I can't ride a bike. Seriously. I've gone over twenty-three years of my life without ever having the courage to balance myself atop two wheels.
So, what's the point of revealing this slightly embarrassing fact about myself? It's because even I got the hang of the single-wheel, self-balancing Segway One S1.
Developed by the original '80s Segway manufacturers, the S1 is a versatile electric unicycle that's suitable for newbies and seasoned motorists alike. Whether you love to whiz down the steepest road in San Fran or crawl along at an ant's pace, the S1 can be either experimentally bold or super safe.
Over the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to try my hand at the S1. In this article, I will endeavor to answer a few key questions: is it safe? Is it fun? Is the S1 even worth it at all?
Features of the S1
Integrated Rider Tutorial System
This feature is of particular importance to those that are as clumsy as me. For both iOS and Android devices, it's possible to pair the S1 with a rider tutorial so that you can learn through intuitive steps.
At first, tutorial riders will be limited to cruising at 2.5 mph. As you progress through the lessons, the limit will slowly increase until you reach the maximum possible cruising speed cap. After you make it through the program, you'll have unlimited access to all the cruising modes, speeds, and settings you like.
Are you sharing the S1 with a young rider? You can set speed limits at any time in the app with just a few taps. It'll allow you to monitor their speed at any time.
Power and Speed
Yes, the S1 may be safe - but even more importantly, it is powerful. While most single-wheel Segways tap out between seven to nine miles an hour, the S1 achieves speeds reaching up to 12.5 mph with ease.
At full speed, you can get up to fifteen miles of range in a single charge. The wheel is powered by two powerful lithium-ion batteries that each have a capacity of 310 Wh, minimizing how often you'll need to charge.
Enhanced Safety Features
The S1 conforms to the highest safety standards regulating motorized devices. Certified to UL 2272 standards, the S1 is constructed with reinforced materials, safety features, and robustly tested software.
The Segway is protected from all forms of overheating, short-circuiting, and failures caused by weather. You can ride confidently knowing that it's not the S1 that's going to fail.
Better yet, the S1 is retrofitted with tons of features that prevent theft. The Segway is always trackable via your paired app, making it easy to keep track of it when you're on the go.
Bells and Whistles
The S1 comes with a whole host of programmable lights. Depending on your style, you can switch between strobe, neon, and single flashing colors that'll make you seriously eye-catching on the road.
All of these color light options can be customized to your heart's content on the iOS or Android app.
Advantages of the S1
In terms of speed and power, it's hard to go wrong with the Segway One S1. The device can cruise along at some of the top speeds provided in the industry, which makes it appropriate for daredevils (or just well-coordinated folks).
Despite its high speed, the S1 shows off the Segway company's commitment to consumer safety. It's rife with safety features and tutorial modes that'll keep you safe. In this way, the S1 is ideal for both experienced riders and those just getting their bearings in the world of motorized travel.
Drawbacks of the S1
It's no secret the S1 has its fair share of detractors. If you're not patient, it's not the ride for you.
Let me repeat: if you're not willing to learn, you'll find yourself incredibly frustrated. Though the S1 is automatically self-balancing, it takes time to feel comfortable on a single tire before you're zooming carelessly around the neighborhood.
At first, it can be a workout to use the S1. Expect to have sore calves and strained thighs at the end of an hour of riding.
If you're unsure about your physical ability, you may be better suited for a two-wheeled, knee-balanced Segway or a motorized scooter. However, there's nothing quite like the feeling of floating down the street with only a thin layer of rubber between you and the concrete.
- Color: Dual-Tone (White and Black)
- Weight: 25 pounds
- Battery Type: 2x Lithium-Ion (310 Wh Capacity)
- Wheels: Reinforced, high-rigidity Rubber
- Maximum Speed: 12.5 miles per hour
- App Compatibility: iOS and Android
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
- Age Recommendation: Supports ages 14 - 50
The Verdict: Is the Segway One Worthwhile?
So, is it worth it? The answer is: it depends.
There's no doubt that the S1 is incredibly fun, breezy, and impressive on the road. Compared to other models, the S1 is lightweight enough to hoist around campus and into class.
Moreover, the S1 blends the best of both safety and power into one device. Experienced riders and newbies are both able to maximize their capabilities on the road, without a hint of device failure or short-circuiting.
That said, this particular model of Segway can be intimidating to ride at first. Without confidence, it's easy to fall flat on your face several times before you get the hang of it.
Looking for a sense of adventure? Craving a challenge? If so, the S1 is right for you.
You can buy it here
Pros and Cons
- Achieves decent mileage per charge (15 miles per four-hour charge)
- Maximum mileage of 12.4 mph is great for the price
- Easy to disassemble for cleaning
- Compact and somewhat lightweight design makes it easy to tote around
- May be difficult to learn at first
- Foot side rails at bulky and may get rammed between rocks on rocky terrain
- One-wheel design is not well-suited for rough terrain