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Are One Wheels actually (potentially) safer than EUCs?


RooMiniPro

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I came from more than a decade of riding electric skateboards before I got into EUCs and fell in love.  I have always liked the idea of the One Wheel, naturally because of my boarding background, but a lot of people talk about them like they are the most dangerous option.  And I get it - there's a lot of force being put on the balancing system because of leverage, and it's easier to overpower that system, whereas on an EUC our weight is right above the axle.

But here's the thing; when an EUC cuts out, we instantly go down and usually without any time to react.  I might be among the few who has never had an EUC cutout, but I ride with fear every day.  As the electronics age and the battery moves closer to its end of life with every charge, I expect it to cut out some day.  And I really don't want that to happen, ever.  If it cuts out, I'm getting hurt to some degree.  But on a One Wheel with fangs (the little wheels in the front) there's at least the possibility of being able to stay on the board for a precious second or two, before attempting a controlled jump to safety.  After watching dozens of One wheel cut outs and EUC cut outs I have at least seen some OWers stay on and slide along for a while and then hop off and walk away.  On the EUCs, not so much. 

Ever since I got into EUCs I've searched and pondered over ways to solve this 'one glitch and you're down' problem.  And despite the general consensus to the contrary, it seems to me that the One Wheel design might have more potential to be, or become the safer option, because it has that front extending board that could have some wheels fitted.  The fangs seem so small it's amazing they help at all, but perhaps larger wheels could pop out in a cut-out scenario.  It also looks like when people do have cut outs on them, the boards don't get as damaged as when an EUC cuts out and tumbles around getting wrecked.

With an EUC I just can't think of any possible mechanical design that could keep the thing upright in a cut-out without straying so far from the form factor that it's barely an EUC anymore.

Edited by RooMiniPro
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  • RooMiniPro changed the title to Are One Wheels actually (potentially) safer than EUCs?

I rarely see OW riders in as much gear as wheel riders so I’m guessing that some of their injuries could have been minimized. A cutout on an EUC at 14 mph isn’t fun (personal experience) but because I was geared for a crash it was no big deal at all.

”Safer”? Lower speeds are less dangerous. Knowing you’re going to need your gear makes wheel riding less dangerous… in a weird way.

Gear or no gear, small diameter tires are less suited than big tires. Their high attack angle increases the number of potentially dangerous road hazards you’ll encounter on any given outing. Being underpowered makes the problem worse because power is required to maintain balance over a bump… my personal determination was that wheel diameter and available power make EUC less hazardous than OW, and that is why I don’t float the stoke.

Edited by Tawpie
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At similar speeds, I still thing the euc is safer. I have dismounted at about 14mph on an euc and it was a controlled run to rollout. I wouldnt put much stock in those tiny fangs doing much. My friend has a OW and I ride an euc. He has fallen at the park in mediocre terrain, many times, while I ride by and watch. I think rider skill is more important than format, up to a certain point.

I had a OW in my shopping cart to buy it, 3 yrs ago. I decided to look into crashes. I then stumbled on the euc. I looked into those crashes too. I ended up buying an euc and not regretting it. The mere fact that the OW doesnt even have its own built in alarms, speaks volumes. Lets not even mention the fact that  you have just a few inches of room in the front, yet have to lean forwards to go.... bad combo. I think its a poor design for any kind of rugged terrain or height changes.  People push euc's to pedal dip and recover ALL the time. Why, because we have more than 1/2 a freaking inch clearance.

To date, my worst injuries have been from a skateboard. Yup, a motocross and sport bike rider, who snowboards, flies, euc rides and others. Simple skateboard has done the worst. No figuring on the math...

While OW riders are getting nervous about range, headroom and top speed, us euc riders are lazily riding by, sippin a drink and listening to music. Lets see who enjoys having to 'trolley' their pev for a few blocks. Yeah, OW is fun, but its not safer, more efficient, or easily transported.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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It is fascinating how statistics are not intuitive for human beings, especially when they contradict what does seem intuitive to us (even when that intuition is flat-out wrong).

The classic example is the comparative dangers of riding in an automobile versus in airplane. Intuitively, an airplane seems much more dangerous than an automobile--certainly its fail-state seems far more catastrophic/terrifying. But ultimately as well all know riding in an automobile is orders of magnitude more dangerous, because statistically for all intents and purposes airplanes simply don't fall out of the sky for all manner of reasons (from rigid maintenance routines to stringent air traffic control), whereas on average CARS KILL 1.3 MILLION PEOPLE PER YEAR.

The same lack of intuitiveness unfortunately plagues people's understanding and perception of the risks involved with self-balancing devices. While people are so busy worrying about what would happen if they fail catastrophically (outright cutout)--which statistically almost never happens--they completely neglect the overwhelming majority of ways things can go wrong even when the device was working as intended. So for example for every EUC that cuts out, how many dozens or hundreds of potholes/cracks/bumps/stones does your average eskate rider hit that would cause a skateboard to crash but which an EUC can ride right over without incident? Likewise for every EUC that cuts out, how many dozens or hundreds of OneWheel riders overlean their anemic motors and batteries and poor overall design concept (re: leverage) where an EUC would never have been overleaned due to its massive comparative overhead. The difference in the frequency of these fail outcomes even though the device was working as intended absolutely DWARFS the actual hardware failure scenarios everyone obsesses over. And therein lies the truth of their respective risk profiles and why the OneWheel is far more dangerous than an EUC. Both are dangerous when they actually fail--which is super rare for both--but the OneWheel is still extremely dangerous even when it's supposedly working correctly. There are extremely few scenarios in which a OneWheel rider would stay up where an EUC would fall, but there are a massive amount of scenarios where an EUC rider would stay up but which would cause a OneWheel rider to fall--and the frequency of these situations is so much more common than actual hardware failures (for both devices), the hardware failures become statistically insignificant by comparison.

Edit: meant to bring it back to 'Fangs'. Fangs help a bit in specific situations (rider maintains balance, flat paved ground, etc), certainly better than not having them, but nowhere near enough to outweigh the broader set of limitations and fail-conditions.

Edited by AtlasP
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There are far more OneWheel riders than EUC riders (judging from the member numbers of the respective subreddits for both vehicles), so that may skew it a bit, but I do get the impression that the cutouts-per-miles rate as well as the number-and-severity-of-injury-per-crash rate is much higher for the OneWheel.

A broken collarbone or broken elbow from a cutout is almost like a rite of passage on the OneWheel subreddit, LOL

Edited by mhpr262
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On 2/20/2022 at 8:56 PM, RooMiniPro said:

But here's the thing; when an EUC cuts out, we instantly go down and usually without any time to react.  I might be among the few who has never had an EUC cutout, but I ride with fear every day.  As the electronics age and the battery moves closer to its end of life with every charge, I expect it to cut out some day.  And I really don't want that to happen, ever.  If it cuts out, I'm getting hurt to some degree.  But on a One Wheel with fangs (the little wheels in the front) there's at least the possibility of being able to stay on the board for a precious second or two, before attempting a controlled jump to safety

From riding with my friends id say we both go down “equally” instantly in a cutout. 
 

are there videos of people actually testing overpowering the onewheel and riding the fangs successfully? From what ive seen they help prevent scuffing the board more than help people retain balance, and even thats more on glass smooth terrain. 

Edited by Richardo
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Sideways stance vs forward facing. That’s all you need to know. Sideways is ALWAYS more dangerous then being able to locomote how nature intended. You fall sideways you break a wrist, dislocate a shoulder or fracture/break a collarbone. Why? Because you don’t have anything to absorb the impact in a sideways stance except your wrists or shoulder. 
 

In a forwards stance you fall, you take the impact with your knee guards and get right back up. Shoulder padding really doesn’t do much because the shock still travels somewhere. With the knees the shock has nowhere to go but be absorbed by the padding. 

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On 2/20/2022 at 6:56 PM, RooMiniPro said:

I came from more than a decade of riding electric skateboards before I got into EUCs and fell in love.  I have always liked the idea of the One Wheel, naturally because of my boarding background, but a lot of people talk about them like they are the most dangerous option.  And I get it - there's a lot of force being put on the balancing system because of leverage, and it's easier to overpower that system, whereas on an EUC our weight is right above the axle.

But here's the thing; when an EUC cuts out, we instantly go down and usually without any time to react.  I might be among the few who has never had an EUC cutout, but I ride with fear every day.  As the electronics age and the battery moves closer to its end of life with every charge, I expect it to cut out some day.  And I really don't want that to happen, ever.  If it cuts out, I'm getting hurt to some degree.  But on a One Wheel with fangs (the little wheels in the front) there's at least the possibility of being able to stay on the board for a precious second or two, before attempting a controlled jump to safety.  After watching dozens of One wheel cut outs and EUC cut outs I have at least seen some OWers stay on and slide along for a while and then hop off and walk away.  On the EUCs, not so much. 

Ever since I got into EUCs I've searched and pondered over ways to solve this 'one glitch and you're down' problem.  And despite the general consensus to the contrary, it seems to me that the One Wheel design might have more potential to be, or become the safer option, because it has that front extending board that could have some wheels fitted.  The fangs seem so small it's amazing they help at all, but perhaps larger wheels could pop out in a cut-out scenario.  It also looks like when people do have cut outs on them, the boards don't get as damaged as when an EUC cuts out and tumbles around getting wrecked.

With an EUC I just can't think of any possible mechanical design that could keep the thing upright in a cut-out without straying so far from the form factor that it's barely an EUC anymore.

Euc is safer first your already in the running direction. Second I was like you thinking at one point I’ll have a cut out then I heard Marty say he’s only had one cutout and it was   A firmware bug. So of the thousands of thousands miles he has done has only had one.  

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1 hour ago, Richardo said:

are there videos of people actually testing overpowering the onewheel and riding the fangs successfully?

Yes there are, and they do seem to work but like most things, they're not 100%. In the right situation they'll give you a chance to save your bacon but you have to be a pretty good rider... the sudden drop of a nosedive coupled with the wheel basically slamming on the brakes like never before isn't easy to ride out.

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https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/onewheel-skateboard-injury-lawsuit-7316679/

 

Has Anyone Died Riding a Onewheel?

Yes, according to at least three Onewheel wrongful death lawsuits that have been filed as of July 2021.

  • In May 2020, the family—including a wife and son—of a Houston, Texas, man who sustained fatal brain injuries in a 2019 Onewheel nosedive accident filed a wrongful death claim against manufacturer Future Motion.
  • Another Onewheel wrongful death lawsuit was filed in June 2021, this time resulting from an August 2020 accident in San Diego, California. The rider in this accident sustained such severe head trauma that he was in a coma for weeks before he passed away.
  • A third Onewheel lawsuit was filed in June 2021, this time on behalf of the surviving family of a Long Island, New York, man who died in September 2020 from injuries sustained in a Onewheel accident, AP News reported.
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10 hours ago, Richardo said:

From riding with my friends id say we both go down “equally” instantly in a cutout. 
 

are there videos of people actually testing overpowering the onewheel and riding the fangs successfully? From what ive seen they help prevent scuffing the board more than help people retain balance, and even thats more on glass smooth terrain. 

Yes there are.

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10 hours ago, Tawpie said:

Yes there are, and they do seem to work but like most things, they're not 100%. In the right situation they'll give you a chance to save your bacon but you have to be a pretty good rider... the sudden drop of a nosedive coupled with the wheel basically slamming on the brakes like never before isn't easy to ride out.

Yes Tawpie, you seem to have understood what I mean. 

I know that, at least as far as my unscientifically acquired perception goes, there seem to be more accidents happening on OneWheels than on EUCs, but this is probably due to factors like; 1. There are more OneWheels out there. 2. Because of leverage and limited motor power, the chance of overloading a OW is higher.  3. OneWheels don't seem to have great early warnings designed in, such as beeps and strong tiltback.

But my point is that there is a very significant design difference that gives the OneWheel the potential for being safer in a cut-out scenario.  I'm not saying they cut out less or that people have less accidents on OneWheels than on EUCs, because that's apparently the opposite of what's true.  But with that extended platform out front, there's the potential for some form of mechanical redundancy that is impossible on EUCs.  When an EUC cuts out you just go down.  There's no other result.  You may be able to run it off if you happen to be riding at a low speed (unlikely most of the time), but you're not staying on the wheel, no matter what.

On the OW, so far we have sliders and fangs.  They provide a small, small chance of being able to stay on, but are hardly a great solution to the problem.  With them being so small and fixed right onto underside of the front lip, the board has to fall down forward as a severe angle for them to make contact with the road and that just throws most people forward and off anyway.  But there's room for improvement.  The big problem I see is that the motors are under-powered for the amount of leverage being applied.  The wheels have to be limited in their circumference which may be why we don't see 2500w motors in the OneWheel, unlike with EUCs which can have 16",18", 20" circumferences and more powerful motors inside.  But imagine a OneWheel that was as reliable as the best EUC, with the same beeps and tilt-back, the same (proportionally to the leverage) amount of torque and so on.  All other things being equal, that front extended platform and the possibility to have some wheels flip down and keep the rider rolling has a lot of potential for safety in a cut-out scenario over an EUC.

Obviously I haven't put a team of engineers and a $250,000 R&D budget on this, but look at this drawing.  A spring loaded arm and wheel that tucks underneath.  A spring loaded latch that's closed when there is power going to it (electromagnetic) and open when power is cut to the motor.  As soon as power is lost, it springs out and latches into place.  Of course I haven't actually thought out the exact mechanisms involved, but no one is paying me $50k a year to do that right now.  Some average engineer could come up with an elegant way to do this. 

ow.jpg

Edited by RooMiniPro
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On 2/21/2022 at 1:44 AM, AtlasP said:

It is fascinating how statistics are not intuitive for human beings, especially when they contradict what does seem intuitive to us (even when that intuition is flat-out wrong).

The classic example is the comparative dangers of riding in an automobile versus in airplane. Intuitively, an airplane seems much more dangerous than an automobile--certainly its fail-state seems far more catastrophic/terrifying. But ultimately as well all know riding in an automobile is orders of magnitude more dangerous, because statistically for all intents and purposes airplanes simply don't fall out of the sky for all manner of reasons (from rigid maintenance routines to stringent air traffic control), whereas on average CARS KILL 1.3 MILLION PEOPLE PER YEAR.

The same lack of intuitiveness unfortunately plagues people's understanding and perception of the risks involved with self-balancing devices. While people are so busy worrying about what would happen if they fail catastrophically (outright cutout)--which statistically almost never happens--they completely neglect the overwhelming majority of ways things can go wrong even when the device was working as intended. So for example for every EUC that cuts out, how many dozens or hundreds of potholes/cracks/bumps/stones does your average eskate rider hit that would cause a skateboard to crash but which an EUC can ride right over without incident? Likewise for every EUC that cuts out, how many dozens or hundreds of OneWheel riders overlean their anemic motors and batteries and poor overall design concept (re: leverage) where an EUC would never have been overleaned due to its massive comparative overhead. The difference in the frequency of these fail outcomes even though the device was working as intended absolutely DWARFS the actual hardware failure scenarios everyone obsesses over. And therein lies the truth of their respective risk profiles and why the OneWheel is far more dangerous than an EUC. Both are dangerous when they actually fail--which is super rare for both--but the OneWheel is still extremely dangerous even when it's supposedly working correctly. There are extremely few scenarios in which a OneWheel rider would stay up where an EUC would fall, but there are a massive amount of scenarios where an EUC rider would stay up but which would cause a OneWheel rider to fall--and the frequency of these situations is so much more common than actual hardware failures (for both devices), the hardware failures become statistically insignificant by comparison.

Edit: meant to bring it back to 'Fangs'. Fangs help a bit in specific situations (rider maintains balance, flat paved ground, etc), certainly better than not having them, but nowhere near enough to outweigh the broader set of limitations and fail-conditions.

Yes this is true.  Car accidents are statistically more likely to kill me than a plane or helicopter crash if we assume that like most people I fly only a few times per year and drive in traffic almost every day.  But let's now drop those assumptions and factor in how I might drive that car and how I might fly.  Let's say I drive the car only on a private track away from other vehicles, at safe speeds for the conditions and do not try to do any drifts or other stunts.  Let's say I only drive it as a way to relax, calmly driving around my safe track.  Should something go wrong with the electrical system or the engine, I am unlikely to be injured, thanks to the inherent design of the vehicle.  If I'm going for the same relaxing, daily flight in my helicopter and one of the blades breaks off, I am in serious trouble. 

As someone who has been riding electric skateboards and EUCs for about 13 years now and has not had a cut-out or fallen off, my main concern is an electrical failure.  When it comes to risk of slipping on loose gravel, being hit by an oncoming cyclist when riding along the path by the river, riding too fast etc. those are risks that I have some degree of control over.  I can possibly spot the loose gravel and ride around it, see the cyclist coming and move to one side, ride more slowly and so on.  But the risk of a mysterious and unpredictable cut-out due to a mosfet burning out or a fuse blowing- that's something I can't control and something that will almost certainly cause some degree of injury, whether mild bruising, broken bones or life altering disability. 

As I have said, if an EUC cuts out we go down.  But the OneWheel has some potential for a failsafe device because of the extended platform.  When my skateboard cuts out I swear mildly and then kick my way home without injury.

Edited by RooMiniPro
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Putting extra wheels on a onewheeled vehicle is silly in my opinion. You have to ride responsibly. You don't put a third wheel in front of the front wheel of a bike in case the front wheel falls off or you slam the front brake too hard, you just accept the risk of hardware failure (which is rare) and you don't slam the front brake. Like wise, respect the wheel and don't do things you know you shouldn't. Putting extra wheels on a bike, or a onewheel, or an Euc defeats the purpose. Instead they should implement proper warning systems and beef up the motors and controllers and batteries.

Edited by Menace
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It would be fabulous if a system that makes it more possible for an average rider to ride out a nosedive were developed, and surely it's not impossible. After all, Elon is landing booster rockets on Earth and shooting grain silos into the air. So far though, we haven't seen FM take steps in that direction and even the maker community that came up with fangs hasn't advanced much beyond tiny fixed wheels.

I can only surmise that the general consensus within the OW community is that the OW is good enough as is. Ride appropriately with good safety gear (including fangs) and the consequences of a nosedive are acceptable 'enough'. I completely understand that... my MTen put me on my face and I still ride it. I changed when, why and how I ride it because it life tested my safety gear, but it's still loads of fun!

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1 hour ago, RooMiniPro said:

As I have said, if an EUC cuts out we go down.  But the OneWheel has some potential for a failsafe device because of the extended platform.  When my skateboard cuts out I swear mildly and then kick my way home without injury.

Here’s the thing though…cutouts should not be expected behavior to the point that you need a failsafe device. I don’t expect my EUCs to cutout on me and I’ve never experienced one because my regular usage of my wheels is well under the limitations of the wheel. Even if I push the wheel for emergency sake or in controlled situations, it’s still very well under the device’s limitations.

Cutouts are not an expectation. EUCs are powerful nowadays, and it’s those power margins that make it safer than a failsafe device. I ride my Nikola AR which is safely rated up to 40 mph, but I personally ride around 25 mph in normal usage. I’ve have pushed it up to 35 mph from time to time for group rides or flat straightaways, but have never accidentally reached nor intend to hit that 40 mph speed. Setting speed alarms keeps me in check well before the beeps kick in.

On the other hand, Fangs exist because OneWheels can nosedive all the time even in regular casual usage. Speed alarms or beeps aren’t really a thing on the OW, and tilt back can be too subtle when riding in the moment, so I just intentionally ride it near walking speed all the time, although even then, weird terrain can cause it to overtorque even at slow speeds, but at least those are easy to run out.

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4 hours ago, RooMiniPro said:

Yes Tawpie, you seem to have understood what I mean. 

I know that, at least as far as my unscientifically acquired perception goes, there seem to be more accidents happening on OneWheels than on EUCs, but this is probably due to factors like; 1. There are more OneWheels out there. 2. Because of leverage and limited motor power, the chance of overloading a OW is higher.  3. OneWheels don't seem to have great early warnings designed in, such as beeps and strong tiltback.

But my point is that there is a very significant design difference that gives the OneWheel the potential for being safer in a cut-out scenario.  I'm not saying they cut out less or that people have less accidents on OneWheels than on EUCs, because that's apparently the opposite of what's true.  But with that extended platform out front, there's the potential for some form of mechanical redundancy that is impossible on EUCs.  When an EUC cuts out you just go down.  There's no other result.  You may be able to run it off if you happen to be riding at a low speed (unlikely most of the time), but you're not staying on the wheel, no matter what.

On the OW, so far we have sliders and fangs.  They provide a small, small chance of being able to stay on, but are hardly a great solution to the problem.  With them being so small and fixed right onto underside of the front lip, the board has to fall down forward as a severe angle for them to make contact with the road and that just throws most people forward and off anyway.  But there's room for improvement.  The big problem I see is that the motors are under-powered for the amount of leverage being applied.  The wheels have to be limited in their circumference which may be why we don't see 2500w motors in the OneWheel, unlike with EUCs which can have 16",18", 20" circumferences and more powerful motors inside.  But imagine a OneWheel that was as reliable as the best EUC, with the same beeps and tilt-back, the same (proportionally to the leverage) amount of torque and so on.  All other things being equal, that front extended platform and the possibility to have some wheels flip down and keep the rider rolling has a lot of potential for safety in a cut-out scenario over an EUC.

Obviously I haven't put a team of engineers and a $250,000 R&D budget on this, but look at this drawing.  A spring loaded arm and wheel that tucks underneath.  A spring loaded latch that's closed when there is power going to it (electromagnetic) and open when power is cut to the motor.  As soon as power is lost, it springs out and latches into place.  Of course I haven't actually thought out the exact mechanisms involved, but no one is paying me $50k a year to do that right now.  Some average engineer could come up with an elegant way to do this. 

ow.jpg

There are motors for electric scooters that are a similar size and have much stronger outputs, so it is definitely possible to have a more powerful motor. Regardless of what safety features are added, if a onewheel were to reach EUC speeds you will still fall off. I have no doubt in my mind that no matter what was added, at 30, 40, 50mph you're going down if the motor cuts out. Besides needing a more powerful motor, onewheels need larger batteries as well to actually provide the juice to be able to handle the torque from riding. I think onewheels definitely have the potential to be safer than they are now, but I don't think they can be as safe an EUC. Larger batteries and bigger motors create more headroom, and the forward stance makes it easier to slide and roll out of a cutout with suffering a major injury. Plus the forward stance just makes it easier to not over-torque it in the first place. Are there any videos of fangs keeping a rider on his feet at the 20mph top speed of a GT? I've seen them work on lowspeed over-torques and on slow hillclimbs, but I haven't seen a video of it at speed

Edited by TantasStarke
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6 hours ago, Menace said:

Putting extra wheels on a onewheeled vehicle is silly in my opinion. You have to ride responsibly. You don't put a third wheel in front of the front wheel of a bike in case the front wheel falls off or you slam the front brake too hard, you just accept the risk of hardware failure (which is rare) and you don't slam the front brake. Like wise, respect the wheel and don't do things you know you shouldn't. Putting extra wheels on a bike, or a onewheel, or an Euc defeats the purpose. Instead they should implement proper warning systems and beef up the motors and controllers and batteries.

I don't think your example of putting an extra wheel on the front of a bike is a good comparison.  A bike already has two wheels.  A bike does not throw the rider face-first into the concrete if power is lost (ie. the rider stops pedaling or if it's an e-bike, an electric failure happens), hence no need to put a third wheel at the front of a bike.  An EUC is an entirely different device.  "Respect the wheel" is not the solution to the problem.  I could respect the wheel, massage the wheel, pray to the wheel, build the wheel its own bed and sing to the wheel.  None of that will solve the problem of us becoming disabled if/when one of the many electrical components fail.

My suggestion to design a pop out wheel (or something at least better than fangs) for the OneWheel might well be a silly one and I certainly don't think it would work well, unless some very clever version of the idea is thought up, but it's a step above "respect the wheel and you'll be ok", in my opinion.

I do believe the solution will be easier to find for the OneWheel than for the EUC.  There must be a way to provide the same OW experience without the constant risk of electrically-induced accidents.   

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5 hours ago, TheSlyGiraffEV said:

Here’s the thing though…cutouts should not be expected behavior to the point that you need a failsafe device. I don’t expect my EUCs to cutout on me and I’ve never experienced one because my regular usage of my wheels is well under the limitations of the wheel. Even if I push the wheel for emergency sake or in controlled situations, it’s still very well under the device’s limitations.

Cutouts are not an expectation. EUCs are powerful nowadays, and it’s those power margins that make it safer than a failsafe device. I ride my Nikola AR which is safely rated up to 40 mph, but I personally ride around 25 mph in normal usage. I’ve have pushed it up to 35 mph from time to time for group rides or flat straightaways, but have never accidentally reached nor intend to hit that 40 mph speed. Setting speed alarms keeps me in check well before the beeps kick in.

On the other hand, Fangs exist because OneWheels can nosedive all the time even in regular casual usage. Speed alarms or beeps aren’t really a thing on the OW, and tilt back can be too subtle when riding in the moment, so I just intentionally ride it near walking speed all the time, although even then, weird terrain can cause it to overtorque even at slow speeds, but at least those are easy to run out.

Great comment, yes.  I have never had a cut-out either, but I understand exactly what it is that is preventing me from having an accident and I don't trust humans to build circuits, batteries and motors that will never fail.  Therefore I naturally want this industry to find a solution.  Look at the situation we have with the new Inmotion wheel's alleged cutouts.  They put out an official statement advising riders to ride at low speeds until their investigation is finished.  With some kind of fail-safe device built into all wheels, we wouldn't have to ride a new wheel with that fear. 

I am surprised to see so many people take a "It's good enough already" mindset.  I brought this same topic up a few years ago and none of us could think of a fail-safe design for EUCs but a few of us were into the idea and agreed it would be something worth pursuing.  No one can deny that it's a problem.  I bet engineers at EUC companies have spent many hours trying to think of a solution.  Imagine a wheel that looked and behaved like a normal EUC, but didn't drop you if there was an electrical fault.  Such a wheel would become the only wheel that mattered and all other wheel manufacturers would have to copy it or go out of business. 

Table saws are dangerous machines that for decades people just accepted the risks of using.  Then a company designed something that detects skin contact with the blade and pulls the blade down under the table in a fraction of a second, preventing amputations.  No doubt, before that was thought up many carpenters said "Respect the table saw - it's dangerous but we just have to live with that risk." while others got to work trying to solve it.    

Edited by RooMiniPro
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2 hours ago, TantasStarke said:

There are motors for electric scooters that are a similar size and have much stronger outputs, so it is definitely possible to have a more powerful motor. Regardless of what safety features are added, if a onewheel were to reach EUC speeds you will still fall off. I have no doubt in my mind that no matter what was added, at 30, 40, 50mph you're going down if the motor cuts out.

Yes, but in my opinion anyone willing to ride a small self-balancing device at 50mph is clearly not very concerned about danger. I would not even consider riding these things at that speed.  I almost never ride faster than 16mph.  Seeing someone break both his wrists when his wheel cut-out quite early into my EUC adventure was a good lesson for me.  And I have been thinking about how to solve this ever since.  It's an extremely difficult problem to solve.

Edited by RooMiniPro
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I have been planning on building a super capacitor to connect in parallel with my RS battery. It would be made from 40 2.7volt 500F super capacitors connected in series. It would hopefully increase acceleration, decrease voltage sag, take strain off of the batteries, and provide reserve power for unexpected bumps and such. Other things I have thought of but can not really diy are twin motor controllers (that would run simultaneously but could run individually if one is knocked out), dual motors (would sit side by side in the wheel, or could just be dual stators? Maybe they could even have different KV ratings such that one takes over when the first reaches max rpm?), Liquid cooling (I want to do this to the RS as well to help mitigate control board damage from overheating?), Thicker motor cables, and just overall a whole bunch of overbuilt and redundacy without adding more wheels. These are all things that manufacturers should be experimenting with to make wheels safer. The hall sensor less capability of the s20 is certainly a step in the right direction, I wonder if it can be brought to other wheels via firmware updates or if it requires special hardware?

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1 hour ago, RooMiniPro said:

I don't think your example of putting an extra wheel on the front of a bike is a good comparison.  A bike already has two wheels.  A bike does not throw the rider face-first into the concrete if power is lost (ie. the rider stops pedaling or if it's an e-bike, an electric failure happens), hence no need to put a third wheel at the front of a bike.  An EUC is an entirely different device.  "Respect the wheel" is not the solution to the problem.  I could respect the wheel, massage the wheel, pray to the wheel, build the wheel its own bed and sing to the wheel.  None of that will solve the problem of us becoming disabled if/when one of the many electrical components fail.

My suggestion to design a pop out wheel (or something at least better than fangs) for the OneWheel might well be a silly one and I certainly don't think it would work well, unless some very clever version of the idea is thought up, but it's a step above "respect the wheel and you'll be ok", in my opinion.

I do believe the solution will be easier to find for the OneWheel than for the EUC.  There must be a way to provide the same OW experience without the constant risk of electrically-induced accidents.   

Ok, it makes sense to me because if you slam the front brakes you will fly over the handle bars and it is the riders responsibility not to do that. Likewise it is the riders responsibility to not exceed the beeps, and a hardware failure is akin to the front wheel of a bike falling off (which would also throw you). Instead of putting a third wheel, you make the axle thick enough, the bolts tight enough, the rim strong enough, the balance of the bike such that you won't flip as easily. The electrical component failure is really rare, and could be made even more rare with more redundancies and beefier components. There will always be a mosfet that just fails, a front axle with internal weakness, a bolt that someone forgot to tighten; but that is a risk that can only be mitigated, not eliminated (whether it is cars, bikes, eucs, toasters, tvs, couches, phones, etc.).

Perhaps the onewheel is just a flawed design. There is too much leverage and not enough space for strong enough components, like how a penny farthing is far more likely to crash because of its geometry. 

Or perhaps the onewheel community and future motion are preventing any progress on that platform with their "its good enough" attitude, lack of active innovation, and patents.

Anyways, what I am saying is that companies need to improve their wheels, but we still cannot ride with no respect for the machine without danger (until we have force fields and levitators to catch us maybe?)

Edited by Menace
Clarification, typo
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