Onewheel trail riding has become one of my favorite hobbies. The pandemic was the start of my trail riding experience and I never looked back. It has been a fun and unique way to explore nature. I have taken to Onewheels as I was an avid snowboarder. The ability to get the feeling of carving year round sold me to a Onewheel. EUCs (electric unicycles) however are hitting trails just as often these days as Onewheels. It got me wondering which is a better for trail riding?
Both EUC’s (electric unicycles) and Onewheels are PEVs you can take off-road. They both do a good job handling trails with rocks, roots and small obstacles however generally an EUC is superior due to its battery and tire size.
EUC vs Onewheel Tire sizes
Both have similarities to skiing and snowboarding in regards to stance and feel of the ride. They both can tackle some rough terrain however their design does limit the terrain capabilities. Onewheel boards have small tire diameter (tire sizes generally vary by 1″ or so). From a 10.5″ Pint sized tire to an 11.5″ XR or GT tire, the go-kart sized tire can really take on most terrain so long as its not too soft or too chunky. Both are obviously relative terms and some will say that Onewheels can handle soft sand or chunky trails however I’m talking softer and chunkier like mud and larger rocks. Mud riding is terrible and trails with softball sized rocks throughout the same.
Sure a Onewheel can bonk over trail rocks but when it gets to extremely rocky situations, you start to approach the limits of the board. To be fair, either extremely muddy or rocky trails would be not enjoyable on an EUC either however the point is that due to the diameter of the Onewheel tire, to overcome back-to-back obstacles becomes too challenging to a point where the board is not capable of completing the trail.
EUC tire diameters typically start at 12″ and increase to 20″. A 12″ EUC is par with a Onewheel on a trail however beyond that (14″ to 20″) the EUC has superiority on what terrain it can overcome. With a larger diameter, objects to hop over are more manageable. Also, higher top speeds are achievable. EUC with a larger tire generally will outperform a Onewheel on a trail.
Onewheel and EUCs on Technical Terrain
What makes or what is considered to be technical terrain? Essentially trails that have segments in which are not groomed flat and straight. Wooded trails may have some windy trails with many roots throughout. It could be a rocky section of a downhill portion of a trail that requires some maneuvering. Whether it be to how windy the segment is or due to how many objects are on the path, technical segments do not allow a rider to just blast over the objects.
The Onewheel go-kart tire has a lot of surface area. Maneuvering around objects or deciding to go over an object is the decisions a good technical rider makes. Knowing when to unload the weight of the board at just the right time to overcome a rock or root is also part of being a good technical rider.
EUCs have similar carving ability. What makes a good technical EUC rider is similar to what would make a good technical Onewheel rider. Both riders need to mentally preview the terrain ahead and decide if its best to traverse through the obstacles or to unload so weight and go over the obstacle.
Flight Fins and Power Pads for Trail Riding
Flight Fins nor Power Pads are a requirement for trail riding. Some Onewheel and EUC trail riding enthusiasts prefer to opt out of these accessories as they feel it takes from the purity of a trail ride. In a way, both accessories are like “cheaters” because you can become lazy and develop poor technique and simply “cheat” by utilizing the accessory to hop over an obstacle that may not need to be hopped over.
The real intent for Flight Fins and Power pads however are not to cheat terrain but to expand the trail selection. Being able to lift the board with the Fins or by lifting the EUC with the pads simply allows for more trail accessibility. Both accessories will be able to elevate your trail game and are really intended for where you could not have nudged over the obstacle on the terrain without it.
Because both micro mobility devices offer these attachments, they do elevate the terrain game however again, due to the tire size an EUC remains to be superior.
Battery Size and Range Anxiety
EUCs offer a vast array of battery sizes. Onewheel battery sizes are limited to 148 to 567Wh. On the larger size for Onewheels you can get over 30 miles of range which is great and honestly the right amount for a trail ride. With only a 512Wh battery, the Begode Mten3 has a small battery because it is the smallest EUC. That being said, the smallest EUC has essentially the same size battery as the biggest Onewheel Currently.
EUC’s such as the Begode Monster Pro have a 3,600Wh battery. This is over 6 times larger than a CBXR, JWXR or GT Onewheel. Six times larger! I honestly will say I do no have range anxiety on my JWXR, however it has to be incredible to have 6 times the range in one charge. Whether range anxiety is a thing for you or not, EUC battery sizes are far superior and are not comparable.
Fun Factor and Carving
Both Onewheel and EUC riders can get into a good traversing or carving groove. On a Onewheel you can get a deep carve putting your body diagonal in opposite directions throughout a ride. The same can be done on an EUC. The only difference is when you get a deep carve on a Onewheel, your body rocks from back to forth because you are in a sideway stance. EUCs rock side to side. Is one safer than the other? I would say no. Then again I am biased because I am partial to snowboarding over skiing. Fun Factor-wise, I enjoy the carve of a Onewheel over an EUC for the rationale below.
EUC Onewheel Carving
With an EUC, on a deep carve you have bend and ensure that both feet stay on the pedals. This is obvious but when you go deep down, because your leg has to go essentially around the tire, it actually becomes harder to hold the carve. You do also have to be mindful that your pedal can scrape the ground. This is likely as far as you’d ever want to carve anyway however the front to back carving on a Onewheel feels more natural. There are no scrapping the pedals so you have to feel your momentum and also trust the terrain you’re on to decide how deep you can carry a carve.
Because both can carve well, in my opinion a Onewheel has a greater nimbleness due to its size. Some of the smaller EUCs such as a Begode MTen3 likely have similar nimbleness but generally from the way I see the general riding population, Onewheels appear to be more agile (perhaps because most EUC riders in my area generally ride larger wheels).
Onewheel Riders just like to mess around. Sure both EUC and Onewheels can do drops. EUCs can do better riding down stairs than a Onewheel but for just fooling around, I find more fun in my Onewheel.
Voltage and Motor Power
All Onewheels currently run the 750w Hypercore motor. Depending on model, voltage will vary from 54 to 63 volts. The tire diameter is smaller so as such, it doesn’t require what EUC’s run. Most EUCs are 100 to 120 volts powering a 2,800 to 3,500 watt motor. They are larger products which need the power however even still, these wheels do have more power to push through the terrain.
Stowing an EUC and Onewheel
Stowing your EUC on a subway or within a restaurant compared to a Onewheel. The Begode Mten3 is 25 lbs whereas the Monster Pro is 88lbs. These EUCs can even exceed 100 lbs when pads, seats and other accessories are added on.
A Onewheel Pint X weighs 27lbs where as a Onewheel GT weights 36 lbs. Their weight is relatively consistent and tighter than the EUC world. The Begode Mten3 is not a typical EUC so the median weight is far more closer to the 80 lb mark making Onewheels easier to carry into stores or to stow aside on a subway.
EUC’s however generally allow you to wheel them alongside of you when they are off. While you may not be able to get away with rolling it places, this is a huge feature for lugging one around. In the end however being able to stow your Onewheel in the trunk of a car or carry up a flight of stairs is far easier than a typical EUC.
Both Onewheels and EUCs share the ‘One wheel’ space. We both self-balance and use them for commuting. I personally do feel that Onewheels are more fun to ride and easier to just stow and go however the superior PEV has to go to the Electric Unicycle for the simple fact that the tire diameter allows for so much more capabilities. These also may be more prevalent in the personal commuting space as gas becomes more expensive.
That being said however I will always enjoy riding a trail on my Onewheel over the EUC. On an EUC, I still feel like I am commuting somewhere and dont get the fun as I do from a trail like a Onewheel.