Top Electric Powered Unicycles: maybe die but look cool while doing it

Of all the strange contrivances of 21st century life, the ones that resemble a retro-futurist vision is the breed of electric powered unicycles, or in a couple cases, electric skateboard. Just say the words out loud. Electric powered unicycles: we’re truly living in the future, now. Unicycles like these are the perfect fill-in for the last-mile gap of any commute!

I mean, we could have done something saner like a scooter, or some kind of wheelchair. Probably not a wheel chair. Something like that wouldn’t work out, like the original Segway didn’t: you got called lazy. And scooters, well…let’s just say it’s difficult to take an executive seriously if you seem them on a scooter. Might as well have overalls and a slingshot hanging out the back, too.

An electric unicycle: that’s different. Riding a normal unicycle is difficult enough, but putting an electric motor of spinning death into one makes you look like you’re taking  your life into your hands. And trust me, it more or less is.

The Top Electric Powered Unicycles

I’ve gathered up the top electric unicycles I could find. You might die if you try them out, but that’s the duplicitous edge upon which we all walk.

Airwheel X8

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The original Airwheel: you might die, but you’ll have fun doing it.

 

I first saw an Airwheel X8 way back in 2018 at a Hardware meetup in San Francisco. It looks too good to be true — a motorized transportation device, an appliance, really.

The guy I talked to mentioned he had to practice daily for a couple of weeks before he got the hang of it. Techniques like walking along a wall while balancing on the Airwheel made it easier.

The Airwheel had a range of up to several miles. It was faster than jogging, maybe slower than a bike ride. His commute involved a stretch from the train station to the office, and the Airwheel X8 closed the gap pretty well. Also certainly more easier than having to lug a bicycle on the cramped commuter train.

 

 

 

OK, I know. I was just baggin’ on Segway. But the MiniPro is just too cool to not mention. This one is different, alright? You don’t look silly riding it. It’s much more affordable. You might even resemble cool while riding it. Your knees clinch the side of the seat-looking pads. This gives you some more balance and makes it way easier to ride than the Airwheel. The Segway also features a cool rear lamp and sports a 14 mile range and a top speed of 10 miles per hour. That’s more than a good fast run for a full hour. The entire unicycle weighs in at around 28 pounds. Also doesn’t catch on fire like the original Hoverboards. That’s always a plus.

 

You run the risk of being called ‘too lazy to walk’ on the Swagtron if you have an aversion to that sort of thing. Hoverboards as these were sometimes called were mostly re-called by the FTC but these seem to have escaped the ban, mostly because they don’t catch on fire like the knockoff hoverboards.


Not a unicycle, but just as cool. This electric vehicle will possibly change your life. Like the Airwheel, if you have stretch of commute time that is a bit long by foot but not long enough you want or need a bicycle, then this is it. Just as easy to manuever as the Airwheel or Swagtron but more familiar. Since this is a longboard, it’s much easier to ride. Even if you didn’t really get the hang of skatboarding in your youth, you can get up to speed on this more easily. Just remember some safety gear!

 

This looks like a skateboard but it is actually a member of the electric powered unicycles family. It has a large, single wheel right in the center. It’s wide enough to keep you up right, but balancing forward and backward is all on y ou.


This is more of an honorable mention. It’s really meant to be a kid’s toy. There’s a weight limit of 120 pounds. The other devices here are meant for normal sized adults. There is a sensor that will shut off the motor if it becomes too hot to operate. That means it will be inoperative for a good 15 minutes while it cools. This is also a short board so it’s more of a challenge to ride, for sure.


The Orbitwheel  has the most ‘space cadet’ quality attached to them. They’re also the most difficult to learn!  They’re also not technically running on electricity! You have to push them along with your feet, sort of like roller skates.



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