While hoverboards are all the rage, there is an even more engaging type of transport out on the market. Hoverboards are certainly futuristic, but a self-balancing unicycle makes them look like a horse drawn carriage.
Riding a standard unicycle is challenging enough. But with the fancy gyroscopic self-balancing system, it’s actually easy. These electric unicycles are incredibly impressive, and boast huge ranges when compared with their hoverboard companions.
But which one should you choose? We’ve dug through dozens of self-balancing electric unicycles and cut through the noise so you can easily find the one that’s right for you.
Want to skip the product details and go straight to the list? Check it out:
- Ninebot One E+
- Airwheel Electric Self-Balanced X8 Unicycle
- Gotway M+ 22 MPH Unicycle
- Gotway ACM V2 25 MPH Unicycle
Ninebot One E+
Although the name “Ninebot” isn’t exactly household yet, perhaps you’ve heard of their parent company – Segway. Ninebot is the brainchild of a Segway executive and a couple of engineers who have PHD’s in robotics. If the Segway is the Cadillac of two-wheeled self-balancing scooters, then the Ninebot is the Cadillac of single wheeled transport.
The Ninebot One E+ is the most advanced version of their popular one-wheeled transport device. While there were a few problems with the original Ninebot, all of these problems have been fixed with the One E+.
So, how do you use the One E+? Simple, all you have to do is lean. If you’ve already used a hoverboard, you’ll have this system down pat. Just shift your weight forward, and you’ll move forward. Shift your weight back, and you’ll slow down and eventually reverse. Steering is done by leaning either to the left or to the right.
Unlike hoverboards or Segway’s, there is no fancy turning mechanism. The wheel automatically turns because you’ll be gripping the road with the side of the tire. This does mean that there is a little bit of a learn curve. Lean too far and you’re likely to take a spill.
You can expect to spend around three to four hours to get the hang of the One E. But once you do, it’s all smooth sailing from there on. The hardest part is learning how to get on and off, we highly recommend using a fence to help support your body weight until you get the hang of it. Actually navigating around on the unicycle, however, is extremely intuitive and easy to learn.
Ninebot One (UK) – First Ever Hands on and Ride!
Click on the Image Above to Watch the Video
The moment you finally get on, you’ll be surprised at how level it stays. Standing on the two included foot stands feels no different than standing on flat ground. All you’re responsible for doing is keeping yourself from tipping left or right, which is no harder than riding a bicycle.
The Ninebot’s 16” wheels handle types of terrain that are usually unreachable to hoverboard users. Concrete, grass, even stairs are surprisingly easy to tackle. The company claims that it can handle 20 degree inclines, but we had no problem with even 30 degree ones.
The 500W motor in the Ninebot is capable of reaching speeds of up to 13 MPH, and it will travel for about two hours or 22 miles before you start to get a battery warning. The Ninebot is actually capable of going a little faster than the advertised 13 MPH, but this is the highest speed supported by it’s stabilization system. If you’re really cruising, you’ll find that the Ninebot emits a warning beep and slows you down a bit.
Overall, this is one of the easier to use Unicycles, and we highly recommend it for beginners.
Airwheel Electric Self-Balanced X8 Unicycle
The Airwheel X8 is another worthy option. There are a few key differences between it and the original Ninebot One E. First off, it’s a little lighter at 11.1KG. Despite its lightweight construction, it’s still very durable. The metal footrests are almost industrial grade, and are capable of holding up to 250lbs.
The motor is another edge it’s got over the Ninebot. In this scooter you’ve got 800W of power to get you where you need to go. Surprisingly, despite the boost in power it’s actually a little slower than the Ninebot, at 11MPH vs 13. However, it is significantly better on rough terrain or on hills. While the Ninebot tends to slow down a little, the Airwheel keeps chugging along as if nothing had changed.
With all this off-roading ability, you’re going to want to make sure that your unicycle can stand up to a little abuse. The entire frame is made from a lightweight but durable carbon fiber. Every button and connection is made from steel, ensuring that there is very little that could damage your pristine new scooter.
Speaking of charging, this unicycle charges fast. You can go from empty to full in a little over an hour. With around 26km of range, this is the ideal unicycle for people who want something fun to ride.
Gotway M+ 22 MPH Unicycle
Sometimes it seems that every generation of self-balancing unicycles gets a little more powerful. The Gotway M+ is no different. Sporting an almost frightening 1000W motor, and a significantly larger tire at 18 inches.
It can be hard to imagine when you’re just looking at the numbers, but 18 inches is quite a bit larger than the 14 inch tires on other unicycles. With this size, going over a four inch obstacle feels the same as going over a 1 inch obstacle on smaller hoverboards.
What does all this power mean for users in the real world? Unlike Airwheel, which put all the power into incline performance, the Gotway improved the speed just as it improved its off-road ability. You can zip around at a speedy 22 MPH, or take on hills and even stairs with ease.
This unicycle is far from a toy. It’s a hulking 40 LB monster that is designed to take any kind of abuse you want to subject it to. Mountains, dirt roads, and busy city streets are all an option with the Gotway M+. However, the scooters design lends itself ideally to off-road use. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the M+ is the go to scooter for you.
Gotway ACM V2 25 MPH Unicycle
The Gotway ACM V2 is one of the latest, and most powerful, self-balancing electric scooters. They’ve taken the best features from every model on the market and combined them into one of the best all-around scooters for commuting purposes.
The first major improvement is the motor. They use an extremely efficient MOSFET amplifier system that converts input to motion better than any scooter on the market. Even though the motors are only rated for 820W, you can still reach the zippy speeds of 25 MPH. When you’re going this fast, it can be easy to get carried away.
That’s why there is a triple acoustic warning system. You’ll be notified when you’re approaching the speed limit, notified when you cross it, and a loud beep gives you a few moments to respond before the scooter automatically slows you down to a safe speed.
If you’re a beginner, you probably won’t want to rip around anywhere close to maximum speed. You can connect to the scooter with your smartphone, and set a comfortable maximum speed for yourself so you always feel safe while travelling.
This scooter also features a side stabilization system not often found in other scooters. If you tilt more than 45 degrees to the left, the stabilization system will kick in and prevent you from toppling over.
If you’re looking for a scooter that will support a longer commute to work, this is the one. With a maximum range of 37 miles, there are very few places this scooter can’t take you.
Verdict: The Best Self Balancing Electric Unicycle
If you’re looking for a futuristic new way to commute to work, you can’t go wrong with the Gotway ACM V2. This scooter is a little on the pricier side, but you get a lot for your money. A massive range, quick top speed and extremely durable exterior make this a great buy for serious scooter enthusiasts.
If you’re just looking to have a bit of fun and don’t want to spend a fortune, the Airwheel Electric Self Balanced X8 is an incredible deal that allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a self-balancing unicycle for a third of the price of the Gotway.
What Should I Look for in a Self Balancing Scooter?
With so many self-balancing unicycles on the market, it can be hard to know exactly what to look for. If you’re the type of person who likes to research all of your purchases, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about self-balancing unicycles into one easy-to-follow guide.
Why Should I Get a Self-Balancing Unicycle?
The most obvious advantage is speed. While hoverboards cap out at around 6MPH, unicycles can travel up to a blistering 25MPH. If you’re looking to get somewhere in a hurry, unicycles just offer a speedy transport that you can’t get with a hoverboard.
Another major benefit is the terrain they can handle. Hoverboards are really only good for riding on flat ground or maybe ripping around the mall. But with a unicycle, you can truly go off road and reach nearly any terrain you desire.
How Fast Should My Unicycle Be?
What speed you choose depends a lot on where you want to use the scooter. If you’re riding on the road, obviously faster is better 25 MPH scooters are pleasant to ride, but doing this speed down a bumpy road can be a bit nerve wracking.
If you’re going to be riding up the stairs or in areas with a lot of obstacles, you’ll probably want something a little slower. 13 MPH is still much faster than you’d be able to run, but gives you enough reaction time to navigate around obstacles.
What Kind of Batteries Should I Get?
Batteries are not as big of a concern with unicycles as they are with hoverboards. While there haven’t been any cases of fires or explosions, it’s still important to select a reliable brand. Look for UL certification to ensure safety.
Every unicycle we’ve recommended on this site is UL certified, and every model sold in the United States is guaranteed to be safe. However, if you feel inclined to order off an international website you’ll want to double check this.
The batteries you choose determine more than just the range they can reach. The more you stress these batteries, the quicker they will wear out. On average, you’ll get about 1000 to 2000 charging cycles out of a battery bank. This means that If you pick a unicycle with a large range, it will last a bit longer.
For example, let’s say that you ride 30km per day to and from work. A unicycle with a 15km range will be close to wearing out in a year. However, a unicycle with a 50km range will last you nearly 5 years. Although both will last a long time, it’s important to factor in a products lifecycle before you spend a chunk of change on it.
What Wheel Size Should I Select?
If you’re planning to go over bumpy terrain or want high speeds, then a larger wheel size is better. Sixteen inches is an ideal size for most people. However, larger wheels mean a heavier scooter. If you’re the type that’s going to want to carry your scooter around with you and use it in easy conditions, you may be perfectly happy with a twelve or thirteen-inch unicycle.
Do you plan on using your unicycle daily? If you’re considering this as a serious method of transport, you’re probably going to want it to last a long time. Picking up a unicycle that is made locally means that you’ll have access to parts and repair shops should anything go wrong. Many models are made overseas, and they’re so heavy that shipping them back for repairs isn’t always viable.
If you’re a casual user, there is a good chance that your unicycle could last you many years without giving you any trouble. But they do, however, require maintenance just like a vehicle. Heavy users will probably benefit by having a local business that can take care of all your maintenance needs.