Many people ask the question: are electric unicycles good for children? How easy is to learn riding? Can kids ride by themselves? What about setting a speed limit?
All electric unicycles are smaller than bicycles - actually they are of the size of one bicycle wheel. It's easier to keep them in an apartment, or even carry downstairs - it resembles more carrying a bag than a vehicle. It is easier to transport them with a car for family trips - you don't need an external bicycle trunk - electric unicycles will fit in the trunk of any car.
The smallest electric unicycles have 14" wheels, which are similar to the typical wheels of bicycles for children, and a bit smaller than in BMX's. Devices like IPS Zero for instance, are lighter than bicycles and are hassle-free.
Every electric wheel from the middle or higher shelf, let's you set the speed limit. A parent is able to set the maximum speed between 10 and 30 km/h, and prevent even the smartest kids from changing it. It seems wise to set 10-12 km/h speed limit at the beginning. When coming closer to the speed limit, the vehicle will start forcing the user to brake and play sound alarms.
As most of the so called "rideable wheels" look modern, and even let's the user to adjust the light colours, the devices are far more attractive for kids than bicycles or even "hoverboards".
It's easy to learn how to ride
Most adults don't remember the times, when they were learning how to ride a bike themselves. Despite the fact, that riding a bike seems natural to us, each and everyone of us had to learn riding a bike once. No exceptions.
Now, when observing the progress of kids, parents know, that young people are able to learn new things much faster - not only how to use computers or smartphones, but also riding on such vehicles like bicycles, or electric unicycles.
Is it hard to learn riding an electric unicycle? Watch the video below, where our experts - Julia and Lena twins - answer this question:
It turns out, riding an electric unicycle is super easy and takes one hour tops for even the most loath adults. Children can learn this even in roughly 10-20 minutes.
When comparing the process of learning how to ride an electric unicycle and a bicycle, it seems both have some advantages and disadvantages:
- A bicycle has a handlebar, which helps to maintain side balance. However learning how to pedal to keep speed is harder,
- An electric unicycle is kept in balance thanks to gyroscopes. Accelerating and braking is natural - it requires only moving the centre of body gravity forwards or backwards. However the lack of handlebar makes keeping side balance harder and it's similar to riding a bike "hands-free".
Overall, the learning period is not a problem.
In the case of bicycles, a kid has to learn how to use the brakes, or change gears, which doesn't apply to electric unicycles. In case of an emergency-braking (for instance when an animal comes up from nowhere in front of the bicycle), it is almost impossible to jump off the bicycle - the frame and pedals are effectively preventing it from happening. In the case of an electric unicycle, all you need to do is lean backwards, to brake immediately, and when it comes to the emergency-braking, you can always just jump off - it's simple and natural behaviour. In the case of bicycle, a kid would fall over with the vehicle, which won't happen with an electric unicycle when a kid can simply jump off.
Most importantly, an electric unicycle can make much sharper turns than a bicycle, and even allows for stable riding as slow as a pedestrian. It's impossible to do so when riding a bike - it starts swinging to sides on low speeds. Even adults have this issue, so they try to keep the balance by rotating the handlebar and the front wheel, but it doesn't help - every adult knows, that riding a bicycle in a crowd of pedestrians is impossible. However, it's not a problem on an electric unicycle - adjusting the speed is natural, and you can keep the balance and stability, even riding very slow.
I bet, the parents reading this article, who have already taught their children riding a bike, have been forced by their kids to push their bikes back home, at least once.
It is natural, that children are tired riding a bike after some time, and they prefer to run or just walk for a change.
An electric unicycle does not make you tired, and it guarantees much more fun, than riding a bike. Children are happy to ride the whole route.
What about the range? The smallest electric unicycles, like IPS Zero, can do 30 km on a single charge, while Kingsong KS-14D can do even 40 km. It's few time more than even the longest bicycle family trip. You would love to swap the bicycle trips to unicycle trips, and not having to push your kid bicycles any more.
In case you would like to get a break for something to eat, you don't have to look for a bicycle parking. You can just enter the restaurant with electric unicycles and put them right next to your table.
Let me remind you why the "rideable wheels" are a great solution for the whole family:
- The learning period takes up to 1 hour,
- You can easily fit electric unicycles into your trunk, or under the passenger feet,
- The range is even 40 km,
- You can set a speed limit,
- You don't have to park electric wheels, so the risk of theft is almost none,
- They fit into a backpack,
- The ride is fun and doesn't make you tired,
- You can easily ride on a sidewalk, even in a crowd,
- It's a modern, great looking and environmental friendly, way of transportation,
- Children love it,
- You don't have to push electric unicycles back home.
The photo below shows even larger - 16" electric unicycles, are not a problem for kids.
An electric unicycle is cheaper than a bicycle?!
It doesn't make sense in theory. How an electric unicycle could be cheaper than a kid bicycle from a mall? I said "from a mall" in purpose, as professional bicycles are much more expensive from electric unicycles - they can cost even 2500 EUR.
There are several reasons why a bicycle from a mall is actually more expensive. First of all, you have to match the bike to the user height. For a small kid, you buy a small bicycle. Then your kid grows up and you need larger wheels and frame. Then - another, larger bike. Finally, when your child stops growing, you have to make one more purchase.
Assuming the bikes won't break down (which is unlikely in case of cheap bicycles from a mall), you will have to buy at least 4 bicycles in the whole time when your child is growing up.
However, all you need to do is buy only one electric unicycle - because the same size is designed for both children and adults. There is no frame or seat, and the wheel diameter difference between models is very little. Besides, you choose the wheel diameter according to the riding conditions. For a city usage, both adults and kids prefer 14" electric unicycles.
In the case of having a bicycle, you have to add the servicing costs. How many times did your chain fall? How many times did your gears stop working? How many times did you have to adjust or replace the brakes? How many times did you have willingness to inflate two wheels? How many times did you get your hands dirty by waxing the chain?
None of the issues above applies to electric unicycles. These devices are just simple and failure-free. There are no mechanical parts that can brake down, such as a chain or gears. The engine is responsible for braking, so you don't need mechanical brakes at all. There is nothing to wax. Electric unicycles are literally clean and hassle-free - for inflating the tyre you can simply use the same air pump/compressor as for your bicycle or car.
But what about the future? Do you need to buy a new model for your kid after some time? No, you don't. After some time, you can simply increase the speed limit or turn it off, to let your child ride faster. You don't have to worry about replacing any parts or about the battery life cycle.
What model should I choose? Is the cheapest worth buying?
The basic rule: don't buy bicycles or electric unicycles in malls. It's not worth it - the low price will make you additional costs later or - what's worse - it can affect your child health. And health is everything, isn't it? You don't save money on health, right?
The cheapest electric unicycles you can find in a mall or internet, cost 350 - 600 EUR. What's wrong with them? Besides the fact the manufacturer is an unknown, never existing before company, the vehicles performance is very low. Both engine power output and battery capacity are really small. Most adults think children don't need devices with a power backup. Unfortunately, it's not true. A cheap electric unicycle, with maximum speed of 15 km/h and 15-20 km range, will in reality allow for maximum, stable speed of 10 km/h and 10 km range - which could not be enough for a family trip. Despite the fact, that such unicycle would need to be replaced for a better one in the future, low performance unicycles are, unfortunately, dangerous. Electric wheels with poor engine and battery can suddenly power off when accelerating instantly or during an emergency braking, for example. It is caused by the fact, that the batteries and motor cannot supply enough power, to do such power-consuming manoeuvre. A child doesn't even need to ride fast, for the cheap unicycle to suddenly shut off and cause an injury.
Because of this, it is crucial to make wise purchases and pay attention to the unicycle power backup. Remember, you can always limit the speed and your child would be still able to accelerate and brake very fast, but only in a limited speed range - for instance up to 15 km/h. Risking your child getting injured only to spare 250 EUR for an unknown brand electric unicycle with a poor engine, is simply not worth it. Instead, it is better to trust manufacturers like IPS or Kingsong - they are on the market for many years, and are best known from high safety level and high quality components, with proper certificates.
When purchasing a decent electric unicycle, not only we care about safety of our kids and people on their way, but we also get a warranty we will not need to replace this device for a "better one" in the future. Besides, more expensive electric wheels simply... look better and have more features, which increase the riding comfort - like colourful LEDs, or strong lamps for riding at night.
I would like to remind you, that on ElectricUnicycles.eu you can find only reliable models from famous brands, with great performance and power backup. All models in our shop are tested by us - adult professionals.
An electric unicycle as a communion gift, instead of a bicycle?
Why not? As we well know, today's children like designed clothing, better phones than their age-mates, and overall stand out. Children everyday mood depends on things they have around every day.
The last thing today's children wants as a gift, is a bike. Don't believe me? Ask them.
Kids are much better in technology than their parent. If, as a parent, you can't list high quality brands of laptops, mobile phones, or electric unicycles, it doesn't mean your child cannot, too. Quite the opposite!
We have already written why bicycles will soon become past and have to be replaced with smarter vehicles.
Would you like to give your kid a gift for the communion or any other occasion, which will be a 100% match? A gift with your kid can present proudly to age-mates? A present, which will make your trips together even better? An incredibly practical gift, which fits to a backpack, a trunk, which is easy to carry and charge as a mobile phone? An electric unicycle is the best choice - it will make your child dreams come true, and make a huge "wow" on the party.
Why not a hoverboard?
Recently, "hoverboards" (or "huverboards") have became famous, because of their low price and practically... no learning curve.
Despite the fact no learning or understanding is actually needed - which won't increase your children intellectual abilities, hoverboards are just dangerous. The European Union has quickly banned them, however. After you got one, you can't actually ride it, except closed roads or backyards. In contrast, electric unicycles are allowed on sidewalks and special bicycle lanes.
Because hoverboards are manufactured mostly by hundreds of unknown, unreliable, Chinese-based companies, they are often equipped with low quality batteries, which happened to... set themselves on fire, when riding or not.
Besides, hoverboards have even weaker engines than the cheapest electric unicycles, which often led to sudden power-offs, causing accidents and injuries.
Hoverboards have almost no learning curve, as they have two wheels, which are responsible for keeping the device in balance. However, the wheels are so small, it's not possible to ride over kerbs. Even the smallest stone or a hole in the road are obstacles you just can't defeat.
As making turns on hoverboards requires twisting the both sides of the board with your feet, it is impossible to make a sharp turn on higher speeds, which causes falling off the device.
Unfortunately, that's not all. Hoverboards have a very limited range and don't allow to limit the maximum speed. It is obvious they can't replace a bicycle.
We encourage all parents to make wise purchases. It is important do know the differences between hoverboards and electric unicycles.
Electric unicycles have wheels with the diameter similar to BMX wheels, so it's easy to ride over kerbs, bumpy surfaces or field tracks. Making turns is even easier than on a bicycle.
Remember, on ElectricUnicycles.eu you can find only tested models from reliable manufacturers, with certified SONY, Panasonic and Sanyo (a Panasonic subsidiary) batteries. Did you know, Tesla uses the same kind of Panasonic batteries in their electric cars? Is it not cool to have such a battery in a personal transportation vehicle?
This article is an ultimate proof that an electric unicycle is better than a bicycle in every way, and it's an ideal gift for a kid.
Would you buy your kid an electric unicycle? Maybe you already did? Have you had a bad experience with hoverboards, too? Let me know in the comment section below!