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Hours of practice are not necessary to ride like a pro. Learn how to ride in minutes with precision sensors and an intuitive knee control bar.
The principle of Self Balancing transport of hoverboards has always been very attractive for children or teenagers since its first appearance as a means of utilitarian transport oriented to adults, in industrial plants and shopping centers. The Segway brand, main manufacturer of this type of vehicles of the utilitarian type, developed a version oriented to the entertainment for adults and later, another option of excellent quality oriented to cover the demand of the infantile and adolescent public, the Segway MiniLite is precisely that answer. It doesn’t have the colorful and eye-catching designs that other brands offer. However, behind its smaller size and minimalist industrial appearance, it hides a lot to offer in terms of entertainment.
The Segway MiniLite has been precisely a development thinking in terms of children, an audience eager for new experiences in an emerging market where many brands made their appearance offering products with different cosmetic characteristics and performance as well, but often were of poor quality and placed at risk the integrity of children to incidents that not only had to do with the operation of the unit but also with passive safety, because of the quality of its construction, some of these could even burn spontaneously.
It is true that its design resembles a version of the MiniPro smaller and effectively shares similar features such as the bar that allows to control the turn with the knees and that, in the adult version, allows to direct the unit very easily (segway minilite handlebar). The structural design is also simple but no less attractive. Precisely, a characteristic of the designs that the Segway manufacturer prints on its products is the clarity of its lines. A beautiful balance between functionality and art, plus high quality components. In the Segway MiniLite this control bar is also removable for easy storage, has a padded material to maximize comfort while driving but, unlike the MiniPro model, the height in the Segway MiniLite, is not adjustable. However, even for tall children, it may be possible to manage it comfortably at calf level because, the electronic unit of the Segway MiniLite is very intuitive and responsive to the control commands.
At approximately 26 pounds, the Segway MiniLite can be easily transported by folding the control bar and pulling it to use as a carrying handle. Its 10.5″ diameter tires are larger than any traditional hoverboard on the market and additionally, almost all offers from various brands, have alloy wheels coated with polyurethane material. But what is the benefit of air-inflated tires over polyurethane solids? Mainly, the possibility to keep better control under any kind of situation. When inflated by air, the tires can absorb much better the imperfections of the road, bumps or unevennesses that could make jump or vary the balance to a driver on a hoverboard of rigid wheels. Added to this, of course, is the best level of comfort.
The Segway MiniLite has two levels of water resistance rating. The electronics has an IP54 level so going through puddles or driving in moderate rain will not be a problem that can affect the electronics inside it because they are properly protected. The battery has an IPX6 protection level totally waterproof. In this regard, the unit mounts mudguards on each wheel that do a very good job of preventing water from splashing from the wheels towards the driver and thus provide peace of mind while driving.
The Segway MiniLite is equipped with LED taillights that can be customized in colors and patterns. A feature definitely appealing to children, however during nighttime driving they are not as efficient as an LED headlamp that projects a powerful beam of light onto the road. In this respect, there is an interesting offer available in the market for accessories for the Segway MiniLite (segway minilite accessories), where it is also possible to see a bumper kit to protect the MiniLite from small bumps and falls. They come in colorful presentations that serve additionally to personalize the hoverboard self-balance and easy installation due to its adherent face.
The Segway MiniLite has two powerful motors of 700w each (1400w in total), slightly less powerful than the 800w mounted in the MiniPro version. It has a maximum load capacity of up to 175 lbs. (79.4 kg), which may even be suitable for transporting a medium sized person. However, from a distance, it has enough power and torque to move any child or teenager. It doubles the power of most of the hoverboards sold in the market, even those oriented to adults. Its speed limit is in the order of 10 mph (16 kph) and the maximum capacity to climb steep slopes is 10° and the battery life is approximately 11 miles on a single charge. After this, the battery should be charged again, taking approximately 3 hours. With these figures, the Segway MiniLite is really perfect for taking your child from home to school, or just for fun with the certainty of having safe and reliable equipment under your feet. All components of the Segway MiniLite are UL2272 certified.
Since the Segway MiniLite is designed for children 6 years and older, the equipment incorporates a learning module that can be accessed through an application installable on almost any Smartphone and that will guide you step by step, how to manage and control the hoverboard through a cycle of basic exercises. Similarly, the Segway MiniLite will enter Training Mode the first time you turn it on and it will be so for the first kilometer, helping the new driver to become familiar with the unit. During this period, speed is limited to half its capacity. After the acclimatization stage, the Segway MiniLite hoverboard will return to the “Free” mode in which, with the experience gained, you can take full advantage of it.
With regard to driving, the implementation of the control bar makes a substantial difference in the way a unit of this type is driven. Unlike traditional hoverboards, in which the direction of the unit is governed by the torsional movement you must perform with your ankles, in the Segway MiniLite the steering is achieved with a natural inclination of the body towards the side you want to turn. Even if you find this mechanism difficult to use, you can replace it with a full-size bar, which can be used as a scooter handlebar.
As mentioned lines back, the Segway MiniLite has the ability to connect to your Smartphone via Bluetooth, in which you can configure the speed controls, the sensitivity of the direction and the color and pattern of the LED lights. Additionally, information such as speed, location and distance travelled are important data that will be reflected on the screen in real time.
Even more important, especially in the case of an equipment aimed at children and adolescents, is the ability to connect with other nearby Segway users and compare statistics. If you want to maintain privacy or avoid distractions, you can also deactivate it from the application menu. Similarly, access to the learning modes of the Segway MiniLite are made through that application, as well as any subsequent firmware updates by the manufacturers.
In short, the Segway MiniLite is actually an excellent alternative to the use of hoverboards. It looks safer and more fun and has attributes that position it on a scale above those commonly found in the marketplace. The downside to the MiniLite is its price, which is approximately 50% higher than a typical average hoverboard. However, the security it represents as a means of transportation or entertainment for your children is worth it dollar by dollar.
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