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Do euc owners DESERVE BETTER ?


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from the point of view of a consumer,  do electric unicycle owners ( and riders of course...) deserve better ?

these days, the low end of euc's start at around the sub 1000$ and goes to about 6000$ or thereabouts, tops.  so, for example, we have 10 euc owners of high performance wheels,  that will amount to 60k$.  thats not small change.  how big is the euc owner group, globally ?  are we big enough to persuade the euc manufacturers to follow a minimum set of safety and quality guidelines for their product ?  perhaps have a say (as a group) in how they design their firmware ?

i do see manufacturers tweaking the firmware on models that are already available commercially.  and they are repairing models that are defective (after a rider experiences a crash or similar result).  but wouldnt it be a far better process to thoroughly test these eucs in the field before releasing them to the public ?  couldnt a manufacturer hire say 10 experienced riders and they tell the riders, "ride the hell out of these eucs and let us know what you experience".  this could save the consumer alot of time and reduce the downtime while an euc is out for a repair, a modification or a new flash of firmware...

better still,  if there was a group of euc riders in each country that the manufacturers could give their new models too, and again they are requested to ride these wheels to the extreme.  afterwards,  these rider groups could compare their riding notes and present a finalized report of their experience on the new euc model - that would certainly steer the manufacturer in the right direction before releasing a final product to the consumer.

from reading this forum, and watching some youtube videos,  i do get the sense that this is happening in an informal way.  but IMO, if it was more formalized, and the testing process had some kind of structure to it,  then this would provide a more dependable and consistent source of information for the manufacturers.  the manufacturers would organize and put this together for their benefit as well as the consumers.

i cant help thinking that im part of a large group of crash test dummies performing some testing function for the euc industry,  every time i get on my euc for a ride...

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It’s kind of a weird question in the topic title. I don’t know, do you deserve better? What about a collective group of consumers from one country in comparison to another? And who is doing the, presumably unbiased, judging of standards in the first place?

I know what you’re getting at though and sorry for being facetious there as a lead-in. I asked similar questions before too after becoming somewhat concerned that maybe the informal process of testing and QA was deficient in this market. This sentiment especially after learning about Begode’s prior design failure to match/spec cell capability to performance requirements from their own motor controller current limits resulting in the LG M50 pack fires that apparently are still ongoing. These kinds of design flaws becoming known to the public can and should produce a healthy, and IMO necessary, skepticism regarding consumer behavior when it comes to purchasing and owning electric wheels (or any PEV for that matter). If they want to appropriately manage or even want to attempt to conceptualize their risk tolerance that is.

So maybe a better question is: should electric unicycles consumers expect the same level of product quality they would get when purchasing, say, an Apple product such as an Iphone?

I think we all know that the answer is no. So following your line of thinking the question becomes: would there be a value-add from including the public more in EUC product development in terms of increased sales from the manufacturer’s priorities and increased safety from the consumer priorities?

It’s an interesting question because, like you said, we end users don’t get much, if any, visibility in the pre-production testing and feedback design cycle. Although pre-production YT testers public feedback shouldn’t be discounted. Considering the country of origin, I sometimes wonder if there is more visibility and direct feedback that happens in the EUC communities on Chinese enthusiast message boards/SM apps as perhaps language barrier and other cultural factors come into play.

If I were to make a safe bet I would say that the manufacturers are perfectly fine with their PD cycle feedback loop as is, which likely includes some input near the end of the PD cycle from popular YT testers → big retailers (eWheels, Rev Rides, Alien Rides, etc) → Manufacturer. This assumed current process leaves the non-influencers with one binary choice, the only realistic piece of feedback to affect the manufacturer: Buy or No Buy. And honestly, I think that’s OK given this is a completely voluntary choice. It’s not like we are being forced to own these products.

That said, the state of the market heavily favors potential future owners of EUCs who take the time to fully inform themselves of the risks involved not just in purchasing a wheel, but also in safe riding behaviors, charging, and storage of their device(s). I’ll just name a few of these now well-known truisms for posterity:

  1. Pre-orders and V1 EUC owners always assume greater levels of risk, no matter the manufacturer and no matter the wheel than those who patiently wait sometimes 1+ years to own the latest model.
  2. Owners who do not scrap and/or replace known unsafe wheels or battery configurations take their property and even possibly their lives into their own hands as well as increase the possibility of heavy regulation upsetting or even destroying the market for these wheels altogether.
  3. Know the method your EUC battery BMS functions by and always ensure that your packs are charging to their known ~4.2V/cell full state reporting a healthy pack voltage after charging particularly for top-balancing BMSs.
  4. Don’t charge your battery packs in sub or even near-freezing conditions.
  5. Avoid water submerssion while riding and heavy precipitation conditions.
  6. All The Gear, All The Time as a general rule. Broken bones and other grevious injuries are never a good look for promoting our hobby. Of course, some accidents are unavoidable and unfortunately go with the territory of this high risk form of transportation. Greatest sympathy for those who’ve gotten the short end of the stick here as it can happen to anyone.

This is already far too long, but I’ll say one more thing while I’m on it today, what about the future? Would we even want any kind of regulation to say force Begode, Inmotion, King Song up to Apple level quality if such a thing were even possible?

I’m not so sure. Ideally the manufacturers would, unprompted by oversight, compete more on quality than on features and performance as they all seem to prioritize today. However, I personally don’t have any confidence whatsover in the regulatory functions within my country to lead to this kind of positive result or trajectory through law. In fact, I believe it’s far more likely that any kind of regulatory oversight would simply result in broad banning of these kinds of products. Thankfully, no influential politicians' son(s) have gotten themselves run over yet...

Furthermore, looking far more broadly at how things are changing geopolitically, it’s less and less likely that Chinese manufacturers will care about what western consumers want/demand as China overall is shifting and expanding their trade away from the dollar-denominated markets of yester-year. So in general, my take-away has been to try and be a smarter or greater-informed consumer given the fantastic amount and speed at which information spreads here on the forum, with facebook, youtube, and other social media, and to enjoy the relatively free market dynamics that make EUCs still available to us today because who knows what tomorrow may bring.

essay brought to you by /ChatGPT ;)

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firstly no need to apologize about any thing when voicing your opinion.

secondly, i really appreciate your reply.  its well written and concurrent. nice point about any politicians offspring getting injured from euc accidents... and your list is not too long at all...

take care and have a great 2023 riding season !!!


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