Editor’s note: The phrase “greener transportation options” conjures up images of hybrid cars, bicycles, and buses. This week, Adam at Life Goggles takes a look at at yet another option: the Magic Wheel. This post was originally published on Friday, March 21, 2008.
If you ever look what category posts on Life Goggles are put in, you may notice this one says Product Reviews, but also Transport. That’s in the loosest sense of the word as I haven’t been able to go anywhere on this yet.
But I’m jumping ahead. The Magic Wheel, as you can see from the videos and pictures, is a cross between a unicycle, skateboard and scooter. Sort of. It’s a wheel with steps either side (and a shopping trolley/cart wheel on the back) that you have one foot on while you push off with the other like a skateboard until you reach sufficient speed to put both feet either side and glide to your destination. Well glide for a bit until you need to start pushing again.
First of all – it’s trickier than it looks in the promotions video – check out my video for my (embarrassingly, not first) attempts at mastering the Magic Wheel. I know April 1st is coming, so I might as well look at fool. To be fair, I’m not very good at skateboarding, etc., which I think would have helped, but it’s a bit tricky and young, cool kids are probably better at it than me. The package comes with some vague safety instructions and a dvd with some dubious English subtitles. But between them they tell you enough about the product to be able to give it a go.
Adam’s attempt at Magic Wheeling
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You stick the knee pads on yourself at the right height which makes it a bit more comfortable and easier to control, and away you go. Sort of. I didn’t go very far to be honest but again, I think you could if you persevered. Despite the backdrop of London’s Tower Bridge, after an hour I’d had enough and went for a drink.
How you’re meant to do it
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One thing you will notice is how everyone looks at you when you’re on it, or even carrying it. I haven’t seen another one in London and they’re pretty cool looking, if slightly impractical. That’s my main problem with it, not that I can’t get the hang of it. What is it actually for. It’s less portable than a skateboard and it advises you not to go downhill or do tricks on it. It’s less stable than a bike or even a scooter and I’m left wondering why it doesn’t have a thicker tyre/tire on it to help make it more stable. Probably because it means your legs will be a lot wider and you’ll end up walking like John Wayne. Also if you’re short it might be a bit dodgy going on this. On a couple of occasions I came close to injuring myself between the legs and I’m 5′ 10″.
The Magic Wheel is a fun thing for a while, but at $199 or £120 your investment might be better placed elsewhere.