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Suspension and longevity?


alcatraz

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I wonder realistically, which suspension design so far is going to withstand the test of time?

I haven't read any reviews so I'm asking for your input.

But it seems to me that the air suspensions by Inmotion/Gotway are going to be dead sooner or later when they leak. Also as they start to deteriorate they will be a pain to keep at the right pressure. Every ride could be a gamble, will it work today? (I'm talking about a wheel several years old and past 10k km)

The kingsong design seems the only really sensible one to me. That shock can be replaced easily if it starts to act up. It should last longer as it's kept far away from the road/tire and their dirt/hazard.

I have no experience with shocks. I welcome disagreement. :)

Edited by alcatraz
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1 hour ago, alcatraz said:

I wonder realistically, which suspension design so far is going to withstand the test of time?

I haven't read any reviews so I'm asking for your input.

But it seems to me that the air suspensions by Inmotion/Gotway are going to be dead sooner or later when they leak. Also as they start to deteriorate they will be a pain to keep at the right pressure. Every ride could be a gamble, will it work today? (I'm talking about a wheel several years old and past 10k km)

The kingsong design seems the only really sensible one to me. That shock can be replaced easily if it starts to act up. It should last longer as it's kept far away from the road/tire and their dirt/hazard.

I have no experience with shocks. I welcome disagreement. :)

I've worked and rebuilt shocks before, as a hobby on both bicycles and on motorcycles.

Now I've never worked on air shocks, but I'd bet they're much easier than spring shocks. Getting a spring back into the shock body is quite difficult, and it's very easy to mess up and strip the threads as well as injure yourself. Air shocks don't suffer from that, so I'd guess they're pretty easy to work on.

The rest of the shock is really easy to rebuild as you just replace worn out rubber gaskets with new gaskets. Forks do usually have these stacked washers that get cruddy and need to be replaced, but that's also easy to change.

A lot of it just comes to accessibility. If the oil reservoir + air pressure + washers is in a separate cylinder away from the main body, sure, maintaining that is easy, but if it's inside the shock body then that spring usually needs to comes out, and that's difficult to access.

I'd guess the more reliable shock is a physical spring with a separate oil dampening reservoir. With a physical spring, even if you lose all dampening you can still ride directly on the spring.

I still think this trend of putting shocks on wheels is fantastic, as I think most of us have dropped into a pothole or speed bump with straight legs, and crashes (I have done both).

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7 hours ago, alcatraz said:

Oh yes, it has happened to me too. Crash by surprise pothole or speedbump.

Thank you for the input. Very good stuff.

What about the outer casing getting scratched with time. Wouldn't that leak a bit every time it compresses?

A bur on the sliding part of the shock is bad news, as that cuts the gaskets and eventually causes oil leaks. And it's guaranteed to happen if you ride with others. 100%

However, you can just sew, velcro, or tape booties over them (like use a neoprene cup holder or something). It's ghetto, but after having pushed the springs back into a pair of forks, you'll do it regardless of looks.

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The longest lasting suspension design will still be the one with no moving parts, aside from your knees. My motocycle shocks get rebuilt nearly every 2-3 seasons. The longevity of the seals is dependant on the terrain you encounter and the cleanliness of the oils and tubes. I have noticed that a monoshock seems to require less maintenance than the typical forks. If this is the case, longest lasting would be :  1)no suspension   2)monoshock design  3)standard fork tubes.  Of course this is probably not even near accurate on theses wheels that have such wavering quality control. Best thing to do is to just keep the shocks clean, properly aired up and fingers crossed. Trying to guess the longevity of ANY euc parts is akin to expecting the damn euc to even work when it first arrives. Im NOT a suspension on euc fan yet. Until they can reliably build a suspension with quality and proper adjustments, it seems a detriment to the rest of the wheel. You know, the part they STILL havent quite mastered. Its like they are adding icing to a cake they havent figured out how to bake.

I guess the simple answer to your question is...  the one that lasts the longest will be the one that was built and maintained properly, regardless of design.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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2 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

longest lasting suspension design will still be the one with no moving parts, aside from your knees. My motocycle shocks get rebuilt nearly every 2-3 seasons. The longevity of the seals is dependant on the terrain you encounter and the cleanliness of the oils and tubes. I have noticed that a monoshock seems to require less maintenance than the typical forks

Most of the suspension in bikes (motorized or not) comes from the oil dampening, and the dampening has to be very little when you hit big bumps, and a lot when you hit little bumps. Hence, the flexible washers that give variable oil flow (a lot on big bumps and almost none on small bumps).

As we both know, that's a lot of tiny parts that go wrong and wear out.

However, I wonder an EUC really needs complex oil dampening. 1970's oil dampening with holes and a rotating plate that covers up a few or many holes might work, yes?

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Im the wrong one to ask about what an euc NEEDS. For MY needs, it NEEDS to be reliable and they NEED to quit adding complexities before they know wtf they are doing. Suspension on an euc is a great idea, but far from a need. Until its worked out, I prefer riding what I can trust. I know that the spring rates AND oil dampening work together to make a smooth suspension. Oil and holes luckily dont seem to wear out too quickly tho. Of course, this is in a developed and well designed/built suspension. As far as this half assed air suspension crap we are seeing in the euc world so far... I havent much knowledge to offer.  Hell, I'd think a simple spring suspension built properly, would work better than some of the frozen bearing/over-developed and underbuilt suspensions we are seeing atm.  I guess the question is... do we ask the euc companies for mediocre suspensions that they may possibly, sometimes, kinda, be able to replicate in their 'assembly lines'. Or do we expect them to keep up with modern suspension technology and have no chance in hell at building it to the specs required for it to function properly.  Getting burned as a test rat on the newest euc suspension bullshit has soured me somewhat. Apologies if I have nothing beneficial to offer. I guess it all depends on what your standards are and what you expect. My standards are absurdly high and I expect quality(less with every euc purchase tho). How odd I even own an euc right?! :P

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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I look at EUC suspension as a safety device. The pneumatic tire is already half the suspension, but I don't think it's enough for big bumps. Always riding with bent legs is the equivalent of taking away a bike seat; it too difficult and uncomfortable to do all the time. You can bend your knees most of the time for most of the bumps, but not all the time.

I do think the KS design is probably the best bet, with a linkage and a single shock sourced from mountain bikers. That'd be cheap, reliable, and high quality. And maybe not even rebuildable for the lifespan of the batteries, which is about five years.

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19 hours ago, alcatraz said:

I wonder realistically, which suspension design so far is going to withstand the test of time?

If you're worried about longevity then I'd say avoid all the current suspension designs. The S18 design is theoretically the best but it's had all sorts of issues. The V11 has also had lots of issues but they're at least addressing the issues one by one. Due to the price of the EX, there haven't been to many unbiased owner reports on it however the high price and the small travel of the suspension makes you wonder whether it's worth it plus the insanely high pressure in the air suspension (150psi?) suggests it will have issues going forward. Another issue with longevity with these wheels is the EX and the V11 both use the hollow motor design which are having issues with their bearings.

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1 hour ago, mike_bike_kite said:

If you're worried about longevity then I'd say avoid all the current suspension designs

I'm unsure why an off-the-shelf rear shock with spring and oil wouldn't work with an EUC. You'd probably have to stick a linkage into the EUC (I think KS has done that already) because EUC's don't have a swingarm, and you probably need one since the shock goes into that small angle in the swingarm, and so won't have much travel.

If I can buy a MTB from bikes direct for $700, one with triple air and oil shocks no less, then EUC manufacturers could use quality off-the-shelf shocks for cheap.

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At their current state there are so many other issues with these wheels that suspension is the least of the worries. Once we're past these technical hurdles I believe in designing suspension around EUC's (V11, EX) rather than designing EUC's around suspension (S18) simply because of other factors like how many batteries you can fit in the shell and so on, it's not worth sacrificing range and performance for suspension so you need a design that compromises with those things in my opinion.

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56 minutes ago, Rawnei said:

At their current state there are so many other issues with these wheels that suspension is the least of the worries. Once we're past these technical hurdles I believe in designing suspension around EUC's (V11, EX) rather than designing EUC's around suspension (S18) simply because of other factors like how many batteries you can fit in the shell and so on, it's not worth sacrificing range and performance for suspension so you need a design that compromises with those things in my opinion.

You know I’ve got the S-18, and really don’t need the range as much as a machine that is light and nimble. To add more batteries to the S-18 would be a disappointment to me. I can ride for hours on the trails. I’m not tearing around at break-neck speeds, but really enjoying the fact that I don’t crash as often any more. I can go places comfortably, ride the rough areas, and I can carry my S-18 up a hill that I couldn’t ride. As a matter of fact it’d be even better if it were lighter!

I’ve said this before, S-18 is a well designed machine, and would probably look closer at the V11 if I were going to be doing more city riding than I do.

"The V11 is probably a great road machine. Yet as a road machine it’s lack of battery and power doesn’t come close to the current (non suspended) offerings. I don’t own a V11, and I can only analyze what I see and read about it. 

I haven’t found anything structurally missing with the S-18, and believe me it’s taken a beating as I put it through it’s paces off-road. Yes I’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money making it what it should have been out of the factory. 

In my never to be humble opinion the future off-road machines will look more like the mono shock Moto-X bikes that left the dual shock suspension behind over 40 years ago. Yes you can still purchase Harley-Davidson, you can even purchase an old hardtail. Moto-X bikes have small tanks keeping them light. I’m not sure giving the S-18 a larger battery would be to my liking. It’s nimble and adding more weight would just make a great machine less instead of more. The argument that you can just keep adding things to a machine and make it better is exactly the form that Harley Davidson took, and the world left them behind. Yes HD added shocks around the original machine the Japanese developed a new machine combining technologies and thinking outside the box. 

The S-18 is the first of it’s kind, wasn’t the first suspended EUC on the market but it is miles ahead of the competition. 

I don’t know where the build started to fall apart, probably purchasing but it was assembled and QC’d by idiots”.

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9 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I'm unsure why an off-the-shelf rear shock with spring and oil wouldn't work with an EUC.

I haven't heard any reports of that bit causing issues on the S18 but it's all the other bits around it that seem to cause owners issues. I think the S18 is a very clever design, I just wish they spent longer doing in testing but I understand why they didn't. I'm fairly certain that the next version will be much more trouble free. If the OP is asking which of the current batch of wheels will offer the most longevity then I'd say none of them. If he's asking which overall design is likely to lead the pack in the years to come then the S18's style of suspension is far better suited to EUCs.

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11 minutes ago, mike_bike_kite said:

I haven't heard any reports of that bit causing issues on the S18 but it's all the other bits around it that seem to cause owners issues. I think the S18 is a very clever design, I just wish they spent longer doing in testing but I understand why they didn't. I'm fairly certain that the next version will be much more trouble free. If the OP is asking which of the current batch of wheels will offer the most longevity then I'd say none of them. If he's asking which overall design is likely to lead the pack in the years to come then the S18's style of suspension is far better suited to EUCs.

I totally agree. You can add shocks to virtually any mode of transportation. But if you really want a cutting edge machine you have to design it from the ground up. KS did that with the S-18. So if you are willing to spend the time and extra money to bring the S-18 up to where it should have been to begin with you will have an excellent ride. That’s not for everyone. I like the challenge of making things mechanically better. So for me it was a fun project. Even if it came without these issues and assembled as originally designed I’d have found something to tinker with. 

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12 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I'm unsure why an off-the-shelf rear shock with spring and oil wouldn't work with an EUC.

I think it boils down to the range of weight that the suspension has to work well with. A mc suspension has to carry a considerable weight from the bike itself, and only half of the rider’s weight is carried by the rear suspension. So the range is reasonable. On the V11 for example, it has to work well from 50kg all the way up to 150kg of total weight. I don’t think any coil spring can do that.

If durability is the only aspect, the 18S design should last the longest. But as said, it requires a lot of time and money to make it work in the first place, rest of the wheel’s issues excluded. The V11 only needs maintenance after it has worn out. A 1200psi suspension from GotWay doesn’t sound like something that should be included in the list, but I may end up being totally wrong.

 On the V11 the parts that wear out fastest are the aluminum sliding rails and the plastic sliding guides. They will wear out well before the O-rings on the shock would need replacing. The shock is a sealed model, so it can’t be disassembled for internal maintenance. I haven’t yet found replacement shocks that would fit.

 I’m planning on modifying the V11 and replace the sliders with tiny bearings, which I believe will stop the wear, and of course make it stupidly sensitive on even the slightest of bumps. We’ll see how it goes once I receive the bearings I ordered.

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2 hours ago, mrelwood said:

 I’m planning on modifying the V11 and replace the sliders with tiny bearings, which I believe will stop the wear, and of course make it stupidly sensitive on even the slightest of bumps. We’ll see how it goes once I receive the bearings I ordered.

So it's already on the way? Cool, I'm really curious about the result.

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5 hours ago, mrelwood said:

I think it boils down to the range of weight that the suspension has to work well with. A mc suspension has to carry a considerable weight from the bike itself, and only half of the rider’s weight is carried by the rear suspension. So the range is reasonable. On the V11 for example, it has to work well from 50kg all the way up to 150kg of total weight. I don’t think any coil spring can do that.

If durability is the only aspect, the 18S design should last the longest. But as said, it requires a lot of time and money to make it work in the first place, rest of the wheel’s issues excluded. The V11 only needs maintenance after it has worn out. A 1200psi suspension from GotWay doesn’t sound like something that should be included in the list, but I may end up being totally wrong.

 On the V11 the parts that wear out fastest are the aluminum sliding rails and the plastic sliding guides. They will wear out well before the O-rings on the shock would need replacing. The shock is a sealed model, so it can’t be disassembled for internal maintenance. I haven’t yet found replacement shocks that would fit.

 I’m planning on modifying the V11 and replace the sliders with tiny bearings, which I believe will stop the wear, and of course make it stupidly sensitive on even the slightest of bumps. We’ll see how it goes once I receive the bearings I ordered.

Fun stuff!

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  • 4 months later...

Has anyone performed routine maintenance on the air pistons? Can it be done?

On motorcycle suspensions air pistons require a clean/lube annually to keep the seals from wearing out. There seem to be a lot of wear points on EUC suspensions, I'm wondering how this is all going to work out...

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1 hour ago, WI_Hedgehog said:

Has anyone performed routine maintenance on the air pistons? Can it be done?

On motorcycle suspensions air pistons require a clean/lube annually to keep the seals from wearing out. There seem to be a lot of wear points on EUC suspensions, I'm wondering how this is all going to work out...

On a motorcycle, you can easily have 10k km/year even when you ride just over weekends for fun. 10k km for EUC for most people is already beyond “gotta get a new wheel.” Plus, there is a totally different load, speeds, etc. I would rather compare it with bicycle suspension. How much maintenance that needs? (I don’t know, I’m asking myself. :D )

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11 hours ago, WI_Hedgehog said:

Has anyone performed routine maintenance on the air pistons?

I have. The V11 shocks are pressed together and don’t open up without a Dremel multitool... So I drilled holes for screws attachment and then grinded the inside edge off from the bottom of the shock.

I was able to get the shock working smoothly again (much smoother than original actually...), although the first one had to be counted as a sacrifice for the science gods. It started losing air a bit too fast.

 Anyway, I replaced all O-rings and lubed them with Slick Honey. Amazing stuff btw!

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On 12/9/2020 at 10:40 AM, Mac said:

S-18 is a well designed machine

The S-18 is the first of it’s kind, wasn’t the first suspended EUC on the market but it is miles ahead of the competition. 

I don’t know where the build started to fall apart, probably purchasing but it was assembled and QC’d by idiots”.

This comment of yours, and the one on the pirelli angel, it It is like I am reading my self, in better english ofcource. 

I cannot agree more, the s18 is a pro level design, the tire and some more things indicate that Kingsong has little to do with the designer other than ordering it, they don't seem to understand how good it really is. 

 

Using a pirelli and a tuned shock, this is the first euc that can hit the breaks while curving downhill and keep the line just fine. 

Edited by enaon
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On 12/8/2020 at 2:53 AM, alcatraz said:

I wonder realistically, which suspension design so far is going to withstand the test of time?

i'm not a suspension expert but i know how they works and have used a lot of them in the past with MTB.

Me and other riders in town has an EX and loved it, sometimes the factory-assembly needed some simple fix but it works nice from the beginning and it's brand new after a lot of mileage in every conditions (only mine has  4000+ km).

IT's a racing suspension, it's not like the others but works so nice and is super simple with basically minimum maintenance.

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