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KingSong KS-16S // Rockwheel GT16 // (Gotway ACM)


mrelwood
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I have three two contenders to choose from: KingSong KS-16S, Rockwheel GT16, and Gotway ACM. (I'm joining the Gotway boycott, they messed up big time.) These models are often chosen from, but there are a lot of details I haven't seen discussed. What I'm hoping for are direct comparisons between the models. Please pick a few questions and share your experiences!

 

My weight: 91kg (200lbs)

Shoe: EU46, UK12, US13

Current EUC: IPS Xima Lhotz 520Wh

Experience: 2000km (1250 miles)

Riding style: Relaxed acceleration, but I like fast smooth trails.

 

COMFORT:

  • Is there a difference in riding comfort and leg fatique/numbness?
  • Is there a difference in handling pot holes on gravel, or cracks on tarmac?
  • Which has a smoother tiltback (and release) at speed/battery limit?
  • I know they feel and handle differently, but how exactly?

SAFETY:

  • Is there a difference in surviving pot holes, sudden inclines and curbs?
  • Is there a warning close to max torque or low battery?
  • Which is more stable at walking speed?
  • Would you trust only the tiltback if set at 35km/h, warning sounds disabled?
  • How does the speed limit change when low on battery? (KS16: 25km/h below 50% battery?!)

APP:

  • Does the app auto-connect after EUC power cycle?
  • Can the warning sounds be disabled below 35km/h?
  • What is the precision on the battery meter? (Gotway 10%?)

FEATURES:

  • Which is the loudest/quietest regarding the high pitched whine?
  • Which would you trust better in light rain and wet dirt? (Open structure and tight tyre space of the GT16 makes me worry.)
  • Which is the better fit for daily trips at 30km/h in fine gravel cycleways, and light offroad (no city center)?

 

Mods like routing the frame for more space for the wheel and a DIY mud flap are no problem for me, if that gets rid of the GT16 growing pains.

Thank you!

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Thank you so much @Marty for your invaluable insights! I was already leaning towards the GT16 pretty hard.

What I thought I wouldn't like about the KS-16S is, while a sensible feature, it limits the top speed so early and so much when the battery gets lower. And if I'm not mistaken, no alarm at 80% power usage.

Let's give the GT16 one more chance (or nail to the coffin): if fit and finish had zero impact, and the wheel would be used mostly for light off-road and steep fine gravel hills. Which would it be then?

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Your opinion mattered a lot, and was very valuable to me. I placed an order for the Kingsong KS-16S 840Wh. I'll share my feelings in a few weeks.

Thank you Marty!

PS. Hope your wrist is getting better. Mine still hurts a bit in some situations, 2 months after a relatively easy fall. It didn't even hurt right away.

Edited by mrelwood
Wh.
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39 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

Your opinion mattered a lot, and was very valuable to me. I placed an order for the Kingsong KS-16S 840Wh. I'll share my feelings in a few weeks.

Thank you Marty!

PS. Hope your wrist is getting better. Mine still hurts a bit in some situations, 2 months after a relatively easy fall. It didn't even hurt right away.

Cool. Do let me know how the KS-16S works out. I am intrigued about the 'S' model.

My hand is improving daily. Still don't think I'll be doing any push-ups for a few weeks at least. Thanks :)

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Ah, it was the old firmware at 50% battery on the non-S KS16 that I was worried about. On the S it could be different.

Good point on the distance too. I ride down to below 10% battery on my 520Wh Lhotz every time, it just takes a 22km trip. My body can't handle the distance to get a 840Wh KS-16S down anywhere near that low...

Also, coming from the Lhotz, the 80% power warning is something I might never reach.

I think I'm going to be very happy with the KS!

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On ‎25‎.‎06‎.‎2017 at 0:31 PM, mrelwood said:

What I thought I wouldn't like about the KS-16S is, while a sensible feature, it limits the top speed so early and so much when the battery gets lower. And if I'm not mistaken, no alarm at 80% power usage.

KS can not really implement a 80% Alarm.....as they have a totally different philosophy then GW/Rockwheel....

On a GotWay you can drive the wheel so fast as you want untill you run into a cutout...there is only the 80% beeps that warn you and can not be turned off...but you can go faster till it cutoff then.

 

A KS wheel has a different philosophy, it will NEVER EVER let you come in the near to a cutout Speed.

You have 4 adjustable alarms, the 1. and 2. can be turned off, while the 3. Alarm (4.beeps) and 4. Alarm(tiltback) can be set/adjusted to the max value of 35kmh...but can not be turned off completly

So it is perhaps easier to say that a KS16S because of the tiltback will never ever let you go faster than about 80%......or better say always save Speed.,..

 

Yeah, the 16S and the FW 1.25 have a lower "Speed reducement" Setting...it sets in at about 55Volt(ca. 25-30%) and then doesn not go directly down to 25kmh!...it more sets in step by step...so in the beginning 30kmh, than 28, 26 with the Batterie getting lower! And when you are at 20% Batterie, you normally dont go any lower as -Sorry- thats risky....

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21 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Your opinion mattered a lot, and was very valuable to me. I placed an order for the Kingsong KS-16S 840Wh. I'll share my feelings in a few weeks.

Thank you Marty!

May I ask where you bought it? I'm also interested in the same model (live in Sweden).

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2 hours ago, KingSong69 said:

A KS wheel has a different philosophy, it will NEVER EVER let you come in the near to a cutout Speed.

I was thinking about the power reserve in a fast acceleration. I know it's pretty darn far from what I currently do, as I always accelerate quite slowly since I know Lhotz has it's limits. The way I accelerate I don't feel a difference in 100% and 10% battery.

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2 hours ago, e_kjellgren said:

May I ask where you bought it? I'm also interested in the same model (live in Sweden).

Disclaimer: I took a risk and didn't buy from a reputable seller since I can do repairs myself, and I believe I can atleast talk them into shipping me parts if there is an obvious manufacturing defect.

The cheapest I found was from seller "FEIER Outdoor equipment store", at AliExpress. I confirmed that the EU import tax and customs fees are paid for, so I get no additional costs. The communication has so far been good.

1radwerkstatt in Germany would be an obvious choice as a reputable seller, though the 16S seems to be sold out atm.

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30 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

I was thinking about the power reserve in a fast acceleration. I know it's pretty darn far from what I currently do, as I always accelerate quite slowly since I know Lhotz has it's limits. The way I accelerate I don't feel a difference in 100% and 10% battery.

Then you will be very happy to have a Ks16s then....

As the difference in what what you "can accelerate" on a Lhotz and on a Ks16s is like from going to 10% to 100% :-)

Really like heaven!

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7 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Good point on the distance too. I ride down to below 10% battery on my 520Wh Lhotz every time,

 

4 hours ago, KingSong69 said:

Yeah, the 16S and the FW 1.25 have a lower "Speed reducement" Setting...it sets in at about 55Volt(ca. 25-30%) and then doesn not go directly down to 25kmh!...it more sets in step by step...so in the beginning 30kmh, than 28, 26 with the Batterie getting lower! And when you are at 20% Batterie, you normally dont go any lower as -Sorry- thats risky....

Keep in mind, that 54V (or 3,4V/cell) is the 0% Voltage of the Lhotz. If KS sets 55V at 30%, than 0% would be around 50V, or 3,125V/cell... considering safety...

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14 minutes ago, Scatcat said:

Well, I only have experience with GT16. The KS16 looks like an awesome wheel, but I am VERY satisfied with my GT16 - warts and all.

But like @Marty Backe noted, it is a bit special.

I have put the roughest type skateboard grip tape on my pedals to save the rubber and give me flawless grip. I would recommend doing something like that, because the rubber will not be very safe in wet conditions, and putting your rough shoes on grip-tape will make the rubber last longer.

Also be aware that the KS16 is probably more resilient to really heavy rain. The GT16 is OK in rain, but before trying, you should make sure the side-covers are snugly tightened and that the top control-board compartment sits securely on the shell. There are no gaskets or anything like it. The splash resistance is dependent on the way pieces fit together. I have a lot of confidence in mine, but mileage may vary. OTOH, I don't really like riding in heavy rain anyway, so I've only tested it under really wet conditions twice.

Also, you have to replace the mud-flap, because that is a useless piece of junk. Any gravel or dirt sticking to the wheel will rub off on the mud-flap and stay there. Overall the shell gets ridiculously dirty in any kind of "weather", there are a million and one places for dirt to stick it seems. That's what you get when the "design language" trumps simple usability. Another area where that's true, is the battery panels, which are ridged just around where you wrist resides, that can become rather painful...

If you don't fix your own mud-flap, you can safely count on getting dirty, because the shell is totally open for >3/4 of the wheel circumference.

The stability at speed is good, even very good for a 16" x 2.125" wheel. The acceleration and breaking power is unbelievable. The app setting for pedal stiffness have two usable modes "walking" which is a very comfortable mode for long rides on good empty roads, and "playing" which is stone hard. In playing mode, you more or less think "accelerate" and it does, it is however a bit taxing if you're not used to it.

It is very nimble, you can easily go at walking speeds and weave around pedestrians like the wheel was a 12"-14" wheel. A u-turn is a blast, carving and any form of slalom is fun. The risk of the pedals hitting the ground is more or less non-existent.

I commute with it, and have no complaints on my 7-8 mile run. I usually run at around 20mph, a bit slower if there's a lot of bicycles or scooters on the road, a bit faster if I am alone and there's a good stretch.

All alarms can be set by the user in the app, which means you can turn them of by setting them far above cut-off speed :(, but I've set my first alarm at about 22mph, to remind myself that I am losing the sense of speed. Tilt back is rather smooth, but maybe it is a bit too easy to ride the tilt-back... The tilt-back speed is also user configurable.

The app is rather basic, but shows speed, voltage, amperage, battery percentage (which I tend to ignore, as it shows the same as the LEDs on top), temperature, max power requested since the last time recharging, mileage/total mileage, and not much more. The meters are not ideal for quick scanning, but you learn what to look for eventually. It reconnects when the wheel is on and the app is active, at least most of the time.

Rockwheel says there is an 80% power alarm, but so far I've never managed to user more than 60-65% of nominal power, so I can't attest to that. That was accelerating uphill like some darwin-award idiot. FWIW the temp meter has never gone above 45°C, which of course doesn't mean your motor cables are that cool. As in GW (and most other wheels AFAIK) the motor cables are flimsier than the rest. How hard can it really be to use high temp isolation heavy gauge cabling? Actually the cooling for the board is brilliant, with cooling fins going into the wheel housing and extra air ducts getting air to the fins. The battery compartment OTOH is closed, but not really cramped, so it will probably do well enough.

According to Rockwheel, the current axles are heftier than the first batch that hit the market. I've seen at least one case of a broken axle, and can't really guarantee that was an early wheel. My own wheel has no such problems, yet at least.

With your weight, which is almost the same as mine, you should have no problems. But with your shoe-size, which is two numbers larger than mine, you may have issues with the pedals. It depends on how strong your feet are and how your arches hold up. I have one flat foot, and had to try a few different shoes until I found a couple of pairs that worked right. I have one set of Ecco summer shoes with mesh top, gel insole, arch support and relatively hard sole. The other pair is a couple of hiking boots which are very stable. With the summer shoes I use a pair of wrist-/achilles-protection half-socks scavenged from a pair of Nike soccer shin-pads, or my poor wrists would get pretty banged up.

Overall: I'd say that a KS16 is probably the safer choice, both in terms of longevity, over-engineering, safety measures and so on. The GT16 requires rider sanity not to be dangerous. Keep the tilt-back and the higher speed alarms on, at sane speeds, and don't try going above 25-26mph. Rather keep your speed a bit lower than that unless you're heavily protected MC-style.

Great review! You make me want one :D

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For charge level, I mostly look at voltage on my GT16.

It starts at 84V, after commuting 7-8 miles it's usually at around 80V (4V per cell), when I get home it's more like 76V total / 3.8V per cell. The wheel LEDs report that as 80%, but as it goes in 20% steps, I suspect it's more like ~70%. That would mean 0% is around 2.8V per cell / 56V total, which seems pretty close to the 2.7V that are the usual "no-lower-than-this" recommendation for 18650 Lithium cells.

Personally I usually don't want to go below 40% or about 68V. At least not without laying off a bit on the speeds and stunts...

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@Scatcat Nice write up! Almost makes me want a GT16. But I already have my beloved 16 inch death trap (ACM) and would probably go for the 16S it it were between it and the GT16, simply for being the better known entity. But I have to say, the GT16 seems much better (less sketchy and better constructed) than I initially expected, and once they roll out the V2 with some improvements it may beat the Gotway offerings (except on battery size). The Rockwheel guys also seem to be working on custom motors, which is a promising sign on how competent they are.

21 minutes ago, Scatcat said:

As in GW (and most other wheels AFAIK) the motor cables are flimsier than the rest. How hard can it really be to use high temp isolation heavy gauge cabling?

100% agree.

But as long as they use the thin bike axles, it is sadly impossible to use thicker wires because they won't fit through there. So it is really hard to use better wires in a sense... a terrible sense;)

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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12 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

I never looked at my numbers, but GW/KS have 4.2V (100%) to 3.2V (0%) I believe. Didn't know they could reasonably go as low as 2.7V. That's 50% extra (in theory).

Actually the 2.7V is a never-go-below-this-number Voltage. If you go lower, you hurt the cell pretty quickly.

Actually my guesstimate of where 0% is, is just that - a guess.

What I know is that I lose about 4V per 8 miles on the roads I use for commuting. Reasonably flat with a few rises, but nothing spectacular; reasonably good roads, but with some rough stretches; speeds between 15 mph and 22 mph with averages around 18 mph. Going down to 3.2V per cell would give me somewhere in between 30 and 40 miles total, which is pretty good for 858Wh but means the meters on the wheel are sh*t... Well, no surprises if they are... :D

 

Edited by Scatcat
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1 hour ago, Scatcat said:

If anyone wants to order the GT16, try to get the new gel side-pads. The original pads are hard as h*ll.

Good advice, the new pads also look like they're contoured somewhat, right where the leg rests.

I guess it's good to see rolling changes added to the GT16. Sounds like the pads and possibly the axles have been improved. I also saw an AliExpress listing with three new colors, a flat black, a blue, plus a different red. All seemed to have the new pads. Does anybody know of any other incremental upgrades? I've been watching AliExpress for the rumored new larger battery but haven't yet seen it.

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25 minutes ago, who_the said:

Good advice, the new pads also look like they're contoured somewhat, right where the leg rests.

I guess it's good to see rolling changes added to the GT16. Sounds like the pads and possibly the axles have been improved. I also saw an AliExpress listing with three new colors, a flat black, a blue, plus a different red. All seemed to have the new pads. Does anybody know of any other incremental upgrades? I've been watching AliExpress for the rumored new larger battery but haven't yet seen it.

What's the rumored battery size?

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15 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

What's the rumored battery size?

Its rumored...thats all! they seam to have problems to get their hands on the 3500mah cells....what i really don't understand!

Perhaps they first need to kill their stock 2900mah cells they have bought in mass? As probalbly nobody will buy the 858 as soon as a 1050ish is available?

But they also have very new nice colors, matte black/grey, blueish matte, red matte....very nice!

see photos on Facebook by "Yi Chen" in our group....

 

@Scatcat

very, very detailed and good review of the Gt16! Got all its goods and not so nice in it!

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