Onewheeling has gained immense popularity as an exciting and eco-friendly mode of transportation. However, despite its many advantages, riders should exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. One such peril lies in stopping uphill. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons why it’s not a good idea to stop on a hill with a Onewheel unless you are aware of it and modify your stop. Understanding these risks can help prevent accidents and injuries, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.
The Motor Disengagement
Onewheels are powered by electric motors that maintain balance and control. When you stop on flat ground or downhill, the motor can easily counteract the forward momentum, helping you maintain your balance. However, when stopping uphill, the motor faces a more significant challenge. As you come to a halt, the motor must work harder to prevent you from rolling backward. In some cases, this extra effort can lead to motor disengagement, leaving you without the critical assistance needed to maintain stability.
The Rolling Tire Hazard
One of the primary dangers of stopping uphill on a Onewheel is the dreaded rolling tire. The moment you come to a stop, the board’s gravity and incline can cause it to roll backward ever so slightly. This backward movement might seem negligible, but on an incline, even the slightest movement can improve your chances of eating pavement. The moment the tire rolls backward, it can destabilize the rider, leading to a loss of balance and a potential fall.
In the video, the incline is slight however stopping on a steeper grade, you really can notice the tire roll. Dismounting from the Onewheel is where most accidents occur. It is even more common for accidents to happen when the tire is free rolling.
How to Safely Stop on an Incline
When you stop uphill on a Onewheel, your body’s weight distribution plays a crucial role in maintaining stability. Unfortunately, on a slope, it’s challenging to distribute your weight evenly, making it more difficult to keep the board steady. Your instinct might be to lean back to prevent rolling backward, but this can shift the center of gravity too far, causing a loss of balance in the opposite direction. Struggling to find the right balance can result in a hazardous situation, increasing the risk of injury.
The proper and safest way to stop is to maneuver your Onewheel so that the nose is perpendicular to the slope. This gives the wheel limited incline to interact with. You can always jump off the Onewheel however if its on a hill, you risk having your clean board rolling down hill.
Fangs and Sonny Wheels Do Elevate the Concern
Stopping on an incline you are already dealing with the weight distribution issue until your nose end hits the ground. If you are traveling uphill and stop, it is most likely this end will make contact first. The main concern with this is that if there is an anti-nosedive product on the board such as Sonny Wheels or Fangs, landing on your nose will continue the roll. If the incline is steep (above 15%) you definitely will experience some rolling and the possibility of falling.
In the video, the last pass is with Fangs. There is a subtle grade to this slope (8%) but its just enough to demonstrate what happens. I did not want to fall to explain the concern. Definitely always make an attempt to rotate your board so that your back or frontside faces the top or bottom of the hill and then make the stop.
While Onewheeling can be a thrilling and enjoyable experience, riders must be mindful of potential dangers, especially when stopping uphill. The combination of motor disengagement, rolling tires, and uneven terrain can lead to falls and injuries. By understanding these risks and taking necessary precautions, riders can ensure a safer and more rewarding Onewheeling journey. So, let’s ride responsibly, be cautious on inclines, and enjoy the adventure responsibly!