Onewheel is becoming a more popular option for commuters everywhere.
I’m seeing Onewheel models pop up everywhere on the streets… downtown, schools, office buildings, etc.
These unicycle style electric skateboards are getting a lot of attention.
That begs us reviewers to ask the question…
How is their performance?
How fast do they go?
Even if you’re not to caught up in speed and performance specifics, it’s important to ask for safety. After all, you don’t want to fall off any board at high speeds…
How Fast Does Onewheel Claim Their Boards Are?
According to their website:
The Onewheel XR has a top speed of 19 mph.
The Onewheel Pint has a top speed of 16 mph.
But this is what Onewheel states/claims what their boards can do, and not what you may experience on your own.
How Fast Were The Ownboards On Our Tests?
After riding the both models for over a month, we found that Ownboard actually underestimated the top speed ability.
I weigh roughly 200 pounds, so I was expecting the top speed to be a little lower than what the XR’s manufacturer speed claimed to be.
I was able to hit 21 mph on the XR but on most ride modes I was getting pushback the majority of the time between 16-18 mph depending on the ride mode.
And on the Pint I was able to hit the claimed 15 mph (below the claimed speed) with pushback sometimes coming around 13 mph.
Could I have gone faster? Possibly… I can guess I could have hit 23 mph on the XR and around 17 mph on the Pint.
Regardless, at such speeds the boards aren’t really designed to go any faster regardless of how crazy the ride setting was. I didn’t want to push it anymore for my own sake.
What Affects Speed?
Regardless of what anyone says, nobody will truly have the same top speed on their Onewheel or any electric skateboard for that matter.
Speed is affected by a multitude of factors:
- Rider Weight
A heavier rider weight means that the board must fight more against the force of gravity. A heavy person puts a lot more downward force toward the earth, thus resulting in more friction between the boards wheel(s) and the ground and a slower top speed. This is why it’s always important to look at the max load/weight capacity of any board before buying it (both Onewheel models are 275lbs). If you’re on the heavier side, buying a board with a low max load could mean a terrible experience with mediocre performance.
Terrain is also a huge factor, especially for those boards that can ride ‘all-terrain’ like the woods, gravel, dirt baths, mud, etc… You’ll be moving a lot slower on a bumpy dirt road rather than some brand new street pavement. If you’re really that much of a thrill seeker for speed, you’ll have to keep your Ownboard on the road, as the harsher the terrain the more you’ll be slowed down.
Last but not least we have incline. Common sense and physics here guys… The steeper the hill the more your board has to fight against the downward force of gravity. And the bigger the hill the worse it gets.
Onewheel Pushback And Ride Modes?
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.
Both Onewheel models come with a ‘pushback’ feature, which is essentially a safety feature designed to prevent riders from overspeeding and falling flat on their face.
Everything has it’s limits, and even though Onewheel is a self-balancing board on one wheel, it too can nose dive forward and send you crashing face first into the ground.
The pushback feature will start to kick in when you start leaning forward too much or when your speed is very high. The pushback will let you know to slow down, however if you don’t, you could up face first on the pavement.
Pushback does prevent you from getting up to higher speeds, but it’s also very critical. If you do want to go faster and the pushback is literally ‘holding you back’ from doing so, my advice is to change the ride mode to a more aggressive style…
What’s unique about Onewheel is that their boards are integrated with software to give you different ride modes. Ride modes will give you a different experience based on which one you choose. You can choose rides that are best suited for cruising, all-terrain, speed, battery efficiency and much more.
Ride modes can be changed within the Onewheel app which then connects to your board wirelessly. You can use this to advantage if you’re looking solely at becoming a speed demon!
However, when changing to a faster and more aggressive style you’ll be more at risk of injury.
(You’ve been warned!)
For those who want to get a better idea of the different ride modes and their respective speeds, check out the list below:
- Classic - Max Velocity 12mph
- Extreme - Max Velocity 15mph
- Elevated - Max Velocity 15mph
- Sequoia - Max Velocity 12mph
- Cruz - Max Velocity 15mph
- Mission - Max Velocity 19mph
- Delirium - Max Velocity 20mph
- Elevated - Max Velocity 19 mph
What Do Other Onewheel Owners Say?
I’ve seen some riders on Reddit and Onewheel forums claiming crazy fast speeds…
The fastest speed I’ve heard is one Redditor claimed he hit over 28 mph on his Onewheel XR, which ended up causing him to nosedive and end up with some scratching and bruises. Of course, this is not recommended in the slightest, as pushing your board to the limit can have some terrible consequences and lead to serious injuries.
Others stated getting to around 26 mph which lead to some other profound injuries.
Another Redditor on a forum claimed that he can hit 21 mph but anyone going faster is just way to overconfident. He also states that if you’re going to push your board to dangerous speeds “you might as well wear safety gear in case you nosedive.”
As for the Pint I saw someone claim a 19 mph top speed, with pushback hitting around 15 mph.
Keep in mind, these speeds are the extreme, so don’t think you can reach such velocity all the time.
How Fast Is It Compared To The Competition?
Reality is, Onewheel doesn’t really have any competition…
It’s a vehicle so unique it’s in a class of it’s own!
I like to compare Onewheel to the Can-am three-wheeled ‘motorcycles’ you see today. Many people don’t even associate them with motorcycles.
Although many associate the XR and Pint with electric skateboards, it’s technically not. But for the sake of this argument, let’s say it is an electric skateboard. How do the Oenwheel models compare to others in terms of speed?
To be honest, they’re a little bit slower…
With top speeds on the XR and the Pint rounding off around 19 and 16 mph (respectively), this doesn’t even compare to some brands out there who have boards that push speeds of almost 30 mph.
- Meepo V3 – 28 mph
- WowGo Mini – 24 mph
- Boosted Plus – 22 mph
- Evolve Carbon GTR – 24 mph
- Backfire G2 – 24 mph
And these are just a few of the options available… I could make a whole excel spreadsheet of boards that are faster.
So what does this tell us?
The Onewheel was not designed for speed and/or it has enough speed already, whichever you like to put it! Case closed.