Today's ride with my EUC (electric unicycle) did not take place in the best conditions, but that's precisely why I think the experience is worthy enough to write a small article. Anyone who follows my blog knows for sure that I started a few months ago ride an electric unicycle. Meanwhile I feel quite comfortable on the vehicle and besides the InMotion V8 - with which I learned - I also have a KS 18 L from KingSong. This unicycle has an 18-inch tire and is therefore clearly the better choice for dirt roads and gravel roads.
Chapter in this post:
Car for inspection - and how back?
The reason for my trip today was an inspection appointment for my car. Unfortunately, for once there was no one available to take me home. But that wasn't bad, because it gave me the opportunity to prove my unicycle skills. The thing with the car inspection is actually the classic area of application for a unicycle: You quickly throw it into the car, protective equipment and drive to the car workshop. Then you leave your car there and drive back on the electric unicycle.
Difficult operations and tricky route
It was already clear to me that today's trip with the unicycle would be a shaky thing. I am used to field and forest paths, but if you drive to me from the workshop (which is luckily located on the outskirts) and avoid the streets, you have about 10 kilometers ahead of you, of which only about half is a paved bike path. The rest is a colorful mix of gravel roads and muddy dirt roads to forest paths that are covered with leaves and also softened. But why did I buy an all-terrain unicycle?
That my KingSong KS 18 L copes quite well with the field and gravel paths has already proven several times in the summer. Today, however, the conditions were anything but inviting:
- Temperatures around 0 ° C
- the paths partly frozen by the night frost (glittering surface)
- light sleet (typically dirty German winter weather)
- Partly muddy paths, slippery leafy passages, stony dirt roads, deep puddles and icy wooden bridges
- Completely dark, because about 1 hour before "civil twilight" (departure about 6:45 a.m.)
- Illumination by the built-in LED spotlight of the unicycle and by a headlamp
"Dismount" once and average 15 km/h - it's fun!
Well how was the ride? After a good 35 minutes I arrived home. Rained wet and with cold toes. But otherwise there were no "failures". On a dirt road, the tractor track was a bit deep and turned my unicycle away, but since I wasn't going fast, I could just get off and "run out" in the meadow next door. The unicycle did a little somersault, but luckily these things can take a beating.
Otherwise, the matter was technically much more demanding than a dry bike path. Especially when cornering with wet leaves, I always reduced my speed and drove slowly to minimize the risk of slipping. Some deep, frozen puddles were also tricky. If you ride into deep puddles and potholes, you usually end up falling because the unicycle gets stuck and you keep “riding” yourself – I think physicists call that mass inertia.
Only with a headlamp and protective equipment
The darkness wasn't really an issue. The built-in light of the unicycle would certainly not have been enough to drive quickly, but with a powerful headlamp it was not a problem. With the forehead lamp you have the advantage that you can follow "suspicious" spots on the way with the light in order to take a closer look at them. The built-in light in the EUC is just too close to the ground and doesn't reach far enough when driving at 20 km/h in the dark.
The protective equipment was also helpful – not because I would have fallen, but because it is well padded and insulates against the cold headwind. This keeps my knees warm. The toes, on the other hand, would have been happy about heated insoles – despite Merino hiking socks and mountain boots. But I don't drive enough in winter for such expenses. The toes of the feet are probably the “weakest” spot on winter rides, as they are usually hardly moved. A windproof balaclava would have been a good thing as it got quite chilly on the chin and nose. With a journey time of 35 minutes, it was just about ok without a balaclava.
KingSong KS 18 L - an all-round talent
The KingSong KS 18 L is a fairly new unicycle that only came out in mid-2018. With its 18 inches and a good 2000 W output (4000 W peak), it can travel at up to 50 km/h on paved roads. However, I drive much more slowly, because 30 km/h has always seemed like crazy “lawn” to me. But KingSong's unicycle not only excels on roads, it can also handle steep and bumpy terrain very well. It also proved today that even a rain or snow shower doesn't bother it.
The mud flap on the back of the unicycle is also a very practical thing. Many unicycles do not have this and, in my opinion, are therefore less suitable for rainy weather. Without him my jacket would have looked pretty messed up after the ride.
Overall, the EUC from KingSong is really a successful overall package. The wide 18 inch tire makes driving comfortable and ensures good suspension on stony terrain.
I hope my post could help you a bit if you are looking for a suitable unicycle or if you're wondering whether you can ride an electric unicycle through the prairie in winter. Yes, you can do that very well if the mud is no deeper than 4-5 cm. But after that it becomes uncomfortable even with a bike. ;-)
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
4 comments on "With the electric unicycle KingSong KS 18 L through the bad German winter weather"
You are already a crazy guy. Unfortunately, I can't do this anymore because of my stroke 10 years ago. I would have liked that too. I would have bought such a unicycle immediately. But enough moaning now. I also read the report about your first attempts at driving. There are enough beautiful stretches around me that I used to cycle extensively with my friends. I wish you many more accident-free kilometers. Incidentally, I am enthusiastic about glass ball photography. It's just a shame that there is no snow here at Christmas. So my brother's dog will mainly have to serve as a motive.
Greetings from the unfortunately snowless Munich
Hello Horst! Thank you for the nice words! I am glad that you have fun with glass ball photography! I'll write another article with a few tips next year ... but the most important thing is of course good motives. But that doesn't necessarily take a lot of snow. Green fields and blue skies or a tree protruding from the horizon can also have a nice effect. I keep my fingers crossed for you to get a few more snowflakes! And because of the unicycle I will of course be careful and sprinkle one or the other article! ;-) LG and happy holidays! Jens
is there anything new about the possibility of "legally" driving EUCs with liability insurance (I only drive it on secondary roads and dirt roads anyway)? Had mine waterproof insured, but the insurer canceled weeks later without any reason and declared the insurance contract invalid (I had everything, policy, number plate...).
There's no legally sound way to drive these things on the road. If someone insures you, you're still the fool afterwards, because the insurance doesn't pay anything because you don't have a license and the EUCs are too fast to drive without a license. Unfortunately…