When you are thinking about a one-wheeled skateboard must people think about the Onewheel from Future Motion Inc. They were not the first to invent the one wheel skateboard, see more in the History of Onehweel, but they were the first company to commercialize the product to the market.
Since then there has come a lot of alternatives that are copies of the design, mainly from China. Some people might argue that the Electric Unicycle, EUC, is an alternative. In the sense of a one-wheeled vehicle, yes but not as a skateboard.
The same goes for the electric skateboards out there, it’s a skateboard, but still on four wheels. An interesting alternative is the Summerboard, mimicking snowboarding, with an extra two wheels underneath.
Future motion has since the launch release four boards, the initial Onewheel, Onwheel Plus, Onewheel XR and the Onewheel Pint.
Let’s look into the main competitors of a true one-wheeled skateboard and compare them with the two current offerings from Future Motion Inc. Onewheel XR and Onewheel Pint.
|Model||Onewheel XR||Onewheel Pint||Trotter T1||Trotter T3||Unicool D3|
|Price||$ 1799||$ 950||$ 579||$ 1399||$ 500-1000|
|Battery Size||324 Wh||148 Wh||211 Wh||420Wh||211 Wh|
|Range||15 miles (24 km)||7 miles (11 km)||7 miles (11 km)||17 miles (27 km)||10 miles (16 km) 15-20|
|Top Speed||19 mph (30 km/h)||16 mph (26 km/h)||12.5 mph (20 km/h)||19 mph (30 km/h)||12.5 mph (20 km/h)|
|Motor power||750W(||750W(||700W (48V)||1500W(60V)||500W (48V)|
|Weight||27 lbs (12.5 kg)||23 lbs (10.4 kg)||31 lbs (14 kg)||37 lbs (17 kg)||27 lbs (12.3 kg)|
|Max Climbing angel||15°||15°||20°||30°||12°|
|Max Load||275 lbs (125 kg)||275 lbs (125 kg)||265 lbs (120 kg)||300 lbs (136 kg)||220 lbs (100 kg)|
The Trotter is the best known and one of the closest to a ‘knock-off’ version of Onewheels products. Performance-wise the T3 has come a long way and actually beating Future Motion and the XR if you are looking at the specifications.
Still, the manufacturing and visuals of the board make it look like a simpler version of a Onewheel V1.
These boards are manufactured in China and sold by companies around the world. The price can vary and the list price is from a smaller distributor in USA. The T1 is a bit more than half the cost of the Pint and the T3 is getting closer to the Onehweel XR with a state price of $1399.
The Trotter T1 gives a lot of its value, with a 7-mile range and a top speed of around 13 mph even though it doesn’t exactly meet the Pint. The main drawback is the control and mounting it is difficult because of the lack of a gyroscope to help the control algorithms. This has been addressed in the T3 with an improved balance algorithm and the addition of a gyroscope system.
Making this board riding more like the Onewheel, still, nothing compares to Future Motion Inc. and they are still producing the best boards from a riding experience point of view.
The Trotter are missing an application and the board doesn’t hold the same value as the Onewheels on the second-hand market.
With the D3 Unicool has really taken a leap forward from a design point of view. The board looks more refined when compared to the Trotter and has a much sleeker design, an aluminium alloy frame, making it more durable, with both front and taillights that change with the direction of riding like the Onewheel.
The D3 is a better machine when compared to the T1 and has the addition of a gyroscope which gives a similar feel when riding to a Onewheel. The board offers a 10-mile range, which is similar to the Pint but lacks a bit on the top speed at 14 mph. The board has also lesser power and torque from its 500W motor.
The board comes at a high price, the older D2 goes for around $ 500 to almost $ 1000 for the D3 depending on where you find it.
The board also has integrated handles in the body both on the front and side compared to the Pint.
At almost the same price as the Pint with on specification sheets better battery/range, but worse software, and possibly worse hardware. The top speed will be lower, there is no app to go with it, the response is sharper and more aggressive. I would recommend trying to pick up a second hand XR or a new Pint.
The Unicool/DanDan are missing an application and the board doesn’t hold the same value as the Onewheels on the second-hand market.
There is always the way to go the do-it-yourself route with the Floatwheel project. This DIY floatwheel kit will cost you ~$600 but you have to assemble and tune that yourself. It will depend on how handy you are with electronics, building and not something I recommend to anyone who doesn’t have building electronics as a hobby.
In short stay away from other boards like the ltxtreme freestyle hoverboard or similar products. Yes, they are cheap, but it comes with plastic feel, bad riding experience, slow speed an range.
Why you should go with a Onewheel
If you have the money and think that riding a one-wheeled device will be something for you then I would recommend you to buy a Onewheel, new or look for a bargain on the second-hand market. The boards are keeping their value so it’s hard to snag a deal and you are risking falling into the hands of scammers, be aware.
Getting a Onewheel will unlock the possibility for tons of accessories from third party companies like fenders, different footpads, carrying accessories and even increase the range with battery hacks. This is something you will not get if you are getting a clone.
The initial investment will be a part but not all you probably will put into your board. I also recommend you to invest and wear protection, I always ride padded and here is the protective gear I use on a daily basis.