In May, I finally did it. After a year and a half of deliberation, I bought a Onewheel Pint. While I do enjoy occasional mountain bike rides, and running on a semi-regular basis, I am neither an extreme sports enthusiast nor an athlete. As a frugal, 40 year old parent of 2 elementary-age kiddos, I also find it hard to justify spending money on myself these days, especially for things I don’t need. Do any of these factors make me regret my decision? Not at all!
In a little over 2 months, I put over 100 miles on my Pint and I am hooked. If you’ve made it this far, maybe you’re thinking about getting one too? If so, you may have even spent some time on the Onewheel site, balking at the price of both models—wondering how you could possibly justify the $950 base price of the Pint, let alone the upgraded XR model at $1,799.
Is it worth it? It absolutely was for me, but I’ll try to answer some of the questions I had before buying. Have other questions? Ask away in the comments.
How hard is it to pick up?
At 23lb, the Pint is a bit heavy. Sorry, that was a dad joke. A Onewheel is surprisingly simple to jump on and start riding. Looking back at a video of my maiden voyage up and down our street, I had a
pretty very wobbly start. Within a couple days though, I was confidently “floating” around the neighborhood. The board self-balances from front to back, so you simply lean forward to go and back to slow. It’s a little harder to get the toe-to-heel balance steady, but you’ll get there quick if you’ve ever enjoyed skateboarding or snowboarding.
While Onewheel says in their own FAQ that riders should be 14 years of age or older, I’ve had no problems teaching my curious 9yo daughter and a 10yo nephew the basics. If they can pick it up in a few minutes, I think most grown-up kids can as well.
What will I use it for?
Some people do use their Onewheel as a daily commute vehicle or as a first-and-last-mile boost with public transportation. To be honest, it doesn’t seem like a very efficient solution for either of those jobs. I can’t see myself carrying my Pint around an office or retail store, but it makes a short ride up to a local restaurant to grab takeout a lot more fun.
Fun is really what the Onewheel is all about. Whether I’ve been riding around a local park, exploring new parts of my city, or taking it out for a spin on the beach, it’s always a good time.
Should I buy a bundle or other accessories?
When I bought my Pint, I went with the “Ride More Bundle” which included a fender, rail guards, and replacement bumpers for $1,045. While I like my blue rail guards, the extra bumpers are just sitting in a box collecting dust. If I had to do it over again, I’d go with the Essentials Bundle with just the fender and save $140.
There are a bunch of companies out there selling aftermarket fenders and all sorts of other mods and accessories. The stock board is all you need to get going. A fender is nice nice to have if you’re riding on dirt or gravel, but the Onewheel is not completely waterproof, so you shouldn’t be riding through standing water or mud.
The most important accessory is safety gear. At the very least, you need a good helmet and a pair of gloves, ideally with wrist protection. I ended up getting a Retrospec skateboard helmet on Amazon for $25 and a pair of $12 wrist guards. If I’m sticking to sidewalks, I’ll sometimes sub out the wrist guards for a pair of old mountain bike gloves, just for palm protection. If you’re going off-road, knee and elbow pads are a good idea as well. That brings me to my next question.
Will I get hurt?
Maybe. I’ve already taken a few spills, but fortunately not at top speed. The Onewheel has a feature known as pushback to let riders know when they’re nearing the board’s limit or if it’s running low on battery. Keep leaning forward and you’ll experience what’s known as a nosedive. Any fall can be dangerous, of course, but a nosedive at the Pint’s top speed of 16mph, or 19mph on the XR could be catastrophic. My advice is to take it slow while you’re learning and always respect the pushback.
As I get more comfortable on my Pint, I’ve started shifting a bit from long sidewalk cruises to tackling obstacles and trails. It’s also been fun to spend time riding around in one spot, learning basic tricks and dropping off of curbs. I’d like to get out on some mountain bike singletrack soon.
Also on my list is riding with others. Most cities have local Onewheel communities and Orlando is no exception. There’s a thriving Orlando Onewheel group and an info page for Central Florida riders on Facebook. That crew gets together for group rides a couple times a week. I’ve met a few fellow Orlando Onewheel members while I’ve been out and about. I still haven’t made it out to one of their group rides yet, but it sounds like a blast.