Once again, the titan company of portable segways (aptly named Segway) have released yet another new model into their massive repertoire of electric and motorized vehicles. The Segway Ninebot S is the newest segway model, and while it may seem to have many similarities to previous models, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Segway has consistently created upgrades to prior models that sported subtle yet important revisions that have always satisfied their users.
Is the new Ninebot S a worthwhile upgrade in the long-running history of Segway, or is this merely a minor adjustment that should be skipped over? We’ll tell you below if this new model is worth the price.
The Segway Ninebot S builds on Segway’s legacy as one of the best personal mobility device manufacturers. With its full size, off-road characteristic, and heavy-duty capabilities, the Ninebot S is indeed the best segway you can buy today!
Before we get into the review portion of this article it is important to pause and take mental stock of exactly what it is that you’re looking for in a segway vehicle. Segways may not be as complex as automobiles but it is still important to educate yourself on what you are buying by paying attention to its attributes and specifications. That way, you will know with certainty that what you’re buying will fit your needs.
Safety is arguably the most important factor to keep in mind when buying a segway vehicle, or any vehicle for that matter. A good segway will have lights that illuminate your surroundings in the dark. This allows you to see the path ahead and even more importantly will keep you visible to oncoming drivers. A good braking system is also very important. It should be responsive and have a relatively low stopping distance.
Comfort is next on the list. There’s no point in buying a segway if you feel awkward or uncomfortable while riding it. It should match your height and weight, have padding in the right places, and provide a sense of stability whether you are going straight or turning, slow or fast.
Speed is definitely another important factor, sometimes the most important factor for some people. If you want an easy-going vehicle then don’t go for a hot rod, so to speak. But if you can handle and even prefer some speed then make sure your segway doesn’t have a max velocity of only 5-6mph.
Build quality is also a must. Segways should be made out of high-quality parts, tested before they are shipped, and should come with guarantees that they are built to last a long time. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a segway that only has a lifespan of a few months.
Many other factors are important as well: battery life, maximum load capacity, and max mile range are all things to take into consideration. Let’s not forget any possible bonus features that a segway may have, like LCD interfaces, smartphone apps, etc.
With all that out of the way, let’s jump into our review of the new Segway Ninebot S.
Let’s just get this out of the way right now – we know that Segway has had some rather confusing names for their products. Despite the smaller number in the name, the Segway miniPro 260 was actually the newer of the miniPro 320. The Ninebot S also follows some interesting logic in its name.
The Segway Ninebot S is considered the successor to the Segway miniPro 260. Fans of the company may already be aware that Segway has a line of electric scooters that are called the Segway Ninebot Kickscooters, but they are similar in name only.
As one can safely assume, the Ninebot S shares many things in common with the miniPro 260 but with many new changes. For example, both the Ninebot S and the miniPro 260 weigh 28 pounds, are designed for ages 16-50 years old, and have a max speed of 10 mph. However, there are some interesting structural changes to the Ninebot S that are noticeable at first glance.
The Ninebot S has a more curved balancing rod compared to the straighter ones on previous models. My initial expectation was that this would allow for smoother and more comfortable turning. The wheels are still 10.5” pneumatic tires but like the balancing rod, they look noticeably different on the Ninebot S.
The first thing I noticed when I took the Segway Ninebot S out of its packaging was, well, how similar it was to the Segway miniPro. Both models are basically identical when it comes to height and weight. As mentioned earlier, the biggest differences one notices at first are how different the knee balancing rod and the wheels look. They’re certainly more aesthetically pleasing and look less like they just came out of a factory.
Setup construction was just as simple as it always is with Segway products. The Ninebot S is definitely a portable machine as it is not too heavy to carry by hand and can be easily stored away when not in use, thanks to the detachable balancing rod.
Surprisingly, unlike the miniPro, the Ninebot S’s balancing rod is non-adjustable. This may seem like a flaw at first glance but we’ll come back later as to whether or not that is true.
The Ninebot S only comes available in two colors: white and black. It is unfortunate that Segway still doesn’t release their models in a wider variety of schemes like red or blue but it’s not a big deal in the long run.
As expected, the Ninebot S is very impressive when it comes to structural integrity. Not only does the overall machine look like one of their most professional efforts yet, it feels like it too. Despite its curved angle, the knee balancing rod is solidly attached to the base of the segway. The feet pads are as comfortable and secure as they’ve ever been and the wheels are as thick and sturdy as a Segway veteran would come to expect.
The handlebars do not disappoint either. Made from their usual PU soft foam, they are comfortable on both the hands and the legs when riding. This brings us to our next section…
Riding the Segway Ninebot S is a very familiar experience. Depending on what kind of customer you are, this will either be a very good thing or a slightly disappointing realization.
Allow me to explain. The Ninebot S, as hinted at earlier in this article, genuinely is quite similar to the miniPro versions. It delivers a great and fun ride and only takes novices mere minutes to get used to how they’re supposed to balance.
While the vehicle does run well on a variety of terrains, it runs at its best by far when on flat and smooth pavements. Regardless of the speed I was going at, the Ninebot S consistently gave a very smooth response that turning felt like a breeze.
I thought that the redesigned knee balancing rod would improve the ability to make sharper turns but I haven’t really noticed much of a difference between the Ninebot S and previous Segway models. This ultimately isn’t a big deal as Segway devices have always had great handling. However, the lack of an adjustable handlebar does seem like an unnecessary change and maybe a slight issue for riders over 6 feet tall.
Like previous models, the Ninebot S utilizes dual 800w motors for a total output of 1600 watts.
The maximum speed of 10 mph gives just about any rider a really good range of deciding how slow or how fast they want to go.
With a max range of 13.7 miles, this gives you well over an hour of use when riding at maximum speed constantly. It isn’t drastically different from other Segway models, but it still gives a good amount of ground to cover in just one ride. You’ll easily be able to go shopping and spend a good amount of time at the park having fun off of just one battery charge.
The charge time was also quite good. It takes roughly three hours for the battery to go from zero to 100% which is pretty solid by most comparisons.
Segway has always impressed me with the quality of their wheels and the Ninebot S is no exception. These things are truly built astonishingly well. This is true for both their durability and their ability to handle a variety of terrain.
As hinted at earlier, the Ninebot S has what is referred to as “road adaptive” riding. This means that the wheels are designed to have good handling on grass, roads, sidewalks, and even dirty trails. They are also water-resistant and will work well through puddles or rain (though we recommend not operating this vehicle through deep puddles or heavy rainfall for both safety and performance concerns).
It is possible to use the Ninebot S on sandy beaches but we don’t recommend doing this either. It will still work but you will feel a lot more friction and subsequently lose some of your handling and control. Plus you will also have to clean your wheels of sand, and that’s no fun.
The Ninebot S also has a 15-degree max slope climbing rate much like the miniPro models. As long as you don’t exceed this incline rate then you will be as comfortable, secure, and as fast as you are on flat roads and surfaces.
Much like their wheels, Segway is known for delivering top-notch safety standards with their vehicles and the Ninebot S delivers on this front.
Braking feels as responsive as ever. Even when going at the max speed of 10 mph, I always felt tightly secured to the vehicle. Practicing the braking of the Ninebot S was quick, easy, and intuitive. Segway always manages to create a machine that truly feels like an extension of your own body. Much like riding, braking felt seamless and natural.
The Ninebot S also features some really fantastic customizable LED lights. You can use the free Segway app to decide the colors of your braking lights, headlights, taillights, and turning lights. The headlights shine up to 16 feet in front of you, which really helps a lot at night. It will consume a bit of battery life but not very much.
Like with many other Segway models, the Ninebot S is compatible with the Segway free mobile app. This application gives you access to a whole bunch of useful features that act as the cherry on top of this impressive cake.
With the app, you can see your battery life and other vehicle diagnostics such as how many miles you’ve spent on your current ride, or use it as a speedometer. There is also a digital tutorial that serves as a great primer for beginners who want to learn some riding tips or safety precautions.
You can even adjust some pretty technical things like your maximum speed. This is a great feature for beginners or younger riders by reducing their max speed if they aren’t comfortable going 8-10 mph.
While it isn’t exactly a revolutionary new leap in the line of Segway models, the Ninebot S is yet another great model that delivers on the already high standards that Segway is known for. We would not recommend this as an upgrade if you already own the very similar miniPro 320 or miniPro 260.
However, the Ninebot S would be a fantastic choice for someone who is looking to get their very first Segway vehicle or is upgrading from a much older model. With all of its minor but welcome additions, it is certainly the superior device, even if only by a slight amount.
All things considered, the Ninebot S is a great device. Its level of comfort, safety, power, and fun factor will satisfy just about anybody who is in the market for a new segway vehicle. Whether you are 16 or 40 years old, whether you plan on using this on the weekends or every single day, the Ninebot S is undoubtedly a reliable and well-made personal mobility device and is a worthy entry into the Segway lineup.
Last update on 2021-05-07 at 23:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.