Need a Folding Wheelchair Wheel? Sure, You Do!
So over the past 10 years or so everything in our life has become more compact. Our phones, cars, computers, you name it. Heck, our music is now played through tiny mp3 players; we can forget the days of tape decks, CD’s, and portable walkmans’ those are long gone! This past week I came across another new compact item that I thought I would share with you. At first glance it looks like something out of the move The Transformers, but this folding compact wheelchair wheel seems to be pretty neat and the way this product came about has a even greater story.
London-based design studios Vitamins initially started this project by creating a folding bike wheel. The idea was that bikers constantly have to carry their bike wheel around once they lock their bike and Vitamins questioned, well how can we make this simpler. Well they did just that by creating a real life, functional folding bike wheel. Vitamin Designs planned this project to go to market in the top line biking industry, they however did not expect this journey to take a much more functional use.
“Suddenly we started getting emails from wheelchair users..They were asking if the wheel could be modified to be used on wheelchairs. The emails kept coming in, and we decided to research how we could start creating a design solution,” explains Adrian Westaway of Vitamins Designs. With this new-found project, Westaway and his team went to work designing the perfect folding wheelchair wheel.
Westaway and his design team actually worked on the design and functionality of the wheel with some of the wheelchair users that had requested the innovation. Unlike the bike wheel that was made of expensive materials, this wheelchair wheel is being produced in a light-weight reinforced plastic that makes it easy to compress, and affordable. They also added a comfortable folding handrim that makes it easy for the user to fold and compress the wheel as well as expand it back open to the rolling position.
What This Means For Accessible Travel
This new wheel can make life much easier for wheelchair users. Now, traveling can be easier and more convenient. Now, the search for new cars can be expanded as wheelchairs will become more compact. The normal limitations that some wheelchair users face on a daily basis can be alleviated by this exciting newly designed wheel. This technology is truly life changing and its pretty neat to see that this idea came out of something with a much smaller scope. I am excited to see what else will be coming down the road in the arena of new wheelchair innovations.
Vitamins is working with US wheelchair manufacturer Maddak to produce this for US distribution. From what I can see, Maddak currently does not have this product in production, but keep up with their new product selection their website at www.Maddak.com to catch a glimpse of when this new wheelchair wheel will be available for purchase.
About the Author: Justin Racine, from Boston, serves as a Category Manager for Invacare Supply Group. He graduated from Western New England University with a B.S.B.A in Marketing Communication/Advertising. When he’s not busy with Marketing, Justin enjoys competing in 10K races, Boston sports, and spending time with friends and family.