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Affordable Electric Unicycle for Short Commute


Jesse Wilson
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You have to look at the larger 16-18 inch wheels if you want to go at least 30km/h, and even then you'll need a fair amount of skill not to crash when tiny unexpected things happen. You can get away with a halfway competent counter action when your 16-18 wheel goes bluey, but a fast 14 incher requires the exactly correct counter action. Small fast wheels are merciless.

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For 1 mile the difference between 20 and 30 km/h is just 1-2 minutes for journey time. Maybe even less if that mile is not just a straight line on a very good pavement. Is it really worth to look at top speed capability?

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It is just a mostly straight paved line. I'd probably want to use the wheel to go to the store sometimes as well which is 2 miles away. I found a King Song 14B on eBay for $400, but its top speed is 15mph which is fine if I have to, but 18mph would be nice because I would probably never want to go faster as I won't be wearing a helmet. How much is a KS-14C? I found a price of $850, but that seems high.

Edited by Jesse Wilson
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Get a more decent wheel. You will use it a lot more than you think, and the wheel in your first post will annoy you after exactly one week of riding.

You don't want to use the mten3 as a commuter wheel. Too nervous. And not for beginners either. It is fun though.

I would go for 16" tbh.

I think you need:

trolley handle

25km/h cruising speed

16" wheel for stability whilst not being too big.

 

 

Trust me, I also came from the "I want to spend $500 on a wheel" club. Couple of months in and I bought and Inmotion V8, Gotway Mten3 and I'm looking into getting an 18" now .... Buyer beware :D 

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8 minutes ago, ir_fuel said:

Well...

 

I crashed at exactly that speed, and what I learned is that I won't be wearing a bicycle helmet again ...

... I will be wearing a downhill mountainbike helmet with chin protector.

You go down HARD at that speed when you get a cut out.

You've convinced me that 15mph is fast enough. I'm probably going to get a King Song 14B off eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/252715443911

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If you're a bit on the heavier side,  be mindful that some of these earlier KS14's had issues with axle breakage over time.  Also, if you ever need spare parts like control boards for older models it might be problematic.  Or was that only the KS14Cs?

 

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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Cheap and fast/good don't go together well with EUCs.

From your requirements, you might want a 16 incher, tbh. Big difference for stability and comfort for commuting and higher speeds. KS16S would be the standard recommendation, but that's $1300, not $400

Or a Kingsong 14D - fast and good - for $800. It also has that built-in trolley handle which becomes useful really fast if you not-ride the vehicle regularly (like taking it into a store). 14B/C only has external/extra trolley handle.

But I guess, for your price point, the 14B (How big is the battery?) is a good choice (better than the Ninebot, imho, because speed. And stay away from those noname whels like the one you originally posted, pure waste of money and probably unsafe). But don't expect or try 30 km/h with the 14B! If it beeps (any wheel) you better listen immediately.

Ideal would be a used, better wheel for less money.

Also, what's your weight, that makes quite the difference?

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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New old stock (clearance?) KS14c's were selling for $500 but the KS14d is better in every way.

If you're not that fast of rider I'd say buy a KS14d/s and ride it for a couple of years, it'd make back its cost in under a year but if you need faster then swing for the 16 inch wheels.

If you're a new rider and you want the 19mph and you go with the 14 inchers and you're not wearing a helmet then it's highly likely you'll injure yourself pretty badly. Just the nature of the business, it's reasonable to expect quite a few crashes if you buy something as unstable as a wheel. Tiny obstacles which you'd never sußpect dump you, and part of experience is identifying those.

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I appreciate all the advice! I weigh 175 lbs at 6ft tall. I want a unicycle because it's a pain taking my car for a walkable distance that I don't feel like walking in the morning. Scooters and skateboards are hard to carry in the office due to size and I hate storing and locking my bike up. 14" unicycles are the only options available for what I want.

I'm disappointed about the fact that it's hard to go 15mph on the KS14B. If I do get one now, it will probably be the GotWay MCM4 or the King Song 14D (heavily leaning toward GotWay).

Does a bigger battery help it accelerate faster? I'm not too concerned with travel time.

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Bigger battery won't make you faster ore more dynamic in principle, but you can go faster for longer (not relevant for your distances, though) and it has more safety against high spike demands (due to simply being more cells there, so any spike gets distributed between more parallel configurations of them), which also is more relevant closer to the top speed. It's just that 174 Wh is really not much and really bad in that regard, because it's just one parallel pack of cells.

It's not such a big difference, people used these "old" wheels perfectly well in the past, after all. But expected standards simply have improved - features, speed, battery size, safety (a wheel that can go 30km/h is much safer at 20km/h than one that can go 20km/h at 20km/h, big battery is safer than a small one in extreme situations like sudden braking).

Between the MCM4 and the 14D, I'd strongly recommend the 14D because of that trolley handle and better overall package. Don't underestimate it, especially since you mention you hate carrying other ridables. EUCs are heavy, and any second of carrying regularly that can be prevented (trolleying) is worth considering. Not sure how much cheaper the MCM4 is? (It's absolutely not a bad wheel, though! Just no trolley...).

You can get the Ninebot for half the price (Jason is right about it being better than the 14B with only 174Wh) of the 14D, but you will very likely very soon lament its limited speed. People here started with a Ninebot and got another EUC a week later, it happened. The 14D (but at twice the price) is a latest model "forever wheel" in comparison (unless you soon want more range and a bigger tire for a more stable ride, but for your short commutes, this should not be that relevant).

It's a lot of money, but as I like to say here, nobody ever complained about too big a battery and too fast a wheel - if you can and want, splurge a little:efee47c9c8: (The weight question was just to check you're in the normal range, not extremely light or heavy for a EUC)

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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This site has had a number of enthusiastic potential new riders, who solicit the community for advice (some have posted multiple hundreds of messages in a few short months), and then disappear not long after they buy their wheel. Maybe they don't want to participate online any more, or perhaps they found it too hard, or they got hurt, or decided that they would rather just drive a car or ride a bike. A number of new riders also sell their first wheel after a few months. This is all fine and well, and there is nothing wrong with trying a new hobby and then changing your mind. But I would encourage you to start slow, spend less, and then, if you become proficient and addicted (as many of us have), then you can think about upgrading to newer, faster, better. There will always be a better wheel.

Edited by litewave
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Having reread your original post. The actual answer to your question is; there is no (new) wheel that meets your price and speed criteria. I can't see you spending less than $800 (US) on a new wheel. 

I for one do not recommended buying a cheapo starter wheel, because you're basically throwing half the price away when you sell it on for half what you paid for it. And you will sell it on when you get tired of it beeping  at you at 10mph. That will be about the 3rd day after you have learned to ride it. 

Your one mile commute and other errands are perfect for a quality wheel. Get a keeper from the get-go and you won't regret the decision 

Edited by Smoother
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17 minutes ago, Smoother said:

or one do not recommended buying a cheapo starter wheel, because you're basically throwing half the price away when you sell it on for half what you paid for it. And you will sell it on when you get tired of it beeping  at you at 10mph. That will be about the 3rd day after you have learn to ride

Plus one on that...

In my view buying a cheapo “beginner” wheel is throwinf money out of the window...

There can be two things happening...

- directly after you learned driving, the boring speed and power brings you to buy a “real” EUC

- or the mushy cheapo wheel is that bad , that it cannot transfer the joys of EUC driving...as it is boring fast, and when leaning to much in it will cut out...so perhaps the experience you get is that bad that it gets you away from this “hobby/interest”

In both cases you are now owner of a cheapo clumsy wheel, that nobody wants to buy :-)

 

So i would also vote for a good wheel....Ks14d...Inmotion V8, both good commuter wheels with trolley, fast enough and reliable and safe!

Edited by KingSong69
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