eWheel rider: OneWheel is a great ride

  • I learned to ride an eWheel (electric unicycle) a couple months ago, and I have just under 100 miles on it now. It's a ton of fun. But I wanted my daughter to ride with me, and figured the OneWheel would be easier to learn and not as intimidating. I got an XR and we both learned how to ride it after about 10-15 minutes each.

    Now that I've tried the OneWheel, I think it's a blast to ride. It's a different riding experience, comfortable, good power and kind of nostalgic for for when I used to ride skateboards. On the OW you can ride on streets that would vibrate your feet off with a skateboard. And the OW can make super tight turns, or even turn in place, unlike a longboard which has a wide turning radius. It's fun to cruise along, and 15 feels plenty fast. You can ride over almost anything--well don't take a turn in the middle of wet leaves maybe. It's so maneuverable that any kind of narrow path, ramp, whatever is fair game.

    If you read this forum, you'd think the OW was a death machine or something. My guess is that this is just people not understanding this new idea of a self-balancing wheel. You have to be in tune with it, feel the pushback (called tiltback on an eWheel) and not fight it. If you always ride at the edge of the torque limit, you're going to eat asphalt at some point.

    I personally think FM is making a couple of mistakes here:

    1. You shouldn't advertise the speed as 19mph, if the tiltback starts at 15. If 15 is the safe speed, then advertise it at 15. Otherwise everybody is trying to go 19. On eWheels, they advertise the SAFE speed, not the speed you can go if you lean into the tilt-back. And don't encourage people to go faster than the safe speed. Like "you set a new speed record!" That kind of encouragement is a bad idea.

    2. The OneWheel should just start beeping when it's running out of torque for balancing. Riding one of these things is a new experience, and maybe some people don't understand what pushback is, they didn't read the instructions, they don't notice it, they don't have the presence of mind while they are riding, or they feel it and just blow it off. If the board started beeping like crazy, then it would be a big clue that maybe something is wrong. On eWheels, there are three levels of beeps BEFORE the pushback happens, and you can configure when those beeps happen. That way you can choose how safe or unsafe you want to be. Beeps are annoying, so if you avoid the beeps, you avoid crashing. Or maybe you get mild pushback (like in Mission) at first, and if you go faster, you get the beeps. The point is, OW needs more communication with the rider when they are pushing their luck.

    Overall I love the build quality, the app is excellent and it's really fun to ride. Two thumbs up!
    I hope FM makes even more powerful, safer, longer range boards in the future.

  • @erk1024

    Re point #1

    As I'm reading more OW forums, it seems that people have gone as fast as 29. So maybe 19 is the safe speed and Mission gives you more and more pushback until you get to 19. The goal is to strongly encourage you not to go above that speed. If that's the answer, then it seems like a reasonable solution to point #1

  • @erk1024

    Great feedback..Thank-you!!!

  • @erk1024 I'd agree with your original post, 15-16 mph is the safe speed on a OW.

    Great write up and review. My OW buddy is leaving to ride an EUC now and it's been fun to watch the progression. Very capable machines but it's a ski vs snowboard kind of decision.

  • The XR is definitely a stronger, safer wheel. The OneWheel Plus had lower voltage (48V) and only 15 cells for a total of 130 watt hours. I think that means the cells had to put out around 15+ amps just to feed the motor 750 watts (750w / 48V). Usually the peak power of a motor is much higher than the stated (continuous wattage) number, but the battery couldn't take advantage of it because the battery current was already close to maxed out.

    If I'm figuring this right, the new XR has TWO banks of 15 cells for 324 watt hours. So twice current for peak loads, and it's also 63 volts, so that's usually better for top speed. Batteries can only give up their energy a certain maximum rate, so more batteries not only means extra range, but more power available to the motor. Guessing the new cells are 18650 form factor, 4.2 volts, 3amps each. 15 x 4.2v = 63 volts per bank.

  • @erk1024

    V1 & OW+ had 16 cells versus the 15 in the XR.

    OW+ had LiFePo4 cells and the XR has NMC.

    The XR is much less picky on body position since it has more juice. The OW+ required riders to remained centered and be my cautious on hills. I'm curious to see how the Pint pans out in the real world but I believe it's just under the TSA's 160 Whr limit.

    The XR definitely "feels" a little different below 50% and then again at 20-30% due to changes in voltage. Which EUC do you ride?

  • @skyman88
    I have a Kingsong 18XL. It has crazy range and it's fast. I only have about 10 hours on it and I get speed wobbles at 25mph. I used to get speed wobbles at half that, so I'm making progress. People inevitably want to compare the eWheels to the OneWheel, but it's a different riding experience. It's like asking which is better, a sportscar or a Jeep? They are both fun in different ways, and in ways that aren't necessarily reflected on a sheet of specs.

  • @erk1024
    Great review! Thanks.
    I don’t think a beep is necessary, because the one wheel physically turns its nose up to get the riders attention. That’s almost more startling than a beep. Ewheels, on the other hand, don’t change their angle relative to the ground, so a beep is the only way to tell something is going on.

  • @WheelCity said in eWheel rider: OneWheel is a great ride:

    don’t change their angle relative to the ground

    The eWheels DO change the angle. They tilt the pedals back like it's trying to slow you down. It's basically the same.

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