If you read no further know this, this thing is really great. Well made, good performance and a TON of FUN. Will it replace my car as a main mode of transportation? Of course not. It’s just a fun vehicle to ride around on. It’s very quiet and makes for a peaceful ride. Especially with the knee controller and having my upper body completely free, it’s like magically gliding around effortlessly.
I ride it in my neighborhood and on local bike trails that go through the woods. MN Law gives the MiniPro the same rights as an electric wheelchair meaning I can ride on bike trails and pedestrian trails. It’s so quiet I’ve surprised some wildlife and have been able to get back into the woods of my local parks I would not have been able to do otherwise with my bad knee. With this device, I can get outside without having extreme pain after a couple of miles of walking. I’ve owned this for 4 months. I resisted the temptation to review it right away – wanted to use it for a reasonable amount of time before submitting a review.
Here are some specifics I’ve seen others address… I’ll give my 2 cents.
Control. With the stick the control is effortless. I don’t even think about the stick, it’s just lean and go. I’m a 6’ tall so I prefer to keep the stick height at the lowest level and it contacts my legs just below the knee. You can adjust as needed. When at home I store it near the rear of my garage so I have to slalom around bikes and stuff to get it to the charger. It responds like a dream.
Speed: After a very short training period the speed limit is set to 10.6 MPH. I have not found this to be a problem but I admit, every once in a while it beeps at me and leans me back as I exceed this limit. This is usually on long straight flat areas where you feel really comfortable thus you tend to want to go faster. You get used to the limit after a while and it’s not a big deal. But if speed is important to you, you might be disappointed that you can’t go faster than 10MPH. (see handlebar topic below for more) If you think about it, gliding at 10MPH means you’re one big bump away from falling to the pavement at 10MPH. Better than falling at 15MPH. But certainly I would love to be able to disable the speed warning beeper. (And if they imcreased the limit to 12-15 MPH, I’d love it for street riding.
Handlebars: The unit comes with a knee controller for turning control. Unlike a hoverboard that uses the differential angle between the left and right foot pads for steering, the Segway has a one-piece platform and steering direction is done with the control stick. You usually don’t have to think about it. As you lean into a turn, the stick is nudged my your legs/knee and turns the Segway for you. You can get optional handlebars from third party sellers. This makes the MiniPro act just like a Segway PT. I bought this thinking I would always use it with my bad knee. But it was not the case. First, having the handlebar installed DOES make the Segway stable and easy. Too stable and easy. So stable and easy that you want to go faster and are constantly hitting the 10MPH speed limit. Second, it’s not as fun. Using the knee control is a bit more challenging. So while I bought the handlebar kit, I only use it if a guest wants to try my Segway.
Storage. I prefer to store it in a heavy duty storage tote. I place a carpet remnant that forms a “U” in the tote allowing for three sides of protection, minimal rolling around in the trunk and when I store it, people cannot see what’s in the tote.
The App. The app is good for setup, light settings and looking at battery life and speed. But other than that, not super useful. I really don’t care what other riders near me are doing. But the app works fine and I can connect my Bluetooth earpiece and the BT app at the same time.
Battery: So far battery life is great. The App gives you a live view into battery performance. The unit is advertised to give 14mi per charge. I’ve never drained the battery, but based on a simple calculation of having less than 50% battery after a 6 mile ride, I would likely not get 14 miles… but then again, I am over the 220lb weight limit so the Segway is clearly working harder when I ride.
Crashes: I have ridden full size Segways many times…. Including a recent ride for a work outing. Have to say, after riding the MiniPro, riding a regular Segway is pretty boring. But there are some things to keep in mind. The MiniPro has much smaller wheels so you cannot to over large bumps, large cracks in the pavement or wide expansion joints. The ONLY crash I ever had in 4 months was on Day 2 trying to go over a big crack in the sidewalk. I have had NEAR-CRASHES. This happens when going down a steep incline too fast. For some reason my balance goes backwards and I lean in the wrong direction. Luckily in these cases I was able to hop off the MiniPro and it glided to a stop and I was on my way.
Night gliding. Some people commented on why anyone would glide at night. Except for the occasional bug slapping me in the face, night gliding is great. I do it in remote areas where I can look at the lake with just the headlights lighting the way. The low-angle of the light does a very good job of lighting the way. Really fun.
So in summary… it’s just plain FUN. I live in MN and will only get to ride this 6 months a year…. Still worth it for me. If you can afford it – take the leap. You’ll love it!
|Product||Ninebot by Segway miniPRO|
|Appropriate age||16 – 60 years|
|Max. speed||20 km/h|
|Max. range||Approx. 30 km / 18 miles*|