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Thread: Need a suggestion for Freewheel or something like it

  1. #21
    Senior Member Colorado Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Southwestern Colorado
    Mutley - Depending on what kind of a wheelchair you have, you could put some 8" pneumatic casters on the front like these:

    No reviews have been left yet.

    Caster Wheel Assy 8" x 2", pair Manual Wheelchair Tire

    You may have to modify your front forks to get them to fit. The secret to going in deep sand is air pressure - The less the better. This will help the tires to float over the sand

    Check out the Top End Crossfire all terrain wheelchair to see an example of a chair with 8" front casters. I have taken mine up and down sand dunes, and across sandy beaches (with some help).
    Push me to the limit,
    maybe I may bend,
    but I will not be broken.
    -Bonnie Raitt

  2. #22
    Senior Member Sarafino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    SW Colorado---chair user from nerve disorder
    An ATV can do it, but I am guessing they aren't allowed on beaches mostly. I don't live anywhere near a beach.

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    I've struggled with this issue for my son over the last few years, as we do go to the beach regularly, and our beach / sand sounds like it is similar to Nonoise's location. I've come to the following conclusions:

    - a Freewheel along with large diameter wheels does work, but as rAdGie correctly states, it's not fun (particularly for my son, who is effectively trying to push an adult off-road chair set-up with kid arms...). And forget pushing someone with that set-up, as that just drives the Freewheel into the sand (the Freewheel works fine when most of the weight is on the rear wheels, which should be the case when you are self-propelling).
    - a Hippocampe beach chair is ok if you don't want to self-propel, but it's not very easy for me to push through our sand.
    - self-propelling on soft sand just isn't feasible for my son at the moment, so some form of power is definitely required.
    - we've tried my son's Firefly along with the large diameter rear wheels but, not surprisingly, the Firefly wheel spins, and the set-up isn't any better than using a Freewheel.
    - a 2WD ATV struggles trying to go up any gradient hill (wheels spin). Could resolve this by using sand tyres, but that isn't a suitable solution for us as we want the ATV to drive on hard tracks too.
    - a 4WD ATV will probably work, but I'm yet to try one (and they aren't cheap!)
    - a go-kart, converted to electric, with ATV rear wheels, and double width front wheels, does work, as the high torque / slow wheel rotation is ideal for the beach. As long as you are not looking for high speeds! The height of the go-kart works well, as it is high enough to get over the wheel tracks on the beach, but low enough for my son to get on and off the go-kart himself. And the speed limitation on the go-kart actually makes the go-kart "road legal" for my son, both on the beach and elsewhere (the beach we regularly go to allows road licenced vehicles and drivers on it - ATVs are not legal, and my son isn't old enough to have a licence anyway!)
    - I can also attach a trailer to my 4WD car, and put my son in the trailer (along with lots of soft padding). This set-up works well when we go fishing, as he can easily cast from the trailer as he is higher than he would be on a chair on the sand.

    Obviously everyone's situation is different - we wanted access for my son on to a beach that does allow vehicles on it. If we go to other beaches (without vehicle access) then we make do with the Freewheel / large diameter wheels, which are easy to transport.
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  4. #24
    Nice summary, thanks,
    Gordy, that go-kart setup is sweet. I want to go for a ride.
    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.

  5. #25
    ive never tried to use an atv before, even as an AB, i believe its all hand controls? if i got one to go on the beach with i would need to drive it there so it would need to be road legal etc then i dont even know if i would be allowed on the beach with an atv, then theres strapping you feet on so they dont fall off, and like this and with say a hand bike what do i do with my chair after i have transferred? i dont have a garage so it would have to be left outside my front door until i come back :P thats if its still there, it would just be nice to drive the car there go on the beach and come home but now theres too much thought and hassle in doing so its a case of lets not even bother :/
    i will try this setup this year and if it doesnt work then ill give up for now, i would still like this chair to be as normal as possible for breaking it down etc for transporting it

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  6. #26
    Senior Member Sarafino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    SW Colorado---chair user from nerve disorder
    Your chair is gorgeous My ATV is all hand controlled, but you are right, it would be a hassle to take it somewhere by myself. I used to be agile enough to load and unload it in the back of my truck, but I can't do it anymore. I like to ride it around my rural neighborhood, though

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutley View Post
    As far as I can tell both the sticker and the free wheel are bloody useless on soft sand... that was the point of my post. Am I to assume there's nothing out there?

    I'll just get my own made.
    The freewheel will make your chair longer, with a pair of fatbike wheels on the back the front end should float and not dig in. Getting my own made was pretty much what i did, send me a pm if you want some pics.

  8. #28
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    The Netherlands
    These are some photo's that giles88 asked me to post of his fatbike wheels:

    Quote Originally Posted by giles88
    If you would,please do me a favor and post these pics in mutley's freewheel thread so he and everyone else can see what i'm talking about with the fatbike wheels and 16 inch wheel on the front end. If the chair is long the front end will just float in the sand and not dig in, the rear with the clownshoes works best. First pic are nate's which i started out with then upgraded to the clownshoes with lou's
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    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  9. #29
    Giles, that is awesome, congratulations. Now that you've got pictures up, we need a build description too. Did you make changes to the hubs of the clownshoes? Are they the same hubs? Or did you adapt an axle tube to the hub? Just how did you do it?

    And I don't recognize the front caster setup, homebuilt or what?
    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.

  10. #30
    In response to the ATV postings, I have Cerebral Palsy (CP) and have managed to modify an ATV for my needs. The ATV I had (believe it to be Yamaha brand) - was mostly hand controlled with just a couple of foot controls (like shift). So, for ATV'ing around, we figured out we could modify the shifter with baler twine and then brace that on part of the ATV, and I could pull that whenever I needed to shift up. For downshift I have enough foot control I could slam my foot down (sometimes with my hand giving extra pressure on my leg) - and do it that way. You did have to make sure the twine was long enough it didn't get caught or taut. I think everything else managed to be hand controlled, or we modified it to be that way.

    Different brands of ATV's have their controls differently placed so looking at brands is a useful thing, especially since my knowledge is several years old.

    Nowadays we use a couple of UTV's (ATV's you must sit on them like a horse. UTV's have a bench seat). ATV's have a front and rear rack to carry things, meaning you could modify the rack to hold your chair. Most UTV's have a "box" in the rear, again to carry things. UTV's are easily modified with hand controls, or we have a UTV that if you take your foot off the accelerator, it will automatically slow down (so you could press it with a stick, but only on private'd want real hand controls if it went any faster). I've seen pictures of someone modifying a UTV (I think it was a Polaris Rhino??) to have hand controls, then they loaded an off-road chair in the back of the UTV without dismantling it. Again, this could be easily modified - think rope and pulley system...then if you want your chair anytime while you're out, you can simply unload it and you have an off-road chair. (I believe his off road chair rode mostly in the back, and he just transferred to/from the daily chair...but the off road chair was available if needed.) If it was only you on a two-seater UTV, you could modify it so the chair rode on the passenger seat (just board up the side so that your chair doesn't slide off).

    In a lot of ways, especially as my health has progressed, a UTV (moreso than an ATV) is really nice...because I can get myself on the bench seat in any way necessary, and then I'm *almost* secure.

    Note that you can modify a UTV to have seatbelts if you wish. Years ago I learned to drive a go-kart, and as I didn't have good stability (and I needed to be safe at that young age...) my parents modified it with seatbelts, pedal extenders, a different steering wheel setup because I couldn't work the other one, and a few other things. Oh, and it was governed about 8 mph...very fast to a kid, but not fast enough to get hurt! And a helmet was required, too (motorcycle helmet).

    I learned a lot of things growing up in the country...blind people don't drive (I closed my eyes and ran into a building), jumps from the wrong side of the rock pile really hurt on the way down (seatbelt kept me in, helmet took the bumps for my head, rollcages are good even though I managed to land upright, and I was fairly sore for a few days)...and lots of other stuff. Oh, and how to modify stuff so my disability didn't stop me...

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