NYC riding on bridges

  • If I buy one of these, which I'm seriously considering, it would replace my subway commute. I don't foresee any problems there. But I'd also like to ride it to friends houses in Brooklyn. I currently live in Manhattan. Any problems taking one of these up a not too steep but long incline? Such as the Williamsburg bridge or the Queensborough bridge?

  • @NYC I'm 99.9% sure that it would be no problem at all. I've gone up pretty steep roads without noticing any difference with the board. I've only been riding about 1 km uphill at most in one go, but I've never heard of anyone having problems with overheating or whatever.

  • Thanks for the reply. How about the other end of it? Going downhill for a long period. Is the braking good enough to keep a safe speed?

  • @NYC I've gone down some extremely steep hills, and braking is never ever an issue. I could have easily stopped fast at anytime going down that hill.

  • You'll find the control braking you have is excellent and won't have an issue.

    That should ease your concerns.

  • Steep hills are not an issue as long as you are on a paved or smooth surface. Extremely steep hill I go up still is not a problem but my speed is slower. I'm 220lbs so performance would be even better if I was lighter.

    Going down hills even steep ones is a breeze and you have full control. Also feels good knowing you are recapturing some of the power lost while getting you up via regenerative breaking.

  • Chicago city commuter here. I bought one, with the partial justification of commuting with it. I did it once, may try it again. It was a little stressful, I may try it again.

    I don't regret the purchase at all, but I wish I would have known the following commuting issues:

    • Pedestrian gawking factor. You will get stopped by the curious. Plus, pedestrians and crowds are impossible to anticipate.
    • A lot of Chicago bridges have medium height railings. When you're a little higher, these are basically launching points off the bridge, and not fun to be next to if you have an active imagination. Big East River bridges in NYC usually have full height chain link though, right?
    • Traffic is no funner with the OneWheel than with any other vehicle. You are an odd duck, without a dedicated traffic lane, very exposed, and being ready to stop or slow to a crawl takes a lot of work.
    • "Resting" on a OneWheel isn't the same as biking lazily. You can bike lazy, and have a hand on the brake, and you're good. With a OneWheel you need to have your body ready to get on your back foot to break. You need to be ready to jump or stumble off and start running if you fall. If you're commuting for a long stretch, you will tend to lock your joints and get lazy. I find this dangerous and I have to be vigilant to keep my hips loose and ready for breaking, and my feet ready to jump off and start booking. It's not as relaxing as biking.
    • There may be areas where you want to carry your OneWheel. However, it's 25 lbs, just at the max of inconvenient carrying with two hands.
    • Not as consistent speed as a bike.

    If you can avoid high traffic areas you'll be okay, but not as safe as a bike, once you've got your legs. One day we will have OneWheel lanes and live in perfect harmony.

    You will have a blast taking not commuting though. Find a skate park or nice area without traffic to play. Worth every penny.

  • Steep hills shouldnt be an issue and I think the Future Motion team has some pics of them doing the Brooklyn bridge.

    On NYC riding, I'm in the city frequently and have a few thoughts on riding

    • gawk factor - is quite real and given the density in NYC, just way more pronounced than I have experienced anywhere else. You get questions in many situations - in a day I think I had track driver block traffic so we could chat; a cyclist ride alongside me for a while to chat and then all manner of comments and questions when stopped at traffic lights. Flip side in NYC, everyone assumes you have to get somewhere so they dont bug too much (or ride along next to you if they want to chat more)

    • bike lanes - are very definitely your friends. So I checked out the first few times to map out some routes. It's most relaxing to ride the greenways (i.e. lanes separated from car traffic) and these connect the bridges downtown too, so should make that a bit easier. Cross town I've tried a bunch of things, but again prefer the bike lanes since there are other people biking during the commute and I feel like drivers are paying more attention as a result. So far, bikers have been super friendly and the OW has been well up the task of dealing with cracks, holes and debris.

    • resting - at busy intersections, I always opt to stop and get off OW. Less busy spots, I either do small donuts and shift back and fwd. Downside is that this can just attract more attention.

    • pedestrian traffic - it's worth getting used to the OW at walking speeds. I've used the OW alongside people who are walking and this provided some good training for low speed control - its not harder, but it's nice to feel confident at low speeds. Can be useful on very busy intersections with lots of people.

    Hope that helps.

  • Very helpful thanks. To be honest I'm hoping to get out of the city on the weekends to practice until i'm good enough to maneuver through the crowds.

  • I live in a city that is almost as hilly as San-Francisco and so I was really worried about how it would go, but I have not had any problems at all! Up, down, back up again... I even still get more than 10 kms out of a single charge, even with all the hills!

    There is only one hill I know of that it cannot cope with, but that is such an extreme incline even bicycles get off and walk up (I'd say even a car would struggle with this particular incline)

    I think the max incline is a 15% grade (but I've read somewhere else it is 20%). And to put that in perspective, roads with a 15% grade usually have warning signs! Just do a search for "your-city-name* steepest roads", you'll quickly see there will be no problems in this regard :)

  • @lardnicus @shaunabe What mode do you two ride in? I ride in elevated all the time because it's the only way I can handle hills, and even on very minor flats my nose is too close to the ground. I've had plenty of pavement snags so far, and I hate tumbling. So, I'm elevated 95% of the time.

    If I'm in a rolling hilly area I will switch modes at crests and valleys, because elevated will drag the back on a downhill. It's a pain but I'd rather have the form right, enjoy myself, and not fall.

    So I'm used to Elevated, but I rode on some flats in Extreme recently and it was really comfortable. More like hovering, and more stable. It's how it should feel.

    I really wish it was smart enough to "know" the pitch it's on. I want it all to feel like that.

  • Having a slider in the app that let you pitch tune +/- 15 degrees on the fly might be a nice feature.

  • @willcapellaro interesting. I've not switched out of extreme for a while. But I mainly ride on the street and don't encounter major inclines.

    Only issue I have had was "overdriving", I.e. getting to push back and continuing to push the edge. Eventually you will max out the board :) But not sure mode settings solve that problem.

  • @willcapellaro I ride Extreme 95% of the time simply because I don't like the way my feet sit while cruising in Elevated, but there are a few hills I will stop and switch into Elevated just to boost up a bit faster.

    I wish we could customise this, because I think a halfway between the two modes might "feel" better... Either that or if switching was faster, or if we could switch without getting off the board (like have it "transition" between modes while riding) that would be ace.

    I don't think there is a one-size fits all mode at the moment, and I'm still learning as I tackle different terrain every day. I have started to look 100 meters ahead and plan my lines a bit better and switch modes if necessary. And if there is a chance I will do a burn out on a particularly steep curb crossing ramp, for example, I'll pick it up and walk.

  • This is a pretty old, sorry I didn't see it sooner. I ride the Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge all the time without issue. NEVER EVER ride the Brooklyn Bridge. It is so crowded that you slow to a crawl and have to stop constantly. I made that mistake once and ended up getting hit in the face with a selfie stick. The Manhattan is always empty. It's fairly straightforward. You just have to slow down a little for the plates in the middle of the bridge and you do get a little sore maintaining the same slow upward angle for half the time.

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