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Airwheel X8 16" 170wh Self Balancing Electric Unicycle Review


Summary:

This was a pretty good one a couple years ago, but it's outdated now and has major flaws including a deal breaking safety issue.

The 16 inch wheel size is the most commonly recommended compromise between smoothness and maneuverability. The Airwheel X8's 170wh battery is the absolute minimum size to consider.

Plastic casing quality is pretty good, definitely a little better than the generic model we review at this link. It took a few tumbles during our review, including one random shut down (thanks Airwheel), and was bruised but not broken. I was riding at a state fair, below the maximum speed, and it just went flying. I mean, about 30 feet, in a big semi-circle. Someone could have been hurt badly, and I feel so grateful that no one was close enough to be hit.

Another major issue with every Airwheel, is that the foot platforms won't stay folded up. They're loose swinging, and fall down while carrying the thing, and they're sharp so you end up with bruises on your thighs. I'm just glad I haven't injured anyone else walking near me yet!


Airwheel X8 Self Balancing Electric Unicycle - angle


BUT, the deal breaker: random shut downs. Scroll down for more detail.

We tried all the Airwheels, and this is my favorite. But it's still an Airwheel. If you buy one, you're paying extra for a brand name that's just not that cool and doesn't represent anything.

Scroll down for more detail on our experience with the Airwheel X8.


Airwheel X8 Self Balancing Electric Unicycle - front

Details:

I bought this model because it's really the best Airwheel has to offer, and they're the most popular brand out there right now.

It worked fine most of the time. The quality of the parts is not the best and not the worst. The charger didn't make any scary sounds like some models we've reviewed. The motor is smooth and relatively quiet.

The deal breaker is that battery management system (BMS) issue. This causes random shut downs and injuries when the unit is not fully charged. Technically minded folks can read more at this link. This is a widespread problem common to many brands, and as the brand leader Airwheel should be addressing it for safety's sake. But they are not. Instead, they are allowing their shoddy quality to cause injuries and damage the reputation of this fantastic technology. People are already getting hurt.

If you have one of these already, or decide to buy one, heed these recommendations: Get the shunt modification done, as described at this link. This will void your warranty but that's better than an unexpected faceplant into traffic. If you're not going to modify it, please only ride with more than half of a charge. Plug in before every ride, and you should make it out OK most of the time.

Conculsion:

Airwheel is a big brand, but they're just not good value for the money, even though the X8 is my favorite of theirs. Random shut downs are the deal breaker.