With prices of used vehicles showing no signs of coming down from the stratosphere, and given that gas prices are subject to volatility, it can be quite costly to “get around”.
Electric cars are becoming more popular as are electric bicycles and scooters. And though they may be a bit pricey up front, the long-term cost of ownership is cheaper.
There are plenty of good options to consider for driving (or riding) a few miles at a time but what about the local back and forth? What about taking the dog for a run? Or getting back and forth between school and the dorm?
While the early 2010’s saw a steep rise in interest for “hoverboards”, the next decade may be just as fun for people with electric unicycles. Why? They’re relatively lightweight, easy to carry, and work well for getting a few miles in at a time.
I had previously never spent any time with an electric unicycle (EUC) but that recently changed with the arrival of the INMOTION V5.
Priced about $400 now, the INMOTION V5 has been around for more than a few years. And while I’ve slept on the idea of using one of these for some time, it’s starting to make sense for someone who works less than two miles from home.
As I started to look into this space I’ve learned that the V5 is more of an entry-level unit. That’s fine for me, honestly, because I’m still getting the feel for this one. I cannot imagine spending more money on one of these at this point.
Suffice it to say, even though this one is aimed at beginners, it takes a bit of time and patience to figure it out. It’s tougher to master than the two-wheel hoverboard stuff that was once the big rage.
I took the INMOTION V5 out of the box and charged it up for a few hours as I wanted to make sure there was plenty of power to help me kick the proverbial tire. It takes around 3.5 hours to charge from zero to full.
Flipping the paddle feet out and attempting to stand on it, I used a wall and table to try and balance myself. My goal in the first day(s) was to get across the office (about 15 feet) without falling off. I’ll be honest here and tell you now that I am still doing my best to stay on it for more than ten seconds.
Although there are a couple of pads on the sides of the wheel, you’ll still feel a degree of pressure against your calves. At least that’s the case as I work myself up to long range rides.
I’ve been lucky enough to practice my riding in an area where I can hop off quickly and safely. Were I to try this anywhere else, I’d certainly have pads on my knees and elbows; I truly should have a helmet on as it is.
Thus far the InMotion V5 has been able to take the bumps and dumps in stride. It’s picked up a couple of scuffs and battle damage, but otherwise, it’s handling things quite well.
This unicycle is rated to get up to 12.5mph with a range of about 12 miles on a full charge. Once I get this thing down, I am excited to use it while the weather cooperates. I’ll be able to get back and forth to work on nice days.
The InMotion V5 weighs about 25 pounds which looks about right for its size. And thanks to its handle at the top, I can bring it indoors to the garage and office without hassle.
I cannot speak to how the full INMOTION portfolio is, but I do think the V5 is a decent unit with some weird details. At the risk of calling it a “knock off”, I did find it to be odd in the area of firmware. Powering it on, for instance, you hear the same sound that comes with plugging a USB device into a PC. And when you have to jump off or end up taking a spill, you’ll get some voice that seems to correct you in broken English.
I look forward to spending more time with the INMOTION V5 as it has fairly interesting specifications for the price. It’s rated to handle slopes of 18 degrees so that’s pretty much everywhere I intend to use it.
Thanks to its IP55 rating I feel confident knowing I’ll be able to get home quickly and safely in the event of a light rain. And as days get shorter and fall sets in, I’ll also appreciate having the headlight and red taillight.
There are other models in the INMOTION lineup with bigger batteries, larger wheels, faster speeds, and support for higher degree slopes. The V5F is the next step up from this model and comes in around $700.
If you’re new to electric unicycles and weigh less than 265lbs, you may want to check this one out. I can see this being quite helpful on campus or for people who have large areas to cover as part of their work day. Or, if you’re like me, and don’t work all that far from home, it can be a great way to “cut costs at the pump”.