Suspension electric unicycles (EUC) are more popular than ever. Many riders enjoy the increased comfort and stability that a suspension system provides. As more suspension EUCs come to market, the choices will get even more exciting and difficult.
In this post, I’ll compare two of the most popular suspension EUCs on the market today: The KingSong S22 and the Begode Master. I’ll also share my thinking process for finally deciding to buy the S22.
Summary (TL;DR): Kingsong S22 or Begode Master Suspension Electric Unicycle
Over the past few years, the electric unicycle industry has shifted its design space to include full suspension electric unicycles.
S22 vs Master EUC
- The S22 is a full suspension electric unicycle with an upgraded motor, larger battery, and better build quality than the Begode Master
- Both EUCs have a reported real world range of close to 50 miles under optimal riding conditions, e.g., 170-190 lb total rider weight, flat pavement terrain, and average riding speed 20-25mph
- The Master has a higher 134V electronic platform, which contributes to higher torque and top speed than the S22 (which is a 126V system)
- The suspension system in the S22 gives you more drop clearance with 130mm suspension travel, as compared with the Master’s 80mm suspension travel
- The Begode Master uses an air shock suspension system, whereas the S22 uses a coil shock; the S22 coil shock is easier to use, doesn’t require tools, and requires less skill to adjust than the air suspension in the Master (e.g., you’ll need a shock pump to make suspension adjustments)
- The differences in materials make the S22 a much more durable product, though the Begode Master is still a well-built electric unicycle for the cost.
- In terms of price, the Kingsong S22 and Begode Master are priced similarly around $3200 USD.
So, which one should you buy? It depends on your preferences and budget. If you’re looking for the best possible suspension system, the S22 is the better choice. If you’re looking for a more powerful motor and higher top speed, then the Master is the better choice. For most people, I would recommend the S22 due to its superior build quality and overall riding experience.
Key Features of the Kingsong S22
- 3,300W motor, 43.5MPH top speed
- 2,220Wh/126V battery pack, with SmartBMS
- 20″ tire, available in either street or knobby
- DNM Burner RCP-2S 240mm shock, with 130mm of travel
- Estimated weight: 77lb/35kg
- Other highlights: spiked pedals, integrated adjustable PowerPads, up to 10A rapid-charging (6A included), built-in kickstand
Key Features of the Begode Master
- Offered in two LiTech battery pack options:
- High-range Samsung 50E cells, 10A output, 2,400Wh capacity
- High-power Samsung 40T, 35A output, 1,920Wh capacity
- Max voltage of 134.4V/102.4V nominal, in a 32s4p configuration
- 18×3″ knobby tire
- Suspension system, with 80mm/3.15″ of travel, shock has reverse chamber for rebound
- Die-cast 13.1″ XL pedals
My Thoughts for Choosing the Best Suspension Wheel: S22 or Master EUC?
The S22 is an upgrade and natural step forward from the popular S18, Kingsong’s first suspension electric unicycle. The S22 features an upgraded motor, larger battery, and longer travel, coil shock suspension system. Notably, the King song S22 is an 126V electric unicycle (i.e., the S18 is an 84V EUC by comparison), and the first wheel any company announced to have voltage specifications over the 100V performance standard.
Not to be left behind, however, the Begode Master, is a Frankenstein creation. A mutant micromobility device, the Master EUC iterates upon the more expensive, but better-built Begode Hero, “borrows” the technical specifications of S18/S22 and improves upon other suspension wheels in several areas.
This includes a higher reported 134V electronic platform, which provides higher torque and top speed than the S22. The C40 motor in the Master is also more powerful, though it is unclear by how much over the S22.
Performance (top speed and torque): How much of a difference?
I’ve been impressed by the performance of the Master from the get-go. It is one of the first EUCs with the theoretical potential to break the 55-60mph speed barrier. I have not been able to test this myself–I probably never will–but reports from the community peg the top speed at around 55mph.
The Master also has a longer range than the S22. While both EUCs have a reported real world range of close to 50 miles under optimal riding conditions, e.g., 170-190 lb total rider weight, flat terrain, and average riding speed of 20-25mph. The Master’s larger battery gives it an edge in terms of range over the S22.
In terms of which wheel to choose based on performance, I find that if you ride regularly under 30mph, then it’s a wash. Both the S22 and Master will get you where you need to go without breaking a sweat. However, if you find yourself regularly pushing the limits of speed and range, then the Master will be a better choice for you.
Off road, technical capability: Suspension electric unicycles off the beaten path
Torque, or simply the power an electric unicycle can apply to the ground, is what allows an EUC to start from a stop and maintain speed going up hills. This makes torque an important consideration for electric unicycles, especially if you live in a hilly area or plan on doing a lot of off-roading.
The Master has more torque than the S22, which means it will have an easier time starting from a stop and maintaining speed going up hills. If you live in a hilly area or you’re a heavy rider (over 200 lbs), then the Master may be a better choice for you.
For myself, I’ve been able to do quite well with the Sherman (V3) and Sherman Max for all the paved and packed dirt trails in my local area. The S22 provides more than enough power (and then some) for my style and approach to riding.
I’ll note here that both wheels are capable off-road EUCs, and torque isn’t the only measure of a good off-roader. That said, I’ll say that to ride more technical off-road trails, technical ability (i.e., the ability to keep the EUC upright) is more important than raw power.
Since I don’t know where and how you ride your EUCs, I can’t make a clear determination of which wheel would be better for you. For my neighborhood, I know the S22 would be more than sufficient.
I enjoy the pack dirt, single track, as well as the fire roads that criss cross my area. The S22 has the capability to do everything I would need it to do, and then some. It’s a capable off-roader that can handle anything I throw at it.
In fact, I can ride my Veteran Sherman on these off-road places (example). But, due to its weight and lack of suspension, I’ve been eyeing a lighter weight and full suspension wheel for these rides. The Master would be a great choice for this purpose as well. Read on to see why I went with the S22.
Ride quality: S22 vs Master
The suspension system in the S22 gives you more obstacle drop clearance with 130mm suspension travel, as compared with the Master’s 80mm suspension travel.
This bigger suspension travel distance is a significant advantage for the S22, as it means that you will be able to ride over more obstacles without damaging the wheel. This extra suspension travel also makes the S22 more able to handle unpredictable obstacles at higher speeds, as there is less chance of the wheel bottoming out and losing contact with the ground.
Do you know what it’s like to ride a pogo stick? Or, worse, can you handle the sudden jolt of a suspension system that bottoms out?
The Kingsong S22 has great suspension travel, which gives you a much more comfortable and controlled ride. The suspension in the Master is still very good, but it can’t match the S22 in this regard.
Now, I’ll say that the pedal height of the Master is higher than the S22. So, if you’re going off road and worried about pedal clip, then the Master will give you more freedom to ride in deeper ruts. The counter-point here is that the S22 will have a better stock suspension system for when you actually “ride into” those deeper troughs.
Want less pedal clipping? The Begode Master is the better EUC.
The extra travel in the S22 provides a smoother ride, as it can absorb more of the bumps and imperfections in the road. This makes for a more comfortable ride, especially over long distances.
Note that suspension systems are important for electric unicycles because they help to protect the battery and motor from damage. A well-designed suspension system will also help to keep the rider comfortable and in control of the EUC, even over rough terrain.
Kingsong S22 vs Begode Master shock comparison (Air vs Coil)
The Begode Master uses an air shock suspension system, whereas the S22 uses a coil shock. The advantage of an air shock is that it is lighter weight (generally) and can be tuned with greater precision.
Of course, the air shock in even high end full suspension mountain bikes are sensitive to ambient temperature. For example, in cold weather, your air shocks will be stiffer than in warm weather.
Coil shocks, on the other hand, are much less affected by temperature changes. This makes them a better choice for those riding electric unicycles throughout the year in different seasons, as you don’t have to worry about your suspension being too stiff or too soft in different weather conditions.
Yes, you can make adjustments to your air shock. But, if you’re like me, you might not want to mess with it too much. I prefer to set it and forget it, knowing that my suspension will be consistent no matter what the temperature is.
Another advantage of coil shocks is that they don’t rely on rubber seals to keep the air in. These seals can wear out over time, and eventually leak. This means that you will have to replace your air shocks more often than you would need to replace coil shocks.
So, while air shocks might be lighter weight and easier to tune, they are not as durable or consistent as coil shocks. As I’m coming from a mountain biking background, I prefer the coil shocks on the S22 for their reliability and consistency.
In a nutshell, the coil shock in the S22 is easier to use, doesn’t require tools, and requires less skill to adjust than the air suspension in the Master. With any mountain bike air shock type system, you’ll need a high pressure shock pump to make adjustments.
Can you imagine needing to carry a shock pump with you wherever you ride? You may not need to, but it is something to consider. For most people, the coil shock suspension in the S22 will be more than adequate and require less maintenance.
On the other hand, the air shock suspension in the Begode Master does provide a smoother ride over general riding surfaces. The dampening effect of the air suspension in the Master EUC is more responsive (i.e., sensitive) to smaller imperfections in the road surface.
Yet, some of this could be compensated in the S22 by lowering the tire air pressure, too. Ultimately, I don’t think there’s a best suspension system when it comes to either EUC. Your choice will depend more on how and where you ride, as well as your personal preferences and tolerance for servicing the shock system.
If you’re the type of rider who wants to tune your suspension for different riding conditions, or if you just want the lightest weight EUC possible, then the Begode Master with its air shock might be a good choice for you.
But, if you’re like me and you want a more durable, low-maintenance suspension system that is still quite capable, then the coil shock in the S22 will be a better choice.
Build quality finish, and attention to detail: S22 vs Master
When it comes to build quality, the Kingsong S22 is arguably a superior product. The S22 features an aluminum alloy battery casing with magnesium alloy rims, while the Begode Master has a plastic battery housing (likely fragile) body with aluminum alloy rims.
The S22 also has better encasement of the sensitive electronics on the top of the wheel, compared to the Begode Master EUC. To bring the Master to the level of the S22 would require owners to DIY covers or purchase third-party fairings to improve protection.
Seated and standing ride characteristics
From a riding experience perspective, the S22 and Master seem similar. Both are tall and heavy wheels with most of their weight above your calves when you ride.
For those of us who have ridden the EXN or Veteran Sherman (still my favorite wheel of all time), the S22/Master will feel like chunky cousins–they force a wider stance and will require more of your upper body input to control.
Of course, the S22 and Master are both comfortable wheels to ride for long periods of time, thanks in large part to their full suspension systems. Both have great suspension systems that provide a comfortable and controlled ride.
Seated riding on an EUC is a mixed bag for some people. I’ve found that it’s more comfortable to ride the S22 standing up, while the Master is fine either way.
The ergonomics of the S22 make it a bit more difficult to generate forward momentum when seated, and others have found themselves leaning forward more when riding it while seated. The Begode Master’s slightly taller and broader seat configuration makes it one of the most comfortable seated electric unicycles to ride.
Riders who want to be able to sit down and cruise on their EUC will find the Begode Master to be a better choice. As mentioned above, the plush and sensitive air shock will also make those longer cruises seated while riding over pavement or even groomed dirt roads more enjoyable.
Those who prefer to stand most of the time, or who want a more athletic ride, will find the S22 to be a better choice. The firmer coil shock will give you more road feedback and a stiffer ride that some riders may prefer when standing and riding aggressively.
The LED Display: Telemetry, Battery Life, and Speed
The S22’s display is another mixed bag. It’s large and easy to read, but it doesn’t provide all the information like the Master’s display does. In fact, the S22 only shows you battery life (when the EUC is at a standstill) or your current speed. That’s it.
The S22 display is also placed directly below you, right where the sun don’t shine. This means that if you’re riding the S22 standing up and looking down at the display, you’ll likely have to tilt your head pretty far down to see it. This is especially true if you’re riding at speed, leaning forward, and/or wearing a full face helmet–as you should.
The Begode Master’s display is placed forward on the wheel, slightly in front of you, making it much easier to see in most riding conditions. It also provides additional information you may want to know, like the Sherman Max.
In addition to battery life and current speed, the Master’s display will also show you estimated range, current power output (in watts), average speed, and trip distance.
Other notable features (or lack thereof) between the S22 and Master
For both wheels, settings for ride mode, alarms, among other data management things are best performed using associated smartphone apps, e.g., Darknessbot, EUC World.
I will add that the S22 has a smart battery management system (BMS), which is a feature that is not included in the Begode Master. The BMS in the S22 protects the battery from overcharging, over-discharging, short circuits, and excessive temperatures.
The smart BMS in the S22 will automatically help to extend the life of the battery.
The trolley handle on the Master extends from the center of the wheel, which gives it more balance and stability when rolling the EUC around. It is similar in this regard to the Begode Hero, the Leaperkim Veteran Sherman, and almost all of the non-suspension Kingsong wheels.
The S22 has a trolley handle that is placed right in front, which can make it a bit more difficult to keep the EUC moving in a straight line. Again, the Begode Hero and other center aligned trolleys in other EUC models have better utility.
Because the S22 is slightly back heavy due to its beefy suspension system, this can be even more of an issue when trying to wheel the S22 around with its trolley.
For me, the difference in the trolley is not that big of a deal as I plan to ride my EUC more than trolley it around. But, if you’re a commuter who wants to be able to quickly and easily wheel your EUC around when you’re not riding it, the Begode Master may be easier to maneuver.
Then again, neither of these wheels are great commuters. They are heavy (over 75 lbs), bulky and won’t travel well onto public transportation. Their weight will also make them difficult to carry up or down stairs, even short flights.
In some reviews, riders have mentioned the bumper or padding available with each EUC. The Kingsong has an improved front bumper that should better resist breakage with low-speed or minor drops. Check out some video of the new bumper.
With both first batch wheel impressions from the community, there continues to be some concern with the ability of either EUC to withstand tumbles, especially given the price. In my opinion, some of these “problem” issues are a sign of hype returning back to normal expectations for any electric unicycle produced abroad.
I would suggest most enthusiasts to give their expectation some rest until they’ve logged a few hundred miles on any EUC. Obviously, there are a few people who will have issues with any product, but from what I’ve seen so far the average rider is having a great time on either wheel.
Obviously, with our current economic environment, there has a backlog of excitement and high demand. As such, there’s been a rush to fill open orders. And in doing so, I think companies have pushed EUC products out the door too quickly in error, lacking good pre flight checks and quality control.
However, in general, if I had to render a production quality verdict…I think the S22 is the better-built machine, and it has some features that are not available on the Begode Master.
However, that’s not to say that the Begode Master is a poor product. It’s just that the S22 seems to be a step above in terms of build quality and attention to detail.
So, if you’re someone who values a well-built machine that is designed to last, the S22 might be the better choice for you. But, if you don’t mind sacrificing some build quality in exchange for better high speed/power performance, then the Begode Master could be a better option.
Which EUC Should You Buy? Begode Master vs KingSong S22?
It comes down to value, doesn’t it? You have to ask yourself which suspension EUC provides a better overall experience.
The differences in materials make the S22 a much more durable product, and the Kingsong brand has a (much) better reputation for longevity and safety than Begode. The Begode Master is still a well-built electric unicycle for the cost, and provides superior performance in the speed and torque/power department.
Both the S22 and Master have arguable similar mileage on a full charge, though it is possible that the Master squeaks by the S22 in this area (~5-10 miles?), too, due in part to its 10-20% larger battery.
I can’t be certain here as these wheels may come with different battery configurations. Check out eWheels for the options you have regarding batteries in your Master or S22 EUCs.
So, which one should you buy? It depends on your preferences and budget. If you’re looking for the best possible suspension system, the King song S22 is the better choice. If you’re looking for a more powerful motor and higher top speed, then the Master is the better choice.
Overall, the easiest answer, as with most things in life, is “it depends.” If you have the budget for it and you can swing it, buy both! Though I don’t have this option, unfortunately.
My gut is saying that I won’t regret buying either wheel, but when it comes to drawing the line…Both the S22 and the Master are excellent choices for a suspension EUCs.
They both have impressive performance, as compared with earlier iterations of suspension wheels. And with all the reasons and info I detail above, for most people, I would recommend the KingSong S22 due to its superior build quality and overall riding experience.
Long Term Value: Kingsong S22 or Begode Master?
In my decision matrix for buying anything technology related, I weigh how long I’ll keep a product in-use. For me, something as fleeting as a new PEV device may not be something I want to use for years and years.
On the other hand, if I’m looking for a product with a more extended lifespan, that’s something I factor into my decision-making process. With electric unicycles (EUCs), I think you can get several years of use out of them before they become functionally outdated.
The Kingsong S22 and the Begode Master are both high-quality EUCs that will last for many years with proper care. I would be confident in using either wheel for several years to come without any worries about them breaking down or becoming truly outdated.
Both companies have decent reputations in the EUC community, and I think you’ll be happy with either choice in the long run.
Now, however, I will say that I think that the Kingsong S22 will hold its value longer for a few reasons. First, Kingsong has a better reputation for making wheels that stand out, and are highly-regarded as great wheels, even years later. They aren’t “cookie-cutter” EUCs and have smart and useful features that people love.
Additionally, I think the S22 is a more durable wheel and should last longer with proper care. The durability of the materials will help it keep its value over time while the Begode Master may show more wear and tear over the years.
Notably, Begode (or formerly known as Gotway) has had a rocky relationship throughout the EUC community. I think that their reputation has improved in recent years, but they’re not held in the same high esteem as Kingsong.
Given that Begode designs, produces, and sells new wheels in a similar price range to the S22, I think that the S22 will hold its value better just because it’s a Kingsong.
The takeaway here is that both the S22 and Master are excellent choices for utility. But I believe that the S22 will have slightly better resale price down the road if I choose to trade-in or sell the wheel.
For this reason, my preference for the S22 is supported through its ability to hold value in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who has better quality and reputation for electric unicycles? Kingsong or Begode/Gotway?
Quality control is sub-par for both companies in China; especially if you compare them with products made in other Western countries, e.g., EU/UK/USA/Canada, that have laws and strict regulations for PEV devices.
Each company have had issues for safety concerns. Though optimistically, both Kingsong and Begode have made iterative improvements in the past several years. I would say though, right now, Kingsong seems to have better quality control than Begode/Gotway.
For those interested in getting an EUC with a stellar safety record, you’ll be in for a wait.
When it came to my purchasing decision, safety is something I also examined and weighed heavily when choosing the S22 over the Master. I believe that the S22 will have a longer lifespan due to its better build quality. This also translate to better resale value in the long run.
How do I get more torque from my electric unicycle?
All electric unicycles with high motor power (i.e., high nominal or peak wattage) always work better with power pads, side pads, or torque pads, as they are often called. These increase the surface area that your feet and legs can push against while riding your EUC.
For example, when you want to access all the power from a torque motor on a Begode or Leaperkim EUC, you’ll want to press or squeeze forward and into the sides of the device while riding.
This is different than on a Gotway or Kingsong, where you’ll want to push more down with your foot while riding.
Do I need suspension on my electric unicycle?
This is a difficult question to answer. It depends on how and where you ride, as well as your personal preferences.
If you live in an area with a lot of cracks, potholes, or other road irregularities, then you may want to consider a suspension EUC. If you do a lot of off-roading (riding on dirt, grass, etc.), then you’ll definitely want a suspension electric unicycle.
For those commuting, or prefer to ride on smooth pavement and open road, you may not feel the need for suspension, as it can add weight and complexity (and cost) to your EUC.
What gives an EUC better climbing ability?
There are three things that contribute to an EUC’s climbing ability: the motor, the battery, and the rider.
The motor provides the power to spin the wheel, which in turn propels the EUC forwards. The battery stores and provides the electricity to run the motor. And the rider provides the force to keep the EUC moving forwards.
In terms of the motor, a higher wattage motor will usually give better climbing ability, all other things being equal. In terms of the battery, a larger battery will usually give better climbing ability, all other things being equal.
And finally, the rider. A rider that is lighter, has better balance, and technique will usually be able to get better climbing ability out of their EUC.
Yes, there’s also the controller and the firmware (or software) that governs all the power from and to the battery, and how the motor responds to the rider’s input.
Should I upgrade my older suspension electric unicycle?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on a number of factors. The most important thing to consider is how much you use your EUC, and how well it still performs.
If you’re using your EUC regularly and it’s still performing well, then there may not be much point in upgrading. If you’re only using your EUC occasionally, or if it’s starting to show its age, then upgrading may be a good idea.
Another thing to consider is how much money you’re willing to spend. If you’re not looking to spend too much money, then there may not be much point in upgrading to the latest and greatest suspension EUC.
However, if you’re looking for the best possible suspension EUC, and money is no object, then upgrading may be worth it.
In general, I would say that it’s probably not worth upgrading from an older suspension EUC to a newer one unless you’re looking for the absolute best performance, or unless your older EUC is starting to show its age.
Are there any other benefits to having suspension on my EUC?
In addition to making your ride more comfortable, suspension can also help protect your EUC from damage. If you hit a large pothole or rock, the suspension will absorb some of the impact, which can help protect your EUC from damage.
Another benefit of suspension is that it can help improve the stability of your EUC, especially at higher speeds. This is because the suspension helps to keep the wheels in contact with the ground, even when going over bumps.
Finally, suspension can also help improve the range of your EUC, as it can help to reduce the amount of energy that is lost through vibrations. Note that this is just my theory and has not been tested. Does it make sense? I think so.
So, while suspension may not be necessary for everyone, it can certainly be a valuable addition for some riders. A new wheel is always fun, too. So, go forth and enjoy the ride!
I hope this electric unicycle comparison has been helpful. The future in EUC may be with the addition of suspension with a high voltage electrical platform.
While the details and technical stuff of what drives an EUC is important, at the end of the day it’s really about getting out there and enjoying the ride.
To deliver the best possible performance, the motor power, i.e., speed or torque motor output, and the battery capacity are important factors. The weight of the rider and the terrain also play a role in how well an EUC will perform.
While there are many different types of electric unicycles on the market, each with its own set of pros and cons, I believe that the S22 and Master are two of the best options currently available.
My opinion is based on wrestling with the same question of which suspension EUC should be my next purchase.
I’ve had a great time riding electric unicycles in all types of terrain. I’m looking forward to taking this next generation of suspension EUC technology on the road (and off it, too).
Do you own a Begode Master or Kingsong S22? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, two wheels good–one wheel better!
Till then, ride brave, smart, and safe!
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