GotWay Monster: Customers Initial Thoughts

Ever heard the saying, “The bigger, the better”?  Well, the GotWay 2400wh Monster puts that theory to the test.  

The Monster is aptly named.  It has an enormous 22 inch wheel that wouldn’t look out of place on a trials bike, and is so tall (especially with the optional saddle attached) that when riding, it sits up between your thighs.  Depending how tall you are of course.  If you are a professional jockey, you may need to wear platform shoes or your feet won’t reach the foot plates.

Gotway Monster Electric Unicycle

The largest wheel from the GotWay stable certainly has a lot going for it.  The 2400wh power bank gives the Monster an estimated range of between 50 – 60 miles, depending on conditions and weight factors, and will cruise steadily at speeds of over 15mph and much, much faster.  This thing just eats up the miles and feels as solidly planted as a four poster bed.  

The Monster does require a significant adjustment in riding style when compared to the smaller 16 inch or even 14 inch wheels, such as the Ninebot E or S2 devices.  Even next to it’s little brother, the Gotway MSuper, the Monster is a different machine to ride.  Those smaller wheels can be moved easily from the knees down, can turn quickly and stop suddenly.  The Monster, not so much.  The steering comes largely from the hips and through the shifting of weight from the upper torso, which takes a bit of getting used to.  However, a few minutes in and it feels natural and responsive.

The Monster I have is a beautiful blue finish, with a colour that shimmers in the sunlight.  It feels solidly put together and shows signs that GotWay are listening to and learning from their customer feedback.  They have changed the foot plates to overcome a problematic “snapping” issue (which at high speed could have had a catastrophic impact) and have slimmed down the thickness of the cushioning against the knees, which results in a far more comfortable riding position.  You can tell people who bought the first release of the GotWay Monster because they are no longer capable of making their knees touch without crossing their legs or without the help of two strong lads to push from either side.  As for other issues of Quality Control?  Time will tell.  GotWay have a mixed track record in this regard, and when it comes to putting my faith into riding this machine at speed, dropping of kerbs and riding with traffic…  I have to say it leaves me feeling a little uneasy.

One thing in my mind however is, who is this built for?  Where does the GotWay Monster fit in the market place for Electric Unicycles?  I made the effort to commute to work with my Monster this week, a journey that took me into London by train, across the capital and out the other side by train again.  A journey I would normally take with my Msuper 820wh with absolute ease.  The Msuper is designed perfectly to chew up the miles, be light enough to lift up and down stairs, has a built in handle for pushing it about and is fast enough to get me where I need to be in time and in style.  The Monster was clearly not designed for city commuting.

The thought of riding the Monster on the busy pavements of London, with thousands of pedestrians all looking at their phones and not where they are going, is impossible to comprehend.  The wheel stands taller than most four year olds and would crush a homeless person if it toppled over sideways. 

Gotway Monster Offroad

Similarly, the thought of taking this beast up and down the Tube is just plain silly.  The missing handle makes it harder to push as you need to bend over at 45 degrees, and with a heavy back pack on, this does not look dignified.  Furthermore, the act of getting on and off busy tube station escalators would put lives at serious risk.  One slip and this thing would topple people like bowling pins as it bounced and span down an escalator, beeping all the way to the bottom.  

So I did what any sane person would do and rode it on the busy streets, along with the black cabs, red buses and white vans.  My heart was beating so loudly I thought it would leap out of my chest like a scene from Alien.  But truth is, the Monster was fine.  I was faster than the traffic, could glide in and out of narrow gaps and only once did I almost come unstuck, when a taxi stopped suddenly and I very nearly ran into the back of it.  Stopping distances are slow compared to the smaller wheel so take note!  Apart from that, flawless.

 

The quality of the Monster’s ride is without comparison.  Once you have made the minor adjustments to your riding style you will find this to be a nimble and responsive vehicle.  The additional weight only serves to making this feel rock solid under your feet and having ridden it for a while you will begin to feel silly for even thinking of riding anything smaller.  The huge 22 inch wheel overcomes bumps and obstacles that would leave smaller wheels clattering down the street and beeping in hedge bottoms.  Potholes and bumps are knocked aside by the Monster like annoying flies around a cow’s face.  (I cleaned that up a bit.)

I was a little concerned about how the Monster would handle and manoeuvre at slow speeds but I have to say my fears were unfounded.  I am not the most skilled of riders and have the broken bones and broken machines to prove it, but riding the Monster at slow speed is not unmanageable.  It does take a little more effort to “scoot” along with one foot on the ground and the additional weight does take more exertion to control but unlike, say the Ninebot S2, which is twitchy and balances on an knife edge, the Monster has a huge footprint and seems to almost stand there happily by itself.  Acquiring this skill does take time, so I would not advise a first time rider to buy a Monster and then try to learn to ride in a heavily pedestrianized area.  The phrase, “where there is a blame, there is a claim”, springs to mind.  But give it time and you can ride the Monster slowly with ease.

The optional seat is something of a controversial subject for me, having previous ridiculed my friend for suggesting we use them.  I have to say now, and for the record, the “cheat” seat is a genius addition to the EUC kit list.  Certainly on the long runs of up to and over fifty miles, which the Monster can do with ease, having the option to take a crafty sit along the way comes as a blessed relief.  Furthermore, the extra five or six inches this gives the wheel in height makes the Monster easy to push around when the need arises. So for the extra £40 odd quid, I would urge you not to quibble, just tick the “yes” box and buy the seat as well.  People will shout “That’s cheating!” whether you are standing or sitting, so you may as well sit.   

The new GotWay App is also a huge step forward and allows you to see accurate readouts of speed, mileage, temperature and battery levels, without the sickening lurching of needles and wildly varying numbers that the first generation app threw at you.  It looks better, feels better and gives you a sense that you can trust what it is telling you.  You can also adjust the tilt back settings, ride mode, alarm settings etc. all with relative ease.  GotWay are not just catching up with the competition, they are matching them or leading them every step of the way.

 Gotway Monster on the dirt trails

There is much more I could say on the Monster, and will over time.  I will do a video review in the near future and explain where I think it works well and does not.

In a nutshell, this is not a commuter wheel for city environments if you intend to use it alongside public transport.  It weighs the same as a small elephant and even lifting it in and out of the car requires you to strain every muscle.  However, for a long ride or for crunching lots of miles, I can’t imagine a better wheel exists anywhere.  Certainly for our 1,000 mile adventure, this is the only wheel I could comprehend riding.  I can see that I will fall in love with it as we tour the UK.

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