XR - thrown from board after pushback

  • @sdonewheel


    "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile by Ralph Nader, published in 1965, is a book accusing car manufacturers of resistance to the introduction of safety features such as seat belts, and their general reluctance to spend money on improving safety. It was a pioneering work containing substantial references and material from industry insiders. It was a best seller in non-fiction in 1966."

    This is not to say FM is doing that, but just to point out that there is precedent for claiming that manufacturers don't want to spend extra money on safety features, and they don't want to draw attention to the inherent, inevitable dangers of their unique product.

    There are as I understand it several arguments against nosewheels. I will disregard out of hand the aesthetic ones (though, let's be honest, that's a factor - one reason Fangs took off as quick as they did is because they worked, while being fairly unobtrusive).

    I will also disregard the pervasive tough-guy nonsense that refers to them dismissively as "training wheels", when really they are much more like airbags - they (mostly - see below) don't affect your ride at all, they are just there in the event of error or accident to help minimize the damage to the vehicle's occupant.

    Arguments against nose wheels:

    1. They do slightly reduce under-deck clearance. They have to, so as to contact ground first and roll. If you ride mostly off-road (where they are near-useless anyway), or if you dip your nose down really low when turning or doing tricks, they could catch on the ground and put you down unnecessarily. This seems a fully valid concern, depending on your ride style and preferred terrain.

    2. If you nosedive going downhill, some theorize it could be better to just go ahead and go down now, rather than have Fangs or similar keep you rolling and speeding downhill on an out-of-control board. Personally, I'm skeptical of this one; based on my downhill skiing and snowboarding experiences, even if you are temporarily out of control, in my experience it's almost always better to hang on just a little longer if you can, since there may be flatter, easier terrain just ahead/below where you can recover, or at least execute a more controlled fall. But I don't live in a hilly place, so I could be wrong about this one, and a lot would depend on particulars (maybe it's better to fall now, than to enter an upcoming street intersection).

    3. If you mount the board and the motor is not engaged, nose wheels can cause the board to shoot out from under you, backwards. Similarly, if you are riding on it and nosedive and DON'T stay on the board, instead of inevitably going off the front of the board (where you may run it out or tuck and roll), nose wheels may keep the board rolling and it squirts forward, while you land on your butt/back. I don't really know how to quantify this one, I think a lot depends on how you go down and what your weight/fitness/gear/terrain is. Going off the front results in a lot of broken shoulders/collarbones/etc. because your entire bodyweight tends to land on your shoulder or arm. Landing on your back is certainly no fun, but the impact is distributed across a wider, flatter surface, and as long as you are wearing a helmet to protect your skull (you should!) and don't land ON something like a parking block or curb, you'll probably just be sore and maybe have the wind knocked out of you. (Though, you could break your tailbone - ALSO no fun.)

    If FM believes that nosewheels are more danger-causing than -preventing, then they won't (and shouldn't!) offer them as a factory option.

    But I think Fangs have proved themselves more helpful than not in the conditions I ride under. Honestly, the only thing I'd do to improve them would be if there was some way to make the wheels into balls that could roll ANY direction instead of just forward - that way, if you did catch them sideways on a nose-dipping-low turn, they wouldn't stop you, just roll.

  • @sdonewheel I think it's because they'd have to rename it to the ThreeWheel then! :D

  • @Glyph Beautifully said. Fangs aren't for my riding style, but I can see the use for them.

  • @Glyph

    Just asking, but what’s the fastest nosedive the fangs have saved you on?

    The other argument against them is people potentially not learning (or respecting) the limits of board due to confidence they can’t go down. From a momentum standpoint, I’m not sure anything can help in a higher speed dive. Also, if you’re not on smoother pavement, I don’t have faith in any wheels.

    That said, everyone should completely do whatever they want to their board and whatever keeps them riding! No hate, just think there is risk is selling a product that may only work under certain circumstances.

  • @skyman88 - I actually have never hit mine yet, and frankly hope never to do so. It's my friend's experience that gives me some confidence they'd (probably) do what I wanted them to in an overacceleration nosedive on pavement, because that's how he did his - things like trying to cross an intersection too fast, or a sidewalk/sloped gutter/street transition.

    Fangs are very, very clear on their site about the fact that they won't/can't save you in all circumstances, and the faster you are going, the less likely they'll save you.

    I'd be with you on the "learning" aspect, except a broken shoulder like mine, that lost me six months' riding and will probably be messed up the rest of my life, is a pretty high price to pay for a "lesson", from a single nosedive (it's literally the only one I've ever had, knock wood), at 250 miles in. And it could have been worse. What if I didn't have the insurance to help take care of that? What if my job wasn't the kind of job where not being able to use my left arm for nearly a month could be worked around, or if I didn't have friends and family to help me during that time?

    Sure, it took my friend three nosedives to learn the "lesson", whereas it took me one. But which one of us came out ahead there? I lost a LOT of ride time (he lost none) spent a lot of money, and have a permanent injury.

    Am I a better rider than him now? I doubt it. Frankly, I've never FULLY regained all the confidence I had before the nosedive.

  • @skyman88 By coincidence, here's a Reddit thread that I just saw with people talking about their experiences with them. At least among the respondents, consensus seems to be "they work" - meaning, they might save you entirely, or they might buy you a critical bit of reaction time so your fall is less painful than otherwise.


  • @DoubleDown First, to the statement "the motor locked up": this is a common misinterpretation of the OW giving 100% but being asked more than 100% which allows (not causes) the board to tilt forward. Bar some severe defect that would occur at any speed, the board does not "lock" under stress. Bonks are a function of this. By putting the board under stress then deweighting, the motor continues to give 100%, springing the board upward along side the effects of bounce. Without the deweight a bonk would be a nosedive. Seeing as you were using a high level of acceleration at said speed you should have nosedived so I'll just operate under the assumption of a typical nosedive. Why is simply a function of acceleration. As glyph said, use gentle acceleration (and of course don't hit any bumps, go uphill into the wind etc).

    Have you ever asked yourself how pushback works? Think about how the OW keeps your nose up under normal circumstances. It is simply an effect of acceleration. As the board accelerates and moves faster than your body, two things happen. A: Your position in relation to the OW changes and re-centers you. B: The force applied by the motor to roll the tire forward has an equal and opposite reaction on the board, which forces it to twist in the opposite direction, lifting the nose and pulling the tail down. When pushback occurs, generous leeway must be present in the board's capacity to accelerate. If it is not, the board will slam on the gas (in addition to you already slamming on the gas) and actually take part in causing the nosedive itself. Also, your acceleration can mask the pushback and cause it to become weakened or unnoticeable. Pushback cannot assist in acceleration based nosedives, those that are caused by the environment or battery. It will only help if your speed is the ONLY problem.

    The auditory warning may not work as well for the OW as many may believe. The idea sounds great if we relate the OW to the EUC. The EUC has much more leeway than we do. Because it does not suffer from the lever effect, the battery doesn't become noticeably weakened as quickly nor does it nosedive as easily. The auditory alarm could be set to 15 mph in an attempt to precede nosedives and even then, it wouldn't always. We are always much closer to the limit on a OW than we think we are. The beep would have to occur much earlier and more often than that of an EUC (the frequency of which would have to parallel the difference in nosedive frequency between the OW and EUC, which is massive), would become a nuisance, and would likely cost FM money. I used to think that would be a good idea but let's be honest, the air around the OW would sour as this machine becomes associated, not only with nosedives, but also with constant, nonstop beeping.

    If software were written to turn the board completely off, 99.9% of us would nosedive 100% of the time when said limits were reached, causing more nosedives than are already happening. Offroad rides would become virtually impossible, killing at every bump. Bonks will become a thing of the past, throwing us off instead of launching us into the air. The board continues to give 100% till the last moment because that is the best chance of survival for the VAST majority of us.

    Yes, FM's massive ad campaign has probably given many new riders the wrong impression about this board. If you want speed, you still want an electric skateboard. They have done a top notch job designing this rideable and there's not much more they can do at this point. The OW is king of 180s, 360s, bonks, drops, burnouts and pretty damn solid for carving. Going over 15 mph is still "sniping with a shotgun". If you want to snipe, the tool you will need is a sniper rifle, not this shotgun.

  • @Glyph I've "used" my fangs twice. Once when accelerating to try to cross an intersection (so from a dead stop) and once when slowly going uphill. Prior to installing them, I experienced both a low speed, quick acceleration nose dive (mostly embarrassment and road rash) and a high speed (21 mph) nose dive where I don't think the fangs would've helped at all, nor do I want to find out (major road rash including the knuckles on my left hand, bruised hip, sore shoulder)! I now keep my speed at a max of around 15 mph to help prevent the second type. Both times I've engaged the fangs I got "oh no!" feeling that I know I would've been on the ground without them.

    My riding is pretty much pavement and relatively smooth hard packed dirt, so no crazy trails or tricks where the fangs might get in the way.

  • @Glyph Great reply!

    I totally get where you're coming from and again, think everyone should do whatever they want with their boards. Sorry to hear about your injuries... and sounds like they have been a great investment for you and your friend.

    The argument has always been if you put fangs on day 1 and hadn't done any research, would you push the board even more? No one can answer that one for sure. But I am baffled why folks care if you have fangs or drive safe, or the CarbonSmith bumpers, or glyders or Sonny's new front wheel system. Just ride your own board the way you like and enjoy it.

    The frustration comes in from people saying "FM designed the board to shut off and eject the rider". I'm not sure that's a true statement, it is a motorized balance board after all. FM does not do a good job really explaining limits or usage to people when they buy, most of it comes from social media.

    As long as you enjoy your board, who cares what it looks like or what mods you have done to it.

  • @skyman88 FM's in a tough position, talking TOO much about nosedives is certainly not what they want to do. But this very thread, which you've seen repeated in some form or another probably dozens or hundreds of times, is the inevitable result.

    Pushback is a great nosedive warning - IF you're already cruising at speed. For overacceleration nosedives, pushback can be pushed through so quickly as to be imperceptible. I certainly never felt it on my nosedive, even though I had felt it on rides prior to my nosedive, and I have felt it on rides since.

    Really, I'd like to see the dialogue around nosedives get a little more creative and nuanced, so people's thinking around them would be a little clearer and more nuanced.

    You know that old saying "it's not the falling that gets ya, it's the LANDING?" So too with "nosedives", even though it's a helpful and catchy term. The board's nose dropping isn't what ultimately gets you hurt, it's catching an edge (the board's nose) on the ground that does it, as the board immediately stops and you get thrown.

    You know how snow skis and snowboards and water skis have that little curl-up on their noses? They have that, to prevent you from catching that edge on the riding surface - so that the ski or board keeps on "sliding", even when its nose comes directly in contact with the riding surface.

    Pavement isn't water or snow. It doesn't "slide", not easily. So nosewheels transfer that friction-reducing "slide" function to themselves. But the basic principle at work is exactly the same.

    Would you get on specially-designed snow skis or a snowboard without that curl-up in their nose? Sure, if you're REAL careful and always ride "correctly" and never fail to spot some bit of problematic terrain, you might be able to avoid ever catching that edge and faceplanting, hard. But why would you take that chance? The risk of serious injury's not worth it.

    The way to become a better rider, is to learn the board's limits. But the thing about learning where the limits are, is that you can never learn them until you actually cross them. If crossing them almost automatically means a high risk of serious injury, that becomes a problem for learning to be a better rider.

    My friend nosedived three times, scared himself each time, and learned the lesson. But he walked away from each of those nosedives with just a scare, not a permanent injury. I think his additional ride time, plus the confidence to "explore" the limits probably puts his learning experience ahead of mine.

  • @Glyph Agree on all fronts... except for high speed nose dives. Unless you reaction time and body position are just right, there is still a good chance you will end up on the ground. Maybe front wheels give you a better chance of getting back down to a "run out speed", but momentum is not on your side for high speed issues.

    Inclines and over acceleration are definitely the two easiest and lowest speed ways you can have a nosedive. Don't think the manual really covers those enough for people to ride with caution.

    I just put @jeffmccosker V3 Float Plates on last week. They now wrap up and around the bumper, who knows, maybe that will save me in the future. Either way people should do what they want and not care, it's a fun toy, enjoy it.

    PS: You in any of the FB groups?

  • @skyman88 Agreed, for high-speed nosedives I'm skeptical that nosewheels can do much to help, but I also doubt they would make things any worse either (they still elongate and ease the board's transition from "moving" to "standing stock still") so if they do help in the other two common nosedive scenarios, they're still a net gain.

    Nah, I don't have Facebook (never have, not a fan), though I do occasionally lurk in the two public OW groups (Riders and For Adults) just to see what's new out there for OWs. I also lurk on the Reddit OW group, and at some point I'll probably get a Reddit account going and do some commenting on there.

    If it turns out the V3 Float Plates provide enough "slide" to do away with nosewheels, that'd be pretty cool. Aesthetically, they look a little nicer (though Fangs don't look awful, IMO) and they don't block your headlights (which Fangs slightly do).

    Don't get yourself hurt, but if you find out they do the trick, report back!

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