Wheelchair attachments mean that users can take on an increasingly diverse set of tasks or roles. Here’s how…
Batec Mini 2
When it comes to the Batec Mini 2, the word ‘mini’ certainly does not mean less or weak or ‘diet’ but translates instead, as compact, and therefore arguably, more versatile. The 12” wheel with ultra-grip tyre and cast aluminium rim is robust and quick enough for the intensity of heavy use but tidy enough to be used in everyday scenarios – including indoors.
The Mini 2 still feels capable and confident on the move and includes quality features such as the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes and parking brake – and again underlining its all-rounder credentials – an all-in-one LCD screen and USB port for charging a smartphone or other device.
A simple folding system makes it user-friendly enough to use on public transport or your own car – weighing in at 12.9kg (4kg removable battery) – and it attaches and detaches in seconds thanks to a clever anchor system (exclusive to Batec).
In fact all Batec products use the easy-fix anchor system. Furthermore, all versions of the Batec are available in quad versions for tetraplegics with handlebars enabled for push-pull handling, giving the user stop-start control.
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With high torque and packing a battery with 696kwh inside it, the Batec Scrambler is able to perform well either on tarmac or more challenging off-road terrain. Even with a 19” ultra-grip tyre and aluminium double wall rim, you can suddenly find yourself moving along at a fair lick (up to 28km/h or approximately 17mph). Furthermore, depending on usage and conditions it could take you up to 50kms (or just over 31 miles). Meanwhile, Avid BB7 disc brakes with aluminium levers, wide handlebars and removable counterbalance weights (for improved traction) give the user excellent control and stability.
An LCD display panel and cycle computer shows battery charge and speed regulator.
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DaVinci Citta Trailrider
Lightweight construction and quick-docking make this electric powered front wheel attachment convenient and user-friendly – and likely to be most effective in urban areas.
The Citta Trailrider utilises a 350 watt, high-torque gear drive motor which will take you roughly 20 miles at around 11mph (depending on variables such as user weight and terrain).
Lightweight Drive Dual Wheel Powerstroll
Wheelchair attachments aren’t all about conquering rough terrain or achieving speed. A helping hand is often appreciated, particularly by carers who are dealing with their own limitations perhaps as the result of age. The Powerstroll will run at 3mph (a steady walking speed) through the added push it delivers through its two rear wheel power-pack.
Utilising the existing handlebars of an attendant wheelchair the user simply squeezes the grip having selected a comfortable speed level – and will travel up to 10 miles. At the end of the journey, it’s really simple to uncouple the pack from the wheelchair.
The 20 inch ‘fat tyre’ is certainly not designed for speed but it will definitely grip and muscle you over a wide range of surfaces that comparatively delicate front casters can’t even dream of.
An optional double battery set-up gives an increased range with maximum power at your fingertips.
The intelligent (regenerative) braking system (IBS) provides additional control on loose and uneven ground.
The Tribike is a twin concept to powered front wheel units except that it’s the user that supplies the manual power through a hand pedalling motion. Just as you might find on a traditional bicycle, Tribike has a 20 inch wheel and eight speed hub gears, although it’s also got a disc and rim brake for smooth control when slowing down.
It’s fitted with adjustable racing pedals and handles and because there’s no battery involved weighs in at just 9.7kg making it a serious consideration for a short commute to work.
FreeWheel Wheelchair Attachment
Wheelchair users that want to exercise in their wheelchairs can become frustrated at the limitations of a day chair. The front casters are often too small to cope with anything but paved areas and stability can be a tricky issue as well.
The FreeWheel clips on easily and although it only lifts the casters just a few centimetres up from the ground, makes all the difference – and you won’t find yourself sitting at a funny angle.
The futuristic looking SMOOV one adds in further tech and a design flourish to the humble wheelchair power assist unit.
The docking system is so simple that once the bracket is installed it can be clicked in to place or detached effortlessly, with some wheelchair users even able to do so without leaving their seat. At just 7.2kg it is easy to lift away for storage.
Control is via a speed selector dial next to the drive wheel with braking and steering done in the traditional manual wheelchair way, although turning the dial backwards slows the motor to a stop.
SMOOV one connects via Bluetooth and you can also download the app which will act as a de facto trip computer that will tell you, for instance, how much battery power you’ve got left. It has a 20km (12.4 miles) range.
A handy USB-C socket on the SMOOV can be used to charge your smartphone.
Also available from: GRX Life via: www.grxlife.com
Mountain Trike eKit
The Mountain Trike has a unique lever drive system to self-propel which allows the user to have clean, dry hands whatever the weather. If self-propelling becomes difficult the chair can be converted to a MT Push or if the rider wants to ride further for longer an eKit can be fitted converting it to the eTrike.
The eKit allows the rider to select between utilising power assist by twisting the throttle or manually propel the Trike using the lever drive system. It can also be used as a hybrid – pushing drive levers and twisting throttle simultaneously.
It isn’t just additional power or larger wheels that can help wheelchair users. Attachments or accessories that decrease the physical burden of propulsion can be just as useful…
SoftWheel’s suspension system dampens bumps to give a smoother ride that will help to reduce fatigue, transformsforming a rider’s wheelchair experience.
Spokes are replaced by shock absorbers that do not lessen efficiency.
Loopwheels take an ingenious approach to tackling wheelchair vibration and fatigue.
The wheels ‘give’ with the terrain via integral springy loops, again preventing discomfort and subsequent loss of energy.