Two Weeks with My InMotion V5F Electric Unicycle

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I don’t know if I’ve been riding my electric unicycle for two full weeks yet, but I must be getting close. I know the refurbished Solowheel Glide 2 that I ordered was supposed to arrive on a Thursday, and as I am writing this, it is currently Thursday. This seems close enough to me!

NOTE: It took nearly 5 days to get the photos, videos, and links added to this blog post. I wrote most of this on Thursday, but it didn’t get polished up and published until Tuesday!

I didn’t think I’d be posting an update so soon, but I feel like something is really starting to click for me. In a week or two, I’ll probably be riding without giving it much thought at all. I’d like to write down how things are going while I’m right in the middle of things, and while everything is fresh in my mind.

What do you mean when you say things are clicking? How do you know?!

Riding a self-balancing electric unicycle (EUC) is a lot like riding a bike. You can’t explain how to do it, and while you’re doing it, you shouldn’t be thinking about what you’re doing. Your subconscious should be balancing for you, just like when you walk or run.

When you go from wobbling around a bunch to riding smoothly, something has clicked in your brain. You can’t really explain why you’re riding smoothly now, or what you’re doing differently.

The first time you stop wobbling and start riding your EUC smoothly, it will be an exhausting experience! You will be tense. You will be working much, much harder to balance than you need to. You will work up a sweat, and you’ll be tired after riding a few hundred feet.

After a little more practice, something else will click in your brain, and you’ll be able to ride a mile without quickly becoming exhausted.

The arches of my feet get sore!

Two days ago, the farthest I could ride was about half a mile. Leaning forward and putting my weight on my toes makes my feet sore. Do I need to build muscle in these parts of my feet? Am I doing something wrong? Am I just not getting enough circulation to my feet?

I think it is a combination of all three.

When I tried pushing past half a mile, I was getting into trouble. I found it more difficult to turn, and I had a lot more trouble safely dismounting. I stopped trying to push past the discomfort.

Something changed yesterday

I went on three practice rides yesterday. The first two each added up to a total of 1.6 miles. I dismounted approximately every half mile. I don’t really need to rest when I stop. I just need a bit of walking to loosen my feet up.

Then I decided to take one more practice ride before dark. I very nearly made it 1.1 miles without dismounting and without any significant foot discomfort! I was turning and following the narrower and bumpier parts of the path with much more confidence than usual.

I did have to dismount somewhere around the one-mile mark. There was a gentleman walking towards me on the narrower part of the path. I’m not confident enough in my abilities to stay on my half of the sidewalk, so I decided it would be best to walk past him instead.

I was catching up to him on my return trip, so I took one more break before finding a slightly different route to go home.

This was my longest journey so far!

Smooth and level pavement is so much easier to ride on!

The first place I rode my InMotion V5F was the parking lot of our local abandoned golf course. It seemed fine at the time, but I didn’t realize how much more challenging it is to ride there. It is ancient, bumpy asphalt, and the whole parking lot is on an incline.

I live in Plano, TX, and the bike trails through our parks are phenomenal. They’re wide and super smooth. After riding on the bike trails, going back to the golf course the next weekend was quite a surprise! Getting started going up the incline of the golf course parking lot is challenging. Riding down the incline is a bit scary at first. Riding across the incline isn’t all that easy, either!

This shouldn’t surprise me. I have to ride on the street past three houses to get to the bike trail from here. I don’t notice the difference on the way to the trail, but the contrast is huge when I’m riding home!

Our streets here aren’t like the terrible asphalt and blacktop of the streets where I grew up in Scranton, PA. They’re fairly smooth concrete, but they’re not as smooth as the bike trail.

Switching back to the street does feel like more work, and there is a bit of a hill coming up the street to my house. I tend to lose speed when I make the turn onto my street, and I used to have trouble building it back up. This is probably due to my wheel being rather underpowered.

When you’re learning to ride, try to find the smoothest parking lot that you can!

You’ll need to learn to ride on rough, uneven surfaces with bumps and potholes, but you don’t need to learn right away.

Don’t forget to check your tire pressure!

When my InMotion Solowheel 2 arrived, the first thing I did was pump up the tire. I inflated it just past the recommended 40 PSI. I figured it would be like my bike tires, and it would lose air fairly quickly, so it wouldn’t hurt to get ahead of that by a few PSI.

I checked the pressure again yesterday, and it was down in the mid-20 PSI range. I was surprised that I lost more than 15 pounds of pressure in less than two weeks! Maybe this is normal. Maybe I have a slow leak. Who knows. I will keep an eye on it.

Why the pressure is low isn’t important. What is important it that I learned just how much easier it is to ride the wheel with adequate pressure!

The unicycle was much easier to mount on my somewhat roughly paved street. I was able to get up to speed more with noticeably less effort. I was able to turn around on my street with less effort.

I’m not an expert. I’ve seen it recommended that new riders should lower their pressure down to 20 PSI. I understand why this might help. You will have more rubber in contact with the pavement. It should be easier to balance. It probably takes a bit more effort to turn, so you won’t be accidentally changing direction.

If lowering your tire pressure is a good idea when you’re just starting out, I would have to imagine that you should only do this for a very short amount of time. Once you can get on and ride in a straight line, I think you should go straight up to full pressure.

Once you’re able to ride, you don’t need the wheel fighting your purposeful inputs.

Was an electric unicycle a good choice?

I feel like I’ve written this section of the blog three times already, and I have. Most of this isn’t my opinion. I’m just regurgitating published specs of OneWheels, Exway electric skateboards, InMotion EUCs, and my old Hover-1 XLS e-bike.

All these options have advantages and disadvantages. Absolutely anyone can ride my e-bike, but is difficult to put in the car. The OneWheel XR is much easier to ride than an EUC, but its specs say it isn’t quite as capable as my $399 InMotion V5F at more than four times the price. Brian’s Exway X1 Riot Pro electric longboard has similar range, but weighs a lot less than my unicycle, while still costing less than half as much as a OneWheel XR.

You’re probably not going to look as cool riding my unicycle or folding scooter as you will riding a OneWheel or skateboard. I’m sure that’s an important factor for some of you!

None of that data directly answer the question. Was an EUC a good choice? For me, it is the perfect choice. The range, speed, and weight of the InMotion V5F are all perfect for my use case. I may need to put quite a few hours in to make use of my wheel, but I am not bothered by that at all. I’m having a blast learning!

The unicycle I chose was the least costly option. It will handle grass, dirt, and gravel almost as well as a OneWheel. It will cruise even more smoothly on pavement than the Exway X1 longboard.

If you really do need a ton of range, the unicycles have you covered there, too. For a few hundred dollars less than the price of a OneWheel XR, you can get an InMotion V10F with 40 to 60 miles of range! If you want to be able to go 35 MPH, there are $2,000 unicycles from Gotway that can manage that, too.

Was the InMotion V5F a good choice?

I haven’t stopped researching unicycles. Now that I’ve been riding a bit, I feel like I have a better understanding of what I should be searching for on Google, and what I should be reading and watching.

If you can get a used EUC for a good price, I think that is a fantastic idea. Everyone says that a more powerful wheel is easier to learn to ride, and my gut says that they’re right. I’ve read in several places that you should be able to find an older 800-watt unicycle for $200 to $300. I haven’t figured out where to find these deals!

Tanner rides my InMotion V5F electric unicycle

The bigger, more expensive wheels look like a ton of fun, and I can totally see the appeal of something like a Gotway Nikola or the InMotion V10F. I’m also pretty certain that these aren’t the wheels for me.

If your goal is to go out riding for riding’s sake, these heavy, powerful wheels would be awesome. If you’re looking for a ride to take you on the last mile of your journey or commute, then you probably don’t want to lug around a 40- or 50-pound unicycle!

I’m extremely pleased that there was a refurbished InMotion V5F in stock for $399 shipped. We are beating the absolute snot out of this poor thing. The aluminum pedals have hundreds of scuffs and gouges in them. The padding is getting torn up. The plastic shell is a mess of scrapes and scratches.

You almost definitely don’t want to learn to ride on a $2,000 unicycle.

Is the InMotion V5F fast enough? Does it have enough range?

I’ve learned something very important in my many failures at riding my EUC. When something goes wrong at jogging or running speed, it is quite easy to hop off, jog for a bit, and stop without falling over. I have no trouble aborting a ride while going 10 MPH. I’m 200 pounds, about 6’ tall, and I am in terrible shape!

I imagine I can dismount at about 15 MPH if I had to, but the faster you’re going, the more likely you are to have to actually fall. I can reach those less safe speeds on my V5F, even though I’m 40 pounds over the recommended weight. For me, the V5F is definitely fast enough.

I’m less confident about the range. If we assume the battery percentage readout in WheelLog is accurate, my last few days of riding would give me about 10 miles on a single charge. I’m averaging just under 10 MPH while riding with top speeds of around 15 MPH.

I also just learned that this was with an underinflated tire. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a properly inflated tire gave me an extra 2 miles.

Is that enough range? For me, it should be. Twelve miles is about as far as my e-bike can go, and that always seemed quite reasonable. I haven’t managed to ride more than 2 miles on a single trip yet, and that is with at least three stops. It should be quite a while before I can make it 6 miles out and then need to make it 6 miles back!

I think it is safe to say that I don’t have enough data to understand the real-world range limitations of my InMotion V5F at this time, but what I’ve learned so far seems to suggest I will be doing just fine!

What’s next?

I’m trying to ride every day, and I feel like I’m getting more comfortable and capable each day, too. For most of my short time so far riding the unicycle, I have had to stop when transitioning from the road to the bike trail. The transition from the road is a 4’ or 5’ wide rough brick ramp with a wooden post in the center. I didn’t feel confident lining up that turn, squeezing into the gap, and transitioning to the weird bumpy bricks. I’ve negotiated this transition without much trouble that last three or four times I rode, and I get better at it every time.

I suppose that leads me into what’s next. Practice, practice, and even more practice! I’m good at riding fast, at least for some definition of fast. I’ve been trying to make an effort to slow down. I set an alarm in WheelLog to let me know when I’m going over 12 MPH, but that’s still plenty fast enough that the wheel acts as a gyroscope to keep you up.

At even lower speeds, you have to work much harder to stay upright. I’m trying to ride more at those slow speeds. I’m not sure exactly how slow they are, but I have a good idea of what it feels like!


I am extremely pleased with my purchase. The refurbished InMotion V5F at $399 was cheap enough that even if it was a mistake, at least it wasn’t an expensive one, and I absolutely believe that it wasn’t a mistake. I feel that the InMotion V5F will be a fantastic last-mile vehicle for me, and it has been a ton of fun already!

I’m already having no trouble managing to ride about a mile. The V5F’s light weight is making it easy to throw in the back of our little SUV. My friend Tanner has been able to push the little V5F hard enough going up an incline to get the top-speed alarm to go off, but I have yet to hear it in my riding, so I think the maximum speed should be plenty for my immediate needs!

What do you think? Are you riding an EUC or a OneWheel? Do you think I made a good choice? Do you think I’m going to be wishing for more speed in a few months? If I’m eventually hankering for more speed, do you think I’ll still be as appreciative of the light weight of the V5F as I am today? How long do you think it will be before I can run the battery down in one riding session?

Let me know in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!