• Aug 10th 2007 at 10:06AM
  • 14

We are getting mixed messages regarding Segways today. Yesterday, Engadget reported on the largest club dedicated to the not-quite-a-scooter, stand-up, two-wheeled, self-balancing machine. However, Segway themselves are reporting that sales are up. None of those things might matter to the man behind this blog, who truly seems to love his Segway. It seems that he has found ample use for the device, using it to commute, pick up groceries and more... to the tune of 300 miles. With that milestone passed, the author decided to share his thoughts on the device. It is the first item he discusses, "Efficiency and Cost", that caught my eye. For those of you who currently walk, ride a bike or take the bus, his commentary might prove useful to you.

I won't steal all of his thunder, but the part that I thought was most interesting was his calculation that his Segway is "literally paying for itself". Of course, it might not for everybody, but it might for some. However, let me remind all of our readers that they could quite likely do the same job with a much less expensive electric bike. You could even pull a trailer with the bike, and never run out of juice when you consider the fact that pedaling is still an option.

[Source: Before I Sleep]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan's comments are typical of those who have sipped the Segway kool-aid. Anyone who criticizes Segways is ignorant. Comparing a Segway to any other electric transportation device is illogical, presumably because Segways are so unique.

      Yes, Segways are truely unique. They are self balancing, enabling them to remain stationary or move very slowly. They are extremely maneuverable at slow speeds, able to twirl about in their own footprint or operate is close quaters, like indoors. They also have incredible stopping power.

      In a nutshell, Segways are unique in their ability to stop, remain stationary and twirl about in your living room. Actually want to go somewhere? Obviously you don't 'get it', you poor ignorant fool. Segways aren't about getting anywhere, thats what sets them apart form all other transportation devices.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Most Segway users charge their machines overnight, when there is extra electricity on the grid that's going to waste anyway.

      As for the bike idea -- have you every tried to ride a bike while wearing a suit? It's not easy. Also, the Segway uses lithium ion batteries (yes, that's what makes it expensive), which are much better for the environment than the lead-acid/NiMH that 99% of electric bikes use.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Who cares? The Segway's improved his life. He has more time on his hands. The thing pays for itself. What's the downside? In a heavily congested city like Washington, it's perfect.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with Tim. (for once 8-)
      A folding bicycle would cost 1/10th as much, could go faster, could go farther, would weigh about 1/4 as much, and you could fold it up and chuck it in your trunk if you want to get out of town (and still be mobile) for the weekend.

      I like the ideas of reducing car use in dense cities, but I just don't see that the Segway is a better way to do it... except maybe for the very old or feeble.
      • 8 Years Ago
      yeah enough said.

      I count my blessings I'm not one of the 'hungry masses'
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dave which part of the automotive industry do you have a vested interest in?

      I've travelled over 16,000kms on my segway in 2 years. I consult in a different city every week and the segway flies with me everywhere.

      I think your 'Segways aren't about getting anywhere' logic is seriously floored.

      • 8 Years Ago

      PLEASE...Hold up for a minute. Your comments to each other are quickly deteriorating. How about agreeing to disagree? I will note, however, that much of what Ian is saying is very true and comparing a Segway to any other "scooter" is like comparing a fine wine to grape juice.

      Dave, consider reading the book "Code Name Ginger" which has the most complete information available in a non-fiction book about the Segway (good AND bad). Then go take one for a test drive and see if you don't also "drink the Koolaid".



      Want a FREE Segway? go to:
      • 8 Years Ago
      Say what you will about the Segway PT. Call it a scooter. Call it a toy. Compare it (illogically) to other cheaper electric-powered devices. You're only betraying your own ignorance of what it really is and what it's really like to own and use one for reliable, enjoyable transportation.

      All the while it's being joked about there are more and more Segway owners who have realized its value and utility. Sure, they're relative grains of sand on the beach, but they're there and being used daily. Individual by individual they're making a difference.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Dave your logic escapes me. A Ferrari is half the weight, twice the price and much faster than a Mini. So what!

      Maybe when you've finished comparing every variation between bikes, cars, tv sets, mobile phones, burgers, mortgages, haircuts ...... and everything else that humans make personal choices about, you can grace us with your list of approved devices and save us the hassle of having to choose our own.

      Humour me Dave, how many miles did it take you on the segway to arrive at this soon to be universally accepted knowledge that segways are not a practical means of transportation? My guess would be you've never been on one.

      After 16,000kms I personally think you need to remove your head from your butt.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There is a long list of electric scooters and bicycles available for a fraction of that price, some of which can go faster and farther.

      Admittidly, it looks neat and fun, but it is more of a toy than practical transportation.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ahh.. Ferraris, fine wine and Segways. What I like to call the Marie 'Let Them Eat Cake' Antoinette defense. Good try, but the hungry masses won't go for it, illogical bumpkins that they are.

      Regarding the the Segway test drive, done that and was entirely underwhelmed. Cool, but over engineered for what it can do. A $5000 fashion statement.

      Yes, let's just agree to disagree. There will always be a small cadre that will love their Segways, Ferraris and fine wine. And there will be niche markets where Segways may prove their worth. But developing economies like China are moving in more practical directions for short range personal transportation and until Segway Inc acknowledges their very real completion in these huge emerging markets, they are just twirling in place.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why do Segway enthusiasts always want to drag the automotive industry into the discussion? Cars aren't in the same market as Segways. Electric bikes and scooters are. Yet such comparisons are labeled illogical by the Segway set. It's the car comparison that are illogical.

      I know you don't want to hear this, but compared to a Segway an electified Birdy folding bike is:
      half the weight,
      50% faster,
      has greater range (actual increase depends on the degree of electrical assistance needed),
      half the cost,
      and the bike even has a seat. Illogical? What's illogical is lugging around an 80+ pound, over-engineered device when there are better options available.

      Segways are more about making a fashion statement than practical transportation.

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