R1 - 2017-01-24 17:33

Gotway Monster - is it a practical wheel?

A record holder

Gotway Monster is an electric unicycle whose wheel diameter reaches the extraordinary amount of 22 inches! Let us remind you that the most common sizes are 14" and 16".

The diameter of Monster's wheels is like the one of full-sized bikes. It allows for less intense exposition to bumps of all kinds or road holes. Equipped with a motor of the nominal power of 1600 W, the vehicle is able reach the maximum speed of up to 40 km/h (according to its manufacturer), while some daredevils gathered on foreign forums claim to have taken even faster rides on it – such as reaching the level of even 55 km/h. This is the highest speed reached in the case of any mass-produced electric unicycle. Such power of its motor, as combined with an exposed and large wheel, allow one even for riding up stairs.

However, it is still not all. Gotway Monster is equipped with batteries whose total capacity reaches even 2200 Watt hours. Depending on the weight of a given user, route, riding mode and speed, Monster allows for covering the jaw-dropping distance of from 160 to even 240 km, which makes it the record holder in the field.

This is, unfortunately, where the advantages of this product start getting exhausted, as the vehicle is huge, weighing approx. 30 kg and having its price set at over EUR 2500.

Unfortunate impracticality

Feeling worried about the price? There is no need to. Despite such performance parameters, the model is, unfortunately, impractical:

  • The diameter of 22" makes it impossible to carry inside a bag or backpack. It is even problematic to be freely transported inside a car.
  • The weight of 30 kg makes it not designed for hand-held carrying. Other manufacturers seem to be focused on making the weight of their products reduced (e.g. some versions of 14" IPS Zero weigh less than 9 kg).
  • The lack of a telescopic handle excludes e.g. shopping with the wheel at your side. Just imagine having to carry the weight of 30 kg with yourself during this activity.
  • It is very difficult to maintain a low speed in a stable way (e.g. the pedestrian-like speed) and it also requires considerable abilities, concentration and cold-bloodiness from its user. 
  • It is more difficult to take turns with it – in order to take a sharp bend, one needs to turn the entire wheel instead of only leaning it. It is yet another technique one necessarily needs to learn.
  • Riding at the speed of over 30 km/h (particularly 40 or even 50 km/h) requires putting on a helmet and armour. The speed is not only dangerous for the user themselves, but also for other traffic participants. Having to dress like in the case of motorbike riding is yet another inconvenience. It is also a feature that opposes to the idea of simple individual means of transport that electric unicycles are supposed to represent.
  • An exposed wheel makes it certain that one may be affected by mud splashing during rain.
If you still find the high range of this device as acquired on one charge tempting, it needs to be reminded that the longest routes covered on an electric unicycle at one time amount to the range of 20 to 30 km. Longer distances, even with regard to the most comfortable wheel, are tiring to take, especially with uneven terrain in sight (pavements, field roads, paved roads). Although Monster has got its certain potential and tempts with its range reaching even 240 km, it is virtually impossible to ride through the distance like this with this device. Longer routes are still where cars are the most comfortable means of transport, also being where we may keep our wheels (or even the wheels of all our family members). After we reach our destination or its vicinity by car, it is the most convenient for us to switch to an electric unicycle – it may be used to explore other places that are inaccessible for cars or bikes. There is no need to worry about any parking spots or the necessity to go shopping.

Electric unicycles have been designed to serve covering everyday routes – the routes we take to work, shopping centres, getting around cities or between their districts. In all of these cases, they perform their role in a great way, providing us with the possibility to take comfortable and effortless rides.

Gotway Monster does not correspond to the definition above. It will not let us experience comfortable rides around cities or covering longer routes.

It needs to be noted that the time needed to fully charge Monster reaches even 20 hours (the charging time of classic wheels takes between 2 and 4 hours). Therefore, it seems a much better solution to pick a smaller unicycle – of a 14" or 16" diameter – that allows for faster charging, carrying the device of our choice inside a backpack/wheelie bag or leading it by its telescopic handle. If you are afraid of that the range of classic unicycles (up to 60 km) will not be sufficient for you (which should not happen, from the practical point of view), you can always carry at least one of these things with you: a spare battery, wall charger (electric sockets seem to be available virtually everywhere) or a charger based on photovoltaic cells).

We also remind you that the maximum speed offered by this model of Gotway, namely 40 km/h or more, will not be legally allowed in the EU. According to our legal regulations, it will be possible to ride our wheels at the maximum speed of 25 km/h.

Verdict

Summing up – even if Gotway Monster is an unquestionable record holder when it comes to the maximum speed and range it offers, it does not mean much. The model may be treated as a unique curiosity in a world of electric unicycles – even if it raises a question of whether such monsters should not have their own category of vehicles created by any chance.


Below, you can watch a movie featuring a pro rider traversing the city on his Monster while keeping a lower speed than the maximum one. The rider himself claims that having to cover a longer route requires him to seat on his Monster and leading it through the city with no telescopic handle attached is very tiresome.

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