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Thread: Does anyone here use Magic Wheels?

  1. #1

    Does anyone here use Magic Wheels?

    Any users on here or opinion on these as opposed to e-motion wheels or a smart drive?

  2. #2
    Yes, I've been using MagicWheels as my everyday wheels for several years now, and I love them, But they do have some quirks;they serve a niche purpose; they're not for everyone. Look at this advanced search result for more info. "magicwheels" "chasmengr" all dates, in entire post.

    For me they make ascending steep slopes possible; they are always a little noisy, and they require good shoulders/arm/hand strength; they are not power assist, they are mechanical assist, and are great if you want some exercise and freedom from batteries. They enable me to take the city bus anywhere without having foreknowledge of the terrain where I disembark; with MWs, I'm confident I can navigate between bus stops or to my final destination (e.g., steep slopes, broken paving, etc). They do not provide speed - ascending slopes in low gear is quite slow, but it's great exercise (Descending slopes is great, too, but caster flutter may become an issue because of the possible high speeds - I wear a helmet when coasting down hill.)

    I have Surge handrims on mine - good grip is important when climbing hills.

    I've used neither emotions nor smart drive.

    NOTES:
    - I can stand and walk a bit, enough to cross small obstacles like a curb.
    - MWs are not good for curb jumping and muddy or sandy conditions; I use them 99% on paving.
    - Do not buy a used set from a user; they're likely damaged. It's okay to buy a refurbished set from the manufacturer: Provail.
    - New or refurbished, they're plagued with internal loose parts after a couple months of use. I partially disassembled mine (because customer service proved to be poor), replaced some bearings and reassembled with Loctite (user dis-assembly voids the warranty), after which they work great.
    - after writing this I realize I need to give further advice . . . you need access to a handy, mechanically-minded, fearless person to own them, or you'll end up quite frustrated when they first fail because of loose internal parts and poor customer service, but they are really quite easy to fix. The first indications of loose internals are unusual clunking and jamming downhill in low gear. If either occurs, disassemble and fix immediately because further use will damage internal parts. A warranty replacement set will have the same issue (i.e, loose internals in a few months).
    Last edited by chasmengr; 12-18-2014 at 05:32 PM.
    Chas
    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."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  3. #3
    Wow, thank you very much for all of that information!

    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    Yes, I've been using MagicWheels as my everyday wheels for several years now, and I love them, But they do have some quirks;they serve a niche purpose; they're not for everyone. Look at this advanced search result for more info. "magicwheels" "chasmengr" all dates, in entire post.

    For me they make ascending steep slopes possible; they are always a little noisy, and they require good shoulders/arm/hand strength; they are not power assist, they are mechanical assist, and are great if you want some exercise and freedom from batteries. They enable me to take the city bus anywhere without having foreknowledge of the terrain where I disembark; with MWs, I'm confident I can navigate between bus stops or to my final destination (e.g., steep slopes, broken paving, etc). They do not provide speed - ascending slopes in low gear is quite slow, but it's great exercise (Descending slopes is great, too, but caster flutter may become an issue because of the possible high speeds - I wear a helmet when coasting down hill.)

    I have Surge handrims on mine - good grip is important when climbing hills.

    I've used neither emotions nor smart drive.

    NOTES:
    - I can stand and walk a bit, enough to cross small obstacles like a curb.
    - MWs are not good for curb jumping and muddy or sandy conditions; I use them 99%$ on paving.
    - Do not buy a used set from a user; they're likely damaged. It's okay to buy a refurbished set from the manufacturer: Provail.
    - New or refurbished, they're plagued with internal loose parts after a couple months of use. I partially disassembled mine (because customer service proved to be poor), replaced some bearings and reassembled with Loctite (user dis-assembly voids the warranty), after which they work great.
    - after writing this I realize I need to give further advice . . . you need access to a handy, mechanically-minded, fearless person to own them, or you'll end up quite frustrated when they first fail because of loose internal parts and poor customer service, but they are really quite easy to fix. The first indications of loose internals are unusual clunking and jamming downhill in low gear. If either occurs, disassemble and fix immediately because further use will damage internal parts. A warranty replacement set will have the same issue (i.e, loose internals in a few months).

  4. #4
    You're welcome
    Chas
    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."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  5. #5
    Interesting question as these are different add ons serving different needs. I have both MagicWheels and SmartDrive and have briefly demo'ed E-Motion and Tailwind which has similar but better technology.

    They all will take you up hill. MagicWheels will magically make going down steep hills easy too. SmartDrive will not do the downhill thing. I do not know about E-motion and downhill. Tailwind which you did not ask about does run in downhill hill holder mode. You actually have to turn it off to freewheel down hill.

    MagicWheels is best turned off when on level ground. Low gear for climbing and descending hills is too low for the flats. On the other hand there is no battery to fuss with and the wheels are not too difficult too pop off for loading.

    Unlike Chas, I am not afraid to take my chair into the muck and dirt. I use 6 inch pneumatic casters on that chair. It is my gardening chair that I use on the steep hillside of my Seattle gardens. I have not encountered anything I could not climb, but I have gotten scared a few times about tipping sideways trying to turn around due to the steep slope, not MW fault.

    Chas mentioned quirks. I purchased used demos as the factory is here in town, so it was easy to do so. But one wheel did jam, freeze up, and they said the demo came with no warranty. After a little discussion on the matter they were very cooperative to fully repair the wheel. In fact the mechanic rebuilt both wheels while I watched and waited. I'm quite satisfied with their service.

    My SmartDrive is as light as the MagicWheels. It is simple to load in the van and it definitely is for use uphill and on the flat. As I said, downhill it should be clicked off.

    I liked the E-motions I tried out, however it was in an exhibition hall with perfectly flat hard floors. Emotions are a bit heavy, too heavy. Weight is the absolute reason I went with SmartDrive over Emotions. It was a close call at the time, but a competitive used price for SD showed up here. During my demo the Emotions responded nicely, I think Emotions and Tailwind both had reverse but not necessary to have.

    I really liked the Tailwind I demo'ed. It was E-motions on steroids. The motors were built into the frame, so no issue popping off heavy wheels. Bur even with popping off the wheels and battery, the chair ends up at around 35 lbs, and it is *their* virtually non adjustable chair. So the Tailwind has some issues to work around too.

    Nothing is perfect, you just have to pick one or more to meet your needs as close as you can.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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