Best Ranked Hoverboards 2016
- Editor Rating
- Editor Notes
- Unit Weight
- Max Speed
- Max Climbing Angle
- Charge Time
- Weight Limit
- UL Listed
- (4.8 / 5)
- Top choice in the US
- 28 lbs
- 10 mph
- 14 miles
- 15 degrees
- 4 hrs
- 220 lbs
- 1 year
One of the newest – and more compact – forms of transportation already has a lot of names attached to it.
Some may call it a self-balancing board or a smart balance board. Others refer to it as a “mini segway without handle bars” or even a “segway board”. Still others know it as a two-wheel segway hoverboard or a 2-wheel hoverboard. A long name which gets used often is the self-balancing, two-wheel, smart electric scooter. A common shortened name is the electric hoverboard.
In truth, it doesn’t really hover, but it gives off the impression you are hovering when riding it. It is a board, but tends to scoot along the ground.
Whatever name it’s given, the fact is these electric boards with wheels are becoming very popular. Far smaller and lighter than a segway, it is still designed to move you around even though you are standing.
These boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes and some even come with built-in speakers to connect to your mobile phone.
In this article, we will discuss the various of features and the cost associated with the electric hoverboard segway or self-balancing scooter, whichever name you prefer.
How much does a mini segway hoverboard cost?
The prices for one range anywhere from $250-$1,000. On average, the typical self-balancing electric scooter usually is around $500-650.
By comparison, a segway usually costs between $6,000-$8,000. This makes these products very good value as they already are easier to carry and store. Now, they come at a fraction of the cost with the main difference being the lack of handlebars.
The lower-end prices usually come from China. These have long shipping times and no real warranty attached to them. Some of the lithium-ion batteries have been known to end up becoming faulty. Also, in an alarming trend, there have been many reports of the boards catching on fire – and burning down houses – while charging. Usually the battery issue has led to such situations. Many times, the board is charging in the house, but failed batteries create a spark which causes the combustion and leads to fires within homes.
Most of these boards come from China where there are a lack of standards and controls. China already has over a million such products shipped out, including 40 percent from Shenzhen, which is known as a cheap manufacturing hub.
The United Kingdom ended up recalling over 15,000 boards over the 2015 holiday season because most of them failed to pass inspection.
Though the USA versions are higher-priced, the quality is much better, because the product is already well-regulated state-side. The batteries are more proven, usually from Samsung and LG, so there isn’t anywhere near the concern of the hoverboard actually exploding or catching fire. Warranties always come with these models. In addition, the shipping time is shorter, and it is easier to deal with customer care from these companies. So if you are looking to buy a segway hoverboard, it might be a good idea to go with a US company. In any case, make sure your board of choice has a UL-certified charger.
The prices may vary based on design and performance. Some are said to have better motors to create faster models, or some advertise having longer battery life. Others provide wider platforms to place your feet on.
It seems similar to a segway, but it isn’t. The self-balancing electric scooter usually can come in around 25-27 pounds. That is some heft, but it has a small even size making it easy to carry and better to commute to work or to classes with.
Typically, the board is a steel frame with a central pivot and includes infrared sensors, gyroscopes, a logic board, a pair of electric motors and tilt/speed sensors with one of each located inside the wheels. It also has a charging port, a power switch, a battery pack, and pressure pads.
The gyroscope and speed control boards receive speed and tilt information from the sensors located within the wheels. The logic board controls the power management of the equipment, serving as its brain. The pressure pads help determine the need for speed when it gets tilted forward. The farther you lean forward, the faster the logic board tells the motors to spin. With this set-up design, you can control your cruising speed with your own weight.
It does take a bit of getting used to, hence the mention of self-balancing on some of its names. It takes time and patience in order to feel comfortable on it. It may be wise to test it out in an indoor hallway so you can use the surrounding walls as a brace when you first get on it.
You simply place each feet on the pressure pads and find your right even balance. When enough pressure gets applied, the motor turns on. Stay relaxed when mounting into position. Then, you tilt forward or back to determine which direction you want to go. The further you tilt forward, the faster it speeds up.
Generally, it takes between 15-30 minutes for most to feel comfortable on the product. You can even learn to spin around by pressing down on only one pad.
What is the hoverboard’s top speed and range?
The top-end versions can go up to seven or eight miles per hour, but it actually feels as if you are going even faster than that when riding on it. By comparison, average jogging speed is roughly around five miles per hour.
The tires are usually made of rubber, so there shouldn’t be any concerns of flat tires. Also, the tires are large enough to go over sticks and twigs, but don’t ask it to go up steps.
An issue could be the surface. The motors can carry you up and downhill if need be. It can go up and down rolled curbs if found along the sidewalk. However, gravel and grass sometimes creates problems and makes for a bumpier ride.
Ironically, the boards hit the brakes fairly easily when you start lifting off the pressure pads. In turn, that can actually cause you to lose your balance and “fall” off of the scooter.
The batteries on the higher-end brands can provide plenty of charge to the product. Some can go as many as 15 miles before needing to be recharged. Even better, it generally recharges at a fast rate. Usually, only a couple of hours of charging is needed to getting completely powered back up. Since it comes with a charger and it uses lithium-ion batteries, you don’t need to purchase any extra equipment to go with it.
What is the maximum weight it can hold?
Actually, it depends on the batteries and motors each company uses, so the estimated weight capacity on each model varies.
The estimated weight capacity is somewhere around 220 pounds, so even medium-sized males can use it regularly. Some could go as high as 250-265 pounds especially if they are using 10-inch tires which usually have stronger motors. Yet, some eight-inch hoverboard types usually have bigger footpads and have been known to have a weight limit up to 325 pounds.
The heavier weights usually drain the batteries much faster, but most generally still are able to reach close to its top speed.
It should be noted that the self-balancing scooter isn’t really for children ages eight and under. Even children under the age of 12 likely would need initial adult supervision. So while they easily come under the weight limit, children on these scooters could be at risk because of the balance and focus needed to master it.
What comes with the self-balancing scooter?
Generally, the device comes with a remote power button, charging port and lights. However, those are the basic versions.
Higher-end models provide bluetooth and wireless speakers among its accessories or generally have bigger tires. You can pair the bluetooth to your phone, allowing you to listen to music though the sound is relatively quiet.
Also, the designs vary on each model. Some versions of the self-balancing scooter could include chrome tire frames built for more durability and protection against hard knocks. Or you can get some protector guards as an accessory. Some of the latest accessories also include safety helmet and elbow and knee pads.
These models usually are pricier or the accessories, such as its own backpack used to carry the model when not in use, are an additional and separate cost. But, sometimes you get what you pay for and the higher-priced models usually provide some additional functions.
So before buying the cheapest hoverboard for sale you should know exactly what functions you want your hoverboard to have.
Why are they so popular?
These self-balancing electric scooters or electric hoverboards can be initially challenging. But, they can be fun to ride once you get used to it.
It moves easily, stops and turns quickly, and can glide along smooth surfaces. Some say riding one soon becomes an extension of yourself as it doesn’t require manual motion like on a skateboard. They are also faster than walking and make for a smoother ride, so you can take pictures of the scenery while on the go.
It can be used for a variety of activities, whether it is just hopping on it to “hover” around the block or to take a ride down to the shops. Some even use it to race around some cones in a quiet parking lot.
The self-balancing electric scooter feels more convenient because it is small and easy to carry when arriving at your destination. If you don’t like 2 wheel hoverboards, you can get a halo board the best one wheel skateboard. So if you are going shopping, you can easily pick it up and carry it with you at all times.
Since they are electric-powered and run on rechargeable batteries, these scooters are environmentally-friendly with zero emissions. Also, the motors are generally silent. There are no whirling sounds emanating from it – unless you have a version with Bluetooth and are listening to music while riding along.
Recently, many celebrities have been seen riding them. Singers such as Justin Bieber and John Legend have been seen on them. Rapper Wiz Khalifa even was arrested at Los Angeles Airport for riding around on one there. Many clips on YouTube show other celebrities riding on them.
As already mentioned, they are much cheaper in comparison to Segways. They don’t need some sort of momentum start such as even a regular scooter. And, outside of young children, almost anyone can use them and can even master them within a short period of time.
Some may view it as the tech fad of 2015, but it is possible that it could have staying power in the near future. 2016 has seen the introduction of upgraded versions, as well as the official Segway entry into the market, the Ninebot.
Conclusions before buying a Segway Hoverboard
The self-balancing scooter generally is considered both fun and more efficient than walking if you are going someplace within a reasonable distance.
There are a number of advantages to the hoverboard as already listed. It is cheaper than bigger versions, but is compact enough to carry around. There can be no noise and emissions while using it. Developing the skills to ride it can be fun and easily done with a little time and effort.
Because of the convenience and the lack of need to use a pedal or a kick to get going, the self-balancing scooter has become very popular and trendy in just a short period.
Just beware of the cheap knockoffs that are coming from China. While these models cost less, there are concerns over how they are manufactured. As already discussed, hoverboards have been prone to catching fire. Most seem to come from the cheap, generic side that are quickly made in China.
One of the things about China is how quickly things are made then put on the market. The problem is sometimes they bypass safety standards in order to quickly get products onto the market. As a result, some of the boards weren’t built properly due to the rush.
Nonetheless, hoverboards of all brands are being investigated to understand why fires are occurring. To be on the safe side, you shouldn’t charge a scooter overnight or when away from home.
Also a lot of the cheaper boards from China end up becoming available through third-party sellers such as Amazon or eBay. It turns out some of these are even fake and often are more prone to the fires.
The ideal way to acquire one is to get it from the manufacturer to minimize risks of it being a fake or improperly built.
There are some other cons to the product, but they are relatively minor. The hoverboard is battery-driven, so you need to be careful as to how much life it has in it particularly if you are taking a reasonable journey of up to 10 miles. If it runs out of juice before you can complete your trip, you are stuck with walking back to the charger while holding the hoverboard the entire way.
There is some downside to them as they struggling on fairly bumpy terrain, and you wouldn’t want to ride one into a field of high grass.
All in all, many highly recommend the product because its advantages outweigh its cons. Just make sure to be willing to spend more for the American products.
* Segway Inc. is a completely different company with different devices. There is no relation between this product and the products offered by Segway Inc.
Segway and the Logo are registered trademarks of Segway Inc. and not found on this site. If interested in Segway products, visit their web site.