How to ride an EUC

Electric Unicycles – known as EUCs – are a fun, efficient and fast way to get around. Whilst they are currently only legal on private roads with the land-owner’s permission, this is likely to change soon. With that, we anticipate an increase in the popularity of EUCs.

e-RIDES are EUC fanatics, and we’ve honed this passion over a number of years. We exist to ensure new and experienced riders get the best experience possible on an EUC.

We have written this guide specifically for the uninitiated; it is designed to explain how you get started an on EUC. This can look daunting at first – even slightly magical – but there are techniques and pointers that will help. Before you know it, you will be riding like it is second nature!

EUC basics

An EUC is a single-wheeled, electrically-powered micro-mobility device. EUCs are gaining in popularity because they are a brilliant mix of fun and flexibility. They will get you to your destination whilst providing a thrill along the way that simply cannot be matched!

Every EUC is based around a small number of key components:

  • A motor
  • A wheel with a tyre
  • A rechargeable battery
  • An electronic panel, or ‘motherboard’ containing a gyroscope

Put these together, and you have a powered device that is controlled by body movements whilst sensing the environment around it.

Pushing off

This is perhaps the most daunting step of all. “I can’t ride a unicycle…so how can I ride an EUC?”. Well, it is a lot simpler than you might think, and you’ll find you will become confident pretty quickly.

In order that you can get some good practicing in, first find a suitable space. This should be open and free of distractions or other vehicles. It should also be flat and free from any rubbish or rubble on the surface. Ideally, there will also be a wall nearby that you can use to lean on.

Here’s how you can start off:

  • Make sure your EUC is switched on and powered up
  • Put one foot on the appropriate pedal to the side of the wheel. You will probably naturally choose your dominant foot to lead with
  • Keep the wheel as vertical as you can. You might feel like it will naturally lean away from the foot that you have placed on the pedal…but the straighter the better!
  • Once you are happy with the feel of the EUC under your foot, raise your second foot and place it on its pedal. It is important not to ‘stomp’ your 2nd foot down on the pedal, as this will cause imbalance. Place it as lightly as you can, and it will help keep the wheel vertical
    • If you are brand new to EUCs, then repeat this last step over and over again. Try and ensure you are standing up straight too…there might be a temptation to crouch over, but this will affect your ability to balance on the EUC
  • Once you are comfortable with how the EUC feels, start giving a slight push off with your second foot as you are placing it on the pedal. This will give you momentum that you can carry into your EUC
  • As you do so, lean slightly forward. The EUC will detect this movement and start moving forward

You will find that the last two actions follow each other very closely, and as you get more experienced, you will find yourself leaning forward as you bring your second foot onto its pedal.

Top Tip: It is useful for a beginner to build up muscle memory; this will come in handy as you learn to mount and dismount. This can be done by finding a wall to support you, and simply stepping onto and off the wheel over and over, whilst leaning on the wall for balance. However, try not to become overly reliant on a wall, or else you will be less confident in real-world situations where there may not be a wall close by!

We’re rollin’!

Once you are moving, you’ll find that balancing comes naturally, as it would on a bicycle. Since the EUC is powering your movement forward, you are free to concentrate on balancing…and leaning.

Yes – leaning is key to how you control your EUC. It’s an instinctive way to control things, and you’ll be an expert in no time.

Leaning to either side will take you in that direction. So, if there’s a left turn coming up, a slight lean in that direction will take you successfully around the bend, and vice-versa for right hand turns.

An EUC will negotiate tighter turns better at lower speeds. You’ll quickly get the hang of judging the relationship between the tightness of the bend and the speed you should be adopting.

In similar fashion, leaning forward and backward will let the EUC know whether you want to speed up or slow down. The degree to which you lean will dictate the speed that you accelerate or decelerate. Lean further forward to get up to speed more quickly…lean backwards more to slow down more quickly.

Other than that, try not to tense up whilst on your EUC. Try to keep a casual stance, relaxing your body as much as you feel comfortable with. This will help you maintain stamina, but also allow you to feel more connected to your ride.

If you are on an uneven surface, you will find that pushing your knees together on the sides of the wheel is a great way to maintain stability. EUCs have pads on either side of the wheel to ensure that this is a comfortable solution.

Negotiating hills

Depending on where you live, your journey may or may not take in some hills. Don’t be worried though – hills are great fun on an EUC!

The gyroscope on the motherboard will detect if there is an incline or decline, and adjust the power accordingly.

If you are climbing a hill, you will naturally find yourself leaning forward to balance on your EUC. Since the EUC knows you are on a hill, it will help you find the sweet spot where your rate of climb is fast enough so that you don’t fall off, but not so fast as to make the climb unsafe.

When descending, the same principle applies. You will lean back to maintain steady progress…and let the EUC do the rest.

Stopping

You will probably get the hang of stopping pretty quickly. Of course…you first need to slow down. Side note: Most EUCs feature regenerative batteries that take the energy created in braking and replenish the battery with it. Neat, huh?

Once you have reached a speed that feels safe…this will likely be a very slow pace, but not so slow that you become unbalanced…then simply step back off the EUC, one pedal at a time.

As you get more and more used to it, you will find yourself being able to step off and hold the EUC in your hand – or have it lean on a leg – in one flowing motion.

So, now that you know how to ride, what’s stopping you! Get in touch with e-RIDES and visit us at our new HQ in Greenwich, where we have loads of wheels to try and a trial area too!