Because our garage is quite a way from our apartment, I have to take a bus to get to it, or have a 15-20 minute walk. I had been playing with the idea for a while to get a folding e-bike or similar. Most however are at least €1000 and quite heavy and as I have back problems, something heavy I have to lift in and out of the car is really a non starter. I did see one pedelec that folded and was a reasonable price about €600 or so but it had the tinyest wheels imaginable, and felt a bit flimsy. On the other had it weighed only 10Kg and contrary to the other folding e-bikes, it was tiny when folded. The wheel size was my main concern so I started to look at other options.

I also looked into the K1 Hammer, a really good folding e-bike that is authorised for use on German roads in the same class as a moped. Priced at around €1600, it was more than I wanted to pay, but the main issue was when folded, it was too long to fit in the back of the Ioniq.

I had often wondered what a Segway was like to ride, but due to the exorbitant price, almost that of a small car, I had never looked into getting one. There is a company in China called Ninebot. I think they were a startup financed by a company that makes mobile phones, Xiaomi. In short, Ninebot copied Segway, Segway Sued Ninebot, Ninebot took over Segway. As a result Ninebot now sell Segway type personal transportation devices under the name Ninebot by Segway. One device I was interested in and nearly bought was the Ninebot Elite. Priced again at €1600, the main problem is the size and weight. Again too heavy for me to life safely and probably a bit big for the the back of the Ioniq. There is also another model called NineBot Mini Pro, or in Germany called Ninebot Mini Street. This also has authorisation for use on the road in Germany and at circa €700 was an ok price.

So I bought one. Now, the advertising wasn’t exactly accurate on the German road authorisation, because you need 2 items. First is a technical test from Dekra or TÜV, and second, you need an ABE (Permission for General Use). There was no ABE for the NineBot Mini Street. In itself, not a great problem, “just” goto the bureaucrat’s get a stamp on a document and thats it. Well, first problem is I was directed to the wrong office and after a 30 minute wait, my turn came around, and they said not here, go over there to room 131.  There was no waiting time at that office, but they were not happy with my Dekra certificate. This certificate may not be over 18 months old. Listening to them I found out they had had a lot of these Ninebots come in and all checked by the same engineer back in 2016. They were just telling me they couldn’t accept the certificate when one of the two officials realised the certificate was 2 weeks under the 18 month limit. So they gave me a ticket and told me to wait. An hour later, I was called back in and they gave me a bill for €40 to pay, and when paid I got my documents to get insurance.  My insurance plates arrived the following Monday, so now I can use the Ninebot to get to the car and back, and its street legal. Its also good fun to ride as well. Generally it is to be ridden on cylce paths, but can also be used on side roads and pavements (to a limited extent). The range is supposedly unto 25Km or so, but I wouldn’t want to ride it so far. It can also go upto 18Km/h so a bike helmet and pads like an inline skater is also a good idea.

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