They haven’t quite taken the world by storm, have they? The www.hebig.org/blogs/ archives/main/2002_11.php]Segway is still out there, ready to be purchased for the low, low price of $4,500 (through Amazon, anyway).
I’ve actually seen one. There’s one guy who rides his up and down the sidewalk around Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. Interesting little vehicles, but for many reasons I wouldn’t want one.
Anyone here break down and buy one of these suckers? If so, what do you think of it? Worth your trouble and money?
If it costed waay less money, I’d probably buy it.
I doubt I’d be using it much in though. Hereabouts, the pavements are too high above the ground to ride on them, and on the roads I’d either get knocked over by passing traffic or damage vital parts riding over some pot-hole or the other.
I tried one a couple of times last week. My conclusion: I’d rather walk. Or buy a scooter. Some of the reasons I found it more of a burden than anything else:
-Parking. You can’t just leave it there, but it’s so heavy that you can’t take it with you either.
-Can’t carry stuff around. Lots of older ladies use scooters to go buy groceries around here. Try doing that with a segway.
-Autonomy isn’t bad but it’s not great either.
-Less sturdy than I expected. I’m talking about the “shaft” here. For that price, I’d kind of expect a better quality of plastic.
-You can’t actually go anywhere with one. In part because they’re just not allowed in the streets, and in part because the whole transit infrastructure isn’t built for them.
-Sort of made me a bit nauseous.
Overall impression: fun for a while but ultimately, meh.
The mail people and “Goodwill” guides in downtown Atlanta have used them. I
asked one of the mail people about it. He said it was better than walking the whole
way, but wasn’t that great. I think he would agree with the “Meh” vote above.
Yeah, but unlike a wheelchair, you can’t bring it into the place where you’re doing those errands. And would you really want to leave a $5000 machine outside while you dashed in? I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t leave my bicycle outside without locking the thing up. Don’t know what the security measures there are with the Segway.
Haven’t they all been recalled by the Consumer Products Safety Commission?
Seems that when the battery charge gets low enough, they will just halt abruptly (thus catapaulting their surprised rider just like a bucking bronc).
Apparently this can be fixed by an upgrade to the computer that controls them, but it’d make me hesitate before spending around $5,000 on one. (Plus I wonder if it would survive a Minnesota winter? Do they come with snow tires? Or would I survive a Minnesota winter riding around on one?)
When these things first came out, I predicted that they’d end up being used primarily as recreational vehicles, like an urban version of a quad-bike or a jetski.
So far, I haven’t seen anything to make me retract my prediction. They just aren’t practical for most people. There’s no protection from the weather, and no cargo capacity (which severely limits its use in running errands). You have to stand up while riding it, which isn’t too good ergonomically, and for an elderly person might make it unusable. And of course, they’re strictly a one-person vehicle.
And I, like dantheman, would be paranoid about someone stealing it if I left it in a parking lot somewhere. Even if it does have a good ignition lock, couldn’t a couple of strong guys toss it into the back of a pickup truck and take off?
Considering the placement of that handlebar shaft, I’d be worried about the loss of my procreative abilities :eek:
I saw one in action once. It was the creepiest, wierdest thing - I was coming home late one night, maybe around 12 or 1 in the morning, and I saw a guy on a Segway cutting the corner through a Jiffy Lube parking lot on his way somewhere. Distinctly odd. It’s near the nice neighborhoods, but in that “Fast Check Cashing” zone bred by the military base. Nowhere I’d be driving a five thousand dollar vehicle, and with no clear obvious destination or anything. Although there is a 24 hour Kroger’s nearby.
Why not? They’re not much wider than a person standing with his arms at his sides. If a wheelchair can go inside, a Segway will definitely fit.
Reading some of the responses to this thread indicates to me that there’s a big problem with the Segway folks communicating what the product is. It’s not meant to be a vehicle (like a bike) as much as it’s meant to be a mobility assistant. Think of a pair of “magic sneakers” that could make you walk four times faster than normal, for instance – saying “it has no protection from the elements” is a silly point because you’re supposed to provide your own protection, such as a raincoat.
I would contact local businesses and rent them out for office parties.
Go to local retirement communities and give lessons how to ride them.
Contact security companies at large apartment complexes and offer to rent them for a few months to see how they go over with the guards.
Go to the nearest big convention center and see if they would like to put some people on them to hawk products, or rent them to people with booths to get around and see what else is there.
Remember gocart tracks? Get a lease on some wooded property and put a trail in and let people ride them for awhile.
Yeah…they are more than a bit pricey, but you have to let people get on them to like them and want to buy one. If I recall correctly, when cars first came out, lots of people thought those were just a fad.
For the same reason you can’t bring a bike into a store. Wheelchairs are permitted because they have to be, allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also, although they may not be much wider than a wheelchair, they’re taller than one (even without the rider standing on it).
The whole concept of the “mobility assistant” is pretty screwy, anyway. You’re spending $5000 for a limited-use vehicle, in other words. If you wouldn’t walk in the rain with a raincoat from point A to point B, then you probably wouldn’t use the Segway for the same trip. Since the Segway goes faster, you’ll get that much wetter, even with a raincoat.