By now you have probably noticed people moving down the streets and sidewalks, George Jetson-style, silently, almost hovering, on a totally weird contraption. But instead of even two wheels scooter, this one has only one that is ridden by standing upright on it, feet on peddles on either side.
If this is all new to you, they’re called self-balancing unicycles, but unlike the mode of transportation from yesteryear, today’s version is all electric, and since they move along at a generally slower speed, there is no need for support poles. Once you have the hang of electric unicycles, you’re good to go, and having the time of your life wherever it is you are going. So, what are the advantages of an electric unicycle? There are several:
If you have someplace you need to go, but you really want to avoid using your car, the bus, or other motorized means of transportation, electric unicycles are waiting for you. And that’s not just a come-on to save energy. Instead, just as is the case with other alternatives to gas-drinking transportation forms, there’s nothing about electric unicycles that are kid’s stuff. Instead, they are a gas saving transportation mode that is fun and easy to use, energy efficient, and a great way to spend some time in the open air.
What could be better than that? This is especially true when you don’t want to walk to work, but you do want to save on gas and energy. Electric unicycles are the modern way to go, whether going means to work, school, or anywhere else.
How to Buy an Electric Unicycle
Just as is the case with any transportation form, you need to look at both the advantages as well as the disadvantages of electric unicycles. Fortunately, the disadvantages to using an electric unicycle are few and far between, not to mention weather related or the inability to take passengers, but those might be considered advantages too. For advantages, there are several.
Ease of Use: Compared to other forms of transportation, electric unicycles are easy to learn to use. There is a learning curve, however, just as is the case with other forms. And electric unicycle might even be considered a little more difficult to use compared to other forms of similar transportation. The primary trick being with mastering balance. It is important to be patient since it might take a couple of days to master it. You could also purchase a pair of what amount to training wheels until you get the idea. In the name of safety, however, you should always wear a helmet. Even after you have mastered your electric unicycle, your local laws should dictate whether you continue to wear a helmet.
Battery Considerations: Unlike hoverboards, which have experienced a lot of concerns over the type of batteries that give them power, unicycles are powered by lithium polymer batteries, which are much safer. You should, however, make sure that the unicycle you purchase has an electrical safety certification. It’s also a good idea if you were to check the battery itself to see if it has a Samsung or LG brand. These are two of the best batteries made for electric unicycles.
Weight Limits: Most electric unicycles have a weight limit in the neighborhood of 264 pounds. This probably does cover most riders, but if you weigh more than that, you should probably not tempt fate and try to ride one anyway. Electric unicycles are usually tested very thoroughly, and although there is usually some leeway on weight capacities, it’s usually not much. Be careful.
Wheel Size: Electric unicycles usually come with wheels that are pretty big. This is because larger wheels usually handle small holes and pot marks better than small wheels. They also retain contact with the road better when they hit something larger too. You should always consider inflatable tires over solid rubber tires as well also the same reason: smoother ride. Electric unicycles also come with tires of several sizes, primarily 12-inch and 14-inch.
These are usually best if you intend to concentrate your riding in good conditions. If on the other hand, you anticipate riding on rougher terrain, you should probably move up to 16-inch wheels, since the larger wheel base will allow you to get over obstacles better. Unfortunately, the larger wheel sizes are usually only available on more expensive models of unicycles.
If you think you might have trouble with balancing on your unicycle, you might want to consider several of the models that come with dual wheels. These wheels are side-by-side and have a greater tendency to stand upright, helping you to balance as you ride.
Range and Speed: There are probably few issues that come up over the subject of electric unicycles more often than their range and speed. And for good reason. Electric unicycles are, after all, a form of transportation, so in order to be useful, riders need to be aware of how far they can travel from a given location before they need to recharge. After all, who wants to get somewhere only to discover that they need a recharge and there’s no place convenient to do it? As a result, attention should be paid to the distance that can be ridden before a recharge is needed.
Easy to Use: It’s pretty obvious to see that electric unicycles are nothing like the unicycles of old time. This doesn’t however, eliminate the problem that many people have with equating the two forms of transportation. This problem grows even worse when you think of the number of times you probably fell from a unicycle, bicycle, skateboard or other “toy.” Besides, most business people aren’t excited about the prospect of arriving at work with a skinned knee and torn clothes, much less a broken arm and a skull fracture. Fortunately, with an electric unicycle, you will get to your destination in very little time.
Price: It might be true that the difference between the men and the boys is the price of their toys, but when it comes to electric unicycles, that price can both vary considerably and be a lot more reasonable than you probably thought. Most upper-end electric unicycles run in the price neighborhood of $2000, but that is strictly upper end. You can buy an entry level unicycle for about $400, and the prices go up from there. The good news in this is that if you shop around and look for bargains, you can usually find one, but it takes time and effort. further, after you have tried a lower cost unicycle, chances are good that you will discover how much fun they are to use, as well as how practical they are, and you will want to buy a nicer one before very long. And Finally,
Support When You Need It: As much as we all wish that this wasn’t the case, it’s still a good idea to know that when you have a problem with your unicycle, you can get help. If that’s your concern, don’t let it be, since every electric unicycle maker has a customer service line that is excellent. Not only can you get general product buying information from them but if you have a problem with anything from putting it in working order to riding it, there are plenty of people available who are often riders themselves to help you and get you on the road in no time.
Best Self-balancing Electric Unicycle Scooter – Editor’s Choice
Segway, the same company that for years has brought the world various forms of personal electronic transportation, has now entered the electric unicycle fold with its own version, the Segway One S1, a one wheel self balancing personal transporter with mobile app control that can take you anywhere you want to go, at any time.
The Segway One S1 is a transportation system that was created for those who love being bold and are excited at the idea of a challenge. Are you ready for an energy efficient, nature-loving way to get around? Perhaps Segway’s One S1 is for you. When the time comes for you to get out and get things done, and you want to turn heads while you do it, the Segway One S1 will do the job for you.
Further, just as is the case with all Segway models, this one has plenty of extras that the ordinary buyer isn’t aware of until they have a chance to actually try it. This includes such features as Bluetooth connectivity, which serves as a conduit to the antitheft device. This makes it possible to find your Segway unicycle if it is ever lost or stolen.
The Segway unicycle actually weighs a bit more than most, at 25 lbs., and with 16-inch wheels. Fortunately, this adds to the stability of the ride, wherever you are going, and over whatever type of terrain you are passing over. It also has a range of about 15 miles (24 km) on a single charge.
The Gangnumsky was created for the purpose of offering a real alternative to other personal electronic transportation devices. The result of that effort is a low wattage, supremely powerful device that will get you 10-30 km on a single charge. It’s made of all aluminum with an alloy power supply, and a lithium battery. It reaches a 72V maximum on the charge. This one will reach speeds of up to 18 kilometers per hour. If you want even more control, you can get it with a Bluetooth setup that can be managed with your phone. Charging time is 1.5 hours. And there’s plenty of sensors to help keep you safe.
A prime benefit of the unicycle is the design, which is created to be minimalist but to still get the job done, quickly, easily, and safely. In fact, although the unicycle is touted to be a minimalist design, it’s really not, by virtue of the setup. First, you’re not far off the ground as you make your way along the course of where you are going. Second, the way it is designed makes the mode feel “full,” much like a larger bicycle would do for you.
So.. Should you buy an electric unicycle?
For the benefits of convenient, inexpensive, and fun means of transportation, regardless of your age or gender, there is probably nothing that can top an electric unicycle for your needs. Let’s face it, unicycles might not have the coolness factor that’s involved in hoverboards and similar devices, but in the long run, unicycles are probably a lot more capable, versatile, and practical than any other alternative form of transportation available.
As for personal experience, I have tried a lot of these, including hoverboards, unicycles, bicycles, and much more, and although it might seem a little strange to say this, especially coming from a 45-year-old man who uses his to go practically everywhere, I prefer a unicycle over everything else.
The only difference it forces on me is attentiveness to the battery charge, over the course of a day. I have owned a unicycle for the past eight months, and nearly every day I use it to go somewhere, whether for business or pleasure. I must be frank that I enjoy using it, even when I am going to work.
Before I leave home, I make sure my battery is fully charged, and when I get to my office, if I think of it, I will plug it in when I get there. If I forget, and even if I use it to go to lunch, I can still get home on a single charge.
Regardless, my unicycle has made the entire experience of going somewhere a lot more fun.
And remember what I said about a unicycle not having the coolness factor that other modes of transportation have? I lied. Everybody wants to ride my unicycle, especially in light of the money and fuel savings factor, is cool beyond belief. In fact, if I had a dime for every person who asked to try it out, I could buy another one.
Why don’t you check out some videos on Electric Unicycle?