An electric unicycle (also known as an electric bicycle or pedal cycle) is a lightweight single wheeled unit with no pedals. The rider controls speed to lean into the seat, balancing the unicycle with either their feet or by turning and leaning the unit around on their arm. The unicycle uses built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine how far the rider has moved. Many electric unicycles are equipped with safety belts to prevent injuries in the event of an accident. An electric unicycle differs from a bicycle in other ways such as its maximum speed limit and how much braking force it applies.
Electric bicycles are generally classified as being either a two-wheel self balancing mechanism or a three-wheel self-balancing mechanism. A two-wheel unicycle usually has pedals while a three wheel electric unicycle usually has both pedals and a brake. The smallest electric unicycle (sometimes called a kick-chair) has only a front wheel that is steerable. Kick-chair unicycles are popular with children and are quite easy to ride. One drawback of a kick-chair unicycle is that it does not have the same safety features as a two-wheel unicycle and the rider is not protected should they tip the unicycle over. A kick-chair electric unicycle also does not have the ability to stop unicycles when the ground is wet, unlike a bicycle.
In many electric unicycles the rider is able to adjust the throttle to the amount of speed desired. throttle allows the rider to slow down and accelerate the unicycle to the desired speed without having to completely relinquish control of the bicycle. In electric unicycles the rider can also adjust the resistance level from a low start up value to a high resistance value. High resistance levels provide a more difficult ride for the rider but help to make the exercise more challenging.