Unicycle Buying Guide
The brands of the EUC market are somewhat in Flux. There are five mainline manufacturers of these devices but only four of them are active.
Brands in the EUC market have different focus areas. This will affect the manufacture of the device. Customers will have to decide what they are most interested in—like speed, range, innovation, value, & reliability and then decide what balance to look for.
First-time buyers should do a little research on the web. YouTube is a great resource. Most will find that, as an initial wheel, the King Song 14 or 16-inch wheels are a sweet spot as well as the InMotion V8F.
Commuters and advanced riders looking for an advanced wheel for day-to-day use would be good to look at the King Song KS18XL, S18, or the InMotion V11.
Adventurers and people looking for the ultimate in performance should cast an eye at the Gotway Monster 22” or the Veteran Sherman. Our electric unicycle buying guide consists of the complete list of active and inactive unicycle companies and also solves all the queries regarding the use and handling of EUC.
ACTIVE ELECTRIC UNICYCLE COMPANIES
In the US, the InMotion V5F & V8 Electric Unicycles have also been known as the Solowheel Glide 2 & Glide 3. The Solowheel line, the first EUCs, launched under the Inventist brand but Inventist licensed the hardware building to the InMotion company. InMotion is a large company with fine manufacturing facilities and this is reflected in their industrial design. They want to be the movers and shakers of the market.
This can be seen in their release of wheels a bit before they have all the kinks worked out. In general, the InMotion wheels, after the kinks have been worked out, are the ones a rider would take to show the mother how good EUCs are. Because of this, one’s choice of a dealer is important as the dealer will be there to help work out any kinks along the way.
|Releases||About a 1 year|
King Song seems to be looking to be an all-around solid manufacturer, finding a balance between Aesthetics, innovation, quality, performance & safety. King Song’s specs might not be as spectacular as Gotway’s or Veterans’ nor as cutting edge as InMotion but generally, King Song wheels offer overall better quality, reliability & safety with very adequate performance.
Where King Song pushes the envelope is in the aesthetic design of the wheel. Our electric unicycle buying guide describes the new S18 as looking like something out of a science fiction movie. King Song wheels are solid all-around performers. The kind of wheel one wants to ride every day.
|Releases||About a 2 year|
The fast movers of EUC makers, Begode generally will release more new models per year than the other makers. These guys want to be on the cutting edge of performance. They will have the greatest range of devices starting at a small 10″ wheel on the mTen3 to the Begode “Monster”, the biggest EUC with a 22-inch diameter wheel and a 100v system.
There is a price to pay for such cutting-edge performance and this sacrifice is seen in build quality, especially in the non-performance areas of the wheel, such as lights, casings, and pedals. Gotway wheels are for the EUC pilot looking for his adrenaline rush.
|Releases||3+ a year|
Guangzhou Veteran Intelligent Technology Ltd. is made up of ex. Begode-Gotway engineers. An article published on the website of Russian EUC distributor Ecodrift implied there was a difference between the marketing team and engineers over the vision of Gotway. Whatever the split, EUC riders are the recipients of the benefits of the new company.
Veteran does not have a huge marketing presence but they do have a huge presence. The Sherman, their flagship is the fastest wheel available today with a range exceeding 100 miles. However, there are tradeoffs for such a wheel. There is no trolley handle and no anti-spin switch. And it is a very very heavy wheel limiting its portability. Veteran is a company to look at for great things in the future. The Sherman is a Monster machine.
|Releases||1 a year so far|
INACTIVE ELECTRIC UNICYCLE COMPANIES
Ninebot acquired the Segway company in 2015 and they introduced the S1. It was underpowered and had no trolley handle. They then built the S2 and the Z10 which was an Interesting wheel with a 4-inch wide tire.
They then simply stopped paying attention to the EUC market and have become inactive in this market.
Q. What is an Electric Unicycle?
A self-balancing electric unicycle is a single-rider electrically powered unicycle that automatically keeps itself upright in one axis using computer-controlled gyroscopes, accelerometers, and a microprocessor. One can think of an EUC as a one-wheel Segway. Electric Unicycles are also known as EUCs; sometimes pronounced ‘uke. Riders of EUCs also refer to their EUC as a “wheel”.
Q. What can electric unicycles (EUC) be used for?
EUCs can be used for many purposes. They can be used for commuting. They can be used for off-roading on mountain bike trails. They can be thought of as a “last mile” device to be put in the back of a car.
Q. Why choose an electric unicycle (EUC)?
An electric unicycle is a very convenient way to travel. Electrically powered, the unicycle is very inexpensive to operate. EUCs today almost all have trolley handles in order to roll the wheel around while one shops or while going up to one’s office. The EUC can be leaned against a wall in the office, or placed on a kickstand, and does not require a parking space.
But the best reason is that riding an EUC is an incredible feeling. FUN is not an adequate word to express the feeling of riding one of these miracle machines. It is a feeling akin to flying. The EUC market calls it “gliding.” We, at Freemotion, say an EUC is like a superpower. Click here to find out why.
Q. Are there any disadvantages of riding an Electric Unicycle?
The most obvious disadvantage of riding an essay is that the rider is exposed to wind and weather. In good condition this is wonderful. In the rain, not so much. As well, there are roads that are not conducive to EUC riding such as beach roads made of sand.
An EUC requires that one have access to a power source if one is riding enough to drain the battery.
The EUC requires a skill set in order to ride it. This is both good and bad. The skill requirement means that before one can travel fast on an EUC, one must learn to master the control. It also means that once one has mastered this device, the mobility, and agility are off the scale as the device becomes part of your body.
Q. How does an electric unicycle work? How do you ride an EUC?
An electric unicycle is at its most basic, a combination of a series of sensors, a control system, and a motor system. The primary sensor system is an assembly of gyroscopes.
Gyroscopes resist outside force, so a gyroscope’s central wheel will maintain its position in space (relative to the ground), even if you tilt it. But the gyroscope’s outside will move freely in space. By measuring the position of the gyroscope relative to its outside, a precise sensor can tell the pitch of an object (how much it is tilting away from an upright position) as well as its pitch rate (how quickly it is tilting)
Gyroscopes would be difficult to use in an EUC, so the EUCs use a special solid-state angular rate sensor constructed using silicon. This sort of gyroscope determines the EUC’s rotation using the Coriolis effect on a very small scale. It wants to stay upright.
To move forward on the EUC, the rider just leans slightly forward or backward. To turn left or right, the rider leans to the side of the turn or turns the wheel with the feet. This balancing act is the key to its operation. Consider how human balances.
If a person stands up and leans forward so that they are out of balance, they still know they won’t fall. Their brain detects they are out of balance because some fluid in their inner ear moves in a canal, and their brain (Processor) tells them to put their leg forward and stop the fall. If they keep leaning forward, their brain will keep putting their legs forward to keep them upright. Instead of falling, they walk forward, one step at a time.
EUC is the same. When the rider leans forward (actually simply shifts his or her weight), the sensors tell the microprocessors the wheel is out of balance and the microprocessor moves the wheel to rebalance the wheel. If the rider continues leaning forward (weight shifting), the microprocessor will accelerate the wheel forward to keep the rider upright. Instead of falling, the rider (and wheel) move forward, sometimes faster than an athlete can run.
In order to slow down or stop, the rider reduces the lean forward or even leans backward, this will cause the microprocessor to slow or even reverse the direction of the wheel.
After practice, this weight shifting becomes automatic for the rider. The rider does not think I need to shift my weight forward. The rider simply desires to accelerate and the muscle memory will cause the wheel to accelerate.
Q. Is it difficult to learn how to ride an electric unicycle?
The EUC is like riding a bicycle or skateboard. At first, one will think it is impossible. After a few minutes of diligent effort, one will be able to ride in a straight line. Practice will bring the ability to turn gently.
After practicing straight riding and gentle turns, there will be an inflection point where the straight riding and turns become automatic. At this point, the new rider will refine their turning ability and practice quick stopping. At this point, the new rider can simply ride and enjoy freedom.
After riding for a while, the rider will become intimately aware of the wheel and it will become like an extension of the rider’s body. At this point, the EUC becomes freedom personified.
Q. Are electric unicycles safe?
Are bicycles safe? Are skateboards safe? Is waterskiing safe? Is scuba-safe? An electric unicycle can be one of the safest modes of transportation there is. One is closer to the ground, so even if in a fall, one wouldn’t hurt oneself that much. Once you have practice, handling an EUC is super easy. As long as the rider is attentive, the chances of falling down are slim. The next important thing one must keep in mind is that one should get an electric unicycle with multiple safety features, and one should always wear protective gear while riding an EUC. Remember, cheap electric unicycles may seem like a good deal but one’s safety is important. This is why one should buy their EUC from FreeMotionShop.
An EUC can also be dangerous in the way a bicycle or a skateboard can be dangerous. But an attentive rider riding with protective gear, which means knee and elbow pads wrist guards, and always a helmet, can be very safe and secure on a EUC.
Q. Are Electric Unicycles waterproof?
Yes, to a point. No electric unicycle can be submerged. However many EUCs have some water and dust intrusion ratings. (IP Rating) The IP rating also known as Ingress Protection or International Protection Ratings is defined by the international standard of EN 60529. There is a chart of these ratings at the end of the FAQ.
For example, the InMotion V11 is IP55-rated. This means that the EUC will only allow limited amounts of dust inside and can withstand low-pressure water jets (Rain). So a V11 will withstand riding in a rainstorm. But one should not be taking a high-pressure hose to clean it.
How fast do electric unicycles go?
In general, EUCs are like any other form of transportation, and there is a wide variety of performance envelopes in the EUC world. At the time of this writing, the fastest EUC out there was the Veteran Sherman. This EUC can exceed 45 MPH/70 KPH. At the present time, this is the top end of the EUC world.
The average top speed of higher-end EUCs is about 31 MPH/50 KPH. But there is an explanation needed here. The average EUC rider will not want to do these extreme speeds. Commuters notice that the golden band for riding is somewhere between 18 MPH/30 KPH and 24 MPH/38 KPH. This is the speed at which most people will feel comfortable at longer distances.
Here we need to keep in mind two other elements. As the battery level of an EUC decreases, the control board will throttle down the top speed. This is to maximize battery endurance. A wheel with a top speed of 31 MPH/50 KPH might see the top speed reduced to 20 MPH/32 KPH miles an hour at a 20% battery level.
Also, the SCV, or sensor-controlled vehicle, which is what an EUC is, detects when the rider is off-balance and accelerates or decelerates to keep that rider in balance. (Weight shifting). At the vehicle’s top speed, the motor is very close to its maximum power output. This means hitting an unexpected hill or something similar could cause the EUC to need more power than the motor can deliver in order to maintain balance, When this happens, the wheel will lose balance and throw the rider. For this reason, it is not a good idea to ride EUCs at their maximum speed.
Q. Do electric unicycles require maintenance?
Any vehicle requires maintenance. However, the amount of maintenance the EU says is very small. In most cases, it involves a simple observation of the machine, combined with an inspection of the tire and tire pressure.
Electric unicycles are the simplest transportation devices a person can use. Simplicity means reliability. There are not many pieces on an EUC to go bad. And many of the pieces can be easily replaced.
EUCs have two places where usage wear is a problem. The first is in the battery as all lithium batteries have a limited life. However, these batteries are easily replaced by the user if the user possesses simple engineering skills. The other place to be affected by usage wear would be the tire and motor assembly. The tire will wear similar to a bicycle tire and the user can expect the tire to last a similar time frame. After the tire, there are the internal wheel bearings that support all the weight and the spinning of the wheel. These are an integral part of the motor assembly and are easily replaced for a small amount of money. You should expect these to last at least 5000 miles/ 8000 kilometers
Q. How many miles can an electric unicycle last?
This will depend on the weight of the rider, the place where the unicycle is written, and the purpose of the ride. As mentioned above one can expect to get at least 3000 miles /8000 kilometers out of the tire, 5000 miles /8000 kilometers out of the bearings if not much more than that, in two years on the battery with frequent charge.
Q. How much does a good electric unicycle cost?
Electric Unicycles can range from $500 to $3500 according to the specifications, brands, and sizes of the EUC purchased.
Q. What is the Cheapest Electric Unicycle?
These would be EUCs like the GotWay mTen3 67v, KingSong 14D, and INMOTION V5F. Good intro wheels.
Q. Why do electric unicycles seem expensive?
Because they tend to be smaller than almost any other PEV (Personal Electric vehicle) like Scooters or e-bikes one expects the price to be smaller as well. But looking at the specs of any of these PEVs will show the EUCs to be some of the best-value PEVs. Also, the technology behind the EUC is far more advanced than that of other types of PEVs.
Using an electric unicycle to commute is a very inexpensive way to get around. Most people pay the price of an electric unicycle every year in car insurance alone. Add to this gas, parking, and maintenance, and the EUC is an incredibly inexpensive way to commute.
Q. Are there other electric unicycle brands available? Q. What is the most reliable electric unicycle brand?
There are, at present, four brands of electric unicycles and the manufacturers seem to have aimed at different markets. All are Chinese companies.
|Brand or Popular Name||Company|
|Gotway||Shenzhen Kebye Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.|
|Inmotion||INMOTION TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD|
|Kingsong||Kingsong Intell Tech Co., LTD|
|Leaperkim||Guangzhou Veteran Intelligent Technology|
Brands in EUCs can be like computer or Motorcycle brands in that many people have their “Favorite” brand. This does not mean their EUC is the “best,” it is the best for them.
FreeMotionShop has written up the stories of the four major brands in order to give you an idea as to which brand is better suited for you.
Q. What about warranties?
All 4 brands are quite reliable but this industry is still in its infancy. In addition, Chinese manufacturers rely heavily on dealers to give warranties and support. One can have problems with a new wheel and this is why one needs to ensure they buy the wheel from a trusted dealer FreeMotionShop.
Q. What is the fastest electric unicycle?
See the above section How Fast Do Electric Unicycles Go?
Q. What is the best electric unicycle to Buy?
This question is always asked and never answered well. This is because the question is poorly formulated. It is like asking, what is the best car? If someone lives on a dirt road and needs a car to carry their 5 children, the answer will be different than for a single teenager living in the city.
Q. What is the best electric unicycle for adults?
Again, this is like asking which EUC is the best. The answer will depend on what someone is looking for in an electric Unicycle. As an example, just recently the first two electric unicycles with a suspension were released, the InMotion V11 and the KingSong S18. Both wheels are high-end wheels with innovative suspension.
However, the S18 looks like something out of the future with very modern styling and wonderful padding for the rider’s legs which locks one’s legs onto the wheel. When the wheel runs over a rough road or goes off-road, the rider’s legs feel secure. The S18 has a range of about 45 miles.
The V11 is a much more sedate-looking Wheel. It does not have the padding that fits the legs, so the leg fit feels less secure than the S18’s when hitting rough surfaces. But the V11 has larger pedals and that very lack of padding allows the rider to adjust his stance more easily than the S18. It also has a longer range, 57 miles, and a very powerful front headlight.
So while both wheels will be great devices for commuting to work or cruising off-road bike trails, the V11 is a far better cruiser on smooth road surfaces and paved bike paths. The V11’s headlight and kickstand make it the urban commuter champion of these two fine wheels.
The S18 is a rally sports car. For off-road or trick riding, the V11 simply is outclassed by this wheel. The rider’s legs stick like glue to the sides and the suspension’s longer travel allows the rider to pre-load the suspension and jump the wheel over obstacles. For agility and feel, the S18 is far superior to the V11.
If these were motorcycles, the V11 would be a Harley Cruiser while the S18 would be a very high-end rally motorcycle. Which is “best” depends on what use the rider will have for the wheel.
Q. What features should I look for when purchasing an electric unicycle?
Again, as with the “best” unicycle, this depends on the usage. A person wanting to commute might be looking for the brightest lights and a kickstand. A rider who wants to do tricks will look for a powerful engine, side display LEDS, and perhaps a Bluetooth speaker.
Some things to look for in all EUCs are:
1. A solid trolley handle for rolling the wheel when one can’t ride.
2. A motor disengagement system when lifting the wheel
3. A fast charging/ or dual charging system
4. USB ports for charging Phones or other devices.
(Disclaimer- We are not attorneys. We can not offer legal advice. Please check with your local legal authorities.)
Are electric unicycles street-legal?
Are electric unicycles legal in Canada? Are electric unicycles legal in the USA?
Laws about PEVs in the US are state laws and as such would vary from state to state. There are no US-wide laws regulating EUCs. Most US states do not restrict the use of EUCs. Some states like California Likewise, different provinces and cities of Canada have different rules regarding the purchase and use of EUCs. It is important to check with your local authorities.
Q. Can you use an electric unicycle on the sidewalk?
Again, this will depend on the jurisdiction.
Q. Do I need insurance for an electric unicycle?
As of this writing, no US state or Canadian Provence requires the purchase of insurance for the riding of EUCs.
IP Rating Reference Chart
|IP Rating||First Digit – SOLIDS||Second Digit – LIQUIDS|
|IP00||Not protected from solids.||Not protected from liquids|
|IP01||Not protected from solids.||Protected from condensation|
|IP02||Not protected from solids.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP03||Not protected from solids.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP04||Not protected from solids.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP05||Not protected from solids.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction|
|IP06||Not protected from solids.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP07||Not protected from solids.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP08||Not protected from solids.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP10||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP11||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP12||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP13||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP14||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP15||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP16||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP17||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP18||Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.||Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP20||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP21||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP22||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP23||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP24||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP25||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP26||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP27||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP28||Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP30||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP31||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP32||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP33||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP34||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP35||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP36||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP37||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP38||Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP40||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP41||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP42||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP43||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP44||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP45||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from low-pressure water jets in any direction.|
|IP46||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP47||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP48||Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP50||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP51||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP52||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP53||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP54||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP55||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP56||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP57||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP58||Protected from limited dust ingress.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP60||Protected from total dust ingress.||Not protected from liquids.|
|IP61||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from condensation.|
|IP62||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.|
|IP63||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.|
|IP64||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from water spray from any direction.|
|IP65||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP66||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.|
|IP67||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.|
|IP68||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.|
|IP69K||Protected from total dust ingress.||Protected from steam-jet cleaning.|
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