Electric Unicycle Reviews
OK, unicycles and the people who ride them are pretty cool, but electric unicycles are a fun and unique way to get around town. Everybody is going on at the moment about “hoverboards”, those mini-Segway like electric scooters, but the truth is that they don’t come close to the practicality of a good electric unicycle.
Compared to hoverboards, electric unicycles come out on top for just about every important factor. They’re faster, have better range and can take more weight. The one downside is that they take a bit more effort to learn than a hoverboard does, but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be flying around the place in no time.
I’ve put together a collection of mini-reviews to let you know which of the most popular electric unicycles are worth investigating. If the unicycle you’re considering isn’t on this page, then be sure to have a look at our short electric unicycle buyer’s guide for a recap of the most important things to look out for.
I’ve put my top picks first, but be sure to have a look at all the reviews; the perfect fit for you is out there.
Extreme Commuting Wheel: KS16S
The Kingsong KS16S is not a unicycle for the fainthearted. Whether you choose the 420Wh or 680Wh model, this baby will hit a solid 35 kilometers per hour. I don’t know about you, but even the more standard 20 kph can feel a little excessive when there’s nothing between you and the road but a small wheel clenched between your feet.
That rapid pace of progress comes courtesy of an 800W motor pushing you along on a 16” wheel. That’s a good size for handling smaller bumps and holes on the ground as you hurtle along 120mm above the ground.
It also doesn’t matter if you are a heft person. Riders of up to 120kg are welcome. The maximum range of the wheel depends on your choice of battery. The smaller battery nets as much as 30km while the big battery can get as much as 50.
Both of those numbers are quite good as far as electric unicycles go. For most people a return commute should be possible without a recharge.
Speaking of which, the small battery takes three and a half hours to top up from empty. It’s larger brother adds a full two hours to that figure. So it’s possible to charge up while at work, although most people will likely squeeze charging in overnight.
Like other Kingsong “KS” models I’ve seen, this has that sweet telescopic trolley handle. That means you don’t have to worry about carrying a heavy personal EV around when you aren’t riding. You can just push it along.
The K16S is the perfect unicycle for the rider who needs to commute long distances and commute them quickly. You might need nerves of steel to push its top speed, but if that’s what you need then the K16S is the wheel for you.
Ultra-Thin & Light: IPS i5
The march of technology stands still for no one and personal electric transports are no exception. Everything is getting lighter and more powerful I guess in a few years we’ll just have wheels under our shoes that will propel us at 100 miles per hour.
Until then it’s fine to marvel at this new thin and light unicycle from IPS. The I5 is only six centimeters wide. Let that sink in for a second. I have had laptops with thicker bodies.
That’s some serious electronic voodoo. I suspect it’s mostly a combination of factors. Smaller motors that are stronger than before, batteries with slightly more dense energy storage and electronic components that shrink in size can all combine to have quite a dramatic effect. The biggest trick up the I5’s sleeve is however the clever, lightweight alloy body. It retains all the structural strength of larger designs, but drops the weight significantly.
It’s especially important for commuters who have to carry and handle the machine when NOT riding it. The total weight of the I5 is 7.72 kilograms. That shouldn’t be a problem for the average adult to manhandle.
And yet, there don’t seem to be any real sacrifices here. The top speed is more than fast enough at 20 kilometers per hour. The claimed range of 25 kilometers should also cover most urban commutes both ways. Even it that’s only good enough to get to school or work, the four hour charge time is still short enough to juice up for the trip home.
I would have liked to see a faster charge time as some other models now have, but given how thin the battery enclosure is I suspect heat would be a problem if the charge rate were increased.
The I5 is a smart take on traditional unicycle design and might suddenly make this a practical option for people who couldn’t deal with their typical size and weight before.
The Beginner’s Choice: Segway One S1
Unlike most other electric personal transports, electric unicycles take quite a lot of bravery and practice to master. Of all the electric transports, the unicycle is the one most likely to have you throw in the towel. That’s bad for business, so Segway have tried their best to make their unicycle as user-friendly as possible.
According to the reps from Segway, some new riders have been able to get going on the S1 in as little as an hour. That may sound unremarkable compared to the original Segway or most hoverboards, but the truth is that this is a great time for a unicycle. To help you out, there’s a companion app that has a new rider tutorial, but also lets you customize and monitor all sorts of aspects of the unicycle.
In terms of looks, the S1 is very slick indeed. These unicycles have definitely come a long, long way from the boxy monstrosities that we first saw rolling around parks. There are very few seams and it really looks like a prop from a Sci-Fi movie. The range is respectable at 15 miles, and it’s pretty quick too, topping out at 12.5 miles per hour. Recharging this wacky wheel takes about four hours, which is not bad considering that it has two batteries to top up.
The feedback from S1 owners is mostly positive. The claim of new riders getting up and running in an hour is probably a little optimistic, but it seems about 2 hours is realistic, which still tells me that the S1 is pretty friendly for a unicycle. It also gives us insight into the build-quality of the S1. There are people who claim to have done hundreds of miles on this machine. Even older riders seem to get along with the S1, so the claim that this was good for riders up to 50 years old was not just an idle boast by Segway.
The asking price is average for a unicycle like this, but is still a significant chunk of change. So it’s a good thing that it seems to be worth it in terms of performance and quality. If you’ve seen people riding unicycles and feel that’s what really speaks to you, the S1 is a great place to start.
Speed and Power under $800: the KS14D
Let’s face it, even the weediest electric unicycles cost a fortune, but if you need more speed and power the price tag can really skyrocket. Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to find an affordable unicycle that will accommodate, er, chunkier riders.
Somehow Kingsong is offering a powerful unicycle for less than the magical $800 price point. For your money you get a 12.5 kilogram unicycle with a load capacity of 120 kilos. Not only that, but this bruiser packs a 420wh battery and claims a 40 kilometer total range. The top speed is pretty normal though, at 20 kph. If that’s literally not your speed I guess more money is the answer.
In any case, they’ve still managed to add some extras as well for the money. You’ll find no fewer than four bluetooth speakers and a charging port for USB devices.
Since this is such a hefty machine, I also love the fact that they’ve added an extendable trolley handle to the design. This means you don’t actually have to pick it up when not riding. You can just push it along. I’ll leave it up to you which solution looks less goofy.
Design-wise the Kingsong is really nothing special. I’d hesitate to call it ugly, but it does seem a little outdated. The plastic shell in particular is a bit naff. Given the specs and price it’s totally forgivable, but for some people looks really are everything.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for as much grunt per dollar as you can get, this is well worth a look.
Ultimate Wheel: KS18S
If you’ve seen a few of Kingsong’s electric unicycles then you’ll agree this is easily the best-looking one of the bunch. The KS18S is one of the biggest and most expensive models that the company makes, but they’ve clearly also invested quite some thought into the looks of the machine.
This is the new-generation flagship and I’m hoping that its visual updates will trickle down to new models of Kingsong unicycles that are more affordable.
For now however, this is the ultimate wheel and I guess I have to justify why it deserves that title.
It has a truly massive 18” wheel, which puts it into car and motorcycle territory. Having a large wheel comes with many advantages, not least of which the fact that a larger wheel can deal with obstacles better than a smaller one.
It has an insane 1500W motor and after you’ve done at least 1000 kilometers on it you can hit speeds of nearly 50 kilometers per hour following the limiter release.
It has both a headlight and a tail light, further adding to the illusion that this is in fact an actual roadgoing vehicle. It can carry a rider of nearly 160kg in weight, which should accommodate anyone who can actually mount the thing. Kingsong claim that on a full charge you’ll get about 100 kilometers out of the K18S.
Honestly, this unicycle is just bonkers and I can’t think of another wheel that overdoes the core specifications of an electric unicycle quite the way this does. If you don’t care about the price and need the biggest, baddest EV unicycle out there then your search is over.
For Those on a Budget: inMotion V3 Pro
The inMotion V3 Pro is a striking little one-wheeler. Well, technically it has two tandem wheels, but it is still a unicycle. It comes in at a very mid-range price, but the standard features really show how far electric unicycles have come over the years.
The extensible handle is a lifesaver. Although the machine only weigh a little over 13kg, there’s no way you’d want to hand-carry it around when not under power. It’s very elegant. It just slides out and in like it’s nothing.
Little comfort details like the leather ankle pads also rub me the right way, and the slide-to-open charging port feature is a neat design to help prevent water damage or long term oxidation.
The good value keeps coming when we look at the more technical features of the V3 Pro. For one thing, I really like the information screen on the side of the cycle. It’s a bit like the info panel on a car’s dashboard and will let you know about several possible issues, the battery and the status of the Bluetooth.
Bluetooth? Yes, this is another electric transport that has a Bluetooth speaker and connection built in. I’m not a fan of that myself, but I guess if your music taste is not too embarrassing then it can be OK.
A much more agreeable use of the Bluetooth functionality is connecting it to the companion app. The app seems pretty cool and will give you information such as your average speed, top speed and the real range you are getting over your route.
The main selling point of the V3 Pro is the dual wheel system and how easy it is to learn. InMotion claim that most users can get going on the V3 in as little as 10 minutes, although I’d give it at least an hour of mild frustration just to be safe. I’ve read a few accounts of how real customers have got along with the V3 Pro and in general it does seem like an easier unicycle to get going with than average.
Before I get to a final verdict on the V3 Pro we have to talk about some numbers.
First of all, it should be noted that like all the InMotion machines you can buy today, this one has full safety certification. The top speed of the V3 Pro is 18 kph or just over 11 mph, and it’s got a pretty powerful 450W motor, which is quite good at this price point. It’s not just about speed, you want a good deal of power so that there’s torque available for inclines or small obstacles.
Overall, I think the V3 Pro fills the role as a mid-range machine perfectly. A mid-range device has to do a good job for most people, most of the time. That’s the V3 Pro in a nutshell. It’s great value for money, well featured and with good performance specs for the price.
The Airwheel X3
Airwheel is one of the big players in personal electric vehicles and a pretty strong brand in the industry. The X3 is a budget-oriented model that weighs in at 22 pounds and will take you 14 miles before running out of juice. Its top speed is about 11 miles per hour and the total payload shouldn’t exceed 265 pounds. All in all the X3 is a great entry-level model that has specifications that should make electric unicycles at twice the price nervous. The range isn’t amazing, but given that a full charge only takes 90 minutes for the 130Wh battery, you’ll be back on the road in no time. In fact, it will quick charge to 80% in an hour, which I find pretty damn impressive. The wheel is a bit smaller than usual at fourteen inches, so you may want to peel your eyes for small holes or cracks on your ride, but the aluminum pedals make for a smoother ride, and the tilt and low power protection will ensure that you don’t end up with a cracked skull. Apart from the lack of Bluetooth and app integration this is almost everything you could want in an electric unicycle at a price that isn’t crazy. Like all the Airwheel unicycles, it does suffer from incessant beeping when you hit top speed, but this can be solved by simply cutting the speaker wires if you really can’t stand it. There isn’t much to say about its looks; I doubt anyone will be blown away by the functional design, but it’s a great little wheel for the price.
The Best “Git’ Er’ Done” Choice: The IPS FBA
The (not so) snappily named IPS FBA unicycle is a no-nonsense workhorse. It has a pretty standard 16-inch wheel, a beefy 1000W motor, and a capacious 340Wh battery. Total weight capacity is a very reasonable 264 pounds and it will tackle hills with inclines of between 15 and 20 degrees, depending on how heavy you are. Depending on the deal you get, the FBA is in the sub-$700 bracket and represents great value for money. It’s Bluetooth-enabled and has a companion app. This isn’t just for show either – you’ll want to use the app at least once to fully unlock the unicycle. Instead of including training wheels IPA has limited the top speed of the FBA to just over twelve miles per hour. Once you’ve put thirty miles on the clock you can use the app to unlock the actual eighteen miles per hour speed that is the true capability of the system.
There’s a model that has a lower-capacity battery which drops the maximum range from 25 miles to just over eighteen, so make sure you get the right one if that’s what you want.
The FBA looks just OK; various combinations of black, red, white, and orange are available, but the boxy shell doesn’t exactly excite me. Still, it offers great specs at a reasonable price, so I’m not complaining too much.
The Best “Middle of the Road” Choice: Airwheel X8
The X3’s bigger brother, the X8, comes in a faux carbon fiber finish that is quite attractive. It’s about $200 more expensive than the X3 in general and has basically the same design and aluminum pedals.
The specs are also nearly identical, but the X8 is slightly heavier, appears to have a better quality battery, and comes with a sixteen-inch wheel instead of the X3’s fourteen-inch unit. In other words it’s a bigger, better version of the X3. Are the improvements worth $200? I have a hard time justifying it, to be honest. Between the two I’d probably save the money and spend it on safety gear instead.
The Best “Money’s No Object” Choice: The Airwheel Q6
The current top-dog of the Airwheel line, the Q6 has a much more modern look than the Q3 it replaces. Like other “Q” models the Q6 has dual wheels, but it’s still a unicycle and needs to be rolling to stay upright.
For some reason the Q6 has half the claimed range of the Q3 at 14 miles. I guess I can understand why that is, since I don’t see most people enduring 28 miles on a single charge. Instead Airwheel has worked on addressing the weight issues, shaving between 2.4 and 4 pounds depending on the battery you choose.
Overall the Q6 is a much more refined version of the Q3. It doesn’t look like a prototype product and it has many more safety considerations, such as the LED night lights and an instant brake system.
At just over $1300 the Q6 represents the very top of the range. If the nearly $800 premium between this and the X3 doesn’t bother you and the additional size is not a problem for your intended route, then go for it. Between this and the Q3, price difference notwithstanding, you should have no trouble picking the Q6.
The Ninebot One E+
Ninebot is one of the big names in personal electric transportation, with good reason. The Ninebot One E+ combines the things that you really want in a product like this, with the minimum of compromises.
The Ninebot One looks like a 21st century product, Its design is futuristic without looking like plastic junk. The profile of the unicycle is a simple circle, like one big wheel. Other electric unicycles look like they have a big box jammed in the middle of them, but Ninebot has come up with an amazing design.
The One E+ also comes with included training wheels, so you can keep yourself and your expensive new toy pretty as you learn the ropes.
With a top speed of nearly 14 miles per hour and a maximum range of just under 22 miles, the One E+ hits a sweet spot. It’s not the fastest and it doesn’t have the longest range, but both are better than you’re likely to need. The One E+ can take up to 264 pounds of payload.
The Airwheel Q3
Airwheel did the impossible and made unicycle transport even weirder. It’s a unicycle with two wheels. More accurately it has two wheels in the middle, so there’s still only one point of support. The Q3 is one of the most high-end electric unicycles Airwheel makes. Rather, it used to be; it’s now been replaced by the Airwheel Q6, now priced at the Q3’s old $1333 tag.
The Q3 has therefore received quite a price-slashing and represents great value for money. It’s fallen into the same price range as the entry-level X3. Obviously the Q3 outspecs the X3 in every way, but don’t be too hasty when choosing between them. The Q3 is bigger and heavier than the X3, and you can’t ride this double wheeled monster everywhere the superlative little X3 can be taken. Still, it has an impressive 28-mile range and a reasonable 12 mph top speed, although this is electronically governed.
The Q3 represents yesterday’s premium product at today’s entry level price, but give some thought to your intended route before pulling the trigger.
The InMotion Mohawk
The MoHawk is a dual-wheel unicycle not made by Airwheel, believe it or not. This guy is filled to the brim with tech gimmicks, but at around $800 it’s not the most expensive one out there.
It has one of my most despised features: a Bluetooth speaker. Please, if you have a speaker on your unicycle don’t roll down the street blasting your music and annoying everyone. It’s great if you’re having a picnic with your friends or something, but keep people who don’t enjoy your weird indy garbage in mind too.
The MoHawk has fancy touch-sensitive buttons and “intelligent” LED lighting. The headlight changes direction based on your tilt, so that it illuminates the way ahead regardless of your speed or braking. There an app too which will show you live data, speed, GPS position, headlight controls, and battery info while you ride. So maybe invest in an arm strap or something for your phone, since that sounds sort of dangerous.
That said, some people report hundreds of trouble-free miles, while others have had serious issues, including being unable to find replacement inner tubes. As cool as the features are, I think this one should be avoided. InMotion has a new, single-wheeled version on the horizon which may be a better candidate for your hard-earned cash.
The Fastwheel Eva Pro
The looks of the Eva Pro evoke a lot of things for me. It seems to be part Cylon from Battlestar Galactica and part gun turret from the Portal video game series. There’s a bit of KITT and HAL 9000 thrown in for good measure. Specification-wise it’s OK. It has a 11 miles per hour top speed and an 18.6 mile range. The maximum load is 265 pounds. The Eva Pro is priced pretty well and has Samsung batteries. It also has a range of smart features that go with its iOS and Android apps.
This all seems to add up to a pretty good unicycle, especially given the sub-$600 price. There’s one big, or rather small, problem – it has only a twelve-inch wheel. If you want to ride this on anything but a very smooth surface, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise the Eva Pro seems like a perfectly good little killer robot.
There you have it, my top picks and a few other unicycles worth mentioning. I’m pretty confident you’ll find the right product for you among these choices. Remember, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always wear a helmet and only ride within your limits. Have fun!