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Video on Onewheels & Right to Repair

Hello folks. Some of you know that I do YouTube videos, but mostly about Onewheels. I just published one about Onewheel repair, and I think some of you may appreciate it. Future Motion is notoriously bad with regards to repairability and openness with their products, and I address some of that.

I hope you find it an enjoyable watch.

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Just want to add on here, Last Mile SF/NYC is a store that sells boards, scooters, bikes and onewheels yet the only OW repair they’re allowed to do is replace footpads…

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Fuck future motion

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Fortunately Witz buys them new wholesale and strips them to sell replacement parts, but that adds a premium which shouldn’t exist if FM wasn’t such pricks.

Seems to be pretty common practice especially among semi vertically integrated California companies (cough Tesla, Apple, etc) unfortunately. I appreciate that they’re made domestically but not sure it’s worth the trade-off.

I’m glad you guys have been pushing hard with the DIY wheels, since it’s the only real competition motivating innovation in this style of electric rideable. It’s pretty insane if you compare how much progress we’ve made in esk8 from a mostly open competitive ecosystem, or others like EUCs where there’s so much competition between manufacturers. Since the first kickstartered (and this makes it so much worse how FM fucks consumers on this) model to the Pint, if you really get down to it, there’s been seemingly very little iterative progress on Future Motion’s part, other than stipping the soul away with the Pint by making it a generic looking piece or mass produced shit, and hamstringing configurability to force upgrading to a more expensive, but less technically modern model (XR) which is just the Plus with a different battery and minor controller revisions.

The aftermarket segment and now DIY is frankly the only reason I think they even offer any significant accessories.

I don’t expect them to be around a ton longer after the initial mass adoption period they’re in, if they don’t start bringing more to the table soon. The aftermarket scene is really the only driver of the format atm. Look at the 7 second tail rails for example. Clearance is a huge problem for anything other than flat pavement riding (notice how all their off road promo vids are always gentle downhills) and they refuse to acknowledge it. I only hope FF comes out with a set of rails that lifts both ends, because climbing clearance is my issue here, even with max elevation set.

There’s so much potential with this style of ER, it’s super convenient and control is almost more intuitive than walking, but FM is completely jaded and disconnected from the segment of the market they created (via crowdfunding no less).

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One more thing I want to add to the topic is the relationship between people selling DIY onewheel parts and future motion. Future Motion froze @Tony’s Paypal from Floatwheel therefore if you want to order something from them you can only pay in crypto and @Fungineers also mentioned some not very friendly emails from future motion if I recall it correctly. I don’t think it has gone further than that in his case though?

I would personally never support a company by buying their product that handles competition like they do, uses proprietary components, and doesn’t even sell replacement parts if something goes wrong outside of the warranty period. Their behaviour is gross. I would rather DIY a less polished product or wait for a consumer friendly company to appear as a viable competitor (which, their lawyers are also trying to delay as much as possible).

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You really hit the nail on the head there with that. Good read.

I’m sure they would argue that repairing and maintaining their own IP is to ensure consistency and keep cowboy parts off their product. Might backfire, might not though.

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I am glad we can have a focused topic to talk about this.

I was thinking about how we need a general Onewheel XR and Pint threads to talk about everything with them. Also all the cool mods we make can be shown on there.

I think we also need a Central DIY onewheel thread like the old one on builder

I’m out of the loop, what does the progress look like on DIY wheels now?

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There are a few kits out there. Most popular are the floatwheel and the fungineers kit. Some guy named Surfdado is creating his own software which I’ve heard good things about.

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I think it already has frankly.

I’m sitting on two wheels right now a guy brought me, in hopes that I can repair them, even though he knows it may be months before I have time to mess with them, because FM won’t even return his emails or calls, and with his OG plus, said they couldn’t help when they were responding.

Of course with an XR if anything major happens, you have to cover insane shipping both ways, and upcharged repair parts that end up costing you half or more what a new XR would. Maybe if they offered a mileage based warranty like auto makers do, it’d be somewhat understandable, but its clear to me no matter what they say, and just like apple et al have been caught numerous times, they expect to a) utilize service as a large component of their revenue stream, and/or b) economically encourage additional sale through atrition. In this guy’s case both his boards have very low mileage (don’t think even 500 on either), but are too old to be under warranty. I know he’s adamant about not buying replacements if I can’t fix at least his XR.

I’m certain I can of course, since I know where to get parts. Ironically I’m saving FM a customer they would be guaranteed to lose otherwise, yet if they had the reach to keep parts from being accessible like Apple does, he’d be screwed.

It’s a natural and understandable fallacy of course, you come up with an idea, work hard to make it happen, you feel like you should be in control of it, its yours, and you should always get paid for anything to do with it, but it’s just not reality. You have to continue adding value to an idea to continue being perceived as valuable to the idea, and worth other’s income being redirected to you, once you let the idea out into the wild, in order to capture that increased volume of revenue in the first place. Obviously our broken and abused patent system was designed just for the sake of encouraging people to bring ideas into the light yet give them some assurance of fair compensation, but even still, the above applies, and why fair use expectations were a component of such, though this is one of the most broken and abused (to stifle innovation) aspects of the broken patent system. Not that there’s really much here that FM can really claim originality on other than format. None of the tech is original, just the package configuration, which surely is something they’re aware of, and a motivating factor for their misguided tactics.

I watched a couple of videos with the founder of FM not too long ago, and its pretty clear to me that he’s not very passionate about the product or innovating it, he’s just become a traditional business owner trying to maintain and grow the business through traditional bullshit business tropes IMO. Though they do have an impressive facility and he’s clearly a good business person in the traditional sense.

They also were smart to introduce the pint and at its price point, it skyrocketed adoption and sales of the XR and many speculate that’s why we’ve heard nary a word about any new high end model, as dated as the XR is. Clearly the existance of the DIYs which are getting so good, and the aftermarket innovation though, means their deathgrip tactics arent working. I think they better bring the fire with a new flagship, next year, or they’re doomed.

Frankly I wouldnt be surprised if FF or Float Life don’t figure out they can bring a competitive product to market eventually. They’re getting bolder with new products and clearly starting to understand the economics of manufacturing.

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I would not doubt their momentum and ambition. A lot of that ambition is not used well but some is there.

They have given a clear and direct no but have spoken about trying to partner with companies.

Sell a DIY XR kit with optional TFL gear pre installed and woah look at that, tearing up the board out the box.

They should leave their money supporting the riders to promote the whole movement, tech will find them.

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Yeah I really really want a set of symmetrical double angled 7 sec rails for my XR.

I’ve also had what may be a crazy idea, and maybe not even feasible, but I think you may appreciate it; I’ve been thinking for a long time what the major limitation of the Onewheels are in terms of being able to ride anything anywhere, clearance is yes an issue but its actually the control interface that makes this issue right? You tilt nose down to go foward and back to slow or stop obviously and that’s the usual gyro control method, it’s super intuitive and awesome except that you’ve got this long board sticking out to hit shit when you wanna accelerate up a hill or slow going down one.

They made the 7 sec tail rails to solve that last part, but it doesn’t address the first, even if you angle the nose as well, it’s still going to require elevated nose config in software for heavy climbing ( I live in the mountains, have a bunch of remote mountain land with trails bordering national forrest, its what I ride mostly, and keep max elevated), even with max elevated you cant start from a start or climb much of a grade, unlike with an EUC. Good EUCs actually eat onewheel for lunch off-road unfortunately. Let alone could you say, actually wheel on a mini ramp or anything like that, but what if you could?

Thus my thought as to a solution; reverse the controls. I know it sounds crazy and it certainly wouldn’t be as intuitive, hell maybe not even logistically possible from the motor control standpoint or it may cause probs, as you’d brake or decel by nosing down, and accel by leaning back, but if so, this would heavily mitigate the clearance issues no? I mean maybe on a steep incline it would be very tough nosing down to slow but that’s similar to the stance necessary for dropping in on a ramp.

Otherwise being able to have a remote that triggered a config change, like changing elevation profile on the fly with a button press, or momentarily disable decel from tilt back angle to climb a steep hill or ramp would be huge.

I’d be curious what you guys think. Am I loco or just missing something obvious?

Either way it would be pretty huge to have the sort of control over OW that we do over our esk8 ESCs, let alone FM actually caring about the non casual segment of the community. I mean have they enabled custom profiles for the pint yet? Even with the XR its insanely limited, be nice if they offered even a warranty voiding pro tuning mode with real flexibility.

I’ve actually been meaning for a while to do a DIY OW build, just so I can try to monkey with the above. I would think the remote actuated tilt angle control would be pretty easy to implement with a VESC based wheel.

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I had an idea to make a board that easily converts from OW to EUC stance for whatever you want to ride. Add suspension in because modularity! This would also mean that the nose and tail would be super short. Not a big battery space but still could pack more than XR.

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Oh man that would be rad, like facing forward on a snowboard. Not quite sure how you would accomplish that, but I love the idea!

Oh wait I think I’m misunderstanding your idea but it gave me another. What if you could just turn the wheel 90 degrees somehow on the fly? So that youd be riding with the nose and tail horizontal to your movement, like when you’re sliding on a summerboard, or whatever?

It would be wierd but itd eliminate clearance issues.

Edit: lol so this is where we need a OW with a spherical drive wheel (ball) instead of traditional. Itd have to be driven by separately I guess, but then you could change orientation on the fly or even float in any direction you wanted. Hmmmm… Like one of those circular toys from the 80s that had like a basketball shaped upper and lower ball you jumped around on, anybody remember what those were called?

Edit2: I got the ball that lets you fly fly higheeer! Pogo Bal!

So yeah like a electric pogo bal. :grin::sunglasses:

I think for what I think you’re saying, you’d want the board to be able to fold in the middle, up together and then have foot pegs that fold out or something?

I think this is a failing of Onewheel criticism, and something to be realistic about. The Onewheel isn’t a performance machine, and I doubt it really could be given the size constraints. There is only so much larger you can make a Onewheel shaped board before it becomes unpleasant to ride and control.

The maneuverability and control ease of the board is a large part of its appeal. It’s important to realize the imperfections of the form factor rather than deny them. And in this specific case, there is ultimately a ceiling where the size added to accomodate the power desires will make something that’s less fun to ride and less practical to control.

EUCs, by virtue of the physics of their form factor, don’t have the same level of “feel” that’s generated by the balancing behavior, and despite the advancements of some skilled riders, isn’t as nimble or trick-ready, and don’t offer the kind of feel many look for.

One doesn’t get a Onewheel for high end performance, they generally get it because they’re fun to ride, stemming from their feel.

I don’t see how that could possibly work. The reason a balance vehicle accelerates and deccelerates is really by happenstance of the device constantly seeking “level”. If the “controls” were reversed, then it wouldn’t work. You wouldn’t be able to stand on it.

If you lean back and it goes forward, it will go forward while you fall backwards and get left behind.

It’s the same body reaction to leaning backward on an eskate and hitting the acceleration.

This is also why people asking “Why does it have to nosedive? Why can’t they just make the Onewheel slow down on its own? Or just stop accelerating?” miss the point.

Edit: No point arguing here.

Edit: same as above.

Is there a transcript of the video for us to read?