Self-Balancing Unicycle

Posted: March 31, 2012

To be clear, Version 3 of the Self-Balancing Unicycle (SBU V3) is not only the uncoordinated man's unicycle, it is also the lazy man's unicycle. Riders get out of both using muscular control to balance themselves, and they get out of using muscular force to pedal. Simply sit, let the wheel spin, and zoom on by clunky multi-wheeled vehicles and envious juggling clowns.

The SBU V3 is hand crafted with 6061 alloy sturdy enough to support 325+-pound loads without looking like it's going to bust at any moment while doing it. Steering is body-pitch controlled: lean forward to go, back to stop, and at angles in the direction of desired turns. Manufacturer Focus Designs assures us that, due to the unicycle's trademarked sensors, multiple 3-axis accelerometers, and gyros, basic skills take only 20 to 30 minutes to hone. Once mastery is achieved, riding will be as easy as walking and chewing gum. (Apologizes to the 8% to 12% of the American population that has difficulty walking and chewing gum. Perhaps the Remote Control Superhero would be a better choice for this year's Christmas list.)

One-wheeler max speeds clock in at a surprisingly not-bad 15 mph. At that speed, a rider could go, like, 8 whole miles in 60 minutes. Acceleration stats are 0 to 10 mph in 3 seconds. Hoooah! Catch me if you can, Usain Bolt! Maximum hill grade tolerance is 30%.

SBU V3 motors are battery-powered, 1,000-watt BLDC models. The cycle set comes with a battery and charger, and replacement, specially-calibrated battery packs are available through the Focus Designs site for $299.

Irony in Action: The Focus Designs logo looks kind of like the ADA handicapped parking logo. Which is kind of a cruel misnomer because, self-balancing or not, I'm pretty sure anyone utilizing a handicapped parking space will not be able to utilize a unicycle.

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