Segways have undeniably revolutionized the way we travel short distances, providing a comfortable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional modes of transportation. These personal transporters, invented by Dean Kamen in 2001, have become increasingly popular in urban areas, campuses, and among professionals with a need to navigate indoor spaces with ease.
Not all Segways are created equal, as they come in various designs and capabilities tailored to different uses and users’ preferences. Some of the well-known options include the classic two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters, while others feature a more compact eKickScooter design that’s perfect for those seeking affordability and ease of use.
Understanding the different types of Segways allows users to make informed decisions when selecting the ideal personal transporter for their specific needs and requirements. Whether you’re looking for impressive speed, extended range, or a model that won’t break the bank, there’s a Segway designed just for you.
History of Segways
In the late 1990s, inventor Dean Kamen developed the iBot, a versatile wheelchair that could raise the user and go upstairs. Realizing the technology had potential beyond wheelchairs, Kamen soon established Segway Inc. in 1999, aiming to develop non-medical applications for the self-balancing technology.
The Segway PT, a two-wheeled personal transporter, was launched in December 2001, with first deliveries to customers in early 2002. The device quickly gained attention for its innovative design and seemingly futuristic capabilities.
However, in 2015, Chinese company Ninebot purchased Segway, and by 2020, the eponymous self-balancing stand-on personal transportation (PT) devices were discontinued, as they made up only a tiny 1.5 percent of the company’s revenue that year. Nevertheless, the Segway’s legacy lives on in the evolution of autonomous transportation and the myriad devices that now rely on self-balancing technology.
Types of Segways
The Segway MiniPro is a compact, self-balancing personal transporter designed for indoor and outdoor use. It features a knee control bar for easy steering and can reach speeds of up to 10 mph. With its 14-mile range, it is perfect for short commutes or just having fun around the neighborhood.
Segway Ninebot S
The Segway Ninebot S is a stylish and user-friendly electric transporter. It’s equipped with large, air-filled tires for a smooth and comfortable ride, and it can travel up to 13.5 miles on a single charge. It also features customizable LED lights and the Ninebot app for easy operation and personalized settings.
Segway Loomo is a versatile personal robotic assistant that combines the self-balancing transporter technology with AI capabilities. It can follow its user, carry things, and even recognize voice commands. The Loomo is an innovative solution for both personal transportation and smart assistance in various environments.
Segway X2 SE
The Segway X2 SE is built for rough terrain and outdoor adventures. With its large, all-terrain tires and rugged design, it can easily navigate grass, gravel, sand, and other challenging surfaces. The X2 SE also has a top speed of 12.5 mph and an impressive 12-mile range for extended explorations.
Segway i2 SE
Designed for urban settings, the Segway i2 SE is an ideal personal transporter for busy city streets. With its lean-steer technology and narrow profile, it is easy to maneuver in tight spaces. It reaches speeds up to 12.5 mph and can travel up to 24 miles on a single charge, making it perfect for daily commuting or errands in town.
Segway Ninebot E+
The Segway Ninebot E+ is an upgraded version of the Ninebot S, featuring an extended range of up to 22 miles, a top speed of 12.5 mph, and a wireless remote control. Its intuitive operation, portable design, and customizable settings make it an appealing option for personal transportation or recreational use.
The Segway S-Pod is a futuristic, self-balancing electric vehicle designed for comfortable seated transportation. It’s controlled by an intuitive joystick and offers a smooth and stable ride. With its unique design and advanced features, the S-Pod is ideal for use in enclosed campuses, malls, airports, or other large indoor spaces.
Segway Drift W1
Segway Drift W1 are a pair of innovative and fun e-skates that allow users to glide and balance effortlessly. They feature a unique self-balancing technology and can reach speeds up to 7.5 mph. The Drift W1 e-skates are compact, lightweight, and perfect for a new kind of riding experience.
Selecting the Right Segway
Factors to Consider
When choosing a Segway, it’s important to consider factors such as speed, range, and terrain capabilities. Some models can reach impressive top speeds1 while others offer extra range for greater versatility. Be sure to also take into account the type of terrain you plan on using your Segway, as certain models may fare better on rough terrain than others.
Budget and Pricing
Your budget can play a significant role in deciding which Segway is the best fit for you. There are various options available, from the more affordable Segway Ninebot eKickScooter to the higher-end, feature-packed Segway i2 and x2 models2. Keep in mind that investing in a quality Segway may provide better performance and durability in the long run, but make sure to stay within your financial means.
Features and Functionality
Consider the additional features and functionalities that are important to you. Some Segways come equipped with regenerative braking3, which can help conserve battery power, while others may offer a self-balancing mechanism for easier use4. Take your time to research and compare various models to determine which Segway suits your needs best.
Usage and Applications
Segways make for a convenient mode of personal transportation. Their compact design and ease of use make them ideal for short distance commutes and getting around urban areas, like going to work or running errands. They are eco-friendly, as they run on battery power, and also help save time navigating through traffic.
Tourism and Sightseeing
Tourists often opt for Segways as a comfortable and enjoyable way to explore new cities. They offer a more engaging experience than traditional bus or walking tours. In fact, many places organize guided Segway tours, so tourists can traverse attractions with ease, without exhausting themselves.
Security and Patrol
Segways have proven to be valuable tools for security personnel and law enforcement in patrolling large, open areas like parks, sports stadiums, and shopping centers. Their mobility and quiet operation allow officers to cover more ground with improved effectiveness. Plus, they are less physically demanding compared to walking or bicycling.
Sports and Fitness
Segways are also used in various sports and fitness activities, creating innovative and fun ways to exercise. For example, Segway polo and Segway basketball provide an alternative twist to traditional sports, making them enjoyable for both participants and spectators. Additionally, Segways can be utilized in outdoor fitness programs, offering a low-impact way to stay active.
Safety and Maintenance
To ensure a safe and enjoyable ride on your Segway, it’s crucial to learn how to operate it before attempting to use it alone. Read the user manual thoroughly and seek instruction from someone qualified and experienced in operating Segways. Practice with knowledgeable individuals before venturing off on your own.
Taking care of your Segway’s battery is vital for its longevity and performance. Make sure to charge the battery according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and avoid overcharging it. Store the battery in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.
Cleaning and Storage
Keeping your Segway clean and properly stored ensures it remains in optimum working condition. Gently wipe down the exterior using a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the Segway. When not in use, store your Segway in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight and moisture. Following these basic safety and maintenance tips will not only extend the life of your Segway but also provide you with a more enjoyable riding experience.
Accessories and Customization
Helmets and Safety Gear
Safety is essential when riding a Segway, so investing in high-quality helmets and safety gear is a must. Helmets from reputable brands are designed to protect your head and reduce the risk of injury during accidents. Additionally, knee and elbow pads can provide extra protection, while reflective safety vests increase your visibility to others on the road. Check out Amazon’s selection of Segway helmets and safety gear for a variety of options.
Mounts and Storage
Customizing your Segway with mounts and storage accessories allows for a convenient and organized ride. Phone mounts can hold your smartphone securely for easy navigation and tracking, while storage bags and baskets can carry essentials like chargers, tools, or personal belongings. You can find unique, handmade Segway storage solutions on Etsy, such as the Ninebot Segway Mini pro Steering Bar Fixing Bracket or the Apple Airtag Mounting Case for theft prevention.
Lights and Signals
Adding lights and signals to your Segway can enhance safety and visibility in low-light conditions. Customizable LED lights increase conspicuity, while turn signals and brake lights inform other road users about your intentions. Amazon offers a wide range of Segway Ninebot lighting accessories to suit your needs and preferences. Remember, it’s always better to be seen and safe while riding.
Future of Segways
The once-popular two-wheeler–Segway–has come a long way since its launch in 2002, albeit with some bumps on the road. Segway’s parent company, Ninebot, has been working on new electrified offerings to meet the shifting expectations in urban mobility.
One of these latest offerings is Segway’s P Series (P65 and P100S), designed for mainstream commuters. While not as speedy as their GT models, these scooters still manage to outpace many of their competitors. In addition to scooters, Segway has ventured into electric skateboards, diversifying their product line to attract a wider range of consumers.
Although the original Segway model may have faced challenges, the future of Segways lies in innovating and adapting to the evolving needs of modern urbanites. By introducing new products and improvements, the brand continues to be a contender in the personal transportation industry, striving to provide eco-friendly and efficient mobility solutions.