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Segway Enthusiasts Club Disbanding Over Lack Of Enthusiasm

from the so-sorry-about-that dept

Remember back when the Segway was going to change the face of modern transportation? We were told that they were going to re-architect cities for the sake of the Segway. Of course, that never happened. Now, even its biggest fans are losing their enthusiasm for the device. Apparently, the Segway Enthusiasts Club of America is disbanding. Turns out that people really aren't that enthusiastic about Segways any more. The group is disbanding over lack of activity and the fact that no one wanted to be on its board. It's been well documented that the Segway never came anywhere close to living up to the hype, and over the years it's gone through one strategy after another as it seemed to have more executive changes than customer wins. However, having your "enthusiast" user group completely shut down is a pretty damning exclamation point on how low the Segway has sunk.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 9:56am

    WTF?

    A Segway? Are things still even manufactured and sold?

     

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  2.  
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    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 9:57am

    No way Segway will survive,

    how can I use my cellphone and drive at the same time?
    No way segway will last until it goes always hands-free.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:11am

    If they didn't charge so damned much for the things they might have lasted longer.

     

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  4.  
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    Will, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:11am

    What is a Segway?

    Ask anyone off the street, and you'll find out why Segways never made it. Nobody knows about it. Now, ask them about the iPhone...

     

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  5.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:15am

    Niche

    Segway is decent niche product. Golf carts, dump trucks, three wheel bikes, 4 seat airplanes -- all have their uses. None of these is going to redesign a single neighborhood, let alone entire cities. The economics are ridiculous.

    In order to actually compete with cars, or motocycles, or bikes, they woul dhave to go twn times as far on a charge, and cost one-tenth as much.

     

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  6.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:17am

    Niche

    Segway is decent niche product. Golf carts, dump trucks, three wheel bikes, 4 seat airplanes -- all have their uses. None of these is going to redesign a single neighborhood, let alone entire cities. The economics are ridiculous.

    In order to actually compete with cars, or motocycles, or bikes, they woul dhave to go twn times as far on a charge, and cost one-tenth as much.

     

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  7.  
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    Justine, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    History Will Look At Segway DIfferently

    Maybe the Segway dream fell a little bit short, but at least someone had the power to think differently, to look at the world and imagine something that had never been done before, and then to take those dreams and turn them into something big.

     

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  8.  
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    Beefcake, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Re: History Will Look At Segway DIfferently

    Not to be too obnoxious because I agree that they are kind of fun and it's a novel repackaging, but I don't think it's that revolutionary. There's prior art all over this one. The bicycle. A personal conveyance where balance is achieved via spinning gyroscopes (the wheels). Sure, it isn't powered (some are though, and motorcycles), but you even get to sit down while you use it.

     

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  9.  
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    FloridaGypsy, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    Too Lazy

    What can you expect from people that are too damned lazy to walk and will pay thousands to put a couple of wheels under them. For that kind of money I'd buy a nice motorcycle and really enjoy myself.

     

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  10.  
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    Buzz, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    LOL

    This reminds me of when I was part of a Korean Culture Society at my university (I lived in South Korea for two years). I would receive regular emails about being the club president: "All candidates must submit a form by this date to be president during the Winter Semester." "Reminder: the due date is close!" "Last chance! Submit your apps quickly!" A few days after the due date, I received this: "OK, SOMEONE has to apply, or there will be no president!"

    ROFL!!!

     

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  11.  
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    Guy who's buddy has one, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:01am

    Niche Marketing x Segment Focus

    My buddy has one that has revolutionized his life. He has an extreme form of asthma. The Segway allows him to leave the house and continue to run his bookstore. Without it he cannot move more than a couple steps. The marketing gurus at Segway want to change the world more than sell the things. If marketed to the senior crowd, they would command the entire sector. Well, at least the ones healthy enough to stand up.

     

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  12.  
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    SlapHappy, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:05am

    It would be cool to ride one around your mansion (like the Hulkster)...but I wouldn't be caught dead in public with one!

     

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  13.  
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    Bob, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:06am

    dual use

    Perhaps the best use of the Segway was as a stabilized platform for building mobile robots. Google "segway robotics" for more info.

    I agree with A.C. that the price point is too high for its originally intended use as a personal transportation toy.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:10am

    Last time I saw one...

    was in the "making of" for "Hot Fuzz". They were using one for a cameraman, which is a decent idea I guess.

    I think perhaps the fact that anyone seen riding one outside of the poshest areas of a city would be beaten up and have it stolen is a severe limiting factor. It's certainly why I would never buy one.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:18am

    Re: History Will Look At Segway DIfferently

    The Segway was a dumb idea that was more hype than anything else. "Dreaming" and "thinking differently" are easy. Anyone can do that. Combining those things with critical and intelligent thought to come up with something new and worthwhile is a little more difficult and requires considerably more effort. History will remember the Segway as an example of a failure to do that.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Brown, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    You can rent one in Long Beach

    There's an outfit in the harbor area in Long Beach, California, which rents Segways - I saw them last week near the Aquarium of the Pacific. At $45 an hour, it's a bit rich for my blood, but the people riding them seemed to be having fun.

     

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  17.  
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    Dosquatch, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    Re: price

    Yup, that's about the size of it. If they could put the product on the market for, say, $500-600, there would be a LOT more interest.

    OK, a lot more interest, relatively speaking. In the mid-80's, everyone would just HAVE to have one. Nowadays everyone has turned either "health concious" or "x-games". If it doesn't help burn more calories, or can't be used in a half-pipe, it's probably not going to get much attention.

     

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  18.  
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    crucible, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    Segway club disbanding

    And it's a damn good thing too. Every now and then good sense prevails.

     

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  19.  
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    NerdyLove, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 12:27pm

    With enough dexterity and motivation, a Segway might be able to be used on a half pipe ;)

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 12:55pm

    Hmm, wouldn't it be cool if somebody could modify a Segway to go, say, 30 mph? Where's Tim Taylor when you need him? XD

     

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  21.  
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    Witty Nickname, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 12:57pm

    Transportation

    The price point is bad, but I would spend $5,000 on it if it could go faster. It goes 12 MPH, it is great for my postman who uses one, but I have to commute to work from the suburbs and it would make my commute 2 and a half hours.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Last time I saw one...

    Speaking of Hot Fuzz, the local PD has a few of these things runn...er I mean creaping along the streets. WhyTF do you spend tens of THOUSANDS of dollars on these things instead of having them ride bikes? (Hell, even horses are cheaper!) It's not you can chase anyone except senior citizens...it's not like anyone walks anywhere in this town...you pretty much HAVE to drive to get to stores,etc.

     

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  23.  
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    Jeff, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Transportation

    Ride the Segway to the local train station, then ride to work from the station in the city.

     

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  24.  
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    Romadness, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Too Lazy

    I happen to own one and use it to commute to and from work (7 1/2 miles each way). Your reasoning is backwards. I use the Segway to avoid driving my car not to avoid walking!

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Transportation

    Which would probably make the commute 3 hours. :-)

     

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  26.  
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    Romadness, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Transportation

    Nope. The commute only takes me 40 minutes. When I did drive my car, it took 30-35 minutes. I'm saving over $100 a month in gas alone. Engage your brain before you open your mouth (or start typing, in this case).

     

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  27.  
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    John, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Niche Marketing x Segment Focus

    Has your friend ever heard of the rascal scooter? Most old people who can't walk 5 feet can't really stand for more than 3 minutes anyway. Segways would hardly win in the market for senior mobility.

     

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  28.  
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    GOB, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    NOOOOOOOOoooooo!!!

    Why, God? WHY!!?????

     

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  29.  
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    John, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 3:44pm

    Two points

    1) The absolute best use of Segways has got to be by parking lot attendants, especially at places like Disney World. These people walk back and forth, up and down the rows directing cars to their parking spaces. On a Segway, they're still tall enough to be seen, but now they don' have to walk back and forth.

    2) For all the members of this ethusist club: come to Orlando! The City of Orlando recently announced a plan to invest around $900,000 in city "ambassadors" who will ride around downtown on Segways. The idea is that these ambassadors will help tourists with directions, help the homeless (yeah, right), and basically all the other light duties that police officers have to do. Then, the police officers can be freed up to sit in the middle of the interstate and look like they're catching speeders... um, I mean, so they can be freed up to solve crimes.

    Here's a link on the Orlando Sentinel about this plan:
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-segway0807aug08,0,5669039.story

     

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  30.  
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    anonymous coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:14pm

    just wait until the iSegway. Jobs is going to paint them white, quadruple the price, and start a hip ad campaign. every dumb marketing chick and hipster douchebag in your office will be riding one to work...

     

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  31.  
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    Francis Burdett, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 8:24pm

    no one "enthusiastic about Segways any more"

    _any more_? I was obviously drinking during that mythic period where the populace was _actually_ enthusiastic about the Segway.

     

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  32.  
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    Jim Hillhouse, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 11:54pm

    Segways are Fun

    My wife and I rented two Segways for a day in Austin and we had a blast. I can tell from most of the comments the critics that they haven't ridden one. Nice to comment on what you don't know. As for those physically impaired, driving a Segway is easy--I can see how someone with bad asthma could use one of those as could seniors who maybe have poor hips or joint pain. And now that the i2 uses Lion batteries, Segways have a decent range. I wish they were faster though. And no, you can't do funky acrobatics with a Segway; great way to crash though if you try.

     

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  33.  
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    fuzzyedges, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 4:20am

    Re: NOOOOOOOOoooooo!!!

    ROFL!!! Best post EVER!!!

     

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  34.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Last time I saw one...

    I have seen a few in aiports, used by security/law officers. Take a 6 foot 2 inch tall cop, give him a Smokey Bear hat, and have him stand on a Segway -- now his about 7 feet tall. The intimidation factor is pretty high.

    No balance issues (bikes) and no other "issues" (horses) -- and the things can outrun anyone except an Olympic sprinter. Plus he can see over the crowd.

    On a street though, the horse is a much better option. There was a reason cavalry dominated battlefields until tanks came along.

     

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  35.  
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    GoblinJuice, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 8:23am

    Segway, smegway.

    I'm waiting for my own personal, flying car! =D

     

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  36.  
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    Evan, Aug 10th, 2007 @ 9:09am

    I know someone who had to have their hip replaced after a Segway glitch kicked her off of it. I could never truly grasp why the whole premise would work only on two wheels? Why not just put a third wheel in the back, get rid of all the glitchy software, and charge 200 bucks for plastic and a battery like those motarized scooters?

     

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  37.  
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    Antony, May 3rd, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Far from true

    www.segwaychat.com is just one of the many segway chat websites. I would like to see another vehicle website that hosts more than 5000 active users. Considering there are only about 45000 segways worldwide this is a good percentage, and most of those are bussiness users (this is impressive). bussiness users normally will not post as the segway is not theirs and they did not take an interest. How many of us have joined the Ford club because we have a company Ford? Many are used for tours and tourism (one user/posts equates to 12 segways here in my case)

     

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  38.  
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    3 year SegWay owner in the Poconos, Aug 2nd, 2009 @ 5:27am

    My feelings are seemingly opposite to most posting on this web site.

    1. I own one and use it almost every day not for 3 + years. Actually I would like to have 2 more.

    2. Expensive: yes they are made in the USA, nothing made in the US can be cheap due to the standard of living the US employees enjoys, so labor costs must reflect this. They also are built VARY robustly constructed and full of technology in an environment not good for electronics (vibrations n out doors) of n all this costs $.$$....

    3. Faster: Fall off/crash one at 12.5 MPH 6 times like I have in 3 yerars n U will know why 30 mpg is only a dream of the un experienced....

    I have a normal occupation, I am not wealthy by any stretch. Biggest single reason I can afford a Segway is simply because I made a conscious decision decades back not to have 2 leg children since the planet already has a few too many. Also I need not save for car n collage, care for an un wed teenage parents children ect.

    AnyWay, I try n add a few hundred feet of trails a week or so to my 16 acre back yard/SegWay terrain park (I glide on an X2 with tuff tires) in my Pocono back yard. Any owners are invited to enjoy there horribly fascinating machines with me........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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