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vgambit

After my last fall, I'm no longer convinced Solowheel is the best EUC. Recommendations?

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Yeah that doesn't seem like much weight from the specs I've seen on different wheels.  

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9 hours ago, vgambit said:

Cliff's Notes on the fall is that I was going near-max speed (unknowingly) when I decided to take advantage of a flat, clear sidewalk. A few seconds after my decision to speed up, the Solowheel abruptly cut off without warning and chucked me forward, full force. I was out of commission for about a week. 

 

I speculate that this happened because the wheel attempted to initiate tilt-back, but because I was maybe 80-90% of max speed (estimated), it must've started to tilt back at the same time I tried to accelerate, so some torque threshold was exceeded before I could even feel any tilting, and the thing was off, and then I was off, before I knew it. A month later, I'm mostly fine, presumably because the max speed of the Xtreme is so low (relative to other EUCs), but I still have some pain in the joints that hit the ground hardest. 

 

The reason why I say I'm no longer convinced the Solowheel is the best is because this sort of thing, as I understand it, isn't really supposed to happen. I've been using my Xtreme for over 6 months, and feel I know what I'm doing. When I was shopping for an EUC, I picked the Solowheel because this forum convinced me that it uses the best algorithms in terms of wheel behavior, turning, acceleration, deceleration, tilt, and so on. But it's sketchy on cobblestones. Going up or down the sharp dip on the sides of a vehicle or pedestrian ramp on a sidewalk can trick the wheel into thinking you're going up or down a hill, causing it to sharply tilt to try to compensate for that, resulting in an awkward downward-pointing foot while going at low speed until you work it back upright.

It weighs too much, at 26 pounds. The handle is uncomfortable, compounding that weight issue. Without a $20 fender addon, it's unusable in the rain unless you enjoy soaking the seat of your pants on your way to work. And the damn magnets that hold the pedals are so weak, I have to gently lift them up to prevent them from bouncing off the body and falling back down again. 

So what are your recommendations? Or is Solowheel really the best, despite all of the issues I have with it?

Like people have mentioned there are very few that would label Solowheel the best or even in the top 3 brands.

It sounds like you want dependability and safety as a top priority, and with that in mind I would recommend KingSong or Inmotion above any other brand. It is harder to outgrow the KS and for that reason it gets my vote if I had to choose between them.

If weight and portability is the most important the new IPS i5 could be perfect for you, but no one really knows anything about it. I will have a first batch unit in a few hours if tracking is correct. I will post more info on it and some videos but as of right now I can't recommend a wheel that hasn't been thoroughly tested.

 

tldr Choose KingSong, find the best size that works for you.

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Other than having to replace the motor, wheel due to axle cracking I love my ks14c!

It has NEVER cut out other than a few over heat tilt backs when idling for extended periods.

And now having what I think is a better generation motherboard and v 1.25 firmware it seems even better.

I now have the feeling form a safety point of view that it "senses" less battery and litterely tells me to slow down!

ukj

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13 hours ago, HermanTheGerman said:

In short: Wheels, where the rider can easily reach the wheel's limit so that it cuts off, are just not state of the art anymore.

This is a great summary of electric unicycle safety! For wheels, more power means more safety reserves, and more power is the only safety reserve you ever have, on principle. You can go slow with a fast wheel, but you can't go fast with a slow wheel. Fast wheels aren't for crazy enthusiasts, fast wheels are simply safer for everyone.

The upcoming Kingsong KS18S is probably the safest wheel, simply because it can go 50 km/h even if you never get close to this and stay at 25.

I think a "this can go twice as fast as I'm usually riding" safety margin is very reasonable long term (maybe even 3x or 4x) given that higher rider weights and especially inclines greatly reduce the maximum safe speed (where it still can balance sudden obstancles e.g.).

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13 hours ago, Trey Lewis said:

tldr Choose KingSong, find the best size that works for you.

This! Bigger batteries and (for some models) stronger motors than Inmotion.

13 hours ago, Keith said:

Whilst reliability and safety features in some wheels are getting to be very good any wheel could possibly suddenly stop and faceplant you. There is no substitute for assuming this could happen on any trip and wearing appropriate protective gear.

Extremely true. Might be very very unlikely to have a cut out due to a technical failure (even with today's wheels), but it's possible and you have to act accordingly (aka wear protection).

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Me IRL:

giphy.gif

 

The impression I got from browsing the forums and checking elsewhere online late last year was that the Solowheel was expensive, but was the only "legit" EUC, as the rest were all "cheap knockoffs" that had rough handling, whereas the Solowheel had smooth handling due to better-engineered balancing algorithms and such. I thought that the other brands were more popular simply because they were cheaper, and people didn't mind the comparatively rough handling. I also had concerns about battery fires and explosions, that were never the case with Solowheels, but sometimes were with these other brands.

I thought I had to charge this thing so damn frequently because larger batteries were dangerous or something. Nope, just a tiny battery (though the airline restriction is real, from what I understand). 

 

It seems my ideal wheel, now, would look something like the following, compared to a Solowheel Xtreme:

More than 200 Wh battery capacity
Highest possible max speed with an option to software-lock it to tilt back at 10-15 mph (so even if I jam on the accelerator near max speed like a scrub, instead of running out of torque, cutting off, and flinging me, it just strongman lifts me up anyway)
Extendable handle to walk it around instead of having to heft it (which is the sole reason why the weight was a problem, really)
Decently strong magnets in the pedals, so I can easily fold them up with my feet when done instead of this delicate placing nonsense I'm dealing with daily
A quick charger that doesn't have ear-piercing coil whine noise when the wheel is fully charged
An actually useful, informative app
The ability to go up steep hills, even at half charge (and do so at a decent clip, instead of a snail's pace, in an effort to prevent the same sort of torque fall)
An option to automatically stop charging before full capacity is reached, so it can go downhill and brake sharply immediately instead of having to run the battery down a bit first
A more accessible tire valve for re-inflation as tire pressure decreases over time
 

Hell, maybe I should get one of the crazy dual-wheel models. Ostensibly, I'd be able to navigate stop and go pedestrian traffic without having to fully stop and plant a foot on the ground. 

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2 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

This is a great summary of electric unicycle safety! For wheels, more power means more safety reserves, and more power is the only safety reserve you ever have, on principle. You can go slow with a fast wheel, but you can't go fast with a slow wheel. Fast wheels aren't for crazy enthusiasts, fast wheels are simply safer for everyone.

The upcoming Kingsong KS18S is probably the safest wheel, simply because it can go 50 km/h even if you never get close to this and stay at 25.

I think a "this can go twice as fast as I'm usually riding" safety margin is very reasonable long term (maybe even 3x or 4x) given that higher rider weights and especially inclines greatly reduce the maximum safe speed (where it still can balance sudden obstancles e.g.).

Being an over 200 lb guy who lives around steep hills, I was very worried about cut-outs due to the not having enough power or battery left.  That's a very important safety issue and it steered me toward getting as much power as I could even though I did not at all want to start off by buying an expensive EUC. 

I was willing to pay quite a premium for not just basic usability, but for a potential safety margin.

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Avoid the dual wheel Airwheel Q5 types of wheels if you can.  I hear that over uneven surfaces they can get a little squirrely.  Maybe lean towards the new KingSong 16S which seems to be a popular choice.  Or the V5F+ / V8 series of wheels.  People seem to rave about their InMotion wheels.  I think the handle on the KS is better though as it's smartly integrated.  Weight of a wheel can actually help you to plough over rough bumps.  The extra mass keeps the wheel moving and stable.

Don't get me wrong - the Solowheel Extreme is a beautiful looking wheel, and some forum members ride them.  I did hear one guy did have a control board issue which he had a hard time dealing with.  Something about an expensive replacement part being difficult to get?  Other stories tend to mention how they have to recharge a lot sooner than other wheels during longer group trips.  I do hear that the Solowheel Classic is a tough, long lasting wheel.

With axle breakage problems, I'm a little leery of the KS 14's, but I hear that they have resolved the issue?

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3 hours ago, vgambit said:

Me IRL:

giphy.gif

 

The impression I got from browsing the forums and checking elsewhere online late last year was that the Solowheel was expensive, but was the only "legit" EUC, as the rest were all "cheap knockoffs" that had rough handling, whereas the Solowheel had smooth handling due to better-engineered balancing algorithms and such. I thought that the other brands were more popular simply because they were cheaper, and people didn't mind the comparatively rough handling. I also had concerns about battery fires and explosions, that were never the case with Solowheels, but sometimes were with these other brands.

I thought I had to charge this thing so damn frequently because larger batteries were dangerous or something. Nope, just a tiny battery (though the airline restriction is real, from what I understand). 

 

It seems my ideal wheel, now, would look something like the following, compared to a Solowheel Xtreme:

More than 200 Wh battery capacity
Highest possible max speed with an option to software-lock it to tilt back at 10-15 mph (so even if I jam on the accelerator near max speed like a scrub, instead of running out of torque, cutting off, and flinging me, it just strongman lifts me up anyway)
Extendable handle to walk it around instead of having to heft it (which is the sole reason why the weight was a problem, really)
Decently strong magnets in the pedals, so I can easily fold them up with my feet when done instead of this delicate placing nonsense I'm dealing with daily
A quick charger that doesn't have ear-piercing coil whine noise when the wheel is fully charged
An actually useful, informative app
The ability to go up steep hills, even at half charge (and do so at a decent clip, instead of a snail's pace, in an effort to prevent the same sort of torque fall)
An option to automatically stop charging before full capacity is reached, so it can go downhill and brake sharply immediately instead of having to run the battery down a bit first
A more accessible tire valve for re-inflation as tire pressure decreases over time
 

Hell, maybe I should get one of the crazy dual-wheel models. Ostensibly, I'd be able to navigate stop and go pedestrian traffic without having to fully stop and plant a foot on the ground. 

I don't know that you'll get much satisfaction out of the app.  I don't see people singing a lot of praises for the apps of the two leading brands, Kingsong and Gotway.  I think they say the one for Inmotion is good?  Not sure.  

The tire valve thing can be fixed with a tire valve extender.  They go for a half a dozen USD on Amazon but seem difficult to find in ordinary stores.

Magnets in the pedals is something you may be able to modify yourself easily and relatively inexpensively, so I'm not sure that should be too determinative.

I don't know about going up hills at speed, especially in the transition.  That simply takes a lot of power.  And the transition, from what I read, can require a quick increase in torque that can overwhelm some motors, especially for heavier riders.  I know when I get my new machine, I am going to try to make it a mental habit to slow down a bit before I hit a notable increase in incline, and start slowly.

People here note that dual wheel models have a significant problem of their own, in that they try to ride on both wheels on less than level surfaces, forcing you to angle your body away from the wheel's center so you aren't riding at a big tilt yourself.  That could be awkward at best.

Regarding charging, you are not limited to the charger that comes with your wheel and it may not be a good idea to limit your choice based on that charger.  Distributors like Ian of speedyfeet.com and Jason of ewheels.com, among others, sell chargers separately that can do what you need.  Sometimes they're even included, at least on the big wheels that take a long time to charge.

Edited by Dingfelder

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19 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

How much do you weigh?  If you're on the lighter side, maybe an Imotion V5+ or V8 might be a good choice or a Gotway MCM4/KingSong 14C?  It's difficult to find something lighter than 26 pounds that is still pretty good.  Maybe a Ninebot S2 or the new IPS i5?

I weigh about 180 pounds. I was actually looking at the KS18S based on this thread, but it seems to have a 1500W motor vs the Xtreme's 1800W. So how does it have triple the top speed? Also, given that the Xtreme apparently has a more powerful motor than the KS, wouldn't that make the KS18S even more susceptible to the sort of cutoff I ran into?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

With axle breakage problems, I'm a little leery of the KS 14's, but I hear that they have resolved the issue?

Are you certain it was resolved? My wife would come back and haunt me forever if something happened while riding her KS14C!

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10 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I prefer my KS14c as well over my other wheels. The cracked axel does make me nervous. I can only imagine the newer version of the KS14 must be much better.

How old is your KS 14C?

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40 minutes ago, Rehab1 said:

Are you certain it was resolved? My wife would come back and haunt me forever if something happened while riding her KS14C!

I'm pretty sure those axles cracked because guerrillas where riding them and doing lots of curb jumping. I'm pretty sure we both have the same KS14C and mine shows no sign of undue wear. I avoid big drops whenever possible. 

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I am sad to hear this news. Hope you are better now. As far as I know, King Song, Inmotion  and Gotway are the top three electric unicycles manufacturers. Solowheel is not so popular to customers now.  King Song considers the customers' safety to be the most important thing, which deserves your trust.:)

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I thought I read a post from someone (maybe KingSong69?) about the axle situation... have to search for it...  Usually it's not a castastrophic failure, but people are reporting that there are scraping sounds coming from the wheel.  When they open it up they see the cracked axle allowing the pedal support to contact the motor side cover.

Found it:

Regarding speed, I don't think there is a simple correlation between it and motor rating.  I hear the KS18 is a nice wheel if you don't mind the weight and 18" wheel. @Bryan Wells has some good review videos of it.  At your weight most wheels should be fine, but if narrowing things down to your criteria, the KS16S likely would be a good bet.  Maybe Rockwheel GT16, but the jury is still out on that one as it is a first model year.

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love

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18 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

I thought I read a post from someone (maybe KingSong69?) about the axle situation... have to search for it...  Usually it's not a castastrophic failure, but people are reporting that there are scraping sounds coming from the wheel.  When they open it up they see the cracked axle allowing the pedal support to contact the motor side cover.

Found it:

Regarding speed, I don't think there is a simple correlation between it and motor rating.  I hear the KS18 is a nice wheel if you don't mind the weight and 18" wheel. @Bryan Wells has some good review videos of it.  At your weight most wheels should be fine, but if narrowing things down to your criteria, the KS16S likely would be a good bet.  Maybe Rockwheel GT6, but the jury is still out on that one as it is a first model year.

Bryan eventually decided it wasn't at all what he wanted, as I recall, and began touting how great the other smaller wheel was that he got(or already had) -- a Ninebot or Inmotion maybe?  It was quite a turn-around and he seemed very committed to it.

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I was surprised to hear that as in his videos it sounded like he was pretty keen on the KS18.  Too bad @Cloud has vanished since I think he bought one too.

The Ninebot One E+ is a good all rounder, but it's showing its age compared to the newer models.  I think it only has what a 500W motor?  Mine has been rock solid for me, but I wish it was faster.  You hit 20-22 khp pretty quickly on it plus the 20-22 km range limit for my 167 pounds (168 with the Pineapple Lumps).

I'm keen on the Rockwheel GT16 myself, but I think I'd want a second or third generation version where they have refined it some.  The ACM16 also looks to be a winner.

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love

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