Noisy Gearboxs Explained

Why are my gearbox’s so noisy??

Noisy segway gearbox? Well… it’s a common problem with Segways! In our experience, they only seemed to last 2000 to 3000 miles. However, we do find that some preventative measures, such as  special silicone oil with additives, can calm down noisy gearboxes and prolong life. This problem usually happens more on X2 Segways.

Tips on keeping your gearbox from damage.

Do not over inflate the tires. Always monitor and use the correct tire pressure. For an X2 it is 4psi and for an i2 it is 14psi.

Some tour operators pump up the tires to get more mileage (this is not recommended due to the following reasons)

  1. Puts stress on the gear boxes and bearings.
  2. Compromises safety (remember tire pressure is your suspension)
  3. Wear’s out the tires quicker.
  4. Makes for a much more harder and uncomfortable ride for the customer.
  5. Sends confusing data to the CPU’s (more error codes)

Generation 1

Gen 1 was built with great care and precision, 10 – 20t. Km no problem !!! Should wear occur, these are minimal compared to all other gear generations. Abrasion only occurs easily on the gear wheels. All 5t to 7t. Km an oil change is sufficient for an almost silent glide with the Segway. Also, wear on coupling and elastomers is significantly less than on all other transmissions.

Generation 2 a

Gen 2a was slightly altered. The transmission shaft and the support plate for the wheels welded were adapted to the newer Gen 2. Unfortunately, the hardened area of the shaft, which runs in the bearing, was not modelled on the first generation, so that there is about 4-6t km of abrasion on the main shaft. However, due to the good processing of the entire transmission, wear and tear in couplings and elastomers can also be expected with this transmission. The carrier plate with the three wheel bolts was still very thin in this version and could easily bend, for example in the case of an impact, which means that the wheels do not run smoothly. The tolerances of the components have been kept low and thus all components play well together. A reinforcement by a bearing ring is recommended, but not necessarily under 4000km.

Generation 2 b

Transmission Gen 2b clearly shows that the production costs have been reduced. The components no longer match each other so precisely, which led to greater tolerances. A very soft shaft was installed in the needle bearing without hardening, which after just a few kilometres leads to abrasion and the shaft begins to taper since the hardness of the needle bearing is many times higher than the hardness of the shaft. An early revision (reinforced by a hardened bearing ring) is required. From 1500 to 2000km, this should be carried out at the latest, as the tensioning of the shaft also affects the surrounding bearings. As soon as the tapering of the shaft has begun, the abrasion and the shrinkage of the shaft is accelerated considerably. Scratching noise and clanking is the audible result. Due to the increasing unbalance of the shaft, wear of the couplings and elastomers is also greatly accelerated. At a certain degree of imbalance, the elastomers can no longer compensate for the tolerances and break down very early. However, a significant improvement was made with these transmissions in the carrier plate. This is thicker and more durable welded and thus it keeps more impacts and does not become so easily.


For SE gearboxes, it appears that the production costs have been reduced and that different supplier components. , this, unfortunately, led to the fact that these gearboxes do not always fit together neatly. Large tolerances and different materials with different characteristics ensure that the gearboxes do not harmonise. This results in louder operating noise and heavy running wheels. An attempt has been made to harden the surface of the shaft which runs in the needle bearing. Unfortunately, this hardening of the material was very incomplete and only superficially carried out, whereby also the gearboxes became louder to the existing problems. In many new SE Segways, the transmissions are a significant reason why they brake (slow down) the driver at a certain speed (felt as if the speed limiter were too early). Also, the non-clean hardening of the shaft causes problems and uneven running in the needle bearing. The wear of the couplings and elastomers is significantly higher, almost twice as high as with all other gearbox generations. SE gearboxes should be revised already when new or with a few km since the abrasion of the partially hardened shaft will damage the surrounding bearings more aggressively. During the revision, conspicuous tolerances can be reduced and the operating noise can be reduced by the uniformly hardened bearing ring. The additives that are used in the service of PT Repair additionally improve the functionality considerably and protect the transmission components in the long term. The wear on couplings and elastomers is reduced by almost half, and the Segway reacts more precisely even at fluctuating temperatures (summer/winter). On the SE gearbox is again the very stable carrier plate with the stable 12.9 wheel bolts. These keep minor impacts without any problem.

Gearbox nasty’s

The soft transmission shaft, which runs in the needle bearing with hardened needle rollers, is not able to withstand the constant load on the Segway. The too soft shaft runs in the hard needle bearing and tapers increasingly. As soon as this process has begun, progress is proceeding with increasing speed. In addition, the surrounding bearings in the gearbox (Gear Box) are damaged by the abrasion, which accumulates in the oil and in the bearings. Depending on the gearbox generation, this happens faster or is a creeping process.


As a rider of a Segway, you can only feel the louder scratching sound and the clacking of the wheels or the connection of the wheels to the gearbox (Gear Box).