FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
You may think that cost is high at first, but truth be told Solowheel's price is low when compared with other transportation costs, including buses and bikes. The fuel is essentially free: 1.2 cents of Seattle electricity powers your wheel for an hour! There is no maintenance. In the end there is no greener nor cheaper way to transport a human being through the city of Seattle...and it is super fun and safe.
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At about 25 lbs the Solowheel was designed to be portable and easy to stow. You can bring it into offices, classrooms, coffee shops, restaurants, buses, trains and even airplanes. The built-in carrying handle makes it convenient to quickly pick up the Solowheel and carry into elevators and up or down stairs. With the foot pedals folded up, it takes up no more space than a first generation laptop computer when you stow it in your office, car, boat or home.
Use the Solowheel to replace a car for short distances. This reduces gas costs, pollution, and traffic. Riders with short commutes can easily travel to work or school on the Solowheel, charge the unit in the office or classroom, and then ride back home. It's perfect for Seattle commuting even when it is raining! And remember, your "lunch hour" territory is greatly increased, up to 8 times more area!
The Solowheel provides a convenient hands-free experience. Because you operate the Solowheel entirely by shifting your body weight and adjusting the angle of your feet and lower legs, you have both hands free to carry anything you need. An umbrella in one hand and an expresso in the other, chatting on your iPhone while pulling a rolling suitcase (click here). The possibilities are endless. Or just put your hands in your pockets to keep them warm.
How far and how fast can I ride the Solowheel?
You can ride for approximately 10 miles, at up to 10 miles per hour, and the lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in around an hour. As with hybrid cars, the battery recaptures energy when going downhill or slowing down.
What kind of battery is in the Solowheel?
The Solowheel has a 122 watt hour LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) battery developed at MIT that will not catch fire as cheaper, inferiorly manufactured systems do. Beware of patent-infringing Solowheel counterfeits (click here to read report on Solowheel fakes). You can legally carry up to 300 watt hours of power onto a domestic flight airplane and 150Wh on an International flight. Solowheel is legally carry on luggage even when flying overseas!
Is there a weight limitation?
The maximum capacity is 250 lbs.
Is it legal in Washington?
Yes it is. It is treated like a Segway which means you can ride it anywhere a pedestrian can go and in lower speed roadways. Be courteous, safe and in control at all times. However most urban bicycle lanes are off limits.
How safe is it?
As with any transportation device, riders must use proper safety precautions. Always ride under control at a speed that is safe for you and those around you. We recommend that you wear a helmet and gloves as a safety precaution.
On what type of terrain can I ride the Solowheel?
The Solowheel is highly maneuverable and allows you to easily navigate over rough pavement, around obstacles and even up the biggest hills in Seattle. However, to prevent the loss of traction, you must always be careful when riding and learn to identify and avoid slippery, wet surfaces, steep slopes and loose materials or objects.
Smooth acceleration is key.
The biggest bother in Seattle is the possibilty of overcharging while going down a super steep hill with a full charge. The easiest way to correct is to ride up hill for 100 meters.
Where can I ride my Solowheel?
Solowheel enthusiasts all over the world are enjoying riding to work, around campus, tourist destinations, golf courses, malls, airports and skateparks. It is safest and legal to ride on the sidewalks in Seattle and in streets with speed limits 35 mph or under. It is a joy to ride in the Seattle Center near the Space Needle and what an awesome tool for those who take the ferry or park far from their workplace.
Is there a life expectancy for the Solowheel?
The high-quality Solowheel battery lasts for over 2000 charge cycles which equals 3+ years of regular usage before needing replacement. Replacement cost after 3 years will be under $600.
Is there a warranty?
If you buy from Solowheel Seattle, your Solowheel will come with a full one-year warranty. The warranty covers any manufacturing defects but does not cover accidental damage or damage from misuse.
Where was the Solowheel developed and were is it manufactured?
The Solowheel is a one-wheeled electric unicycle invented by Shane Chen here in Washington state. It is manufactured in China. Solowheel does not license the Solowheel trademark or design for use on any other similar products. Many inferior (and cheaper) versions have been illegally sold on the internet. The quality, performance, liability and safety cannot be determined. Buyer beware.
How can I become an Certified Solowheel Trainer?
Solowheel Seattle has developed a training method that works. We are now actively seeking to train new trainers. If you are interested in learning more, click here.