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Segway General Discussion General discussion related to any model of Segways, miniPROs, or Ninebots. Please do not post non-Segway technology posts here; use the technology forum instead.

Old 07-10-2019, 11:31 PM   #1
Doomsday
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Default Got my first ninebot mini S and I am scared

Hi all, New to the forum. (Warning... Long story ahead lol) I am 51 years old and have had the mini S for a couple days now. My first-day experience was 3 attempts to stand on it and 3 failures ending up with me hitting the floor hard. Now, I probably need to explain my situation.

About 6 years ago I had a stroke. It screwed up my left side bad, in fact, I could barely move that arm or leg an inch. 6-7 years later, I now have about 30% usage on that side. I have drop foot in that leg, I have some stiffness of the limbs on that side and well, I have been looking for a last mile solution for a couple years now. I really thought I was going to end up buying a scooter but after lime came to our city and put them everywhere, the city seems to have become less friendly towards them do to how inconsiderate people are with them. Finally, I ended up looking at the segway minis and watched lots of videos and thought, man that looks much easier than the scooters or cheap hoverboards and so I opened a new tab in chrome, went to Amazon and 2 days later, I had a brand new mini sitting in my living room. I also ordered a handlebar for as well.

Ok, got it put together and didn't put the handlebar on it as I wanted to try and learn how to use it with the kneebar first. I didn't last 3 seconds. I went sailing forward flat on my face in my living room. After struggling to get up (It aint easy with only 30% of your left side working correctly), I rested for a minute and made attempt number two. this time I was ejected forward again but not as violently but still ended up on the floor. So after a long rest with now, a carpet burned knee and elbow, I decide once more to try it. This final attempt for the day lasted about 1.5 seconds, ejected me from the rear, landing me flat on my back with me actually hitting my head on the floor. At this point, the only thing I could think of was I just made the biggest mistake of my life purchasing this thing.

So, on day 2 I decided to take a slightly different approach. This time I used my cane to help balance me while getting on it and bingo, I was now standing steadily on it with my cane no longer touching the ground. I then proceeded to do the tutorial and did everything it asked. Here is where I found my next issue. Turns out, I can turn left with ease using my right knee, however, turning right is damn near impossible because that leg doesn't like to twist that direction well. Time to put the handlebars on.

Ok, so now have the handlebars on the mini, I can get on and off with ease without needing my cane. I can easily turn in all directions using my arms and proceeded to unlock the rest of the speed limiter riding circles, figure 8s, etc, in my living room lol. After about 30 minutes of riding, I felt much more confident although I had noticed something that just didn't feel right. I have an area rug in the living room so its a small lip dropping from the rug to the hardwood. Every time I hit that, it always makes me feel wobbly. By that, I feel like I did the first time getting on the thing. It's only for that brief millisecond but after having 3 falls now, It terrifies me. Now comes fall number 4. There is a gap going from my living room into the kitchen. It actually raises about 1/4-1/2 inch. In fact we even added a tiny ramp to it to make it easier to push my daughters' wheelchair over it. So, I remembered videos saying not to take bumps to slow so while I felt like I was flying, it probably was only 1-2mph. I hit it, I was now in the kitchen but I wobbled and the mini went straight ahead and I fell backward into the living room on my back again. Declaring defeat, that was the end of riding for the day. Well, not really, I did attempt to ride it about an hour later around the living room but now I had lost all confidence.

Ok, so today is day 5 of owning the mini. I have not attempted to go into the kitchen again, that ground just hots way too hard lol. I took it out to my driveway today. My driveway is asphalt, however, its not very smooth. it's breaking up, there are spots that are just dirt now, and so I am of course freaked out. I was able to ride on my driveway at probably 2-3 mph but I felt everything. I can feel the waves in what should be smooth but actually isn't and I can feel that right wheel dropping lower than the left and of course, freaks me out. All these videos of people riding these things practically anywhere, make it look so easy but in reality, it is extremely nerve-racking, at least for me.

I'm really determined that I want to make this work but I'm not sure how to proceed to get over feeling the need to react to every little bump or slight dropoff. I have been trying to play around with speed, I'm thinking that I'm moving too slowly, thus exaggerating the feeling when hitting these ever so slight obstacles. Any advice? Am I to far gone with the stroke and limited reaction time of my left side? Did I pick the wrong device for my personal transporter? If so, are there better options?

I did look at the elite but felt that one would be harder for me to get in and out of my car and if it requires a lot of effort just to get out, I just know that I probably wouldn't use it a lot. Which brings me to my final question. Parking. How do you secure your minis outside when you have reached your destination? I can't imagine leaving it sitting anywhere outside unsecured as it would be stolen in a heartbeat. The app locking just seems to be a gimmick. If you can reset the device by holding it upside down and powering it on, what good does the app locking really do? Thanks for taking the time to read all this, I told you it was going to be long lol.

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:37 AM   #2
Don M
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Sorry no one has replied to help ease your concerns - I just found your post this morning or I would have said something sooner

I hope you still have your mini and that you've gotten more accomplished riding it and that's boosted your confidence!

A couple observations. First, I hope you're wearing all the proper safety gear, especially since you're a bit more prone to falls than an average person probably is. A helmet is a MUST - I've never fallen, but I wear one EVERY time! For you, I would also recommend knee and elbow pads. There are great selections of both which can be found at many sports stores or online - eBay has a good selection. We can thank skateboard riders for all this great gear

Second, I would say that inside your home is not the best place to learn to ride. Space is tight which makes maneuvering a necessity long before you'll get proficient at making those course corrections. I would recommend you go somewhere you have a much larger area to work with, either outdoors or in a much larger building where you can practice keeping long straight lines with gentle course corrections. Eventually you'll get more proficient and be able to turn on a dime and THEN is should be much safer for you to ride inside your home

Hope this helps!

Don
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:29 AM   #3
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I have nothing to add other than my Mini felt every crack in the sidewalk and a tree twig would cause a slight jerk.

This is the first day I've seen this posting and I check this site several times a day.
Posted over a month ago and is just visible now?
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:34 PM   #4
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Yes, I do wear all the safety gear. I have put about 6+ miles on mine so far but that is all in my driveway and inside my house. I am fine riding it inside. smooth surfaces don't bother me at all and are easy. It's riding on uneven surfaces and all the little bumps that freak me out. Not nearly as bad now but I also don't get to ride it as much as I would like.

Personally, though, I have found some issues that are unique to me. While I would love to say my balance is great, it certainly is not. Due to my stroke several years ago my left side is much weaker than my right and throw in drop foot on that side also and it is awkward to walk. Now with that said, standing on the mini feels fine. I can easily sit in one place balanced. The issue I noticed, If im going at least 4-5 miles per hour or more, turning to my right is easy, my right knee bends and I easily lean into the turn. Doing the same to the left though is not as good. I can't seem to lean into the turn nearly as well which can make me "feel" like im going to get flung off. So I have learned if turning left to slow down and ease into it.

Overall, while it's fun, I do not think this is going to work as a last-mile solution for me due to not really being able to secure it at your destination. The handlebars make it so much easier to ride but also makes it awkward in trying to take it inside when you have to push it in and of course it makes it have a much bigger footprint. Still, it can be fun for riding around walking paths and such.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:47 PM   #5
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I think you would probably find riding a full sized Segway much easier - The large wheels smoothly traverse most bumps and crevices with little danger of losing control. Sadly, they are even more difficult to deal with when you reach your destination as they are very heavy and they can be awkward to store. We have ridden ours all over, in 7 or 8 states, mostly on sidewalks and public streets, but many times on unpaved surfaces too. When we stop for lunch or shopping, we lock them to a light pole or some other fixed object with a heavy chain and we've never had a problem with thieves. The worst part is loading and unloading them from the van, but we manage

Good luck with your Mini-Pro - Practice makes perfect and the more you use it, the more confident you will become in your ability to safely get around

Don
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don M View Post
I think you would probably find riding a full sized Segway much easier - The large wheels smoothly traverse most bumps and crevices with little danger of losing control. Sadly, they are even more difficult to deal with when you reach your destination as they are very heavy and they can be awkward to store. We have ridden ours all over, in 7 or 8 states, mostly on sidewalks and public streets, but many times on unpaved surfaces too. When we stop for lunch or shopping, we lock them to a light pole or some other fixed object with a heavy chain and we've never had a problem with thieves. The worst part is loading and unloading them from the van, but we manage

Good luck with your Mini-Pro - Practice makes perfect and the more you use it, the more confident you will become in your ability to safely get around

Don
I agree 100%......add I am disabled and have balance problems...I have an i2 and a X2....I prefer for long trips my X2.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:07 PM   #7
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I agree with Don M and Airdale that an I2 might be the best choice for you given your circumstance. I have difficulty with leg weakness and balance due to MS. I own a full sized I2 and can tell you that it has opened up a new world of accessibility for me. The other day I went for a 15 mile glide on a rail trail near me. I even go off road with it but have to make sure that any bumps or obstacles do not contact the bottom of the Segway (which WILL result in a crash). The taller wheels are more forgiving over bumps than the mini S.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:03 AM   #8
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Ditto!
Larger wheel base and tire size would solve many issues. I have three Ninebot PTR Elites that my wife and I use daily. We are in a gated community and they are ideal. I have left leg impairment and neuropathy causing difficulty with sensations. I can hit a asphalt repair cut in the road with ease now, but when learning, took a few spills and machine run aways ( me on ground or road while machine goes twenty feet before emergency shut down. ) Never had collision - Thank God!.. Been three years now and have even had to rebuild a battery pack once. These machines are no longer being marketed in the US by dealers, though some still show up on ebay. Segway repair facilities still work on them (I assume) and battery replacement can be expensive.
Nonetheless - larger footprint machines are out there. Weight is your only downfall. A pull up carrier on the back of your vehicle could solve that.

Keep at it and good luck.
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