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Electric Unicycle Beginners Buying Guide
Top EUC brands for 2023: Begode, Inmotion, King Song, and Leaperkim.
As you place your foot on the pedal, you feel the grip tighten, while the cool and sturdy shell presses against your inner calf. With your left heel firmly on the ground, you lean in and feel the rush of adrenaline as you accelerate. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freefalling forward and gliding through the city streets under the stars – it’s pure bliss. But what if you’re a newcomer to the EUC scene?
Fear not, newbs, we were once there too.
There’s no denying that riding an electric wheel can have a significant impact on one’s life. However, before that happens, riders need to choose their first electric wheel. Some may find this process challenging, while others view it as a necessary rite of passage. Regardless, there’s no need to stress, as we’re here to help guide you through the process, from wheel sizes to battery packs, so you can be up to speed in no time.
- Electric unicycles, or EUCs, are undoubtedly one of the most entertaining and enjoyable personal electric vehicles currently available in the market. The sheer power, range, and portability of EUCs are unparalleled, offering a unique riding experience that is hard to match with any other mode of transportation.
- Not only are EUCs fun to ride, but they also present a significant challenge to those who research and study them. There are a vast array of models and specifications to consider when choosing an EUC wheel. With so many options available, it can be challenging to find the right one for you.
- Fortunately, for those looking for comprehensive technical information on EUCs, eWheels is the go-to source. With their comprehensive buyers guide, they provide detailed insights into the various aspects of EUCs, including battery packs, wheel sizes, and performance metrics. These guys are the best in the business, and their wealth of knowledge can help you make an informed decision when choosing an EUC.
Top 14 Tips for Buying an Electric Unicycle
Owning a wheel is life-changing
If you’re researching electric unicycles and want to make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of 14 tips, tricks, features, and specifications to consider. However, for even more detailed technical information, we highly recommend checking out the eWheels EUC buyer’s guide, which offers the most comprehensive resources available on EUCs.
Throughout this post, we’ve referenced the pioneering work of eWheels, who have been at the forefront of the EUC movement in North America. We’ve taken their expert advice and added our unique perspective to cover the most frequently researched parameters for selecting an EUC.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Let’s dive in and explore everything you need to know to choose the perfect EUC wheel for your needs!
1. Understand the Different Sizes of EUC wheels
Size matters for acceleration, speed, and portability
Electric unicycles come in different shapes and sizes, each designed to serve a specific purpose. Larger wheels excel at handling rough terrain and offer more power and battery capacity. Smaller wheels provide quicker acceleration but are less stable on uneven surfaces and at higher speeds. The ideal balance of power, range, portability, handling, and comfort can be found in medium-sized 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 challenging to master, and are pretty 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 of any portable electric vehicle.
The battery pack is the cornerstone of an electric unicycle and is available in an array of sizes, cell types, configurations, and battery management systems. Riders can choose from a variety of options, depending on their preference for either the longest range or optimal mobility. Typically, larger wheels are more powerful, provide greater stability, cover longer distances, and can reach higher top speeds. This makes them an excellent choice for riders looking to enjoy longer rides without having to worry about running out of power.
- 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
In the past, electric unicycle motors were limited to a mere 500w output and a top speed of only 12 mph. However, technological advancements have resulted in a paradigm shift, with a minimum motor output of 800w being the new standard. High-performance EUCs are now rated at or above 3KW, enabling faster acceleration and improved overall performance.
It’s worth noting that a higher motor wattage does not necessarily equate to higher torque or immediate off-the-line acceleration. In modern EUCs, riders can choose between high-torque or high-speed variants to cater to their specific needs and preferences. By selecting the appropriate motor type, riders can achieve a customized riding experience that prioritizes either speed or 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 than 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 of an electric unicycle refers to the highest attainable speed achievable in optimal performance settings. It’s important to note that different manufacturers adopt varying approaches to speed measurement. Some wheels may allow for a speed buffer before reaching the maximum speed, while others may advertise the speed just before the motor cuts out – a potentially risky scenario.
To prevent motor cutouts and ensure rider safety, electric unicycles engage a “tilt” back motion once they reach their maximum safe speed. This allows the wheel to lean the rider backward and avoid a potential cut out. In addition, audible beeps will sound out to alert the rider when they reach the maximum 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!
When it comes to electric unicycles, it’s crucial to consider the maximum rider weight that the chassis and drivetrain can handle for each specific wheel. This is especially important for riders who carry additional weight or prefer more aggressive acceleration habits. To ensure the safety and longevity of the electric unicycle, it’s vital to have a substantial weight cushion and buffer wheel.
For lighter riders, smaller commuter wheels are usually the best option. These wheels are designed for urban environments and typically have a lower weight capacity. However, for heavier riders, it’s essential to invest in a heavy-duty wheel that can handle additional weight without compromising safety or performance.
Fortunately, many high-performance electric unicycles are designed to handle the heaviest of riders. These wheels are typically equipped with robust frames and drivetrains that can support additional weight while still maintaining stability and agility.
Ultimately, when choosing an electric unicycle, it’s important to consider your individual needs and requirements. By selecting a wheel with an appropriate weight capacity, riders can enjoy a safe and enjoyable riding experience, regardless of their size or weight.
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 it comes to transporting or carrying an electric unicycle, weight is a crucial consideration. Generally speaking, heavier wheels tend to have larger motors and batteries, which results in longer ranges and higher speeds. However, these advantages come at a cost – the heavier the wheel, the more difficult it is to carry.
It’s essential to consider your own strength and physical abilities when selecting an electric unicycle. For example, the Begode MTEN3 is significantly lighter than the Veteran Sherman Max, but the performance levels of the two wheels differ substantially. In some cases, carrying a heavier wheel up a flight of stairs or over longer distances can be a challenging and unpleasant experience.
Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a wheel that is not only powerful but also manageable in terms of weight. By selecting a wheel that aligns with your physical abilities and needs, you can enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience, both on and off the road.
- 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 significant 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, which were popularized by King Song, have now become a standard feature and a selling point for riders who want to enjoy music, groove, or listen to podcasts while on the go. These speakers, which are often included with electric unicycles, are equipped with multiple 5W drivers to provide an immersive and engaging audio experience.
However, it’s worth noting that not all speakers are created equal. Some electric unicycles, such as the Begode MCM5, may have lower-quality speakers that can crack or distort at high volumes. While it’s better than having no speakers at all, riders who are looking for the best audio experience may want to consider purchasing a set of portable speakers or upgrading to a wheel with higher quality audio components.
- 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 inclusion of a Bluetooth outlet is a highly beneficial feature, which can be found on many Begode and King Song electric unicycles. This outlet provides riders with the ability to charge their phones, cameras, lights, and other USB-powered gadgets while on the move. While this feature may not be standard on all wheels, it is highly convenient for recharging essential devices during longer rides.
- 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?
Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to riding personal electric vehicles, and proper lighting is a crucial element for ensuring a safe ride, both during the day and at night. Riding an electric unicycle can be challenging enough, especially when competing for space on the road with other cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles.
Thankfully, many electric unicycles now come equipped with tail and headlights as a standard feature, which greatly enhances visibility and improves safety. These lights enable riders to be seen by others on the road and provide them with clear visibility of the road ahead.
By prioritizing lighting when selecting an electric unicycle, riders can ensure a safer and more enjoyable riding experience, regardless of the time of day or environmental conditions. With the proper lighting, riders can confidently navigate through congested areas, making them more visible to other road users and reducing the risk of accidents.
- 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
While not an essential component for riding, LED lighting can be a valuable addition for electric unicycle riders, particularly for those who enjoy riding at night. Some wheels come equipped with LED strips that are adjustable through wheel controls, providing riders with customizable lighting options. Additionally, some riders choose to customize their wheels with external lights, which can enhance visibility and add a unique touch to their ride.
While not necessary for safe riding, LED lighting can add an extra layer of visibility and style to electric unicycles. By selecting a wheel with LED lighting or customizing their ride with additional lights, riders can enjoy a personalized and safe ride, even in low-light conditions.
11. Pedal Height, Pedal Shape, Pedal dips
Pedals are your wheels “throttle” and “brakes”
Pedal height, weight distribution, and dips are critical factors that influence how well an electric unicycle can handle sharp turns, steep climbs, and hard leans. Riders have varying preferences, riding styles, and use cases, and pedal scraping can be a significant annoyance during the ride.
To address this issue, many manufacturers have implemented firmware updates and manual calibration to improve wheel stability during operation. Additionally, some riders have adapted their riding style to mitigate pedal scraping and improve their overall riding experience.
Given the importance of pedal height, weight distribution, and dips, it’s crucial to choose an electric unicycle that aligns with your specific riding needs and preferences. By selecting a wheel that is designed to handle the type of riding you enjoy, you can ensure a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience, free from the annoyance of pedal scraping.
- 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
As with most things in life, not all electric unicycles are created equal. Some wheels may come with issues, malfunctions, or minor flaws that can affect the overall riding experience. It’s important to keep in mind that not all revolutions are perfect, and even first-generation wheels can introduce new complications.
While it’s essential to conduct thorough research and select a high-quality electric unicycle, it’s also important to acknowledge that occasional issues may arise, even with the most reputable brands. It’s crucial to be prepared and equipped to address any potential problems that may arise, whether through troubleshooting or seeking assistance from the manufacturer.
By approaching the purchase and ownership of an electric unicycle with realistic expectations, riders can better navigate any issues or challenges that may arise and continue to enjoy their ride with confidence and peace of mind.
- 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
It’s important to acknowledge that no electric unicycle is completely waterproof, although some models are more water-resistant than others. As a result, it’s generally advisable to avoid riding in the rain or other wet conditions, as this can increase the risk of damage to the wheel.
While light rain rides are generally acceptable, riders should exercise caution and avoid submerging their electric unicycle in water. This can lead to a variety of issues, including corrosion and potential battery fires.
Even with tightly sealed shells, there is always a risk that dust, dirt, or other substances may penetrate the wheel, leading to potential hazards down the road. However, by taking steps to minimize exposure to moisture and keeping the wheel clean and well-maintained, riders can reduce the likelihood of these issues occurring.
Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize safety when using an electric unicycle, including avoiding wet conditions and taking steps to protect the wheel from potential damage. By doing so, riders can enjoy a safer and more reliable riding experience.
- 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 severe issues with your wheels performance
- Do not store your wheels outdoors
14. Budget, Price, Finances
It’s a pricey hobby
It’s no secret that riding electric unicycles can be an expensive hobby, and for many riders, it’s a serious form of transportation. However, the cost of ownership is offset by the fact that most electric unicycles charge for less than ten cents and can travel 30 to 50 miles before needing to be recharged.
In fact, owning an electric unicycle can quickly pay for itself, particularly for riders who are trying to save money on gas or other transportation costs. With an electric unicycle, there’s no need to deal with parking lots, traffic, or the subway. Instead, riders can take control of their daily commute and glide to their destination on their own terms.
One of the benefits of electric unicycles is that they require minimal upkeep. Riders simply need to charge their battery, keep their tire inflated, and replace it every few thousand miles. It’s a straightforward process that requires minimal time and effort.
Overall, while owning an electric unicycle may require an upfront investment, it can be a cost-effective and convenient form of transportation in the long run. By taking advantage of the many benefits of electric unicycles, riders can enjoy a more efficient and enjoyable commuting experience.
What’s the Best Electric Unicycle for you?
Ride safe out there guys!
As every rider has their own unique preferences and needs, I recommend selecting an electric unicycle that fits within your budget and meets your specific riding conditions and tastes. While the Inmotion V11 is a popular choice due to its numerous positive reviews and road tests over the past year, there are many other great options available.
Some additional electric unicycles to consider include the Begode MCM5, Begode Tesla, King Song s18, King Song s16x, Inmotion v11, Begode RS, Begode EX.N, and Veteran Sherman MAX. By exploring different models and taking the time to research and compare features, riders can find the best electric unicycle for their individual needs and preferences.
An electric motor, a high-capacity lithium battery pack, and an electric speed controller power an electric unicycle, a personal transportation device that operates on a single wheel with pedals and a shell.
The electric unicycle’s single wheel is powered by a built-in motor and battery pack. To steer, the rider stands on the unicycle and shifts their body weight. Leaning forward or backward on the gyroscopic sensing throttle controls the unicycle. Side pads and grippy pedals are commonly used by riders to enhance their control and grip on the electric unicycle.
The maximum speed of an electric unicycle is not fixed, as it varies according to the model and its performance specifications. Different electric unicycles have different capabilities when it comes to speed, and they can travel anywhere from 10 to 55 miles per hour. Some models can go even faster, but the speed is limited by factors such as terrain and the weight of the rider.
Faster electric unicycles are equipped with larger battery packs and motors. The size of the motor and the capacity of the battery pack have a direct impact on the speed and range of the unicycle. The more power the motor can produce, the faster the unicycle can go. The battery pack, on the other hand, determines how long the unicycle can run before needing a recharge.
Apart from the motor and battery pack, the size of the wheel also plays a role in determining the maximum speed of an electric unicycle. Bigger wheels have a higher circumference and can cover more distance per revolution, allowing the unicycle to go faster. However, bigger wheels are also heavier and more expensive, which can make the unicycle less maneuverable and more challenging to control.
The distance an electric unicycle can travel on a single charge depends on several factors, such as the model and battery specifications. Generally, the range of an electric unicycle varies from 10 to over 100 miles on a single charge, depending on the type of battery and the motor efficiency. Lithium-ion battery packs with a higher capacity can provide more power and allow for longer ranges. Other factors that affect the range of an electric unicycle include the rider’s weight, the terrain, and the speed at which the unicycle is being operated. For instance, traveling uphill or at high speeds can drain the battery faster and reduce the range of the unicycle. On the other hand, flat terrain and lower speeds can increase the range and help preserve the battery life.
Initially, riding an electric unicycle may be challenging as it demands the acquisition of new balance, coordination, and foot muscle control. Nevertheless, with practice, most individuals can learn to ride an electric unicycle with relative ease. Typically, riders can master the technique and ride safely in as little as one to three weeks, although the exact learning period may vary depending on the rider’s experience, fitness level, and ability to adapt to new skills.
When used responsibly and in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions, electric unicycles can provide a safe and enjoyable mode of transportation. It is crucial to wear a full-face helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and other protective gear while riding, as it is with any personal transportation device. Adhering to local traffic laws and regulations is also imperative to ensure the safety of yourself and others. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of an electric unicycle while minimizing the risks associated with riding one.
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