Philip Bendall attended the annual Segway Asia-Pacific (APAC) Conference held during the last week of March, 2017.
This year the conference was near the city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Republic of China). Located at the southern end of this island nation, the region is renowned for fishing and industry, and more recently for tourism. The journey down from capital city Taipei in the north took just 90 minutes….travelling at 300km/h on the High Speed Train.
The resort hosting the event features Taiwan’s largest ‘Segway Adventure Park’ where visitors can experience Segway Personal Transporters, Ninebot miniPROs and Ninebot ONEs.
While visiting Taiwan Philip also attended the Taipei Cycle Show – the largest bike show in Asia. All manner of bicycles and accessories were on display, spread across multiple floors of two enormous event centres. This year a special zone was devoted to Low Powered Vehicles – a rapidly growing segment that includes eBikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-skates, electric unicycles and self-balancing personal transporters.
Engineers know that a little bit of give can save a lot of break, and a little bit of flex prevents a lot of snap.
The Segway x2SE model and earlier Segway x2 and Segway XT models are built for rough & tumble fun, and down & dirty work. They’ve all got a clever little bit of give and flex designed in, and in this article we discuss one example of a part that is designed to wear over time and be replaced when needed.
We tend to call them ‘mud guards’ here in New Zealand, while Americans call them ‘fenders.’ These broad plastic fenders deflect mud, sticks and stones when you ride wherever it is you most like to go. Each fender is fastened to a ‘fender frame’ – the name for the strong metal “lifting handle” and also serves as the structure to attach optional cargo frames, waterproof cases, open top bins and golf bag carriers.
Each of the four fasteners passes through a rubber grommet. This grommet absorbs vibration to prevent rattling, and to provide that little bit more give that might otherwise result in a break in the event of fender strike. Often, the first way you’ll notice one or more grommets is wearing is by hearing a rattling sound as the fender vibrates against the metal fender frame – especially when riding over a hard surface at speed. If the grommet degrades completely the fastener will pull right through the hole in the fender, and the fender will feel loose and easily move apart from the fender frame.
To inspect the grommets simply follow the instructions in the Reference Manual to remove the wheel. Just remove the three 13mm nuts that hold the wheel on – simple!
Replacing the grommets only takes a few minutes. The only tool needed is a a 4mm Allen key, making this is an easy do-it-yourself job. If you prefer we can do this for you at your place, or you can bring your Segway PT to our Service Centre in Auckland, or visit our authorised Segway Dealers in Wellington (BodyElectric) and Christchurch (Urban Wheels).
All Segway x2SE, Segway x2, and Segway XT models use the same grommets, and we have these in stock now.
- Set of 8 Grommets (4 per fender): $25+GST (includes postage and instructions)
- Bag of 50 Grommets: $95+GST (includes postage and instructions)
If the fasteners are corroded these should be replaced at the same time.
- Set of 8 Fasteners with thread locking compound pre-applied: $25+GST (includes postage and instructions)*
- Larger numbers of Fasteners: please enquire
- Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Set: $195+GST includes postage and instructions)**
* all Segway x2 SE and x2 models use the same length fasteners, while the Segway XT uses a shorter fastener, so please specify when ordering.
** the selection of fasteners in these sets is specific to each model, so please specify when ordering (i) Segway x2 SE, (ii) Segway x2 SE with Golf kit, (iii) Segway x2, (iv) Segway x2 Golf or (v) Segway XT.
February is always a busy month for Segway New Zealand. Enquiries from individuals and businesses interested in Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) and Segway miniPROs begin to ramp up as the Great Kiwi Summer Holiday Season begins to wind down. We exhibit at the first of many trade shows we will attend during the year ahead. This year we’ve already displayed and promoted Segway products at shows in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch.
During nationwide travels we also get to visit some of our customers in out-of-the-way places along the way, and are always amazed and impressed how they utilise their Segway PTs as part of their everyday activities. It is deeply satisfying to see Segway PTs having become integrated into routine, serving as an essential and productive extension of either a business or of an individual…or both. Our customers include dairy farmers and orchardists, warehouses and factories, event managers and security guards, along with hundreds of commuters and mobility users.
Segway Tour businesses are also an important customer for Segway New Zealand. Not only do tourists enjoy an enjoyable and engaging local experience, often a tour on a Segway Personal Transporter is a person’s first experience with this incredible machine.
We visited three of New Zealand’s Segway Tour operators during our February travels.
Segway At Taupo is operated by Pure Kiwi Adventures, and have been offering their famous ‘Short Rides’ in a park overlooking Lake Taupo since 2007. This is one of the Taupo’s top tourist attractions and is loved by kids of all ages. The lake fills the cauldera of Taupo Volcano, the world’s most recent supervolcanic eruption. This was a very big bang indeed, and created the second-largest freshwater lake in Oceania.
Interesting fact: when we visit our Segway friends at Segway Asia-Pacific Regional HQ in Singapore and they ask about life in New Zealand, one way we describe it is like this: the area of Lake Taupo is 80% of the area of Singapore, and the population of New Zealand is 80% of the population of Singapore. If every person in New Zealand gathered together and (magically) stood on the surface of Lake Taupo then that would be the same population density as Singapore.
We also visited Rotorua by Segway, a business that launched exactly one year ago. Rotorua is New Zealand’s second-busiest tourist town (after Queenstown). Visitors can take a guided Segway Tour through this very active geothermal region. The tour sets off along a recently opened shared eco-path through the city centre then out to an park filled with boiling mud pools. You’ll glide along a raised footbridge through clouds of geothermal steam rising from hot lakes below, then past a historic lakeside Maori village and the beautiful ‘Government Gardens.’ The tour returns through a volcanic ‘wasteland’ of rocky, multi-coloured mineral deposits and scrubland known as Sulphur Point (an area that kinda smells a bit like rotten eggs, and resembles a Sci-Fi alien planet).
Christchurch Segway Tours began taking sight-seeing groups through this beautiful city in 2006. Operated by our official Segway Dealer Urban Wheels, this tour takes riders past many historic places and through the jewel of the city, Hagley Park. In more recent years tourists have seen a very different Christchurch during their tour. A series of earthquakes levelled many buildings in the CBD in 2011, and caused extensive damage throughout the city (leaving it resembling “London after the war”according to some). Today, the Segway Tour takes in both historic sites as well as the hive of rebuilding activity in the city centre.
Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) are built tough and built to last.
Just about every machine we’ve ever sold in New Zealand since 2003 is still up and running. The legendary build quality of the Segway Personal Transporter endures today as an exceptional example of the design genius of the original inventors. Excellence in engineering provided a sound foundation for refinement and expansion, with the first ‘Human Transporter’ model going on to spawn multiple styles and sizes of personal, off-road and golf variants of the Segway Personal Transporter.
Sure, under heavy use some components of the Segway PT wear out and require servicing or replacement. Mostly, this is because commercial users or private owners have put their Segway PTs workhorses to hard daily yakka to extract all possible value from their purchase. Batteries become exhausted or stop working over time, but they’re easy to replace and by then will likely have lasted long enough for you to have travelled the circumference of the world on your Segway PT (if you treat them nicely). Even the original HT i167 and HT e167 models are fully compatible with today’s latest Segway Lithium battery packs – just bolt ’em on and go around again!
As with all vehicles and machines, at some point it just makes sense to replace rather than repair your old equipment. Buy our latest Segway i2 SE ($12,995) or x2 SE ($13,995) models to get the benefit of great new features such as a redesigned and improved centre console, a quick-release LeanSteer Frame, front and rear running lights, easier diagnostics and the latest iteration of Segway Lithium battery packs.
The component parts of the Segway PT are attached to the PowerBase platform using a variety of sizes and types of fasteners. For example, each wheel is held on by three wheel nuts. For most owners, these standard Segway fasteners will last years and years, and will never need to be replaced. In fact, the majority of owners will ever even remove a single fastener on their Segway PT.
However, certain operators of Segway PTs remove various fasteners on a semi-regular basis. For example, some Segway Tour operators remove LeanSteer Frames for transport, swap battery packs regularly, replace wheels, remove parts such as fenders for cleaning, and regularly check certain fasteners for tightness.
In some environments corrosion of fasteners is more likely to occur than others. If corrosion is encountered, our recommended solution is to replace these fasteners immediately. Segway NZ has all replacement fasteners in stock and for sale.
One example of a fastener that can become corroded – especially in wet, salty conditions – are the very special battery fasteners. These have a recessed o-ring under the cap-screw head (see our article Segway Lithium battery pack fasteners (“bolts”): important information for details and photos). You cannot replace these fasteners with any old fastener that doesn’t have an o-ring (if you do water will leak past and into the battery and into the Segway PowerBase, and cause extensive and expensive damage).
Here in New Zealand we’ve discovered there are some geographic locations and some operating environments where it makes good sense to replace a selection of the standard Segway fasteners with stainless steel equivalents. We’ve carefully curated and prepared a selection that we’re calling our Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Set.
We recommend our Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Sets to the following users:
- Segway Tour businesses located by the ocean or a lakefront (particularly lakes in active geothermal regions), and especially if the tour crosses sand or close to the water’s edge. Winds can carry salty sea spray mist several kilometres inland.
- Segway owners who regularly or occasionally ride along the beach. Salt water, as well as damp, salty sand will cause corrosion. Many of the famous black sand beaches found along the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island get their colour from ironsand (originally spewn forth from our numerous volcanoes). These lightly magnetic sands have a heavy concentration of iron in the form of Magnetite (which is a valuable raw input for the production of steel). This magnetised sand is more difficult to wash or brush away, so will keep salty damp sand in contact with the metal components of the Segway PT for longer, promoting oxidation (rust).
- Segway owners who use their Personal Transporters on long, wet grass and drive through mud and puddles on a regular basis – such as farmers and orchardists.
- Segway owners who use their Personal Transporters in wet conditions then store them away in a damp, dark building before the Segway PT has had time to dry off.
Regular use in these environments under such conditions make it possible for certain fasteners to become corroded over time. This can make the fasteners difficult or impossible to remove when maintenance is required. For example, should a battery fastener become rusted into place, it will need to be drilled out using a Special Battery Fastener Tool that we’ve developed here in New Zealand. The removal process is both time consuming and expensive, and sometimes causes damage the PowerBase chassis itself. If that occurs the chassis will almost certainly need to be replaced, otherwise the Segway PT will not be properly sealed from water ingress.
Our Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Set replaces all of the fasteners most likely to be affected by corrosion from salt water or extended exposure to dampness. In the case of the battery fasteners, our stainless steel replacements are fitted with o-ring seals to prevent water ingresses into the PowerBase.
It is essential to use a thread locking compound (e.g. “Loctite”) to prevent loosening by vibration, and a lubricant to prevent galling when installing these fasteners. Also, it is essential that each fastener be tightened to the correct torque setting. Fasteners must not be under-tightened nor over-tightened, otherwise the thread inside the chassis may become stripped. Our Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Set comes complete with suitable thread locker, lubricant and a list of torque settings.
We have prepared specific sets of fasteners that match the particular model of Segway PT that you own, further tailored to how and where you use it. All sets are $195+GST (includes delivery) per Segway PT, or $245+GST if you’d like us to fit them to your new Segway PT prior to delivery. Fleet pricing for Sets is available to Segway Tour operators and owners of multiple Segway PTs (contact us for prices).
Sets containing our recommended selection of fasteners are available now for:
- Segway x2 SE
- Segway i2 SE
- Segway i2
- Segway x2
- Segway HT i167, HT i170, HT i180, Segway GT
- Segway XT
Here are a selection of photos of a Segway x2 SE Camouflage that has been kitted out with our Stainless Steel Fastener Upgrade Set.
Ports of Auckland opened its gates to the public for its annual three day ‘SeePort’ over Auckland Anniversary long weekend in January. This very large, busy event was managed by a team of staff from Orange Productions who moved more intelligently and covered more ground on six Segway i2SE Patrollers.
Tauranga’s Classic Flyers Airshow was patrolled by five Segway i2SE Patrollers. Staff from Watchdog Security were able to respond faster, cover more ground, and benefit from improved lines of site from the elevated position of riding a Segway Personal Transporter. This Airshow was been secured with the assistance of Segway PTs since 2010.
Watchdog Security’s branch manager Graham Yorke told us:
Your team served [us] well on the day, with a well timed arrival, and an excellent safety briefing during handover [of the fleet].
The Segway Personal Transporters once again proved to be the best mode of transport for our security staff, and we will most certainly reorder for the next scheduled event 20 January 2018
By every metric the Segway miniPRO topped the charts – value, comfort, features and personal choice!
KIWIreview’s expert tech reviewer Karl Ogle really liked the Segway miniPRO. He’d previously reviewed the Segway i2SE model Personal Transporter with a 9.3/10 rating in November 2014, so we were hoping he’d like the new Segway miniPRO too. We were delighted he liked it even more! He put the Segway miniPRO through its paces over an extended period of several weeks, so he could really find out what it is like to live with and use the device on a regular basis prior to writing his review.We hope this review is useful to intending customers. By independently and comprehensively assessing products across a range of benchmarks, KIWIreviews provides New Zealanders with a very useful source of information, and a thoughtful and considered opinion about a wide range of products.
Call us on 0800 2 SEGWAY and ask about out hot new 2017 pricing for the Segway miniPRO, and our new miniPRO accessories.
Best-selling children’s book ‘Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made’ features a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) with a key role to play throughout. Many times we’ve heard both parents and kids mention this book to us here at Segway New Zealand. So it was quite fortuitous when we discovered Santa had slipped a copy into our Christmas Stocking…
Here’s what the dust jacket has to say:
Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure – the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile – Timmy’s mom’s Segway – and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore.
Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can t carry out a no-brain spy mission.
We’re enjoying reading this book which, a bit like TV’s The Simpsons, is packed with an additional level of sly, clever humour that only parents will pick up on as the rollocking tale captivates a younger audience.
According to his publisher, author Stephan Pastis as created “….an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humour, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further – or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment – making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.”
Check out the Timmy Failure website and find out about all 5 books in the series to date.