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Recommendations for beginner wheels  

39 members have voted

  1. 1. What brand of wheel did you learn on?

    • Airwheel
      5
    • cheap "no-name" generic/clone wheel (many brand possibilities)
      8
    • Gotway
      5
    • Inmotion
      5
    • King Song
      5
    • Solowheel
      0
    • (other)
      11
  2. 2. Would you recommend the wheel you learned on, to a beginner?

    • Yes
      30
    • No
      4
    • Maybe (depending on circumstances)
      5
  3. 3. What are the three most important features you'd consider when recommending a first wheel to a beginner?

    • Cost
      22
    • Wheel size
      9
    • Brand/reputation
      24
    • Durability (how well the wheel takes abuse)
      22
    • Speed
      6
    • Range
      10
    • Motor wattage
      13
    • Factory support
      6
    • Resale value
      2
    • Pedal height
      2
    • (other, such as tire type, batteries, serviceability, app)
      6
  4. 4. How much time passed from when you first started learning to ride, to when you bought your next wheel?

    • Haven't bought a second wheel yet
      16
    • Within one month
      5
    • More than one month and less then four months
      7
    • Four moths to a year
      9
    • More than a year
      2


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Ombre    269

Lots of people read this forum for the first time when they're trying to decide what wheel to buy for the first time.  There are many threads on the subject, but I thought it would be useful to consolidate and summarize the top recommendations from experienced riders. 

Please vote on the poll so we can help guide newbies to a good decision for their first electric unicycle!

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LanghamP    895

I would recommend an option of "reliability and safety".

Edited by LanghamP
Not terse enough.

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Ombre    269

Since I can't edit the poll now, I suggest choosing "Brand/reputation" if you want to indicate that reliability and safety are your priority.

Edited by Ombre
correction

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Chris Westland    621

I learned on a used Airwheel X3, mostly in my garage (it was winter).  I would choose the X3 over other wheels because it was (1) cheap, (2) durable, reliable and expendable, (3) powerful enough.  I wouldn't want to beat up an expensive Ninebot like I did the X3.  I sold ithe X3 after I was confident (purchase price: $200, sales: $130, cost of education: PRICELESS).   Otherwise the X3 is not a very good wheel.  I've since moved on to an IPS Zero and Inmotion V8 both which I love, and which have entirely different applications. 

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Ombre    269
4 hours ago, Jonathan Tolhurst said:

Hi, Not quite sure why you haven't included Ninebot in the list for Question 1

Just a dumb oversight on my part.  Of course Ninebot should have been included.  Wish I could edit the poll to fix that!

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Camio    2

I learnt using an inmotion v5. Didn't consider getting a learner wheel due to budget, so I just got what I could afford and stuck with it. I did get the protection cover and the training belt. When I finally learnt it I didn't scratch the wheel. I was very careful with it while learning and I guess I could have learnt faster by caring less about scratching it.

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Chris Westland    621

So no one taking the poll cared about resale value of their first wheel (understandably ... it's a beater) and everyone bought a new (and improved) wheel within a year.  My thinking exactly! 

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Paddylaz    898
4 hours ago, Chris Westland said:

I wish all of the wheels would sell a protection cover like Inmotion's.  This would save having to bumper tape the wheels.

Still haven't used mine - you can have it if you like!

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Chris Westland    621
8 hours ago, Paddylaz said:

Still haven't used mine - you can have it if you like!

Thanks.  I presume its for a V5, but I actually wish I had one for the IPS Zero.  Inmotion seems to do everything a little bit better.

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Mono    1,288

From hindsight, I would say that pedal size is the single most important factor to consider. Small pedals (both, in length and width), which are unfortunately still the norm rather than the exception, make learning to ride IMHO much, much harder. As a rule of thumb, pedals should have at least 70% of the length of the feet and they should stand out wide enough to support the entire feet width. After learning, low pedal height (say, below 13cm) becomes a relevant safety hazard.

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Chris Westland    621
4 hours ago, Mono said:

From hindsight, I would say that pedal size is the single most important factor to consider. Small pedals (both, in length and width), which are unfortunately still the norm rather than the exception, make learning to ride IMHO much, much harder. As a rule of thumb, pedals should have at least 70% of the length of the feet and they should stand out wide enough to support the entire feet width. After learning, low pedal height (say, below 13cm) becomes a relevant safety hazard.

Certainly there is some truth to this.  The biggest question I had when first learning was where to position my feet.  

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Ombre    269
On 4/4/2017 at 5:58 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

I'm quite against the idea of "wheels for beginners".   ...

So my recommendation for beginners is, buy the strongest wheel you can afford/justify/might need, your "forever wheel" (also, nobody ever wished they had less battery capacity).

I agree.  Just to be clear, the intent of this poll is to see how experienced riders would steer new riders.  It's pretty clear that while you can learn on any wheel, the only downsides to choosing a better one are:

  • the damage you'll probably do to it while learning
  • the cost ($600+ for any decent new EUC versus $100-350 for cheap clones)
  • the risk that you give up on learning, and have to take a financial hit on the resale

The reality is that a lot of people get started on the cheap, underpowered wheels.  I'm sure that's because those wheels are widely available and people don't realize the potential danger associated with cheezy batteries, etc.  As a community we can try to steer our friends to better choices.

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Jose Otal    67

I bought the ninebot e + and three months later buy the
Got way msuper, if you're a rookie you like the wheel and you want to make long distances, the cruising speed becomes important and for me the 22 kmh of ninebot is not enough, but if you have several falls and scarecrows, Regrets to spend a lot of money on the first wheel, I had two strong crashes and decided to continue and buy the gotway, today I would recommend a cheap to start and lend to friends and as second wheel one that runs more than 30 kmh, sorry for the translation

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JimB    187

I learned on, and am riding a IPS Xima Lhotz.  For me, I was looking for a 16" wheel, with hill climbing power, at a good price point.  I wasn't willing to invest $1000+ on something I didn't even know how to ride!  Got the Lhotz new for $800, including shipping (eBay).  Seemed like a pretty good option.  I really like the wheel, though some have commented about it being an "older" wheel.  The thing I dislike the most is the lack of a pop-up handle.  (The handle on the KingSong KS16 is beautiful - but that wheel is quite a bit more expensive.)

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esaj    5,314
12 hours ago, Mono said:

From hindsight, I would say that pedal size is the single most important factor to consider. Small pedals (both, in length and width), which are unfortunately still the norm rather than the exception, make learning to ride IMHO much, much harder. As a rule of thumb, pedals should have at least 70% of the length of the feet and they should stand out wide enough to support the entire feet width. After learning, low pedal height (say, below 13cm) becomes a relevant safety hazard.

I don't know if I agree with the single most important-part or how they affect the learning, but it's important part nevertheless, especially when it comes to long rides. On the other hand, I did learn on a 14" generic noname X3-clone, with the small horrible "hole in the middle"-pedals, and I can't tell if it slowed me down much, I was doing the skate park obstacles with it on the 5th day (with no skating experience, only motor- and bicycling).

Edited by esaj
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I think the distinction has to include being a toy or transportation. For a kid/toy the choices will be completely different. I thing for kids a 14" wheel is perfect. A high percentage of the price is the battery so if you buy with a low Power make sure it is speed limited to 10 mph. I would never recommend a fast wheel for a toy.

I bought an MCM4 HS for my first wheel. When I looked, I researched all the brands I could find and looked the you tube videos. Then I bought the best for my money. Because I believed it would be hard to resell a used wheel and I would outgrow a weak wheel in three weeks. 

I loved the MSuper V3 but it was too much for my budget. The same for the ACM. 

SO THE MCM4 was perfect. 

Very attractive wheel in white. 640mha battery. 800 watt nominal 1200 peak power. This assured I would not have to carry uphill or run out . Can be carried. 22mph top speed. 

For a grown up in the suburbs you need high battery and big motor to go on trails and trips. 

For a grow up on the city, I think you want a wheel that maneuvers easy and can be carried. 

It is an expensive machine so it is tough to have to compromise. Evaluate realistically how you would use the wheel and where. 

14" is very versatile. 

18" is very confortable but you lose ease to carry. 

So if you can not own two wheels get the one that most likely meet how you will use it. 

for me I needed a wheel to take me from my car parking to my office about 3/4 of a mile hop. I was going to also do commuting 8 miles each way but debating since 14" is too bumpy. Although it runs great on the bike trail. 

My conclusión I don't think people should buy a training EUC. I think they should get the one that will meet their long term use. Cheap wheels might discourage you to get better wheelater on because of a bad experience with the cheap wheel. Get a good wheel always in my opinion. 

Edited by Carlos E Rodriguez
Typo

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MaxLinux    916
3 hours ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

Cheap wheels might discourage you to get better wheelater on because of a bad experience with the cheap wheel.

I know many people have bad experiences with cheap wheels, but I started out with 2 TG T3s and a TG F3, and they were very nice to learn on. I never had any problems with them. I have since given away my T3s to university students, but I still have my F3 and ride it occasionally.

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serfy    5

Hi guys, I'm considering getting an EUC for moving a video camera around. I've seen guys do it on segway's but the size and abilities of an EUC makes is unique and attractive. So I have multi-part questions:
First off, do you need your hands to balance, or once you get it down can you you do without. Are you able to stand on one place, or do you need to be moving?  IE, would I be able to get on the thing, then grab a camera, and then wait for my cue?  How much are the units actually balanced?
I'm 6'1", 230 lbs, size 13 shoe, carrying a stabilizer and a camera would add 6-20 lbs. I assume I'd need a larger unit to do this respectably. I read something about the pads being larger for large hoofed individuals like myself.
In my mind I could see using it to chase BMX bikes, shoot off road, etc. Is this realistic? Or should I invest in a segway as well?
So if all my wildest fantasies are true about a EUC helping my career, would I get something smaller to learn on, then go for a bigger unit?
Thanks!

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Gimlet    906

You won't be able to stand still to film as it's like a bike and you need to be moving for side to side balance.

However once you've mastered riding it you find it much more mobile than a Segway and they make great camera platforms.

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Ombre    269

The problem is that you will have to mount the wheel when you get your cue and then start rolling. For a second or two you'll be a little off balance, which will make it impossible to hold the camera steady during that time.  Therefore the director will have to give you a cue in advance and allow time and space for you to get going. 

I'd say a Segway makes more sense from that standpoint, at least on paved surfaces at low speeds.

If you did go EUC, yes, you'd want a big one.  250 lbs calls for a powerful motor. 

Chasing BMX bikes off road may work better on an EUC than a Segway because of the EUC's higher speed and maneuverability.  But you'll never catch up with a fast bike unless you get extraordinarily skillful and have a really powerful/fast wheel. At that point a motorcycle with two riders (one driver, one camera operator) probably would work better.

EUCs can make great camera platforms for special situations, but their envelope of suitability is pretty limited. You should regard it as one of many possible mobile platforms, not an all-in-one solution.

 

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Mono    1,288
4 hours ago, serfy said:

Hi guys, I'm considering getting an EUC for moving a video camera around. I've seen guys do it on segway's but the size and abilities of an EUC makes is unique and attractive. So I have multi-part questions:
First off, do you need your hands to balance, or once you get it down can you you do without.

You don't actually need your hands or arms, but you need to be very advanced to handle any situation without using them. 

4 hours ago, serfy said:

Are you able to stand on one place, or do you need to be moving?

You need to move forward-backward to keep balance, like on a simple unicycle. For this reason, I would suggest to look into twin wheelers like the InMotion V3 and also the Segway Mini. These can actually stand still with the rider mounted and seem more suited for camera work than single wheel EUCs.

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serfy    5

I realize it's a limited use platform, but often times its being about to offer what the other guy doesn't. I'm a pretty good dirtbiker and have a large dual sport so I got that one down.

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