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A good starter wheel?


DrZoidberg
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I live in Copenhagen and bike theft is a big problem here. I like the idea of being able to take my "bike" and just put it in my backpack until I need it again. So I've been considering buying an e-wheel. I'm also a technology nerd and love anything electric/electronic. I understand that there's a bit of a learning curve to the e-wheel, so therefore this question. 

What's a good beginner wheel? 

I've been led to believe that it's a good idea to start with a cheaper wheel and then once I know what I'm doing, get one that I plan to ride for a long time. With the bonus of that cheaper wheels are slow, so there's lower risk for injury. Is that a good strategy? 

I'd be grateful for any tips 

 

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i was facing the same question about a year ago, i contacted some sellers in CPH and i was about to go for the KS14, thinking i should buy a cheaper wheel for the first, when i went to pick it up the seller also had a KS16, looking back im happy i did not invest in the cheaper wheel, Buying the KS16 was the best option, becouse i knew i was going to ha ve daily use of the wheel! 

so i woild recomend you go for a wheel that will suite your needs for a long time, and in copenhagen a 16" wheel is perfect, you can easily follow the bicycle flow on a KS16, with a 14" i think you will have a lot of bicycles going past you

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A cheap wheel may have quite small pedals which makes it probably much harder to learn. That's how I learned, but I don't recommend it. 

For daily commutes in a city I also would recommend 16". The main concern though you will have to negotiate is weight. Carrying around 15kg or more isn't so much fun. The lightest 16" wheel is the InMotion V8 with 13.5kg. The Uniwheel, when delivered, will be around 11kg but without a trolley. I abandoned the habit of carrying a bag. I only use it rarely when I wanted to conceal the wheel from being recognized as an EUC.

Edited by Mono
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I Agree the weight might just be a factor, but let me just say my personal opinion, it is so-much-fun to ride an EUC that i would any day carry a 30kg monster up and down those 8 set of stairs :)  but thats just me..

I Know most buildings in copenhagen have indoor bicycle garages, how about getting some wheel lock you can mount to wall/floor and secure your wheel to when you need? this way you could store it there and dont have to carry it up and down

 

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2 hours ago, Rob Valley said:

I Know most buildings in copenhagen have indoor bicycle garages, how about getting some wheel lock you can mount to wall/floor and secure your wheel to when you need? this way you could store it there and dont have to carry it up and down

And how would you lock the charger or unplug it to avoid full charge cycles or...? 

Just because a wheel is light it doesn't mean it must be less fun to ride. IMHO it tends to be rather the opposite, everything else being equal. 

Edited by Mono
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11 hours ago, DrZoidberg said:

Good point. Because I was aiming for 14" simply because... well... it's smaller and easier to carry around. I live at Nørreport on the fourth floor without an elevator. So the ability to put it in a bag is pretty good. 

Depending on how uncovered the wheel is, you may be able to walk your wheel up steps.

For example, my 50 pound MSuper 1600 can easily be walked up steps but my KS16 can sometimes not be depending on how close the pitches are. All my other wheels are 14 inchers and absolutely cannot be walked up.

With practice and care an exposed wheel can be walked quite quickly and safely up steps. You wouldn't use the trolley extended for this.

 

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Obtain the weight of the wheel you like.  Put that much weight in a strong bag.  Carry it up those 4 flights of steps.  if you can handle it. go for it.  I wouldn't leave a wheel unattended for more than ten minutes, locked up even. Theft is only part of the problem. 

Other problems:

vandalism

turning it on and messing with it.

slashed tire

stolen battery

Injury to curious idiot ( falling off while trying to stand on it, getting fingers caught between tire and shell, etc).  I'm not sure of the law in Denmark, but in some countries, the concept of "Attractive Nuisance" puts the owner at fault for injuries caused to third parties by an attractive nuisance; in this case, a shiny euc that begs to be investigated further.

The building owner will not like you power walking a wheel up the stairs.  every time the wheel scrabbles for grip it will leave a skid mark, or tear up wood.  I know, I've seen it done. Carry it.

 

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How about a strap over shoulder & through handle for carrying it upstairs? Puts most of the weight on the shoulder instead of hanging the whole weight on your arm/hand.

Edited by duaner
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1 hour ago, duaner said:

How about a strap over shoulder & through handle for carrying it upstairs? Puts most of the weight on the shoulder instead of hanging the whole weight on your arm/hand.

There's a lot of talk of muscling wheels around and while that is just fine on the short term in the long term you'll get injured.

https://petapixel.com/2018/01/12/psa-camera-bags-damaging-body/

I noticed that by muscling my wheels up steps I developed a hip injury that came about gradually, but also went away gradually when I stopped muscling my wheels upstairs.

A lot of it just comes down to wheel weight. 30 pounds is fine, 40 gets questionable, 50 on one side will incur injury.

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6 hours ago, duaner said:

How about a strap over shoulder & through handle for carrying it upstairs? Puts most of the weight on the shoulder instead of hanging the whole weight on your arm/hand.

That's a good idea.  I've actually recommended it before.  And I've even done it once or twice; using my looped safety strap as a carry strap. Switching shoulders now and then helps reduce the repetitive injury strain problem. 

I've hand carried my 14c up some pretty long flights of steps.  If you have a reasonable amount of strength, and practice good technique, it should not be a problem.

One other thought for the OP.  If you have, or can make a relationship with someone on a lower floor, you could securely store and charge your wheel there.  There's no rule that says your wheel HAS to be by your side; as long as its safe.

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Wheels make you notice a lot how handicap accessible or inaccessible places are. Aka ramps and elevators (wheelchair, frail people and wheel compatible) vs. stairs.

If you ever need a feel good argument for EUCs to convince old people, tell them "wheels have opened your eyes" regarding that:efee8319ab:

--

On topic:

  • Most people here will recommend to get your forever wheel right now instead of going for a cheap one first. The cheap one would be wasted money in the end (you'll barely use it after you have a better one), and also cheaper (<1000€ roughly) wheels usually have really bad price to performance ratio - e.g. you can pay 700-800€ for a 240Wh battery or 1000€ for 480Wh. Same for max speeds etc.
    Used wheels can be an exception. This is a really neat offer in my opinion: And of course it's a question of how much money you can and want to spend.
  • For serious and regular commuting, 16 inches is a bit more comfortable and bump-safe than 14, simply due to the bigger tire. But you can make both work. Standard recommendations for this would be the King Song 16S or 14D/14S. Take a look at the IPS i5 if you really want a backpackable wheel.
Edited by meepmeepmayer
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I have to agree, don't go for a "cheap" wheel, it will only be money thrown into Øresund... I have an Inmotion V3C that have been standing unused for close to a year, I mean to sell it, but haven't gotten around to it for whatever reason. That was money thrown away, even though it's not a "cheapo" wheel. As soon as I got my GT16, the older wheel was forgotten.

The advice here to get a KS16S or a Tesla, especially if you can find one second hand, should be well taken. Sure, you'll have to muscle 17-18 kilos of EUC up the stairs, but believe me it's worth it. Get a strap to help distribute the weight better, and it should be no problem - unless you weigh 60 kilos dripping wet... ;)

The KS16S is probably the low maintenance, safe bet. The Tesla is very fast, but Gotway's wheels often need more tinkering. Also get a good helmet and good wrist-guards. And at least when you start, use knee-pads and elbow guards too. Falling from a EUC is often a very fast affair, and catching yourself on your knee, elbow or wrist may be a very painful experience. When you feel more relaxed in your skills, you may opt to run with less protection (I wouldn't recommend it), but don't ruin your entrance into a fun hobby by injuring yourself.

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If you want a great learning wheel, I suggest getting a new IPS a130 or the slim one or a used T350 from the forum. It has lower pedals and it was the easiest for beginners to learn of mine. Its light, so it wont damage your ankles as much as a heavier one. All beginners crack their ankles at least once with the pedals while learning to mount and dismount. You will outgrow these EUCs within about a month after learning well enough to ride at full speed. They will become your parade or convention center EUC for slower speed, and they will always bring a smile to your face. Save the box and you can resell it at your local bike shop or here on the forum for half the price. They are smaller than the dusty accordian under your rain boots in the Coat closet. Price is about $500

This first wheel will motivate and educate you to your style and what you desire in a wheel. If you want a wheel that you can start and continue without changing vehicles I would suggest the Inmotion V8 or the Solowheel Glide 3. They are the same vehicle, with a different brand name for US buyers. It is somewhat light at 30lbs, but it is well balanced and feels like 27lbs. It has a button to disengage the motor for traveling upstairs that is absolutely ingenious! Not the fastest at just under 20 mph, but certainly enough for bike trails and paths. It has a 16" tire, which absorbs the bumps better than a 14" wheel. The good thing about the V8 is that they are coming out with a new model later this year, so if this is your first wheel, you may have a reason to upgrade to something hopefully better. Price is about $999

kingsong makes a fantastic wheel too, and the KS14D is a good starting wheel as well, weighing around 28lbs with a 14" wheel. It has a built in trolley handle, but no disengage button, so you will have to turn it on and off for stair climbing. It is also a good riding wheel like the V8, and is lighter than the KS16 for that 4 story lift. The speed is the same as the V8 and the range is just under at less than 20 miles. Price is $700-$800 depending on battery size.

You are never wasting money on these things since they give back so much in joy of life. Just like in Cars or shoes, there is no perfect fit for all circumstances. Jump in and find your comfort/thrill zone. There are plenty of styles and niches waiting for you... :rolleyes:

 

Edited by Stan Onymous
More thoughts/ correct weight
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10 hours ago, duaner said:

How about a strap over shoulder & through handle for carrying it upstairs? Puts most of the weight on the shoulder instead of hanging the whole weight on your arm/hand.

Hanging 20kg over one shoulder isn't a real solution either, IMHO. If the wheel has a good handle and isn't too wide, it is comfortable enough to carry, apart from the weight.

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It's easy for others to advise you to carry the heavy wheel up the stairs every day. They don't have to carry it.

There are light wheels that still go fast enough. The MCM 3 goes 18 mph, and weighs like 25 lbs, and costs like $400, and you can stuff it in your backpack.

The convenience to go about your errands might ultimately be more valuable to you than the ego bruise of getting passed by bikes once in a while.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Mono said:

Hanging 20kg over one shoulder isn't a real solution either, IMHO. If the wheel has a good handle and isn't too wide, it is comfortable enough to carry, apart from the weight.

20kg up four flights of stairs?  I'd rather put weight on a shoulder than in my hand (and arm and shoulder).

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After about two flights and a certain amount of weight, even preference is of little comfort. :efee96588e:

Carrying a bike up four flights cant be a snap either. If this guy takes a train and this is his last mile solution, an IPS I5 245 wh is not really a bad solution. 20kph is fine for that and the 7.5kg is easy to carry anywhere. Thats enough power and range to get you around at lunchtime too. Way easier to carry if it rains out either the early morning or late evening commute.

I say get a used IPS T350+ its a blast and doesnt really feel twice the weight of the I5. Goes 30kph and has a 40km range on a 350wh battery and a 16" tire. 

I dont know why I am on such an IPS kick right now, but I have ridden both of those models and they have a fun yet secure feel each in their own respective ways. If you have big hills take the T350+, and if you ride a one speed bike the I5 may be all you will need. You will want to avoid cobblestones on the I5. :w00t2:

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I routinely carry the GT16 up a couple of flights without even taking off the wrist guards. 17kgs isn't that much of a bother, and you can always switch hands once in a while. But off course you can go for a lighter wheel, as long as you don't buy an airwheel, firewheel or somesuch outdated and super-short range wheels.

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What's the difference in riding between a 16" and a 14"? A 14" is more manageable and lighter. But is it much harder to ride? 

BTW, is there a good backpack for carrying these? If you carry something on your back the added weight isn't going to be a problem as far as backache goes. It'll just make you fitter. 

 

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6 hours ago, duaner said:

20kg up four flights of stairs?  I'd rather put weight on a shoulder than in my hand (and arm and shoulder).

I do it almost every day with 14kg and have no incentive to use a belt.

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2 hours ago, DrZoidberg said:

What's the difference in riding between a 16" and a 14"? A 14" is more manageable and lighter. But is it much harder to ride? 

IMHO the main difference is safety. As for bicycles, a larger wheel can better negotiate potholes and other road irregularities. This is the reason why I would have a hard time to go back to 14".

2 hours ago, DrZoidberg said:

BTW, is there a good backpack for carrying these? If you carry something on your back the added weight isn't going to be a problem as far as backache goes. It'll just make you fitter. 

Don't underestimate the volume of these "little" things, you need a pretty big backpack for most of them.

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