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Power assist wheels

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  • Power assist wheels

    Please give info about power assist wheels on the market today and your experience with them. We know of a few people that might be able to use them rather than a power chair.


  • #2
    some Battery-Free Power Assist wheels: Pivot, MagicWheels, Wijits.

    MagicWheels: demo'd for two weeks during summer 2010. They work great up and down steep hills in low gear. When on <reasonably> level ground in high gear, they work nearly like standard wheels: the handrims have a bit of noisy play ("clunk"). Wheelies are still doable in high gear (notably, my wheelies are fun, but not functional because of my dysmetria). MWs' internals are exceptionally complex, which may lead to expensive repairs post warranty. (Low gear on one of my demo-wheels failed toward the end of my two-week trial.) Remember to permanently adjust your COG for safe ascent of steep hills. Repeated leaning far forward during propulsion up steep hills made it a bit tough to breathe well.

    Wijits: demo'd for two days (of possible two weeks) during summer 2010. I tried two different sets (one day each) because I couldn't stop with their brakes going down hill. Second set wasn't much better than the first. On reasonably level, open ground (e.g., parking lot, empty mall corridor), propelling with levers rocks. Their braking, however, reminds me of using power brakes in a moving car that's turned off - lots of pressure required for a long, slow (noisy) stop. Lever advantage to ascend steep hills is minimal, but the upright seating position is good. My demo set was fitted with 0-degree camber (I'm used to 4 degrees), so my knuckles were the widest part of my chair - ouch. Because braking is so critical for me, I returned the Wijits early, and didn't fully evaluate them.

    Pivot: haven't tried, but may. Their literature promotes their gearing, braking, and good hand position, all of which I'd like to try. To me, Pivots have the potential for having the best features of both the MWs and Wijits. I also tentatively like their bicycle-like technology.

    From my experience with demonstrating MWs and Wijits, I'm definitely glad I tried them out personally instead of relying just on their marketing. The subtleties of using them really helped me decide how well they mesh with my unique needs.

    Profound thanks to the companies for letting me try them.

    PS - my testing ground was paved, urban.
    Last edited by chasmengr; 10-27-2011, 12:01 PM.
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."


    • #3
      I had a set of Wijit (push assist, not power assist) wheels on a TiLite EVO, and did not like them at all. In fact, on a wet, concrete sloping hill, I turned my chair over face first. I reached down to grab one that I had dropped and the chair flipped over on top of me while I was still in it. I was ok from that. I took the Wijits off and have not used them ever again. This was over 5 years ago.

      I now own a set of e-motion M15 power assist wheels on a TiLite ZRA2 and love every minute of them. I am able to decrease shoulder pain and joint cracking and popping when wheeling with them. However, the battery operated ECS unit died on me so I am taking it back to get the battery replaced. Other than that, and learning how to go up and down ramps, I love them.


      • #4
        Rather than going with power wheels, go with the ZX-1 from I love mine. I can disconnect it and be in my manual at the touch of a button. It costs the same or is cheaper (5 grand). I tried the wer wheels also and couldn;t stand the minute hesitation for them to kick and the general weight of the wheels.

        The turning radius of the ZX is actually smaller, with the rear wheels off the ground, than the manual itself. It goes thru terrain that I haven't been able to do with just my manual and adding the Frewheel makes it unstoppable in any terrain I've tried so far.


        • #5
          Thanks for the input


          • #6
            power assist wheels

            I called Spinergy yesterday to check on the progress on the ZX1. They are looking at the first quarter of next year. Sounds like FDA regs. are holding things up.


            • #7
              I've been using an I-glide for 7 or 8yrs now (it's discontinued though) and I have loved it. It allowed me to go from 12yrs of being a power chair to being fully independent in a manual chair.

              I'm in the process now of buying the e-motion wheels and hope that I can maintain using a manual chair. We will see!!!!!!!!!!


              • #8
                I just got E-motions, and they are taking some getting used to but really make a difference getting around a hilly campus!
                Don - Grad Student Emeritus
                T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury