The Bikers Den

SoloWheel Arrives and is Available for Sale!

Late fall 2011 an amazing video appears on Gizmodo showing a super slick one wheeled device called the SoloWheel.  I checked into it further and asked about investing in the new invention from the maker of products like- The Aquaskipper and Orbitwheels.  All SkyMall cover worthy devices too cool not to own.  Short story is that I was not able to become an investor in the SoloWheel but I was able to become an authorized dealer.  Before I signed on the dotted line I wanted one of my own.

I plopped down the nearly $2K payment (including shipping) pretty fast- being told shipment would occur sometime in July.  Manufacturing was underway in China.  I am experienced in the world of product development and outsourced manufacturing- rule number one: never promise a date you can’t deliver.  Unfortunately the inventor of the SoloWheel did not read the same business books I have.  Many months passed and each went something like this: “Dear inventor where is my SoloWheel?  Delays in manufacturing have happened but they will be available next month, thank you for your patience.”  At the beginning of November I cracked and asked for a full refund.  The reply I got was- SoloWheels are ready, we will have yours shipped direct from the manufacturer and you should have it in a few days.

Well it was true.  The day before Thanksgiving The box arrived at my door.  I wore a nice set of labels showing the path it had traveled to arrive at my home.  Its unpacking was an event I shared with my son who fired off questions quicker than I could answer them.  Within the box was a typical looking Styrofoam encasement.  The Styrofoam was a clam-shell taped at the sides- a quick cut allowed me to open the halves.  Very well protected inside were the SoloWheel, charger, training strap, documentation and a DVD.

 

SoloWheel Box 2SoloWheel BoxSoloWheel Clamshell

Tearing past the instructions and notice cards I removed the SoloWheel and pressed the power button.  I expected the wheel to kind of hover in place on its own but it only has gyro controls forward and backwards, not side to side, so it kind of held itself in place as I kept my hand on the handle.  I flopped down the foot stands and tried to figure out how to jump on.  I had watched countless videos of this thing in action but didn’t remember how they got started.  This thing is simular to my Magic Wheel so I tried to ride it the same- fail!  Different concept and center of gravity all together.

my Magic Wheel

my Magic Wheel

Then I tried the next obvious but wrong thing.  I stood the SoloWheel up next to the refrigerator (yep, right in my kitchen!) and managed to place both feet onto the SW.  I managed to roll a few feet past the dining room table before I wobbled and had to step down.  Now time to read the instructions (yep, typical guy fashion).  First there are a few slips of paper in the package- a registration card, safety information card and charging sheet.  I plugged in the charger, popped the cap on the SoloWheel and connected the plug.  The indicator showed the unit needed a charge and was in process.  I don’t know exactly how long it took but it was somewhere between 2-4 hours.  When I looked back on it after four hours the lights indicated it was ready.

SoloWheel documents

Later that evening I sat down to read through the manual and watch the DVD.  The manual is full of warnings to wear protective gear and hazard warnings.  Nothing surprising here although I thought it interesting that most of the videos on the internet and DVD show riders with no protective gear whatsoever.  The manual walks you through the process of charging the SW, maintaining it and offers riding tips.  The video on the DVD is where you need to be to really understand how to ride this thing.  The videos are brief- maybe 10 minutes at most.  They show you how to charge the SW, get ready for riding and lots of random riding scenes- again, many of these videos show riders with no or little protective gear recommended and sometimes required by law.

Thanksgiving day I headed outside with my SoloWheel with a new determination to get it going.  I had on my padded motorcycle jacket and gloves for safety and my roller blading helmet.  The foot stands seem incredibly too high when you are looking down trying to reproduce the start shown in the videos.  I had dozens of false starts where I either caught my foot under the stand and folded it up or got my foot up but not placed well.  I also had a few successes where I was able to roll out for a bit until I lost my balance.  The lean to turn habit I learned as a skill with my Magic Wheel was making this much more difficult than needed.  Finally I cleared my mind and visualized twisting to balance and turn for a bit and gave it another try.  Success- I rode to the end of the driveway.

Then a few neighbors came outside and I decided to retire for the day rather than play show-and-tell.  Looking forward to more practice in the coming days.

Some other noteworthy things about the SoloWheel:

  • The leg rests (red pads) on the side of the SW are actually padded material that is infused right into the hard case of the SoloWheel
  • The tire is a bicycle tire and the SW comes with an extension tube for inflating it properly.  The manual lists 35psi as the optimal pressure.  The manual also describes how to change the tire but does not give details on a proper replacement tire.
  • The SW has a feedback mechanism that provides a shake when it is time for a recharge
  • It has a maximum rider limit of 450 pounds (114 kg)
  • The unit itself weighs a bit over 28.5 lbs (13kg)

SoloWheel Rider Stand Down

Warning Label 2

SoloWheel tire stemWarning Label 1

SoloWheel Power Switch and Light

SoloWheel Charger Port

12 comments to SoloWheel Arrives and is Available for Sale!

  • Snively

    It’s remarkable how similar our experiences were! Here’s how it went for me

    Step 1: Unbox solowheel
    Step 2: Try using it in the middle of the house, fail miserably
    Step 3: Try outside, fail miserably
    Step 4: Buckle down, be patient, and learn how to use it properly by spending 2-3 hours going back and forth along a wall.
    Step 5: 1 week later, after establishing balance and figuring out how to wedge my foot in there properly for extra grip I’m a solowheel maestro.

  • ANAS FADUL

    hello good day to you
    i like purchase 1 solowheel and ship it to my address: p.o. box 40047
    jeddah 21499 saudi arabia

  • dan

    Did you become a dealer?

  • Wheelie

    Dan- I did not become a dealer. To make it worth my effort I would need to stock a dozen or so units and I just didn’t have the space to take on a dealership for the SoloWheel. I gladly refer people to buy them direct from Inventist.

  • Danielle

    I don’t have that much money and I can’t rely offord anything so could I have one for free

  • Gabriel

    I would like to purchase this product. How much?

  • matt

    I have never seen a used solowheel for sale. Too bad. Spending 1700 dollars seems like a lot for a toy.

  • Carrie

    Can not find one anywhere to purchase , could you please send me the inventist contact info?
    Greatly appreciated!
    😀

    • Wheelie

      inventist.com is the main site for the SoloWheel inventer and all of their products. There are links to the solowheel site and you can purchase direct from them.

  • Kirk

    Sorry last message incomplete due to keyboard error on my machine.

    1. How much is the replacement battery?
    2. Is the firmware upgradable (like they do with Segways) when there is an issue found?
    3. Is the inventor taking suggestions that I’ve read into account for future production:
    a. Larger foot platforms
    b. Indicator noise/wobble BEFORE it dies (maybe 1 or 2 minutes).
    c. Streamline build so that all the components are in one half of the clam shell so when you replace a tire, you don’t have to worry about wires being caught.

    4. Is there anywhere to test this out other than buying one?

    Thanks to any and all who respond.

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