Five Considerations Before Choosing Your New Custom Manual Wheelchair

From Sunkissed Orange to Bubblegum Pink, matching your chair to your personality is an important piece in finding the right wheelchair for you.

There are other considerations aside from color, however, that you should keep in mind when you’re ready for your new chair.

5 Considerations before Deciding on Your New Custom Manual Wheelchair - 21. Tires
While your therapist certainly has a helpful say in the types of tires you get, it’s always good to know the options that are available to you. Pneumatic tires absorb vibration and impact, so your ride is a little softer than solid tires. Solid tires have great durability and don’t lose air pressure as fast as pneumatic tires. Keep in mind that solid tires do add weight to your chair. Tip: If you’re pretty active it may be worth picking up a set of knobby tires (pictured above) for times when you know you’ll be on rougher terrain.

2. Rear Wheel Options
Depending on your lifestyle and environment, your rear wheels can help make getting around a lot easier. Spoked wheels are lighter than composite wheels, but may require maintenance sometimes.

If you’re trying to keep it lightweight, realize that composite wheels may add as much as 3 lb. to your chair, depending on the tires that are used with it. High-performance spoke wheels are both lightweight and strong, but may be costly.

Tip: Fewer spokes on a wheel provide a lighter weight option, but may need more maintenance.

5 Considerations before Deciding on Your New Custom Manual Wheelchair - 13. Rigid v. Folding
Current trends are showing that more people are opting for a rigid chair instead of a folding chair. What’s the difference? Rigid frames are lighter, more durable and easier to propel. They also typically feature a minimalistic design and are smaller and more compact than a folding chair.

One drawback to a rigid chair is transportation. When transporting, this typically requires you to remove the rear wheel and fold down the backrest to for easier storage.

A folding frame, however, has the advantage of allowing you to easily fold the chair. These frames also can accommodate growth, changes in body weight and overall function better than rigid chairs. Check out the Invacare® A-4® Wheelchair (pictured above) if you’re interested in a rigid chair.

4. Titanium v. Aluminum
Titanium and aluminum wheelchair frames each have different benefits when it comes to the performance of your chair. Aluminum is lighter weight in general, but titanium can make a chair the same weight as an aluminum chair and use less material. A titanium chair has more “flex” to it, whereas an aluminum chair has a stiffer ride.

Tip: Wheelchair cyclists typically look for aluminum frames for better performance.

5 Considerations before Deciding on Your New Custom Manual Wheelchair - 5

5. Sports Chairs
If you’re looking to get more active or if you already lead an active lifestyle, you may want to consider getting a sports wheelchair as well. Options are limitless!

If you’re crazy about tennis, check out the Invacare® Top End® Pro™ Tennis Wheelchair. Adjustments are easy to make with this chair, so you can make quick fixes between games and easily find the right position to give you the advantage against your competition.

5 Considerations before Deciding on Your New Custom Manual Wheelchair - 3

If you’re looking for a sport wheelchair that lets you do just about everything, check out the Invacare® Top End® Pro™-2 All Sport Wheelchair (pictured above). The name says it all.

From softball, tennis and basketball to floor hockey and badminton, the Pro-2 All Sport Wheelchair gets you on the court and in the game. You can even try a 5K road race with the FreeWheel 5K adapter. 

More Fundraising Help from Wheel:Life

10 fundraising ideas to help people with disabilitiesIn this book, you’ll review 10 brainstorming ideas for different types of fundraiser events to benefit an individual with a disability who needs assistance for medical equipment, physical rehabilitation, adaptive sports equipment or daily medical needs.

Throughout the book, author Lisa Wells shares real-life examples and success stories from her interactions with disability advocates, non-profit supporters and Wheel:Life members throughout a healthcare marketing career that spans more than 20 years on three continents.

10 Fundraising Ideas to Help People with Disabilities features interviews from:
• Paralympian Bert Burns on how he raised support to begin his career in wheelchair racing
• Project Walk Atlanta participant Leslie Ostrander on how she raised money for additional rehab
• The founders of 100 Songs for Kids on their annual music event to benefit children’s medical charities
• Rolling Inspiration creator Chris Salas on how he lined up sponsors for his SCI peer support group
and power soccer team
• The creators of Hunter’s Torch Daylily Garden, a fundraising resource for a child with special needs.
• The Independence Fund – a little known source of financial support for disabled US veterans.


©2015 Invacare Corporation. All rights reserved. Trademarks are identified by the symbols ™ and ®. All trademarks are owned by or licensed to Invacare Corporation unless otherwise noted. Invacare Corporation is a sponsor of Wheel:Life.


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