Do It!, December 14, 2013
If you are are reading this, you are wondering if you should get a Solowheel. If you are wondering if you should get a Solowheel, please believe me, the answer is YES!!!
Here’s my story. I was in Paris, and saw a guy zipping down a crowded street, in the rain, on some weird wheel thing that was between his feet! I stood mesmerized for a good ten minutes. Then immediately found Wi-Fi, and discovered what that thing was.
Ordered one immediately! It is easy to ride (it really is!) and so much fun. It is wonderful. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself is buying this fantastic contraption!
Andrea, Sherman Oaks, CA
I am falling in love with the Solowheel!, November 17, 2013
Yes, there’s a learning curve. I’m on Day 4 but was able to drive it around a parking lot pretty well within 2 days. Yes my inner calves do hurt, but not when I’m not riding. The pain is going down already, and my skill is increasing. The hardest thing is mounting it and U-turning in small spaces. It took the width of my neighborhood street at first and I was very unsure and wobbly. But now I can do it in under 1/2 the street width… about 8′ Anyhow, I love the thing and it’s a lot of fun… Makes me want to get a turbo version that can go faster, the real skill comes in driving it slow. Anyhow, I didn’t buy the knock off version because we need to support inventors (Inventist), not the Chinese manufacturers. (Yes I know the real ones are unfortunately still made there, but at least they are made to the Inventors specs!) Thanks Solowheel, I see us building a great long term relationship!
This thing is AWESOME!!!, September 6, 2013
I’ve had my Solowheel for about a week and a half now. It is awesome!
I live just outside of town, in a one-bedroom condo. I had been looking for some sort of “personal transportation” device for a couple of years now and the leading contender had been the electric scooter. I’m just looking to be able to zip into and around town. A bike/moped is a prevalent response, but my storage options at home are limited. The Segway is cool, but pricey and way too bulky for my purpose. Having to secure the vehicle at the destination is also a negative, in my opinion. Additionally, while getting into town is a breeze – it’s a downhill slope, getting home is a bit more of a challenge – I was looking for a powered option. Then, I saw the Solowheel.
The most compelling feature of the Solowheel, for me, is its relative compactness/portability (bear in mind that it is between 20-25 pounds). It is pricey, but you could pay a similar amount for a moped, electric bike or high-end bicycle.
You need to learn to ride it and will need to invest in learning/practice time. The closest overall experience/effort that I can relate it to is its like learning to ride a bicycle all over again. If you are reasonably capable at things like riding a bicycle, skateboard, skates, skis, or snowboard, I would think that you can learn to ride the Solowheel.
I’ve had six sessions so far. Each one lasted 1-2 hours – this is not continuous riding time. I’ve gone through two full battery charges. Total elapsed time must have been between 8 and 10 hours. Total run time has probably been a little over two hours. I can basically ride and maneuver the Solowheel, but am not comfortable/confident enough to “take it to the streets” yet. I am confident that I will get there. My sessions have been in an empty parking lot. Learning it has been fun and you can feel the incremental improvement between sessions.
I am very happy with my decision to purchase and learn the Solowheel.
nice ride, very stable and very robust machine, August 5, 2013
The motor feels very torquy, it has no problems carrying me (~185 lbs) up and down steep roads, overpasses and parking structure ramps.
The top speed limiting mechanism takes effect once my GPS registers about 8.5mph. The pedals tilt backwards making it difficult to lean further forward. Though one can reach ~10mph momentarily by continuing to lean forward even with the pedals tilted uncomfortably backward. Caution when going down steep roads, try to avoid triggering the speed limiting tilt. This is because with the speed limiting backward-tilt engaged on steep hills, the back of the wheel cover can make contact with the ground and make the ride not so pleasant.
In summary, this is an extremely convenient and extremely fun mode of transportation.
Truly innovative and fun!, August 4, 2013
I don’t write that many reviews, but this is one of the greatest new products to come along in quite some time so I’m going to try my hand writing one for the Solowheel. I often benefit from the highly informative reviews of others on Amazon, so as one of the initial Solowheel owners I’m contributing here in the hope that it will benefit others and get the word out on the Solowheel. If you’re like me, you are doing research and have questions — especially given that the Solowheel is not especially cheap. My experiences and comments will partly overlap what other reviewers have written, but I’ll give you my own take just to reinforce what they’ve said (or in a few minor cases disagree) and hopefully add some new observations of my own.
I took delivery of my Solowheel almost a year ago now, and have been riding for that long. I use it a lot when I’m at my boat on weekends. It’s great for zipping around the docks, to the clubhouse, and back and forth between my boat and car. It’s also great for going almost anywhere in a walking community like around a harbor. I use it to go to restaurants, the bank, chandleries, barber shops, and lots of other places around the harbor. The Solowheel is a real vehicle that you can use for practical transportation. And unlike a bike, you can easily take it inside with you and just stow it near your seat. It’s also great in combination with your car, since it easily fits in the trunk or on the floor inside.
As you can gather from the other reviews, expect lots of admiring comments and questions from onlookers whenever you’re out riding a Solowheel. They’re still very new and most people have never seen one. Pretty much every time I ride the Solowheel, I stop to answer questions from a curious pedestrian or motorist, so I’ll frame this review around how I typically answer their questions.
What is it? The Solowheel is kind of like a motorcycle version of a Segway, but smaller, lighter, easier to transport and a lot more fun to ride. It’s also a lot cheaper than a Segway. It actively balances forward and back (I encourage people to grip the handle and waggle it forward and backward at this point to feel the active balancing). Side to side, you steer it like a motorcycle. The controls are simple: Lean forward to go forward, and backward to slow down or stop. There are no hand controls, leaving hands free. The Solowheel uses active braking: Going downhill and braking charges the batteries and recovers energy.
What’s the range and how long does it take to charge? I estimate a twelve mile range and a bit over an hour charging time if the batteries are fully depleted, though your actual range in practice will depend on the terrain, rider weight, and probably riding style. It’s an engineering marvel to pack so much energy density into a case this small and light, and it surely wouldn’t have been possible without recent advances in battery technology. The trip to my nearest post office has a big hill that’s pretty respectably steep and over half a mile long. The Solowheel hauls my 180 pound body up that hill at full speed with ease. I’m not sure what the actual elevation gain is, but I do know that takes an impressive amount of energy.
Is it comfortable? Before I bought my Solowheel, I read a review saying that your legs and feet would get tired after an hour of riding. That hasn’t been my personal experience. If your riding posture is standing straight up like you should be, it’s quite comfortable. I have often ridden until the batteries needed recharging, but I wasn’t tired and could have ridden farther.
How safe is it? Quite safe. Though it might look like a precarious balancing act on one wheel, remember that the Solowheel actively balances forward and back. If you do hit an uneven spot in the pavement, you just step off and take a few steps to recover. You’re not going that fast, and your feet are only a few inches off the ground, so you just have to step off the foot platforms. Though I have lost my balance and had to step off hundreds of times — mostly while I was learning — I have never wrecked or fallen down. Of course you COULD fall down, but then you could trip and fall while walking or running, too.
Does it go fast enough? Before I bought the Solowheel, I thought I would want more speed, but the speed it is set for is about right — very fast compared to walking and fast enough to be quite fun to ride, but not so fast that it’s dangerous. I don’t feel the need to wear any protective pads or a helmet, though I hasten to add that Inventist does recommend wearing a helmet.
Is it hard to ride? As every other reviewer who has commented on this point has emphasized, do NOT expect to just hop on the Solowheel and be able to ride it right out of the box. It does take a bit of practice. I have let many people try mine out, including some who surf, windsurf, ride unicycles, and so on — and not one of them was ever able to just ride it the first time. That being said, the learning time is pretty short and it doesn’t take a great amount of skill to ride after a little practice.
How long does it take to learn? Depends, but I would say that after several daily sessions of an hour or so you can learn the basics and be able to start, stop, and steer. I have some tips below on learning to ride, which should hopefully make your experience easier.
How sturdy is it? The Solowheel is very well built and durable. There are nice touches like a notch cut out in one of the foot platforms to accomodate the (provided) tire valve extension. One reviewer wrote that you have to take the Solowheel apart to add air, but that is not the case with mine. The valve extender fits nicely in the notch and you just put an air pump on the other end of the extender. I have not had to replace a tire yet, but I’ve heard it’s a chore like the other reviewers have said. Fortunately the tire is pretty hefty so it won’t get flats easily.
I also want to say a word about Inventist’s customer service: It’s fantastic. I had a minor intermittent problem with the on/off switch on mine that developed after several months of use. Inventist was very responsive and helpful, and they fixed the problem promptly under warranty at no charge.
So in conclusion, this is a wonderful little transportation device. It’s innovative and very fun to ride. It is a little expensive in an absolute sense, but considering all of the technology that’s packed into the small housing, I’m amazed they can build and offer them as inexpensively as they do.
And a final warning on unauthorized knockoffs. Due to the popularity of the Solowheel, there are now several knocksoffs on the market that look almost identical to Inventist’s Solowheel, but are much cheaper. I strongly advise you to avoid these. Besides the pure principle of the thing, do some research and you will see that these are inferior to real Solowheels — not unexpectedly, considering the cut-rate prices. Solowheels rely on a lot of technology, and it has to work properly or you’re going to have a bad experience at best, and possible injuries at worst. Not worth it. Get a real one.
That’s the end of my review, but below I’ll offer some tips on learning to ride that might prove useful once you decide to buy one.
Tips on learning to ride:
Biggest tip: Pad your ankles! Once you learn to ride, you won’t need any padding and you will feel completely comfortable just hopping on and taking off, but while you’re learning your ankles will get bruised if you don’t wear thick padding. A good start would be a double layer of thick hiking socks, but that won’t be enough by itself. You can even just wrap some towels or T-shirts around your ankles and hold them in place with velcro straps under your pants. It’s only temporary. But wear some kind of thick ankle padding. You’ll have a much more pleasant experience that way.
The basics are: Start, stop, and steer. Starting is probably the hardest.
Begin by just balancing on the Solowheel near a wall and using your hands for balance. You might find it convenient to start in an office building that has short firm carpet. That will keep your Solowheel from getting scratched as you’re learning. Your feet and legs need to be in proper riding position, but this probably won’t feel natural at first. When you place your foot on most footpegs or foot pads on something other than a Solowheel, you center the ball of your foot on the pad. The foot position for the Solowheel is different. Your legs should fit right into the indentations molded into the red vertical pads that rise from the Solowheel’s axle. That way your center of gravity is right above the axle. But your ankles attach much closer to your heels than to the balls of your feet. This means that when your feet are properly positioned on the foot pads, it will probably feel at first like your feet are too far forward. Use the indentations in the red ankle pads as your guide. Your ankles should fit comfortably in them.
Now try gently moving forward while balancing with your hands along the wall. When you lose your balance, just step off. Use the training strap to keep the Solowheel from falling over when you lose your balance. You will tense every muscle and probably break a sweat, but try to feel the balance. You won’t be having fun yet. Don’t lose patience.
Next, find an open space like a parking lot. You need some speed in order to balance, just like a bicycle. Your goal is to get on the Solowheel, start off and just stay on for several feet or yards. Don’t worry too much about steering or going in a straight line. You just want enough speed to begin to feel the balance.
Start by bracing one leg against the Solowheel with that leg’s foot on the pad. Your other leg should be on the ground. If you are right handed, then you probably want to brace with your left leg and push off from the ground with your right, but do whatever feels most comfortable. You give a little forward push with your leg that is on the ground, and then quickly raise that foot onto its pad. As you do this, you also need to lean a little forward to get the Solowheel to accelerate. It has to be all one smooth motion. It might help to think of the pad you’re placing your foot onto as the accelerator pedal of your car. Push it down a bit as you take off (that’s equivalent to angling it forward, which causes the Solowheel to accelerate).
Hopefully you will quickly be able to start making some short forward runs, though they probably won’t be very straight. That’s OK — feel the balance. Stay on for as long as you can. It’s important to grip the Solowheel firmly between your legs. If you just stand on the foot pads with the Solowheel loose between your ankles, you won’t have any control. At first you will probably grip the Solowheel too tightly with your legs, causing bruises if you don’t wear any padding (later on when you’re comfortable riding, you will still grip the solowheel firmly between your lower legs, but with only light pressure so you won’t need any pads). When you lose your balance, use the training strap to keep the Solowheel upright so it won’t get scratched. You will lose your balance and have to step off a lot, but you won’t fall. You will now be having fun.
As your runs get longer, you’ll start to feel how to steer. It’s not that going straight is the default and you have to do something special to initiate a turn — it’s more like just going straight requires a lot of active steering effort. It’s hard to describe but it’s not important that I do so because you’ll feel it. I suspect that at anything above a very slow speed you actually countersteer (look it up on Wikipedia since Amazon seems to delete the link I put here), but I have no accurate way to confirm that. In any case it feels natural and there’s no need to understand the theoretical details.
With longer runs you’ll also easily master stopping. Stopping is probably the easiest and won’t take any special practice on its own: just lean back to slow down and then step off. It feels really natural.
So now you can start, stop, and steer. From there it’s all just refinement. You probably don’t want to continue using the big orange training strap after you feel comfortable riding, but you may want to rig a thin tether that you can loop around your wrist, just so you don’t have to stoop down and grab the handle when you stop. Have fun!
I love my Solowheel, June 2, 2013
Not cheap, but worth every penny.
On day 1, about all I could do was ride back and forth along a fence trying not to fall over.
On day 2, I could ride pretty well, as long as I went in a straight line.
On day 3, I started to really feel it. I spent hours (several recharges) zooming all over my neighborhood, huge smile plastered on my face.
I’m still far from an expert rider, but I am LOVING my Solowheel. It feels a little like skiing down a gentle, smooth slope. Or skateboarding over glass-smooth pavement. My kids love it too, because we’re now spending at least an hour a day riding around the neighborhood. Them on their bikes or scooters, and me on my Solowheel.
While learning to ride, I’d recommend wrapping an ace bandage around each calf to pad the spot where your leg touches the solowheel. Otherwise, this spot can get pretty tender until you figure out for yourself exactly how to stand on the platforms.
Extremely frustrating at first, but lots of fun once mastered, October 16, 2012
I watched many videos and read many reviews before ordering this toy, for I knew that, living in the suburbs, it would never be a real source of transportation for me. But I’ve ridden a Segway several times, and was intrigued by the concept of a similar device with half the wheels.
It took an awful long time from order to shipping because of some backlog or overseas delay. It came packaged well, and at first glance the quality of the device looked like what I would expect from a somewhat expensive mass produced item. I couldn’t wait to try it out, but I let it charge fully first.
Then there was that first try while leaning against a wall and tentatively learning to move it forward and back gently. I was very impressed with how stable it felt going forward and back.
After that, it was pure frustration for hours of practice, and sore shins, even after taping two layers of knee pads to the device. I couldn’t go more than a few feet before losing my balance to one side or the other and having to step off. I knew I’d have to learn to turn in order to keep the thing under my center of gravity as I fell to the side, but it wasn’t easy to get the hang of it. In the videos, they make it seem like you have to twist your upper body one way to get the wheel turning the other way, but I found that very awkward and jerky.
Then, by accident, or trial and error, I began tilting the thing between my feet, leaning it left or right even more than I was tilting my whole body, and I found that the tire would carve a turn, kind of like when I’m skiing. That’s the best analogy I can think of. Soon I was able to control the device precisely, and at very low speeds. I could turn completely in the width of a sidewalk. Another benefit of not putting a death grip on the pads with my shins is that my bruises disappeared, and I was much more relaxed. I took off the extra pads, and now my shins only make gentle contact with the device. It’s almost as if I’m barely touching the thing with my shins. Most of the control is through the bottom of my feet.
It took me many hours of practice to get to this point of being as comfortable on the SoloWheel as I am on a bike. Persevere and you will get there too.
A few things I’ve found so far in the couple months I’ve been riding it;
The bottoms of my feet cramp up when I ride for a long time. It may be because I have large feet, and my heels, toes, and outside edges of my feet extend over the footpads, putting a lot of pressure on just my arches. I found that the stiffer the soul, the less cramping there is.
I read the recommended tire pressure on the side of the tire, and inflated it to that pressure. It was as if it was a totally different device. I couldn’t stay on the thing, it was so hard to control. Maybe it was just very different to control. The pressure was initially very low, around 15 psi if I remember correctly. I let the pressure down to 17 and tried again, and it was back to the way I could ride it again. I’ve gradually built up the pressure to about 22. Just know that a little change in tire pressure can make a huge difference in control and feel. I recommend 15 to 17 psi when first learning, and gradually increasing it by a couple psi at a time, which I venture to guess lengthens the life of the tire.
This is a tough device. I’ve dumped it on the pavement many times, and aside from getting scuffed up a bit, I haven’t had an operational problem with it yet. I have no qualms about letting people try it. I offer them the training strap so they don’t have to constantly pick it up and reset it, but I don’t cringe if they crash it.
Don’t ride a SoloWheel if you don’t like attention. I almost caused an accident, riding on the sidewalk, as a car driver concentrated on me and not the road. Kids point and exclaim to their parents, cars slow down to look, people can’t seem to help but smile. Be ready to stop and answer questions, and maybe offer a ride.
I don’t think this thing goes quite the 10MPH advertised. I find it difficult to get a consistently accurate GPS speed when I’m riding it, but I’m guessing it goes about 9. That feels pretty fast when you’re essentially skimming several inches above the pavement with nothing in sight around you, or even under you, unless you’re looking down. I rarely find myself wishing for more speed. I actually have more fun going slow. I find that the better I get, the slower I can go. Now it’s more fun to do figure eights in a very confined space than to go as fast as I can on a wide street. My next goal is to stay in control going backwards.
I haven’t tested the endurance of the device. I’ve traveled a little over three miles at a time. I notice that the light turns amber when I’m going up hill or accelerating. I haven’t ever come to the point where I’ve gotten a consistent warning light or run out of power. I do top up the battery even after a short ride, and if I don’t use it for days, I’ll charge it every so often.
I’d recommend this device to anyone fairly coordinated and active. If you can ride a bike, ski, snowboard, skateboard, rollerblade, etc., I believe you can master the SoloWheel. Just know that it’s going to take several frustrating hours and lots of shin bruising before you feel that first bit of control. Learn how to turn the device as early as possible. That’s really the key to staying on this thing. I thought at first that going straight was necessary before turning, but it’s really the other way around. Like a bike, you are constantly falling over. The trick is to steer the device back under you to catch yourself. At first, these are gross movements, but after a while they become so subtle they aren’t noticeable, and you stop thinking about it. It becomes like….. riding a bike.
(I consider four stars an above average rating, exceeding expectations, and five stars exceptional. This is a wonderful device that I’m impressed with and recommend, so it gets four stars. Exceptional, five star, ratings should be rare and hard to earn, in my opinion.)
I used a dedicated GPS device, and I think I got a more accurate speed reading, plus the device records maximum speed. I was very close to 10MPH when glancing at it occasionally, and the maximum reading said 10. Going downhill I was even able to reach almost 11MPH. So it does seem to go as fast as advertised.
perfect show-off urban commuter, September 25, 2012
I bought this for my 40 years old boyfriend and he is amazed by it. He rides it daily around the city. Taking it to bus, tram, hoping on, of, perfect, simple.
It takes practice, a lot of practice at first. It took us at least 3 days to be more or less confident to ride it. But now after one month? Second nature, it’s like breathing or walking. It’s simple, fast, efficient. We love it totally.
Yeah and it’s a perfect conversation starter… no it’s actually a conversation magnet, attracting all the people around, getting questions and comments all the time… 🙂
Got to buy myself one, or keep hoping to get one in return 😀
Makes it fun to run errands, September 14, 2012
The Solowheel is great. I live near downtown and so there are many places I go that are within a 4 to 20 minute walk. The Solowheel cuts off many of those minutes. Running errands is quicker than walking, and it’s less of a hassle than using a bicycle and helmet. It’s a little quicker than pulling the bike out of the house, and instead of needing a backpack, I can carry a bag (with practice…a heavy bag can add some instability). Taking a backpack is an option if I plan on buying more stuff like groceries. With a combination backpack/bag, I can carry more than I can carry on my bike (I have no panniers). I lock the Solowheel to parking meters using a standard U-lock through the handle because it’s too heavy to carry around inside stores. (Update: After months of riding it, I now carry a bag of groceries in each hand on a regular basis.)
I can carry an umbrella on rainy days, which you can’t do on a bike. It needs to be a small umbrella, and don’t try it on a windy day.
I’ve had it for a couple months now. It took me about 20 minutes of fumbling in the parking lot before I was finally able to balance well enough to stay on and make some wide sweeping circles. Here is what I teach people: before trying to move forward, practice standing just on one foot (the Solowheel must be tilted to the side slightly). Pick up the other foot, but don’t try to place it on the Solowheel yet. Once you can lift he other foot smoothly and hold it in the air for a second, then you’re ready to try putting it down on the other foot platform and try leaning forward. It’s pointless trying to put the second foot down on the Solowheel’s foot platform if you can’t do it smoothly.
As you come to a stop, you’ll want to do the same thing in reverse: put all the weight onto one foot, tipping the Solowheel slightly to the side. Then, as you rotate backwards slightly to bring the Solowheel to a stop, place the free foot on the ground. I can stop and restart without grabbing the Solowheel with one hand. This is what I do when I have to wait at a crosswalk.
It can be a bit painful on the inside of the shin and ankle, while you’re learning. Try wearing a volleyball kneepad around your ankle, turned to the inside. It’s not totally necessary though.
It’s not very good on the busiest of city sidewalks because you just have to go real slow and hope that people go around you, and don’t stop right in front of you. But when you take off it’s great to see how much faster you’re going, and how much time you’re saving compared to walking.
When I bought it in the summer of 2012, it took a couple months because they were being shipped (manufactured in China). Shipping by boat is not like FedEx; I guess there’s no way to know exactly when it will arrive.
I live on a hill, and if I try to go downhill immediately after charging the battery, it will give me the “shake warning” because the battery is getting over-charged (because it recharges the battery whenever you slow down, particularly going downhill). So what I have to do is go down a flat street for a half a block, then back. Then I can go down the hill without the shake warning. This would be a serious problem only if you lived at the top of a long downhill driveway, for instance, without any possibility of riding on a flat road for half a block before going down the hill.
Learning curve but AWESOME when you figure it out!, July 29, 2012
It’s REALLY important to understand and accept that you will NOT be able to just hop on and scoot around on this when you first get it. It’s like learning to ride a bike – impossible at first but with practice and perseverance you’ll be zipping around in no time. After several aborted macho-man attempts at trying to use it in the middle of a parking lot I decided to take it slow, do it right, and headed over to a brick wall. I leaned against the wall and just went back and forth, back and forth, for about 3 hours until I started to establish a sense of balance. Then I started trying to go forward without the wall, which graduated into slow and unsteady turns, which graduated into actual driving and obstacle avoidance.
Now I can ride it with just one foot, hop on and off with ease, zigzag to avoid people on sidewalks, and do all sorts of fun stuff. Trust me, when you figure it out and get some practice in it is AWESOME!
Here are some key bullet points that I believe are most important when considering buying one of these:
1) It’s built like a TANK! Seriously, when it wipes out or you fall off it’ll rev up and precess and bounce all over the place until it times out. It’ll scuff and scratch but it doesn’t break. I have no qualms letting people try it because it just isn’t fragile.
2) 2 hour charge for 2 hour ride is pretty accurate. I haven’t measured my mph but it’s definitely faster than walking and maybe a bit faster than jogging.
3) I was afraid that people would make fun of me when I rode it around Boston or Cambridge but the exact opposite turned out to be true. I have had at least three cars pull over and ask if they could try it. Pulled over and with hazards on I’ve demoed this sucker and let people try it. Rolling around Gillette Stadium is a similar experience, everybody stops and asks what it is and says it’s awesome and wants to try it. It was SO NICE when I visited Washington DC, it got me around to all the monuments and I charged it in coffee shops or my hotel. You will hear every single little kid you drive by go “WOAH! LOOK AT THAT MOM/DAD!”
4) It has some heft to it. You don’t want to roll around, run out of batteries, and have to carry it for more than 20 minutes back. It’s meant to be ridden, not hauled.
5) The insides of my legs were definitely bruised for about a week after I began using this sucker. It was not a permanent thing and it doesn’t hurt at all to use now, but your legs aren’t used to being pushed on there and they will get sore. It goes away.
6) I get asked a lot if it’s easier if you know how to unicycle. I had several unicyclists try it the other day and the results were mixed. Three hopped on and within 5-10 minutes were riding (a bit shaky, but stable) around all over the place. One fell flat on her face 🙂 The center of gravity is different and you don’t have the peddling rhythm to help stabilize you. They faked the peddling rhythm by weaving back and forth a bit, which eventually straightened out.
7) It’s GREAT for the trunk of your car. I park wherever I want now in Boston because I can just wheel the remaining distance. I’ve saved tons of $$$ by using free spots that are farther away instead of metered spots close by.
8) I have had TWO cars full of girls drive by whistling and waving and cheering. No joke.
9) I got a flat tire and had to replace it. It was moderately easy but not entirely pleasant. The wheel is NOT designed to come apart, meaning instead of clips or latches you are unscrewing screws and bolts) and you expose some electronics and wires when you open it to access the tire. Other than that, it’s just like replacing a bike tire.
10) Customer service is awesome! They worked closely with me while I was buying it AND have been super helpful during my calls since then.
11) I’ve ridden by police officers, security guards, and other law enforcement types and I’ve never run into any trouble using it on the sidewalk. I’ve let probably 4 try it. The only times I’ve been asked to NOT ride it were in outdoor malls (Patriot Place and a mall in Dedham, MA).
It’s spendy BUT I don’t regret buying it at all. It lives in the trunk of my car with its power cable and I charge it whenever it gets low on battery. I use it almost every day and, honesty, have zero buyer’s remorse. It was a $1,800 well-spent and I’ll be using it for years to come.
I’m having lots of fun with this Solowheel, June 21, 2012
I bought this because it’s cool. Learning how to ride it does not take long if you’ve been on a skateboard. We did it this way. Put one foot on the solowheel and kick off. As soon as you can put the other foot on and stand up straight. Just lean a little forward, don’t go leaning so far you fall over. You should wear a helmet and other protection if you’re not very coordinated. I’m 42 years young, not over weight and average height and build. When you’re riding it pay close attention to the area in front of you. You’ll be fine. Have fun. You can see me ride it on the video link above the review. Just copy the link into your search bar. Thanks and Happy solowheeling!
Expensive but a great option if you live near subways, May 23, 2012
If you decide the buy one, I cannot stress enough…buy some shin guards for soccer and turn them inward to protect the inside of your shins. Otherwise, you will be bruised. That red pad you see in the photo is not thick, nor is it soft.
Tip #2…when first using the included orange practice strap, hold it as loosely as you can. I had the tendency to pull up in a pathetic attempt to keep my balance and all it does is make it worse to stay on. Make sure your center of gravity is directly over the middle of the foot pegs.
Final tip: Whichever foot you decide to use first to step on, step down at a 45 degree angle. That way, as soon as you place your other foot you are propelling forward instead of teetering and falling over.
Took me about 30 min for 2 weeks before I got good. I do think the website lies a bit. 15-20 mile range…I don’t think so. More like 10 max. Max speed of 10 miles an hour? I weigh 155 and I average about 7mph on city streets.
This is a great product!, May 18, 2012
I am still learning to ride this “bike” but it is a fantastic experience.
I am over 50 and a bit overweight so it’s a little difficult.
However, it is fun. It is good exercise. And it is green!
To start I just tried balancing on it indoors while holding a doorframe.
Now I am slowly venturing outside 🙂
I soon hope to be powering my way along as I commute to work in Europe.
It is not cheap but it is so portable and such fun.
I love it and give it 5 stars!
Fun Fun Fun, This is ultamate green transporting, May 7, 2012
I was amazed at how the solowheel was used, key point when thinking about buying: make your you have a use.
Took me 1 day to learn to ride, because my lower leg muscle had to get use to it. key point: do not point toes and lean forward so much, I had wipped out many times falling face first. now I that i have learned what not to do, I can ride my solowheel like its apart of me now, it takes a lot of time and bonding with the solowheel to understand the movements, feels like flying when your ridding.