A First Look at the New Inmotion V10F V10 Electric Unicycle
Posted by Tom Lee on
Since receiving the V10F about two weeks ago, I’ve put on 200km distance on the machine & have to confess I simply love it! One of the first things an experienced Rider will probably notice, is that between the 2.5″ wide tire & high pedal height of 17.2cm (6.7″), it has the feel, & many of the ride qualities, of a 18″ wheel. For additional control, hugging the sides of the Wheel with your calves feels very comfortable, probably the best ergonomics of any other Wheel.
Inmotion have really pulled out all the stops, listening to their Distributors & Customers in trying to make the V10 the best possible 16″ Wheel that would satisfy the demands for majority of their Customers. For years, Riders have been crying out for larger pedals, a brighter headlight, cut-off switch, travel handle, speakers (well maybe not everyone for speakers), all of these features have been crammed into a body that is only a couple cm taller than the previous generation V8. I’m inclined to believe that given the constraints of the volume that the V10 occupies, it’s difficult to see, at least without some major breakthrough in battery energy density technology, or commercial room-temperature superconductors, how an Electric Unicycle can be dramatically improved based on materials that are available to Engineers today.
What There is to Like About the V10F:
- Power: based on my limited ride time, the 2KW motor has that same effortless glide quality as the GW Tesla/ACMv2, but you do get a couple degrees of tilt-back as you approach around 35kph speed as if to remind you of your mortality. If you push beyond this, at 40kph there’s a klaxon warning before the tilt-back gets more aggressive. On low battery, 40%, the speed is reduced to 35kph, haven’t run it down below this yet.
- Tire size: one of the first things I did on taking possession of the V10F, was to take it on a gravel track. As you can see from the picture, there’s plenty of clearance at the lip of the shell, but within 20 minutes, a small piece of gravel did become lodged between the shell & motor; a small stick did the job to remove it & I was back on my way within minutes. To take full advantage of the wide tire, I’d recommend riding at a lower pressure than you would do on a 2.125″, it becomes much more forgiving, stable & enjoyable.
- Pedals Size & Height: the total surface area is 30% larger than those on the V5/V8, giving more foot support & as @houseofjob had pointed out, these are the largest pedals of any other Wheel right now! There’s mixed thoughts about the rubber surface material. I’ve ridden it quite extensively in wet conditions, whatever synthetic compound they used still provides excellent friction in the wet, hadn’t found slipperiness to be a problem.
- Slim Profile: another unique property of Inmotion’s Electric Unicycle is the location of the battery pack in relation to the motor. On all other Wheels that I can think of (with the exceptional of the IPS i5) the batteries are installed on either side of the motor; this necessarily makes other high capacity Wheels fatter than Inmotion’s design. But isn’t just about the width, the location of the battery has a direct impact on stability as well. As another reviewer of the prototype has recognized, the V10F feels a much stable than other Wheels I have used. My theory is that the narrower distribution of weight will be channeled directly down to the supporting tire, which will probably mean less of the wobble effect.
- Super-bright Headlight: it’s the best headlight that I’ve seen fitted on a Wheel; has a downward direction to it, so doesn’t blind oncoming cyclists from afar.
- The Chameleon: whirling animated LEDs might not be everyone’s cup of tea, for drawing attention to oneself, but in Inmotion’s quest for technical superiority, they’ve taken the stand ring & multiplied it by three, as it can be easily disabled, what’s there not to like about this!
- Beauty Contest Winner?: there’s no denying the power that the aesthetic quality plays in a Buyer’s psychology when making a high-valued purchasing choice, especially first-time owners.
Minor Annoyances & Issues on the Prototype V10F :
- Amount of Travel in the Handle: for me, this is the single most significant technical problem on the V10, there’s way too much lose movement in the handle. Although it’s identical to the V5, because the V10F is almost double the weight, when you’re handling it on surfaces like carpet, it’s hard to have firm control of the Wheel’s direction. Technique of Wheeling it backwards helps, but Inmotion need to fix this for mass production, a couple washers might do the trick, haven’t had a chance to test this out.
- Default Speaker Volume too Loud: because the speakers are so powerful, it doesn’t appear that Inmotion adjusted the configuration to account for the more powerful speakers. At least on the prototype, the alerts are piercingly loud. You can use the previous version of the App to reduce the volume of these alerts.
- Default Pedal Pitch Angle: although the App represents pedal angle as being 0°, you can see a slight backwards inclination, this is evidenced when the Wheel is placed against the side of wall you get a significant amount of motor whine. In the App you can readjust this, found the sweet spot to be 3° forward.
- Width of the Self-Standing Support Struts: the self-standing supports on the V8 were a nice extra touch, you have this too on the V10, but the dimension have not been scaled for the larger Wheel. It is not yet certain if this is improved on the production shell mold.
- Side Padding Adhesive: given assurances that this has been changed on the production Wheels, but in my prototype, the pads kept falling off, had to resort to gluing them permanently in place.
- Charging Port Flap too Tight: I found that if the flap is fully closed, it can be difficult to pry it open without the use of a tool, the quality is really great, better than previous V5/V8 designs, but the practicality of opening it can be a challenge.
- Difficult to Fold Pedal Down with Foot: If you loosen the small tightness screw it’s easier to undertake, but because of both the curvature of the pedal edge & where the shell meets the pedal, it’s not easy to get a foothold to push the pedal down from the upright position.
Getting a grip around the handle is manageable. Even though it’s compact, at touch above 20kg, it’s heavy & feels heavy too! If you’re planning on carrying this up a couple flights of stairs during your morning commute, you’ll need train up to be in a fit state to carry it.
You can see how bright even the rear brakelight is. There’s a high-def speaker fitted front & back (two for stereo). Notice the small arch support, standing upright on anything but perfectly flat surface is going to be unstable.
Renders always look gorgeous!