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Hoverboards - Future Mobility Device for the Carfree?

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Hoverboards - Future Mobility Device for the Carfree?

Old 12-26-15, 02:10 PM
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Hoverboards - Future Mobility Device for the Carfree?

I noticed there is a new electric personal mobility vehicle that has exploded into the marketplace and it’s not an electric bicycle. The electric Hoverboard has captured the imagination of today’s youth like no other electric vehicle has until today. These boards are everywhere and the original manufacturer sold out his inventory in one year. Furthermore, they are not cheap costing from $399 and up for the simple model.

Most of time, you’ll see the kids (or young adults) riding them for a block or two (usually on the sidewalk) and none are being used for real transportation. The battery life is limited and the wheels are too small for long or even short distance travel.

Why am I writing about this electric transport vehicle on a carfree forum? Because it’s the first time since Segway hit the market that an electric powered wheel(s) made a major impact in the consumer market. I don’t see this product category going away any time soon and I’m starting to see Hoverboards with larger wheels and more powerful motors on the internet. The second generation of these transport vehicles will hit the market next year so it will only grain momentum.

It’s only a matter of time before the Hoverboard becomes a serious transport vehicle by year three or four . I expect to see 20 mile ranges or more with these electric wheels and many can and will be used in multimode transport using buses or trains. Unlike the electric bike which is expensive costing 5 times or more, these Hoverboards hold a lot of promise for the carfree.

https://youtu.be/mQjm3BPOQlo https://youtu.be/x2XNmqbhO7k
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Old 12-26-15, 03:05 PM
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They're just toys.

Only the truly lazy would contemplate commuting on a hoverboard.
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Old 12-26-15, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Why am I writing about this electric transport vehicle on a carfree forum? Because it’s the first time since Segway hit the market that an electric powered wheel(s) made a major impact in the consumer market. I don’t see this product category going away any time soon and I’m starting to see Hoverboards with larger wheels and more powerful motors on the internet. The second generation of these transport vehicles will hit the market next year so it will only grain momentum.

It’s only a matter of time before the Hoverboard becomes a serious transport vehicle by year three or four . I expect to see 20 mile ranges or more with these electric wheels and many can and will be used in multimode transport using buses or trains. Unlike the electric bike which is expensive costing 5 times or more, these Hoverboards hold a lot of promise for the carfree.
major impact...... that's the right choice of words

Hoverboards Are Ruining Christmas*
Cousin got a hover board for xmas, my aunt tried it, fell, broke her wrist and is now at the hospital and needs surgery. #MerryChristmas

— Mikaela Wall (@Walll_iE) December 25, 2015
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Old 12-26-15, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I noticed there is a new electric personal mobility vehicle that has exploded into the marketplace
Truer words were never spoken!
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Old 12-26-15, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Why am I writing about this electric transport vehicle on a carfree forum? Because itís the first time since Segway hit the market that an electric powered wheel(s) made a major impact in the consumer market.
Likely to have the same impact as Segway on the consumer market for transportation; i.e. - none.
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Old 12-26-15, 03:38 PM
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I am not sure a device that is no faster than walking and requires balance to move it will be the future of any form of real transportation. Segways didn't do much in that regards either. Catching on fire hasn't helped much either. Things that are successful tend to be improvements on pedestrian movement and this at this point seems to be a step back from skate boards.
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Old 12-26-15, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Truer words were never spoken!
What happened were that knockoffs from China were poorly made. Amazon stopped selling them but continued selling the original, Hoverboard 360.
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Old 12-26-15, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Likely to have the same impact as Segway on the consumer market for transportation; i.e. - none.
The Segway was costing thousands of dollars and you could not carry one up a walk-up apartment. The problem of having to leave it on a street attached to a bike rack limited their use. This is actually affordable and unlike the Segway, it's considered cool by young adults.
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Old 12-26-15, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
They're just toys.

Only the truly lazy would contemplate commuting on a hoverboard.
I agree, they are toys at the moment but the product is only going to get better. Once the wheels get larger, it will be faster than a bicycle. Is it lazy to use an electric bicycle for commuting?
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Old 12-26-15, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I agree, they are toys at the moment but the product is only going to get better. Once the wheels get larger, it will be faster than a bicycle. Is it lazy to use an electric bicycle for commuting?
Why would it be faster than a bicycle? That doesn't make sense. It's an inefficient mode of transportation relative to a bike. It will never achieve speeds anything close to what a bicycle can achieve.

It might be a replacement for walking for those who are unable or unwilling to walk although if someone has enough coordination and muscle strength to ride one they could probably just as easily walk.
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Old 12-26-15, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
What happened were that knockoffs from China were poorly made. Amazon stopped selling them but continued selling the original, Hoverboard 360.
This will not help. All of the USA's big airlines now ban hoverboards

Nor does this. Before you even think of buying a hoverboard, read this - CNET
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Old 12-26-15, 08:16 PM
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****, they let you bring skateboards on planes. Weird they'd ban the rollerboards.

Calling them hoverboards seems silly.
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Old 12-27-15, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
What happened were that knockoffs from China were poorly made. Amazon stopped selling them but continued selling the original, Hoverboard 360.
Unfortunately, the immense negative publicity might destroy sales for the device, even the ones made with batteries that don't blow up.
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Old 12-27-15, 03:59 PM
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I do see them in use now and then by adults. They look awkward to use in town, lots of stopping and starting for obstructions, or impediments making them seem to be no faster than walking. When the way is clear, the larger single wheel scooters are faster and seem to traverse impediments better.
They look like lots of fun, and I suppose some may find them useful, but I don't think they'll see widespread use.
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Old 12-27-15, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
****, they let you bring skateboards on planes. Weird they'd ban the rollerboards.
Skateboards don't start fires.
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Old 12-29-15, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I agree, they are toys at the moment but the product is only going to get better. Once the wheels get larger, it will be faster than a bicycle. Is it lazy to use an electric bicycle for commuting?
Yes
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Old 12-29-15, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Yes
Opinion: Plenty of pie for all

Originally Posted by Bicycle Times
A spectacular example of an unnecessarily controversial technology is the electric assist bicycle. These bikes have taken Europe by storm, allowing people to ditch their cars for a less expensive, healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative on the streets.They also allow more people into nature where they may not have been able to push themselves before. The experience of riding is democratized and the implications are massive—so many barriers to riding would be removed for “cyclists” and potential cyclists alike.

But the U.S. has been much slower to pick up the technology, partially because of the aggressive backlash of self-identified “cyclists.” E-bikes “aren’t real bicycles.” They will bring people into the activity that “don’t belong there.” E-bike riders are “cheating.”

Arguments like these are laughable because they come from such an obvious place of insecurity. And we’ve heard them before—they have been used to lash out at other technologies in the past such as disc brakes, hybrids, suspension and triple cranksets.

If you find negative statements like these rolling out of your mouth, take a step back and ask yourself a few questions. What is it that is really bothering you about sharing road, trail or market space with people different from you?

For an activity that is so positively transformative, it’s a riot that we’re so overtly selfish about it. Who gets to determine what a “real bike” is? Who has the authority to determine who does and does not get to participate in cycling? By keeping our club closed we deny ourselves the rich and diverse community that we could have by expanding the experience, not to mention the political power and possibilities for positive change a more robust cycling community could bring.
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Old 12-29-15, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I read the article by Anna Schwinn and while on the face I agree I had some qualms. E-bikes on trails and paths designated for non motorized vehicles is one. Sure a 200-250 watt e-bike might not seem like a problem but what about 500 Watts or 750 watts? Aren't we looking at a electric motorcycle at some point? But that is only one not to pick and not part of the hover board discussion. They don't climb slopes or decent them well at all and are not recommended for such. Can you picture one clocking 20 mph like a bicycle and being safe?

Like the Segway I think they make a nice toy but somehow I see them as having a potential for law suits as bad or worse than ladders. Just my opinion however.
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Old 12-29-15, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
I read the article by Anna Schwinn and while on the face I agree I had some qualms. E-bikes on trails and paths designated for non motorized vehicles is one. Sure a 200-250 watt e-bike might not seem like a problem but what about 500 Watts or 750 watts? Aren't we looking at a electric motorcycle at some point? But that is only one not to pick and not part of the hover board discussion. They don't climb slopes or decent them well at all and are not recommended for such. Can you picture one clocking 20 mph like a bicycle and being safe?

Like the Segway I think they make a nice toy but somehow I see them as having a potential for law suits as bad or worse than ladders. Just my opinion however.
I certainly don't want the gas-assist icycles on the trails, because they are nearly as noisy and smelly as a motorbike. elestric-assist bikes don't have the noise and smell problem, however. Yes, they can be a nuisance, even a hazard, because they're operated too swiftly on the trail. But so can a 100% human-powered bicycle, or even skates for that matter..

The trail should have an enforced speed limit. If not, there are civil procedures (law suits and small claims court) if somebody is injured.

I like to use some peer pressure also. If somebody brings an illegal vehicle on the trail, or operates a legal vehicle in an unsafe manner, I'm going to tell them about it.
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Old 12-29-15, 03:02 PM
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These boards are a fail IMO as "transportation" as a fun toy, well OK... E-Bikes are a win for everyone as transportation as they can double, or even triple what one can do on a bike, and they also allow people who would not otherwise get on a bike to get on a bike . JMO... The real problem is all these non-legal E-Bikes proliferating and pretending to be legal to get on MUPs, trails, sidewalks...
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Old 12-29-15, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I certainly don't want the gas-assist icycles on the trails, because they are nearly as noisy and smelly as a motorbike. elestric-assist bikes don't have the noise and smell problem, however. Yes, they can be a nuisance, even a hazard, because they're operated too swiftly on the trail. But so can a 100% human-powered bicycle, or even skates for that matter..

The trail should have an enforced speed limit. If not, there are civil procedures (law suits and small claims court) if somebody is injured.

I like to use some peer pressure also. If somebody brings an illegal vehicle on the trail, or operates a legal vehicle in an unsafe manner, I'm going to tell them about it.
The problem is just what is an E-bike and how would anyone know if they should be on a bike path anyway. Look at the specks on this one. Not much more than a CF race bike but should they be on the same trail as bicycles?

About Ace Electric Motorbikes

My LBS has a contact with these and they are tempting for local street use.

the base price is $3729.00

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Old 12-29-15, 05:16 PM
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Hover Boards are the bait to get more people using Segways. Since Kaman Industries couldn't price the Segways low enough to get many people interested, they were relegated to wealthy people or people who found a way to save money using them for transportation. Just like cyclists, there are very few people willing to travel using Segways instead of cars.

The price of Segways was a barrier to people trying them. With tens of thousands of Hover Boards on the streets as toys, you can bet that numerous adults have tried these and had fun with them. If Segway wants to capitalize on this phenomena then they had better start doing a better job of advertising.

Segways can be a car replacement just as a bicycle can be a car replacement. The difference is that Segway riders don't need to break a sweat or even breathe heavily to roll up to twenty-four miles on a charge at 12.5 miles per hour. I believe and would bet money that more people would be willing to use Segways than bicycles if the costs were comparable (not counting electricity). When Segways cost $1500-$2000 watch out. They'll be everywhere.
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Old 12-29-15, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
The problem is just what is an E-bike and how would anyone know if they should be on a bike path anyway. Look at the specks on this one. Not much more than a CF race bike but should they be on the same trail as bicycles?

About Ace Electric Motorbikes

My LBS has a contact with these and they are tempting for local street use.

the base price is $3729.00
Exactly, In Europe that problem doesn't really exist, but here in N America the rules/law is so mixed and vague that the companies selling them (bikes that don't conform) are able to sell them, whereas in Europe they can't... The basic rule of thumb is 350Watts, 20MPH, pedal assist (no throttle)... Not here in N America it's all over the place and then there's the (off road versions)...


Oh, and that is a moped trying to look like a bicycle...

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Old 12-29-15, 06:02 PM
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We saw someone on the golf course using a variety of "hoverboard" with a longer platform and larger wheels than the type that is currently a hot toy. He was on an adjoining hole, so we didn't get to see the machine very well, but we were quite impressed with the way it was handling the ground. Seemed to be providing a very smooth ride at faster than walking pace. And he was carrying his bag on his shoulders, so balance didn't seem a great issue. I don't know if this was a commercial unit or if it was home (or 'lab') built as we play on the university golf course which is across the street from the college of engineering. But it did indicate to me that there is potential for such devices well beyond the capacity of today's toy.
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Old 12-29-15, 06:07 PM
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How fast do the things go?

Everything I see indicates they move at about walking speed.
Hmm, I'm seeing a few miles range with a top speed of 10 to 12 MPH... not too shabby. Sounds like a recipe for skinned knees.

Anyway, it looks like they are simply replacing a good pair of tennis shoes and walking. I wonder which is healthier???
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