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Alj

First day experience & impressions

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8 hours ago, Alj said:

1. Breaking is not very intuitive. You need to lean back for which you have to accelerate first. That will come with the skill, but its a challenge now.

You can always (emergency-) brake by "sitting down" (bending the knees). While you may never use that, it's good to know you have a backup method.

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my first was 18XL like yours.....in about 2h I was going 20m straight without any support.
- put inside your socks some 1-2 cm foam padding so you can squeeze the wheel better ;)

it's not recommended to use that belt to keep your wheel from falling......you will disengage balance at lower speeds while lifting the handle
(more damage in this way...)

 

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11 hours ago, Alj said:

1. Breaking is not very intuitive. You need to lean back

Once I stopped thinking of braking as "leaning back" and started thinking about it instead as "sticking your feet out in front of you" it clicked.  

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2nd day:

Arrived to the same soccer field, immediately felt sores on my calves from yesterday. Probably jeans are not ideal pants for this.

After about 1 hour of exercise I was able to almost balance when I'm standing, can go fast and stop on a straight line with ease. Launching, stopping is almost automatic now.

The biggest problem is turning when you going fast. I still cant figure out what am I doing to make it turn and turns are kinda not very predictable. I need to rotate one of my arms to help with rotation torque. Leaning wheel helps a little too. Sometimes it is easier to turn one way and you just cannot turn another way. Also leaning wheel leaves less margin for error so any wobble will make you fall. Which i did once. I rolled through my back and ended up on my feet. Synthetic rubbery soccer field cover makes it painless to fall. On asphalt I probably would ended up with scratching back and elbow which raises question about back protection gear.

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The biggest problem is turning when you going fast. I still cant figure out what am I doing to make it turn and turns are kinda not very predictable. I need to rotate one of my arms to help with rotation torque. Leaning wheel helps a little too. Sometimes it is easier to turn one way and you just cannot turn another way. Also leaning wheel leaves less margin for error so any wobble will make you fall.

Much like a bicycle, a skate board, inline skates, ice skating, etc, turning while "going fast" does not happen easily.  You know what happens when you turn the wheel on the bicycle when your zipping down the road.

I've noticed a lot of people tend to rotate their arm(s) & shoulders to help them turn.  There's nothing wrong with that move as far as I am aware.

It's possible you are putting too much weight on one side of the wheel which is causing you to turn.  Question, Which leg would you then kick a soccer ball with?  Or kick off on a skate board?  That would be your dominant leg which would mean you put more weight on the opposite leg so you have control with the dominant leg.  If you are turning in the opposite direction of your dominant leg, then you are putting too much weight on one side of the wheel.  You need to practice some balance.

Try one of these: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01J554SLM/ref=dp_prsubs_1

For me, I found that if I put my legs too close to the wheel, I can't control the turn as well & I get a wobble.  My legs get tired way too fast & my ankle bones start hurting from the constant rubbing of the wheel.  But if my legs are too far away, I have no control either.  You will find the sweet spot for your feet with time, there's no way to learn that but by experience.  I use the leaning of the wheel to turn & I don't turn my body or my arms to assist.  Perhaps I am doing it wrong but it works for me.  Of course, leaning the wheel puts more pressure on the calf from the top of the wheel which made my calves ache.

I figured out when I was first learning that I was babying my pains (the calf muscles were aching just as you've described) which was hampering my progress.  I went & found those medical stretchy wraps you use to wrap sprained wrists, & wrapped my calves just below the knee where the wheel was making contact to dampen the pain.  Wore those wraps every time I went out for about two weeks.

Watching this video, you can see the instructions he gives for turning are to twist the shoulders (near the end of the 8m video)

 

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Pretty useful tutorial 

 

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On 5/18/2020 at 7:05 AM, rainystateguy said:

Once I stopped thinking of braking as "leaning back" and started thinking about it instead as "sticking your feet out in front of you" it clicked.  

Is it sort of like braking with inline skates? (I get my first EUC tomorrow, also a K18XL, and am trying to learn what I can beforehand.)

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Posted (edited)

nice work :) I'm confused about your statement of having to accelerate to brake? now it depends on the speed but generally I will simply shift my body weight backwards kind of like releasing pressure from your toes and moving it to your heels while leaning back slightly.. it's hard to think about how to describe it when you've been riding for years and it becomes like walking, you just don't think about it.. for turning of course depends again on the speed but also the euc you're riding.. but there are a few types.. turning like changing lanes where you just slightly adjust the pressure in your feet, quickly jolting say to go around a biker at speed where you would decisively hit the brakes with one foot while slamming the gas with the other at the same time as leaning back.. there is going around a wide corner where you can just sort of lean very simple.. and there is a sharp corner where is all of the above basically lean back hit the gas with one foot and the brakes with the other and additionally bend one knee to tilt the unicycle, the knee getting bent would obviously be the opposite as the direction you're turning.. and to do a 180/360 is just an extension of the sharp turn just resetting your position once you're where you want.

for acceleration you should never do the Michael Jackson lean.. that's very bad practice as your momentum is moving forwards, and you centre of mass is in front of the wheel.. i think you can picture how that could turn out if you hit a bump or something causing you to lose balance, but regardless its very demanding on the euc and although unlikely on any high end wheel (depending on your weight) a good way to get a cut out.. instead try just using your feet/ankles or if you want bending your knees and leaning slightly for that extra oomph.. once you build up the right muscles you should be able to easily control any euc how you want from strictly below the hips though i know a lot of people prefer to be quite a bit more physical which is fine but that fact remains that it should not be necessary.. another thing to note is to try as best you can to avoid using your arms to balance or for leverage, some might not agree with me but i think beginners should (while keeping them ready) avoid all use of your hands/arms because for one it will build up your core muscles quicker i believe, and two a beginner swinging their arms is a very easy way to accidentally shift your centre of gravity, throwing off your balance.. once you are much more experienced you can play basketball while riding lol but for beginners i find them to be a hindrance.

braking is a tricky one as not only is it highly affected by your current speed but also the shape/weight of the wheel itself and the tire.. at first just focus on bending your knees slightly while applying pressure to your heels, but gently to come to a slow stop, you will probably find that you will very quickly lose balance but this is to be expected at first, its fine just practice first coming to slow stops then you can hop off or grab on to something.. hard braking is much more difficult, in general i avoid it obviously but of course its still very important and something you absolutely must know how to do well for you and the safety of others.. what youll want to do is bend your knees more once again but at the same time put pressure on your heels and lean back, and as rainystateguy said think of it more as sticking your feet out in front of you rather than leaning back at the hips (control with the ankles again) you should always try to keep your body in alignment as best you can (it will be much harder to be thrown off balance if you are aligned)... the biggest issue most people have with hard braking is wobbles.. there are different theories on why it happens but i believe it can happen to anyone and its simple based on your overall experience as well as your experience on that particular wheel, for whatever reason i like some others dont experience brake wobbling.. could be just the ride style, or my bodies centre of gravity not sure, but generally you would want to if you get them immediately back off while bending your knees more and pinching the wheel (its of course much easier for a loose wheel to wobble back and forth than one that has to take you with it) dont hesitate to back off of whatever it is that youre doing though because wobbles rarely get better (in that instance) and have been known to be the cause of many rider accidents... what i will say though is down the road when you gain a lot more experience, to avoid ever having wobbles be it from being cold, or tired, or riding a bumpy road, riding a new wheel etc is try squatting while riding, do it very slowly at first but try just literally squatting over the wheel, go as low as you comfortably can and hold it until you feel your legs getting tired, practice this over time while getting lower and/or holding it longer as you progress and this should really build up the proper thigh muscles and strengthen your knees (eucs normally focus on calves and feet) dont try this until you have a lot of experience though it is very dangerous to a beginner..

lastly, mounting... everyone has a slightly different style or technique and there are use cases for all of them.. my preferred method is what i call the one legged mount, where basically i will position my dominant foot and then take off riding one legged while i position my other foot, its a harder method to master but i prefer it because i can mount anywhere, any time.. i dont for instance have to wait for other people to move out of the way first, or get around various objects before mounting.. i am mounting the euc while it is still so i can immediately steer in another direction to say go around a biker that is directly in front of me or what have you, i feel its the most well rounded method... but the one i like to teach beginners is the skateboard push off, everyone knows that speed keeps you balanced, so naturally being new mounting is always the hardest aspect, when you use a skateboard style push off it in one motion gives you some forward momentum as well as bring that non dominant foot up off the ground to immediately place it on the pedal (dont worry too much about initial left foot positioning, as it takes a large amount of practice to nail it.. you can always grab on to something and adjust it if its bothering you.. of course, if its way off come to a stop and try again). the third method is a bit more crude but as i said before, they all have a purpose.. this is the one i most often see beginners using.. its where they jump up and immediately slam their foot down onto the pedal and try to take off,, this method is not as graceful, but the best option for starting while on a steep hill either going up or down that hill. free mounting is like i said the hardest aspect, and imo the least important when first learning... it is not essential for your safety, it would however be extremely inconvenient to not have this skill so its still important.. just not something that you need to worry about perfecting right away

whatever i said might be hard to understand while trying to relay to real life.. not sure, its always better to learn from someone visually in person.. but not always an option, so while everyone will eventually master these skills on their own.. having some techniques to use i think will speed up the process.... this is just what i do personally, some might disagree with my methods but everyones ride style is slightly different :P the most important thing to remember is RELAX! no one rides better tense.. i know it seems impossible in the beginning but just try to relax as much as you can, dont tense up, and dont overreact.. if youre sore, get off and walk around for a few mins, stretch, have a sit.. dont push yourself too hard when learning because it will only make it harder, the muscles take time and practice to get used to it, were all aching in the beginning haha.. also dont be like some foolish people and think you can go 50 kph on your third day... sure you might be able to do it because going faster actually makes it easier.. but you cant stop immediately, you cant dodge something immediately, youre not trained to react when hitting a bump or hole or object at higher speeds.. instead youll eat pavement or give someone (including yourself) a heart attack.. overconfidence is probably the number one cause of accidents, either that or not paying attention lol but the less experience you have, the more overconfidence is a danger

one last side note.. another possibly disagreeable method i like to teach, is to fall.. its a great reason and the only one actually to have a starter wheel.. i know you just got a new shiny expensive wheel but guess what.. it aint gonna stay that way haha, pad it up good (and yourself) go on an open field, and do something stupid/push yourself, or just intentionally abandon the wheel and crash... the biggest fear to overcome and the strongest thing holding anybody back is the fear of falling.. no one can deny it, youre terrified of flying off which is natural but the biggest hindrance and barrier to overcome, its what makes anyone say nah not for me to an euc if you ask me and once youve experienced it a few times i feel that it majorly boosts confidence and trains reflexes (funny as that sounds) but more importantly makes you break through the mental barrier preventing you from truly riding your wheel to the max.. naturally a lot of people are opposed to this and dont believe me or want to do it.. but i think that failure is a great learning tool.. i like to compare it to learning to do a backflip (or even front) the mental barrier telling you this is extremely stupid dont do it and your body fighting you is by far the hardest aspect of it, the mental aspect... once you do a flip, you longer fear it and you think yea i can do this, this is easy.. i know its not the same thing, im just using it as a comparison because our bodies can be capable of great feats but often the thing that holds us back is the mind, riding pretty much anything is nearly as much mental as it is physical

Edited by Rywokast

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2 hours ago, Ed in San Diego said:

Is it sort of like braking with inline skates? (I get my first EUC tomorrow, also a K18XL, and am trying to learn what I can beforehand.)

interesting i see a lot of new people picking up with 18XLs lately... im glad to see it though i feel its the most well rounded euc in terms of safety, convenience, comfort, and looks... there are better wheels, there are a lot of worse wheels, but if you ask me even though a lot dont think so it is the best all around euc.. the fastest and most powerful euc should not be important for a beginner unless they are extremely responsible and plan to take their time/dont want to own multiple wheels.. anyone can learn on anything, anyone can have fun on anything, and anyone can use anything for practically any use case.. there will always be something better at something else but imo the 18XL is a very smart choice for someone starting out today (generally) and i recommend it all the time

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OK I got to 70 mile mark. Learning on the soccer field was a great idea, I had my share of falls but me and my wheel have no scratches. Switching from soccer field to hard pavement was actually a relief. It is suddenly so much easier to turn.

Now I ride paved trails. I'm surprised at how easy this wheel pulls me uphill. I did not expect that. The only area of low confidence is breaking when going downhill. Its because i do not feel where is the limit. Where is absorbed energy go? Into batteries? What will happen when batteries are full?  How breaking will change at higher speed.. the motor torque goes down as RPM go up making this possibly out of control situation, or i will get some warning before it will happen? Because of that my downhill performance is about twice slower at this point.

 

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53 minutes ago, Alj said:

OK I got to 70 mile mark. Learning on the soccer field was a great idea, I had my share of falls but me and my wheel have no scratches. Switching from soccer field to hard pavement was actually a relief. It is suddenly so much easier to turn.

Now I ride paved trails. I'm surprised at how easy this wheel pulls me uphill. I did not expect that. The only area of low confidence is breaking when going downhill. Its because i do not feel where is the limit. Where is absorbed energy go? Into batteries? What will happen when batteries are full?  How breaking will change at higher speed.. the motor torque goes down as RPM go up making this possibly out of control situation, or i will get some warning before it will happen? Because of that my downhill performance is about twice slower at this point.

 

i just noticed your post is from a couple weeks ago haha for some reason i thought it was from today xD so youre obviously a lot more skilled now than when you made this topic but anyhow... glad to see youve progressed a lot.. dont worry in the slightest braking downhill unless you charged the batteries to 100% and just got on... the absorbed energy is very inefficient of course so its not going to suddenly jump from 80% to 110% just because you put on the brakes :P in fact, just out of habit i tend not to brake going downhill unless i have to but like i said dont worry about it... even if you did screw up and forgot you were at 100% at the top of a hill it will beep at you and tilt back its not going to just fling you off all modern wheels have an over voltage warning... the majority of energy is wasted but otherwise, yes it goes into the batteries... if you were to say go down a steep long mountain trail you may even find you have gained 10,20,30% battery from it.. just know that whatever energy you gained coming down, you lost twice as much going up.. so unless you literally started at the top of the hill fully charged, you should have no worries.. i have zero worries if i have to slam on the brakes coming down a mountain at speed.. it would be a good idea for you to get a reliable app like euc world or darknessbot or something to track one of your rides, you can see the voltage at various times, and the power consumption.. i dont normally use the apps but i was pleasantly surprised to see after a long ride on a windy day with lots of up hill and down, my power never exceeded 1600W.. now im a very light rider but still thats only half of what even my KS16S is capable of, the 18XL can sustain 2kW all day with spikes of up to 4kW... its got enough power dont worry about that. curious, what firmware are you on? because specifically for the 18XL and 16X different firmwares can behave quite a bit differently in various aspects.. i personally prefer 1.13 myself but i think most have moved on to 2.X which not only makes the motor silent, but it is what most would refer to as more torquey, it has less delay and more instantaneous off the line speed, achieving speed is easier, braking is quicker, and its hill climbing ability (not ability but ease of accessing power more so) greatly improved... i just like the riding style of 1.13 myself which is a bit more relaxed and smooth, slightly more effort starting and stopping.. also 1.13 and below throttle speed at 25% instead of 50% as firmware above 1.13 do.. because of the nature of the immediate speed and increased torque, the speed limiter starting earlier is a very generous safety precaution.. i prefer the smooth, earned, long distance cruiser of the original 18XL though i think it takes a bit more skill and 2.X just feels too easy :P

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Rywokast said:

... if you were to say go down a steep long mountain trail you may even find you have gained 10,20,30% battery from it.. just know that whatever energy you gained coming down, you lost twice as much going up..

Yeh... the thing is, i live on the hill. So all my journeys start with steep 300ft decline. I haven't done it on a fully charged battery yet. But i also measured yesterday that i gain only about 1% of the charge going down. There are pretty steep parts where you feel that the wheel barely keeps you from accelerating down.

Quote

so unless you literally started at the top of the hill fully charged, you should have no worries.. i have zero worries if i have to slam on the brakes coming down a mountain at speed.. it would be a good idea for you to get a reliable app like euc world or darknessbot or something to track one of your rides, you can see the voltage at various times, and the power consumption.. i dont normally use the apps but i was pleasantly surprised to see after a long ride on a windy day with lots of up hill and down, my power never exceeded 1600W..

Same here. 1600W.  Maybe 2200W used when you going close to speed limit? (power = torque * speed).  I just recently looked at the dyno charts of MSX, it reaches max power literally at the max speed. So since i ride mostly 20mph my peak power at that speed is about 1600 and the wheel does not let me to use more in order to keep headroom for balance?

Quote

now im a very light rider but still thats only half of what even my KS16S is capable of, the 18XL can sustain 2kW all day with spikes of up to 4kW... its got enough power dont worry about that. curious, what firmware are you on? because specifically for the 18XL and 16X different firmwares can behave quite a bit differently in various aspects.. i personally prefer 1.13 myself but i think most have moved on to 2.X which not only makes the motor silent, but it is what most would refer to as more torquey, it has less delay and more instantaneous off the line speed, achieving speed is easier, braking is quicker, and its hill climbing ability (not ability but ease of accessing power more so) greatly improved...

I have latest. 2.04 i think? or 2.03.... I probably would not know the difference between 1 and 2. The only issue i have is that wheel changes tilt slowly back and forth when i go through the humps. I'm  on a "riding" mode, i will try "expert" one today, supposedly it should not tilt the wheel at all and this is what i want.

Quote

i just like the riding style of 1.13 myself which is a bit more relaxed and smooth, slightly more effort starting and stopping.. also 1.13 and below throttle speed at 25% instead of 50% as firmware above 1.13 do.. because of the nature of the immediate speed and increased torque, the speed limiter starting earlier is a very generous safety precaution.. i prefer the smooth, earned, long distance cruiser of the original 18XL though i think it takes a bit more skill and 2.X just feels too easy :P

I'm not going fast. 20mph is my comfortable speed at the moment so speed limiter will not affect me yet. And extra torque is definitely useful on my hill.

Edited by Alj

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There are many ways to brake, but the one I use the most is by putting my weight on one of my heels (left foot in my case) as if I'm anticipating a punch coming for me. I like the offset foot placement when I ride, my right foot slightly forward on the pedal and used for accelerating, and my left foot placed slightly behind for braking.

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3 hours ago, Alj said:

Yeh... the thing is, i live on the hill. So all my journeys start with steep 300ft decline. I haven't done it on a fully charged battery yet. But i also measured yesterday that i gain only about 1% of the charge going down. There are pretty steep parts where you feel that the wheel barely keeps you from accelerating down.

Same here. 1600W.  Maybe 2200W used when you going close to speed limit? (power = torque * speed).  I just recently looked at the dyno charts of MSX, it reaches max power literally at the max speed. So since i ride mostly 20mph my peak power at that speed is about 1600 and the wheel does not let me to use more in order to keep headroom for balance?

I have latest. 2.04 i think? or 2.03.... I probably would not know the difference between 1 and 2. The only issue i have is that wheel changes tilt slowly back and forth when i go through the humps. I'm  on a "riding" mode, i will try "expert" one today, supposedly it should not tilt the wheel at all and this is what i want.

I'm not going fast. 20mph is my comfortable speed at the moment so speed limiter will not affect me yet. And extra torque is definitely useful on my hill.

aah i see... well, you shouldnt go down that hill if youre charged to 100%.. the gain coming down is what i call standing battery level... which is different from moving battery level (you can view it real time in the app) you would have seen spikes of 5,10,even up to 20% if you were braking hard coming down a steep hill. no 1600W was my max for the whole day... and i always ride close to the speed limit... there are several factors that come into play especially rider weight and terrain so its not always just a simple calculation,,, the wheel will certainly let you use more, youd have to be hovering around 4000 for it to complain.

ah ok thats good thats the FW you should be on, i cant remember exactly what the riding modes are called but they are in order.. expert or experient being almost totally flat all the time which is what the majority of people use as there is no delay.. i believe why some people think beginners should start on medium or soft mode is because their actions arent instantly translated and because theyre not super good at it yet theyre often flailing or unsure so its a bit safer, but by all means move on to hard as soon as you want because it makes the ride more predictable.. thats good 20 mph is a good speed for now :)

14 minutes ago, Chaindrop said:

There are many ways to brake, but the one I use the most is by putting my weight on one of my heels (left foot in my case) as if I'm anticipating a punch coming for me. I like the offset foot placement when I ride, my right foot slightly forward on the pedal and used for accelerating, and my left foot placed slightly behind for braking.

haha same as me

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