The Veteran Sherman Max and King Song S20 are two very exciting performance electric unicycles (EUC) on the market today. The Sherman Max is a high-speed, long-range, powerhouse of an EUC. Whereas the Kingsong S20 Eagle is a high-torque EUC with a best-in-class suspension system.
As an avid EUC enthusiast that loves cruising on paved surfaces, e.g., bike paths, roads, and other fairly tame surfaces, the Veteran Sherman has been amazing for my needs. I already own one, in fact, which makes choosing an upgrade to the Sherman Max a bit more challenging.
For more details about the Sherman Max and how it builds up on the tried and true platform of the original Veteran Sherman EUC, check out this article. Suffice it to say, the Veteran Sherman (or its upgraded version the “Max”) is the most capable electric unicycle that will fulfill almost any EUC riders’ needs and wants.
King Song S20, Sherman Max, or Another Electric Unicycle?
The Kingsong S20 is a total departure from the design space that the Veteran Sherman Max fills. The S20 is a high-torque monowheel, which a 3,500W motor (nominal power) that boast peak output of up to 7,000W (or close to 10 horsepower).
As of April 1, 2022 the Kingsong S20 is now called the Kingsong S22. The name change was done to reflect the safety improvement to the original S20 model. This likely includes updates to firmware and hardware tweaks to avoid battery failure and fire risk.
The motor in the S20 is powered by a 126 volt (v) system with accompanying controller. The battery capacity of the KS S20 Eagle is 2,200, which in part with most high performance, mid-range electric unicycles, such as the Begode HS or HT EUC.
With a 20″ diameter wheel (with tire and rim) and an off-road tire, the S20 is likely the best off-road EUC on the market. It can climb hills with ease, powering even the heavier riders (>190 lbs or 75kg persons) up inclines that would burn out other wheels.
Although the top speed of the S20 isn’t as fast as the Veteran Sherman, Monster Pro, or Begode/Gotway EXN (HS), the KS S20 will push a rider safely up to about 35mph. This is probably the ideal safe limit for most EUC riders looking for a capable, all-purpose EUC, especially if you consider the other innovations in the S20 EUC.
I could rattle off all of those features, including the longer suspension system, and hall-less sensor (which is found in every other wheel and keeps you balanced); but, you can find these nitty-gritty details on any vendor’s site, including eWheels, where I ordered all my electric unicycles.
I’m all about the big picture: Which EUC fits my needs and ideal riding experience best? The Veteran Sherman Max or the S20?
As most reasonable hobbyists will do, we tend to only want to spend on things we will use regularly. In this case, I’m only budgeted to buy a single wheel.
If you’re in the same boat, and I bet you are if you’re reading this, the choice between the Sherman Max and the S20 is a hard one. It’s even harder if you’re also eyeing the other competitor performance EUCs on the market, too!
How to Choose Between Performance EUCs?
Here are my top-line thoughts about how I buy into technologies, such as electric unicycles or other personal electric vehicles (PEV).
It comes down to two aspects: Functional design and comfort.
Simple design beats innovation
When a technology uses simple designs, it tends to be more reliable and less costly to own in the long run. As someone who hates wasting time and money on repairs and products that require a lot of upkeep, I’m always looking for simplicity in design.
The Veteran Sherman Max is the simplier EUC as compared with the Kingsong S20. Hands-down, having no suspension, a market tested power system (e.g., battery, controller, motor) is going to have a lower risk of failure than the new innovative product. The Kingsong S20 is more complex, and that is readily apparent just by its inclusion of a suspension system and it’s appearance. I’m not sure I need to explain further than that.
For the more reliable machine, the Veteran Sherman Max will cost less to own in the long term–yes it’s more expensive upfront. The Max will also consume less of your time if it needs repair (which you could probably do yourself much easier than the S20).
Ergonomics and comfort
It is always hard to share a preference such as comfort of an EUC. Everyone has a different shaped body. You may have longer legs, smaller feet, different muscle builds than I do. All of these bodily characteristics will determine how well you fit a particular electric unicycle.
And, I’ll note that some EUC’s are more adaptable to a person’s physique. For example, power pads or torque pads are third-party accessories you can buy to improve the comfort, control, and feel of an EUC. These power pads you can buy also change the fitment of an electric unicycle for a particular rider.
Some EUCs are better suited to attached power pads, and thus are more customizable. This is especially true for EUCs, such as the Sherman Max, which is infinitely more customizable than the KS S20. The flat sides and the roll cage of the Veteran Sherman chassis give you more opportunities to “make it yours.”
The KS S20 has built-in power pads that may help you lock in your feed and legs–perhaps for jumping or demanding that extra torque. But, what if you wanted your own pads to make the wheel more comfortable? Where would you attach such a thing? Maybe you could DIY pads on the S20, but it would be harder.
If a third-party vendor designed powerpads for the KS s20, would they work as well as those we already know and love on the Veteran Sherman (and other EUCs for that matter). Clarkpads, for example, are very popular; especially because they are adjustable using velcro and have made it possible for stunt EUC riders to do all sorts of spectacular things with their EUCs.
Is the S20 going to be ergonomically flexible? Only time will tell. It sure does look comfortable and ergonomic with the suspension system and transposable power pads (which slide up and down into the frame of the EUC).
But, some have demonstrated concerns about the width of the KS S20 (bow-legged EUC riding anyone?). And the height of the S20 combined with the extra width of the machine may reduce the nimbleness of the entire wheel. Again, this may be personal preference, but an ongoing concern you may or may not have.
The Veteran Sherman Max is built upon the beloved Sherman chassis, whose only glaring weakpoint in previous iterations was it’s somewhat fragile 60mm wheel rim. If Leaperkim (makers of the Sherman Max) fix the rim issue, improve the torque and boost the range of the wheel; while maintaining all the other strengths of the EUC, they could have a homerun product.
Preorders and orders for the Sherman Max by all measures seem to be through the roof…well, so have the S20 preorders. All of this underscores the difficulty in choosing between these two great EUC devices: Sherman Max vs S20.
What About Price?
The price of EUCs has only increased in the past few years. It is disconcerting, but not surprising given the overall cost of all consumer products. Inflation, limited supply and other geopolitical upheavals, e.g., pandemic, have conspired against the EUC sport.
But, on the bright side, this puts the onus on manufacturer’s to create products that provide better and better value for the consumer. Price cannot rise without an accompanying improvment in product without the consumer harrowing for the escape to another, less risky hobby.
Yes, I realize there are some of us that will spend nearly any amount to stick with the electric unicycle niche.
But, if prices continue to rise, the community will not grow. Potential new riders already risk-averse to trying something as new as an electric unicycle will disappear. A community cannot grow without the influx of new people!
So, given all of this regarding the need to maintain value with the rising cost of EUCs, how do the Sherman Max and S20 compare in terms of cost-versus-benefit?
Which EUC provides more value to an electric unicycle consumer?
The simplest way to gauge value in an EUC is to compare battery capacity (watt-hours or wh) to dollar value (or whatever monetary currency you use). Without beating the horse, the Sherman Max has a better battery capacity (wh)-to-cost ratio than the S20. In this day and age, the cost of lithium batteries is the most expensive component of any personal electric vehicle (PEV), including EUCs.
Although the overall total cost of the Sherman Max is about $3800 USD and the S20 is around $3200, the Sherman Max has a 35% larger battery capacity.
From this standpoint, the Sherman Max is the better bang for your buck, as they say. The extra cost in the s20 (which is not from the battery size) is the “tax” you pay for the innovation in the EUC, such as the suspension design, and more efficient power system, as compared with the Veteran Sherman Max–the 126v versus 100v power componentry, respectively.
Another pro tip I’ll note from my experience is that the resale on an EUC with a larger battery capacity is also better in the long-run. This may be due to the cost of lithium batteries increasing (and projected to continue increasing the future), or simply because long-range EUCs are more popular (which increases demand on these used wheels).
In either case, if you’re planning to sell your wheel at some point, I expect the Veteran Sherman Max to have better resale value than compared with the KS S20–in other words, you’ll lose less money in a future trade/sale if you buy the Veteran Sherman Max.
Overall, if you’re choosing based on price alone, there are a few things you need to consider. The first being that the price of an EUC is still on the rise, even though this trend will not stay constant forever.
Second, don’t forget to calculate your cost of ownership; since both high-end machines are compared here…the cost to maintain, replace parts or repair broken components should be considered.
In terms of resale value, I encourage you to research this yourself or solicit opinions. My perspective may not be accurate in all of these respects: one person’s opinion on the resale value of a Veteran Sherman Max versus KS S20 is not representative of the entire EUC community, or even representable in comparison to any other particular user’s experience (or lack thereof). There I had my disclaimer….
I personally don’t make purchase decisions based on the future resale value of any machine, including cars. I buy things to use them as long as possible! Maybe this is how you decide what to buy, too?
Have you figured out which wheel I’m likely to buy in the future? Right now, I think a Sherman Max checks all the boxes. I want reliability, range, and speed. If I was planning to take my wheel off-road or lived in a place where the roads and trails were unpredictable, e.g., potholes, cracks, I would more likely consider the S20.
By the way, if you’re looking to purchase these wheels, you can preorder the Sherman Max or S20 on eWheels. I’m sure any of these EUCs will go quick!
As it stands, I also don’t actively pursue jumping, stunts, or other aerobatics with my electric unicycle. So, the S20’s capabilities would be under-leveraged in my use case (I think?). I do expect that the cost of ownership is an aspect many buyers do not consider with EUC purchasing decisions; though the long-term cost of an EUC can add up–especially if they have a shorter service life (or explode as some EUC brands have a reputation for doing).
So, what do you think? Did you find this article helpful, interesting? Which wheel are you eyeing for your next purchase?
Or, are you just an enthusiast in the PEV technology field, and observing how this EUC community-driven discussion plays out? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!