The Suspension Electric Unicycle (EUC) is one of the newest innovations in electric unicycles. Suspension gives riders more control and traction when the wheel goes over rough or unpredictable terrain, such as potholes, technical off road obstacles, e.g., tree roots, and other uneven surfaces. Suspended unicycles also give a rider more comfort because they won’t feel every bump in the road. However, they are heavier (due to added weight from suspension), have less range due to reduced battery capacity (when compared with non-suspended wheels), and have higher potential maintenance costs associated with them than traditional electric unicycles do.
In this article, I weight the advantages and limitations of electric unicycles with suspension systems. Suspension electric unicycles are new technology with emerging developments everyday. Are they right for you? Find out below!
1. Suspension Electric Unicycles: Pros and Cons
- A suspension system in an electric unicycle gives a rider more control when encountering rough terrain, such as potholes, cracks in the road, and off-terrain obstacles, e.g., tree roots, rocks, and uneven/unpredictable terrain
- Suspension unicycles are more comfortable as bumps in the road won’t be felt through a rider’s body, e.g., knees, back
- Suspension unicycles are a good choice for people who like to feel in control of their ride
- Many riders prefer the ergonomics of a suspended electric unicycle, and favor the sensation of smoothly gliding over the ground (i.e., less connected feeling of road/ground texture and terrain)
- Due to design compromises within a suspension electric unicycle, they tend to have smaller batteries and therefore less overall range
- Suspended unicycles are heavier than their non-suspended counterparts, making them less efficient.
- These class of electric unicycles likely have higher maintenance costs, due to more moving parts
- For similar battery and motor power specifications, as well as other miscellaneous features, a suspension electric unicycle will be more expensive than its non-suspended counterparts
- Suspension electric unicycle technology is relatively new and different EUC companies will need to improve before this type of electric unicycle becomes more broadly accepted
2. Is Suspension Worth it in an Electric Unicycle?
What is the cost-benefit of an suspension electric unicycle? You can expect any suspension electric unicycle to be more expensive than a non-suspended wheel. They often have smaller batteries, heavier weight, and less overall range (and torque) than non-suspension electric unicycles in the same wheel diameter-class.
Whether a suspension electric unicycle is worth it to you will depend on choosing whether certain features add value to your particular riding needs. In my opinion, a suspension electric unicycle is fantastic for medium to short rides (under 30 miles). They are also a great choice for those who don’t need to go fast (more than 25 mph). A suspension electric unicycle are often designed with higher center of gravity (an engineering compromise and side effect of suspending the weight of the wheel or rider).
For many, a suspension electric unicycle is worth it for the added comfort and control.
3. Suspension: What to Keep in Mind for Riding
A suspended electric unicycle may be more difficult to ride at first due to the disconnected feeling of the rider’s feet and body to the ground. The physics of riding an electric unicycle are quite different than a non-suspension electric unicycle.
For example, a suspension electric unicycle will have a taller chassis to enclose the shock absorption componentry. With a taller super structure, a suspension electric unicycle may be top-heavy for some riders. Though, I’m sure with time and practice, anyone can learn to ride a suspension electric unicycle with as much skill and confidence as any other electric unicycle.
Finally, every suspension system uses a pneumatic (air) or spring loaded system that needs adjustment for the rider’s weight, riding style (firm or loose), and the type of terrain. Adjusting the shock or spring system in an electric unicycle with suspension takes a bit technical know-how and setup time.
Depending on the model, this setup can be simple or a complex. It is best to refer to a manufacturer’s or vendor’s instructions in how to properly setup the suspension system in your electric unicycle.
4. Suspended or Non-Suspended: Which is Your Choice?
As with any “personal” electric vehicle (PEV), it’ll come down to your analysis of balancing the pros and cons of a particular model or type of electric unicycle. If you’re having trouble choosing, there is also the possibility of having more than one electric unicycle, too.
Many enthusiastic EUC riders often end up owning more than a single EUC so they have the option of riding the model that best fits their needs for that ride, e.g., off-road vs long-range road trips.
Of course, this means that you’ll have to figure out what your budget is for this hobby. With more resources, you have more choices. But with additional devices in your home, you will have more responsibility to maintain these machines.
In conclusion, which suspension system you choose will come down to your riding style and how the terrain you are riding on. Someday, suspension will be an unavoidable need, when it comes to off-road riding. The technology is improving everyday!
The benefits are a suspension system for electric unicycles are many. Suspension systems help with controlling the electric unicycle better during turns. Riding over unpredictable terrain is safer with suspension, too.
Taken together, a suspension EUC can be a good investment for riders who have a larger budget and who are looking for comfort in their electric unicycle ride. Suspension has many benefits that are worth considering before purchasing an electric unicycle.
Do you own an electric unicycle? If you have have only one electric unicycle in your stable, which would you choose? Leave a comment below!