Practical Commuting Vehicle?

  • Is the onewheel really a pratical personal electronic vehicle for commuting?

    Seems every reviews I've read emphasize how FUN it is to ride but there seems to be some issues with it when it comes to practicality for daily commuting:

    1. WEIGHT - pretty heavy to lug around when not riding
    2. range - 8 miles is somewhat limited
    3. max speed - 15mph is super fast on the onewheel but relatively slow when compared to electric bike or boosted board. slower=longer commute
    4. safety - it seems even the most experienced riders can get thrown... sorta like accidentally catching an edge while snowboarding
    5. cost
    6. weather - probably not riding in the rain....

  • @tomtnt

    1. yes heavy, but a lot of e boards are.
    2. yes about 7-8 miles, but 25 minute charge time owns
    3. yes, but I doubt you will average 20 mph hour, it's fast and if you fall you get hurt pretty bad, especially trying to do it around traffic
    4. All boards you will bail with, you ride past your skill, you will fall. Have you bailed at 20 mph? You get hurt bad
    5. Cost. all E boards are expensive
    6. Will do better in the rain than any other eboard
    7. Do you even have a board?

  • @DVO I have one coming on thursday.

    I also have:

    Boosted Board
    Yuneec EGO
    2 electric bikes

    I feel really safe riding my electric bikes at 25+ mph... I'm also pretty comfortable at 20mph on the boosted board. I use these for commuting all the time.

    Your response basically confirms that while the onewheel is FUN, it may not be the most practical for commuting in and around traffic.

  • Alrighty then?

  • @tomtnt think you need to try before reaching a conclusion.

    There are a few of us on here who commute.

    First, bikes are great but they miss one important feature that boards have - you cant easily take them on a bus, uber, taxi, friends car, etc. So what to do with bikes when more flexibility is required?

    Then you are down to powered skateboards vs OW. I expect this debate to be a bit like skiers vs snowboarders. They are very different.

    But on your points regarding speed. OW goes through and over stuff - bad road surface, transitions to sidewalk, construction, shortcuts over grass, puddles of water, sand etc.

    All this has been a part of my commute - I am pretty sure I would be going around or picking up on a skateboard I.e. I'd lose flexibility and probably time. This just isn't captured in top speed.

    Since you're getting a OW, try it out. I bet a bunch of people will be curious about the comparison. So far discussions seem to end in - if you can afford a OW and other stuff, get it all. If not, OW deserves a look because it can be used for fun and commuting.

  • FWIW, my OW has made me completely lose interest in my other powered skateboards (Evolve Carbon, Metroboard). Compared to the OW, they feel cumbersome and less safe. Sure, if you're going out for a dedicated carving session, a powered skateboard can be fun. But for commuting and day to day usage, my OW has completely eliminated use of my powered skateboards. YMMV.

  • In my experience:

    1. You don't really lug it anywhere except up and down stairs....otherwise I just seem to ride it wherever I am with it.

    2. 8 miles is a lot for commuting purposes, not so much for long joyrides. I'd say if your commute is more than 5 miles each way, it may be a little far to use your OW as a primary means of transportation. Conversely, the charger is small enough to fit in a bag, so you could always charge it once you get to work. For me, one charge has been enough to get to the office, gym, then back home, but I live a close distance to both places.

    3. When I ride to work (generally on a boardwalk) I'm routinely passing bikers, and I'm not going full speed. 15mph is a lot when you consider other pedestrians and/or cars on the road.

    4. Knock on wood, but I haven't had an accident commuting. Just need to be alert and wear pads if it makes you more comfortable. For all the times I've worn wristguards, I've thankfully never put a scratch on them. I think you ride with more confidence when you have pads on, which leads to less accidents.

    5. Cost is relative. I love not having to pay to park anywhere or take a cab/uber.

    6. Riding in the rain sucks, but I haven't used the fender, which should help. The OW handles great in wet conditions, but i hate getting my shoes/pants wet. I've had to Uber home from work when a downpour hit, but that's the risk you take riding in Miami during hurricane season.

    I would just add on a personal level, getting into the office after a 15 minute morning ride on my OW puts me in a much better mood than simply driving in. It's like starting a school day with recess.

  • Just gonna chime in with my commuting experience. Since I've used it to work the last few months.
    I used to drive my car to work before (could've and should've ridden a bike, sure, but I didn't).

    1. It is, sure. But I don't carry it more than 10 meters. And that's out of my door. Then I ride all the way to the office. Literally. I park it next to my office chair. Not getting off once.

    2. Also true ofc. compared to the competition. If your commute is slightly longer than max range, it wouldn't be good. Luckily mine isn't.

    3. It add up to pretty much the same as if I would ride a bicycle. Not as fast as the car in the mornings, but I smile every day as i pass the cars stuck in traffic. The few days I'm forced to drive home (due to being on call), I'm in agony.

    4. While falling always hurt, I just have to say that in the several months I've commuted through town, I've never hurt myself once (including the time between commuting). And I'm not riding slow. I've yet to manage ending up on my back, even though I've been doing some crazy off-road stuff.
      I fell off once when standing almost still in the beginning. But since then... not a scratch.

    5. Worth it for me. But not for everybody.

    6. Luckily It hasn't been raining heavy enough to be a big problem. But I'd say it's about as bad as with a bicycle. Rain does kinda suck.

    The biggest flip-side compared to a bike is that I actually ride it ;) It's just that much fun. And you do get a lot of attention. And it's really nice that you can just put it in your car, to bring it when working.

  • I've had my OW for 1 week now and love riding it. I especially love it for trail riding, grass, and beach. It is a great recreational devide. Almost makes me want to forgo picking up a snowboarding season pass this year.

    However, It's not really ideal for commuting.

    1. Too much attention. You often get people stopping and asking about it.

    2. Top speed of 15 feels faster and less stable than 20 mph on my boosted board.

    3. Have to concentrate - biking and riding on electric skateboard can be pretty mindless. With OW, you really have to be mindful or risk getting thrown.

    4. Can't wear dress shoes. One time I rode that thing with dress shoes instead of flat skate shoes was only time I loss contact with sensor and crashed.

    I do love it though. Keep it in the back of my car for quick trips and if I see a nice trail I want to explore.

  • @tomtnt Your items 1-3 are transient and will dissipate after more usage. One week is not enough time to get fully accustomed to the board (either yourself or the typical people along your daily commute).

    I join conference calls many times while on by board and yes even reply to emails sometimes when in open spaces and not going full speed. With practice you will be completely comfortable on the board.

    You are absolutely correct that dress shoes can be an issue depending upon the sole.

  • I have to agree with lynn.
    I don't mind the attention, and when I commute, people don't stop me. When I play around on the other hand, they might.
    I feel completely at ease at full speed. I don't really concentrate much on riding, unless over the big bumps, and have no problems playing with my mobile at the same time or whatever.

    As far as shoes goes I really have never have anyone have any problems with any shoes, so I don't know about that. My running shoes, works shoes and flat shoes all work nice.

  • Unfortunately my commute requires a car but I find the topic intriguing.

    While I love my board, I'd probably feel commuting with onewheel to be a little cumbersome. Right now it does draw a lot of attention and is almost like a spectacle since it is totally new for most people. I'm a very private introverted type of person which doesn't help. Top speed does feel pretty slow if you are on a nicely paved road. I personally only get up to 15 if I'm riding pushback and that means I'm tempting fate so normal top speed is 13mph for me. It is rather heavy and bulky to carry and handle. And you do need to pay attention for dips and holes like you probably have to do on any skateboard.

    Ultimately if you have a nicely paved commute that is long in distance and your goal is get there faster, an electric skateboard might be best for practical solution...or a car.

  • In my opinion OW is a cruiser .. I have a solowheel that is much faster but dorky looking and not nearly as fun to ride.. That being said I will never ride it again now that I have my OW :)

  • @njcustom was thinking of buying an air wheel (solo wheel unicycle clone) for wife or daughter to cruise with me- was the learning curve tougher than OW?

  • @tomtnt absolutely harder to ride a solowheel but it still only took me a day.. Also it's very hard to jump on them but once you got it its OK.. They also come with training wheels.. If you do buy one don't get a cheap one or it will only last a few months before the battery is shot

  • Hi guys,

    Coming back on this topic as I'm thinking of buying the OW+ for my commute to work. I work in a formal environment wearing a suit and dress shoes every day. Do you think it's a practical commuting device in my case? Some of my colleagues use a solowheel and seem fine but OW looks much more fun and I'm favoring this alternative for my future purchase.

    The things that I'm worried about at the moment are:
    a) Risk to fall and potentially destroy my expensive suit. I suppose I would be extra careful when riding but it seems that there is always a small risk of unexplained nosediving...
    b) Dress shoes: Is it actually ok to ride with such shoes rather than flat sole shoes?

    If anyone is commuting in a suit with a OW I would be interested to hear from your experience.

  • @vromifou I have no experience on the +, but with the V1, if you just cruise until pushback occurs, you simply will not fall. At least I never do...
    And with the dress shoes, should be no problem either when you ride relaxed and on pavement.

  • @Polle Thanks Polle!!

  • Yes the onewheel my not look practical as a commuting vehicle but the range depends on weight and terrain if I'm on the street I usually get about 9-10 miles on a charge (I weigh 130) and it goes a lot faster than 15 mph when just cruising I run about 19 and the brakes are better off ham any other board because in extreme situations if you have to you put the back bumper to the ground

  • @vromifou No--it's not practical to ride in high heels. They mess with the sensors, and you'll tear up nice shoes. I know--I too work in a formal environment and commute with my OW. I carry shoes and socks in my messenger bag and change at the office.

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