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Some New User Misconceptions/Concerns?


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Hi. Fairly new to EUC, learnt indoors in a tiny condo this past Winter here in Toronto. Not ideal, but taught me the skill of riding slowly... very slowly. My first EUC was a 2nd hand KS 14M. At first I thought, that I would never want to go particularly fast. But within the first 30km of use, I found the limitation of speed. Well, no sense in rehashing what has been said many times by others, e.g. now I want more wheels, more speed, etc. I traded in the KS14M after only 50km, for a new KS16X. not even 300km in and already finding the limitations of speed here too... sigh. Well, some questions have come to mind, probably just ignorance on my part. For e.g. I am very wary of steep downhills. I find I brake a lot, unsure of whether the wheel could be over-powered if I just let it rip downhill? I also had some close calls recently. One was where I was rounding a blind corner on a shared path, suddenly thought, what if a cyclist charges around on the wrong side of the path? (was early morning, not many people about). Just as I was slowing down, thinking this, I rounded the curve and encountered a person on a mobility scooter, on my side of the path. Being still a learner, I am thankful that I managed to avoid him, nearly fell myself but pulled it together. I now think I should practise more defensive skills like hard braking, etc. Other instance was nearly hitting a squirrel that rushed across the path, literally missing my wheel by a fraction. Not sure what to do about that in future. Could try and scan the edges of the path, but realistically they rush out of the undergrowth, so not sure that would help. Anyway, I thought it would be great if anyone could share some tips on riding more defensively, being more prepared for such things. Meanwhile I will scour the forum for tips on emergency braking etc.   

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I don't know how you actually brake. Is it just by leaning backward? A kind of emergency braking you might consider practicing, if you are not already doing it, is like a lot of skiers and skaters do, that is, by swinging yourself and the wheels sharply 180 degrees inward, left leg swings right, right leg swings left. 

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Posted (edited)

@Saboteur_ZA Ahh? A thinker. :smartass: Welcome to the forum. 
Down hills. I remember fearing steep down hills. I am a heavy aggressive rider. I haven’t had any problems down steep hills. Just pay attention to your speed. Never go faster than the rated speed or ignore the beep and when you do, don’t make sudden changes in speed. Avoid bumps. Oh! And you want to avoid starting long down hill rides with a full battery. Braking charges the batteries. 

In my book the best defensive maneuvering starts with learning to carve. It speed up your wheel response learning very quickly. But if carving is uncomfortable and you hate doing it … then all the more reason to do it. It will make you one with your wheel and the edgy uncertainty will go away. 

 

Edited by RockyTop
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I simply lean back. Wasn't aware of the technique you mention. I'd like to try it though. Just to clarify, is the principle that leaning both legs inward it is opposing forces so it will cause deceleration without having to lean back? I'm neither a skier nor skater, so apologize for not getting it right away.

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Welcome! We love having new riders.

I always practice emergency braking before each ride... accelerate, slam on the brakes. This helps reinforce the technique which for me is the s*itting position. Literally push the wheel forward and pretend you're about to take a seat... butt hanging off the back, consciously thinking "dig in your heels". I must do this because if I just lean back, I get braking wobbles and if you watch one of Marty Backe's videos, you'll see him get dumped by them. They are scary indeed.

Speed is fun, but it is an acquired skill. It's way too easy to get overconfident, and I'm happy to hear you're encountering some of the 'extra skill' that comes with being safe when moving rapidly.

Do have fun, be patient with yourself, and ride ride ride. It's the only way to get better.

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1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

@Saboteur_ZA Ahh? A thinker. :smartass: Welcome to the forum. 
Down hills. I remember fearing steep down hills. I am a heavy aggressive rider. I haven’t had any problems down steep hills. Just pay attention to your speed. Never go faster than the rated speed or ignore the beep and when you do, don’t make sudden changes in speed. Avoid bumps. Oh! And you want to avoid starting long down hill rides with a full battery. Braking charges the batteries. 

In my book the best defensive maneuvering starts with learning to carve. It speed up your wheel response learning very quickly. But if carving is uncomfortable and you hate doing it … then all the more reason to do it. It will make you one with your wheel and the edgy uncertainty will go away. 

 

Thanks! Appreciate the insights and encouragement. I have started experimenting with carving, it is fun, but I am wary of when I do it, don't want to annoy cyclists trying to pass, or scare pedestrians etc. So I play around when no-one is in the vicinity. I have been reading about mirrors in the forums, think this would be great so I know what is happening around me. Still undecided on whether to try a helmet version or one that fits on the hand. Meanwhile, I will be more free on the downhills, just need to gain confidence and experience through practice.

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1 hour ago, Tawpie said:

Welcome! We love having new riders.

I always practice emergency braking before each ride... accelerate, slam on the brakes. This helps reinforce the technique which for me is the s*itting position. Literally push the wheel forward and pretend you're about to take a seat... butt hanging off the back, consciously thinking "dig in your heels". I must do this because if I just lean back, I get braking wobbles and if you watch one of Marty Backe's videos, you'll see him get dumped by them. They are scary indeed.

Speed is fun, but it is an acquired skill. It's way too easy to get overconfident, and I'm happy to hear you're encountering some of the 'extra skill' that comes with being safe when moving rapidly.

Do have fun, be patient with yourself, and ride ride ride. It's the only way to get better.

Thanks, appreciate the welcome and the good advice. Going to try that 'seated' position for braking, there is a school playground near me where I can mess about with this on the weekend. Just wanted to say I really appreciate this forum, I made use of the advice and 'how to' posts extensively during my learning phase. With something like this that is so new and unknown (it was to me anyway), it was invaluable to be able to learn from others who were happy to share their own experiences of learning and skill progression. I must say it kept me going in that awkward early phase of learning when I was questioning my decisions! But now I want to ride every day, any chance I get. Must say it is distracting but I have to remember I have a day job...

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Until you’ve had your first real bad fall, you’re still and will always be an inexperienced, new rider.

New riders should never go faster than 25km/h. Thinking what it’s like to slam into concrete and actually doing so are two very different experiences. Once you have that experience, you’ll be ready to go faster but with much more respect to your skills and the capabilities of your wheel.

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I’ve got a good 7 days of riding and 220 miles on my first euc .I use full gear .wrist guards with added convex mirrors  ,shin and knee guards and full face hjc helmet and armored sportbike riding jacket .I’m already hitting over 40 mph on my rs19 high speed and i find myself wanting way more speed .probably because of the fact I’ve ridden sport bikes since 2002 and have no fear of speed what so ever but euc’s are a blast and way easier to ride than I expected .I’m gunna start saving now cuz in a couple years there will be probably be a $5,000$ 75 mph wheel with 150 miles of range I’m gunna keep my fingers crossed🤣🤞 

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oh man, be careful. This is not a bike... you don't want to crash and hurt your wheel. (or yourself for that matter!)

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Having my share of a multitude of bike wrecks on the street and track, my one low speed EU faceplant jacked me up way more - I think it took three months for my sternum to heal.

I didn't wear gear before, I wear a helmet and wrist guards now, and I acknowledge that is not enough. At least you're offsetting pain and suffering with your gear selection. I still have doubts about downhill mountain bike helmets compared to motorcycle helmets, but I'm sporting the former on EUs.

I'll admit my fault when I pop my coconut next time.

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17 hours ago, Mango said:

Until you’ve had your first real bad fall, you’re still and will always be an inexperienced, new rider.

New riders should never go faster than 25km/h. Thinking what it’s like to slam into concrete and actually doing so are two very different experiences. Once you have that experience, you’ll be ready to go faster but with much more respect to your skills and the capabilities of your wheel.

Sure - a lot of people are stuck in the belief that they are immortal, especially young people, but to generalize and claim that you are inexperienced until you had your first major crash does not apply to everyone.  Fortunately, there are still quite a few people who can think on their own, and not just taking any risk.   For my part, I fear most of all that i will  encounter a situation where i get thrown off the wheel with my nose in the ground, because a single cheap shitty Chinese electronic component suddenly and completely without warning fails.  An this will not give me any other experience than more fear.

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I agree riding EUCs is not low risk, but I did weigh this up before my first EUC purchase. Maybe I am floating on a cloud of blissful illusion, but I like to think I can manage the risk by being vigilant, not entrusting my safety to others by believing they'll see me and act appropriately. True enough, I haven't had a big crash, I don't like to think it will happen, but I suppose realistically... Actually, my only crash so far was in my early days of learning, alone in the parking garage at my condo, 3am in the morning... Such low speed, barely moving, I was amazed at how much I got hurt! I was practicing mounting, and not doing too well. I tried scooting along with my left foot, then tried to bring it up to the pedal, but I could tell I hadn't generated enough forward momentum. Still, I stubbornly tried to balance there while leaning forward, thinking I would be able to generate some speed and take off. Still not sure what exactly happened, but I fell forward while my right foot got kind of jammed under the pedal and pretty much bent under (at least it felt like that). I jumped up despite the intense pain and looked around, no witnesses (not likely at that hour, but most important), then hobbled away with my wheel. Surprised I didn't break my foot, but it was really bruised and got pretty swollen. Took days before I could try and ride again. Since then I have been lucky I guess. I always ride with a MET Parachute helmet. I decided against a motorcycle helmet because of the weight. This one has MIPS and seems the highest safety rating of a downhill helmet. Hope it is enough. I don't use any other safety gear at the moment. Mainly because I have been reading a lot of posts in the "Riding Safety and Protective Gear" topic. I feel those posts are just confusing me by now, like I'm going in circles without coming to a conclusion. Armoured motorcycle jacket (overkill?) vs activity-specific protection like LazyRolling (over-priced?) vs downhill body armour like Fox Baseframe Pro D30 or similar, on and on. In the end I just have to make a decision and go with it. Because I'm sure that using no protection is worse than the poorest choice I could make!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Saboteur_ZA said:

I'm sure that using no protection is worse than the poorest choice I could make!

True. So true. Should be pinned.

How much and what kind are very personal decisions, but whatever your choice if you don't want to wear it it's probably not the best one.

You've got helmet covered, I'd look to protect your hands next—I use the free wristguards that came with my wheel (replacements on Amazon are 12USD). Then knees—and all I can say about knees is Leatt Dual Axis. They are the most common on riders simply because they actually work for EUC falls. Beyond that, you almost have to have an accident to discover your personal tolerance limit.

Like you, the one fall I had that actually kept me off the wheel for a few days was during learning and it happened at near zero speed. I got tangled up in the wheel and went down hard on my hip and shoulder... nothing broken but Mr. Visa definitely understood my pain. Turns out I like riding a LOT, and don't like recovering—so now I wear way more gear than my style actually demands. But. I haven't missed another day of riding due to a fall, and because I love off road, I do the falling stuff fairly frequently.

Edited by Tawpie
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On 5/13/2022 at 2:09 PM, Saboteur_ZA said:

Thanks! Appreciate the insights and encouragement. I have started experimenting with carving, it is fun, but I am wary of when I do it, don't want to annoy cyclists trying to pass, or scare pedestrians etc. So I play around when no-one is in the vicinity. I have been reading about mirrors in the forums, think this would be great so I know what is happening around me. Still undecided on whether to try a helmet version or one that fits on the hand. Meanwhile, I will be more free on the downhills, just need to gain confidence and experience through practice.

You should probably practice carving going downhill until you're extremely proficient at it, because carving downhill is an essential braking technique when you find yourself on too steep of a hill to brake. If you just go straight down the hill, and you're maybe placed just a bit forward of the pedals to brake well (which is to say most of us without power pads), then you're going down with the wheel like the Titanic.

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Posted (edited)

Best tip would be "LOOK AHEAD" Don't just look what's happening in front of you.. But also look a lot further ahead.. (Heck if squirrel would run past me, i would better hit him, than risking crashing - priorities) Sorry, not sorry.

Go crawl speed at blind corners.. Or risk hitting something - use brain.

You can get a motocross "full face" helmet. I think they are lighter than motorcycle helmets. My O'Neal helmet weights 1.5kg.

As for protective gear - YES you should wear it. BUT buy gear that you will use. No point buying the gear if you won't wear it.

I regularly wear only "wrist guards" and go around 25kph speeds. (I don't have to hurry anywhere..) When i go for "fun" rides, i do 35-40kph and wear my full face helmet, wrist/knee guards. Nothing else. I was thinking about getting one of those "textile jackets", but i bet i would not wear it.. So no point.

My dad rides 25-30kph every day to work and back ~6km trip together. And he wears ZERO gear. Regular jacket/jeans. Has done over 4km already, whit 0 crashes.

Our paths are normally empty and our city is very empty by default. Only risk would be, if euc stops working suddenly. < And i hate that idea. :cry2: But i know it will happen..

Edited by Funky
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2 hours ago, LanghamP said:

You should probably practice carving going downhill until you're extremely proficient at it, because carving downhill is an essential braking technique when you find yourself on too steep of a hill to brake. If you just go straight down the hill, and you're maybe placed just a bit forward of the pedals to brake well (which is to say most of us without power pads), then you're going down with the wheel like the Titanic.

Thanks, I hadn't even considered that aspect of being too far forward to brake well.  I do find my foot placement is more to the front, just happens naturally for me. I used to spend time worrying about foot placement in the beginning, trying to place my foot deliberately and dismounting if it didn't seem optimal. Not that I really knew what optimal was. Now I find I can wiggle my feet into a more comfortable position as I'm riding, so I am less obsessed by it. However, I have been wondering about power pads, and when or if I should consider those. I'm not likely to start doing jumps anytime soon, but I would like to be able to jump off kerbs. Not sure how essential they are to that, but I will say that I hit an unexpected bump at speed once, and my one foot came off the pedal entirely. Inadvertent practice of one-legged riding right there... Which is when I thought that power pads might have helped. Still, I'm not that keen on the idea of feeling locked to the wheel and unable to take my foot off in a hurry if I have to. And of course, not sure how much it hampers the mounting process, as I imagine you'd have to be even more precise about how you place your foot/leg.

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2 minutes ago, Saboteur_ZA said:

I would like to be able to jump off kerbs.

You shouldn't need jump pads to come off kerbs, you and the wheel fall at the same rate (some really old British guy made a law about it).

Push/power pads are different than jump pads though... jump pads help lift the wheel with your feet/ankles when you jump, and also help keep your feet from bouncing off the wheel in rougher terrain. Push pads provide something you can lever against to increase your ability to accelerate and brake.

I've spent the vast majority of my time without pads of any sort, I ride very loose and do my best not to clench the wheel. I think this makes pads a problem for me—I'm not used to the additional connection point and my automatic riding muscle memory doesn't deal with it well (yet, with practice…). Being too far forward on the pedals is a sure recipe for speed wobbles for me, and hitting a brake pad during an emergency stop isn't good either.

Anyway, it's always good to experiment with equipment. There's no right-for-everyone-always recipe when it comes to stance, pads, etc.

One thing about pads to keep in mind. They will allow you to get yourself into more 'dangerous' situations and can instill confidence that might lure you into trying things that prove unwise in retrospect. It's really difficult to overlean a wheel without push pads. Impossible to do the jump line shibby_time style without jump pads (and push pads). No pads makes riding a ton more pedestrian, but if pedestrian is good enough you can save a Benjamin or two.

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2 hours ago, Funky said:

You can get a motocross "full face" helmet. I think they are lighter than motorcycle helmets. My O'Neal helmet weights 1.5kg.

As for protective gear - YES you should wear it. BUT buy gear that you will use. No point buying the gear if you won't wear it.

 

I do like the feeling of riding more "free" without bulky gear, especially now that the weather is finally warming up here.  On the other hand, I know I would feel very stupid if I injured myself in a fall, knowing it could have been avoided, or at least minimized by wearing the right gear. I did buy a cheap set of wrist guards, elbow guards, and knee pads on Amazon, right in the beginning of my learning. Wore them once, in the parking garage, and they did nothing to prevent me injuring my foot. So I didn't bother with them after. Hassle to put on and scratchy annoying velcro. But I do always wear my downhill helmet (although I wish it had a magnetic clasp instead of that daft Double D strap). Going to buy Leatt dual axis knee guards, and probably Hillbilly wrist guard gloves, unless I find something better. I like the idea of integrated protection, instead of individual pieces. But also decided against motorcycle jacket. Think I will probably get something like the Fox Baseframe Pro D30 armour, because I won't have to worry about the protective armour sliding around. Might regret that in the heat of summer but it appeals the most to me right now.

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7 minutes ago, Tawpie said:

You shouldn't need jump pads to come off kerbs, you and the wheel fall at the same rate (some really old British guy made a law about it).

Push/power pads are different than jump pads though... jump pads help lift the wheel with your feet/ankles when you jump, and also help keep your feet from bouncing off the wheel in rougher terrain. Push pads provide something you can lever against to increase your ability to accelerate and brake.

 

Thanks for clarifying! I see there is lots more for me to learn. In that case, I could see a useful application for the jump pad for when I'm brave enough to venture off road. I am a trail runner, and I love the idea of being able to ride my wheel off road, immerse myself in nature, away from cars, mmmm. Then again I think the push pads could help on longer rides, to alleviate fatigue from constantly leaning forwards perhaps? Maybe I just need time to condition myself to riding longer distance. And when I say longer distance, everything is relative, because I was only riding 15k on my rides since Spring this year. One sunny day a few weeks ago, I decided to push the distance a bit more. Ended up doing 32k, and I could really feel how strained my calves were from the forward lean. I had a trail run the following day and I really suffered from that ride! So maybe push pads would have helped, but more likely I just need to build endurance.  The other thing I have not experimented with at all are the riding modes. Maybe there is a setting that is more optimal for longer rides. So much to learn!

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59 minutes ago, Saboteur_ZA said:

Thanks, I hadn't even considered that aspect of being too far forward to brake well.  I do find my foot placement is more to the front, just happens naturally for me. I used to spend time worrying about foot placement in the beginning, trying to place my foot deliberately and dismounting if it didn't seem optimal. Not that I really knew what optimal was. Now I find I can wiggle my feet into a more comfortable position as I'm riding, so I am less obsessed by it. However, I have been wondering about power pads, and when or if I should consider those. I'm not likely to start doing jumps anytime soon, but I would like to be able to jump off kerbs. Not sure how essential they are to that, but I will say that I hit an unexpected bump at speed once, and my one foot came off the pedal entirely. Inadvertent practice of one-legged riding right there... Which is when I thought that power pads might have helped. Still, I'm not that keen on the idea of feeling locked to the wheel and unable to take my foot off in a hurry if I have to. And of course, not sure how much it hampers the mounting process, as I imagine you'd have to be even more precise about how you place your foot/leg.

Your foot is locked in one position - you can't move much forwards/backwards.. I also thought about them, but as i drive only asphalt.. I don't need them, 140$ not worth. And with my weight if i "jump" of curbs i could easily damage the euc.. :D 

41 minutes ago, Saboteur_ZA said:

I do like the feeling of riding more "free" without bulky gear, especially now that the weather is finally warming up here.  On the other hand, I know I would feel very stupid if I injured myself in a fall, knowing it could have been avoided, or at least minimized by wearing the right gear. I did buy a cheap set of wrist guards, elbow guards, and knee pads on Amazon, right in the beginning of my learning. Wore them once, in the parking garage, and they did nothing to prevent me injuring my foot. So I didn't bother with them after. Hassle to put on and scratchy annoying velcro. But I do always wear my downhill helmet (although I wish it had a magnetic clasp instead of that daft Double D strap). Going to buy Leatt dual axis knee guards, and probably Hillbilly wrist guard gloves, unless I find something better. I like the idea of integrated protection, instead of individual pieces. But also decided against motorcycle jacket. Think I will probably get something like the Fox Baseframe Pro D30 armour, because I won't have to worry about the protective armour sliding around. Might regret that in the heat of summer but it appeals the most to me right now.

I also didn't like the double "D" So i bought this > https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20220516094537&SearchText=quick+release+helmet&spm=a2g0o.productlist.1000002.0

Made my helmet quick release.

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Posted (edited)

Ice vest might be helpful for summer.

Battery heated vest might be helpful for winter.

 

Newspapers act are very effective windbreaker shield/insulation for torso.

Used by Tour de France riders on mountain descents.

 

Easy to vary thickness and shed/discard during ride if needed.

Edited by Paul A
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36 minutes ago, Saboteur_ZA said:

Thanks for clarifying! I see there is lots more for me to learn. In that case, I could see a useful application for the jump pad for when I'm brave enough to venture off road. I am a trail runner, and I love the idea of being able to ride my wheel off road, immerse myself in nature, away from cars, mmmm. Then again I think the push pads could help on longer rides, to alleviate fatigue from constantly leaning forwards perhaps? Maybe I just need time to condition myself to riding longer distance. And when I say longer distance, everything is relative, because I was only riding 15k on my rides since Spring this year. One sunny day a few weeks ago, I decided to push the distance a bit more. Ended up doing 32k, and I could really feel how strained my calves were from the forward lean. I had a trail run the following day and I really suffered from that ride! So maybe push pads would have helped, but more likely I just need to build endurance.  The other thing I have not experimented with at all are the riding modes. Maybe there is a setting that is more optimal for longer rides. So much to learn!

I also had foot crams - i raised front of euc upwards by 2 degree in pedal tilt = less cramps. (You need less leaning forwards to start going.)

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