The Segway Mini-Pro by Ninebot is the best self-balancing scooter you can buy for only $599
In every meaningful way the Segway Mini Pro is better than the cheap plastic Xiaomi mini that many incorrectly claim is almost the same. Stronger, faster, longer range, more powerful, UL approved, US service & warranty, better motors, better frame & better battery, the Segway Mini Pro is more of everything good and priced slightly higher accordingly!
The Magnesium alloy frame is ~3x more expensive than Aluminum and ~10x more expensive than plastic to manufacture, but magnesium alloy offers the highest strength to weigh ratio material that is practical to use in this kind of application. The frame of the Mini-pro is a modern marvel of engineering.
Water Resistant Intelligent Design
IP54 rated. Intelligent water sealing, its not water proof or really even safe to ride in the rain for extended periods, but if you are out gliding on a fall, winter or spring day and get hit by rain, you can safely turn around without risking shorting out the electrical in your superlative self-balancing scooter!
UL-2272 approved means that it is safe to charge indoors. Many cheaper half baked Chinese self balancing scooters catch fire because of poorly designed chargers, poorly designed batteries, poorly designed wire routing (shorts cause fires), etc.
Quality Construction/ Assembly & Thoughtfully Designed : The Segway MiniPro is well made. Its gold plated electrical power connectors are well made and intelligently designed. The wire routing inside the Segway is also intelligent, as are the wire retainers, main board securing, and mounting hardware for the wheels : the entire unit even the phone App are thoughtfully designed and assembled with good QA QC. The steering hall sensor, wire routing, connections, charger, the wheel motors, everything about the Minipro is improved over the cheaper Ninebot Mini (its all plastic, lower power, smaller battery, no UL rating, no iP54 sealing etc (less of everything)
Range/ Power/ Control & You
About 14mi at 10mph the 54.3v 310wh battery gives up about 1.5 hours of ride time. If you are new start out with 10 min, then work your way up. This will give your calf muscles, legs, balance/ propiception system a chance to adapt. Your brain/ spine and CNS take in 19 pressure feedback points at 600hz from each foot with remarkably low latency, plus your brain is able to execute prefetch predictive motor control output based in neurological movement control modules your built when learning to walk as a young child, reiteratively modified over the years to adapt to changes in your frame and muscle strength, size etc. The Segway uses a kind of very weak machine learning A.I. to learn from its rider, adapting the PWM control power to the wheel motors so that the Segway learns its riders control style and creates a custom power control map to match the rider :) Thats pure awesome! The system is enhanced by the smartphone App control feedback readout monitoring system that works over a bluetooth connection to the MiniPro. I used a Galaxy Note 3 to connect the Ninebot App to my Segway Mini Pro for this added functionality!
The Segway Mini Pro achieve braking by using the wheel motors as generators, using the forward motion and kinetic potential mechanical energy of the rider & scooter to spin the motors which generates power that is sent back to the battery where it is stored for future use as energy for acceleration.
Steep Hill Benchmarking
I live at the top of a 600 ft high foothill in Wa State, near Seattle. There is a really steep road nearby that is blocked off to traffic, except as neighborhood access. While descending this hill I was able to regenerate about 9% battery capacity on average over the course of 3 different benchmarking tests. Climbing the hill causes the unit to slow to less than 3 mph, maxing out the motor with my 160lbs of body weight. Onlookers watched in amazement as I scaled the hill on the Mini Pro several different times :) Climbing hills in an electric vehicle demonstrates how much energy it takes to go up hills. I forget the exact number, but I think scaling this hill uses about 24% of the battery charge. Walking/ jogging up the same hill gives a good cardio workout if your keep your pace up!
*** Wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards when you are a new rider for enhance fall protection! Never ride near a cliff edge. That killed one of the Segway companies owners. He was on an original large Segway PT on a paved trail on his property near a cliff edge, when he inadvertently gave a bad steering command, sending him off the edge in a deadly fail event. I said fail after having watched many house of Youtube fail videos depicting people making serious mistakes that cause injuries, property damage and death~
Warranty in the USA, OEM service in Canton Mi
Excellent Segway Tech Support on the phone with native English Speakers
My Personal Unit:
I have logged about 180 mi on mine. I am a 5th level rider or L5 which is considered advanced. There are social networking aspects to the smartphone blue-tooth Ninebot App that allow you to see your rider ranking, relative mi ridden, local riders etc. The Ninebot App is actually really well made!
Firmware Update Progressively Downgrades Performance for Safety
The latest firmware incorporates a safety speed reduction monitoring system where you maximum possible speed is related to the riders weight, the batteries state of charge, and ride behavior. If the system observes the ride riding at full tilt often it will reduce the maximum speed. I contacted Segway about this and they said it was in response to injuries caused by higher sustained speed users who broke their ankles, knees and sustained other injuries from high speed falls.
Segway Tire Change Challenge
Tire ETC. The vendor sent me a free replacement tire after I complained about the leaking air from one of the tires. I stored it carefully wrapped in a pillow case, inside a plastic bag until just recently when I decided to try changing the tire myself.
Late one night last week I took to removing the old tire without a tire bar. After 2 hours of work, including cutting the steel bands in the tire with a rotary tool, I was able to get the tire off. The next day I took the segway & the new tire to 3 different local car tire shops who all refused to help me. I contacted segway technical support and they offered to send me a pre-paid shipping box so that I could mail off the unit to have it repaired. I agreed and the box is on its way!
|2 Tire bars & 2 Clamps for Mounting New Tire|
|Meg's Art Clamps & A headlamp LED that Meg gave me :)|
Instrumental in Mounting the Tire & Seating the Bead!
|Beat Seating w/ Coconut Oil & Hair Dryer : Seriously|
I tried in vain to get the tire bead to seat this morning. I cut my left hand near the base of my thumb while using a vice grips to try and force the tire bead to seat. I tried other clamps and nothing was working. Meg & I left to donate a couple boxes of stuff to charity and then returned home.
I tried again and failed. I was exasperated and decided to take a nap to give the cut on my left hand a chance to fuse, having busted it open over and over fiddling with the tire. While I was sleeping it dawned on me that coconut oil is a solid at 60 F and liquid at 75 F, so I took some (about 2 grams) and smeared it evenly in the seam between the rim and the tire, using a hair dryer to melt it into the bead. I squeezed the tire to allow the liquid coconut oil into the gap, using the wood clamp to evenly and repeatedly compress the tire while the coconut was working its way in, having heating the rim edge and tire for more than 10 minutes with the hair dryer. I hooked up my DIY air compressor and to my amazement the tire was keeping air and started inflating. IT WORKED!
Finally! I had literally tried to remove the tire and failed 3x in a row until I was determined to get it off and did it using a vice grips, a SOG knife and a rotary ablative high speed cutting tool! (I did not have a tire bar yet) Through blood sweat and fortunately no tears, after more than 7 attempts, many hours and lots of effort I was able to get the tire mounted using 2 tire bars, 3 hand clamps and lots of patience. The final stage required 3 attempts. Having failed the first two times, it was ultimately coconut oil & a hair dryer that made it possible. Thanks Meg :)