Electric Personal Transport (Scooters, skateboards, one-wheels, etc)

Discussion in 'Outdoor World' started by Hrodulf, May 30, 2021.

  1. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Any of you people ride one of the newfangled e-thingies? I recently decided to use an e-skateboard for fun and commuting to work. Initially a bicycle seemed more viable, but I live on the 6th floor with no elevator, so I wasn't sure I'd like to lug a bike up and down every day. Also the darn thing would takes tons of space in my apartment, so that was a no go. E-scooters initially seemed like a decent idea, but I'm hardly petite at 118kgs and would need one of the more high caliber scooters. It would take up less space, but the weight is like two bicycles and many can't be carried easily.

    Enter the e-skateboard. After some research I chose the Wowgo 3X as good compromise between specs/price/weight. It looks like a regular longboard, but has some electronics under the deck.

    [​IMG]

    You control the throttle with a remote and steer by shifting to the sides like on a regular skate/long-board. As I understand, the idea behind a powered longboard isn't new, but it was really Boosted (now defunct) who put the e-sk8 on the map. Nowadays there are Chinese companies who have perfected the electric skateboard and offer better boards for less than Boosted would. I bought mine for 900EUR, but only because I'm impatient and wouldn't wait 2 months for rail shipping from China.

    Overall I'm very happy with the decision. Riding this thing is super involving compared to a bicycle or an e-scooter where you're more of a driver. Initially it was pretty scary as there's a lot of power and torque from the drivetrain on tap. It also means that protective gear is a must. On bike lanes and good pavement I regularly reach 30km/h and only a crack or a rock is enough to stall the 90mm wheels or make one lose balance. I wear a helmet and knee, elbow and wrist protection. A bad fall would give me some asphalt burn, but my wrists wouldn't brake which is one of the more common falling injuries.

    The riding is a dream. On good pavement the board runs super buttery and you can carve like on any other board. It also forces me to empty my mind as the riding is very demanding and the board doesn't forgive errors. Luckily I've only stalled on low speeds so I could continue running rather than catch air. Reddit is full of stories with broken bones and as I understand, most folks experience their worst falls on second season when there's enough confidence to really push it.

    If you crave some adrenaline and maybe are looking for an alternative means of personal transportation, do try it out. I ride about 15km every day to and from work, so it's practical too.
     
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    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  2. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    i’ve got 500 miles on a OneWheel XR, bought in September 2020. easily the best and most fun purchase in the last 15 years.
    With the IOS app tuning the board a bit stiffer and a tad bit of lean, it feels like 90% snowboarding in soft powder.

    smooth neighborhood roads make carving a dream, summer snowboarding perfection. yet it still rides well on dirt / bike trails.
     
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  3. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Oh, yeah! Haven't seen one of those around, but I like the bigger wheel giving more resistance to obstacles. Interesting that it "only" has a single 750W motor. My board has two of them and I'm starting to crave more. Especially as I plan to move to 120mm wheels, some torque would be lost and making it up would require beefier motors. Half considering going DIY and crafting my dream board with something insane like a pair of 3500W motors for erm... better heat management.
     
  4. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    In Amsterdam I see the long-boards and steps more often these days. That includes the electronic and the analogue (muscle power) versions.

    I like them. They are very nimble and you can move around very quickly.

    There are a few issues though.
    • Often I see people on these things with headphones on.
    • Often these people do not care about which surface they use or its rules (pavement, bike-lane, road).
    • Often these people do not signal left or right for turns.
    • Often these people are hard to notice when daylight fades.
    • In the worst case, combine the above points with the refusal to wear reflection or lights in the dark every person with a drivers-license has to consider them keen on suicide.
    Yeah, I am not joking. I love being nimble and quick but in traffic situations you have to communicate with other people. Many of these other people tend to navigate with a car, motorcycle or moped. I know what a 20mph/30-ish km/hour crash can do and it hurts.
     
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  5. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    So, about 1300km later...

    The magic isn't fading! I'm much more confident on the board, however the peak confidence was achieved and then promptly snuffed out by a bail at 30kmh to avoid t-boning a car. Everyone is out to kill me and metal murder boxes are the apex predator in the tarmac wastes. One swooped out on the sidewalk to check the road and I couldn't brake in time, so I had to dodge and bail from the board. Stepping on a speeding belt sander messed my knee up and sent me flying for about 3m, however the pads performed admirably and I got away with minor scratches. The knee took the brunt of the impact and I was concerned that I might've torn some ligaments or smooshed the meniscus. As there was no swelling, I got away for cheap. One week limping and avoiding stairs because I couldn't put much weight on the bad knee, but after a week I felt confident enough to step on the esk8 again. Of course I crashed again. Nothing major - dug in the nose truck and came off the board. The knee didn't like it one bit and I had to refrain from skating for an extra week.

    I won't lie, for a few weeks my confidence was in shambles and I did my best to forget the fall and not forget the lesson. Now I slow down before blind intersections, but there have been sketchy moments. It seems like drivers have a hard time seeing stuff they're not looking for, so I never expect any mercy from them. I recently bought a bit different kind of esk8, so bad surfaces are less of a hassle to conquer.

    [​IMG]

    It's a bit heavier at 12kg, but the ride is very comfortable and despite being longer, it's much more maneuverable due to a different kind of trucks and wheels. I've also discovered the DIY scene which is very active, yet much more drama riddled than in audio. For the next summer I'm building an even more powerful board with bigger wheels, so road surface becomes a non-issue.
     
  6. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Please make sure other traffic sees you. I sometimes encounter people on these things treating their location as a playground while almost being invisible. It used to get to me.

    Thing is, after a while you just avoid damage situations and if such people want to be stupid, feel free to kill yourself. I am not joking. I try to be gentle in traffic, sometimes though you have to literally look them in the eyes with the "W.T.F. are you doing?." Not even honking, just make them think about the situation they are in. (I brake, look them in the eyes and everybody around me will look at this person.)

    In NL there are laws and insurance policies to protect the most vulnerable traffic users. We respect those to keep the streets safe and our wallets full. Some people forget about the efforts that are required.
     
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  7. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    I have started waving at people in cars when we interact. It's pretty disarming and lets them notice me. When we get to an agreement I give them a thumb up or a nod. Works with most folks and even those that are in a hurry are relieved to see how swift I can be clear of them, if they aren't killing me.
     
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  8. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Always scan for the eyes when someone in traffic does something stupid.

    In complete chaos one stare can quiet down everything and the fool just stands there.
     
  9. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Enter ESK8, the Final Frontier!

    241165535_4617452018307563_8970840013798102529_n.jpg

    10 horsepower, around 70km of range and 8" wheels that don't care about the road surface too much. If anything, the wheels are the biggest improvement. Finally I can stop fretting about road quality and just learn to love the torque. Had to tinker with the trucks a bit to get a more stable ride whilst retaining the ability to corner. Oh, and went through three types of remotes before I found one that wouldn't try to kill me. The problem is that they use 2.4GHz RF comms which sometimes get jammed by the Wifi and BT. Settled on a remote that channel hops ever ms, so it retains a stable connection just about everywhere. Losing connection was pretty much the scariest thing. Once it happens, you're constantly bracing for it to happen again! At speed loss of connection engages brakes and at lower speeds you lose brakes. Almost rolled on a busy street one time.

    Now let's see for how long can I ride until my ears and nose freeze off!
     
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