Two major varieties of everyday manual wheelchairs

- Aug 14, 2018-

Everyday manual wheelchairs come in two major varieties, folding or rigid. Folding chairs are generally low-end designs, whose predominant advantage is being able to fold, generally by bringing the two sides together. However this is largely an advantage for part-time users who may need to store the wheelchair more often than use it. Rigid wheelchairs, which are increasingly preferred by full-time and active users, have permanently welded joints and many fewer moving parts. This reduces the energy required to push the chair by eliminating many points where the chair would flex and absorb energy as it moves. Welded rather than folding joints also reduce the overall weight of the chair. Rigid chairs typically feature instant-release rear wheels and backrests that fold down flat, allowing the user to dismantle the chair quickly for storage in a car. A few wheelchairs attempt to combine the features of both designs by providing a fold-to-rigid mechanism in which the joints are mechanically locked when the wheelchair is in use.

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