It is becoming increasingly common for commuters to give up their cars and bus passes in exchange for a personal electric vehicle. Electric unicycles are starting to gain traction with commuters, they are also loved by kids.
In the past, electric unicycles were hard to use, but advancements in self-balancing platforms make it all much easier. And these machines move at a decent pace, far faster than a bicycle and without having to get hot and sweaty doing it.
Here are three of the latest Electric Unicycles available:
Hoverclub’s Solo is an entry-level unicycle. Perfect for those still unsure whether a personal electric commuter is for them. A 500-watt motor is a good starting point considering that all the steering and accelerating is done with leaning. And a small motor means that the speed is a manageable 7.5 mph (12.07 km/h), so there is little chance of accelerating into oblivion.
The range is adequate for a light commute from other vehicles such as a train or your car to the destination. The upper range is 12 miles (19.31 km) with careful driving and under 9 miles for normal use. Solo will make it up a 15-degree incline and is rated to carry passengers of up to 220 pounds (99.79 kg).
Motor: 500 Watts
Battery/ Range: Approx. 100 Wh / 12 Miles
Top Speed/ Incline: 7.5 mph (12.07 km/h) / 15 degrees
Weight: 29.3 lbs.
Charge Time: Approx. 8 hours
Extras: Retractable Carry Handle
Two wheels give a form of suspension to the rider, and it helps with travel over rough terrain. And if one tire gets a flat, you will be able to keep going for a while till you find a shop to repair it. Self-balancing and wide pedals make it easy for a newbie to get started on the Solo. The pedal folds in, making this a very compact machine to store.
There is also a retractable handle, which reaches full waist height, for when you want to move it around without carrying it. For safety, there are front and rear LED lights to show other drivers which direction you are traveling in. The Solo also has a main white LED lamp to illuminate the road.
In the Box:
Manageable for Learners
V5F talks to the commuter that has some experience with these types of machine and is looking for something a little more exciting. A 550-watt motor is housed in the hub of the single wheel. With a top speed of 15.6 mph (25.11 km/h) and a respectable range of up to 25 miles, this unicycle is to replace other modes of transport.
Self-balancing and a single wide tire make the V5F manageable on all types of surfaces. The IP55 rating splash-resistant rating and water dissipating tire tread, mean that this machine will cope well on wet roads. Foot pedals are covered in anti-slip grip tape. And the smooth body paneling allows for dirt and water to be easily removed with a damp cloth.
Motor: 550 Watts
Battery/ Range: 320 Wh / 25 Miles
Max. Speed/ Incline: 15.6mph (25.11 km/h) / 18 degrees
Weight: 26 lbs (11.8 Kg)
Charge Time: 3.5 hours
Extras: Retractable carry handle
For night safety, the front-end illuminates in blue — there is also a single spotlight for the road. The red rear-light flashes when you slow down. If you crash, the kill sensor shuts-off power to the motor as soon as the wheel lifts off the ground. InMotion has used a good-sized 80-volt lithium-ion battery, which will charge in around 3.5 hours.
And the unit weighs in at a low 26 pounds (11.79 kg), much lighter than a comparable electric scooter. The V5F also has a locking-handle that rises to the average waist level, so that you can wheel it around without having to carry it. An App allows you to connect, view telemetry, and change settings through your smart device.
In the Box:
V5F SoloWheel Glide 2
Easy to Scuff
Difficult to Fix a Tire
Very much for the experienced user, the 16X will give you all the excitement that you could ever want from an electric commuter. A single 2200-watt hub motor will push this little machine up to 31 mph (49.89 km) on the straight. Two-folding pedals are covered in grip tape and angle your feet into the middle of the unit to give you more control. The 16X will charge two USB devices at a time from the front sockets.
Running off a 1600-watt-hour battery gives the 16X an impressive range of 65 miles. And to charge the battery — there are two charge ports of 3-amps each so that you can shorten the charging time to 3 hours. Below the USB ports, there is a loud Bluetooth 4.1 speaker system that you can play music from your smart device through.
Motor: 2200 Watts
Battery/ Range: 1554 Wh / 65 Miles
Top Speed/ Incline: 31 mph (50 kph) / 35 degrees
Weight: 51.8 lbs.
Charge Time: 4 hours to 80%
Extras: Retractable carry handle, Bluetooth speaker
A retractable carry handle makes lugging around this 51-pound beast easier. And a wide 3-inch tire with wet-tread helps to keep the rider planted on the machine even in the wettest of conditions. The rear has a decent sided mudguard to protect your feet and legs well when you glide through a muddy puddle, even with the wide tires.
The 16X has excellent lighting with an LED track light that runs around the bottom half of the machine with different colors. There is a rear brake light, so those behind you know what is going on, and a 5-watt spotlight at the front to see where you are going. The side panels have foam padding, and if you want some more comfort, there is a pop-off foam seat.
In the Box:
King Song 16X
May come with a removable seat.
Short Charge Time
The 16X is by far the best electric unicycle available now. There is nothing else close to the level of performance. A long-range, high speed, and ability to climb steep inclines make it the perfect commuter, regardless of travel terrain. And the 16X will take a beating and keep on wheeling.
For some new to electric unicycles, the Solo will make a great training vehicle. The Solo still has some speed and range, but not enough to do you harm if you slip. If you can extend the budget — InMotion is worth the difference. The V5F is a middle of the range unicycle that has the flexibility and extras that will delay your need for an upgrade.
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