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Ben Kim

100V Nikola / 100V Monster V3 Reviews (Comparison)

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6 hours ago, Ben Kim said:

I figured I would get some real miles on both wheels before I post any thoughts on either.  Nikola has 680 miles, Monster has 420.  Find myself riding the Monster for longer distances but less frequently, Nikola for shorter, multiple distances.  I did have a seat on the Nikola for a while, but with the Monster, it became redundant to use it.  Riding weight 185 lbs, 177 lbs naked. 

Intro:

Consider me one of the lucky Nikola 100V owners.  Have not had a single issue since I received this wheel, rides perfectly, never had to open this wheel up for any reason.  Got this wheel as fast as 39 MPH before the 5-beeps kicked in, and contrary to popular belief, I can hear them just fine even at that speed.  Range figures constantly pushing 30+ mph with hard acceleration and cruising will be around 35-40 miles down to 20% battery.  

Nikola Plus 100V 1845Wh PROs:

- Acceleration is sublime.  There is nothing quite like it on the market.  

- Very durable shell.  By many accounts, that shell has been proven to take a beating without cracking in most cases.  

- Cushioning for a 16 inch wheel is impressive.  I would say it isn't much of a difference from my old KS18S that I sold. 

- Extremely nimble wheel, can turn 90 degrees on a dime and do tiny circles with no effort while waiting for cars to pass at intersections.

- Stock paper speakers extremely loud, albeit of poor quality.  For my needs (listening to sports radio, GPS directions) it is absolutely perfect.  

Nikola CONs:

- Feels unbalanced.  There is always a sense of myself wanting to compensate to my right a bit, but I've gotten used to it.  Compared to wheels such as KS with their flat pedals, there will be somewhat of an adjustment period.

- This unbalanced feeling will also lead to brake wobbles for the inexperienced.  I find myself one-foot braking or going into a full on squat if an emergency braking maneuver is needed.  The standard lean-back stopping method will undoubtedly lead to wobbling.  

- Starts feeling a bit unstable at speeds over 35 MPH.  It's nothing you can't adjust for, but out of the box, you will notice this and lack a bit of confidence in  your riding.  

- Trolley handle.  Would it have killed Gotway to have a locking mechanism?  Need to velcro strip the inside of the trolley so it won't go flying when you undoubtedly drop your wheel.

- Angled pedals.  This is a pro or con depending on your preferences, but I find my flat feet in constant pain when I ride this wheel for extended periods of time.  I have to carve just to keep the pressure off my feet with a pigeon toed stance. 

- For as durable the outer shell is, it is also a scratch magnet.  Anyone who makes custom wraps for these wheels will make a lot of money.  (hint hint)

- The tire could be a pro AND a con.  For as soft and cushiony it is, it also has very poor tread life (estimated around 1500 miles) and replacing the tire is not exactly user friendly.

 

Intro:

I had the DOA Monster V3 2460Wh burnt in transit.  I finally got it up and running, and it's had a fair share of issues even after the fact.  3D printed fan bracket broke (used gorilla glue and foam to secure it), axle nut came loose (used loctite red to secure it), pedal nuts becoming loose (used loctite blue).  Mechanically it rides fine and has been reasonably reliable otherwise.  Fastest speed recorded, 39.1 MPH, afraid to push the 5 beeps for any reason; although I'd love to join the 40 MPH club! :)  Range figures are about 50-55 miles down to 20%, hard acceleration high cruising speeds.  Just this weekend I did a 42 mile ride with 30% battery remaining. 

Monster V3 100V 2460Wh PROs:

- EXTREMELY stable wheel.  Although it is of a narrower width than the Nikola 16x3, the contact patch is much larger, which will help the wheel track straight with greater stability at higher speeds.  It is amazing how you're going faster than you're feeling, almost car-like in that sense.

- Best seated wheel on the market.  I can easily stop the wheel seated in comparison to my 18S which wasn't nearly as easy to stop while seated.  

- Although it has the exact same pedals as my Nikola, the pedal angle is flatter which means greater comfort.  It is an absolute pleasure to ride this wheel long distances with no fatigue.  

- Really eats up uneven roads and smoothens them out (very important in NYC).  

- Same speakers as the Nikola, my opinion of these are the same.

 

Monster CONs:

- Maneuverability.  Given the size and weight of this wheel, quickly maneuvering it in tight spaces and even simply carving can be a high effort task; you really need to put your body into some of those turns.  Maybe it's for the best, I can stand to lose some weight! 

- Dead stop acceleration.  Anyone coming from a quick and nimble 14 or 16" wheel will quickly dislike the Monster and the effort it takes to torque this wheel.  It is very possible to move the Monster quickly (both seated and standing) but it is something you will really have to dedicate yourself to learning.  The key is to really bend into the wheel instead of doing the moonwalker lean (which won't end well). 

- Shell durability.  Although from multiple user accounts, the materials used on the Monster V3 shell are significantly improved over the V2, there are still some weak points that need to be reinforced and protected.  The plastic housing that is connected to the outer shell by a single Philips-head screw is brittle plastic, and if the wheel is dropped on its front, that is the first component that will snap.  Inner shell corners, especially at the top need to be reinforced to prevent cracking if and when the wheel is dropped.  Given I have dropped this wheel while handling (not riding) the contact points mentioned are what took the impact, and with the proper cushioning at those points, no damage occurred.  

- No trolley handle.  Perhaps next year?

- Useless rear taillight.  Easy to miss for other motorists.  Needs to be more obvious and brighter.

- Poor fan placement on V3.  Not sure how well it will dissipate heat in the worst summer days.

 

Summary:

With these two wheels, I'd say they are on opposite ends of the EUC spectrum.  One accelerates quick, can turn on a dime with no effort but twitchy (like a sports car).  Another is heavy, stable and comfortable (like an SUV).  They are two different wheels for two different purposes, and the reason I own both is one wheel can compensate for the deficiencies in the other.  

If I HAD to choose one wheel over the other?  It will depend on your priorities.  For me, I'd take the Nikola if I could ONLY have one wheel.  However, read through my thoughts on both wheels and decide which would work best for you!  

The Nik+ with 21700 1800wh with two packs only, has solved the imbalanced issue..I ride one.. awesome wheel.Only one left to buy at https://www.erides.co.uk/

Edited by Afeez Kay

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12 hours ago, Ben Kim said:

- Feels unbalanced.  There is always a sense of myself wanting to compensate to my right a bit, but I've gotten used to it.  Compared to wheels such as KS with their flat pedals, there will be somewhat of an adjustment period.

I wonder why. The packs are symmetrically placed in the wheel. Is it you or the wheel?

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41 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

I wonder why. The packs are symmetrically placed in the wheel. Is it you or the wheel?

Good question. You’re 100% right, but I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe the 18S and Monster are unbalanced, or perhaps my right leg is longer than the left? The contact patch on the Nikola is maybe 1cm wide at best so it’s more pronounced than other wheels i’ve owned? It’s definitely there and I can’t possibly be the only one who noticed this out of the box. I’ve gotten used to it though, pure muscle memory ;)

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By contact patch you mean the one from the tire to the ground? Maybe your tire is off sideways somehow?

Anyways, good reviews!

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3 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

By contact patch you mean the one from the tire to the ground? Maybe your tire is off sideways somehow?

Anyways, good reviews!

yes, by how much of the tire touches the road. Definitely not off sideways, dead lift shows it tracks straight. It’s a weight thing from what i can deduce. I adjusted for it, so no biggie 

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22 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

I wonder why. The packs are symmetrically placed in the wheel. Is it you or the wheel?

The 100v Nikola is definitely unbalanced. My right leg does way too much work on it compared to any of my other wheels. I actually had a cramp the other day in my hip(before it died) because of my aggressive riding. 

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Maybe the weight of the board and speaker assembly on the right side is what's notable?

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On 10/23/2019 at 7:35 AM, meepmeepmayer said:

Maybe the weight of the board and speaker assembly on the right side is what's notable?

As a percentage of the wheel's weight, I would not expect to be able to tell which side they were mounted on.  They really are not very heavy at all.

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