The Solowheel in Use
Solowheel Owners Enjoying the Ride
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“I bought this for my 40 years old boyfriend and he is amazed by it. He
rides it daily around the city. Taking it to bus, tram, hoping on, of,
It takes practice, a lot of practice at first. It took us at least 3 days to
be more or less confident to ride it. But now after one month? Second
nature, it’s like breathing or walking. It’s simple, fast, efficient. We
love it totally.
Yeah and it’s a perfect conversation starter… no it’s actually a
conversation magnet, attracting all the people around, getting questions and
comments all the time… ”
“Don’t ride a SoloWheel if you don’t like attention. I almost caused an
accident, riding on the sidewalk, as a car driver concentrated on me and not
the road. Kids point and exclaim to their parents, cars slow down to look,
people can’t seem to help but smile. Be ready to stop and answer questions,
and maybe offer a ride.”
“I had a minor intermittent problem with the on/off switch on mine
that developed after several months of use. Inventist was very responsive
and helpful, and they fixed the problem promptly under warranty at no
“Tips on learning to ride:
Biggest tip: Pad your ankles! Once you learn to ride, you won’t need any
padding and you will feel completely comfortable just hopping on and taking
off, but while you’re learning your ankles will get bruised if you don’t
wear thick padding. A good start would be a double layer of thick hiking
socks, but that won’t be enough by themselves. You can even just wrap some
towels or T-shirts around your ankles and hold them in place with velcro
straps under your pants. It’s only temporary. But wear some kind of thick
ankle padding. You’ll have a much more pleasant experience that way.
The basics are: Start, stop, and steer. Starting is probably the hardest.
Begin by just balancing on the Solowheel near a wall and using your hands
for balance. You might find it convenient to start in an office building
that has short firm carpet. That will keep your Solowheel from getting
scratched as you’re learning. Your feet and legs need to be in proper riding
position, but this probably won’t feel natural at first. When you place your
foot on most footpegs or foot pads on something other than a Solowheel, you
center the ball of your foot on the pad. The foot position for the Solowheel
is different. Your legs should fit right into the indentations molded into
the red vertical pads that rise from the Solowhee’s axle. That way your
center of gravity is right above the axle. But your ankles attach much
closer to your heels than to the balls of your feet. This means that when
your feet are properly positioned on the foot pads, it will probably feel at
first like your feet are too far forward. Use the indentations in the red
ankle pads as your guide. Your ankles should fit comfortably in them.
Now try gently moving forward while balancing with your hands along the
wall. When you lose your balance, just step off. Use the training strap to
keep the Solowheel from falling over when you lose your balance. You will
tense every muscle and probably break a sweat, but try to feel the balance.
You won’t be having fun yet. Don’t lose patience.
Next, find an open space like a parking lot. You need some speed in order to
balance, just like a bicycle. Your goal is to get on the Solowheel, start
off and just stay on for several feet or yards. Don’t worry too much about
steering or going in a straight line. You just want enough speed to begin to
feel the balance.
Start by bracing one leg against the Solowheel with that leg’s foot on the
pad. Your other leg should be on the ground. If you are right handed, then
you probably want to brace with your left leg and push off from the ground
with your right, but do whatever feels most comfortable. You give a little
forward push with your leg that is on the ground, and then quickly raise
that foot onto its pad. As you do this, you also need to lean a little
forward to get the Solowheel to accelerate. It has to be all one smooth
motion. It might help to think of the pad you’re placing your foot onto as
the accelerator pedal of your car. Push it down a bit as you take off
(that’s equivalent to angling it forward, which causes the Solowheel to
Hopefully you will quickly be able to start making some short forward runs,
though they probably won’t be very straight. That’s OK — feel the balance.
Stay on for as long as you can. It’s important to grip the Solowheel firmly
between your legs. If you just stand on the foot pads with the Solowheel
loose between your ankles, you won’t have any control. At first you will
probably grip the Solowheel too tightly with your legs, causing bruises if
you don’t wear any padding (later on when you’re comfortable riding, you
will still grip the solowheel firmly between your lower legs, but with only
light pressure so you won’t need any pads). When you lose your balance, use
the training strap to keep the Solowheel upright so it won’t get scratched.
You will lose your balance and have to step off a lot, but you won’t fall.
You will now be having fun.
As your runs get longer, you’ll start to feel how to steer. It’s not that
going straight is the default and you have to do something special to
initiate a turn — it’s more like just going straight requires a lot of
active steering effort. It’s hard to describe but it’s not important that I
do so because you’ll feel it. I suspect that at anything above a very slow
speed you actually countersteer (look it up on Wikipedia since Amazon seems
to delete the link I put here), but I have no accurate way to confirm that.
In any case it feels natural and there’s no need to understand the
With longer runs you’ll also easily master stopping. Stopping is probably
the easiest and won’t take any special practice on its own: just lean back
to slow down and then step off. It feels really natural.
So now you can start, stop, and steer. From there it’s all just refinement.
You probably don’t want to continue using the big orange training strap
after you feel comfortable riding, but you may want to rig a thin tether
that you can loop around your wrist, just so you don’t have to stoop down
and grab the handle when you stop. Have fun!”