Segway is most famous for the embarrassing “Segway PT” scooter for overweight tourists and mall cops. The company has rolled along in embarrassing fashion, much like their signature product — they sold out to one of their distributors for pennies on the dollar in 2009 and he literally rode one of the devices off a cliff and died in 2010, and his estate sold the company to a private equity firm in 2013, which in turn dumped it on a Chinese competitor in 2015.
And the Chinese competitor is working hard to come up with new products worth of Segway’s cringe-inducing brand name.
Anything I would say would be pale compared to the reviews of actual owners…
“After less than 3 months of riding the tread on one shoe is separating from the hub, causing a nasty wobble. Segway support does not answer their phone, and they do not respond to the emails to technical support that their phone system says to use “for the fastest service.”
“Very difficult to get a hang of it. Lack of resources and training and manual make learning rather challenging. Also the build quality is a bit unfortunate.”
“Junk. That is all I have to say.”
For updates on this fine product, check out the Amazon reviews. Segway’s newest marvel is on sale at the moment for only $300!
The entrepreneurs behind Runfun had a vision — what if, instead of putting on a pair of shoes and going running, perhaps while carrying a phone or MP3 player, you could instead charge up a robot called “rufus” that would roll ahead of you like a juggernaut, clearing the path of pedestrians and young children by smashing into them as you approach.
The entrepreneurs, by the way, seem to be Dutch. Their website promises that the device can “execute complete workouts” including “pyramid fartlek runs.” I don’t know what that means, and if you are Dutch, I don’t want you writing in to tell me.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.”
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.