Published on October 28th, 2017 | by Kyle Field0
The Uno Bolt — Fun Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle
October 28th, 2017 by Kyle Field
We regularly cover electric vehicles, solar, storage, electric bikes, and electric skateboards, but it’s not everyday that we get to cover an electric unicycle. Yes, we have covered them over the years, but they seem to have a hard time gaining traction in the market. Self-balancing technology and gyros hold new promise when it comes to unicycles, which have struggled to overcome the
perception reality that riding around on a single wheel requires that you maintain your balance at all times.
The Uno Bolt aims to change that with its Gyro Force Technology. This takes balance out of the equation and allows the driver to just ride. Much like on a Segway, leaning forward triggers the vehicle to move forward while leaning back slows it down and applies the brakes. The Bolt does not have any regen to speak of, so braking is unfortunately a purely mechanical operation.
- Motor power: 1000 watts
- Battery: 4.4 amp-hour lithium
- Vehicle Weight: 20 kgs | 45 lb
- Max Speed: 35 km/h | 22 mph
- Weight Limit: 127 kg | 280 lb
- Range: 40 km | 25 miles (manufacturer)
- Charge Time from 0–100%: 45 minutes
The Uno Bolt boasts a competitive set of stats, with a 25 mile range and 45 minute charge time from empty to topped up being the most impressive. On the flip side, having just one, 1000 watt motor powering a vehicle that weighs in at 20 kg + a passenger feels a bit low. Comparing that to the Boosted Board, which only weighs 10 kg but packs two 1000 watt motors, the Uno Bolt’s motors seem understated.
There is more to how a vehicle rides than just the power number, so we’ll have to wait and see how the production units perform before making a final decision, but this is definitely one spec to be cautious about for larger riders.
The video (embedded below) sure makes it look like a fun vehicle to ride, but also makes it clear that it is not a vehicle that’s going to burn rubber anytime soon. It appears to be a very comfortable ride with very smooth, predictable acceleration. In other words, a great commuter vehicle.
The great caveat to this is the weight. This is not a vehicle most people will be able to lift, let alone carry down stairs, onto a train, then back up again. That and its larger size will make it challenging as a solution to “the last mile” — for those looking for a portable electric vehicle that can get them to the bus/train stop and from the train/bus to school or work.
Having said that, the Uno Bolt’s comfy-looking seat and familiar handlebars seem to make it a great fit for longer commutes. I would much rather be lounging on this than sprinting around town for any great distance on a Boosted Board … but that’s just a personal preference. The Uno Bolt’s form factor alone is at the same time its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.
Price & Availability
The Uno Bolt exceeded its funding targets on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo (both now closed), which included early bird pricing as low as $999 with free shipping. Compared to the retail price of $1500, that is a great deal for those looking for a personal mobility solution that packs a little more comfort and relaxation than a powered skateboard or e-bike.
With so much money and hype already being raised for the Uno Bolt, the only outstanding question is really, “When will it ship?” With that in mind, we have reached out to the team that built the Uno Bolt to see if and when we can get our hands on a prototype, demo unit, or production version for review.
To learn more about the Uno Bolt, check out the video below or head over to the official website.
h/t The Verge