery nature of the firmware pedal response, I will pump the wheel hip-to-hip / side-to-side, instead of one prolonged lean. This builds acceleration for the KS 18's much better IMHO.

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33 minutes ago, Flyboy10 said:

Recently got the 18XL, have ridden the 14S since September last year. I am 140 lbs and  5' 10". Just went on a 6 mile ride and the 18XL was very difficult to work with. I felt like I could stop just fine but accelerating was very difficult. While riding, the wheel felt very stable but almost uncomfortably so. I know that each wheel has its own learning curve so I started this thread to ask others how their experience was going from a 14" to an 18" wheel. Should I stand more forward on the pedals to accelerate faster? If there is another thread like this already, please let me know. 

Hoping to get advice handling a wheel almost half my weight and how to tame the beast. Specifically how to practice maneuvering. 

Thanks!

i know what you mean haha im 120 lbs and going from 14/16" wheels to 18" wheels i felt like they were impossible to turn.. normally used to being able to 360 with just moving my feet a tiny bit lol... you really have to push it way harder it will feel uncomfortable at first, but you need to really lean and use your body weight.. at first you must accelerate and slow down much slower than youre used to.. it will take a lot longer for the wheel to react and be a lot slower to.. plus as houseofjob mentioned it has a much higher centre of gravity so the force should come from higher up in order to better influence the wheel.. it can be very jarring at first but its to be expected, the 18" wheel is twice as heavy and twice as powerful, for me it also felt uncomfortably stable the first time getting on an 18" wheel but you get used to it.. just try not to go near pedestrians or unknown trails while learning on it because it will not be capable of reacting quite as fast as a smaller wheel even when you are used to it

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1 hour ago, LanghamP said:

It's my opinion learning on a 14 incher ingraines bad habits because the so-called leg lean translates badly to the bigger wheels, but the 18 inchers require countersteering, which translates well to any wheel size.

That for sure is a pretty bold statement...

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I would recommend that you just sell it (to me) 😁

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5 hours ago, Flyboy10 said:

Should I stand more forward on the pedals to accelerate faster?

I think yes, since braking is fine but accelerating is slow. But advance in small ”steps” and keep testing, you don’t want to go far enough to make emergency braking notably more unstable.

Make sure you test the three pedal modes thoroughly, since the softer ones should help a bit in leaning front/back.

V10F came out with a stupendously hard mode that was truly difficult to get to accelerate. Luckily they fixed it in a FW update, and the riding feel became much more responsive and relaxed.

The MSX doesn’t really have softer pedal modes, so it’s a truck of a wheel to get moving/stopping even for a 200 lbs rider. Sometimes I get exhausted for all the body work required, even on-road. I’m sure the 18(X)L is better in that regard.

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I come from an Inmotion V8 and I experience the same. For practice maneuvering I find it helpful to try slalom around some pollars. For me (180 lbs) it was not an issue. On the road the XL drives very well but offroad it's a bit of a nightmare. With the small pedals I can't go up steep hills and when I go down steep hills I can't break, indeed I speed up until it becomes flatter. Although the bigger wheel the offroad capability from the XL seems to be very limited. With the V8 I can go over all kinds of fields and meadows. With the XL it is really difficult to go the same path. On dry dirt road it's fine but mud is almost impossible. With V8 mud is no problem. I have not measured the pedal hight from the V8 but I never had problems with being stuck in the wood. With the XL I just can drive over the forest road (german: Waldweg, google can't translate). If I go across country I immediately hit something with the pedals or with the tip of my shoes (EU 47, US 12) and I crash, respectively the wheel. I always managed to jump off. Has anyone faced the same problems offroad?

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9 minutes ago, Mossi said:

Has anyone faced the same problems offroad?

Yes! Which is one reason I very soon built the extra large pedal extensions on top of the regular MSX pedals. I also made sidepads that are sloped both front and back, so I can grab and crank the wheel and force acceleration/braking if need be.

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1 hour ago, mrelwood said:

I also made sidepads that are sloped both front and back, so I can grab and crank the wheel and force acceleration/braking if need be.

I think this might be my next Mrelwood inspired upgrade.  Give me a year to think about it  (just like the custom longer pedals).  Do you have pictures of your sloped/angled side pads?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Smoother said:

Do you have pictures of your sloped/angled side pads?

I do now. I think I'll hunt for a better material again this spring. The ribbed baby bumper was too thin, so I used a table edge bumper, sliced a bit on the inside so it would stay open on a flat surface. Half inch thick flat baby bumper would be quite good.

775896792_2019-03-1114_48.00_lzn.thumb.jpg.a6dd5e22725c45beab1f8222374ce543.jpg3306506_2019-03-1114_49.01_lzn.jpg.9918ef81af21dcff89a1c2ce5456a593.jpg581766053_2019-03-1114_51.44_lzn.jpg.22cbcadc2b99061dec7b546fd07d0eef.jpg232669146_2019-03-1114_51.59_lzn.jpg.bc4b77e125405b0c45b9cb26d6f9e187.jpg

Edited by mrelwood
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What doesn't show up in the pictures is the shape of the supports/wideners under the top foam. The rear one is cut vertically straight, but the front one is sloped to hit my angled shin evenly when my knees are bent. Something like this:

IMG_3588.jpg.7554e3387aea27b7d89fdbaad8d58ae4.jpg

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Posted (edited)

@mrelwood thanks.  2 questions

1.do you notice the difference in your ability to apply power?

2. do they get in the way when moving about on the pedals, like when turning sharply, etc?

.

.

 

3. How are they attached? :P

I see your DIY pedal extensions too, nice!

Edited by Smoother

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58 minutes ago, Smoother said:

@mrelwood thanks.  2 questions

1.do you notice the difference in your ability to apply power?

Do I ever! I still don’t have the guts to accelerate very fast without leaning on them. I even tried a few quick bursts wether I could feel any softening in the pedals if I really whacked my whole body weight forward and grabbing the MSX with me. Nope, no softening, but a glimpse of a new realm of wheel power I couldn’t have imagined existing. (This.wheel.will.not.give.in! The acceleration was stupendous, and I weigh 200lbs.) It’s not even scary to think about doing that without the sloped sidepads, since it just can’t be done. You can’t get anywhere near the cranking power just with your toes, even with the pedal extensions that protrude 2” in front. Yet the wheel control felt rock solid.

Writing about it now reminds me why I’m not going to do it again, as the friction required from the tire is very high. And the MSX tire is not very stellar on that front.

58 minutes ago, Smoother said:

2. do they get in the way when moving about on the pedals, like when turning sharply, etc?

No. The wideners are carefully positioned so that my leg movement will not reach them unless they are needed. 

58 minutes ago, Smoother said:

3. How are they attached? :P

Just two-sided adhesive/tape between all layers. I think it’s the 2” wide carpet variety 3M I never seem to run out of...

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Thanks for all the feedback! I tried leaning more with my hips as opposed to my toes and head. I think I was just really intimidated at first. Once I relaxed and trusted the wheel it was more enjoyable to ride.

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One tip worth experimenting I forgot to mention: When accelerating, bend at the knees but keep your hip straight. As if you were falling down on your knees. I found that it gives me a pretty fast and stable acceleration, even without the angled sidepads.

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6 hours ago, mrelwood said:

bend at the knees but keep your hip straight.

Yup, that's what I do.

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