sologear.jpgIf you happened to be out in Fort Langley this weekend and you were part of the crowds surrounding my son as he wheeled around on the Sologear Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle, you already know how cool it is. I stopped counting after 10 people asked us what it was and where we picked it up, and everywhere he rolled that day, people were drawn to it.

If you didn’t happen to be in Fort Langley, let me fill you in on the Sologear. When you imagine a unicycle, you probably think of one giant wheel with pedals, but that’s not what the Sologear Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle is all about. It glides at speeds up to 18kmph, no pedals required. You barely have to move to get it to glide. And although it is only a single tire, you don’t have to worry about falling over either because the on-board gyroscope keeps you level as you roll.

Here’s a quick look at the features of the Sologear Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle:

  • Rolls at speeds up to 18kmph
  • Gives you up to 20km of riding on a battery charge
  • Can safely roll down hills and climb back up
  • Lightweight, compact, and easy to transport
  • Quick 60 minute battery charge
  • Training wheels and carrying strap included

Getting ready to roll

There’s always a learning curve when you’re learning to ride something new, and although we’ve tried everything from electric bikes to new scooters, we found the Sologear to be one of the easiest to unbox and roll away on. Here’s a quick Vine video of the Sologear Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle in action.

But before you use it, you’ll have to charge it. Thankfully the charging is the hardest part of using the Sologear, and only because you just want to get out there and play already. It takes approximately 60 minutes to fully charge up the 132wh Sony V3 battery, and once charged you’ll be able to roll up to 20km before you’ll have to charge it again.

Gear up and get out theresologear-training-wheels.jpg

For our first try, I wanted to use it on a nice, flat surface where I wouldn’t be worried about the kids falling and hurting themselves. We geared them up with pads and helmets just like we do if they are using their bikes or inline skates, but the Sologear wasn’t quite ready for them. We had to outfit it with training wheels first.

At first glance, the Sologear Unicycle looks like the back wheel of a kid’s bike. The 14” aluminum alloy rim has a rubber tire, and there are two drop down sides for your feet. That’s where the training wheels fit in. By putting them on, the Sologear Unicycle is able to prevent itself from tipping right over while you’re learning.

To get started rolling on the Sologear, all you have to do is turn it on and lean forward slightly. The on-board gyroscope senses the movement and propels you slowly forward. If you lean further, you’ll go faster, and you can turn by leaning from side to side. To stop the Sologear, you lean back until you slow down, then put your foot down to stop. You can expect to have the Unicycle roll out from under your feet a few times until you get the hang of it.

The biggest hurdle we found to using the Sologear was getting and keeping balance, and the training wheels definitely help with that. Within 10 minutes my kids and my husband had all mastered it and were cruising around the parking lot. One of my sons was adventurous enough to climb a hill with it and then cruise back down, and although it was slow climbing up, it held itself very steady on the trip back down. I imagine if you tilted forward while going down a hill you’d be able to achieve more than the top speed of 18kmph, but you’d definitely be skidding to a stop and not in the most pleasant of ways.

Once you’ve mastered riding the Sologear Unicycle, you’ll be shocked at how comfortable it is to ride. It literally glides over the pavement, and I imagine if you get your balance well enough to ditch the training wheels, it would feel similar to riding a Segway.

sologear-battery-life.jpgDurability

Power toys like the Sologear Unicycle are great to play with, but they will rapidly lose the fun factor if they fall apart when the inevitable crash and skid happens. On the durability front, the Sologear Unicycle is built to deliver.

As I mentioned, the tire is similar to a bike tire, so it will stand up to all the bumps and rocks on the road. The outer shell of the Unicycle is created from a durable polyurethane that reminds me of the frame of an inline skate. It’s solid and built to last. Will the outer shell scuff up when you crash the Unicycle? Definitely. But any scuff we put on it was minor and didn’t affect performance.

With 1,000 cycles on the battery you’ll have a lot of opportunity to take the Sologear Unicycle out for a spin, and you won’t have to wait for the weather to clear up either. The body of the Sologear is water-resistant, and it can stand cool weather up to -10.

 

Is it portable?

There is an included carrying strap with the Sologear Unicycle, making it easy to pack up and take with you on the go. The side flaps fold up so you can store it easily in the trunk of your car or take it with you on the bus, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say you could toss it in a backpack without a bit of a struggle. I tried to put it into a standard backpack and it was a bit too bulky. Although the Sologear Unicycle is lightweight for a power toy, it’s also a bit on the heavy side, so you’ll have to plan for some extra weight if you are taking it with you everywhere you go.

If I had to choose between an electric scooter, small dirt bike, or the Sologear Unicycle, I’d have to choose the Sologear. There’s a certain freedom to gliding on it that I just loved, and it was definitely the gadget the kids wanted to go back to time and again. I also think it’s great for building up your core strength and balance, because you’re holding yourself rigid and learning to move along with it.

The Sologear Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle is coming soon to Bestbuy.ca, so keep your eyes peeled for this one. I predict you’ll be soon be seeing a lot of the Sologear in local parks and on city streets.

If you had a Sologear Unicycle, where would you ride it?