The Future of Electric Unicycles – A Fad Here to Stay?

by Ruaan Nel 

January 10, 2021


When a new trend in transportation or tech emerges, it is not always easy to know whether it is a fad or here to stay. Sometimes a new technology emerges out of the blue but just as soon as it appears, it fades away. It is therefore important to look deeply into a new product before you can judge whether or not it is a fad.

We all have seen Electric Unicycles, also known as E-wheels. They arrived on the market with a boom and quickly everyone was into them. When they were first introduced, they were generally simple and were simply seen as a potential replacement for bicycles. After that, however, there have been many advancements to increase their usefulness.

New Trends

So what if you have the absolute best in the market? What do you get? Nowadays, E-wheels are made in a way that a user can link it to his phone! You can even listen to music, have a headlight, or have access to a full diagnosis tool that lets you know of any faults in your E-wheel. These new developments have really made a user’s life more comfortable and more mobile. Clearly the manufacturers have an interest in further developing their product, but still, does that mean that it will last long?

electric unicycle portable handle

These advancements are in part apparently part of a quest to outdo bikes. Let’s examine whether this is actually a possibility. Firstly, E-wheels are highly portable. They have a maximum average weight of about 15 kg, so you can easily carry them along with you. Many models come with a convenient retractable handlebar. It is fitted like a suitcase making it easy to carry it with you anywhere including on flights.

The most surprising feature on E-wheels is the Bluetooth customization that helps users access and play music. Bluetooth is built in and allows the user to have full control of the device, as you’re even able lock it and power it on using a mobile app. This has shifted the biking paradigm since in the biking industry this has not happened like it has on the E-Wheels.

Secondly, there is a diagnosing feature that is typically only found in modern cars, but this is where E-wheels have shifted to. It incredibly easy to have a full diagnosis of your Electric Unicycle before starting a ride. This increased overall safety since users can be conscious of the condition of their Unicycles all the time and in the case of a fault, they will be quick to notice it.

The ability to link e-wheels with your phone it has been seen as a breakthrough and has increased their reputation as true automotive alternative. On the other hand, they’ve also become known as The King of Biking. All you need is a smartphone to have the application that controls your electric unicycle.

So given these fancy recent developments, let’s take an overview of everything in order to place a final verdict. E-wheels are a great option to use in many situations, such as shooting videos, and from getting to point A to point B without much effort. Their mobility extends to all categories of surfaces including on concrete, tarmac, grass, stadium surfaces and many others.


Energy use. Despite the fact that you can tinker around to reduce your energy consumption with the wheels, the truth is that at some point the battery runs out. Whether you already arrived at your destination or not! This is a great shortcoming that the user must live with. When shopping for electric unicycles you, therefore, need to focus on the size of the battery and its rating.

electric unicycle kickstand

Final Verdict

Before we wrap up, I would be remiss not to mention electronically assisted bikes commonly referred to as e-assist bicycles. E-assist bikes are more comfortable for cruising long distances, unlike E-wheels. Some of them even have a battery that lasts 70 miles. This is a big advantage because if you add up your your average distance covered daily, assuming you go to work in town and return to your home in the evening; or you just stick to neighborhoods all day long chatting with friends, it is hard to exceed 70 miles.

In addition to that, with e-assist bikes, you can hover around easily. With the e-assist bike, you are more mobile since you can move even in rugged terrains and carry bigger luggage or a bigger bag, unlike the electric unicycle. This is a big advantage for bikes because the e-wheel is only suitable in relatively flat and smooth areas. You can even convert a regular bicycle into an e-bike.

Having viewed all the angles, we can now look at e-bikes’ reliability and durability. In reliability, the e-wheels win the day because of their mobility and portable features. In durability, the e-assist bikes take the prize. This is because of their specially made design where you can pedal manually if you want; then if you are tired you switch to electric.

Are they a fad?

Finally, E-wheels have not been on the market for long and no one is sure where they are heading as a product. Every manufacturer of the E-Wheel is constantly adding new features and innovating in the space. However, this is making it hard for users as there are new additions every now and then. This means that there is a need to purchase new e-wheel more frequently, unlike for e-assist bicycles, in order to be up-to-date. Who knows how long the e-wheel will be a factor in the market. E-assist bikes, however, have been around for quite a while and have seen steady growth throughout.


Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.

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