Electric Unicycles (EUCs) are among the fastest growing personal electric vehicles. If you are reading this then you likely are looking to dive into the world of EUCs. You may be an electric skateboard rider or a onewheel rider switching over to EUC, or you may be looking at an EUC as your first electric vehicle. Whatever the case, you’ve come to the right place. EUCs are in my opinion the best personal electric vehicles, not only are they an incredible mode of transportation but they are extremely fun as well. As you begin to look into the world of EUCs you may quickly become overwhelmed with all the options available Where do you start? Which EUC should you buy? What’s the best EUC?
Fear not, I’m here to guide you through what is available in the market and simplify it. I’ve been riding personal electric vehicles since 2015. I started with electric skateboards and then switched over to EUCs. Since then I have owned 10+ EUCs and have ridden every single EUC currently available. I’ve spent all my free time obsessing over the details of each model, I know the pros of each model and I know the quirks as well. Unlike other buying guides that just repost EUC specs, I’ve personally ridden all the EUCs so I’m here to give you more than just the specifications. Many buying guides will list “best EUCs”, but the truth is there is no “best EUC”. What’s best for you depends on what your needs are. My goal with this article is to discuss the top EUCs in the market, and more importantly to highlight their differences so you can pick the EUC that is the best for your specific needs.
Why should you buy an electric unicycle?
An electric unicycle arguably gives you more freedom than anything else in a portable package. They work by using gyroscopes and allowing you to move in the direction you lean. Once learned they seamlessly become one with you and like magic you can go wherever you please. No remotes or throttle required. They use extremely powerful motors and since they are packed full of battery they have longer ranges than other electric vehicles of similar size. Lack of power and range anxiety become things of the past. Combine all this with a big tire and you’ll think you have super powers. Imagine being able to go over any terrain, any hill, maneuver through the tightest areas at walking speeds, and then going on open paved roads to speeds of up to 50 mph. Most importantly imagine being able to do this all safely and confidently. This is why you want an EUC.
You can use an EUC recreationally, for commuting, or both. Commuters will love riding their EUC to work for their range, speed, and stability. Another reason EUCs work so well for commuting is being able to effortlessly go from trolleying to riding. The trolley on most EUCs allows you to roll it like luggage thus making it easy to carry indoors. Many who didn’t know what an EUC was have told me that it looks like a high tech rolling luggage bag.
Recreational users will get a lot of enjoyment out of their EUC, the possibilities are endless. You can take a slow leisurely cruise around your neighborhood or explore new places. Seeing the city on an EUC is the best way to experience it. Many riders are using EUCs for group rides in big cities, technical singletrack trail riding, jumps, stunts, and more. What’s appealing is there is always something new you can learn on an EUC and there will always be room to grow as a rider.
Which features are important?
When deciding what EUC to get there are many features to consider. The two things most look at first are speed and range. While these two are important there are many other features of an EUC one should consider as well. The way an EUC rides and feels will depend on a number of things including the tire diameter, tire width, pedal clearance, weight, weight distribution, and ergonomics. Other features to consider include speakers, headlights, tail lights, trolley handles, lift to cut off switch, and suspension. Different EUCs have different shell designs resulting in different durability. This also leads to differences in waterproofing with some shells having a tight seal while others having areas for potential dust or water ingress. All these features should be taken into consideration when deciding what EUC to get. Let’s discuss these features in more details to understand what they really mean.
The manufacturer listed motor watts tells you the sustained power the motor can handle without overheating. You can have short term peaks that are much higher than the motor watt rating listed by EUC manufacturers. Although the motor watts listed are a good indicator of how much power your EUC will have, it isn’t the only determining factor. The sustained power rating doesn’t account for how much power the control board is able to handle to produce. Additionally having the appropriate battery size to provide enough current is also important. So a motor rated for 2200 watts with a small battery pack and subpar control board will not be as good as a motor rated at 2000 watts with a big battery and a solid control board. In general though, the higher the motor watt figure the more power the EUC will have and the faster it can go. Always try to get an EUC that has more power and more top speed than you will need. You wouldn’t ride a car at max speed right? Similarly if you want to ride at 30 mph, then get an EUC that can go faster.
It’s simple here, the bigger the battery the better. Not only do you get more range, but bigger batteries will have less voltage sag meaning you can ride longer without your speed being throttled. Speed throttling is a safety measure and with this as your battery decreases, the top speed of your EUC will decrease as well. Some EUC models have two variants with batteries configured differently. More cells in series will give you a higher voltage. My recommendation is to always pick the higher voltage version as it lets you have a higher top speed and thus a higher safety margin. An example here would be the 84 volt Gotway Nikola and the 100 volt Gotway Nikola. In EUCs there is usually a battery on each side of the shell. To summarize, get the biggest battery you can afford and the higher voltage if you have the choice.
The bigger the tire diameter the more comfortable and more stable an EUC will feel at higher speeds. The smaller the diameter the more agile an EUC will feel. The sweet spot for tire size is somewhere around 16-20”. Another factor to keep in mind with tires is that a smaller tire diameter usually leads to a more responsive EUC, whereas a large tire will take more effort to get started. You can think of the smaller tire as starting a car in a lower gear versus the larger tire as starting a car in a higher gear. Besides tire diameter the width also varies, most modern day EUCs are 2-3 inches wide. The high end EUCs have a 3 inch wide tire usually. A wider tire provides more traction and is more stable at lower speeds. Tires can also be swapped out. Many riders swap street tires for a knobby tire to get more grip in off road trails or snow, the Kenda 262 tire pictured below is popular for the MSX/MSP/RS EUC as it makes these a true off road weapon.
The distance from the ground to the pedals you stand on is often not listed in specifications, however this is an important characteristic of an EUC. The higher the distance the more clearance you have to clear obstacles. On the flip side a lower clearance makes the wheel more stable. My personal preference is for higher pedal clearance and this is usually the case with most riders who go off road. If you’re a street rider then pedal clearance won’t be an issue for you. You can see below the difference in pedal clearance on the Gotway MSX (older version of RS) vs the Veteran Sherman, pedal clips will be less likely on the higher clearance but lower pedals will be more stable at higher speeds due to lower center of gravity.
Weight can range anywhere from 20 lbs to 80 lbs on an EUC. The actual weight of the EUC is less of a concern in terms of transporting it since you have the trolley handle. Weight however is an issue is if you are going up and down stairs. It also effects how an EUC feels. Heavier EUCs may not be as nimble, but they will be more stable.
Ergonomics and balance
The shape of the shell and the material of it vary from one EUC to another. Some riders find certain EUCs more comfortable than the other. One important factor to consider is the balance, meaning an equal amount of weight on both sides of the EUC. This is mainly done by making sure that each shell on both sides of the tire has an equal amount of weight. A well balanced EUC feels stable at higher speeds with less chances of speed wobbles. A perfect example here would be the Veteran Sherman, which has an equal amount of battery on both sides of the shell to ensure it is well balanced.
If you ride in the dark, consider the quality of the light. Some EUCs also have self dimming lights. Tail lights are standard on most EUCs and some even have automatic turn signals that are activated by your lean angle. If you like an LED light show, then EUCs such as the Begode Nikola have those as well. Pictured below is the light of the Veteran Sherman.
This is an important feature in my opinion. Typically Kingsong and Inmotion EUCs have far superior trolley handles to Begode/Gotway. A trolley handle will be a highly used feature for commuters or anyone who needs to step off and walk their EUC. If you value this feature you may have to sacrifice some of the performance advantage of Begode EUCs to get a kingsong or inmotion. Just keep in mind the top speeds of Kingsong and Inmotion are usually significantly lower than Begode EUCs.
Like listening to music? Consider the quality of speakers. While many riders including myself find this to be a gimmicky feature, certain EUCs like the Gotway Nikola do have decent quality speakers. The speakers can be useful for not only music, but also GPS directions or speed alerts.
There’s some variation in different models in terms of build quality. Some EUCs are known to have fragile builds while others are known to be highly durable. Some EUCs have areas that can allow water or dust to get in, while others are better sealed from the elements. Most riders don’t plan on crashing their EUC or riding in the rain, but these are still things a rider should consider.
Your first Electric Unicycle
There’s two schools of thoughts when it comes to your first EUC. Let’s discuss these two approaches:
Buy an Entry Level Electric Unicycle (First Option)
Everyone drops their EUC during the learning phase at slow speeds. In fact almost all EUC drops are during the first 100 miles of riding at slow speeds that you can just walk off. This leads to your first EUC getting many slow speed drops inevitably resulting in many scratches and chips. The rationale for this school of thought is that since you have a lower cost EUC you won’t be as concerned about damage to your shell. In comparison if you bought a $2000+ EUC to learn on and scratched that up it would be far more painful. Bigger and heavier EUCs fall harder as well. Another argument for learning on a smaller EUC is that you want to learn the basics on a wheel that you can handle well rather than a bigger and heavier wheel. Learning on a high end EUC some say is like learning to drive in a Ferrari. It’s better to develop your skills on a smaller EUC and then translate them to a bigger EUC. Lastly you can always have a lightweight nimble EUC as your second EUC even after you upgrade, they are fun in their own way.
The main negative with this approach is the cost. Most riders will quickly outgrow the speed limitations on entry level EUCs since they are limited to around 18-21 mph. This may seem fast, but an EUC feels very stable at those speeds and most do end up wanting to go faster within 2 weeks or so. If you cannot afford to keep two wheels, then you would have to sell the entry level EUC at a loss for an upgrade..
Buy a Premium Electric Unicycle (Second Option)
Getting a high end EUC as your first EUC will let you grow with it and you won’t outgrow it like you would with an entry level EUC.
It may take you longer to learn skills on a bigger and heavier EUC. One example is learning to ride backwards, this is much easier to learn on a smaller/lighter EUC vs on a bigger EUC. Additionally during the learning phase you will drop your expensive EUC many times. However to resolve this many first time riders who buy premium EUCs use protective padding. You can either DIY foam pads or buy protective covers such as the roll NZ cover from ewheels. Here’s a photo of a gotway electric unicycle that my friend protected by adding yoga mats.
How I started
I started my EUC journey with an entry level EUC, the inmotion V8. I’m glad I did it this way as it let me get my learner mistakes out of the way on the smaller EUC. Additionally it let me appreciate the higher end EUCs more. That being said, starting on a premium EUC can be done as well. My only advice if doing that would be to pad your EUC up or learn on a soft smooth surface like a golf course, soccer field, a running track, or any astro turf.
Best Electric Unicycles
This is arguably the best high performance EUC available as of November 2020. Here’s some reasons why this is my personal favorite EUC.
- The build quality and durability are excellent. This is the only EUC with a roll cage. The shell is also made of tough plastic.
- The Sherman is the most stable EUC I’ve tried due to perfect balancing, both sides of the shell have an equal amount of battery in there. Thus it feels extremely stable at higher speeds.
- It’s fast with a listed max speed of 45 mph. Some riders reported speeds of 50+ mph. I’ve personally hit 48 mph on it, but my advice is to leave some margin and keep it below the 45 mph mark.
- 3200 watt hour battery is currently the biggest battery available, at least until the Begode Monster Pro is out. With this 3200 watt hour pack you can expect to get 70-130 miles of range depending on your riding style.
- Built in LCD with important information displayed, including battery voltage if you want. Voltage is the most accurate way to determine the battery level.
- Lights are bright!
- Built in fuse, thus in an overheat situation the fuse would go out first before the control board does.
- The stock knobby tire is perfect for both street riding and off road riding.
No EUC is perfect, and even the Veteran sherman can use some improvements. Here are some things that can be improved on the sherman.
- Pedal dipping in soft/medium modes during turning is a concern many users have. Hard mode does help mostly resolve this, but many riders would prefer to ride in soft or medium mode without any pedal dip during turns.
- Pedal and shell clearance is low. This makes it less suitable for off-road, however it does give it that high speed stability.
- No lift to cut off switch
- At 77 pounds, it is very heavy to carry up and down stairs
Begode (Gotway) RS High Speed
This is the successor to the ever popular MSX and MSP. If you could have one EUC to do it all, this should be at the top of your list. It comes in two versions, a high speed and a high torque. Here’s what I like about the RS high speed.
- Compact form factor makes it very nimble for a 19” EUC
- 1800 watt hours of battery is the sweet spot between range and weight, real world range should be between 40-70 miles depending on your riding style.
- Top speed of roughly 40 mph for this high speed variant. This is all the speed most would ever need. I recommend the high torque version for riders over 200 pounds, or riders who will primarily be riding trails only.
- A bright 6000 Lumen dual headlight
- Lift to cut off switch under handle
- 19” street tire that carves beautifully on paved roads while being able to handle mountain bike trails with no issues. Serious trail riders can also swap to a knobby tire post purchase.
- New hollowcore motor is smooth and responsive
While the RS was an update to the MSP, there’s some things that still can be improved
- Trolley handle is still in an awkward place
- Pedal clearance was lowered, which is actually a step backwards compared to the MSP. However there are rumors that gotway will resolve this soon so it may be a non issue by the time you are reading this article
- Bearing failures are more common with hollowcore motor. Due to the size of the bearings the cost for good quality bearings is high. Thus they use low cost bearings which are prone to failure quicker than the bearings on the previous versions. There is however some discussion that Begode will start to use improved higher quality bearings.
- Ergonomics may not be the most comfortable for some, however with time you will get adjusted to it
Fastest Electric Unicycle – Veteran Sherman
The fastest electric unicycle available currently is the Veteran Sherman. Watch this rider get above 50 mph here. The upcoming Begode Monster Pro and EX-N should also have a similar top speed, but still to be proven in real world testing.
Quietest Electric Unicycle – Kingsong 16X
The kingsong 16x wins this category easily. The 2200 watt motor is stealthy quiet and the cooling fans cannot be heard at all. If silence is a priority, then give the kingsong 16x a look.
Best Entry Level Electric Unicycle for Beginners – Inmotion V8F
The inmotion v8F is the perfect EUC to learn on. It has a durable shell so it can handle all the drops. It also comes with a protective cover. The max speed of ~21 mph and range of 15-20 miles is perfect to start out on. It weighs 32 lbs and is overall a compact package making it easy to transport up/down stairs. Trolley handle on the V8F is great to take it in and out of places.
Best for Technical Off-Roading – Begode RS High Torque
The Begode RS high torque is the best electric unicycle for riding technical single track mountain bike trails, however this will be after a key change the company is making soon. This change is increasing pedal clearance. The previous version of this EUC (MSP hight torque) is currently the best EUC for technical off road riding. If you’re interested in riding mountain bike trails, I would wait for the pedal clearance increase on the RS high torque which should be available on all batches after December 2020. I would also recommend a swap to knobby tires and adding power pads. My personal favorite power pads are the Clark pads that lock in your feet and allow you to jump as well.
Best Value Electric Unicycle – Gotway Tesla V2
The best bang for your buck EUC currently is the Begode Tesla V2. For $1350 you get a 1900 watt motor and a 1020 watt hour battery. This gets you to a top speed of 30 mph and a range of 30-50 miles depending on riding style. It also has a decent trolley, lift to disengage switch, and built in speakers. It’s everything you would want and for the price it’s fantastic. The one negative with the tesla is the low pedal clearance, which limits the ability to go on rocky off road trails.
Best Value alternative
A used MSX 84 volt in good condition can be had for around $1000-1400 depending on miles and condition. This is a great buy as well for value. Click here to check out this review of the 84 volt MSX, I’m in this review and this was my first time taking an EUC on a mountain bike trail.
Best Suspension in an Electric Unicycle – Kingsong S18
In 2020 inmotion released the first electric unicycle with built in suspension. This was soon followed by Kingsong and their S18. Begode had their own version, the EX. All three of these have their pros and cons. But when it comes to suspension itself, the S18 is ahead of the two. Kingsong designed the EUC around the suspension.
The suspension isolates the entire lower assembly from the shell. The shock is an adjustable shock with a 100mm of travel. In my testing the suspension performed extremely well once set up correctly. Going down stairs or hitting bumps was significantly dampened. The downside to the S18 is the small battery for the motor watts. With a 2200 watt motor and 1110 watt hour battery, voltage sag kicks in early. The top speed listed by kingsong is around 30 mph, but it quickly drops as the battery drops. My recommendation would be to think of this as a 23-26 mph EUC rather than kingsong’s listed max of 31 mph.
Here I take the S18 down stairs, it’s just too easy.
Best Electric Unicycle for long-distance Cruising – Begode Monster Pro
The bigger the tire the more comfortable and stable the ride will be. The Begode Monster series of wheels are designed to be long distance comfort cruisers. The monster V3 is the best EUC I’ve owned for long distance riding and seated riding. The upcoming monster pro this year will have the largest tire at 24 inches, the largest battery pack at 3600 watt hour, and will also be the heaviest EUC ever. Think of it as a large SUV. For those who plan to do long distance riding on the streets, keep an eye out for this release in late 2020.
Most Comfortable Commuter – Inmotion V11
The inmotion V11 is not great at one particular thing, but it’s pretty good at many things which makes it a well rounded EUC. It has a decent top speed at 34 mph, but this drops quickly as your battery goes down. The range is good enough with the 1500 wh battery pack. The suspension works, but isn’t as good as the S18 suspension. The ergonomics are good, but definitely needs power pads. The trolley handle is perfect for commuters as it’s quick to deploy and quick to fold down. The headlight is very bright, so riding in the dark will be great. The suspension will take the edge of any unexpected bumps you may encounter on street riding. You’ll commute with ease on this and in comfort as well. Just be sure to get the suspension dialed in perfectly for your weight.
Most Fun Electric Unicycle under a $1000 – Gotway Mten3
This EUC is known as the pocket rocket, and rightfully so. At only around 22 pounds, this EUC packs a punch. It has an 800 watt motor with a 460 watt hour battery. For $780 you get an EUC that can fit in a backpack, get to a max of 23 mph and has a range of 20+ miles. The main downside of the small size is that the tire is only 10 inches, which isn’t great for bump roads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are electric unicycles safe?
Yes! I’ve been riding electric skateboards, onewheels, electric scooters, and electric unicycles for many years. In my experience, I’ve found EUCs to be the safest PEV out of all of these by far. Let me explain why. Most falls on PEVs occur due to unexpected bumps/potholes, speed wobbles, or device malfunction/failure. In an EUC the tires are the largest out of any other PEVs. What this means is they roll over bumps, potholes, and even obstacles like rocks easily. Additionally, because of the larger tires your stability at speed is much higher than with other PEVs, thus chances of speed wobbles are low once you learn to ride. EUCs also have the lowest failure rates out of all PEVs as they are relatively simple devices. Unlike electric skateboards there is no worry about belts breaking or remote disconnects. With any PEV protective gear is a must and you should ride carefully. In the EUC rider community I’m happy to say that safety gear is used almost universally.
How hard is it to ride an electric unicycle?
The simplest answer is that it’s hard to learn but easy to ride. During the learning phase you will be using muscles you’ve never used before, and you may even feel exhausted. It’s sort of like learning to ride a bike all over again. Once it clicks though, you don’t forget it and it becomes second nature. When I worked at ewheels, we had many customers in their 70s who rode EUCs. Anyone can learn. Some may learn the same day, others may take up to two weeks. Doing multiple short sessions to learn works better than doing fewer longer sessions. My advice is to do 30 minute sessions daily and it will click soon enough! Here’s a helpful video about learning to ride.
Can I ride an Electric Unicycle in the Rain?
In general you should avoid rain and water as with any electric vehicle. These are water resistant but not waterproof. If you do get caught in the rain, you should most likely be fine. Keep the EUC upright until all the water drains. It is also recommended to seal any potential points of water entry if you plan to ride in wet conditions.
How does an electric unicycle work?
An electric unicycle self balances using gyroscopes. You simply lean in the direction you want to go and it will follow you. Leaning back is the brakes. It really becomes a part of you once learned.
How fast are Electric Unicycles?
Modern day EUCs can typically get to 30 mph while some models can reach up to 50 mph. EUC manufacturers are constantly pushing the limits. It is recommended to always get an EUC that is a bit faster than you want to go. if you plan to cruise at 30 mph get an EUC that can go faster than 30 mph.
How far can Electric Unicycles go?
Battery sizes range from 480 watt hour all the way to 3600 watt hour. Most EUCs have a range of 40 miles or more with some models even breaking the 100 mile barrier. Keep in mind though that range depends on many variables including weight, wind resistance, tire pressure, temperature, riding speed, riding terrain, and hills.
How much do electric unicycles cost?
Prices range from $780 all the way up to $3000+ for the top end models.
How much do electric unicycles weigh?
Weights range from 22 lbs and for some models they can get in the 80 lb range.
Should I buy an electric unicycle with suspension?
Suspension EUCs are very new and still need some refining touches. I would not recommend a suspension EUC as your first EUC or even your only EUC. They have more maintenance vs normal EUCs and learning on a suspension EUC may be not be ideal as it will teach you bad habits. I recommend the current generation of suspension EUCs as second EUC only.
Where should I buy electric unicycles?
Ewheels, EUCO, and Revrides in the US. Speedyfeet, myewheel, E-rides in Europe. Aliexpress, but buy at your own risk as there is no post-purchase support.
An electric unicycle is a revolutionary personal electric vehicle. Whether you are using them for recreational riding or commuting, you’re guaranteed to have a blast while on one. An EUC may take you some practice to learn, but you’ll be rewarded immensely once you have that click moment and can ride effortlessly. Buying an EUC may seem more intimidating than actually learning one given the vast number of models available. I hope this buyers guide has given you an over view of the some of the best EUCs in the market. If there’s one thing you must know by now, it’s that there is an EUC made for everyone’s specific needs. Ask yourself what your specific use will be, and based on that you can quickly narrow down your choices to a select few. Learn on something like an inmotion V8F or if you crave more power on an entry level EUC try to learn on the Begode MCM5 V2 or Tesla V2. Alternatively you can go straight to the top of the line EUCs to learn like the Sherman or the RS, just be sure to pad them up well before learning. Regardless of what you get, you’ll fall in love with the feeling of riding an EUC and will soon be looking for the next one. Ride on and remember to always wear your protective gear.