Onewheel V1 Specifications

Onewheel was launched on Kickstarter on January 6, 2014. This was essentially the birth of the Onewheel V1 (version 1). It was released to the public in 2015. The platform did not vary significantly to its upgraded models (Plus and XR) however it did receive a motor and battery overall on the following versions.

Being that the Onewheel V1 was the first Onewheel, the specs are all inferior to current models. The V1 (version 1) model did operate similarly to current models (gyroscopic accelerometer / no remote control) however range and power are notably lesser than today’s model Onewheels.

Onewheel V1 Spec List

Hub Motor500W Transverse Flux Hub
Tire Dimensions11.5″ x 6.5″ – 6″ Vega Slick
Board Dimensions9″ × 11.5″ × 30″ / 23cm x 29.21cm x 72.6cm
Weight25lbs / 11 kg
Weight Limit275lbs / 125kg
Battery130 Wh Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) 48V
Top Speed (mph / km/h)12mph / 19 km/h
SensorsSolid State MEMS 6-DOF
Range (mi / km)4-6 mi / 6-10 km
Recharge Time (mins)20 Mins *standard charger
Max Lean Angle> 30° of Tilt
Digital Shaping ModesClassic / Extreme / Elevated / {No Custom Shaping}

The Birth of Future Motion

In January 2014, Onewheel’s first Kickstarter funding was launched. Onewheel was promoted as a way to revolutionize riding. Needless to say, their pitch made their funding wildly successful and they continue to make newer products and sell direct on their Onewheel website. Future Motion is still set to revolutionize riding however they evolved the brand to appeal to people seeking commuting alternatives. Live in the city and need to get to the coffee shop in a fun and exciting way? Need a exciting way to get to work? Onewheel is it.

While the V1 gets overshadowed by its later models, this was the start. Trail riding became more of a marketing angle from Future Motion as they saw their riders taking these boards off-road. They needed to come up with more power and more range.

V1 Evolved Into the Plus and XR Models

The Onewheel V1 has a similar two-zoned front footpad sensor that is utilized on all Onewheel models however the V1 has a very rectangular look. This “sharper cornered” Onewheel was slightly refined in the Plus and XR models and then notably rounded out on the Pint and GT line. Onewheel V1 is often mistaken for a board that was built in your garage because it has a very hobby-like build to it. The one wheel dimensions from the V1 however remained relatively similar on the Plus and XR+.

Onewheel Kickstarter Video (Official)

The wood footpads clashed with the blue aluminum rails giving the board a “DIY” look. Many riders on these boards would often say that bystanders would ask if they had built this themselves. This could be due to the novelty at the time. Remember, up until 2014 no one (other than Ben Smither) was seen riding a Onewheel.

Digital Shaping 1.0

The digital shaping profiles on the V1 where limited to 3 presets, Classic, Extreme and Elevated. While the max speed of the V1 was 12 mph, riding beyond pushback was feasible and often done my many riders. Since then Future Motion has increased the max speed yet the original settings were limited to 12mph before hitting Pushback.

Elevated digital shaping does remain on present-day Onewheels as the nose-lifting digital shaping whereas Classic and Extreme settings were retired with the V1. Both did not modify the top speed. The difference between Classic and Extreme was the tightness of the controller.

Balanced One Wheeled Scooter and Ben Smither – The Inventor?

A video was uploaded to youtube on March 4, 2007 showing Ben Smither on his invention. Clearly in the video this is the original “One Wheel” (now known and copyrighted as Onewheel) where Ben explains his belt-driven self balancing scooter’s invention. In 2007 he utilized a go-kart wheel which is still used today. Mind you, go kart wheels are relatively standardized and while the newer GT line has made a proprietary size, VESC and prior models still utilize a go-kart tire.

Balancing Scooter / Skateboard

Ben Smither and Pushback

Ben has a website outlining his concept where he is hypothesizing how to remedy a speed limit. On his page, he states “At the moment there’s no speed limiting which is a pain as a bit of headroom is required to stop the rider from falling off the front.  I’m either going to add a buzzer indicating that the integrator is wound up and you’re near max speed or some kind of auto lean back type thing.

Clearly this is the concept for what we call “Pushback” today. He even states having a buzzer which is now found on the Onewheel GT in the form of a beeping sound as you approach the board’s limit. This entire concept is taken from Ben Smither’s page from 2007 and created into the product we know today as Onewheel.

Ben Smither’s Belt Driven Wonder and Budget

In Ben’s creation, the self balancing board is belt driven however this is not because he felt this was a superior design but due to a budgeting issue and the limitations he had at the time. In his documentation he states “Ideally I’d like a brushless DC hub mounted motor inside the wheel, but motor and control costs were a little high“.

Bens model housed a 400 Watt 24V DC Motor and a OSMC and a PIC microcontroller. In the video he doesn’t elaborate more than its just a “simple PID control at 100 Hz balances the assembly.” but the fact that he expresses interest in a brushless motor shows that he really had the entire concept for a Onewheel prior to Kyle Doerksen.

Kyle Doerksen Admitting the Concept of Onewheel Before his Invention

Ben Smither outlined his work on the self-balancing board on his website. It’s not outright admitted by Kyle Doerksen that he had taken the concept however in an interview with Jimmy Chang, he does admit that this board existed. They go into a good discussion as to whether the person who created it or who brought it to market should get recognition?

The Future Is Electric with Jimmy Chang | Ep. 3 | The Onewheel Podcast

While it is clear that Ben Smither did create the concept, the One wheel has gone through many refinements and modifications to get it to the “Onewheel” it is today.

Kyle does mention that in the original Segway drawings, there was one drawing without handle bars insinuating that perhaps they were the original concept creators or that we will simply never know because (here is his point) it does not matter who thinks of it first but who is driven to bringing a concept to market. Kyle was that person who did bring the Onewheel to market and therefore ends up with the accreditation as the inventor of Onewheel.

To Kyle’s point, he did innovate the concept to go with Lithium Ion batteries, tail lights, sensors, etc. He also took a risk and made the leap from quitting his day job to deliver the Onewheel to market therefore he is the recognized inventor of Onewheel.

Summary of the V1 Onewheel

“No idea is truly original” – Kyle Doerksen. Whether you believe in his ‘every thing is derivative’ notion or you believe that there are such things as original ideas, Kyle’s point is no one will know about your idea unless its brought to market. The Onewheel V1 has led many people into a community of fun and good times and would we all have gotten together if no one took Ben’s concepts to the next level?

The story of the V1 should inspire you. The creation of the “One wheel” has mixed feeling as to who the true inventor of the Onewheel is. You decide and let it motivate you to take hold of your ideas. Believe in yourself and make your concepts a reality. From the V1, the birth of several other flagship boards along with the Onewheel Pint came to market. While the V1 was short lived and was eclipsed by the Onewheel Plus, XR and now the GT, it was the start of this whole culture. This includes the beginning of Onewheel-alternative boards.

If you are new to Onewheel and are interested in riding trails, find out more about each model and consider joining the community of riders.

David Bank

David Bank - Onewheel Enthusiast and has been an avid Onewheel rider since 2020. With thousands of miles logged on various Onewheel models and builds, David has a deep understanding of the mechanics, safety protocols, and the joy of Onewheel riding. He has been featured in Onewheel community events and has contributed articles to leading Onewheel forums and PEV communities. David also runs a YouTube channel where he shares tips, reviews, and tutorials related to Onewheel.

3 thoughts on “Onewheel V1 Specifications

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