Choosing A Rideable That Is Right For You
Rideables, even though not yet a recognized term in Microsoft Word, are no longer new. The time has long passed when we gasped in awe at the new contraptions on the road and these days we just let them pass us by with an approving nod.
Getting around has become much less boring and significantly cooler.
Now, we have more even more ways to express our individuality and our choice of rideable may say a lot about who we are.
Naturally, apart from style, our choice is guided by more practical considerations, like our environment, typical routes, budget and the ability to adjust to new ways of travel.
So which rideable is right for you? Should you go for a fast and compact uni-wheel or a bigger and stable Segway? An old and familiar scooter, powered by an electric motor, or an electric skateboard?
Here are a few things to consider before making the fateful decision.
Where will you be riding?
We assume that since you are getting a rideable, you have a destination (or multiple) in mind. Take a good long look at it and think about which rideable would cover the route with the ultimate mix of speed and convenience?
How much time do you have to master the new rideable?
It’s not always like riding a bike. While some of the rideables, like an electric scooter may be pretty easy to master, others may take you more time to get used to. With most modern PEVs, it’s all about balance – and the better you are at naturally keeping it, the more a challenging rideable you can try.
Do you plan to carry it around a lot?
With most rideables being pretty lightweight and compact, hauling around a segway-like transporter may not be the best of ideas. So if your route demands the use of public transport – make sure your PEV is easy to fit on the bus or metro.
So let’s take a quick look at the popular types of rideables and how they answer to the questions above.
- Highly portable
- Takes up little space
- Fast and easy to maneuver
- Takes time to master
- Demands a certain level of physical fitness
A uniwheel is a vehicle that touches the ground with only one wheel – and thus will demand from you the ability to balance yourself – more so, that with other rideables.
However, most transporters do come with a self-balancing feature – so if you think you will need to go through circus training to master a uniwheel – this will not be the case. Pretty soon you will be speeding through the streets, as if you’ve been doing for a lifetime.
One of the best things about a uniwheel, is that it’s very light and compact – meaning that you will be able to easily bring it along on a bus or a subway train or even carry it around with you for part of the route.
When it comes to terrain, a uniwheel will have you covered in urban areas – and smooth pavement would you the best impressions from the ride. You can also use it on soft surfaces, like grass, but going off road is not recommended
- Less self-balance required
- Easier to master
- Can be stood still on
- Takes up more room
- Slower speed
As you may have guessed from the name, in this case you will have yourself a device that has two wheels on the ground. This makes things much easier in terms of balancing yourself, and, if you are a novice, you will probably get the hang of it faster that with a uniwheel.
Also, if you are good with a skateboard, you may find standing upright on a dualwheel more natural, even though the riding principle is quite different: all you will need to do is lean forward to activate the device start rolling.
As for the rest, uniwheels and dualwheels are quite similar. They are both well-suited for the cities and light enough to be carried and taken on other modes on transportation. They will also give you the best riding quality when used on the pavement, grass and other smooth surfaces.
- Portable and foldable
- Fast and easy to ride
- Higher load weight
- Your hands will be busy with the handlebar
- Not as compact as uni-wheelers
If you are looking for a more familiar way to get around, and yet the one that can offer you the benefits of the latest advances, there is the electric scooter. Operated in basically the same way as your standard childhood scooter, the electric one will get to wherever you are going faster, saving you lots of time and energy.
An electric scooter will be able to adjust to various environments and also comes with a higher load weight – which makes it a good choice for shopping or transporting heavy items. Unlike the devices above, you won’t have to watch your balance as much and will find it easier to travel with a bag or backpack.
When it comes to portability, most electric scooters can be folded – which will allow you to quickly adjust the size of the scooter and fit it into a relatively small place.
- Safe and easy to ride
- Different models available
- Can cover different types of terrain (off-road models)
- Heavy and troublesome to carry
- Needs a bigger storage space
Segways have been popular alternative vehicles for quite a while. They come with all the benefits of modern green transportation, coming with zero emission, relatively high speeds and giving you a great to chance to beat traffic.
Unlike uniwheels or duowheels, where most of the steering is done with shifting the weight of your body, when it comes to segway-inspired devices, you will be using the handlebar to control the transporter. Some users may find it a more comfortable and stable option and you will probably be able to ride the PEV without too much effort at the first go.
The next generation of segway-like vehicles is quite versatile, as well. Off-road models deserve a special mention, as they are one of the few compact vehicles allowing you to cover all sorts of terrain. Featuring big tough-looking wheels and lots of torque power, these machines are a perfect choice for the countryside. Do note that with this comes a heavier a weight – and hopping on the subway after a ride in the city will probably be out of the question.