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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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3 hours ago, Mono said:

There's nothing wrong to have a quick visual check of your foot positioning IMHO, as long as you don't develop the habit to crouch or stare at your feet all the time.

You won't. It's like with a keyboard - you didn't even realize when you stopped looking at it. :) No "This is a bad habit and I need to stop it!!!" is required.

Edited by atdlzpae

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@/Dev/Null The solution is simple: Change the boss. ;)

My answer would be: My RSI is more important than your comfort. Either buy yourself headphones or allow me to work from home. Or I'm leaving. B)

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@RockyTop I’m off to practice figure eights... or Rorschach patterns that I’ll interpret as such. Thanks for the advice!

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Hi,

As some of you know, I've been riding for a year now, and  started off with a V8. Learning was a very fast and intuitive process for me, and after about 300km, I outgrew it (like many of us...) and upgraded to an 18XL. I'm extremely pleased with it, both in terms of speed, range, responsiveness and off-road capabilities. Taming it involved somewhat of a learning curve (which I didn't expect at all) due to its different riding characteristics (weight & weight distribution, size, the XL pedals, which change more than you'd expect, particularly if you're a light rider),  but it was fun to relearn how to ride and have to stop to consciously make myself aware of, re-evalutae and tweak many of the riding skills  that had become second nature and I was taking for granted.

It was a fun process that gave me some extra insight into the actual dynamics involved in riding. Whereas with the lighter V8 I could effortlessly swing the wheel from side to side, make sharp turns, or long, slow, high(er) speed ones, etc., without having to think about what parts of my body I was using, the 18XL forced me to become more aware of the different elements involved: weight shifts from foot to foot, knee flex, hip movements, twisting on the vertical axis, leaning in, etc. I consciously practiced all of these different elements individually and took mental notes of how the wheel responded to each one of them, which ones were better for what, etc., until they eventually started to merge into one inseparable flow and I was back into that wonderful bliss that is feeling like one with the wheel :)

The one thing that I had a bit more trouble with (and still don't feel 100% at ease with) was high-speed turning (long, sustained turns, for instance). The 18XL has a tendency to want to stay upright when trying to turn at high seeds. Carving isn't an issue, as it's a more forceful chain of movements where I really put my weight into it and have no problem shifting the acceleration from one foot to another, but when it's a long, sustained curve at high speed is where I still find myself not entirely at ease, and wondering whether I'm doing wrong. I get the impression that the very nature of that kind of turn presents a similar issues to what new riders encounter when learning to mount: you're turning right (for example), so your whole body is leaning to the right and your weight is on the right pedal, and given that it's a heavier wheel, this also requires more compensation to keep the wheel at the angle you want it at. My solution is to prop the wheel on the outside leg (as when mounting), allowing me to lean in further, but it steel feels somewhat forced and unnatural. I've played around to see which foot I feel most comfortable accelerating with (inside or outside), and to be honest, I couldn't really say; depending on the scenario and what I'm about to do next (keep turning, switch turn to the other direction), I choose a different foot in different situations.

I'm wondering...do you reckon this is connected with the wheel's weight distribution? Would lighter riders benefit from a smaller wheel (even if it's just as heavy)? I'm considering the 16X to replace my V8 (and possibly even the 18XL? :efee612b4b:), and wondered whether the overall riding feel is radically different from the 18XL, and how it compares to other 16" wheels. Could anyone who's ridden both the 16X and the 18XL provide any insight as to these idiosyncrasies in riding dynamics? I'm thinking @Marty Backe, @The Fat Unicyclist or @houseofjob

I'd also be interested in knowing (sorry if this is a bit off-topic) your thoughts on their comparative off-road capabilities, and whether the wider wheel on the 16X pays off fo the fact it's smaller 2" smaller in diameter than the 18XL's.

Thanks in advance guys! :)

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5 minutes ago, travsformation said:

The 18XL has a tendency to want to stay upright when trying to turn at high seeds. Carving isn't an issue, as it's a more forceful chain of movements where I really put my weight into it and have no problem shifting the acceleration from one foot to another, but when it's a long, sustained curve at high speed is where I still find myself not entirely at ease, and wondering whether I'm doing wrong.

I think this may be a weight thing...I have a weight advantage   :confused1:   and have no issue tipping my 18XL sideways. To the point that it would normally always be against my inside leg. Though having said that, I am now experimenting with riding it with the same style as on the Z10, keeping the wheel upright and shifting my weight.
 

8 minutes ago, travsformation said:

Would lighter riders benefit from a smaller wheel (even if it's just as heavy)? I'm considering the 16X to replace my V8 (and possibly even the 18XL? :efee612b4b:), and wondered whether the overall riding feel is radically different from the 18XL, and how it compares to other 16" wheels.

I think heavier riders "fit" larger diameter wheels better and conversely, I believe lighter riders would be more comfortable on smaller diameter wheels (though there is a lot more to the subject than just this isolated thought). 

One thing to consider with the 16X is that the tyre choice can change the handling considerably... I saw a post recently that suggested that it is the sidewall reinforcing that alters the deformation of the tyre during a turn and that significantly changes the riding style of the wheel. 

Overall though the 16X has a lot of torque available and it handles superbly - of course it comes down to what / where / how you want to ride as to which wheel would be the best for any rider.
 

13 minutes ago, travsformation said:

I'd also be interested in knowing (sorry if this is a bit off-topic) your thoughts on their comparative off-road capabilities, and whether the wider wheel on the 16X pays off fo the fact it's smaller 2" smaller in diameter than the 18XL's.

From my experience, off-road the 16X obliterates the 18XL!

The smaller diameter gives more torque and the extra half inch of width gives better grip. Together this is a huge advantage.

A month or so back, I spent a day with @Mishkin where we rode / swapped  both wheels across a variety of terrains (to help him decide on his purchase). When it came to off-roading on our test track, when he finished a lap on the 18XL he was panting (from pushing it through the course), but on the 16X he flew past for another lap while screaming (I think for joy)...

The off-road performance was a part of the reason he eventually chose the 16X.

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1 hour ago, travsformation said:

I'd also be interested in knowing (sorry if this is a bit off-topic) your thoughts on their comparative off-road capabilities, and whether the wider wheel on the 16X pays off fo the fact it's smaller 2" smaller in diameter than the 18XL's.

It is almost scary how similar your story compared to mine. 

Did you see my review of my KS16X?

Think you will find a few answers here. 😉 

If you need more details give me a shout. 

I can only say I consider the KS16X as an advanced wheel. If you want me to explain this more give me a PM.

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I believe that the size of a person makes a “big” difference in wheel preferences. I remember switching from a16s to a MSuper. The first high speed turn I made was very close to becoming a disaster. I remember  having to lean more than I was prepared for at the time. As a larger person I like the additional force that it takes to maneuver. The smaller 16s is just too hyper in comparison. With the larger wheels, I can move,  correct my position and prepare for my next maneuver without affecting my current maneuver. Every slight body movement on the 16s translates to a change in speed or direction. I still enjoy the 16s and I am glad to have learned on it. For me, I will stick to the 18”+ sized wheels. 

That said, the KS16s is the one wheel I plan on keeping. I use it to attempt new difficult slow speed maneuvers. When I finally succeed with ease on the 16s, I switch to the larger wheels with the hopes of accomplishing the same maneuver. 

Edited by RockyTop

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This is the thread I refered to earlier. 

And you can add this too a view of comparison on ride dynamics differences. 

I just got home from a 10km ride in mild/standard rain ride in my parts of the world. It was rated to upto 1.0mm/h waterfall. Very similar to when my KS16X got water damaged. The V10F, didn't bother at all on the rain and water on the road. 

My V10F is growing g on me....a lot. Now tomorrow frost sets in, so be an interesting ride to work tomorrow morning. 

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On 11/28/2019 at 1:19 PM, The Fat Unicyclist said:

From my experience, off-road the 16X obliterates the 18XL!

The smaller diameter gives more torque and the extra half inch of width gives better grip. Together this is a huge advantage.

A month or so back, I spent a day with @Mishkin where we rode / swapped  both wheels across a variety of terrains (to help him decide on his purchase). When it came to off-roading on our test track, when he finished a lap on the 18XL he was panting (from pushing it through the course), but on the 16X he flew past for another lap while screaming (I think for joy)...

The off-road performance was a part of the reason he eventually chose the 16X.

Yeah, better torque would definitely be nice. I'm not unhappy with the 18XL, but being a light rider, it can take quite a bit of effort to get it up a steep hill, particularly a bumpy off-road one. It's probably also easier to brake, which I admit, doesn't feel like one of the 18XL's strong points. Perhaps it's also connected to the weight, but I can't say I feel completely comfortable with the braking distance I get with the 18XL. For me at least, proper braking capabilities require placing my feet much further back than is comfortable for normal riding, so I've ended up with one foot quite a bit more forward than the other (I go switching feet from time to time, and I'll admit that's an advantage on the 18XL...being able to shift foot position at relatively high speed without losing stability / it affecting my trajectory). 

Edit: You might want to check two posts down from this one before you bother answering the questions below... :D

And aside from torque and grip, how does the 16X fair in terms of absorbing bumps? On the 18XL I can go over rocks and barely notice them. Does the increased tire width make up for the smaller diameter?

On 11/28/2019 at 1:19 PM, The Fat Unicyclist said:

To the point that it would normally always be against my inside leg. Though having said that, I am now experimenting with riding it with the same style as on the Z10, keeping the wheel upright and shifting my weight.

I guess I'm riding the 18XL like you're riding the Z10. Perhaps I'll try some more forceful leaning today :D

Whenever I grab the V8 (which isn't very often lately), it takes me a few minutes to re-adapt; I find myself being extra cautious, as it feels so light, and keep having to  remind myself to be gentle with it :efee612b4b:  I do enjoy the more squirrelly feel and low-speed acceleration, but don't feel quite as safe without that heavy, weighed-down-to-the-road feeling I get with the 18XL, which I enjoy riding much more---except for sustained, high-speed turns, where I feel much more at ease on the V8.

Ironically, I don't feel like I'm lacking maneuverability with the 18XL, and have no trouble weaving between pedestrians at low speeds, or making small, tight corrections while going down gnarly off-road sections...

photo-2019-11-29-13-13-19.jpg

So overall, I guess with the 16X I'd be getting the best of both worlds: better torque and braking, better maneuverability, but that grounded feeling that comes with a heavier wheel. And in terms of weight distribution? How's the center of gravity? That definitely affects handling...

Sounds like it might be the best-suited wheel for me (I do a lot of off-roading)

On 11/28/2019 at 6:22 PM, Unventor said:

This is the thread I refered to earlier. 

Thanks! :D :cheers:

Edited by travsformation

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9 hours ago, travsformation said:

photo-2019-11-29-13-13-19.jpg

P.S. This isn't representative of most of the off-roading I do, but in terms of gnarly sections, I'd qualify it as a 6/10 in compared to some of the more technical (aka probably should have dismounted) sections I've done. What differences do you think I'd encounter on this type of terrain between the 18XL (which I feel very confident on) and the 16X? (I should probably tag @Mike Sacristan, @Qarky & ...is chooch a user on this forum?)

Edited by travsformation

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On 11/28/2019 at 1:19 PM, The Fat Unicyclist said:

I think this may be a weight thing...I have a weight advantage   :confused1:   and have no issue tipping my 18XL sideways. To the point that it would normally always be against my inside leg.

I can't imagine the wheel on my inside leg. I have to ride the 18XL pretty much as described here, locking my outer leg (although the video refers to the 16X with the stock tire):
 

 

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1 hour ago, travsformation said:

Update: It looks like I'm soon going to find out the answer to the questions below for myself: I just pre-ordered a 16X  :D:D:D

@The Fat Unicyclist I reckon' I should start checking out what colors are available for the 16X EUC bodyguard, so unlike with the 18XL, this time I put the EUC BG on the wheel before I scratch the hell out of it... :efee612b4b:

Haha congrats! You will be fine with the 16X on those trails as long as it's not the CX tyre. And they no longer with it so then you're safe.

I love the feel of the 16X offroad and especially with the stiffer pedals in FW 1.07. It doesn't feel as planted as MSX or 18XL but it makes up for it in maneuvaribility, pedal clearance, balance and floating ability. I have done plenty of hill climbing and the 16X does much better than the MSX and quite a lot better than the 18XL.

I'm sure you will love it!

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1 hour ago, Mike Sacristan said:

Haha congrats! You will be fine with the 16X on those trails as long as it's not the CX tyre. And they no longer with it so then you're safe.

I love the feel of the 16X offroad and especially with the stiffer pedals in FW 1.07. It doesn't feel as planted as MSX or 18XL but it makes up for it in maneuvaribility, pedal clearance, balance and floating ability. I have done plenty of hill climbing and the 16X does much better than the MSX and quite a lot better than the 18XL.

I'm sure you will love it!

Thanks! Decided it was better to just take the leap and buy one than to keep asking questions and waste my chance of getting a 300€ Black Friday discount :D

I think it's batch...4? So I imagine it won't have a CX tire. I wonder what FW version it'll be on...glad to hear 1.0.7 isn't all that bad after all. What I don't fancy is the whole KS unlocking process....man do I hate that app! :efee612b4b:

Can't wait to get it! It's on its way from China, so it'll be here in about a month. Will keep watching videos in the meantime to keep myself worked up! :D

And with that, I think I'll quit derailing this here thread... :efef2e0fff:

Edited by travsformation

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3 hours ago, travsformation said:

Update: It looks like I'm soon going to find out the answer to the questions above for myself: I just pre-ordered a 16X  :D:D:D

@The Fat Unicyclist I reckon' I should start checking out what colors are available for the 16X EUC bodyguard, so unlike with the 18XL, this time I put the EUC BG on the wheel before I scratch the hell out of it... :efee612b4b:

Well welcome to the club.

I trust you found it entertaining and useful to read my journey to relearn to ride my KS16X (from your tags😉).

I have one little tip. Start with high pressure on the tire when you get your wheel. Go slow and then build up speed, slowly. Get to know how it feels when the wheel is wild, untamed and all over the place and how it will follow contour/lines on surface. 

Then low the pressure gradually until you find it comfortable. 

This will help you later to respond without having to think if you get cought by surprise. The KS16X behaves differently. But that is also why I enjoy it so much. 

Just be careful not to let out too much air, as you risk rim damage. 

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Hi, All, 

I start learning EUC 1.5 month ago. First I thought I should try a cheaper wheel because I was not sure if I could ride EUC so I got two-wheels (probably) copy of Inmotion V3 from eBay. After two weeks practice, I could ride it on tennis court pretty well. But it was slow, and low power, and two-wheels, I noticed this is unusable and even felt dangerous on streets because of instability. Worst choice for the first EUC, I guess.

After some of research, I bought KS16s from ewheels.com. As you experienced guys imagine, I had to learn it from scratch. So shocked and disappointed but I did about one week practice at tennis court, then I went on streets in early morning like 4:00- after that. Now I can ride on streets mainly pedestrian (with not many people) and bike lane day and night. A little more than 200 miles on KS16s now.

I have couple of questions;

1) Is it necessary to do pactice backride or not? Probably much later like a thousand miles ride? Or better to start now? Or no need to worry unless I want to learn as one of challenges like one-leg riding?

2) How about practice of run over bumps like higher than 1 inch? Again, much later?

3) I put thick padding (about half inch) on the top of original pad (side of wheel, KS16s) especially one side (stronger leg) for reducing pain in the beginning and now I feel it helps stabilizing and holding EUC solid on leg. Do I have to reduce padding gradually and eventually remove them all I added? Or it is not necessary if I feel comfortable. I do not see people using such a thick padding on YouTube videos.

4) Riding mode. I am on medium mode now. Do I have to change it to expert mode in the future or it is just a preference?

5) Finally, what is the “standard” tracking, map, gps application in general for EUC? I tried original King Song app, DarknessBot on iOS but Bluetooth often disconnected and apps does not work well. Is it better to buy and use Android instead of iPhone for EUC app (KS16s)? Is there any suggestions of different app I should try on iOS, or Android?

Thank you for advance!

KaiiN

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1 hour ago, Satoki Nagata said:

1) Is it necessary to do pactice backride or not? Probably much later like a thousand miles ride? Or better to start now? Or no need to worry unless I want to learn as one of challenges like one-leg riding?

No, Not unless you want to. It can come in handy, but not necessary. As time passes you will continue to get better. Even years later. Learning slows yet continues. 

 

1 hour ago, Satoki Nagata said:

2) How about practice of run over bumps like higher than 1 inch? Again, much later?

This is a more useful skill. It can keep you from crashing. 

 

1 hour ago, Satoki Nagata said:

3) I put thick padding (about half inch) on the top of original pad (side of wheel, KS16s) especially one side (stronger leg) for reducing pain in the beginning and now I feel it helps stabilizing and holding EUC solid on leg. Do I have to reduce padding gradually and eventually remove them all I added? Or it is not necessary if I feel comfortable. I do not see people using such a thick padding on YouTube videos.

Use the padding as long as you like. At some point it will likely no longer prefer it. A large number of people only touch the sides of the wheel when ridding at high speed or on rough surfaces. This style of ridding is not expected in the beginning. Learn to ride comfortably with your knees bent first. 

 

1 hour ago, Satoki Nagata said:

4) Riding mode. I am on medium mode now. Do I have to change it to expert mode in the future or it is just a preference?

This is just preference. The KS wheels tend to be softer than GW. (beginner setting). People that ride proactive tend to like softer mode while reactive people like harder. 

I would set it one way for a few days then the other for several days. You will not like the change either way but in time you will learn to use both to your advantage. Then pick the one you like. 

1 hour ago, Satoki Nagata said:

5) Finally, what is the “standard” tracking, map, gps application in general for EUC? I tried original King Song app, DarknessBot on iOS but Bluetooth often disconnected and apps does not work well. Is it better to buy and use Android instead of iPhone for EUC app (KS16s)? Is there any suggestions of different app I should try on iOS, or Android?

Thank you for advance!

................ :confused1:   Good Luck , I liked the DarknessBot app on my 16s but nothing seems to work well with my newer 18XL

Edited by RockyTop

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Great answers from @RockyTop already! Some additional thoughts:

 

4 hours ago, Satoki Nagata said:

1) Is it necessary to do pactice backride or not?

I rode forward for 10000km before even trying to learn reversing. It helps a lot with balance when riding at walking speed, and on tough off-road spots. But it is an extra skill, not at all required. It might be a nice challenge after going forward for a year or two.

4 hours ago, Satoki Nagata said:

2) How about practice of run over bumps like higher than 1 inch? Again, much later?

This is an important skill! Practice as soon as possible. World is full of bumps.

4 hours ago, Satoki Nagata said:

3) I put thick padding (about half inch) on the top of original pad

If it feels good, it’s good. But make sure the wheel has space to tilt sideways a bit between your legs so you can steer properly at low speeds.

4 hours ago, Satoki Nagata said:

4) Riding mode. I am on medium mode now.

I rode 9000km on medium on the 16S, as it gets slightly better mileage than hard mode. The soft on the 16S is quite extreme though, I can’t see anyone preferring that.

4 hours ago, Satoki Nagata said:

5) Finally, what is the “standard” tracking, map, gps application in general for EUC?

DarknessBot has a rudimentary GPS tracking feature, but the free Komoot tour planner (and maybe SportsTracker) is what I’d use. Komoot is magnificent for planning and navigating tours.

An Android phone would let you use WheelLog which is great for wheel data logging, but DarknessBot can save data graphs as well.

I think it is good to study a few graphs so you’ll understand better how your riding translates to power requirements for the wheel. As you might realise, exceeding the wheel’s capabilities always ends up badly.

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