”Hoverboards” (Self-Balancing Foot Scooters)

It’s about time we each take responsibility for saving our climate & stand on our own two wheels! The chart below was made in 2015, updated version soon to follow.
lean machines, hovertrax, Solowheel, Balance Boards, Balance Scooters, Foot Scooters, chic-smart, esway, iohawk, monorover R2, SmartraxS5,

Note: table is based on information online in 2015. Phunkeeduck details may be incorrect – received no response from the company to confirm. If you see any errors or have any useful suggestions please let me know.

Download this table
Lean Machines PDF
Lean Machines Word file

See this post in Mandarin Chinese (看中文版)

In case you plan to buy one and intuition isn’t telling you which one to go for then you can make a decision matrix using the table. A great technique if it’s done well. Click below to see an example.

Lean Machines Decision Matrix

The text below is really important if you’re going to learn to ride a self-balancing scooter. It’s based on my own experiences learning the Hovertrax.

Learning to Ride an Electric Self-balancing Scooter

Self-balancing electric foot scooters are fun and convenient but not as safe as you might think. It’s essential that you master the following steps before even considering riding beside a road, in a busy public place or other challenging environment.
When learning you will need a safe place with lots of space and a large open flat surface such as a running track, the center of a gymnasium, a tennis court or a playground.

Before going out with your scooter
1. Understand the functions
Read the manual and other information carefully and make sure you know how to turn it on, off, and so on.
2. Understand the concept
Before you hop on, be sure you understand the concept of how it works and can visualise how the angles of the feet correlate with speed and turning.
Tilt forward = go forwards.
Tilt back = go backwards.
Right tilt forwards, left back = turn left
Left tilt forwards, right back = turn right
You can practice angling and turning your hands or sit on a chair or edge of a bed putting your feet on the device while it’s switched off pretending you’re riding.

In a safe practice location
3. Getting on
Put your dominant foot level on the scooter and bring the other foot up quickly.
4. Getting off
Step off behind the scooter keeping one foot level on the platform to prevent the scooter rolling away.
5. Stopping
Practice regular stopping as well as abrupt stopping at high speeds. For high speed stopping as you tilt your feet back crouch down with hands level to the ground until you reach a stop. You should aim to be able to come to a complete stop in the shortest possible distance (about 1 to 1.5 m for the Hovertrax at near top speed).
6. Turning
Practice turning on the spot (one foot tilting back, the other tilting forward) and turning at speed (one foot level, the other tilting forward). You could use plant pots or other such objects to form a practice slalom course.
7. Reversing
Practice going backwards.
8. Reversing & turning
Practice going backwards and turning.
9. Stepping off while moving
Many foot scooters may get stuck on rough terrain. To prepare for this learn to step off while going at speed. Be extra careful because if when you step off your foot pushes down on one side of the platform the scooter will move in the corresponding direction. It could zoom out from under your feet or even back under your feet.
Go slowly in a straight line and then while moving take a quick and little step putting one foot in front of the machine resting on your toes with the heel up. Then follow with a larger step with your other foot flat on the ground. The first foot should stabilize you and stop the machine from rolling on as it goes into the sole of your shoe.
step off foot scooter 210. Speed & stability
Only once you’re ready and have fully mastered the other steps should you very carefully and very gradually have a go at seeing how fast you can go safely maintaining stability. Take multiple goes, each time increasing your speed a little more. Once the speed control tilts you back, or the device strains or wobbles then slow down right away. You must never try to increase the speed beyond this point otherwise the device may not have enough power to keep up with your leaning and you could fall.
At speed you must make absolutely sure that you keep both feet as level as possible on the platforms to keep a straight line.

Summary

  1. Understand the concepts and the machine.
  2. Try doing the basic things until they become natural.
  3. Only then progress toward the more advanced things.

Download the above text as a PDF:
Learning to ride an electric self-balancing scooter

Links
See here for a comparison table of self-balancing electric Wheels like the Solowheel

Imagine if we saved the environment, peoples health and lives by simply making a selected few streets in large cities car-free giving them over to bikes and lightweight portable transport

Great video review of Solowheel, Hovertrax, Phunkeeduck & the zBoard Pro

Personal Light Electric Vehicles (Specs Comparison Charts)

Here you will find comparison charts of Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVS) (the term used by the UK government). Other terms include ‘Powered Transporters’, ‘Rideables’ (possibly coined by Wired magazine). Suggested names from myself (Luc Hubert of the Peacemaker Foundation) are ‘Transportables’ (portable transport tools) & ‘Lightweight Portable Transport’ (LPT). Regardless of what you wish to call them here they are – some of the most popular & interesting transport gadgets in 2020.
LIGHTWEIGHT PORTABLE TRANSPORT TOOLS RATED AS COMMUTING DEVICES IN 2019 (COMPARISON CHART) Page 1LIGHTWEIGHT PORTABLE TRANSPORT TOOLS RATED AS COMMUTING DEVICES IN 2019 (COMPARISON CHART) Page 2LIGHTWEIGHT PORTABLE TRANSPORT TOOLS RATED AS COMMUTING DEVICES IN 2019 (COMPARISON CHART) Page 3

To download a PDF of the comparison chart above click HERE

INTERACTIVE ADJUSTABLE VERSION OF THE COMPARISON CHART
Shown below is an interactive version of the same chart displayed above. You can enter your own weightings (importance values) right here on this web page. The scores automatically adjust every time you enter a value & when complete each tool will have an overall score to show how suitable it is for you personally.  Just replace the default weighting of 5 with your own weighting (from 1 to 10) & use the scroll bar to view the whole document. Your amendments will be reset if you leave this page.

Some older gadgets – a comparison chart made in 2015

ELPT, Electric Lightweight Portable Transport Tools, Electric Mobility Devices  Download
PDF: Transportables
Word File: Transportables

We believe that we need to embrace lightweight portable transport to help slow global warming & boost people’s wellbeing through cleaner air & getting away from cars. If you agree & wish to see more electric devices such as scooters legalised then please sign this petition: http://chng.it/JgCQNW2pZW

Self-Balancing eWheels (“eucs”) & Foot Scooters (“hoverboards”)

New terminology suggested by the Peacemaker Foundation

The new inventions are great, but our names for them are not: electric “unicycles” are not unicycles because they involve no cycling. “Hoverboards” don’t hover and they’re not boards. Furthermore when real hoverboards appear it will become even more confusing. Here are some suggested names:

Electric wheel or eWheel (electric self-balancing “unicycle” or “euc”)
Electric Foot Scooter (Self-balancing Dual Motor Electric Foot Scooter – a “hoverboard”) 
LPT
 (Lightweight Portable/Personal Transport: transport involving devices that can be easily carried)
Transportable (Portable transport tool)

Self-balancers (self-balancing transport tools – as listed above)

If you can think of better names then please comment or get in touch.

Update in 2020: The Kingsong S series of eWheels are known now to be among the safest. Safety should be your top priority. The Inmotion ewheels also have a good reputation & are the rebranded versions of the original Inventist wheels (such as the Solowheel). Airwheel & various other brands are known to be cheap & of lower quality. A new updated table will hopefully appear here soon but for now see HERE

Specs for some of the latest eWheels & electric foot scooters

Viewable PDF format 

Download

Word File: Electric Wheels Compared (February 2015)

PDF: Electric Wheels Compared (February 2015)

Winners Podium   
Gold medal: Solowheel Orbit and Solowheel Extreme each are the winners in three categories, but they are also the most expensive.

Silver medal: Firewheel and Rockwheel also do quite well with each one winning in two categories. Hovertrax wins two categories as well but loses in four – just depends which categories are more important for you.

Bronze medal: What do you reckon? Perhaps Freeman A4.

Update: Recently a very promising and popular eWheel has been the Gotway which will certainly appear in the next edition of this table.

Author’s opinion

Personally I like the electric foot scooters because they’re easier to learn (apparently) so I bought Hovertrax which is great fun and very well built although it lacks stability at speed and only works well on smooth surfaces. If you have enough money and you value patent ethics you might wish to buy from Inventist seeing as they hold the patents. Furthermore, as of January 2015 the Solowheels generally gets the best reviews, such as on Amazon.

Great Electric Wheel Videos

I’ve looked around so you don’t have to. Here are some links to some great videos.

Fantastic review of Solowheel, Hovertrax, Phunkeeduck & the zBoard Pro. Also shows how important it is to ride carefully!

Fun advert for the solowheel

The Solowheel in London

Fun advert for Ninebot 1

Super slick super cool ad for Ninebot 1

Fun advert for IPS F400

Airwheel Mail Delivery

Airwheel stunts

More Airwheel stunts

Foot Scooter videos

Hovertrax

Chic-smart video from Korea

Links
Lean Machines: Comparison Table of Self-Balancing Dual-Motor Electric Foot Scooters

Transportables:comparison chart of lightweight portable transport tools including the Solowheel & Hovertrax

Green Lanes: car-free streets open to eWheels, bikes, and other forms of LPT (lightweight portable transport)