What is a 2 Wheel Hoverboard?
In the past few months, there’s been a real revolution in personal transportation. Some people call it “self balancing scooter,” others, “smart balance wheel,” others still call it “a mini segway without handles” or “segway board” and, to the vast majority of people it is known as a “2 wheel hoverboard“. The real name of this revolutionary mode of transportation is the self balancing electric scooter.
If you haven’t lived under a rock for the past year, you’re bound to have seen some of these self balancing boards out and about, or maybe on the instagram of your favorite celebrity.
Lots of people started calling the 2 wheel self balancing scooter a “hoverboard” or “hoverboard segway“. Not because it hovers (it doesn’t, sorry BTTF2 fans), but presumably because, while riding it, it certainly looks like you’re “hovering” a few inches off the ground. This is a hoverboard with wheels.
These self balancing boards use very clever sensors to detect when the rider leans in a certain direction, and, in turn, the electric motors spin the wheels to move in that direction. Basically, all you do is shift your weight in the desired direction and you will move towards it. Riding one is pretty eerie, as the board seems to “know” where you want to go. It’s almost like it’s reading your mind.
This is, basically, the same technology that the Segway uses, but here we have no handlebars. This makes the 2 wheel self balancing board a lot more compact and convenient to actually, say, commute to work, where you can just store your electric hoverboard under your desk, until it’s time to go back home.
How Much Does a Self Balancing Scooter Cost?
The cost of new technology is always high, so self balancing boards have been pretty expensive thus far. Fortunately, lately there have been a number of new manufacturers who have entered the market with more affordable self balancing scooters.
How much is a self balancing board? The prices vary greatly now—from $250 all the way to $800—but there are a few caveats: not all self balancing hoverboards are created equal, and, if you wanna avoid surprises, you need to do your research before you buy. Or, just keep reading
2 Wheel Self Balancing Scooters Reviewed – The TOP Hoverboards of 2015
So, what’s the best hoverboard to buy? Well, that depends. Meet the contestants,
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HX wheel Review
The HX wheel was the first unit we tested. It’s pretty small, and a little heavier than we thought, at around 25lbs.
What’s in the Box?
In the box, there’s the board itself, a manual, a charger and a remote.
The remote has two buttons, and it can turn OFF the board, LOCK/UNLOCK it, enable Beginner Mode, and Calibrate your HX wheel. To learn how to use the remote, check out the How To Use the Hoverboard’s Remote section in our How to Ride a Hoverboard Guide.
Locking the board is sort of a “standby” mode, but the only real use for it is to get on the board without falling as a beginner. Other than that, we opted to just turn the board off when not in use to save battery life.
On that note, the HX wheel, the Smart Balance Wheel, and pretty much all of the hoverboards we tested come charged straight from the box. We still recommend to plug them in and charge them for at least 6 hours before the first use, as this will avoid impairing the longevity of your hoverboard’s battery.
The charger is pretty standard, and it connects on the back of the board, next to the power button.
The board performs well. The top speed of 6.2mph feels way faster than it sounds. The only problem we had is that, when you hit rough spots, you really need to slow down to avoid falling, which means you’ll rarely hit the max speed for extended periods of time anyway.
2 Wheel Self Balancing boards in general don’t fare well with grass and gravel, and the HX wheel is no exception.
All in all the HX wheel is a good self balancing 2 wheel scooter, but we recommend shopping around for cheaper alternatives such as the HoverTech, which looks and performs pretty much exactly like the HX wheel. The claims of better components, more powerful motors and better battery life all seem unsubstantiated so far. We’ll make a post devoted to that in the near future.
The HX self balancing scooter has a different design than the HX wheel or the EROVER. It features a wider platform, and 8-inch wheels.
It comes with a three button remote. Like with the HX wheel, you can calibrate the board with the remote, as well as lock and unlock it.
Despite the slightly larger 8 inch wheels, you’ll realistically be cruising at the same speed as 6.5 inch wheel hoverboards anyway (and 10mph on a self balancing scooter is SCARY). That’s because, while the 8-inch wheels make this board a little more apt to overcome obstacles, the tires are hard rubber, and they won’t provide nearly as much comfort as the 10-inch inflatable tires of the FreeFeet.
The HX is a good all-rounder. Good weight capacity, good top speed. This board also features stereo Bluetooth speakers, which sound okay. We’re not big fans of its design, though, as it looks a little more plasticky than other boards.
The Wonfast is probably the best looking self balancing scooter we’ve seen. It looks sleek and it features an on-board Bluetooth speaker. Basically, you can pair it with your phone, and listen to your favorite music while you cruise along. Granted, the speaker sounds tinny, but, if you’re the type of person who walks around with your phone in your hand blasting music from its tiny speaker, you will like this feature. For more info on other Bluetooth-enabled Hoverboards, check out our “Best Bluetooth Hoverboard” article.
A word of warning, when we ordered this self balancing scooter, it took a long time to get here. If you want something shipped faster, definitely consider an alternative smart balance wheel.