Seven Reasons The Segway Still Sucks

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

With gas prices on the up, apparently the Segway is becoming a hot commodity. Well if you listen to the Wall Street Journal. Heck, Popular Mechanics even ran a list yesterday called "4 Practical Reasons the Segway Isn't Actually That Lame Anymore." We read it and you know what? It really irked our auto-loving nature. Because frankly, the Segway sucks. Yeah, sure, Dean Kamen's probably seen more of his inventions move from patent to reality than Tesla and Bell combined. But he also believed the Segway was his one invention that would revolutionize urban design, personal transportation and even electrical grids. But despite the utopia-creating case he's made for his adorable little one-stander, there're many more reasons why he was just plain wrong — and even a few for why it just sucks. Here's seven of those reasons:

1.) The Segway Encourages Obesity

Kamen made his name with his brilliant iBot Mobility System — it's basically an off-road wheelchair, complete with the ability to take stairs like it's its job. The Segway on the other hand — doesn't do much more than travel in a straight line on even ground and taking the place of what your legs already are capable of doing. Maybe his next brilliant idea is a plus and double-plus sized wheelchair to lug around the legions of morbidly obese citizens living in his not-at-all-utopian dreamworld. He could make a lot of money from them, or at least their insurance companies, as they grow old, weak and out of shape.

2.) The Segway Is Dorky


There are no number of G.I. Joe-like bags, no size of Hummer-esque tires and no "Police" logo stickering that can make the Segway look cool. The two-wheeled contraption just oozes "nerd." Go ahead, find that one picture of someone looking "cool" riding one of Kamen's electric-powered nerdmobiles. In return, I'll show you 100 pictures of crazy-haired old guys with fanny-packs and big bellies muttering quotes from Futurama as they hum by pedestrians.

3.) The Segway Is Too Expensive


A base model Segway will set you back five large, plus the cost of continually juicing up the little sucker. That's a significant investment for a transportation device with a maximum range of just 25 miles. Why spend the five thousand ducats on a two-horsepower engine when you can go with one of a variety of other options that do the same thing for the same price? For instance, you could go the health-conscious route and buy 35 pair of Nike Shox Experience+ Running Shoes at $140 each. Or if you'd rather get your exercise on two wheels, you can buy eight IRO Mark V bicycles at the bargain-basement price (comparatively) of $569 each. If you'd rather exercise your eyes by awkwardly looking at ads on the walls, you can always go with 2,500 $2.00 tickets on New York City's MTA system. Of course you could eschew the whole green thing in favor of a 250 cc moped — you can grab a handful off eBay for the same price as one of Kamen's little luxury novelties.

4.) The Segway Can't Go Up Stairs


OK, as we said already, Dean Kamen's pre-Segway invention, the iBot Mobility System, is a brilliant all-terrain wheelchair that actually can take a person from point A to point B if point B is atop a set of stairs. But for some reason Kamen's previous successes went right out the window — and down a couple flights of stairs — while designing the Segway, a device easily flummoxed by any surface that isn't flatter than Keira Knightley's chest.

5.) The Segway Discriminates Against People With No Legs


Why the Segway hates people without legs, I don't know. All I do know is that like with stairs, Kamen forgot the genius of the past and built a transportation device that just doesn't work without the use of one's feet.

6.) The Segway Is Too Slow


Even the Ferrari edition Segway's limited to a speed of a mere 12.5 MPH. That means while the Segway may be faster than walking, it's slower than just about any available option for commuting short distances. It's hard for a device to revolutionize transit options when it's not actually able to catch up to any of them. But, even if we were to set aside other options as being faster, where's the right place to run (Is that even the right term?) your Segway? It's too slow for the road and too fast for the sidewalk. New York's even gone so far as to completely ignore the problem, categorizing Segways as "extra-legal." Always count on the bureaucrats to create a gray area wider than a street lane. It's just too bad the lane's imaginary.

7.) The Segway Is Too Difficult For Me To Use


Any vehicle that requires a strong center of balance is a bad idea in today's society. I'm telling you, it's just plain hard to use. Well, OK, just because I fell off the Segway in a Dubya-like face-plant my first and only time riding the little two-wheel devil, it does not mean I harbor any ill-will toward it. Not a lot of ill-will. OK, maybe a lot. Whatever, it's a horrible little machine that shouldn't exist and I'm standing by that claim. At least until Kamen comes out with a four-wheeled version. Then I'm totally in.