Hoverboards and electric skateboards get all of the attention these days. That’s why we’re going take the time to shed some light on the electric unicycle.
Unicycles have always been associated with circuses. Clowns and juggling are almost always pictured when someone even says the word “unicycle” to you. Allow us to help you change this conception.
The electric unicycle is a criminally underrated piece of gear. Having ridden many different models, I’m here to spread the word on how fun and comfortable these devices are. I won’t lie – this is a very niche product, and it would not surprise me in the least if most people would rather own a hoverboard. But I was so shocked at how much fun these unicycles were that I felt obligated to write a new piece about them.
Because this is such a unique kind of vehicle it can be hard to find analogies to describe it adequately. My gut wants to go with saying that electric unicycles are a cross between hoverboards and electric skateboards. They require balance more than physical exertion. These may be a tough sell to people who are already invested in other kinds of vehicles. However, I am confident the electric unicycle can appeal to people who want the speed and multi-terrain friendly capabilities of the electric skateboard while wanting the more straightforward balancing of the hoverboard.
If you want a device that has tougher tires, a more portable riding experience and better mileage than electric unicycles could very well be the choice right choice for you. Much like with the best electric scooters, skateboards or hoverboards an electric unicycle ought to be thought of as an investment. You want a device that will last many years in terms of its durability and keeping you satisfied.
Below as I tell you about these five great products, we’ll be going over a variety of different criteria. Price and value are important of course as everyone has different budgets. Weight limit, max riding distance, battery charge time, wheel quality, comfort and durability cover just about all you will need to pay attention to when purchasing a unicycle. Stick with me in this guide and you’ll soon be figuring out which one of these single-wheeled marvels will best fit your needs and your budget.
Top performance and reliability at a premium price.
Inmotion is a well-known manufacturer responsible for the Solowheel. They’re known for making electric vehicles of all kinds: bicycles, hoverboards, scooters, skateboards, Segways, and of course unicycles. A quick peruse of their website will reveal many glorious looking devices.
What they do well is what I sought out to do in this article: break your stereotypes about unicycles. This machine looks absolutely beautiful. This is like condensing all of the prestige of a luxury automobile down into a single wheel.
What I first noticed about the Solowheel was the wheel itself. It’s a very thick and sturdy piece of material that offers great stability and traction. You’d have to really go out of your way to try and puncture the wheel. It’s that strong. Inmotion promises that this thing will work on all sorts of terrain other than deep water, as well as having a climbing incline of 25 degrees. You feel the difference going from dirt to pavement but it’s such a minor change in traction that it doesn’t worry you.
I could easily feel the power of this thing and its motor. 800 watts goes a long way, especially with a top speed of 19 miles per hour. I’m personally more comfortable with speeds around 10-15mph but anyone looking for more of a thrill will be easily satisfied with this unicycle.
Each full charge gives you 31 miles which is very impressive. I never ventured that far on a single run myself. But with this battery life, you could easily make the Solowheel Glide 3 your new replacement to your bicycle.
Inmotion was telling the truth: this is a very smooth and comfortable ride. While learning how to balance on any kind of recreational vehicle always has a learning curve at first, the Solowheel does a great job of keeping you stable at any speed.
The only way I could lock it to a bike lock on my ventures was by extending the handle outwards. This seems to work but it isn’t recommended. The safer method is to take the unicycle with you indoors. This can be inconvenient as it is a little heavy to lug around a lot. Don’t try putting it in a backpack, it’s much too big and heavy for that as well.
I wasn’t initially excited about the side LEDs but they’re actually brighter at nighttime than I expected. Ultimately, they only add to the futuristic style the Glide 3 is going for. They can easily be customized or turned off entirely with the Inmotion App, a very nice touch.
Like any electric unicycle you mustn’t ride these in puddles, however, it will totally function in the rain and on wet or slippery surfaces, making it somewhat waterproof
Affordability: 3/5. 900 dollars might be a lot for many people, especially when many other electric vehicles are half this price. But considering the overall quality of this machine, it’s a price worth paying if you can afford it. It’s no budget electric unicycle but it is a good value.
Reliability: 4.5/5. The all-terrain capabilities are one of the best features of this wheel. Transitioning from grass to asphalt to muddy dirt was smooth and nearly seamless.
Durability: 4.5/5. With a weight limit of 260 pounds and a well designed wheel, the Solowheel is a very strong unicycle that will last years with proper maintenance.
The more affordable Solowheel with slightly reduced specs, yet very capable and a lot of fun.
Here’s our second wheel provided by the great team over at Inmotion. If you found my take on the Solowheel Glide 3 intriguing but need something cheaper yet also similar, than pay extra attention from here on out. The Glide 3 is the current standard flagship model of Inmotion’s electric unicycle lineup. But before that, it was the Glide 2: a cheaper and more portable version
I can tell you that the Glide 2 is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Glide 3. The Glide 2 weighs 23 pounds, six pounds less than its bigger brother. This makes it a better choice if you plan on lugging it around via the handle. I still wouldn’t recommend putting it in a backpack.
The top speed is 15mph and a single charge gives you 25 miles total. This is still very good and will satisfy many people. Paying an extra $300 for a slightly better max speed and charge won’t be seen as the best financial decision by many people, anyway.
While this is a very good electric unicycle, the Glide 3 definitely has it beat when it comes to all-terrain capabilities and stylish looks. Using the Glide 2 across various terrains like mud and dirt was still stable but it didn’t have the same kind of smooth transitioning as the Glide 3. On regular roads or pavement it felt pretty much the same. Of course, this will only feel like a “downgrade” if you used both like me. Since the odds are you’ll only be buying one electric unicycle, your lack of an alternate frame of reference should prevent you from noticing this.
There may be no fancy LEDs but it does have a pretty strong headlight for when you’re cruising after dark. Despite its size it shines much brighter and farther than I expected. It definitely gets the job done when you’re rolling around in the evening.
As for the wheel itself, it’s stable, durable and fast. My only complaint is that turning didn’t feel quite as smooth as with the Glide 3. U-turns for example were trickier, especially at speeds from 12-15mph.
Affordability: 2.5/5 stars. This scooter is definitely on the pricey side so it is not an ideal buy for everyone. However, if you are more serious about having a scooter and want a long-term buy, this is an excellent option.
Reliability: 4/5 stars. With 21 miles a charge, it is very reliable to get to where you need to go.
Durability: 4/5 stars. Due to this being a little heavier, it is more sturdy.
In conclusion, the Booster Plus is a great buy for anyone who desires an alternate form of transportation. Whether you need to commute to work, school or to a friend’s place, this scooter can handle it. And using a scooter instead of other means of transportation leaves a smaller ecological footprint.
The best electric unicycle for range and power.
Now that we’ve exhausted both of the Inmotion electric unicycles on my list, let’s move onto some different brands. I want to introduce you to this one next so that we can get over the scariest thing about this mammoth of a vehicle: the price.
The KingSong 16S is the most expensive unicycle I have here to discuss today. I’m sure some of you don’t want to spend anything near a thousand dollars on such a niche device. However, if I know my audience, others have a hunger for the most high end products out there. So here it is.
The KingSong 16S weighs 38 pounds and has a limit of 330 pounds. It has a 1200 watt motor. Under ideal weight and road conditions, a single battery charge will give you 60 miles. And for anyone truly craving speed it goes up to 22 miles per hour.
I’m personally not the most athletic rider so I’m more comfortable riding at ~15mph. But I knew I had to test out every aspect of these unicycles to do them justice in a review. That’s why I faced my fears and went to max speed on this monster.
Keep in mind, I weigh 160 pounds more or less. The acceleration on this thing was still a little slower than say the Inmotion models. But after a few seconds, it really starts to get going. 22Mph is much different than 18mph. It reaches a point where you are much more aware of the air hitting your face. I can’t lie, it provides a rush of nearly addictive adrenaline that you really can’t attain on slower models.
It comes in three colors: black, silver and white. I used the black model, and while I personally wish I had the silver one there’s no doubt the LEDs really jive well with the black matte finish.
So the KingSong 16S is very fast and very powerful, there’s no debate. It even has cool LEDs, a comfortable and sturdy handle, a headlight, stereo speakers and a very in-depth app that surpasses Inmotion’s in my opinion. But should you buy this? Yes – if you can afford it.
I won’t pretend that over a thousand dollars isn’t a lot of money. I also still believe the Solowheel Glide 3 has the superior wheel with greater all-terrain capabilities and better traction and turning. It’s also a very heavy beast, an absolute unit as they say these days. Going from the Glide 2 to the 16S was a wake-up call weight wise.
But despite its flaws and big asking price, it’s such a marvelous piece of technological design. It is so impressive and on the money in everything it does correctly that I absolutely had to share it with you all. For the few of you who do decide to purchase this, you will be definitely happy.
Affordability: 2/5. Unless you can find one used or on sale it’s going to be a major expenditure in deciding to purchase this. It’s definitely worth every penny though.
Reliability: 4/5. With the app, the magnificent mileage and battery the lights, the handle and the hefty weight limit, good luck putting a dent into this behemoth of a unicycle.
Durability: 4.5/5. I almost gave this a perfect score but the wheel itself was holding it back. For this price range, I really expected better performance on slippery and muddy surfaces. But if you’re sticking to the roads then you’ll be good.
Well performing electic unicycle that is let down by its price tag.
If you thought the 16S was a beauty thaen I have more good news. I was able to test out another one of KingSong’s fantastic and premium-priced electric unicycles. The 14S ought to be thought of as the original version of the 16S. As is to be expected, they both have quite a bit in common. It’s only slightly less expensive but is it still worth choosing over the 16S?
My answer, unfortunately, has to be no. The short of it is that the 16S has more than a hundred dollars’ worth of extra features in it. The mileage of the 14S is just under 40. It also has slightly inferior footrests and handle bars. The top speed is still 22mph which will satisfy the most speed-hungry riders. Despite being 4 pounds lighter than the 16S it takes longer to accelerate up to that speed, however.
It also has a less appealing look to it. The combination of white and black are not blended together very well. The lack of LEDs and the smartphone app also really made it seem like a downgrade. It was a great unicycle upon release but the 16S is really better in most ways and only for a slight price increase.
Affordability: 1.5/5. I wish the 14S’ price dropped to somewhere below $1000. But at this asking rate it would be too unfathomable to recommend it over the 16S.
Reliability: 3.5/5. It has great speed and mileage but doesn’t quite have the battery life or acceleration you’d expect from this price range. It was clear to me that this unicycle was really pushing the limits of an 800w motor.
Durability: 4/5. It weighs 33 pounds and the components all seem very high quality. I never got the sense that this machine would suffer from wear and tear very easily.
Budget-friendly electric unicycle that won’t turn any heads.
Our final electric unicycle today is the cheapest one on our list. I felt bad about bragging over highly priced wheels, so I decided it would only be fair to find one of the best budget electric unicycles on the market.
In a sense, this is the most unique electric unicycle on my list as it’s the only one to sport two wheels instead of one. This does make for greater stability and easier turns, however, I found that the traction and all-terrain aspects of these wheels was sub-par.
I will say that the SwagRoller does look better in person than it does online. The LEDs are actually quite nice and the headlight is more than satisfactory. The smartphone app is also handy although it isn’t as in-depth as the previous ones on this list. It also doesn’t quite load up as fast.
With a 450w motor your top speeds can only get up to 10mph and each charge gives you a max of 12 miles. In other words, this is best suited to beginners who are on a budget and aren’t picky about power or speed.
Affordability: 4/5. This is a great way to experience electric unicycles if you’re on a tight budget. I would recommend this to someone who is looking for their first unicycle but isn’t quite sold on wanting to spend upwards of $1000.
Reliability: 2.5/5. This is a well-made unicycle that is waterproof, and the two wheels will really be great for novices. But 9.5mph was too slow even for me. The wheels also had not so great traction on dirt and they really work poorly on sand.
Durability: 3/5. The outer casing is not as tough as the other unicycles on this list but as long as you take decent care of this thing it should last you many years.
All five of these electric unicycles have something that is notable. Or to put it differently, there are at least five different kinds of unicycle customers and I believe that this selection will help appeal to them.
I want to end this by singling out the three that stood out the best for me. The Swagtron SwagRoller is a perfectly suitable machine for all-new beginners and is definitely worth the asking price. The KingSong 16S is a cutting-edge but expensive beast that is utterly overflowing with features. The Inmotion Solowheel Glide 2 is my pick for the best all-rounder unicycle for both its price and its overall value as a vehicle.
I hope you’ve been able to figure out the best one for you. Enjoy your ride and be safe!
Last update on 2019-05-23 at 00:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API