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New V3Pro


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I've only been an EUC owner for a (very) short time, having purchased an IPS i5 for 'last mile' type commuting, but also a bit of general riding fun.  I'm hoping I can get my wife comfortable riding so she and I can both use relatively small EUCs for commuting, short trips, etc.    But she's less enthused.

So I ordered a V3Pro via a Black Friday sale, and this arrived today.

My wife is still going to need some time with it, even as a dual-wheeled unit, just getting on and off it is a challenge for her at the rock bottom beginner level.  I took it outside and rode it around a bit today, and am overall pleased.  I find that I have to sort of relearn how to turn somewhat, or I guess just adjust my process; I almost felt like I was trying to carve turns like on skis, whereas the thin 14" wheel on my IPS i5 turns very easily.

But the dual wheel is going to be great in one way for me: it's going to make it a lot easier to improve at riding backwards.  Fun stuff.

It's interesting to compare these two wheels.  I like the IPS i5 for the greater range, the much lighter weight and the smaller size (I have a backpack to put it in when I take it places).  And I like turning on it better.  The V3Pro is just a more "fun" type of unit, little things like how it turns on and off, the greater width is more comfortable, I love the extension handle, and it's very easy to plug in the recharging cable, whereas for the IPS i5 it's a PITA trying to unscrew the cap to recharge the unit.

I ordered also the protective cover for the V3Pro, as I suspect this will be a sort of "beater" unit that friends and family use to learn to ride.   I'm a little more mixed now on how easy it is to learn to ride this thing, given the turning issue, but I think that overall it's going to still be easier to learn to turn well enough, and the added sense of stability should help beginners a lot I think.

One minor quibble with the V3Pro: when I got my IPS i5, it included a little extension unit for inflating the tire, i.e., screw the extension unit on to the tire valve first to make it easier to connect a pump.  The V3Pro needs this just as much but doesn't include it; my full-sized pump has just too large of a connector to work, so I ended up using a sort of mini bike pump to pump up the twin tires.  No big deal, guess I'm just grumbling a bit.

Looking forward to riding this more and getting to know it better.   And really hoping that my wife takes to it!

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So I took the V3Pro out on a 4 km (2.4 mile) ride this wet-but-not-rainy morning, and have a couple of tentative conclusions from that.  In the context of me being new to EUCs and my only comparative reference is an IPS i5.

First, the climbing power doesn't seem to be as good as the IPS i5, which itself is no monster climbing machine.  Going up some hills I found I couldn't help but to slow---down--- until the hill started to level off.

I DO like, now that I'm learning to interpret it, the pedal tilt-back feedback when I'm approaching the speed limit. I really hate (hate hate hate) that my i5 will just start shrilly beeping at me for quite a bit when I'm at max.   The i5 is sort of training me to always stay some measurable level below the max, whereas with the V3Pro I feel like I can go right close to the max and get a little nudge-back when I'm there.   Of course, the real answer might be "get a better wheel" with a higher allowable velocity, and perhaps I'll get there (this is all too new to me at this point to consider already buying a third wheel).

I rode on some gravel, and while it wasn't super firmly packed, neither was it super loose, and I found it tough sledding.  Sort of like steeper hills, I could keep going, but on what's normally perhaps a 3 - 4 minute walk of a connecting gravel path I opted to get off and walk the middle ~half of it rather than ride.  Again, I think the issue is the power of the motor.

Another power issue is handling shallow curbs and aggressive curb cuts; with more experience and sufficient power, I would have no problem just slowly attacking something like that, but once today and almost another time I opted to just get off the EUC rather than seeing if I could make it up a "bump-up" curb cut.

And now on to battery power --- the range really is weak on this unit.  Admittedly I live in a hilly area, but I started with the battery almost full (my wife had done a little tooling around in the basement in learner mode after I charged it), and according to the app I ended with 59% battery power left.  So if 2.4 miles takes 30+ % of the battery power, AND recognizing that you can never get these things down to zero, or at least practically speaking I don't anticipate doing so, AND that I presume with this machine also you get some sort of enforced slow-down as the battery reaches some lower threshold --- then the effective, usable range is low indeed.

Turning isn't so bad now, I'm getting better at getting up just a little onto one wheel or the other to facilitate turns.  At first it felt like I was either stable on both wheels, or whoa!  Unstable tilting onto on wheel to turn.  And I'm getting better at doing sort of in-place hip-shift sharp turns when needed.   With an empty garage (was really rainy yesterday) I worked on figure eights with the V3Pro and the i5.  I could definitely do tighter and easier figure eights with the IPS i5, but I could do them with the V3Pro too. 

I don't mean any of the above as an attack on the V3Pro.   It would be like giving cheetah a poor rating as an animal because it's not good at flying (or an eagle at running, or pick your own weird metaphor).  "It is what it is", and what it is I think is a pretty stable EUC that might be a good learner unit, fun to ride around for a couple or three miles at a time, and one that's relatively small and light --- so also something that perhaps can be used in a "last mile" mode (take it on a bus, for example).  

My daughters are coming to visit today and one of them can ride a conventional unicycle.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they fare with this.

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