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Electric Unicycle Beginners Buying Guide
The pedal grips your foot, the cold firm shell presses against your inner calve, step up, left heels lands, you lean in, the adrenaline kicks in, you lean in more, and you’re now in a state of acceleration bliss.
Nothing else compares to the rush we get from free falling forward and soaring through our city streets under the night sky, for now, nothing else matters. But what if you’re absolutely new to the EUC game?
Fear not newbs, we were once there too.
We can all agree that riding a wheel changes your life, but in order to get there, riders must first pinpoint their first electric wheel. Is it a pain in the neck or a rite of passage? Guys, don’t worry, chill out, we’re here to catch you up to speed, soup to nuts, wheel sizes to battery packs.
- EUC’s are some of the funnest personal electric vehicles on the market
- Power, range, portability of EUC wheels are unmatched
- EUC wheels are fun to ride, challenging to research
- For detailed EUC technical information, check out eWheels for comprehensive buyers guide, these guys are the best in the business
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Top 14 Tips for Buying an Electric Unicycle
Owning a wheel is life changing
Here are our 14 tips, tricks, features, and specs to consider when researching an electric unicycle. For more detailed technical information, check out the eWheels EUC buyer’s guide for all things related to electric unicycles for the greatest resources on wheels.
In this post, we’ve referenced a lot eWheels work (pioneers of EUC movement in North America) and put our own spin on the most often researched parameters for researching wheels. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.
Now let’s get started!
1. Understand the Different Sizes of EUC wheels
Size matters for acceleration, speed, and portability
Electric unicycles exist in a variety of forms and sizes, with each wheel serving an unique purpose. Larger wheels are better at handling road imperfections like bumps, potholes, and bends, as well as having greater power and larger battery packs.
Smaller wheels tend to accelerate faster (less distance from center of rotation, faster off the line torque), but they are less stable at higher speeds and over uneven pavement. The sweet spot for power, range, portability, handling, and comfort is medium wheels.
Size, Acceleration, Portability:
- Small wheels are lightweight, have high torque, and are easy to move.
- Medium wheels have it all: power, speed, range, and portability
- Large wheels have extreme performance, are difficult to master, and are quite heavy and “slower” off the line.
- 10″ wheels – Begode MTEN3 Electric Unicycle
- 14″ wheels – Begode MCM5 Electric Unicycle
- 16″ wheels – King Song 16X Electric Unicycle
- 18″ wheels – Inmotion V11 Electric Unicycle
- 20″ wheels – Veteran Sherman Electric Unicycle
- 22″ wheels – Veteran Abrams Electric Unicycle
- 24″ wheels – Begode Monster Pro Electric Unicycle
2. Understand Battery Packs
The Battery Pack is the most expensive component on any portable electric vehicle
The backbone of an electric unicycle is the battery pack, which comes in a variety of sizes, cell types, configurations, and battery management systems. Most riders choose the biggest battery packs for the longest range, while others prioritize mobility and look for wheels with enough capacity, range, and weight.
The general rule is that larger wheels are more heavy, powerful, more stable, have longer range, and higher top speed.
- Watt Hours (WH) = Voltage(V) x AH(Amp Hours)
- Bigger battery packs = bigger max riding range
- Battery packs are usually rated for 400 full cycles before performance degradation
- Bigger range = heavier in weight = higher speed = less portable!
- EUC’s deal in fully charged battery voltage specs
Most Common Battery Packs:
- 67V 512WH – Begode MTEN3 Electric Unicycle
- 84V 1800WH – Inmotion V11 Electric Unicycle
- 100V 1800WH – Begode Nikola Electric Unicycle
- 127V 2220WH – King Song S20 Electric Unicycle
- 134V 2400WH – Begode Master Electric Unicycle
3. Motor Power Rating
More power, more speed
Older EUC motors used 500w and could only run 12 mph, but currently, 800w is the minimum, 2KW is the new standard, and top tier EUC are rated above 3KW! Higher watts equals faster acceleration. Riders often seek for motors with the highest wattage rating, although this does not always imply “higher torque” or off the line acceleration.
Modern wheels are now available in high torque or high speed variants, allowing riders to select between speed and torque.
Motors and Cut Outs
- Higher wattage doesn’t always translate to superior torque, owing to large wheels and controller board
- Smaller wheels tend to have faster acceleration and better hill climbing abilities due to their smaller diameter and weight
- Higher wattage motors tend to have higher top speed
- Thicker phase wires can handle more current then old school wire configurations
- Hollow bore motors are the latest trend of motors for allowing power set ups unimaginable before
- High speed motors are built for riders looking for more speed, please be mindful of audible beeps and wheel tilt back
- High torque motors feature thicker motor windings, allowing greater power up inclines and off-road
EUC Motor Ratings
- 800W – Begode MTEN3 Electric Unicycle
- 2200W – Inmotion V11 Electric Unicycle
- 2000W – Begode Nikola Electric Unicycle
- 3300W – King Song S20 Electric Unicycle
- 3500W – Begode Master Electric Unicycle
4. Max Cruising Speed
Cruise below max speed to be safe
The advertised maximum speed is the maximum speed that the wheels can achieve in their highest performance settings. Some wheels allow for a speed buffer before a wheel “cuts out”, while some manufacturers advertised the speed right before the motor cuts out, which is quite risky.
When the wheels reach their full safe speed, they usually engage a “tilt” back motion, which allows the wheel to lean the rider backwards to avoid a “cut out.” Audible beeps will also sound out when riders reach the max cruising speed.
- Cut outs (electronics shut down while riding) are dangerous and can lead to injury
- Audible beeps warn riders to lean off the throttle
- Tilt back is the last safety feature to keep riders from “cutting out”
5. Max Rider Weight
Let’s be realistic, heavy riders need heavy wheels!
The chassis and drivetrain can withstand a maximum rider weight for each wheel. To sustain yourself, your load, and your acceleration habits, it’s important to have a wheel with a strong weight cushion and buffer. Smaller commuter wheels are better for lighter riders, but most heavy-duty wheels can handle the heaviest of riders.
EUC Max Weight:
- Begode MTEN3 supports up to 220 lbs.
- Begode MCM5 supports up to 240 lbs.
- King Song S18 supports up to 220 lbs.
- Begode EX.N can support up to 280 lbs.
- Veteran Sherman supports up to 320 lbs.
6. Wheel Weight, Trolley, & Handle
Can you handle it?
When transporting or climbing a flight of steps, the weight of a wheel is critical. As a general rule, the heavier the wheel, the larger the motor and battery, the longer the range and higher the speed. Range and top speed come at a cost – are you strong enough to carry this wheel by yourself?
When comparing a Begode MTEN3 to a Veteran Sherman Max, the weight difference, as well as the high level performance, is substantial. I’ve had to carry a Veteran Sherman up two lights of subway stairs on a few occasions, it’s not enjoyable.
- Most wheels incorporate a retractable trolley handle for lateral movement, making off-pedal mobility a breeze.
- Simply keep the wheel one, retract the handle, and go about your business.
- Except when turning and handling, weight is not a big factor when riding your wheel at speed.
- Consider the S18, 16X, Tesla, or V11 for reasonable high performance wheels that are both lower in weight but still powerful.
7. Bluetooth Speakers
Moving and grooving!
Bluetooth speakers, popularized by King Song, have become a standard feature and selling point for riders who want to ride, glide, groove, and even listen to podcasts while on the road. To keep the good times and excellent sounds rolling, the wheels are equipped with multiples of 5W speakers.
Not all speakers are created equal, the Begode MCM5 has some lower-quality speakers that crack at high volumes. It’s better than nothing if you don’t own a set of portable speakers.
- Bluetooth speakers are nice added feature
- Some wheels remove them due to added weight, and complexity
- Not a deal breaker some riders prefer their own speakers over built in one, some prefer included speakers
8. USB Charging Outlet
Hold my phone!
The bluetooth outlet, which can be found on many Begode and King song wheels, is a fantastic addition that allows riders to charge their phones, cameras, lights, and other USB-powered gadgets. Although not standard on all wheels, it is a convenient feature for recharging your devices on the go.
- Standard on most King Song and Begode wheels
- Nice for charging road accessories
- Does use a little amount of power from the main battery, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re using recharge breaks on the road!
9. Front & Rear Lighting
They can see me right?
Day and nighttime riding safety are both dependent on lighting. Riding a PEV is difficult enough without having to compete for space on the road with cyclists, pedestrians, vehicles, and traffic. Wheels come standard with tail and headlights these days, making visibility a top priority for safe rides during the day and at night.
- All modern wheels have lighting for safety
- For visibility, most wheels feature at least a headlight/taillight combo, and some with atmospheric LED’s
10. Color LED Lighting
Untz untz untz
Like the bluetooth speaker component, LED lighting is not a deal breaker when riding your wheel, but is a nice touch for riders who like to be illuminated under the night sky. Wheels may come equipped with led strips that are adjustable through wheels controls, some riders even go as far as to customizing their wheels with external lights for added visibility.
11. Pedal Height, Pedal Shape, Pedal dips
Pedals are your wheels “throttle” and “brakes”
Pedal height, weight, and dips are factors to showcase how well a wheel can control sharp turns, steep climbs, and hard leaning turns. Riders have a variety of riding styles, road conditions, and uses, and the scraping of the pedals can be an annoyance on their ride experience.
Manufacturers have offered new firmware updates and manual calibration to improve their wheels stability during operation, while some riders have adjusted their riding style to address pedal issue.
- Practice makes perfect, be mindful of you riding habits, inclines, and route when riding
- Firmware updates and recalibrations are used to address pedal dipping
12. Durability & Build Quality
Built tough to last
Like all things in life, not all wheels are created equal. Several wheels have come out of the box with issues, malfunctions, and minor flaws. Keep in mind that most wheels aren’t perfect, with first-generation wheels being particularly prone to introducing new complications.
- Not all wheels are equal
- New wheels come with bugs and defects
- Safe riders seek tested wheels in their 2-3rd generations
- Adventurous riders seek the newest, fastest, and also untested wheels on the market
- Preproduction EUC prototypes are toured for the community to try wheels and log defects for final production
- Wear safety gear when riding any wheel, new, old and tested!
- Some brands have better build materials than others: Inmotion, King Song, Leaperkim have high quality shells and electronics. Begode (Gotway) are some of the most performant, but their shells and software isn’t as high as the former
- All manufactures have dealt with either production recalls, hardware failure, and even battery fires on rare occasions
13. Water Resistance
The truth is that no EUC is totally waterproof, but some are very water resistant. This implies that if at all possible, you should avoid riding in the rain. Light rain rides are perfectly acceptable because none of us live in a world where it rarely showers. Submerging your wheel in water, on the other hand, might cause difficulties, corrosion, and even battery fires down the road.
I just opened up my Begode MCM5 and discovered dust, dirt, and other worldly substances that I had assumed would never be able to penetrate its tightly sealed shell. Things happen all the time, but you can reduce the likelihood of them becoming a hazard.
- Do not ride in heavy rain, light rain is fine
- Main Board Controllers are sealed with a thin epoxy for added protection
- Water damage can introduce serious issues with your wheels performance
- Do not store your wheels outdoors
14. Budget, Price, Finances
It’s a pricey hobby
Let’s face it, riding electric unicycles is an expensive hobby, as well as a serious form of transportation (some call it an obsession). The majority of EUCs cost less than ten cents to charge, and they last for 30 to 50 miles before needing to be recharged. Owning an electric unicycle will quickly pay for itself for riders trying to save money at the gas pump.
No more dealing with parking lots, traffic, or subway, take control of your daily commute by riding and gliding to your next destination on your own terms. Did we mention that electric unicycles require little upkeep? All you have to do is charge your battery, keep your tire inflated, and replace it every few thousand miles. It’s really simple!
What’s the Best Electric Unicycle for 2022?
Ride safe out there guys!
I would recommend any wheel that you can afford because every rider is different, as are their riding conditions, finances, and tastes. The King Song s20 is popular wheel, as it has been the most reviews, road tests, and is most sought after in the past year.
For more great options, consider the Begode MCM5, Begode Tesla, King Song s18, king song s16x, Inmotion v11, Begode RS, Begode EX.N, and Veteran Sherman MAX.
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Editor's Note: VROOOMIN.COM reports the advertised speed and range from the manufacturer. The exact results will vary depending on the rider's weight, overall payload, road conditions, and charge level. Most PEVs will deliver at least 60-70 percent of the quoted range, if not more. The top speed and range will be decreased for heavier riders.
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