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Death wobble on Z10 with elbow guard fail


shellac
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I'm a relatively new rider, recently got the Z10 which I've been enjoying, until I got the dreaded speed wobbles and totally ate ass vs the pavement yesterday.

I've read up on some old posts here and I'm not sure the advice of decelerating applies here. It didn't work for me, but maybe I did it wrong. I also saw @Cutiyo's great YouTube video on the subject and perhaps the thing to do is to lean more to one side like she suggests. Anyways let me describe what happened...

Prelude

So I've been riding further and faster every day since I got my wheel a couple weeks ago. I've gotten the hang of most things, though I have a hard time braking at speed. I mean I can brake but I just have to do it more slowly. If I brake too hard the wheel starts to wobble. I've found that when I brake if I favor one leg instead of trying to evenly brake with both legs it will reduce but not eliminate the braking wobble. I don't have the Z10 braking assist turned on, haven't tried it yet.

The last couple days before the accident I have been riding particularly hard and my feet have been sore. The ride the day before the crash on my ride I noticed I was getting slight wobbles when I was hitting minor bumps, which I had never noticed before. I was slightly annoyed by it, didn't think much more of it, and attributed this new behavior to my feet being tired. The ride was fine otherwise.

Crash

Yesterday when I rode I again noticed I was still weirdly wobble prone. My feet were still sore as I haven't really given them any time to recover and I thought it was related to that but in retrospect maybe I was poorly balanced on the wheel? I'm not sure. Is it a calibration issue? I've never calibrated my new Z10 as the pedals have seemed even and fine.

Anyways I'm cruising along an empty street at 20 mph on flat nondescript concrete when I must have hit a slight irregularity in the pavement, nothing obvious to the naked eye. All of a sudden I got a crazy aggressive side to side wobble in the wheel. I immediately tried to slow down, honestly I don't know if I was braking the correct way I mentioned above (where I should favor one leg) but the braking was making the wobble drastically worse. Now I thought oh shit, this isn't going to end well and it's time to bail. 

I landed on my left side and my wheel went careening into a runoff ditch on the side of the road. I tore up my shorts and my iPhone in the left pocket seemed to take some of the impact, remarkably unscathed, and I also landed on my left elbow guard, a Leatt 3DF 6.0 which turned out to be a poor choice as it tore instantly and I got some nasty road rash on my elbow.

Torn elbow guard:

W4y9zsm.jpg

 

Elbow:

va6fJHr.jpg

 

Yeah I know, probably everyone has seen or experienced worse in terms of the road rash but it does hurt and I'm annoyed that it happened while wearing an elbow guard.  Like, that was your one job, you know? Most importantly, I fished the Z10 out of the small amount of water in the ditch and it was working fine.

I then rode the wheel home to assess damages, and of all things, a fucking deer ran out onto the road in front of me which I had to brake to avoid hitting. At this point, I felt like there was some kind of Final Destination shit going on and I should stay at home and hide in a closet for the rest of the night.

Of note, on the ride back I got wobbles in the exact same spot as the crash. I was going much slower though and it was fine the second time around.

So.... I have a few questions here

- Why was braking making my death wobble worse? Am I just braking wrong? I saw some YouTube commenters talk about high speed braking wobbles on the Z10. Is there some advice for braking successfully with this wheel?

- Am I right that being tired was enough to give me those baseline annoying wobbles? The other possibilities are foot position and need for calibration I suppose. I'm going to keep experimenting. I have been using sort of a foot forward position on the Z10 which works well on my mten3 but maybe this wheel is balanced differently.

- I wish there was a Leatt dual axis for elbows. I'm going to try out the Leatt 3.0 elbow guard and Fox Racing Titan one. Any suggestions on this?

- Suggestions for the death wobbles?

 

Thanks for the advice....

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If they fit, fox Titan pro is really good. There is silicon lined in the sleeve and the 3 strap points keep it in place. The hard shell keeps the ground from gripping so it lessens the chance of it sliding out of place too. 

I took a small spill yesterday, and came out fine. I got off balanced pushing my fiancee on the bicycle. I veered left then fell on my right side. Hip first then probably elbow. My shoe was gripping the pedal so it didn't fly off, but it dragged me down with it.  I later saw that my elbow guard was pretty scratched up. Worth it. 

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ouch sorry to hear about that painful experience... i wish i had some more insights and i know people will tell you their own techniques on how to "properly" do this, that and the other but the reality is everyone is different and what works for them might be different than what works for someone else.. anyways, foot fatigue and inexperience are the number one cause of any sort of wobbles, instead of focusing on a technique to get out of them, you should be working on never getting them, which means riding more, slowing down, and taking it easy so that you dont have any sort of foot fatigue.. i dont believe the braking was making the wobbles worse, they usually go from bad to worse all on their own, its just that your braking didnt make them better.. what you need to do if you ever get wobbles on any euc is to slowly apply the brakes at the same time as crouching down and squeezing the wheel, the lower your centre of gravity, the harder it will be for the wheel to deviate as well as obviously if you are pinching it, it will be much harder for it to move left and right.. and the slowing down is merely in the case where if you do crash, it wont be as bad.. i dont believe that in itself would solve any wobbling issues.. though some people do get minor wobbles at high speed due to perhaps being a bit nervous and tensing up..

i dont know how you brake and it doesnt really matter too much if youre comfortable but do just try to keep your body in line, dont bend at the hips, bend at the ankles as if youre pushing away the euc with your feet... this isnt necessarily a better or faster way to brake or whatever its simply because you will be harder to throw off balance, and lowering your centre of gravity by bending at the knees and keeping your legs loose over bumps will prevent wobbles for that

yes of course being tired could give you wobbles, any sort of fatigue anywhere is a contributing factor.. you say youre relatively new but everyone has a different definition of that.. what exactly is your experience on the Z10? also, what PSI do you ride at? though i know the Z10 is a different tire to any other euc, having too high a PSI for your weight will also be a contributing factor if you dont have a ton of experience on that particular vehicle

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Sorry to hear about the crash, hope you get well soon!

As for why you got wobbles; Imo you were going to fast too soon. As in; your leg and ankle muscles haven't completely matured for that wheel. Being sore compounds the issue as your muscles will react slower and with less suppleness. Take it a bit slower. Stay at lower speeds for a couple of weeks and give your body time to adapt to the weight and balance of the wheel. Also make sure you are not sore! Z10 is one of the hardest wheels to master as it is heavy and has a lot of specific quirks only felt on that wheel. Wobbling will go away by itself in time, as your legs adapt to the unit.

Also, like @Rywokast mentioned above, lower the tire pressure to where you have at least a little flat spot when standing on the wheel. Bigger contact patch equals less wobble (and less range but that probably doesn't matter right now?).

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21 hours ago, Rywokast said:

i dont know how you brake and it doesnt really matter too much if youre comfortable but do just try to keep your body in line, dont bend at the hips, bend at the ankles as if youre pushing away the euc with your feet... this isnt necessarily a better or faster way to brake or whatever its simply because you will be harder to throw off balance, and lowering your centre of gravity by bending at the knees and keeping your legs loose over bumps will prevent wobbles for that

yes of course being tired could give you wobbles, any sort of fatigue anywhere is a contributing factor.. you say youre relatively new but everyone has a different definition of that.. what exactly is your experience on the Z10? also, what PSI do you ride at? though i know the Z10 is a different tire to any other euc, having too high a PSI for your weight will also be a contributing factor if you dont have a ton of experience on that particular vehicle

I ride at about 30 psi. Reluctant to go lower as I’ve heard the Z10 will follow cracks in the road, but I could try that. I’ve been riding this wheel for about 2 weeks. Before that I learned on an mten3 and was using it for 2 months and felt pretty confident with it.
 

I definitely think I’m braking at the hips somewhat. I’m going to experiment with different braking methods to see what gives the least wobbles. Especially with the deer that ran out in front me I need to learn how to aggressively power brake. 
 

Thanks for the advice, those are good tips. 

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13 hours ago, Skecys said:

Sorry to hear about the crash, hope you get well soon!

As for why you got wobbles; Imo you were going to fast too soon. As in; your leg and ankle muscles haven't completely matured for that wheel. Being sore compounds the issue as your muscles will react slower and with less suppleness. Take it a bit slower. Stay at lower speeds for a couple of weeks and give your body time to adapt to the weight and balance of the wheel. Also make sure you are not sore! Z10 is one of the hardest wheels to master as it is heavy and has a lot of specific quirks only felt on that wheel. Wobbling will go away by itself in time, as your legs adapt to the unit.

Also, like @Rywokast mentioned above, lower the tire pressure to where you have at least a little flat spot when standing on the wheel. Bigger contact patch equals less wobble (and less range but that probably doesn't matter right now?).

Well maybe I do need to take it slower. I’ll give it a couple days before trying to go fast again. ;)
 

Certainly when I was fatigued and getting new wobbles I should have taken it as a warning sign. Lesson learned. 

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On 7/19/2020 at 10:57 PM, shellac said:

Suggestions for the death wobbles?

Glad your semi ok and had your elbow guards on! I’ve had numerous death wobbles over the years that my body just automatically responds to the situation. I was able to capture last year’s wobble I experienced after hitting a pothole.

The only advice I can add is to always scan the road ahead for irregularities and if a wobble does occur to immediately slow down and focus on maintaining your balance until you regain control. 

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Now I just fast read though this thread. So I might have missed a few things. If so, sorry. 

And nope I am not an expert I only have 5k km on this and I don't push my limits. 

Now I found what cause wobbles for if a bit different in riding or breaking and depending on my wheel too. I have tested the Z10 but only at below 25kmh to slower than walking g speed. 

I think this has to do with motor power, tire width and pivot point.

I get back to pivot point. But that is one of the things being discussed in Inmotion V11 thread due to higher pedals. 

As for the wobble in general this seems fairly in like with how I have felt these too. I also found her solution "lock" there wheel towards one leg and change direction slightly (why curving helps) normally steady the wobble. Sometimes it take a speed change to break the oscillation to get it under control. That can be decreasing or increasing it depends the trigger point, pot hole or fatigue. 

As per the pivot point this graphics explains it a bit. It has to do with relation between the points. 

Graphics from Inmotion V10 series launch

There points and relations have an impact on you ride sensation and control.

If this helps you or not, I hope you reply to this. 

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7 hours ago, Unventor said:

Sometimes it take a speed change to break the oscillation to get it under control. That can be decreasing or increasing it depends the trigger point, pot hole or fatigue. 

I've been tempted to speed up when experiencing a wobble.  Have you had success with speeding up to eliminate a wobble?

Bruce

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1 hour ago, PennBruce said:

I've been tempted to speed up when experiencing a wobble.  Have you had success with speeding up to eliminate a wobble?

Bruce

I would not speed up Bruce. Immediately after a wobble occurs your adrenaline is on high alert and the somatosensory inputs are amplified which can increase the wobble‘s intensity.

Slowing down dampens those amplified inputs which should assist in regaining your balance.

If all else fails at least you won’t hit the pavement as hard. ;) 

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20 hours ago, mrelwood said:

People have different methods for emergency braking, and they are not all universally successful for everyone. That’s why one needs to find one’s own. Straight or bent legs, easing up or braking harder if wobbles, leaning to the side or centered, offset vs parallel foot positioning, etc. The Z10 is a needy girlfriend, one must dedicate some time to learn it’s quirks.

Well I crashed again, this time practicing strong power braking. My reasoning being I shouldn't go fast if I can't brake. I'm kind of embarrassed at this point. 

I was trying the method that @Rywokast suggested and everything was cool I was getting less braking wobbles. Rather than bending at the hip like before I was doing more of a digging in my heels, though doing that with both heels seemed to still cause some wobble, possibly because I'm afraid of losing my balance backwards and I'm not really committing to digging in both heels completely. So then I tried digging in my right heel only and then following with the left as I slow down.

Oh I also turned on the braking assistance. I tried with and without and not certain it helps or not really.

So first I was braking perfect no wobble from 10 mph, at a much shorter braking distance too. Pushed it to 15 mph, still no wobbles. Around 18 mph I was getting some wobbles when I was braking, but favoring the right heel and squeezing the z10 between my legs seems to brake it through the wobbles successfully, though it wasn't pretty to look at it.

I was about to go home, and decided to once try the braking at a faster speed, which was stupid. I was going faster than I thought at 23 mph on darknessbot and this time when it wobbled I couldn't stop it. Looking back at my original crash on Saturday it also occurred at 23 mph and now I'm wondering if what I though is a speed wobble is just a braking wobble problem.

I fell backwards and to the right and have some right hip road rash, but mostly just a bruised ego, lol. I mean I was riding an mten3 for 2 months with no crashes and was doing well with the Z10, and suddenly two crashes in a row. hmm, there's no facepalm emoji.

So... what did I learn?

I'm not going to go above 20 mph because I can't reliably power brake, unless there's really nothing around me and I'm well padded.

Maybe the braking will come to me with more hours of riding the wheel, and it's not something I can force myself to learn.

Also it's probably just me but maybe I should check to see if my wheel isn't off balance somehow. I'll free spin it to see if I notice any weird oscillation.

Thanks for the vid @Rehab1, I'm not at your level yet but hope to be one day.

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12 hours ago, Unventor said:

Now I just fast read though this thread. So I might have missed a few things. If so, sorry. 

And nope I am not an expert I only have 5k km on this and I don't push my limits. 

Now I found what cause wobbles for if a bit different in riding or breaking and depending on my wheel too. I have tested the Z10 but only at below 25kmh to slower than walking g speed. 

I think this has to do with motor power, tire width and pivot point.

I get back to pivot point. But that is one of the things being discussed in Inmotion V11 thread due to higher pedals. 

As for the wobble in general this seems fairly in like with how I have felt these too. I also found her solution "lock" there wheel towards one leg and change direction slightly (why curving helps) normally steady the wobble. Sometimes it take a speed change to break the oscillation to get it under control. That can be decreasing or increasing it depends the trigger point, pot hole or fatigue. 

As per the pivot point this graphics explains it a bit. It has to do with relation between the points. 

There points and relations have an impact on you ride sensation and control.

If this helps you or not, I hope you reply to this. 

Thanks, I did watch Vee's video. What she says makes sense. It's hard to do those things on instinct for me, I guess I don't have the experience under my belt yet. I do find that carving definitely helps to prevent any wobbles for me, just gotta remember to go into one when the shimmy starts.

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2 minutes ago, shellac said:

Well I crashed again, this time practicing strong power braking. My reasoning being I shouldn't go fast if I can't brake. I'm kind of embarrassed at this point. 

I was trying the method that @Rywokast suggested and everything was cool I was getting less braking wobbles. Rather than bending at the hip like before I was doing more of a digging in my heels, though doing that with both heels seemed to still cause some wobble, possibly because I'm afraid of losing my balance backwards and I'm not really committing to digging in both heels completely. So then I tried digging in my right heel only and then following with the left as I slow down.

Oh I also turned on the braking assistance. I tried with and without and not certain it helps or not really.

So first I was braking perfect no wobble from 10 mph, at a much shorter braking distance too. Pushed it to 15 mph, still no wobbles. Around 18 mph I was getting some wobbles when I was braking, but favoring the right heel and squeezing the z10 between my legs seems to brake it through the wobbles successfully, though it wasn't pretty to look at it.

I was about to go home, and decided to once try the braking at a faster speed, which was stupid. I was going faster than I thought at 23 mph on darknessbot and this time when it wobbled I couldn't stop it. Looking back at my original crash on Saturday it also occurred at 23 mph and now I'm wondering if what I though is a speed wobble is just a braking wobble problem.

I fell backwards and to the right and have some right hip road rash, but mostly just a bruised ego, lol. I mean I was riding an mten3 for 2 months with no crashes and was doing well with the Z10, and suddenly two crashes in a row. hmm, there's no facepalm emoji.

So... what did I learn?

I'm not going to go above 20 mph because I can't reliably power brake, unless there's really nothing around me and I'm well padded.

Maybe the braking will come to me with more hours of riding the wheel, and it's not something I can force myself to learn.

Also it's probably just me but maybe I should check to see if my wheel isn't off balance somehow. I'll free spin it to see if I notice any weird oscillation.

Thanks for the vid @Rehab1, I'm not at your level yet but hope to be one day.

oh damn, that sucks... im glad to hear it was working out initially but my thoughts are you just dont have a ton of experience on that wheel and you were nervous to have a repeat... being nervous is always a severe handicap, even if its mostly subconscious... its the reason a lot of people get wobbles going fast... nothing changes really, only in their mind. my suggestion is you just get another 200 km on the wheel and give it a go again, except try to perfect the technique itself, NOT doing it from a higher speed but doing it harder and harder each time from the slower speed... until you are doing it without even thinking about it with absolutely no troubles should you increase the speed slightly,,, ive perfected this technique to have it in case i ever need it,,, luckily i havent needed it yet because i always scan way ahead of my path, i usually just the michael jackson lean backwards myself 

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44 minutes ago, shellac said:

Well I crashed again, this time practicing strong power braking. My reasoning being I shouldn't go fast if I can't brake.

If you want to stop quickly, try sticking your butt out.  That will transfer your weight to the back of the pedals.  A good exercise is to practice coming to a complete stop and then transferring your weight forward to start back up.

You should rarely need to stop quickly at any speed.  Whether you're riding an EUC, bike, motorcycle or driving a car you should be looking ahead and anticipating what you need to do.

Bruce

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Since wobble is a resonance, any uneven or one-sided disturbance can be helpful in killing the wobble. Shifting weight to the tires on one foot and to the heel on the other can also work. Pretty much all other good methods were explained in Vee’s great video.

3 hours ago, PennBruce said:


If you want to stop quickly, try sticking your butt out.

This is probably the same as sitting in an imaginary chair, which is the key for fast and controlled braking, even on bumpy terrain.

3 hours ago, PennBruce said:

You should rarely need to stop quickly at any speed.

Absolutely, looking ahead in time is crucial for EUCs, perhaps even more than for motorbikes. But surprises still happen, which is why it’s a good idea to practice emergency braking.

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6 hours ago, shellac said:

Thanks for the vid @Rehab1, I'm not at your level yet but hope to be one day.

I’m not sure what that level is but if it involves ‘crashing’ then you’ve reach it. ;)

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3 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Absolutely, looking ahead in time is crucial for EUCs, perhaps even more than for motorbikes. But surprises still happen, which is why it’s a good idea to practice emergency braking.

And be prepared to not master it at first :whistling:Like my bruised 1st accident. Do you recall the picture @Rehab1 :facepalm:.

It is a very vital lesson for me to be careful with speed. 

Top tip: do not hit first sized rocks during a hard wobble. :rolleyes:

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