I was really excited when the Segway first hit the market, and then I saw the price tag. As cool as they are, I just couldn’t justify spending $5000 on an electric scooter. They’ve gotten a bit cheaper, and you can always buy second hand, but the price is still too steep.
Then the so-called “hoverboards” came along. They were sort of like a Segway, minus the upright control, resulting in sort of a self-powered skateboard. They were certainly cheaper, but when companies in China started cutting corners during manufacturing, we ended up with hoverboards that were prone to catching fire.
That quickly put an end to the hoverboard craze. They’re still around, and still affordable, but people are understandably a lot less excited about them these days.
So, is there anything in between the $200 or so combustible hoverboard and the $5000 Segway? There is, or at least, there will be soon. That would be the Trans Board, from Mercane Wheels. At the moment, they’re raising money on Indigogo to get final funding, and if you pledge money there, you can get the Trans Board for 57% off of the suggested $1249 retail price – just $549.
So, what is the Trans Board all about?
It’s a three-wheeled scooter, with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back. It has an upright control and steering bar like the Segway does.
It has a powerful 48 Volt battery that will allow you to go 25 miles on a charge. Really. I’m not sure you’d want to, as it’s not super fast, but it’s faster than a Segway – the Trans Board has a top speed of 22 miles per hour.
That means that you could, in theory, use it for a 12 mile commute each way. Of course, it would take you more than a half an hour to get to work, but the Trans Board is quiet and appears to be fairly comfortable – at least as far as standing on a scooter is concerned.
When you get to work, then what? You can fold the Trans Board up in just a couple of seconds. Then you can use the handle to pull it on its two front wheels as though you were pulling a suitcase at an airport.
The ride is said to be a smooth one, thanks to the double-wishbone suspension.
The battery is detachable, so you can charge it either in the Trans Board or you can charge it separately. Since the battery is removable, you can also buy a spare, and use that one when the other battery is charging. You can also get an optional add-on battery that will give you an additional 12 miles of range. This one mounts in between the footpads.
Charging is easy, but it isn’t necessarily fast. Charging time is estimated to be about six hours. If you’re going to use the Trans Board a lot, you definitely want to buy a spare battery for it.
The Trans Board is currently available for order in either black or white. The unit is currently available for order at $549 + shipping. Additional batteries are available for $125. I’d recommend ordering one.
If you’re looking for a faster, cheaper, more attractive alternative to the Segway that isn’t likely to catch fire, the Mercane Wheels Trans Board looks like a good choice.
Here’s a video of the Trans Board in action: