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Any advice on pushing in snow?

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  • Any advice on pushing in snow?

    I have never used a chair in snow and I don't know what to expect. Can anyone tell me what it's like and give some tips on how to do it?

    Thank you

  • #2
    It is difficult! lol. I avoid it but there was a day when I was attempting to wheel across the parking lot to my car and once I got down a slight incline, I was spinning and had no traction. It was 5am and no one was around so I took off my gloves, laid them partially under my rear wheels so I could roll forward over them. Then I used my purse to drag them back towards me and I would keep replacing them beneath my tires til I eventually made it to my car. I drove to the office and honked until someone came out to help me. (No cell phones back then) That was the last time I attempted to wheel in snow alone

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    • #3
      It depends on the type of snow. Here in Sweden and the Alps we get powder - very light, small frozen flakes which are easy to wheel over once they get compacted, whereas wet snow, the type you get around freezing point is a nightmare. You just end up spinning out and getting soggy gloves and frozen hands.

      With a Freewheel, right tyres and gloves it's not so much of a problem saying that this winter I've left my RunRights (slicks) on just avoided the snow.
      Dots, lines and aeroplanes. my flying adventures.

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      • #4
        I have a steep driveway which I will wheel up if snow is 1" or less. I take off my side panels and push mainly on tire as pushrims are too slippery.

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        • #5
          I got "snow tires" installed on my ZX1 and have used that in snow of about 1-2", but will not go over any clumps of snow, or ice.
          Am I correct in remembering that you once had a ZX1?

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          • #6
            Wow, that is frightening. I never thought about losing traction or declines. I just thought about trying to push through the stuff. Thank you for telling me. Clever about the gloves. We figure out what we have to :-)

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            • #7
              Tis is really good to know. I was wondering about how I would grip my pushrims and I didn't think about different kinds of snow. I have Schwalbe Rightruns, I think they won't have traction in snow. Maybe it's something I can't do. I figured that people who live where it snows every year would have a secret but maybe it's one of those things that just doesn't work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
                I have a steep driveway which I will wheel up if snow is 1" or less. I take off my side panels and push mainly on tire as pushrims are too slippery.

                Good tip, thank you. Must be hard on our hands though. I've tried pushing through sand it was incredibly hard, made it a few feet doing wheelies. The cold and loss of traction in snow, wow, maybe it's too hard. One of my biggest fears is losing control of the chair - I can't do anything if I am sliding. Do people who use chairs where it snows mostly stay in for the season?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by triumph View Post
                  I got "snow tires" installed on my ZX1 and have used that in snow of about 1-2", but will not go over any clumps of snow, or ice.
                  Am I correct in remembering that you once had a ZX1?
                  I had a Smartdrive which I ran for a few years. I don't use it anymore. The new version is self-starting but mine was miserable getting it to engage. Got stuck in intersections many many times. Worked with PT, got my shoulders much better and I use my manual 99% of the time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grommet View Post
                    Good tip, thank you. Must be hard on our hands though. I've tried pushing through sand it was incredibly hard, made it a few feet doing wheelies. The cold and loss of traction in snow, wow, maybe it's too hard. One of my biggest fears is losing control of the chair - I can't do anything if I am sliding. Do people who use chairs where it snows mostly stay in for the season?
                    Stay in for the season!!?? Hell no. Life goes on. It's mainly home to car, then drive car to places that have plowed the snow: shopping, restaurants, etc. If there's too much snow, the schools, etc. are closed and you can stay home.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by triumph View Post
                      Stay in for the season!!?? Hell no. Life goes on. It's mainly home to car, then drive car to places that have plowed the snow: shopping, restaurants, etc. If there's too much snow, the schools, etc. are closed and you can stay home.
                      Thanks :-)

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                      • #12
                        Have extra pairs of gloves.

                        Leather insulated work gloves are very good, but still have extra pairs.

                        I don't think that there is that much difference in traction between tires with a tread and smooth ones.

                        Wheelies if you can. All weight on 'drive' wheels then, and the fronts are not causing any drag or resistance.

                        Any sort of incline can cause MAJOR problems (as someone else said).

                        Glare ice, and any sort of slope, you are screwed.

                        Fresh, un-trampled snow is often quite a bit easier, once snow starts to get trampled, there is a crust or layer that wheelchairs will break through, and then things get quite a bit harder to push through (this also applies to cars).

                        Handrims that are set close to the tire can be very hard to get a grip on.
                        Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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                        • #13
                          Been dealing with Minnesota winters for all my life and 34 years in chair. I rarely stay home because of snow. Usually put new tires on every October. I have been surprised that tread style doesn't seem to matter that much. Like others have said be prepared extra gloves etc. Just really think about where you park , have a cell phone on you. One trick i have used is use my vehicle to flatten snow or make a track to sidewalk.
                          I think worst thing is a curb cut after snow plow goes and it doesn't get re-shoveled cause you have to go up the incline. so it kind of comes pack to really think before you park esp if no one is around. If all else fails move to Florida lol


                          Originally posted by grommet View Post
                          Good tip, thank you. Must be hard on our hands though. I've tried pushing through sand it was incredibly hard, made it a few feet doing wheelies. The cold and loss of traction in snow, wow, maybe it's too hard. One of my biggest fears is losing control of the chair - I can't do anything if I am sliding. Do people who use chairs where it snows mostly stay in for the season?

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                          • #14
                            I've seen where you put zip ties on with squares towards road . I've never tried this seems lot a lot of work but seem like it would work.

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                            • #15
                              I use a power chair and have gotten stuck in the mushy snow. I just spin. I too have used my glove under a tire to get traction. Had to call someone upstairs once to get out. I have learned to not stop or slow down once I am moving until I get to the door and then I close my vehicle door. Yes zip ties can work until you go inside and catch the rug or carpet. I just think a little more about going out a thinking of parking lot conditions. Seldom stay home because of snow.

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