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Do Electric Unicycles Balance Themselves?
By definition, an electric unicycle is a single-wheeled self-balancing vehicle that is powered by an electric motor. Usually, it accommodates a single rider.
It’s operated like the Segway, meaning that the rider’s movements essentially control the direction and speed of the wheel.
Leaning backward or forward will move or slow down the device. An electric unicycle can run up to 20 mph (32 km/h).
If you tilt your weight to the right or the left using your feet, your EUC will turn in the same direction as it happened when steering a skateboard.
Therefore, if you wondered do electric unicycles balance themselves?Yes! they do by virtue of their build.
Yes! The “magic” behind the self-balancing process are Gyroscopes, accelerometers, the rim, and a motherboard. The gyroscope is permitted to take any orientation independently without being affected by tilting or rotation.
These device are propelled by an electric motor that draws its power from a rechargeable battery.
With the advancement in technology, many variations of the electric unicycle continue to emerge.
However, the most typical one comprises a single wheel that houses the electric motor, gyroscopes, rechargeable battery, and other electronic parts at the center.
Additionally, it has two flat pedals on either side of the wheel upon which the rider’s feet rest.
Modern electric unicycles might offer the rider a seat, while others include handling bars to hold on to while riding.
Are Electric Unicycles Practical?
Yes, electric unicycles are practical, turning out to be loved by many young as they can easily avoid city congestion, in addition to being suitable for short-distance travel.
Let me address several areas to prove this to be true. To start, you know safety comes first when considering any vehicle.
If you are a regular road user, you know that many accidents have occurred recently. And as you might know, factors affecting road safety lie in emergencies.
As you encounter emergencies, your braking is essential. For an electric unicycle, the braking system is reliable.
But you can’t compare this to what you get in an electric scooter as safety is more practical.
Generally speaking, a larger wheel hub size guarantees a larger tire contact surface. This minimizes the slip angle as a result of the tire deformation when the vehicle is turning.
Since electric use large wheels, they will not only pass through the highest speed bumps in daily riding but can cross-country on complex mountain trails;
With an ability to directly press on the hurdles of ordinary sidewalks.
And one more thing: The electric unicycle is about 11 kg, making it among the smallest products with a range of 10-15 kilometres.
If you ever get out of juice and carry your electric scooter home, you will not have a hard time as it’s not too heavy. Additionally, you can even use the kick push to get your EUC home.
How Do Motorized Unicycles Work?
A motorized unicycle contains a rather simple mechanism consisting of an electric motor connected to;
The rim, a motherboard, a rechargeable battery, gyroscopes, and an accelerometer.
Like all other electric vehicles, this device is propelled by an electric motor that draws its power from a rechargeable battery.
However, there is a difference between how a EUC and an e-skateboard are ridden.
When riding an e-skateboard, you press a remote control or pull the throttle in the case of an electric scooter.
On the other hand, the rider’s body movements trigger the wheel’s deceleration, acceleration, and direction for a motorized Unicycle.
And when this happens, it’s the prerogative of the motherboard to determine the inclination angle of the body;
And consequently command the rotor to spin accordingly (either forward or backward).
The motherboard reads leaning forward as a command to accelerate or move forward and so on.
Any change that a rider causes using his movements is detected and accordingly controls the speed and velocity of the vehicle.
And as insinuated, shifting body weight back or leaning backwards will slow down the vehicle.
The use of accelerometers and gyroscopes achieves Self-balancing in the motorized unicycle.
The gyroscope is permitted to take any orientation independently without being affected by tilting or rotation.
It’s the role of the gyroscope to calculate and sustain positioning and angular speed.
Interestingly, the rotor will continue its rotational axis direction regardless of the outer wheel’s positioning.
On the other hand, the accelerometer regulates acceleration with a change of direction.
Consequently, it will automatically slow down the rotor’s spinning as it turns in different directions.
But when going downhill, the accelerator mechanically slows down the device, preventing the vehicle from going faster because of the pull of gravity.
Is An Electric Unicycle Hard To Ride?
No, You might want to consider that the EUC will always be adjusting itself to help you maintain your balance.
Not much is required to form the riser in terms of balancing as the device self-balances itself. To ride the vehicle, the first thing you do is to turn on the switch.
As all of us have a dominant foot, this is what you will need to put on the pedal first so that when you put both your feet on the pedals, you will have the unicycle between your legs.
Allowing your dominant foot on one pedal, slowly raise the other foot, placing it on the other pedal.
Alternatively, you can make a gentle push to move the electric unicycle as the little motion of the EUC will allow you to achieve better balance.
But some riders will want to put their more dominant foot a little backward as this allows them to gain better balance, avoiding having their feet exactly parallel to each other.
After getting both your feet on the pedals, you can use your body movements to move the EUC.
Gently lean forward or backward to either slow down or speed up your electric unicycle.
Any moment you lean forward, you should expect a reciprocate acceleration. And if you lean backwards, you will see a decline in speed, probably to a stop.
But you want to avoid forcefully leaning forward until you get used to the ride. Additionally, you do not want to take any sharp turns as you are not anything but a newbie.
Overall, you will find that it takes only about 15 minutes of practice to get used to the feel.
Do Electric Unicycles Have Suspension?
Yes, a few. Suspensions are a new thing in electric unicycles.
Indeed, while the electric unicycle has been with us since 1977, it was only recently that the first electric unicycle with suspension was invented.
This was in 2020 when Inmotion introduced the V11 electric unicycle. V11 has a larger 18-inch wheel, allowing more cooling due to the increased heat.
Additionally, V11 needs faster charging and boasts a more powerful motor. For those who love suspension, you will get air suspension with your new Inmotion V11.
Among the best things regarding this unicycle is the suspension. When you feel the 70 mm travel air-spring suspension, you know Inmotion didn’t get it wrong.
What’s more, this is hidden in such a way that you cannot see it from the outside. This comes at 2,299.00 USD– a good deal.
Another electric unicycle with air suspension is the Gotway EX – 2700Wh 100V, Air Suspension – Electric Unicycle.
The first from Gotway production, the Gotway EX has a top speed of ~40+ mph* with a nominal motor rating of 3500W.
The air suspension system has 50mm travel, way below what you get in V11 but not lean by any means.
Therefore, if you are riders who desire an electric suspension unicycle with a large ranger and a high speed, you will want to consider the Gotway EX.
Fortunately, this comes in a unique suspension design allowing the rider to cruise well beyond 40 mph using a system voltage of 100 V.
luckily, the motor offers high torque. It will provide excellent acceleration supplemented by a great hill climbing experience.
Therefore, if you are looking for higher speeds, you will most likely find the Gotway EX electric unicycle with suspension very appealing.
With that kind of suspension, you will have a reduced risk of bombs interfering with your ride.
The suspended wheels significantly reduce the risk of larger bumps affecting the ride quality.
How Do You Brake On An Electric Unicycle?
You might have seen hoverboards, scooters, and segways sweeping your town by storm. Electric unicycles are not too different.
They are similar in a couple of ways, mainly that all are powered via an electric charge.
However, the similarities do not go very far. When it comes to how these boards are ridden, there is a vast difference.
The way an electric unicycle is ridden can be said to be unique in some way.
Unlike most other forms of personal transport, electric unicycles require you to remain on top of the boards, constantly moving to maintain your balance.
For instance, if you want to stop or brake on an electric unicycle, you will have to lean backward. When you lean forward, regenerative braking takes its course.
While conventional braking systems use hydraulic pressure to clamp brake pads onto steel disc rotors;
To slow the wheels’ rotation, regenerative braking works by reversing the motors.
On the part of conventional braking, the resultant friction turns kinetic energy into heat that ultimately gets wasted, leading to premature disc wear.
Fortunately, braking in electric unicycles does not convert kinetic energy into heat but converts it into electrical energy, storing it in the traction battery for later use.
Consequently, every time you brake on your electric unicycle, rest assured that you add some range to your device.
The stored energy will increase the battery range due to the recovered energy. Indeed, regenerative braking is also referred to as regenerative energy recovery.
Suspension Electric Unicycles (EUC): Pros And Cons
One of the most modern innovations in electric unicycles is the Suspension Electric Unicycle (EUC).
Riders have access to more control and traction as the wheel goes over unpredictable or rough terrain, including technical off-road obstacles, potholes, and other uneven surfaces.
With suspended unicycles, the rider will scarcely feel every bump in the road. However, these unicycles are heavier, thanks to the added weight from suspension.
This will also compromise their range (heavier electric unicycles will have a reduced range).
Additionally, there are higher potential maintenance costs commonly associated with suspension unicycles.
Among the pros of suspension, electric unicycles give riders more control as they encounter rough terrains;
Such as cracks in the road, potholes, and off-terrain obstacles, like rocks, tree roots, and unpredictable terrain.
With the suspension, an electric unicycle will not allow bumps in the road to be felt through the rider’s body, e.g., back and knees.
Again, a suspension unicycle is your best shot if you love to feel in control of their ride.
Lastly, for those riders who prefer the ergonomics of a suspended electric unicycle.
The sensation of smoothly gliding over the ground can never get better than with suspension electric unicycles.
Unfortunately, the electric suspension unicycles do not lack disadvantages up their sleeve. As you might expect.
The design compromises force manufacturers to fit smaller batteries, significantly reducing the range.
Again, due to their increased weight emanating from their suspension systems, these electric unicycles are less efficient.
And with the suspension, more moving parts call for higher maintenance costs.
Still, electric suspension unicycles will be more expensive for similar motor power specifications and similar batteries.
And with suspension electric unicycle technology being relatively new and different.
Manufacturing companies will require time to improve before they become more broadly accepted
So you might ask, are electric suspension unicycles worth it?
Considering the issues I have highlighted, you may need to think twice before going for an electric suspension unicycle.
If you do not mind the costs of this type of electric unicycle but are interested in style and comfort, then the suspension is the way to go.
But if you are keen on your expenditure and would rather ride uncomfortably but cheaply, well, this is not for you!
Electric unicycles balance themselves with little to no input from the rider.