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  1. #1
    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    No brakes = safer!

    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

  2. #2
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    This holds true for spatially aware people, too many people do not understand the dyanamics of enertia, let alone the effect of it on their body.

    You would think mastering walking would be easy, but i see people missjudging proximity and their own speed all the time. Now put those same people on a bike or a segway, you may have more issues.

    But i do see the paralell to fixies.

  3. #3
    plucky russian. salome's Avatar
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    good god, there's a segway chat forum? and segfests? those are some of oddest things to see, especially about a dozen of them in a row poking along. or the cops i see around. 'hey baby wanna take a ride on my seg with me?' oh yeah ...

  4. #4
    likes avocadoes
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    heh, like that info would fit here...
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    "safer without brakes" argument (and inherent logical flaws) aside, I hate these things with an incredible passion. I had a lovely discussion with one of the designers at a seminar at UCBerkeley by the end of which he was agreeing that the thing wasn't really capable of replacing car miles (due to speed/carrying capacity/inability to lock the thing up/etc) and basically was only replacing walking and some biking miles. Good thing there are plenty of rich americans lazy and fat enough to buy them.

  5. #5
    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    I contracted for Google a while back and there where people that "commuted" from their cubes to the cafeteria on their segways! I think it was about a 100 feet. I could not believe it the first time I saw that.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

  6. #6
    heliocentrist cicadashell's Avatar
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    i've ridden a segway and i much prefer a fixed gear bicycle. if you read the whole thread you see that "no brakes" is inaccurate; segways employ dynamic braking of a fashion analogous to slowing a fixed gear by applying backpressure. in principle, dynamic braking employs the same engine to slow the machine as it does to speed it, so one is tempted to think that our legs have enough power to slow a fixed gear sufficiently. this is probably true most of the time, for many riders. sometimes you may have to provide more stopping power than you have ever supplied for speeding up, however, and in these situations a mechanical brake could be used to advantage. if you are familiar with how it works, that is; the "i only use it in emergencies" approach may be more dangerous than having no mechanical brake at all.

  7. #7
    Sheldon Certified Jaminsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r-dub
    Good thing there are plenty of rich americans lazy and fat enough to buy them.
    Word. That ish is banned in the Sco. I'm really glad about that actually. The Postal Service was going to order a bunch of them so that each postperson could cover more ground (which I thought made sence), but the didnt end up going for it.

  8. #8
    Sheldon Certified Jaminsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    I contracted for Google a while back and there where people that "commuted" from their cubes to the cafeteria on their segways! I think it was about a 100 feet. I could not believe it the first time I saw that.
    I mean, that is basically what the advertised purpose is. Replace walking...

  9. #9
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r-dub
    Good thing there are plenty of rich americans lazy and fat enough to buy them.
    Thing is, there aren't. Sales to individuals have been less than 10% of what was projected before they were released.

  10. #10
    plucky russian. salome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lz4005
    Thing is, there aren't. Sales to individuals have been less than 10% of what was projected before they were released.
    would you want to be caught on one of those? it's a modern form of torture

  11. #11
    no one wants an alien FixednotBroken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salome
    good god, there's a segway chat forum? and segfests?
    i, for one, can't wait to see the segway alleycats these clowns put together

  12. #12
    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FixednotBroken
    i, for one, can't wait to see the segway alleycats these clowns put together
    Well they are already extreme!
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

  13. #13
    no one wants an alien FixednotBroken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    Well they are already extreme!
    i think i just wet myself

  14. #14
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    they are working on a four wheel model that I like a lot, more like an offroad vehicle then a car "replacer"
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  15. #15
    sleeper class tink20seven's Avatar
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    before you know it....


    quick n dirty
    /threadjack

  16. #16
    sorry apologetic's Avatar
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    [IMG]http://www.******chill.com/images/113-gob-segway-race-sm.jpg[/IMG]

    /threadjack/hijack

  17. #17
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    i've witnessed a dude crashing on one of these things... the wreck sounded like a ****ing car accident... of course, he collided with nothing else but the pavement. funniest damn thing i've ever seen. didn't help his ego that this happened outside a music festival where 20394230483 people were walking and watching

  18. #18
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    I got into a kick for a couple of nights looking up all this stuff about segways, my travel is around a relatively small radius from my house, and averages out to 20 miles a day, and I was thinking, "Wow, pennies a day to run?".... but then I thought, a Goodwill Special bike with a couple of good panniers is SO much better, you get to use your muscles, it's not a $6,000 piece of junque that may or may not decide to "play dead" miles from home. Worst thing that can happen on a bike is something like a flat, or someone who's decided they need it more steals it, or something. Big whoop, pretty minor compared to the kind of money drain one of those can be.

  19. #19
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    whoa man...are those phatphilwoodabes...laced to ????

  20. #20
    as you wish, skeletor. ephemeralskin's Avatar
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    "When you're on your feet, you just pump your leg to carry you back a few steps. With the Segway, you let it roll you back a couple foot or so. Try that on a bicycle or a scooter!"

    i tried. seems to work for me...
    whats a 'bicycle'?

    'Fun means something that makes you feel good. Someone who likes movies might watch a movie for fun. Games are also a way to have fun. Most people like to have fun. [citation needed]' -simple.wikipedia.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  21. #21
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Where is the " = Safer" ?

    brakes or not, there is something that slows the wheels. no vehicle is safe with wheels that instantly lock up....

  22. #22
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    I teach classes on how to ride Segways (I work for a public museum, and have no commercial connection to Segway), and have put quite a number of miles on them.. Its true that they have no 'brakes', since they never coast. The wheels are always under directly motor control, and the ability of the motor to resist is greater than the traction the wheel has with the ground. You can quite easily convince the wheels to skid stop or even spin backwards and peel out while you are moving forward. They can stop incredibly fast, faster than you'd expect by looking at one.

    In that sense, they are safer without brakes. If you really did 'hit the brakes' you would just fall on your face, in order to maintain balance, you MUST keep the wheels under direct motor control at all times. If you ever ride one, this will become apparent to you. Unlike a fixed gear bike, however, traction is always constant on the wheels, because you are never shifting more weight onto or off of a given wheel like you do when slowing on a bicycle.

    In terms of their practicality... Well, I don't own one, and I don't think I ever will. The place that they make the most sense is indoor locations where people do a LOT of travelling around, like warehouses and factories. Not everyone is in perfect health, and not everyone should be expected to walk 20 miles a day inspecting a manufacturing line. Segways make a lot of sense for those places.

    They also make sense for postal carriers, who by law, are only allowed to carry 20 pounds of mail (OSHA requirements). The Segway can carry over 100 pounds of mail, and move faster than the carrier can walk. Plus, they go anywhere you can walk (unlike a bicycle), so still handle all the porches, tiny walkways, and sidewalks that you don't necessarily want filled with bikes.

    The other group that Segways make a lot of sense for are people of limited mobility, but who don't need wheelchairs. You all take it for granted that you are of good health, but my friend was partially paralyzed by an accident when he was a child, and can barely walk. However, he can stand comfortably, and can safely operate a Segway. He bought one, and some other friends are making a rack that lifts the Segway into and out of his van for him. He's ecstatic about the possibility of going to the hardware store all by himself for once. There is a huge group of people who don't feel that they are so 'crippled' as to need the emotional baggage of a wheelchair, but who have very limited radii of walking who benefit a LOT from Segways.

    I admit a lot of people seem to buy them as fancy toys, or to go get their mail or something, and that isn't what Segway intended. Of course, people do it anyway. Personally I think they are fun, very interesting technology that it is worth learning about (since it has lots of applications besides Segways), and very useful for some people and in some industries, and its silly to just make fun of them. Maybe that 'dork' you saw riding his Segway to the convienence store has a disease that prevents him from walking very far? You don't really know..

    Anyway, back to the brakes thing... Segways are 'fixed gear' like your bike, and slow down the same way a brakeless fixie rider slows down. But because the wheels are side by side, traction stays the same, and resisting is the fastest possible way to slow down, a mechanical brake would offer no benefit whatsoever, and would in fact be dangerous to use.

    peace,
    sam

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