The Begode Hero 160.934 km (100 mile) Review

by freshlycharged

The Begode Hero is getting some love as the only currently available next generation suspension EUC available, especially after the ongoing delays and issues with the much anticipated and hyped King Song S20.

The following is a guest article by Larry Zarcoff, an avid EUC rider who will share why he ditched the King Song S20 for the Begode Hero and has not had any regrets.

If you are suffering from S20 Waiting Syndrome, you may want to consider the Hero as an alternative.

Larry Zarcoff

The Begode Hero 100 Mile Review

Begode Hero 100 mi review

The first thing you may notice about this “First Impressions” review is that it isn’t a video. This is written out and meant to be enjoyed as an essay. To those who insist on videos I’d say you’re sh!t out of luck.

(That’s a technical term).

For the rest of you who may not have read my past reviews I’d like to introduce you to the concept of “The Prism…”

THE PRISIM

When evaluating someone’s opinion of an EUC, movie, lasagna, or even hotel accommodations in lower Borneo, it’s best to filter such comments through a the prism of the writer’s experiences. For example, if I were a 27-year-old extreme rider who prefers jumps and single track courses, my feelings about the wheel might mean one thing to you. However, if I were a 60-year old recreational rider who enjoys riding streets and paved trails for relaxation, my remarks might have a totally different resonance.

Thank God I’m not a 60-year-old rider who…oh prarie sh!t. Welp.. . So as you read my views on the Begode/Gotway Hero please try and filter them through my prism and then through yours; otherwise this exercise will have little value.

Also, FYI, this is the seventh wheel I’ve owned. In order:

  • V5F
  • V10F
  • Nikola Plus
  • Mten3
  • Sherman V1 (with upgraded rim, hangers, motor, Clark pedals)
  • S18
  • Hero

I did not keep all the wheels. Right now, it’s just the Sherman and the Hero in the quiver.

We are doing this review in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” style. Pull up a chair and spend 15 minutes with me as we discuss the wheel…

Nuff said? Cool.

WHY THE BEGODE HERO?

Back in August of 2021, I pre-ordered the Kingsong S20 and began “The Great Wait.” Originally due over the holidays, the S20 suffered delay after delay. Certainly par for the course with electric unicycles, but when my wheel was pushed to May with no real delivery date in sight, I reached out to my “Consultants;” a top-secret consortium of EUC experts whom I depend on for crucial wheel-centric decisions…

The feedback I received led me to change my order from the S20 to the Hero. They reported the Hero was solid, the suspension smooth as butter, and, better still, the Hero was actually available to buy.

There are a lot of reasons the S20 is delayed, many of them valid and good for the wheel in the long term. But with 7500+ miles on my Sherman I needed an alternate wheel; and as Veruca Salt eloquently said, “I want an Ooompah-loompah and I want one NOW.

Begode Hero Review

THE GOOD…

This was my first experience with Alien Rides. They get an A+. I had some after-sales questions and they gave me prompt, friendly and supportive responses. You can’t teach that.

The design of the Hero is great. It looks even better in person than it does in the photos. Like a great knobby periscope.

The Hero is like riding an anvil with greased casters down a long hill. Comparable to my Sherman in terms of feeling solid and trustworthy, the Hero is like riding a rocket to the next traffic light or pedestrian that happens to wander in front of you squinting at their phone. The torque is incredible, superior to the Sherman, and will get you up to speed quicker than shit though a goose…

The tire, to me, seems the same as the Sherman knobby. It certainly looks the same. I’m a fan of these tires because of the great sound they make, buzzing like a swarm of enraged cicadas. This is a good thing when approaching bike riders that text, listen to music, and only stop fiddling with their headphones long enough to adjust their ridiculous lycra nut-huggers. I like to think the idea of being eaten by a horde of hungry Murder Hornets cuts through their ennui…and gets their attention, but sadly I’ve been proven wrong on this fact…

The Hero doesn’t make quite the same high-pitched whine as the Sherman, but it’s still music to my ears.

Trolley handle? A bit short for me (I’m 6′ 1″) but well executed.

Kickstand? Check. It’s two knobs on the back but it does the job.

The pedals are the new Begode spiked honeycomb pedals. There are two variations and Alien Rides includes the superior one (I think it’s cast metal vs. CNC – but don’t quote me). The pedals are gigantic, which is great for my clown feet. I was initially disappointed that they came in silver because the photo on the site showed a black version, but I’m growing fond of the color. I may paint them red in a few weeks…but I’m letting the silver sink in for now.

If you’re a constant reader you know that I suffered a small crash last week. While the wheel tumbled and got scratched, it took the wipeout perfectly. In fact, you can’t see the scratches unless you’re staring at the wheel through a larnite or a particularly strong jeweler’s loop… I can only wonder what would have happened to a delicate S20 under similar crash circumstances…

I am loving the suspension. Keep in mind I’m just riding on crappy pavement and potholes, and the suspension might not be enough for trails and jumps; but it’s been great for me so far. I can bounce up and down on it like an Adam’s apple at a yodeling contest! 🙂

The display is simply fantastic, except…

Larry Zarcoff EUC

THE BAD

While the display is crisp, large and easy to read, it is strictly metric system. You can’t switch to imperial. That means unless you use an app, you’re going to have to learn kilometers and Celsius to read the display. To that I say, “really?” Would it have been that difficult to code an imperial option into the setup routine in the Begode/Gotway App? It probably wouldn’t have cost them a red centimeter…

And yet…who gives a f*ck? So, I had to spend exactly 10 minutes learning the important benchmarks in kilometers and Celsius. Big deal. My daughter is 9 and has already learned the metric system. I might as well learn kilograms while I’m at it.

The power pads, to me, are all power and no pad. The flush inner pad is so thin if it stood sideways and stuck out its tongue it’d look like a zipper. The power portions work great. They are fitted to the design of the wheel, but the foam material is hard and uncomfortable. My knees point inward, like this: ) (, as opposed to normal knees: | |, or bowlegs: ( ). That means that even standing straight my inner legs and knees rub up against the hard pads and it’s annoying. 3rd party replacements are on the way.

The profile of the wheel is tall, mostly due to the suspension, and the wind blows me around quite a bit more than other wheels I’ve owned. It’s almost like being on a sailboat. It is challenging but not too bad.

THE UGLY

The headlight. Wow. There are two different lights in the headlight array and they are cock-eyed. I guess one is to throw a beam right in front of you and the other is a more diffuse pattern. While they are controlled by a very adequate sensor the two lights look ridiculous. They aren’t even particularly effective at lighting, in my view. One of the lights looks like it was stung by a wasp.

If were riding toward you it’d look like I was getting a horseback ride from Peter Falk…

Just one more thing…

The range of the Hero is not as disappointing as some have reported, but to me this is a 45-mile wheel. I haven’t tried to do one ride at a consistent speed until it keels over and beeps itself to death; but I did do two consecutive 21-mile rides and rode it down to one bar. Given my research I think I could have gotten a few more miles on it despite EUC World reporting 2% battery.

I also accelerated over 30 mph a few times each ride, testing the speed. I came nowhere near the speed ceiling of the Hero and backed down to my comfort zone of 20 to 25; but that is still more than Marty‘s range test of several weeks ago.

The good news is I have a Sherman if I have the urge to do an 80+ mile ride. Most of my pleasure trips are 20 to 30 miles, easily within the range of the Hero.

That said, it would have been nice to get around 60+ miles on the wheel. “C’est la vie,” as Robbie Neville crooned…

WRAPPING UP…

The Hero has exceeded my expectations. At the same price point as S20, it’s a solid-as-a-rock suspension wheel you can get tomorrow from Alien Rides. If you are suffering from S20 Waiting Syndrome, you may want to consider the Hero as an alternative. I highly recommend it on its own merits based on my first 160.934 kilometers.

Check out this other article on the Begode Hero, a forgotten EUC that seems to be making a comeback.

EUC Comparison Tool

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the EUC options, so we made an interactive EUC Comparison Tool. You can sort, filter, and include or exclude data as you see fit. I hope you find this tool helpful!

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We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

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