Segway Ninebot S Review – Sturdy, Powerful and a Delightful Ride

Segway Ninebot S

Ready for that true Segway experience in a personal transporter that offers a rock-solid platform and plenty of power too? Then it’s time to take a good look at the Ninebot S – a popular model from the best known name in the field. This one scores an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars – from more than 500 actual buyer reviews. That’s notable, since human nature tends to make us more likely to leave a negative product review after a disappointing purchase, than to take the time to leave a glowing review when we’re delighted. Clearly, the Ninebot by Segway is a winner.

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Segway Has Evolved

When Segway first burst onto the scene to much fanfare, many thought that their original designs didn’t live up to the hype. Fortunately, Segway did the right thing and adapted their design to be more user-friendly – like the Ninebot S for example. It’s much more consumer-friendly device and it has evolved from being more of a toy or a fad to a useful everyday personal transporter.

Lots of people use it for business. They place the Ninebot S in the trunk of their car as they travel on business trips to other cities. They then use it to get to their specific location – whether it’s a conference or a key business meeting a couple of blocks – or several miles away – from their hotel. This saves them from moving the car and paying extra parking fees and dealing with all the traffic in a city that they may not know at all.

The Segway Ninebot S Specifications

  • dual 800 Watt motors
  • 11 inch pneumatic tires
  • Maximum Speed 10 mph
  • 13.7 mile range on a single battery charge
  • maximum slope climb = 15 degrees
  • user weight capacity = 220 pounds
  • Segway app connectivity
Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

Segway Ninebot S Weight Limit

What the Ninebot S offers is a weight capacity of 220 pounds, although some users have pushed this to the limit and beyond without any issue. But that’s not something we (or the manufacturer) recommend.

On the other hand, some products have a clearly defined limit. Exceed it and you can count on running into a serious problem. But due to the strong framework and build quality on the Ninebot hoverboard, it’s much less likely that you’ll run into the same issue at or around the suggested maximum user weight.

Segway Ninebot S Max Speed

Officially, the maximum speed is capped 10 mph and the distance range limited to 13.7 miles.

The Ninebot S features 10.5 inch pneumatic tires to provide a comfortable and smooth ride, even uneven surfaces. Total weight tips the scale at 28 pounds, so it’s lighter than some Segway transporters and heavier than others.

Segway Ninebot S Battery

What you’re getting with this sturdy powerhouse (the frame is actually built from aircraft grade magnesium alloy) are two 800 W motors – delivering a total of 1600 W of power.

It’s the battery that powers these motors and the battery on the Segway Ninebot S is quite reliable and capable of powering you over slopes of up to 15°.

You should get 12+ miles (and up to 13.7 miles) in a single charge. You may find as several buyers have that the battery lasts longer than expected – a definite plus.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S
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Segway Ninebot S GoKart

If you’re a kid at heart, or have little ones of your own, you can actually use these Ninebots as go karts and Segway makes it easy with their compatible go kart conversion kit.

And the Ninebot S is one of the few Segway models that can attach directly to the go kart kit, providing at least double the fun. This makes for great family fun everyone is sure to enjoy.

Its lightweight construction means that you can lift it fairly easily and put it in the trunk your car – whether it’s set up as a personal transporter or go kart. So you can take your Segway scooter wherever you plan to use it.

Segway Ninebot S Handlebar

It’s different. Unlike typical scooters, the Ninebot S has no handlebar. So there’s nothing to hold onto to cushion any frontal fall, not that handlebars are much of a cushion, but they do provide something between you and the ground.

Segway has streamlined the design of their original transportation device, eliminating the need for an upright handlebar. In the case of the “S”, the design features a fixed knee bar which is used to steer the device. Incidentally, the knee bar also serves as a handle, making for easy lifting and carrying.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

But at 28 pounds, it is a considerable weight for some folks to carry, particularly over long distances. And it is especially difficult to lug up several flights of stairs, as you might encounter on the subway system. So as awesome as it is, the Ninebot S may not be the most convenient personal transporter to use in between bus or train rides and your desired destination.

If you prefer to steer with a handlebar, you can pick one up as an added option and add it to your Ninebot S model. It works well either way although steering with your knees can take some getting used to.

Segway Ninebot S vs. Ninebot S Pro

This model provides similar functionality to the Ninebot S Pro, but at a considerably lower cost. That’s due to the S having just a single battery – versus the dual battery system – on the Pro version. So you get the full experience, just at a slightly lower max speed. But the distance you can cover on a Pro is substantially increased, thanks to the two different batteries.

Take Your Time and Get Comfortable

Like any scooter or hoverboard Segway makes, it can take a while to get used to operating the Ninebot S safely and comfortably. Naturally, it’s much easier if you’ve been on something similar before. Most teens have no trouble maneuvering the Ninebot as soon as they get onboard. Older kids, teens and young adults find it easier it tends to be to adapt to a Segway the first time. That’s likely due (at least in part) to the fact that they seem to be way more flexible and adaptable. That’s just the way it is.

Older folks usually (though not always) need a little more time and practice. But anyone can use learn how to use one of these. But it does take a couple of rides before most adults gain a certain degree of confidence and comfort. Once you’ve mastered slowing the vehicle down and traveling downhill safely, you significantly reduce the likelihood of falling.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

Practice Riding in a Safe Location

The best place to practice your Ninebot skills is in an empty school parking lot or a vacant tennis court. The smoother the surface, the better it is to get accustomed to. Once you’ve exceeded the minimum level of competence, you can tackle other terrain like roads and dirt paths.

It doesn’t require above-average coordination. But the Ninebot S is self-balancing, so it’s relatively easy to get the hang of it. It’s a self balancing personal transporter – unlike a lot of those cheaper hoverboards you see out here.

Smooth Surfaces Produce Smoother Rides

Whatever you happen to be riding on, the smoother the surface area, the more comfortable the ride seems to be. But this Segway is road adaptive and can handle inconsistencies on the roadways – even small speed bumps. However, you should avoid any speed bump that’s larger in size or has an extreme pitch. Those are just too risky – even for experienced riders.

The trick is approach small speed bumps by going slow. Never attempt to mount a speed bump at full throttle. That’s only asking for trouble. Take it easy. Sure, it requires a little bit of practice and patience. But once you get the hang of it – you’re good to go wherever you want and you won’t be intimidated.

Avoid Problem Areas On Roads and Sidewalks

Large drops in elevation or significant cracks in the sidewalk are best avoided. Ride over these problem areas and you may notice your Segway pulling to one side afterwards It feels like driving a car that badly needs a wheel alignment. The good news is that this kind of damage may only be temporary and all you have to do is plug in your Ninebot S again after until it is been fully recharged. Recharging seems to correct any misalignment.

It’s best to avoid bumps and cracks if it all possible. When it’s not possible, you may have to compensate by continuously engaging them knee bar to the left or right to counter any misalignment. Hopefully, you won’t be too far from home. That’s because you may have to keep it up until you can get a full charge again.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

Practice Improves Performance and Your Level of Satisfaction

The more you get familiar with your Ninebot S, the more comfortable you’ll become because you’ll understand its limitations. What you’re getting here is a rugged and well-built device that appears to hold up well.

You’ll notice a difference in performance when you push the weight limitations to the limit, or beyond. The more weight you stack onboard, the more you push the machine to the max and the less mileage and distance you’ll tend to get on each battery charge.

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Segway Ninebot S Manual

If you can follow simple instructions, you’ll find it quick and easy to put together the Segway. It comes in just a couple of pieces – so it’s not a complex operation by any means. You simply assemble the knee-controlled steering column to the base. There are a few screws to hold it in place. That plus a quick cable connection and you’re golden.

Get the Segway app – it’s a free accessory helps to in various ways. It contains a quick guide and is essential for launching your new Segway Ninebot S. There’s also an interactive tutorial to guide you how to use your personal transportation device safely and effectively.

If you are looking for the Ninebot S user manual, you can download it here.

Minor Assembly is Required Out-Of-The-Box

You simply need to attach the steering column (or knee control) to the base of the device. A couple of screws are all it takes and you’re good to go. But before you do, you’ll need to activate the device Via Bluetooth and your smart phone.

When you’re ready to roll in your Segway, be advised that the device is limited in scope until you go through the necessary tutorial, available via the app. It walks you through the basics of how to get on and off your Segway, how to turn left and right, and how to move and stop.

There are no brakes on the Segway Ninebot S – so you need to learn how to manage your center of gravity. When you hit 10 mph, the machine adjusts to put your center of gravity behind you. It does this by tilting you back slightly, even though you’re in a forward tilt riding position. You’ll feel stable and in control of the device at all times and will find its stopping distance reasonable.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

Segway Ninebot S Recommended Accessories

There are a couple of accessories you may want to pick up too. These are of course totally optional. But if you grab them when you’re buying your Ninebot S, you’ll have everything you need for a more complete and satisfying Segway experience.

The two accessories we suggest include a kickstand and a bicycle-style lock. That way, you can park it anywhere and secure it to something solid – like a bike rack – whenever you need to pop into a store, for example.

Another available option is the extension handlebar. This makes it easier to drive your Ninebot S.

Multiple Ways To Use Your Segway Ninebot S

You can use this device in several indoor facilities – including major airports and several big box stores. Perhaps the most comfortable ride you’ll encounter is inside a large hotel complex or conference center. Just be sure to check with each facility in advance, so you’re not disappointed once you arrive. And remember to adhere to all safety practices. If you work in a large office or warehouse complex and need to move about often, the Ninebot S may be ideal for you to get around on the job.

Segway’s Ninebot S makes an excellent choice to use for short commutes. If you’re used to driving or frequently paying Uber or Lyft fees for short trips you take, you can save a lot of money. One previous buyer reports having recouped his entire Segway Ninebot S investment within seven months – thanks in large part to no longer having to spring for ride sharing fees to cover such trips. After all, those small amounts add up fast. Opting for a Segway Ninebot S instead of any other available option as your personal means of transportation locally, could make a lot of sense.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

Segway Ninebot S vs. MiniPRO

According to one Segway customer who has used both the Ninebot S and the Segway MiniPRO – the Ninebot is a more rugged and versatile design than the cheaper MiniPRO. According to their review f both, the MiniPRO feels more like a toy and the Ninebot S feels like a luxurious car. It features solid all-metal construction and gives you a feeling of comfort, confidence and durability as you ride. In fact, it may be the best scooter/electric unicycle hybrid you’ll find anywhere.

Your Mileage May Vary

The suggested range of 13.7 miles was likely measured in ideal conditions. So how this actually translates to your particular situation depends on where you’re going, how much you weigh and your riding habits. But at any rate, we’re sure you’ll be thrilled with a Ninebot S of your own.

One user reports having travelled down a thousand-foot mountain and covering a distance of 2.5 miles to get to the store. Upon arrival, he picked up 2 gallons of water and then traveled back up the mountain. Following this mountain run, he seemed surprised to still have a 70% charge left on the Ninebot S battery.

How much use value can you get from your Ninebot? It really depends on you and where you ride. Another customer reports having racked up more than 400 miles on their Ninebot – and it’s still going strong.

Segway Ninebot S
Segway Ninebot S

What People Like Most About out Segway Ninebot S

  • ton of fun to ride and a terrific way to get around town
  • much faster way to get around town than walking
  • dream device to own and operate and of notably higher quality then smaller competing models
  • wonderful, exhilarating feeling when you reach top speed and are smooth sailing
  • comfortable riding it within the first hour of operation
  • safe to ride – when you reach the top speed the machine beeps and angles back to automatically slow you down
  • stable platform to ride on that feels safe
  • a cool device that’s not only fun, but functional
  • quality engineered and well-built device

What Some People Don’t Like

  • beeping sound and forced slow down when to max out the speed can be annoying
  • automatic braking and tilt back when you exceed the speed limit can seem a little dangerous until gets used to riding the Segway
  • overall performance is impacted by your weight and driving habits
  • easy to learn the basics but more challenging to learn how to navigate uneven surface

The Verdict

Choosing the Segway Ninebot S will make a lot of sense for a lot of people. There’s no dispute that the quality of the build is top-notch. It’s quick to assemble and is a breeze to learn how to operate. And the more you use it, the more comfortable you’ll get with your Ninebot S.

If you’ve had your eye on a Segway for a long time but are unsure as to which model to purchase, this one would make a wise choice. You get most of the functionality of the full-size Segway – without the sticker shock of the larger models.

If you still want to check some other Segway alternatives, check out our article listing the Best Segway Hoverboards and Scooters.

About the author

    Martin Tripodi

    Software Engineer, husband, father, and avid enthusiast of outdoor activities! Total fan of great quality and functional gear, spends part of his free time researching and compiling loads of information in the form of guides, product recommendations and reviews.