Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Another Unicycle Option in a Growing Market!
I can’t tell you how many Onewheels I have seen on the road or in Youtube videos during reviews, but I have been tempted to write an article about them for some time. Future Motion Inc is the mastermind behind this electronic skateboard/snowboard-like apparatus, which appears everywhere I look. What better way to write about a company’s product than by introducing you to their flagship Onewheel GT?
The Onewheel GT took everything the fans liked about the XR model introduced in 2018 and ramped up the overall build, power, and range. The Onewheel is precisely that! One wheel with a skateboard affixed to it to keep things simple. When the rider has both feet on the pressure-sensitive footpads, the board will self-level during motion. The rider can lean forward or backward to adjust the speed and direction of the movement.
In a previous article, I wrote about a unicycle by InMotion, which also has one wheel, but the user rides it very much like a unicycle.
The Onewheel GT is somewhat different from a typical unicycle but not dissimilar to riding a skateboard or snowboard, as the rider's body is sideways during the ride.
Future Motion Inc, the creator of the Onewheel, was started in 2013 by its founder and CEO Kyle Kyle Doerksen in Santa Cruz, California. Future Motion went the way of crowdfunding in 2014 and vastly exceeded its campaign goal of $100,000 on Kickstarter. It is safe to say this was a successful campaign as the company has been charging full steam ever since. If the following quote doesn’t tell you what Future Motion is all about, nothing will:
We are in the business of making the future rad!
The Onewheel GT was revealed to consumers in 2021, and a list of improvements came with it. The maximum speed of the unit was now 20mph, up from 19mph, and the overall range was boosted from (12–18 miles) to (20–32 miles). With the optional fast charger, the Onewheel GT will fully charge within 90 minutes, or 200 minutes normally.
With the GT model, you will also experience the much-talked-about powerband boost. This enhancement means more power, torque, and dynamic performance at all speeds. This power can easily be explained by the increase in horsepower from 2hp to 3hp with the new GT. This translates to allowing you to accelerate or travel uphill without hesitation. If you encounter a small obstacle, the Onewheel GT should be able to push through it.
With the larger battery also comes a heavier unit. Expect the GT to weigh no less than 35lbs without adding optional accessories. Don’t worry, though; Future Motion included the once optional Maghandle Pro(pictured below)into the build. This foldable aluminum handle will fold away when not in use. Also shown is the brighter LED lighting that will illuminate your way. It is advertised as being 300% brighter than previous iterations.
It is also essential to mention all GTs come with concave textured footpads. These have been highly recommended upgrades for the previous XR model, and Future Motion opted to incorporate them into the build. From what I have seen, you will need the additional grip when traversing the off-road trails.
One of the most highly touted upgrades has to be the inclusion of more rounded tires. The key features of a round or profiled tire are the carving and maneuverability aspects. The users were looking for a more agile, responsive ride, and this new tire serves both purposes. Also available is a treaded tire (pictured below) which isn’t the best for carving but works wonders in slippery situations. This was not an option on previous models and will be a $50 upgrade if you opt for it at the build time.
Say what you want about the Onewheel, but it is pretty radical. One wheel strapped to a board and the ability to go 20mph on a straightaway. As with any unicycle form of transportation, safety has to be of concern. There are countless videos of consumers biting it during a ride. I can’t stress enough how vital a good helmet is, especially with so much riding on these tires! Gloves and suitable protective clothing are a must!
Also of concern is the talk of the board “Ghosting. This involves a rider dismounting the board, but the board footpads do not disengage, and you get this:
Believe it or not, this has happened quite frequently, with sometimes hilarity ensuing, and other times not so much. As I understand it, the company will replace the footpads in instances like this (Provided you can find the runaway board).
If you opt to join the Onewheel community, expect to pay a starting price of $2200 for the Onewheel GT. You can spend unlimitedly on upgrades, stickers, and other third-party accessories that hit the market daily. Yes, there is a learning curve, but many people swear by this form of transportation. Soon this could be you!