Review of Onewheel
At first glance, the Onewheel+ looks like a skateboard. The side-facing rider’s stance is similar, especially when seen on pavement.
However, the ride mechanics favor a surfboard or snowboard. There’s a large, heavy duty wheel in the center, surrounded by two placemats for your feet.
It’s an electrical personal transportation device or EPTD that’s powerful enough to take on pavement, grass, gravel, dirt and even tightly-packed sand. Basically, it’s like a 4×4 with just one wheel. There are two models.
The Onewheel+ is powered by a hypercore, brushless electric motor. It runs whisper quiet. The Onewheel+ XR has a motor with a bit more torque than the base model. This allows you to take on hills and tricky variances in terrain and gradient.
How Does the Onewheel XR Ride?
There are two surfaces for your feet – a front and rear zone. The pad with the blue lines is typically the front-facing one and the pad with a wood-paneled accent piece is in the rear.
There are sensors beneath the front-facing pad, so when your foot is flush against it, the board is active and ready to move. You can dismount by jumping off or simply raising your foot off the front pad. You can slow to a stop by lifting your toe off the front-facing board panel.
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Truthfully, there is no front-facing side because this board can travel in either direction by leaning your body. It takes some getting used to in order to ride well.
Most riders will favor a left foot forward stance that feels familiar if you’ve ever ridden snowboards or skateboards before.
The board has a nifty dual lighting function. The LED lights are on both sides of the board. When you lean into one side, that side has the head lamps and the rear of the board has red brake lights.
The LED lights are powerful enough so that you can ride at night through the city with a certain level of confidence.
There is great customer support from the manufacturer – Future Motion. The Onewheel celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and it’s made in the USA. You can visit the website for customer support and additional accessories. There’s apparel like beanies and T-shirts. Most importantly, there’s extra bumpers, storage options, and chargers.
- Speed: 20 MPH
- Range: Onewheel+ goes 5 to 7 miles; Onewheel+ XR goes 12 to 18 miles
- Weight: 27 lbs.
- Dimensions: 9 × 11.5 × 30 inches
- Frame: Constructed with machine-forged aluminum rails
- Battery: 324Wh, 63V nickel-manganese, cobalt-oxide battery
- Motor: 750-watt, brushless electric motor
You can pair-up the OneWheel+ with Bluetooth and a mobile app that modifies your vehicle settings. You can adjust for terrain-type and hills on the app. You can turn your LED lights on and off.
You can also check your remaining battery life. When it reaches 50 percent battery life, the app lets you know that it might be a good idea to head back home or at least get to a charging station.
Another cool feature of the app is that it shows you the locations of other Onewheel+ users. So, in this way, this vehicle has the potential to build a local community of boarders.
Drawbacks of the Onewheel+
The OneWheel+ must be activated with your smartphone and app. So, if you don’t have a charge on your phone, you’re not going to be riding any time soon.
Another drawback is the price. It ranges from $1300 to $1800 dollars, but financing is available for qualified buyers. Servicing a broken or damaged motor isn’t supported on the Onewheel+ XR.
It’s a heavy-duty vehicle that can take some punishment, but if it breaks, you don’t have much recourse to fix it through the manufacturer.
Also, it’s weighty and if you have to carry it around, you’ll start regretting your investment.
Do you own a Onewheel? If so, what has been your experience? Share your comments below.