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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
10. 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.
- Understand the concepts and the machine.
- Try doing the basic things until they become natural.
- Only then progress toward the more advanced things.
Download the above text as a PDF:
Learning to ride an electric self-balancing scooter
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