Category Archives: Such a bargain!

So apparently Segway is leaping into the skate market

They announced this a month ago but I’m hearing about it only now. For $400 you can pre-order a pair of Segway skates (or ‘personal rolling transport products’).

Segway-Ninebot W1 Skates

As best I can tell, there’s one wheel under each foot, and they’re like motorized Heelys, with the addition of Segway’s auto-balancing technology. They weigh about 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg) per skate, and they’re physically large enough that they won’t fit in any kind of normal backpack. Maximum speed is rated at roughly 7.5 mph and the battery lasts around 45 minutes depending on “riding” style and road conditions.

Holiday Segway tip from your friends at WheeledThing

I try not to mock hard-working entrepreneurs. They represent the future, after all. But when you see some random guy import yet another motorized unicycle from Shenzhen and then pretend he invented it on Indigogo, it becomes almost a public service to mock him. Or when somebody jury-rigs a chainsaw into motorized inline skates and brags it’s perfect for children. How can you not point out the stupidity of that?

And then there’s Segway, the grand daddy of ludicrous, overpriced, impractical transportational schemes. Dean Kamen sold the steaming mess to a distributor who promptly drove one over a cliff (that’s not metaphorical, that’s what he actually did). And whoever owns the brand now has tried to market smaller versions recently for $800 each. Don’t buy one.

Refurbished units are on sale today for $600. Don’t buy those either.

Mini Segway, still Maxi-Goofy

Garmin’s Varia Vision introduces a great new way to save $400

Specifically, don’t buy the Garmin Varia Vision.

Attaches to your glasses and projects information from your Garmin bike computer (not included)

Attaches to your glasses and projects information from your Garmin bike computer (not included)

Can also display information from a rear-facing camera (not included), which would seem to make a mockery of their claim that this thing decreases distractions.

Can also display information from a rear-facing camera (not included), which would seem to make a mockery of their claim that this thing decreases distractions.

Honda 80s Trunk Scooter – Now Art!

I discovered a WheeledThing while wandering the galleries of West Chelsea!

At Chamber the Honda Motocompo, a “folding scooter”, is currently on display.  It was made in the early 80s as a “Trunk Bike”.  The idea was you would park your car… and pop out your scooter for your last mile.  I think time has proven me right in stating this is still a bad idea.

It probably should be called – a handlebar and seat retracting scooter – but that probably sounds bad in Japanese too.

Honda Folding Scooter - Front

Honda Folding Scooter – Front

Honda Folding Scooter - Rear

Honda Folding Scooter – Rear

Honda Folding Scooter - Top

Honda Folding Scooter – Top

Price List

Yours for only $8,000!

Honda Folding Scooter - Side

Honda Folding Scooter – Side

“Bird of Prey” prone cycling. Is it a joke? It looks as though it may be a joke.

We’re all familiar with upright cycling.

o-VANCOUVER-BIKE-CYCLING-570

And most people have seen recumbent bicycles

Mohsen-Saleh-recumbent

But racing bikes require bending forward at the waist

tt bike 1

And I think the people at Bird of Prey have just said “Hey, how far can we take this?” With the following result:

I bet her neck aches after a ride.

I bet her neck aches after a ride.

In case you were wondering, $8500.

When is a Hovertrax not a Hovertrax? When it’s an AirBoard, of course.

a

Once upon a time we mocked the Hovertrax for being pointless and probably not much fun. We should also have said “expensive,” because I notice that it sells for $1495.

So if you really, really want one of these segways-without-handles and you feel like spending less money, stop by the AirBoard online store, which sells a competing device that is, as far as I can tell, identical, and which sells for $999 (currently on sale for $849!).

Hovertrax

Hovertrax

AirBoard, but honestly, who can tell?

AirBoard, but honestly, who can tell?

Verrado electric drift trike

We’ve made fun of drift trikes before. And of course, where there’s a bad idea, there’s a Kickstarter project somewhere to overcharge you for a trivial variation. In this case, to charge you $1700 for an electric drift trike.

"Bob said he wanted this Big Wheel™ to look 'noble." This is as close as I could get."

“Bob said he wanted this Big Wheel™ to look ‘noble.” This is as close as I could get.”

Giving credit where credit it due, after completing the Kickstarter gauntlet, this thing seems actually to have come to market.

They’ve released a video which, as is normal for these sorts of projects, consists mostly of people talking about the trike. However you do see it being used a bit. It looks like it would be fun for a few days before it got boring, which is better than a lot of other WheeledThings.

On sale now for $1200!

It worked for Tesla, so let’s try Faraday

Nikola Tesla – Inventor of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.

Michael Faraday – Scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Tesla Motors has a market cap of $26 Billion (4/27/15).  I’m guessing the folks at Faraday Bicycles Inc. are hoping some of that old time smart guy magic will rub into their wallets too.  Maybe they can cut a deal with Tesla Motors… buy a Tesla and get a Faraday.

Faraday_HeroKS_Cream

What is a Faraday bike – well it’s a $3,500 electric bicycle that weighs 39 lbs.  It’s got a steel frame and bamboo fenders.  Basically it’s an expensive electric bicycle with a bit of style and an attempt at heritage.  The battery which is mounted under the seat provides 20 miles of “pedal assist”.

I wish them luck, but it seems like just an overpriced heavy bike.   If the bike was say, 20 pounds lighter, you might not need the “pedal assist”.

How to save $190 on an Owl 360 Rearview Camera

When I was a kid, I wore one of the iconic white Bell helmets of the era, with a little mirror hanging off the front so that I could see what was behind me without turning my head.

This is not me. No photos of me in the helmet survive. I hope.

This is not me. No photos of me in the helmet survive. I hope.

It worked exceptionally well, and I even wore the mirror at my first-ever bike race, the Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon in Grants, New Mexico. The mirror probably cost me $10 and I won more than that in prizes.

I mention this because the people at Owl have introduced what they think is a better system — you attach a camera to the back of your seatpost and a screen to your handlebars and a cable connecting them.

The Owl camera comes with a cord that is, bizarrely, over 78" long. That's 6.5 feet. What kinds of bikes do they think they're going to be outfitting?

The Owl camera comes with a cord that is, bizarrely, over 78″ long. That’s 6.5 feet. What kinds of bikes do they think they’re going to be outfitting?

The company doesn’t disclose how much this setup weighs, but whatever it is, it’s too much. The price, $200 at Hammacher Schlemmer, similarly misses the mark.

I think the kinds of people who buy Brooks saddles are the last who would consider a gadget like this.

I think the kinds of people who buy Brooks saddles are the last who would consider a gadget like this.

My counsel? If you want to see what’s behind you, turn your head, or buy a mirror for $10.