Keeping Your EUC Safe During The Cold Winter Months
Getting chilly outside? We dive into what you need to know about riding your electric unicycle in winter weather like rain, snow, and ice
As the temps drop, there are two things to consider this time of year: making sure you and your EUC are ready to ride in rougher conditions, and if you won’t be riding, you’ll want to make sure you are storing your electric unicycle properly so it’s ready to go without any storage side effects when you bring it out of hibernation.
Storing Your Electric Unicycle
Avoid Storing At 100% Charge
If you won’t be riding this winter, you should think about what the lack of usage will do to your battery. Modern Li-Ion batteries will experience stress and faster degradation when fully charged. Think of it like an over-inflated balloon stretched to the max - the battery is more stressed at full capacity. This is acceptable during normal daily use because the battery will not remain in the fully stressed state for long periods of time, but when you stop riding regularly you’ll want to make sure to not leave the battery fully charged for weeks or months at a time.
Avoid Storing At Low Charge
Conversely, it’s also harmful to your battery to store in a highly discharged state. It’s normal for battery cells to slowly discharge even when in storage, and if you allow them to fully discharge under a certain voltage, it can cause permanent damage or inability to charge with a standard charger.
So what percentage should you store your EUC? We recommend around 50%-80% for best battery health.
Store At Room Temps
While it may be tempting to store your electric unicycle outside in your garage or upstairs in your attic, you’ll only want to consider doing this if they are temperature controlled to remain relatively close to room temps. If it’s uncomfortable for a human, it’s probably uncomfortable for your battery too.
Riding In Winter Weather
Expect Less Range
Another common reality for modern Li-Ion batteries are their temporary reduced capacity in cold temperatures. This effect can be quite dramatic the colder it gets, so plan ahead to make sure you will have enough juice to get where you’re going! As the weather gets warmer, you’ll notice your range going back up as well.
Riding In The Rain
This one varies a bit depending on the make and model EUC you’re riding, since they aren’t all sealed against weather to the same standards. In general, we can recommend that light rain should be OK, but you’ll want to use some restraint when the rain picks up to heavier levels especially on models with less weather sealing. Conditions we recommend avoiding altogether are standing water and puddles - not only because they jet a heavy stream of water directly into the center seam of your chassis - but also because you simply can’t tell how deep the water may be. A large, unseen pothole might cause total or partial submersion… which is a big no-no.
If you are going to ride in some wet weather, do make sure to have your charge port(s) fully closed and sealed up with the rubber plug.
Riding In Snow
EUC riders around the world have proven this is not only possible, but even practical with the right modifications. While we don’t recommend it due to the obvious dangers involved in losing traction, you should look into some off-road tires or even studded tires if you intend to brave the snow on your electric unicycle.
What About Ice?
This one gets a hard “no” from us! It’s very dangerous in a car or on a bike, and equally precarious (or worse) on a EUC. If are unsure about possible icy patches on your route, play it safe and catch an alternate ride to your destination.