Check Out These Retro Chic Segways
As cool as a Segway gets.
After happening upon the Barcelona designers at Nice Trails, it took us only a few leaps of Internet hopscotch to land on fellow Barca design shop Bel & Bel. The industrial and furniture creators at Nice and Nice conceived the most unlikely fusion of the handlebars, front fairing and wheel spats inspired by an early-sixties Vespa 90 atop the gyro-laden platform of a Segway. It’s called the Zero-Scooter, and it’s the coolest thing to happen to a Segway since the company put swollen off-road tires on the personal transporter. This means the retro-future mash-up is only the second cool thing to happen to a Segway, ever.
Bel & Bel calls this “the world’s first auto-balanced scooter” because that’s the nomenclature adopted by the hopeful personal transport industry. We'd call that characterization “mirthfully romantic.” It looks, rolls, and whirrs like a Segway and requires the same skillful balance to operate, making this, in the eyes of the court, anything but a scooter.
In case your news feed missed the latest developments, Chinese company Ninebot purchased Segway in April 2015 and sells its products alongside those from the better-known brand. (Ninebot is, in turn, owned by Chinese conglomerate Xaomi, recognized here more for its cellphones.) The Zero-Scooter uses the base from the Ninebot E+ model and comes in at 55 pounds, three pounds beyond the stock device. The mundane specs are a 12-mph top speed, a range of up to 19 miles, and three to four hours to recharge. The profound detail is that you can order your Zero-Scooter in “Infinite Colors.”
Naturally, that kind of infinite cool is going to cost you. You can source a plain Ninebot E+ online for $3,199, whereas the package from Barcelona demands €5,950 (about $6,514) plus shipping. Bel & Bel says they can provide the Vespa-fied conversion kit if you already have a Ninebot E+, it will lower you net worth by €3,480 (about $3,815). But this is art, not Ikea; if you’re going to go down this vivid retro road, you should let Bel & Bel do all the work to get you rolling.