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I rode the Pulse Glider


who_the
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4 hours ago, who_the said:

At the back end of a group ride a couple of weekends ago, we met up with @Austin Marhold at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I had a chance to see, ride, and learn more about his Pulse Glider EUC project.

Austin spent some time chatting with us about his wheel and sharing what he could about its current status. As someone who has been involved with EUC's for several years, Austin's wheeling skills are first-rate, and the synergy between him and his wheel is obvious and impressive.

The Pulse in person is every bit as unconventional as it appears in pictures and video, though Austin says the current design does not represent the end product. On its exterior, it shares nothing with any current EUC. Its 12.5-inch tire is unique among current designs, as is the rim, including a highly accessible and brilliantly-designed air valve. Its wedge shape — exaggerated by cladding to both protect it and camouflage its final appearance — appears odd at first, but seems highly functional and innovative, including a handle built into the leading edge. The fixed pedals, noticeably long and high, also serve as stands to allow the Pulse to "lean over" and remain still.  

I rode for a couple of minutes on smooth sidewalk surfaces. The Pulse was exceptionally responsive and torquey among the wheels I have ridden. The high pedal height — I did not measure — offers a very swively and agile ride. The responsiveness reminded me of my MTen3, though the Pulse's motor felt much more powerful, without the "steppiness" I sometimes feel on the small Gotway. 

After a few of us got to sample the Pulse, Austin rode up Market Street with a couple of us to end the ride. The power of the Pulse was once again on display, as Austin repeatedly blasted past my MSuper V3S+ as we pulled away from stoplights.

Even during a brief experience, the potential of this project is obvious and alluring. I can only wish Austin the best in solving the functional and business challenges ahead. 

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Fantastic report from the field. Thanks Jesse!

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I'm following this project and find it very interesting indeed.

When there are technical and business challenges ahead, i just hope he's not gonna kill himself with his crazy little monster and so few protections on...

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Thanks @who_the for that report!  That sheds a little more light on what's hopefully an innovative project.  Do you have any video of you guys riding it?  Was it more difficult to learn to ride with the higher pedals?

EDIT:  I wonder if the fact that the pedals are mounted at the height of the axle could explain the responsiveness.  I've often wondered how these EUCs respond to different pedal heights.  Applying forces level with the centre of the wheel's rotation would tend to make it very reactive rather than introducing lever arms.

It could be that he has been able to work with an electric motor supplier to provide a fast motor with a good torque curve.  Higher quality axle bearings might also help explain the smoothness felt.  A lighter wheel not bogged down by a lot of batteries with a smaller diameter tire would be faster off the starting line.

It will be very interesting to see if Austin can bring this project to fruition.  Pricing will have to be competitive and optimized though as I wonder if we have hit the ceiling in terms of EUC cost with the Gotway Monsters being at the top.

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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8 hours ago, who_the said:

As someone who has been involved with EUC's for several years, Austin's wheeling skills are first-rate, and the synergy between him and his wheel is obvious and impressive.

There is definately a synergistic bond between his body and the wheel. The balance he possesses during his spinning twists are amazing! If the inherent characteristics of his wheel allow for greater balance and agility than the Mten 3 I definately want one!

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