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Choosing Your First EUC (Electric Unicycle) in 4 Easy Steps

by freshlycharged

Choosing your first EUC can be an intimidating process. In this video I’m going to teach you how to choose your first Electric Unicycle, or EUC for short. But before we get into that, let me share with you my history in electric rideables or personal electric mobility devices.

I’m Jimmy Chang and I started into electric rideables started with the Onewheel during the summer of 2018. Since then I have managed to grow my fleet of personal electric mobility devices to 3 Onewheels, two electric skateboards, and two electric unicycles. My wife says I have a problem… and I can’t disagree.

I enjoy each device for different reasons and each device has its strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to choosing your first EUC, it is much more difficult than choosing your first Onewheel for the following reason…

There is basically only one company that makes a self balancing electric skateboard with only one wheel: the Onewheel by the company Future Motion, and at the time of this article there are only 2 models of Onewheels in production, the XR and Pint. So choosing a Onewheel is not difficult. There are not very many choices.

EUC’s, however, are made by several companies including as KingSong, Gotway, Inmotion, and Ninebot/Segway and each of those companies produces several models of EUCs which comes in differing sizes, power, range, and pricing.

EUC wheel size comes in 12”, 14”, 16”, and 18” wheel diameters, and there are even models of bigger wheel size out there. For comparison, the Onewheel XR diameter is around 11.5”. With so many brands and so many different sizes of wheels, one can easily become discouraged by the process of choosing their first wheel.

To make things simple, I break down the selection process into 4 steps:

WHEEL SIZE:

What size is right for you?

For beginners, I recommend a 16” wheel to learn on. The smaller wheels tend to be more agile, but harder to learn to balance on and they may be less able to handle bumps, cracks and potholes on the road.

The larger 18” wheels tend to be more intimidating as they are heavier and difficult to carry, move, and maneuver for new riders.

I recommend 16” as a good size for new riders to start with unless you are a heavier rider who needs a larger wheel with a larger weight limit.

Now that we know what size wheel we are getting, let’s figure out a budget.

PRICE:

This is highly dependant on the individual. I can’t make assumptions on how much you can or are willing to spend on your first EUC so I will share with you this. There are basically two schools of thought:

  1. Buy an inexpensive used EUC as your training wheel so you can abuse it as you learn the art of the EUC. Then when you outgrow it, get the EUC of your dreams and unleash the power!
  2. Buy the EUC of your dreams at the beginning. Learn how to ride it. Then you will not outgrow it or have to replace it so quickly when your skills improve.

Neither school of thought is perfect. If you buy an inexpensive used wheel, it may provide a suboptimal experience and you may never develop a passion for the EUC like so many before simply because you learned on an inferior wheel. In addition, after upgrading to your dream wheel, you will have spent the money to buy two wheels in this process. This is not all terrible as one cannot have too many wheels. It’s also nice to have a training wheel to teach others with.

If you buy the EUC of your dreams from the beginning, you run the risk of beating it up as you go through the learning process. Then, if you decide the EUC is not for you, you will have spent a lot of money on a hobby that you will be abandoning.

What do I recommend? For your first EUC, get something middle of the road. It will give you plenty of performance for a beginner and it will be able to grow with you as your skills improve so you won’t have to replace it as soon as you would have had to if your first wheel were an inferior beginner wheel.

In addition, the extra power and range of a midrange wheel offers added safety that inferior wheels just don’t have because I promise you, if you stick to it, once you get through the steep learning curve, you’ll be craving more speed and range.

BRAND:

There is little name recognition with the EUC brands with the general public other than Segway which was purchased by the Chinese company Ninebot. I won’t go into details for this video but in general here are some overall considerations about each brand:

InMotion:

This is a confusing story of a partnership between the Chinese Company InMotion and a US company called Solowheel to avoid patent issues in the US. Now the company is called InMotion and while past products were marketed as Solowheels, most of their current products are marketed under the InMotion label.

King Song:

Established reputation for finding the balance between construction quality, performance & safety. At the hardware level, the King Song Electric Unicycle is known for having superior construction quality, reliability & safety.

Gotway:

The most dynamic & innovative of the manufacturers, Gotway pushes the boundaries of what is possible. In the past they have suffered from quality issues and durability concerns but it seems that as the company grows and evolves, the quality concerns seem to be less of an issue.

Ninebot/Segway:

Since the Chinese company Ninebot acquired Segway, they have introduced the Z10 which was a hit but it seems like Ninebot is now more interested in building scooters than supporting the Z10 or building new EUCs for the future.

In terms of brands, I think King Song, InMotion, and Gotway are solid companies when it comes to EUCs. For your first wheel you want quality and durability since it will be taking a lot of abuse, so I lean towards KingSong and InMotion.

WHERE TO BUY:

This is something many forget to consider when looking for their first EUC. Buying an EUC should not be a race to the bottom, trying to find someone who can sell a wheel to you the cheapest. Keep in mind that like any high performance vehicle or expensive electronic device, your EUC will need servicing or new parts from time to time.

Find a distributor that can help you if you ever run into problems with your EUC. Good luck trying to get help from China, where most of the EUCs are made. Even if you speak good mandarin, you’ll find that the instructions are hard to understand, and the customer support is lacking for a lot of these companies.

That is why I like ewheels. Even with the best designed EUC, chances are that at some point it will need a repair or service. eWheels.com is not just the largest seller of Electric Unicycles, & Electric kick-scooters, in North America, they are also a full-service company that provides support, servicing & spare parts after your purchase.

4 points to consider when choosing your first EUC

  1. Pick a size, 16” for most, and 18” for larger folks.
  2. Figure out your budget and strategy: Start with a used burner wheel and then upgrade? Or start with the wheel of your dreams and have it grow with you, it’s really up to you. For me, I started with a mid tier wheel and I have not regretted that decision. That wheel has grown with me and my skills and I still love taking it off roading, using it to teach others, and now my daughter now rides it everywhere.
  3. Pick a brand: I’d stick with InMotion and KingSong for your first wheel, mainly because of their good track record with durability and customer support.
  4. Pick a seller: I’m all for saving a little money, but be aware that some vendors are overseas and getting help with issues can be difficult. I’ve been super happy with ewheels.com and that is where I have purchased by last 2 eucs. I’m an affiliate with ewheels now because I have been so pleased with their service, ewheels is a company I can recommend with confidence.

So what was my first EUC you ask? Well, I’m riding it right now, my KingSong 16S that I got through ewheels. Even 9 months later, I still love it. Personally, I had narrowed down my selection to the KS16S and the InMotion V8 when I was doing my research. While the V8 was less expensive, the following information pushed me to the KS16S

The KS16S has a lot more range 840Wh vs the 480Wh on the V8, power output is also double 1500W vs 800W on the V8 giving me much better climbing capability and power safety margin. In nearly every metric the 16S comes out ahead.  Sure, it was a little more in price, but I was willing to pay for the big upgrade in specs for a wheel that would last me longer and grow with me, at least for a while.

Once you gain confidence on your EUC, reach out to other EUC riders in the community and maybe attend a group ride. You’ll see other top tier wheels and maybe you’ll even get a chance to try them out.

If you are interested in getting your first EUC, I strongly recommend buying through ewheels.com. Every problem or question I’ve had, the folks at eWheels have responded to in a timely fashion. Not all companies can boast this.

Every purchase you make through my link goes to supporting and growing this channel and blog so I can continue to bring you quality content.

EUC Comparison Tool

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the EUC options, so we made an interactive EUC Comparison Tool. You can sort, filter, and include or exclude data as you see fit. I hope you find this tool helpful!

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We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

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