2 Wheeling Off Road: Tips for How to Manage a Segway

The Segway x2 is created specifically for off-roading, with large, durable tires, a flexible handle, higher clearance, a scratch-resistant body, and a wide base, and works well on rough terrain due to a steering system called LeanSteer, which causes the Segway to react to how you lean your body. Although riding a Segway is great fun, it's also a very unique experience, and can be disconcerting the first time you try to manage the device. Knowing what to expect will help you the first time you hop on a Segway, while learning some tips on managing the two-wheeled device will help you master the activity.

How it Works

The way a Segway works is as simple as it is advanced. You stand on the base of the Segway and grip its handlebars, and the device will react to the position of your body to keep itself balanced. When standing in the middle of the device, the Segway will remain in one spot. To move it forward, you lean your body forward slightly; to move it in reverse, you lean your body backwards slightly. Leaning farther forward will cause the Segway to move faster, while leaning farther backwards will cause the Segway to reverse faster. If the Segway determines that you're going too fast, it will automatically adjust the handlebars to slow you down. With a bit of practice, you'll learn to control the Segway gracefully; until then, however, here are some tips to help you manage it.


- Use "Beginner Mode" to practice riding the Segway before using it in normal mode. Insert the beginner key that was included with the Segway into the key slot, then turn it. A yellow display will appear. Remove the key, then use the Segway while it is in beginner mode to master the basic steering system. Power the Segway off, then turn it back on in normal mode when you're ready to progress.

- Avoid using the Segway on slick or slippery surfaces; the device requires traction in order for it to stabilize itself correctly, and by steering it onto a slick surface, it may lose traction, causing you to crash.

- Keep away from loose surfaces and steep slopes. Loose surfaces, such as sandy ground or ground covered in small pebbles, will provide inadequate traction, and can cause the Segway to spin out and lose balance, resulting in a crash. Similarly, going up or down a very steep slope can cause the tires to lose traction, resulting in a particularly dangerous crash.

- Lean into hills so that your balance remains centered, allowing the Segway to self-balance more proficiently. To make it easier to master, remember that you must always lean towards the tire that is most elevated. So, for example, if an elevated curve causes the right tire to rise higher than the left tire, lean towards it in order to maintain optimal balance.

- Pay attention to the stick shake, which is a feature where the handlebars will begin to shake as a warning if the Segway thinks you're about to fall over. If you experience the stick shake, immediately slow down and evaluate both how you're riding and the terrain on which you are rolling for any possible loses of traction or balance problems.

Guest post contributed by Neil Hilden for Neil is a freelance writer with a penchant for fast cars. His articles appear on various automotive blogs.


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