Self balancing scooter
Wheels with an electric drive are called Self-Balancing Scooters, Mini Segways, Oxboards or Hoverboards . These little speedsters are controlled by shifting the rider’s bodyweight, as are the electric scooters or monowheels . These electric scooters will grow increasingly popular as their many benefits become more understood. Not only are they fun, but they can save a lot of travel time!
Self-balancing scooters first became popular in America where they are already part of everyday life along with electric scooters and monowheels. This isn’t much of a surprise considering that these devices are fun and easy to use with a futuristic touch. We have summarized the most important points for you below:
What is a self-balancing scooter or hoverboard?
A self-balancing scooter works a lot like its big brother, the Segway. The Segway is more commonly known around the world and often offered for city tours, especially in Germany. Price is generally the most important factor, however, which is why Segways have not caught on with the general population. This is where the hoverboard comes into play. Hoverboards are much more accessible thanks to their much cheaper price. The mini Segway uses highly developed technology, like monowheels, along with the same balance shifting principle for operation. Here an electronic gyroscope measures the driver’s angle of inclination while simultaneously balancing itself with a dynamic stability system to avoid falls. The acclimation phase does not take long and the rubber base provides enormous hold.
Self-balancing scooters usually weigh between 9-11 kilograms, allowing for easy transport. Some manufacturers also offer extra bags for the mini Segway.
Who is allowed to ride a mini Segway and for whom are they suitable?
Most manufacturers indicate a minimum rider age of 14 years, or a minimum weight of 20 kilograms with the accompaniment of an adult. Remember the self-balancing scooter can reach high speeds of up to 20 km/h. We therefore always recommend wearing a helmet and, if necessary, protective clothing.
These little speedsters are almost noiseless and, more importantly, environmentally friendly thanks to their electric drive, making them ideal for those who regularly commute short distances and enjoy fresh air. The battery is fully charged in about two hours, making it easy to charge while at work. There are also LEDs installed to enable driving at twilight or in the dark.
How far can I get on one battery charge?
Most hoverboards have a maximum range of 15-20 kilometers, although some manufacturers provide an even longer 20-25 kilometer range. However, these ranges assume straight paths and the most economical driving style. You can save battery by activating standby mode once you get off the self-balancing scooter.
The range also depends on external conditions such as:
- Wind resistance
- Path roughness
- Driver weight
What is the self-balancing scooter suitable for?
In general, self-balancing scooters are suitable for paved surfaces that are firm and level, such as streets or gravel paths. Sand paths, meadows, or off-road areas that the driver can sink into are generally not ideal. Slight gradients of up to 15° are not a problem for the mini Segway, although you always have to keep in mind that weight plays a major role here. Mini Segways with more powerful engines can handle even steeper inclines of up to 30°.
We recommend you only drive on dry surfaces since the lithium-ion battery is very sensitive to moisture. Additionally, wet roads don’t offer good grip, which can lead to unnecessary accidents or falls. Pay attention to whether “protection class IP56” is specified in the description . If so, the hoverboard is suitable for a water depth of up to 10 cm.
Here you can see a video in which two different tire sizes are tested – 10 inch (25.4 cm) and 7 inch (17.78 cm):
Is a self-balancing scooter dangerous?
Self-balancing scooters are not dangerous in principle. Of course, a good sense of balance is required before riding on public roads. However, there have been reports of hoverboard fires in the USA and UK. This was due to battery overheating during charging. To reduce the manufacturing cost, inferior batteries were used. This is also the reason why you cannot find a self-balancing scooter on Amazon. As such, one should not focus only on price, but also the overall quality. We only recommend buying products that are equipped with Samsung batteries. You should also be sure to buy a certified vehicle. Finally, charge your hoverboard under direct supervision.
Maintenance and care
Anyone who drives their self-balancing scooter a lot should invest in maintenance and care. The last thing you want is for a tire to suddenly burst during your commute. That’s why you should regularly check the tire pressure. You should also check the tightness of all screws.
Use extreme caution if you ever exchange the battery. It is preferable to complete this task with someone experienced in this area since incorrectly installed batteries can lead to serious problems.
A few tips on how to save your battery:
- Use only the original batteries
- Do not leave the charger connected for longer than 48 hours at a time
- Never run the battery completely empty
- Store the battery at room temperature (avoid extreme hot and cold)
Use of self-balancing scooters
The use of the self-balancing scooter is subject to the general provisions of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) and Vehicle Licensing Ordinance (FZV) provided that the vehicle can reach a maximum speed of more than 6 km/h. The problem here is that mini Segways do not have a seat, steering, brakes, proper lighting, or mirrors and can therefore only be operated in separate private areas. These are streets, squares, and paths that cannot be entered by anyone in an uncontrolled or unhindered manner.
Since the maximum speed of self-balancing scooters exceeds 6 km/h, vehicle owners are generally obliged to take out insurance if they are to be used on public roads.
Benefits of a Self-Balancing Scooter
A self-balance scooter definitely offers some advantages compared to other fun vehicles or means of transport. It typically only takes about an hour to get the hang of operation. You don’t have to work too hard because the mini Segway almost drives itself and you have both hands free for other tasks.
Unlike the original Segway, self-balancing scooters are small and hardly take up any space, allowing you to easily carry them or store them in a carrier bags. In terms of price, self-balancing scooters are much cheaper than their predecessors. The high speed of self-balancing scooters allows you to quickly finish your commute without polluting the environment!
How expensive is a self-balancing scooter?
Now we come to the point that everyone is most interested in – price. Depending on the manufacturer and model, self-balancing scooters range from around € 250 to € 600. Always pay attention to the battery quality. You should generally stay away from self-balancing scooters that cost less than € 200, because often they are not certified and are of poor quality. You want to be able to drive your self-balancing scooter for a few years, so make sure you invest in a quality model.