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I'm looking to purchase my first EUC and have a few questions on wheel size. I've ridden a friend's EUC a few times and think I'm ready to commit. Right now I have it narrowed down between the Kingsong 18XL and the Kingsong 16X. This is based on the following criteria in no particular order:

  • Range of at least 30mi/50km
  • Comfortable for 10-15mi commute (each way)
  • Able to fit on a bus if the weather is bad (there is usually plenty of space available on the buses where I am, so it could share the seat next to me if necessary)
  • Hill climbing (I live in the mountains so I need some torque to get up/down the hills)
  • Off-road capable (I'd like to take this on some nearby trails that include some tree roots, bumps, drops, gravel, loose dirt, etc)
  • Reliable (I've heard to stay away from the first few batches of a wheel while the kinks are worked out)
  • Speed of at least 20mph/33kph

From what I've gathered on my searches:

Small wheels are best for:

  • Hill climbs (smaller wheels have more torque since they require less energy to move one full rotation)
  • Agility (less mass/inertia)

Large wheels are best for:

  • Commuting (the larger the wheel, the larger the bumps it can "ignore" or not feel)
  • Long rides (larger surface area on the pavement feels "smoother")
  • Gravel/Off-road bumpy terrain (aforementioned reasons ^^)

Sorry for the long read, but here are my questions. How big of a difference in comfort is between an 18" and 16" wheels when commuting/off-roading, and how much of a torque difference between the two? Will the 16" be a noticeably better hill climber than the 18", or overheat as easily as the 18xl as @Marty Backe has shown in his videos? How much should I be worried about first/second batch issues with the 16X?

TLDR; I want a wheel for commuting and off-road with good range and torque. What are the pro's/con's of a 16" over an 18" and how big of a difference between the two?

Thanks in advance for the help and insights!

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I'd say the biggest difference is that the 18XL is available now and the 16X is not. How about a Gotway Nikola? That is starting to become available.

Both 16 and 18 inch wheels are good general purpose wheels, one on the more torque and acceleration side, one on the stability and comfort side. Hard to say what is better or what you'd prefer, you have to trust your instinct about that. Personally, I prefer 16 inchers because I want low speed/initial starting torque, but that's just me.

Small thing: how agile (quick acceleration) a wheel is is a question of torque (so tire diameter), not the wheel's weight which pretty much vanishes in comparison to different rider weights. You don't really feel a wheel's weight when riding.

It's hard to say anything about the 16X because it's not out yet. Maybe the 3 inch wide tire makes it close to comfortable as an 18 incher (the 18XL has a 2.5 inch wide tire), maybe not. This will become clearer when more people ride the Nikola (it has the same 16x3 tire as the 16X will have).

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1 hour ago, meepmeepmayer said:

I'd say the biggest difference is that the 18XL is available now and the 16X is not. How about a Gotway Nikola? That is starting to become available.

I've looked at the Nikola, but the trolley handle, lack of mudguard, and shiny round appearance have turned me off to it.

1 hour ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Both 16 and 18 inch wheels are good general purpose wheels, one on the more torque and acceleration side, one on the stability and comfort side. Hard to say what is better or what you'd prefer, you have to trust your instinct about that. Personally, I prefer 16 inchers because I want low speed/initial starting torque, but that's just me.

Small thing: how agile (quick acceleration) a wheel is is a question of torque (so tire diameter), not the wheel's weight which pretty much vanishes in comparison to different rider weights. You don't really feel a wheel's weight when riding.

It's hard to say anything about the 16X because it's not out yet. Maybe the 3 inch wide tire makes it close to comfortable as an 18 incher (the 18XL has a 2.5 inch wide tire), maybe not. This will become clearer when more people ride the Nikola (it has the same 16x3 tire as the 16X will have).

Can you see the difference in acceleration/torque being that different between an 18"x2.5" and a 16"x3"? If it's a significant difference, I'd be more inclined to wait for the 16X.

3 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

Hopefully soon I will be able to provide qualitative comparisons between the 16X and 18XL. But in general, there is a noticeable difference in acceleration, torque, and agility between a 16-inch and 18-inch wheel. The difference is not subtle.

IMO, the best wheel for a single-wheel owner is a 16-inch version. They are the definitive general purpose wheel that fits your needs to the t. Yes, of course any wheel can do just about anything. If you only have one wheel and it's the Monster, great! But from my experience, a good 16-inch wheel should be the foundation upon which you build.

I've bought plenty of first generation wheels with no disastrous results. Sure, if I had infinite patience I would wait 6+ months, but I don't :unsure:

  • I bought the first 84-volt 1300wh ACM. A few months later they released the 1600wh version. @meepmeepmayer understands my frustration
  • I bought the first MCM5, which only had a 650wh battery. Then they released the 800wh version
  • I bought the first MSX, then they replaced the crappy side pads with better ones
  • I bought the first Monster. Never had any issues and there were no changes for quite awhile.
  • I bought the first MSuper V3s+ and there was a firmware bug that prevented me from riding the wheel for a few weeks. No problems since
  • I bought the first ACM2. No problems
  • I bought the first Tesla. No problems
  • I bought the first KS14S. The firmware kept it in the slow lane for a couple of months until KingSong fixed it.

I could go on, unfortunately :)  In my view, it's a bit of the roll-of-the-dice. You may or may not have problems. I certainly don't think you'll get a bad wheel if you bought the 16X. If you're in the United States and buy from EWheels you should be good.

All indications are that the 16X will be a great wheel. If the sample that I'm getting very soon performs as I'm hoping, then I think what gets sold in July will be just fine. I eagerly await mine

Thanks for your insights and your videos @Marty Backe! Do you have an ETA for your 16X test wheel? Your "Overheat Hill" test on the 18XL is what's making me consider a 16X over the 18XL. I'm hoping the smaller diameter wheel will reduce the load on the controller/hub motor and keep the temps a little lower. With the addition of the 5A charger from eWheels for pre-orders of the 16XL, you're quickly convincing me to quit splitting hairs and preorder.

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7 minutes ago, sparetire55 said:

I've looked at the Nikola, but the trolley handle, lack of mudguard, and shiny round appearance have turned me off to it.

Can you see the difference in acceleration/torque being that different between an 18"x2.5" and a 16"x3"? If it's a significant difference, I'd be more inclined to wait for the 16X.

Thanks for your insights and your videos @Marty Backe! Do you have an ETA for your 16X test wheel? Your "Overheat Hill" test on the 18XL is what's making me consider a 16X over the 18XL. I'm hoping the smaller diameter wheel will reduce the load on the controller/hub motor and keep the temps a little lower. With the addition of the 5A charger from eWheels for pre-orders of the 16XL, you're quickly convincing me to quit splitting hairs and preorder.

All I know is that @Jason McNeil indicated a couple of weeks ago that KingSong would be sending out his sample in a couple of weeks. Hopefully it'll be in my hands before June.

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1 hour ago, sparetire55 said:

Can you see the difference in acceleration/torque being that different between an 18"x2.5" and a 16"x3"? If it's a significant difference, I'd be more inclined to wait for the 16X.

As Marty said, it is not a subtle difference between 16 and 18 (tire width doesn't matter for torque). Personally, I'd hate anything less torque-y than my current 16 incher.

If you're doubting, I think the 16X is the better choice for you. Following your intuition is 99% the right thing to do in wheel choice questions:)

Unfortunately, that means you'll have to wait until ~August before you have one in your hands. But it will be worth it.

1 hour ago, sparetire55 said:

Your "Overheat Hill" test on the 18XL is what's making me consider a 16X over the 18XL. I'm hoping the smaller diameter wheel will reduce the load on the controller/hub motor and keep the temps a little lower.

The power draw for climbing a hill is independent of wheel size. It's the effective cooling (or lack of) of the board that seems to be the problem with the 18XL. It's a problem on a very high level, it's not like the 18XL is overheating on "normal" hills. Marty's test hill is really steep, you feel the difference when you ride such inclines as opposed to "normal" ones. Plenty of people ride more reasonable hills on their 18XLs and everything is fine.

(The power draw for acceleration seems to grow with wheel size, though, that's why bigger wheels are more inertial (on hills or not). Not sure how exactly this works.)

1 hour ago, sparetire55 said:

I've looked at the Nikola, but the trolley handle, lack of mudguard, and shiny round appearance have turned me off to it.

This type of shell works very well protecting against dirt and water, you don't need an extra mudguard there. Same on the ACM or KS16, KS14, and similar looking models.

But if you don't like the general look and feel of the Nikola, I can understand, I prefer the 16X too (probably I'll buy one or the other once more info is available).

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Alright, you guys have convinced me. Preorder is in for the 16X! Thanks for the help!

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