Mention the name Segway, and many people will have the image of the electric, standup personal transportation device on two wheels, a scooter of sorts. Many law enforcement agencies around the world have used the electric transporters, and they were also popularized in the Paul Blart Mall Cop movie series. But, last month, we covered how that electric device has been discontinued. Instead, Segway has decided to concentrate its business on its other products. So, you will never guess what Segway is making now.
The Segway backstory
The Segway HT, or Human Transport, was launched in 1999 to much fanfare and a hefty price. Although the device gained traction with tour guides, police departments, and other security agencies, it never really took off as anticipated. The HT became specialized and renamed accordingly. But the HT itself is gone, as is the PT, Personal Transport. According to Electrek,
“Despite promising to sell over 100,000 Segways in the first year, it took the company well over a decade to reach that milestone. The expensive and low-speed electric vehicles simply never caught on en masse with the public.”
Over time, Segway was bought out by a much larger company with other electric products. Fortunately, Segway was able to transfer the experience with electric battery technology experience to the new products. So, their product portfolio is pretty diverse. Their products currently include electric scooters, mopeds, and an electric dirt bike.
The Dirt eBike is no electric scooter
Segway’s electric dirt bike is called the Dirt eBike. It comes in two forms. We will concentrate on the X260 for this piece. The Dirt eBike X260 is no scooter. It is kind of a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle dirt bike.
The Dirt eBike has some pretty impressive performance statistics and two awful statistics that stick out like soar thumbs. Depending on how a consumer wants to use the Dirt eBike, those glaring soar thumbs may be deal-breakers. We will review the statistics below.
- Top Speed: 46 miles per hour
- Range: 74 miles
- 184-ft. lbs of torque
- Zero-to-thirty: About 4 seconds
- Battery type: Swappable and waterproof
- Battery recharge time: 4 hours to full charge
- Motor Max: 5-kW
- Uphill Capability: 45-degree incline
- App control
- Price Point: $4,999.99
The statistics sound pretty impressive. The video that highlights the product (above) is pretty impressive too. The 74-mile range and the ability to swap the battery out for another fully charged battery is something that will appeal to a lot of people. The rugged appeal of the go-anywhere bike will too.
Gear Junkie said,
“The two-wheeled electrified adventure machine falls somewhere between a gas-powered dirt bike and mountain bike; Eco mode is plenty powerful for most riding. In sport mode, it will pop wheelies on demand.”
The are the two drawbacks
Here are the problems. The aluminum alloy frame speaks of the X260 being a lightweight product. But, the eBike is not. It weighs in at 121 pounds. The average weight for an electric bicycle these days is under 75 pounds. Granted, they may not be built to handle the rigors of the eBike, but that weight is a hindrance to those that want to quickly take the bike in and out of their pickups and SUVs. For some, that weight difference will be a deal-breaker. For others, it won’t phase them.
Then there’s the price point. Five grand is a lot of money for an electric bicycle. The prices for the industry have been dropping and becoming more manageable for those that want to enter into the electric bike world. Some electric bicycles are available under $1,000 at Walmart.
The Triumph electric bicycle
Another well-known manufacturer, Triumph, just started offering their own electric bicycle, the Trekker GT. It chimes in at $3,750, but it weighs 53 pounds with the battery and has a 90-mile range. Keep in mind, however, that the Triumph electric bicycle does not seemed positioned to take on hardcore trails. It is more of a street performer.
Overall, Segway’s eBike X260 seems to come across as one tough and fun bike. With the days of the HT and PT behind, it is good to see the company broadening its reach beyond scooters into the outdoor power sports. It may be a good market for them. If the Segway eBike X260 is any indication, they may be on to something, as long as weight and price are not the determining factors.