Well, nothing is ever perfect but the Jyroball could be a good way for people interested in electric unicycles to experience the sensation of one without a high impact to their bank account.
Experienced EUC riders all say the same thing: Get a good wheel. Well, a “good wheel” is usually these things:
1) Very expensive
2) Very large
3) Very heavy
All three of those factors tend to stifle the curiosity of people. If the price of entry is about US$700, that’s more than most people are willing to spend to find out if they can even learn to ride one.
And I think most experts are wrong about this. Let me repeat a video I’ve posted before:
Teaching Session, How to Ride Electric Unicycles (EUC’s) 101 to complete novices
It wasn’t until she was given the smaller Gotway mTen3 that she could master riding an EUC. Previously in the session, she was given a larger and heavier wheel. The size of the wheel made a difference.
Jyroball released a new video showing extended footage from Tishawn Fahie riding around in NYC:
Tishawn is an expert rider who uses a large, heavy, and expensive wheel. He didn’t start with that, however. Most EUC riders wind up upgrading from their first wheel. Most EUC riders also tend to have some prior experience with Alt-Wheels, such as riding an electric skateboard, a Onewheel, or even an electric scooter.
But what about all of the people out there curious about Alt-Wheels who lack prior experience?
In the Reddit electric skateboarding forum, the first question newcomers ask is this: What’s the cheapest electric skateboard I can get? It frustrates veterans there because they know that everything cheap is going to be rather nasty, so they try to convince people to spend more money. Sometimes they succeed but sometimes people just leave the forum and buy whatever the hell they want that’s cheap. By the way, the same thing usually happens in both the electric scooter and electric unicycle forums at Reddit too.
So with price often being the determining factor for what a newcomer will try first, why not try the Jyroball?
1) It’s small
2) It doesn’t appear intimidating
3) It doesn’t go very fast
4) It’s lighter than most EUCs
5) It’s cheap cheap cheap
Being cheap is not to say it’s also nasty (like most cheap electric skateboards). That’s a judgment that awaits owner reports. All indications point to it being as well made as possible for what it is.
A cheap electric unicycle on eBay can range from US$200 (very rarely) to US$300 (of which they are only a few). These are often made in bulk in China, given different branding, and are as nasty as a cheap electric skateboard (also made in bulk in China). They have no warranties and are basically meant to be for learning and then — one way or another — disposed of. It’s the lack of warranty that should caution people. What if it dies on the first try? What then? This isn’t an unusual speculation. Cheap electric skateboards can drop dead very quickly — and sometimes their batteries won’t even charge out of the box! People understand they’re taking a risk buying something cheap — but risk is far different than being cheated!
Another point in favor of the Jyroball as a training EUC is this video:
Being low to the ground and spherical, there’s no possibility of it falling over during a bail and bashing your leg like a taller and heavier EUC would.
From everything seen about it so far, the Jyroball doesn’t look like a EUC most people will stick with for long. An EUC, once mastered, compels people to get one that can deliver more speed and climb steep hills. And then they wind up getting what the experts advise: Something very expensive, very large, and very heavy.
But before getting to that point, as a training wheel, it’s looking like the Jyroball would be the best way for newcomers to try an EUC. It’s taking a risk without the shadow of being cheated.
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