Monokoliso: two seasons of experience

Published on December 01, 2017

Monokoliso: two seasons of experience

    2300 kilometers traveled, one serious repair, wintering, four notable fall events - these are the numerical results of my two seasons on the monowheel. And this is an experience that I would like to share. Maybe a little time to talk about it on the first day of winter. Indeed, I wanted to prepare material for the anniversary of acquaintance, but, alas, there were constantly more important things to do. However, there is a logic to prepare the sleigh in the summer, and the monowheel in the winter.



    A meeting


    It cannot be said that the concept of the monocolice struck me from scratch. In 2008, I thought about whether to buy a scooter, in the area of ​​2012 I was eyeing electric bicycles. I was not interested in an ordinary bicycle, because in recent years the distance from home to various workplaces was around 15 km, and my friends and colleagues who rode bicycles did not overcome more than half of this distance. Self-balancing electrical devices were known to me, but they didn’t inspire me at all - the segways were expensive and bulky, and the hoverboard widely distributed in 2016 could not solve the task of moving long distances around the city. The first person on the monowheel drove past me in May 2016, his colleagues noticed from the window, but for some reason I ignored it. You can restore the date when I found out about monowheels - I read on July 22post in LJ and began to dig in this direction. The device looked compact, very stylish and able to take me to work and back. After a week of watching videos and photos, I clearly understood that I really want this type of transport.

    Selection logic


    How to choose the most suitable model? I tried to act rationally, so I began to identify the main limitations. The main one was the opportunity to drive 30 km on a single charge - it would be very inconvenient to carry the charger with you and charge the wheel at home and at work. According to the characteristics indicated in the stores, wheels with a battery capacity of 340 Wh / h would fit the wheel but formally I did not trust the Chinese watts and decided to apply a reduction factor. There were no 500 W * h models at that time, and the double supply looked like a reasonable precautionary measure, so a 680 W * h battery became the minimum acceptable. In the summer of 2016, these models offered Kingsong and Gotway. And the first had a unit with a completely elegant ergonomics - a retractable handle, headlights on both sides, closed by a thoughtful body.



    In general, such clips perfectly serve to popularize monocolos. Much later, I wrote a man who was fascinated by the topic because of my videos with pokatushkami . The KS-16A model, which was released in early 2016, is already morally obsolete, but the design of the case turned out to be surprisingly successful, on its basis Kingsong creates new wheels. According to the results of operation, I consider the choice to be correct - 680 Wh / h in my conditions is enough for ~ 45 km, and ergonomics turned out to be really excellent.

    Training


    The next obvious stage is to learn to ride. On the one hand, anyone who can stand on his feet can ride the monowheel - in both cases the brain solves the problem of maintaining unstable equilibrium. On the other hand, this is a new skill that needs to be learned; therefore, alas, there are people who lacked patience. Especially bad will be the case, if you study wrong. While the wheel was on the way, I looked and read various educational materials, and was theoretically ready. Alas, the practice has shown that the chosen method of training categorically did not suit me, for a week I was stuck on trying to do the exercise “a long step”without visible progress. But after two days of riding with a support on the shoulder of my wife, I went on my own. Exercises in the video are useful, but, but in my experience, the best way to learn is to find someone and learn to ride on his shoulder. Already this year I taught my wife to ride, and in her case, too, things went much better with support. Although you can find stories on the Internet, how people learned quickly themselves with the help of the “long step”. At least try, what if you are lucky?

    Curve arrogance and security


    Many have a question - is it safe to ride in a vehicle that has only one wheel? Imagination can paint scary pictures of a wheel suddenly turning off at full speed with a subsequent fall. But real-life experience shows that a controller that maintains equilibrium usually burns at low speed in the presence of obstacles, and tens of thousands of kilometers of the Russian monowheel community have literally isolated cases of accidents on the move, for example, when a Hall sensor burns determine its position by the controller). Personally, for 2300 km I had four notable falls, none of which was related to the failure of the equipment, and, thanks to the protection, I kept intact not only the carcass, but also my clothes. At all,



    The first case hit the video. At the end of the walk, I obviously drove the wrong way, and, not having time to get out, drove into the area of ​​softer and deeper dirt, in which the wheel stalled and dropped. In general, deep soft sand or dirt is impassable for the wheel, consider this. It is necessary to constantly evaluate the road ahead, and it is better to slow down than suddenly be in danger. In wet weather you need increased attention, once I underestimated the degree of slippery dirt, the wheel led, I managed to cope with it, but, all the same, the feeling is not pleasant.

    In the second case, I was returning after dark from work. Passed and melted the first snow - damp as after a light rain. At some moment I see that I am going parallel to a small asphalt step (to the left a little higher, to the right just below). I have time to think "so the wheel will cling sideways to the tires on this ledge, this is wrong, we must go sideways", maybe even starting to turn, as the wheel flies out from under the feet to the right, and I'm flying forward. Again, thanks to the protection - all scratches and scuffs remained on it.

    In the third case, the reason was purely psychological. Naturally, the first trips were made slowly and carefully. Then, with increasing confidence, the driving speed began to increase. Unfortunately, weight management on the monowheel is so nice that it provokes to drive faster and maneuver more actively. Well, then it remained only to wait, when it will lead to a fall. On my usual way to / from work there is a long fence with driveways. Since it is not visible that behind the fence, I always slow down. But, since there is usually no one there, it is somewhat offensive to slow down. Well, one day I decided to slow down sharply, at the same time, to check the wheel maneuverability. Well, I checked - I gave the wheel too much load (“pushing”) and at a speed of more than 20 km / h I flew the fish forward. About, that the speed at the beginning of the fall was great, I thought even before the stop - “I’ve been sliding for a long time on the asphalt, it’s time to stop”. And this fall, too, there were no consequences.

    And finally, the fourth case is the only fall in 2017 and is included here because of its instructiveness, and not its seriousness. I am going once along the usual way to work, the speed is about 25 km / h. In one place, a section of an old tile, approaching, I think: “Something unusual in her color ... Sand was poured or something ... Ah! Tile removed! Well now I will enter into deep sand and crash down! It is necessary to brake and jump off! ”Well, I jumped off. He lost his balance, fell into the sand on the remnants of speed, protection on his knees and palms in sand and dust, and again no damage. If I had been driving more slowly or hadn’t decided to stop moving in an emergency, nothing would have happened - it was possible to drive there.

    To cool the desire to drive and more adequately assess their capabilities, I recommend regularly reading the topic “Falls and injuries”on the forum of electric vehicles. Monokolis should not be afraid, they can ride long and safely, but at the same time, negligence or overconfidence can easily lead to injury. Be careful and drive safely!

    Wintering



    To be honest, it was particularly soft snow that day, and it was impossible

    to go. Surprisingly, but winter is not an absolute obstacle for the monowheel. Yes, you need to dress warmly, and not all roads remain accessible, but it is quite possible to drive. In principle, you can drive without modifying the wheel, but the following operations will be useful:

    1. Battery insulation. Lithium-ion batteries can be discharged to -10, but only to charge no less than zero, and in the monowheel, almost every braking includes recovery . In addition, cold batteries lose capacity.
    2. Tire replacement. On summer slicks, you can ride in the snow, but maneuvers on the ice will not be possible.
    3. Additional waterproofing. Snow is packed into the wheel compartment, and the reagents, which are sprinkled on the roads, are chemically aggressive.

    Specifically, in my case, in the winter, the opportunity to drive to work was completely lost - there was an overpass and a poorly populated area on the way, which were tightly swept up, but I didn’t want to drive on the roadway of the busy highway. Therefore, of all the options I chose only the insulation of batteries - for trips to parks and recreational purposes, it seemed the most appropriate option. For warming used ordinary thermal tape, winding around the batteries in two layers.

    image

    In winter, the batteries were held just taking up all the space in the compartment, and in the spring I removed the tape and put the batteries back on the double tape.



    If you live in a big city, the wheel will probably be used all year round. Now is the time to observe the condition of the roads - whether they will be suitable for moving on the wheel in the winter.

    Reliability


    In principle, the monowheel is a fairly reliable unit, and you can drive for a long time without a break. At the same time, you participate in the “emergency lottery”. For example, in my time, nothing happened to the controller (the most common type of failure), but a new type of accident occurred, which appeared only recently. In addition, there were two other potentially unpleasant situations.

    In the first case, the fuse burned out. It rained, the asphalt was damp, there was a very small drizzle in the air. Having driven about a hundred meters from the office to the pedestrian crossing, I dismount, push the handle and cross the road. On the other side of the road there is a high curb, I lift the included wheel, as if throwing it on the curb so that it turns out to be tilted in my direction:



    The wheel spins up, touches the curbstone and continues to spin, slipping (you can hear the sound of a rubbing wheel, and there is no pressure on the handle). The wheel has time to whine once and turns off. After this, pressing the power button does not give anything.

    Good to know: If your monowheel is turned off and does not turn on, try spinning the wheel directly with your hands. If it turns with difficulty and jerks, the controller most likely failed. If it rotates freely, the problem is something else.

    In my case, the wheel spun freely, and there was hope that the fuse would blow. Alas, specifically on this model, to get to it, you need to disassemble the entire body. By the way, firmware updates and phone apps have been released for mono-wheels for a long time. Specifically, on this model there was a bug that supplied excessive current in certain situations, perhaps the fuse burned out because of it. After some time, a new firmware was released, where the bug was fixed.

    In the second case was clearly not my day. I drive to work and notice that on the bumps and when jumping from the curb there is a sound like a metal punch on the metal, moreover, according to sensations, on the left pedal. Food and I think, the spring on the pedal broke, or what? The wheel behaves well, so I drove 15 km to work. Checking the pedal - everything looks normal. In the evening I am going back - the sound is now heard on every mound, obviously something is wrong. I do not want to take a chance, I reach the stop to go further by bus. And then the wheel does not turn off! I press the button again - zero reaction.

    Know the bugs of your model! Early versions of the KS-16A very rarely refused to turn off the wheel. Correct actions - without tilting forward / backward, lay on one side and wait.

    I sit on the stop anti-advertising monokoles, shortly waiting for time-control and sad thoughts. After 2-3 minutes the wheel turns off. I turn on, it seems everything is OK. Going from the bus stop to the house — the wheel is working, but the metallic sound seems to have gotten worse. Looking around the wheel at home. If you hit the tire on the floor without a load, there is no sound. On the left side of the motor-wheel there is a fresh circular scratch. I get on the wheel, put the camera and record the video - it is - the left stand flexes and catches the case. At first I sinned on the bent pedal, but the reality was worse.



    What is common in monowheel, steam locomotive and jet liner? When they began to actively exploit, there was manifested metal fatigue. The axis diameter was most likely chosen standard for some other technique, not taking into account the load of the monowheel. As a result, a fatigue crack appeared on the axis, which grew and eventually broke the axis. For all manufacturers, whose wheels have been actively and for a long time operated, this problem manifested itself in 2017. The axis failed usually after the first thousand kilometers, and, despite the fact that with serious loads it was possible to increase the probability of failure, it happened by chance. For example, I rode carefully, did not learn to jump, was not the fattest rider and still caught the problem.

    Here is the place to emphasize that, when purchasing a monowheel, do not spare money to buy in a store that gives warranty. The new controller is worth several thousand, and the motor-wheel - about ten. In my case, the guarantee paid off with interest - they sent me a motor-wheel replacement. And then a new fun began - the fact is that the manufacturer changed the specification and from some point began to make the axis two millimeters thicker. This is good and correct, because the axle will break less often, but I managed to break the threads on the pedal mount earlier than I noticed. In solving the problem, I went in two ways at once - I gave the old stand for cutting a larger thread and, in parallel, asked to send a second pair of racks. The old racks did so, and when the new ones arrived, it turned out that the manufacturers had changed a couple of sizes there. As a result, for several evenings I had a hobby - sawing down metal and plastic. New racks needed to be filed so that old pedals could be put on them.



    And in the covers it was necessary to cut holes for the holes in the racks that had shifted downwards.



    Surprisingly, but the assembled wheel turned on and drove beautifully since about 800 km. Repair took me 2.5 months, from mid-May to the end of July. In any case, I will specifically clarify - since the story here focused on the problems, it may seem that I am not happy with the model or the manufacturer. This is not true.

    By the way, the usual maintenance of the wheel is minimal - wipe from dust, check the pressure in the chamber (working pressure 2.5-3.5 atmospheres depending on road conditions and personal tastes), in cities where reagents are actively sprinkled in winter, wash after trips (put in a bath, put the shower on the tire and slightly tilt the wheel).

    Other


    In the photo in the publication is visible belt, which the wheel of the handle is attached to the belt. The need for this device is controversial, but I personally find it useful - in case of a fall, the wheel will not be able to roll far. When there are areas on my route where there is a busy highway on the left and a slope on the railroad on the right, the desire not to lose the wheel outweighs the increased risk of injury from the wheel when falling.

    Definitely useful devices are:

    • Roller protection - yes, I will not get tired of reminding of its importance.
    • Bicycle pump with pressure gauge - more convenient than the touch.
    • Backpack - I drove and quite heavy loads, it was convenient.
    • Glasses - insects that enter the eye even in October - this is a sad reality.
    • Headphones with bone conduction - do not cover the ear and do not interfere with passersby, like the speakers on the wheel.
    • Shoes with a flat thin sole - but do not overdo it, it is not safe to drive in shales.
    • Applications for the smartphone - native from the manufacturer, logger WheelLog (compatible with the most common models), bike tracker (I like Urban Biker).
    • Reflectors and display for driving in the dark - not only increase safety, but also look cool.
    • Someone still likes the bicycle bell and the mirror, but I did not use it.

    Conclusion


    They say that love persists for about a year and a half. If this applies to gadgets, in my case, love has clearly turned into love. The brightness of the hobby has faded a little, but I am still convinced that the monowheel is one of the modes of transport of the future, and that gives the most pleasure from driving.