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Newbie EUC Rider - Practice Drills / Questions


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Hi Everyone! 

Recently got interested in EUC's and took the plunge buying an InMotion V8F as a starter. I'm 6'1" 95kg so a bit heavier than most riders by the threads I've already read. I get the sentiment of frustration and excitement but I am motivated to push through the current calf pain and become more efficient on the wheel. So far this is my 2nd day on the wheel and I would say I'm about 5 hours in on practice.

 

I started practicing in my garden following the prescribed method, holding on to the wall and balancing back and forth, gliding to and fro supported by the wall, doing circles, mounting hopping on and dismounting. Today I moved to the common to get some more space so I am currently in a place where I can ride straight for 50 yards no problem, and have started working on turning. I seem to be getting the hang of turning the body and looking in the direction left/right, and have started working on straightening one leg and bending another. This is where I'm running into some issues, I can sometimes get the hang of it but other times I keep dumping it. I should note, I'm practicing on grass that has a few bumps and slight inclines and declines. I thought this would be a better idea since it seems more challenging and I wouldn't destroy my EUC! 

So I'm wondering if anyone has some tips on turning or drills I could practice?

Also what Tire Pressure would you recommend on grass vs on road, guess it's preference but I'm running 35psi for more traction?

Any other tips / tricks practice drills you would recommend?

Lastly any chance any members are in southwest London, looking for some help!?

 

And thanks to all of you for the excellent advice and posting on this forum!  

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Thanks @yoos excellent advice!

I went back today and only had a quick 15 minutes to practice but I noticed now my feet are a bit sore and I'm starting to feel more wobbles on the wheel. Fortunately on grass and pavement I didn't drop the wheel once :thumbup: 

Strangely this is a new feeling and I can only imagine it is due to fatigue so will take your advice and let my body rest. 

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@Unipsycho excellent advice this is just what I was looking for!

As I will be mostly commuting on the wheel I think my focus will be more on the starts stops, braking and turn advice but I will follow this like a bible! 🤣

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I think you got the best advice in not bothering with walls or supports. I went up and down a hallway with cinder block walls on both sides for an hour when I first tried. Still could not balance. So I decided to open the front door and roll out to the lot and made it several hundred feet. The people who learned out camping rolled across the grass and picked it up pretty fast (without fail.) It has the added benefit of practicing Unipsycho's last point of "practicing falls and bails" while you get used to it (on grass).

 

Also, the whole "starting on both feet" thing is way up there on the list. I will admit that I still almost start exclusively on my right. And there are times that just does not work. (Or you put your "wrong" foot down at a light and realize you either have to practice with an audience of traffic or hold the wheel and change feet.) You quickly realize that you really should be comfortable on both feet (helped greatly by riding on one foot.)

 

 

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Thanks All, Happy to report my first week in and I'm working through @Unipsycho next steps. Hopefully should be able to get more comfortable with turns by next week. Just for the interest of other newbies here is where I am after a week. 

 

I practiced the first couple days for a few hours during the day... Don't overdue it! Now I know to keep sessions short and let my noggin process the information over night and less soreness!

Comfortable

  • Comfortable mounting/dismounting on my left leg. (I have a bad left knee so waiting for an operation before I practice on the right side)
  • Comfortable riding on grass, hills and bumps
  • Comfortable with bailing out
  • Following a line in the road
  • Riding with arms flat, no more crazy arms!

Not so Comfortable but can do

  • Riding in traffic
  • Wobbles when emergency braking but realize if I tilt a bit that seems to stabilize things
  • Turns left / right
  • Figure Eights
  • One foot riding for 25-50ft

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 9:25 PM, Unipsycho said:

Lots of drills to move towards as you learn IronGoos3, keep practicing but the drills you do should be adjusted for the goals of riding and riding style you plan to have. I'm an offroader only so everything I do is aimed at better balance and control, not speed, although, ripping through single track at 20km/h is definitely fast for that terrain.  however, you work towards it, I'd recommend....

For absolute first time riders:

  • Never look down, always keep the horizon in sight, so head up and looking forward.
  • Arms out, use your arms for steering before all else
  • If you can learn with a buddy, just use grab there wrist, no walls, no fences, they don't help learn and go at least at a walking pace using their wrist, focusing on using your free arm to steer, not the wrist.
  • Move faster to learn faster, many people try to start at a snail's pace.  Doesn't work, move at least at walking speed. 
  • Get off the grass, if its bumpy, best to learn on driven on hard packed grass (softer than concrete) that is smooth.

Once riding, next steps:

  • Go for riding small bumps, rough grass
  • try some slopes (going in all directions, up down, sideways, etc)
  • lots of practice accellerating and then braking, repeat, repeat.  Get that sudden braking practice, you are going to need it!
  • Practice following a line on a road (or basketball court), but keep the head and eyes up and looking forward, NOT down.
  • Practice riding with arms flat to your body, then do this while turning
  • Practice riding circles, (tight and wide) (fast and slow) learning or swinging many many times.
  • Practice riding figure eights, same things, fast slow, tight wide, etc.
  • Do all those crazy circles then with your arms in tight to your chest only using body
  • mount either foot and both comfortable.
  • Practice riding the uni, standing on it backwards (just for learning different feelings and pedal placements)
  • Practice with all kinds of different pedal / foot position combos (toe and heels, wide stance on pedals, narrow stance on pedals, etc)
  • Practice Falls and bails off the uni

More advanced skills:

  • Ride with your body twisted 90 degress to each side, while trying more of those turns, circles,etc
  • Riding squatted down tucked down on the pedals to duck under 3-4' obstacles (barricades, gates, etc, you know cause that is a NEEDED skill, haha)
  • Sit then stand, sit then stand, repeat.
  • One foot riding
  • One foot riding while turning circles / eights
  • Mount by rolling out on only one foot. (learn both feet)
  • Sideways shitting while idles (sideways movement as you idle)
  • Ride backwards (head and chest up, arms out remember!)
  • Backwards riding with all the stuff above, circles, eights, ducking low, etc
  • Mount to backwards rolling start
  • Backwards one foot ride
  • Backwards one foot mount rollout.
  • ALWAYS be turning, carving and hooking your line onto any possible slopes and turns.
  • Practice Falls and bails off the uni going forward and backwards

Offroad Extravaganza:

  • Minor small Drops <6"
  • Rooted / rough terrain
  • slopes, hills (up, down and sideways)
  • Gravel and sand practice (you are bound to end up in some offroading, sand is the worst)
  • Bunny hops off terrain
  • Bunny hops on flat to hop a hole
  • Bunny hops up and over log or rocks >6"
  • Drops more than 6"
  • Slides and skids in loose terrain
  • Power Slides
  • single track
  • mountain trails
  • pump tracks, bermed Down hill trails

I'm sure there is more, that's all I can think of at the moment.  Nothing in here about speed, I'm sure the roadies can make a similar list for the speed mongers out there.

I'm a road guy and pretty much have that list of yours done. Not so hot on one leg as my knees just dont like it. I also find that bunny hopping sucks as it aggravates my hernias. Jumping curbs is all I care for and not often.

The only thing you missed for speed is...

go fast, then go faster, then go faster.

Stop fast, stop faster and then faster.

Carve at speeds and look FAR ahead.

Learn to toss the inside turn leg in, wedge the outside leg into the wheel and crank it over thru high speed turns. Keep doing that faster and faster and faster, until you overshoot the turn, you fall off the low side of the wheel, your foot comes off the outside wedge, or you simply chicken out :)

Recharge, rinse, repeat....

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Posted (edited)

There is no single best technique to do to learn this sport.  You have to get on the wheel and keep going as long as possible.  Your brain as well as your body are doing a lot of work and are adapting to the newfound input.  The biggest item is staying on the wheel as long as possible to assist with the adaptation.

I suggest learning in grass.  Grass is more difficult to maneuver in and will assist with skill building.  Not to mention it's easier on your body and wheel.  Once you move to the street you'll see it's much easier.  I'm currently, as of June '21, learning how to ride backwards.  I've been using the soccer field at my local middle school.  Very nice on my old bones lol.

Find objects to ride to.  I used a fence at one end of my front yard, and a light pole 50 ft away.  I would get balanced and accelerate from one to the other, flapping like a buzzard in a hurricane the whole time.  Remember you have to overcome gravity so ride at enough speed to compensate for that.  Once you get that down in grass, move to a safe paved area.  Do the same thing until you don't need the objects.

Practice falling.  Falling is a part of this sport.  I'm not going to interject what type of technique to use but find some way that works and practice it.  You want it to be second nature.  My riding buddy always gets a kick when I run and tumble before rides.  I tell him that hopefully I'm getting my fall out of the way early.  I'm also getting my mindset in the right place before I ride.

This is what I consider my single most important suggestion.  When you get to a point that you can ride without falling, start riding on as long of rides as possible.  At approximately 150 miles of total distance on my wheel I was still wobbly and lacked confidence.  My usual ride at that point was around 4 or 5 miles and maybe 3 days a week.  Then it all changed.  I went on a group ride that was 26 miles long.  By the end of the ride my skill level and confidence had improved to a point where it was very noticeable.  I never looked back.  My suggestion, ride 10 miles a day for a month.  You'll be a amazed at how much better you get.

Have fun, this is a great sport.  Thank you for taking the time to hear ramblings from and old guy. : p

 

Edited by Senior Coffee
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5 hours ago, IronGoos3 said:

Wobbles when emergency braking

It took me literally a thousand miles to figure this out. What I discovered was that while my center of gravity (body mass) was behind the wheel's axel, my 'weight' was staying more toward the balls of my feet. By consciously rocking my left leg back to the heel I was able to tame the braking wobbles. My quick-stop motion is much more 'sit down' than than it is lean back.

I still start every single ride with some tight turns and at least 3 go-fast-then-panic-stop cycles. It's funny how it's still not fully automatic.

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18 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

I'm a road guy and pretty much have that list of yours done. Not so hot on one leg as my knees just dont like it. I also find that bunny hopping sucks as it aggravates my hernias. Jumping curbs is all I care for and not often.

The only thing you missed for speed is...

go fast, then go faster, then go faster.

Stop fast, stop faster and then faster.

Carve at speeds and look FAR ahead.

Learn to toss the inside turn leg in, wedge the outside leg into the wheel and crank it over thru high speed turns. Keep doing that faster and faster and faster, until you overshoot the turn, you fall off the low side of the wheel, your foot comes off the outside wedge, or you simply chicken out :)

Recharge, rinse, repeat....

I'm sure there is more than meets the eye here with road technique but sometimes simple points are best.  The leaning in with inside leg tossed in I'm just practicing that offroading as it helps to take corners sharper without leaning the wheel as much, to avoid pedal scrap, especially if riding in an offroad indented track, with less pedal clearance.  Very helpful but tough to learn I'm finding, but it comes with practise obviously. 

I need to work on my whole list above while going backwards, I find I need backwards a lot offroad and its easier to use than I ever found it in MUNI, as backwards was useful at times but really not as a technique to right out of something, just for a quick recovery and then get turned around.  But with EUCs, having ability to ride backwards at some speed is a HUGE plus, so I definitely need to get some serious backwards riding in.  I think a goal of 100km backwards is an ambitious one to work towards...  That should take me awhile.... 

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16 hours ago, Tawpie said:

It took me literally a thousand miles to figure this out. What I discovered was that while my center of gravity (body mass) was behind the wheel's axel, my 'weight' was staying more toward the balls of my feet. By consciously rocking my left leg back to the heel I was able to tame the braking wobbles. My quick-stop motion is much more 'sit down' than than it is lean back.

I still start every single ride with some tight turns and at least 3 go-fast-then-panic-stop cycles. It's funny how it's still not fully automatic.

You guys are helping this newb level up much quicker than I could have hoped for. Since I have yet to see another EUC rider in London near me, this training is so valuable!

Going to try for a longer 5 mile route today, to build up that strength as my legs and feet can handle more punishment!

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9 hours ago, Unipsycho said:

I think a goal of 100km backwards is an ambitious one to work towards...  That should take me awhile.... 

and it'll give you a hella-crick in your neck!

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On 5/26/2021 at 3:04 AM, ShanesPlanet said:

Learn to toss the inside turn leg in, wedge the outside leg into the wheel and crank it over thru high speed turns.

Hey guys, I’m a new rider as well and am really grateful for all of this advice. @Unipsychothat is a very comprehensive list of skills to work and I LOVE it! So much to work on! I’m all about mastering the basics of something so you don’t have to think about it when you need to perform, just trust your body to execute the pattern you’ve drilled! 

Can somebody link a video or walk through what carving like entails. I can carve but I cannot figure out what feels most comfortable or best practice so my method is inconsistent, i.e. if I’m carving right, not sure what feels most comfortable or safest: lead with my right toe or heel and opposite on the left foot (right toe/left heel : right heel/left toe)? Then with the legs am I keeping the wheel locked to my dominate leg for stability regardless of left or right carve or does the wheel flow between locking on alternating legs as you turn? 
 

Also, for background, I just got an Mcm5 v2 last week (90mi as of this morning), so I recognize that some of the techniques probably have to be scaled a bit due to wheel diameter the same way it’s does when I get on the little Mten3 (first EUC I got 3 weeks ago and have 75mi logged)… like it’s the same principle but a little different application.

Maybe I’m way off but that’s how it feels. Like practicing things on the Mten3 does translate to the Mcm5 but it feels like my application of a technique varies to some degree between the two. 
 

Thanks in advance. I’m so excited I took the chance to try these out, EUC’s are so amazing! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, St. John said:

practicing things on the Mten3 does translate to the Mcm5 but it feels like my application of a technique varies to some degree between the two. 

Funny you should say that... I just got an MTen and most everything is slightly different than it is on my KS 16X.

I'm finding that what happens when I carve changes depending on how fast I'm going, but I do NOT squeeze the wheel between both legs. When I'm going faster on the 16X (18 mph or so), I tend to have the wheel against my outside leg pulling it into the turn, might be gyro effect. At low speeds, the wheel sort of flops gently side to side between legs. On the MTen, I have to do all turning with weight transfer while keeping the wheel centered (but not clenched) between my legs—it doesn't seem to want to stay upright and that's not surprising. The MTen also lets me twist-turn it with my feet, something that requires body/trunk/arms on the 16X... which contributes to the MTen's general squirrly character.

My guess is that you'll want to keep experimenting with stance, weight transfer, heel up/down, which leg is bent/stiff blah blah until you find something that you find comfortable. I've noticed I tend to do different things all the time which is a little disconcerting—but it works for what I'm doing. If I start going faster, I will likely need to pay much more attention to specific technique than I do now, at lower speeds I can get away with a mix and match approach.

Edited by Tawpie
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1 hour ago, Tawpie said:

My guess is that you'll want to keep experimenting with stance, weight transfer, heel up/down, which leg is bent/stiff blah blah until you find something that you find comfortable.

@TawpieI think you are right! I was actually just out on the Mcm5 and I spaced my feet outward laterally/wider about 1/2" on each side (my feet are usually pinned to the body, heels at least) and it made a 100% difference.  I didnt have much time to really play around but it would be an understatement to say difference was anything short of dramatic; the increased stability feels like a different wheel.   My guess is it may bit more comfortable/feel more controlled if I added some padding where the feet are so my instep still has some contact... only problem is it may interfere with the pedals going up... Stay tuned B) Worst case I could add an extra magnet or something. 

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Posted (edited)

Hiya Gents, couple quick questions for you based off my last 5 mile ride... Before I get into it let me say I'm 95kg and riding an inmotion v8f and using darkness bot for ios.

 

When logging my journey it says my max power was 1990W. How is this possible when my machine is rated to 1000W

 

I obviously pushed the machine and felt a couple tilt backs and heard the warnings. When you over power a machine what is the best way to prevent cutoff? My thinking is if I slam on the "brakes" it will definitely overpower so I tried to stand neutral. Is this the best way?

 

Any other third party apps for ios?

Edited by IronGoos3
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Posted (edited)

Eucw is my goto, its android. Don't read much into the power readings. One, they are not accurate and two, they aren't much indication of overload. Apps will only report what the wheel tells them(+/- math algos of course), and thats where the inaccuracies come from. It is VERY common for me to hit 4x's the max rated output of my motors. This is without even getting beeps or nearing overlean. I think battery sagging is more a concern for most needs. Information is nice, but consider the majority of what we get from apps, merely a reference. If you do overpower your wheel, you can go back and check the logs, but even then... its not precise and theres lotsa varibles at play.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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Posted (edited)

Darkness Bot is vary capable as well. I like Eucw for its screen and tour tracking. The designer @Seba is a very active and prompt replying member here. I have multiple wheels, so investing in dedicated driod devices was just part of the sickness. These wheels don't need much, so its a stretch to find accessories. I'd imagine BOTH get the exact same data, tho both apps also have their own methods of calculating things. Direct voltage and speed is probably the same, unless you apply some form of calibration in the apps.  Grats on the wheel btw. Just be mindful as you progress and push harder and harder without realizing it.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, IronGoos3 said:

When logging my journey it says my max power was 1990W. How is this possible when my machine is rated to 1000W

1000W is the nominal power, which more or less indicates power that can be delivered in a sustained manner for an extended period of time. Peak power is thankfully much higher (I don't know it for V8F, but my KS16S has 1200W nominal and 3000W peak, iirc) and is critical on bumps, curbs etc. However, drawing peak power for a long time would probably overheat some components and lead to an overpower/cut-out. Anyway, as ShanesPlanet already said, do not really rely on those numbers.

Usually "cut-out" refers to the wheel completely shutting down, while "overpower", "overlean" refer to events where it cannot deliver enough torque to balance you but does not shut down. In these instances there is a chance to salvage the situation (fix the forward-backward balance on your own until the wheel is back in control) but this usually requires extra skill. For example, if you ride over a bump at speed, as you hit the bump the wheel will be dragged back from under your feet, leading you to put much pressure on the pedal fronts, which requests a burst of torque from the wheel. I the wheel is not powerful enough to deliver, you will feel a pedal dip and, at the worst, fall forward. In borderline situations (where you feel like you are just about to fall forward) the instinctive balancing motion (hands fly forward, bottom goes back) can save you from the fall, just like it would help you when you are about to fall forward from standing on your toes.

If you feel tiltback or other indications of reaching the wheels limit, but otherwise the situation is normal, I would suggest braking gently and taking a more alert and prepared stance (bend knees more, prepare your arms for a possible fall).

Edited by yoos
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1 hour ago, yoos said:

(I don't know it for V8F,

Just checked it's 2000w. Good to know there could be some differences between calcs and all.

@Sebaany chance an euc world app will be available for ios? Happy to help beta test if you go down that rabbit hole!

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