I have installed a wheelco (bike computer on an electric unicycle) in my generic X3 clone. The mod was explained there. It was well integrated but very long to install.
This new version is much easier and faster to mod, more than repairing a flat tyre.
It doesn’t require drilling or cutting the wheel’s housing and doesn’t void the warranty.
- Complete kit
- Bike computer, Sunding brand, user manual (pdf).
- Different setup options
- Wheelco performance, parametrising and precision adjustment
With adequate ajustment, the wheelco can reach surprising accuracies for distance and thus speed, at better than 0.1%, easily. The wheelco can be so accurate as to detect a low pressure tyre by riding a known and calibrated distance and comparing it to the reading : with low pressures, distance readings will be higher than real distance and vice versa. It is also be a usefull gadget to watch the wheel’s range with more accuracy than the wheel’s leds, especially for wheels with small batteries.
Pictures are taken on my Gotway but the same principles apply to most any other wheels (see a wheelco on my Firewheel). Click pictures to zoom.
The eureka moment had been to use two rigid and solderable wires as electrical links and as a holder. The wire are enough rigid to keep the wheelco in position and enough flexible to allow for some displacement in case of a fall. After some months of testing on my Firewheel and several “controlled” falls (ie without faceplanting), the system appears to be reliable even when heavily exposed to shocks.
Profile view of the wheelco. The two rigid wires (0.8mm diameter) are connected to the ILS magnetic sensor by a X3 terminal block. The rigid wires are bent to pass between the housing and the cover or between the two half-housing. It can also pass through the housing provided 2 small holes are drilled.
Back view of the wheelco. The rigid wires are directly soldered to the bike computer pins and zig-zag bent to allow for some flexibility to avoid breaking by a shock. The ILS sensor has been pried open then covered by a shrink wrap to reduce its overall thickness, otherwise, it won’t fit in the Gotway’s batteries compartment.
Magnet with a 1.3 mm diameter very rigid wire. The motor cover’ screw has some theadlock (in blue. If you don’t add liquid theadlock when remounting, check after 1 week that the screw is still in place and has not moved because of vibration.
Wheelco mounted. The whole mod should last less than 20 minutes if all parts have been prepared. The screen is maximum at the forefront to ease reading during the ride. In this tutorial, the wheelco is on the right and the wires are right-arranged. In another setup (wires passing inside at the midle between the two half housing) the wires can be left-arranged.
The holding system is solid, invisible and doesn’t add to the thickness of the bike computer.
Choose a wheelco with colors assorted to you wheel (red & black, black, white…) to have a well integrated mod. It’s a totally reversible mod, ie if you don’t like it, just remove it..
Wheelco on a Firewheel. Much more exposed to shocks (but ideally placed for reading) so the wires must make turns to allow for more flexibility. Extra wire length inside the housing helps keeping the wheelco in position.
- Options 1, colors : black & red, black, white
- Option 2, wire arrangment : left, right, straight
Sunding brand, user manual (pdf).
Intantaneous speed : with big digits
*Max speed : not always reliable because of spurious values
*Trip distance : accuracy up to one meter
*Trip time : in h:mn:ss
Clock : about 2s/day drift compared to internet clock, not bad. To change time, move to this mode clock, and hold left button > 3s to enter adjustment mode.
Odometer : measure total distance since installation (value lost if battery removed so remember the value and update it after a battery change)
* : hold left button > 3s to reset before each new trip)
|Wheel diam “||10||12||14||16||18|
|Wheel circonference mm||798||976||1117||1277||1436|
I made three times the same trip around the neighbourhood. Real distance 454 m measured by Google Earth ; distances indicated by the wheelco :
- 456 m
- 458 m (some zigzags to avoid a car)
- 454 m
It works flawlessly without any adjustment needed.
Conclusion : total success ! Such accuracy would never be possible with a GPS because of interpolation, not to mention that the GPS doesn’t work correctly in an urban environment or in underground parking lots. Using the wheelco and comparing it in realtime to the Gotway Android app shows that the GW odometer is consistent with the whelco odometer (see table) but the GW’s speed counter is inflated by about 10% (20km/h wheelco => 23 km/h Android app), clear evidence that Gotway makes exagerated claims on its speed specifications.
|GW Android app (km)||9.20||31.97||12.46||30.00||21.53||31.03|