Archive for the ‘Wheelchair Tuning Workshop’ Category

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XXV

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


Wheelchair auxiliary snow chains

A creative Berliner

has mounted tie-wraps to his bicycle tyre so that he can better ride on snow and ice.

Self-made tie-wrap wheelchair snow chains

This probably works with wheelchair tyres as well.

He also rides on Schwalbe Marathon tyres, like most of the wheelers.

Have a look yourself, ingeniously simple and cost-efficient!

Link: Video at Spiegel-Online

Just try it out and write a comment.

In Frankfurt there is no snow anymore, so I can’t test it!

Thanks to Hajo for the info.

However, I wouldn’t ride across the parquet floor any more. :-)

Read this old blogpost and exchange in winter right and left wheelchair tyre if necessary:

Link: Running direction of “Schwalbe” tyres

I assume no liability for this tip!

Translator BL

Wheelchair Tuning Part XXXIII

Saturday, March 9th, 2013


Strictly speaking, a wheelchair is nothing else than a shoe!!!

It is not owned by yourself, but by your medical supply store.

Refurbishment and reconstruction are only allowed to be done by the medical supply store for insurance reasons ;-) ;-) ;-)

Except for cleaning you are not allowed to do anything officially…!!!

However I also recommend regular greasing and oiling (see older blogpost).

With a newly prescribed wheelchair you are usually allowed to select the colour, but this is the utmost individuality you can get.

Of course a wheelchair has to fit primarily from a medical point of view, but where is it written that it should not look stylish as well.

The look of the wheelchair reflects the soul of its owner… ommm…

I really have to work on my meditation… eh, medication, well, this is a little bit right however…!!!

The easiest way to change the appearance of your wheelchair is to fix spoke protector discs with motif on the running wheels.

The original reason for spoke protector discs is that such a “buckled finger” like me doesn’t clamp his fingers in the spokes.

Children get these quite expensive discs with logos from football clubs or motifs from Princess Lilifee and other kids characters paid by the health insurance, and the kids are very proud how great their wheelchair is looking.

As old guy you have to pay the discs yourself or drive around with the original health insurance shopper look.

Depending on the company, you have a choice of dozens of motifs “ready-made”, but you can get almost every picture printed on the discs as well.
Believe me, I have seen quite weird things.

You can let your creativity “run wild“.

I have now got my own discs produced, in fact according to my own design with personal reference:

With such an eye-catcher the wheelchair is not so much seen as medical device anymore and can even ease some situations. Especially kids react unbiased to the motif and don’t have any fear of contact.

I have got the discs produced at an innovative family company (contact on request at

If you are on 25.-27. April 2013 visiting the REHAB in Karlsruhe, keep the eyes open if you discover my motif at one of the booths ;-)

A physiotherapist noticed once with expert’s eye that the lion is an above-knee amputee…
I was just in this moment in the swimming pool, forgot to move the arms and was almost drowning.

Translator BL

Wheelchair Tuning Part XXXI

Monday, June 4th, 2012


When I was discharged from the hospital in 2008 I got the same wheelchair type which I used already in the hospital, but I had to realize that I could move significantly worse.

I have to mention that even today each 3-year-old leaves me easily behind with his wooden training bike (see older blogpost).

During the last years I have engaged myself intensively with the optimization of my wheelchair and have noticed in doing so that the exact calibration of the steering fork of the front tyres is extremely important. The axes must not be distorted either. This saves a lot of power of which I don’t have much anyway.

The steering forks are adjustable so that one can individually choose the size of the front tyres.

Although this makes sense it has the negative effect though that they could be shifted involuntarily. This happens e.g. when the taxi service fixes the hooks of the tie-down restraints at the forks of the front tyres instead of the wheelchair frame.

Sometimes even a curb is enough, or “qualified“ personnel at the airport to shift the forks.
No matter why, no wheelchair moves straight with crooked steering forks!!!

It can be referred to in each operating manual of the respective wheelchair how to adjust the steering forks.
Have a look at it, extremely interesting…

Such adjustments may only be executed due to insurance reasons by qualified personnel from the medical supply store.

You may have a look, only screw with your eyes…!!!

I have worked out a method, I call it Lucky Wheel, with which anybody can check the steering forks easily with an even wooden board and a stop angle, or a set square from school times. I cannot recommend a supposed even floor.

You put the wheelchair on the wooden board and twist a front tyre in a 90° angle to the wheelchair frame to the outside.
Now you hold the stop angle or the set square right and left to the tyre respectively the board.

If there is between tyre and angle, like my supervisor in my apprenticeship kindly used to say:

There is more light coming through than through a window…, a slot (see below in the picture), the steering fork is shifted, or something else is defective.

This slot could now be closed by rotating the steering fork which has an eccentric on my wheelchair model.

Of course we leave such adjustment tasks to the qualified personnel of the medical supply store…

When this is done after a couple of days you turn the tyre again by 90° for check-up, this time to the inside of the wheelchair, and hold your angle again to it.


In this case the aluminium has caved in, two big washers can work miracles (see pictures above).

I would like to point out again that I assume no liability for these check-up possibilities of the steering forks and all related consequences!!!

For any questions please contact:

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XXIV

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010


Low-budget wheelchair mountainbike winter tyres

As already mentioned in several blogposts I am convinced that a set of

mountainbike wheelchair tyres

should be provided with the basic equipment of the first wheelchair.
Somehow a secret is made around the big advantage of these tyres.
For me, these tyres are no surplus luxury goods, or poser sport equipment, but a medical necessity so that a justification for the prescription of a medical device, the request for approval at the health insurance, is basically given.

Due to the wider-based tyres the security increases especially in cities with cobble stone because you don’t get stuck in the joints so often anymore.

Many shocks due to bad ground conditions are absorbed by the tyres, thus the spinal cord respectively the whole body is not strained so much anymore. Your back and bottom will be happy.

The wheelchair pusher is relieved very much on bad trails, mud, ice and snow…

The argument that you make no headway with these wheels is very much depending on the tyres, but not overall correct. The advantages predominate. I recommend a Schwalbe Land Cruiser as tyre.

The disadvantage of the wheels is the broadening of the whole wheelchair. Too bad if you don’t fit into the garage anymore.

I don’t know to which extent it is medically important for the health insurance that the wheeler can leave his home even in snow drift. You could catch a cold, but the groceries of the most important things like coffee, chocolate and condoms… should be ensured in winter as well.

With prices for a set of mountainbike wheelchair tyres from 560 € – 900 € from the wheelchair producers I understand everybody who refuses to buy them because actually these are “only” wheelchair tyres with a 10 – 20 € bicycle rim with bicycle tube and tyre.

As a matter of principle I refuse to pay such exorbitant prices. For the same money you can get already a really nice complete mountainbike. Thus I have let me built two wheelchair tyres for around 220 €.

Yesterday I have found a wheelchair replacement part company in the nearer abroad who charge per piece

wheelchair mountainbike tyre 117€

This price is more than reasonable.

You shouldn’t forget the insurance aspect. With do-it-yourself constructions you can get into trouble if something is happening.

The company is currently closed until January.

I have ordered a quite special

wheelchair hand rim for quadriplegics

from this company with which I hope to ride a little out in the snow by myself.

Of course I will write if the ordering should work.

Company name enquiries to me:


From a snow height of 2 meters even my tyres slowly reach their limits.

Click on Tags “Wheelchair tyres” to read more blogposts.

Translator BL

Wheelchair Tuning Part VIII (Hand cycle)

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


This winter during snow drift I have bought a

run-in hand cycle

(see older blogpost).

The main reason was probably my guilty conscience after I stood with my wheelchair on a platform laundry scale. I can eat whatever I want, the wheelchair is getting more and more heavy ;-)

The bike was auctioned for charity. The proceeds should be used to purchase a horse!

Swapping “donkey on wheels” for therapy pony!

This is really true, donations are still accepted.
The bike was allowed to have a rest in my cellar after the long journey from the north.
It was run-in so well that around 200 gram unnecessary

dead weight in screws and nuts

were thrown off in the last years and thus missing.

The driving noise

was probably planned that loud for safety reasons so that you are heard by the other traffic participants, like a fire engine on duty.

The bike chain

reminded of a hammock and was as dry as the Namib desert. (I haven’t been to the Gobi desert yet.)

The universal fastener,

with which the hand cycle is adjusted to the particular wheelchair, was locked with two high-quality steel weld seams, so that the adjustment to my wheelchair was made a little more difficult than planned.
The person who welded the fastener knew what he was doing and is probably working in the shipbuilding in a dockyard. The weld seams were bombproof…

The original handles and gear shift

have been adjusted by some friends for me so that I can use them with my buckled fingers and hands.
I could have used the original special handles only limited, they cost 230 € and I didn’t like them anyway.

The rack

was additionally mounted with two small

iron plates

of around 10 cm length to keep it up horizontally.
My mate calls such constructions usually:

Russian-style: Looking sh…, but working well.

Why the previous owner didn’t take the provided clamps from the rack and turned them around will remain his secret.
Now I can take on with any granny at the

Rollator race.

Equal opportunities at last!!!

As you can see my pot belly still didn’t get smaller, but I keep you posted!

Translator BL

Rollituning Part VII (Konkurrenz)

Monday, April 26th, 2010


Postzustellrolli E-Type  

Anscheinend hat die Post neue Arbeitsplätze in der Zustellung für Rollstuhlfahrer geschaffen.
Die Zustellung von Tieren aller Art wie Hunden, Katzen, Schlangen, Meer- und Mastschweinen… wird Gerüchten zu Folge jetzt ausschließlich von den

 Gelben Rollipostlern  

übernommen. Die Ehemaligen 


versuchen immer wieder erfolglos die Rollipostler aufzuhalten. 

OK, bisschen ernsthafter: 

Die Idee eine ausgemusterte Postbox vor den Rolli zu montieren ist genial.
Die Box ist seitlich wegschwenkbar und ermöglicht problemlos den Transport der Einkäufe bis ca. 20 kg. Außerdem kann die Box mit einem Handgriff abgenommen werden.
Mir ist nicht bekannt, dass etwas Ähnliches wie dieser 


von einem Rollstuhlhersteller angeboten wird. 

Die standen alle noch nie im Supermarkt an der Kasse, wenn die Einkäufe nicht mehr in den Rucksack passten, oder der Rolli wegen Übergewicht drohte nach Hinten umzufallen. 

Der Rolli bekam zusätzlich vorne und hinten eine vernünftige 


Durch einen 

Zweiten Akku 

fĂĽr den E-fix Antrieb (Motoren in den Radnaben), wurde die Reichweite von 18 km auf rund 36 km
(6 Stunden Vollgas) in der Ebene erreicht. 

Das langt leider immer noch nicht, wenn der Partner Marathonläufer ist. 

Es ist geplant später einmal den E-Rolli mit einer 


der Fa. Efoy anzutreiben.
Brennstoffzellen in Rollis einzubauen, ist ein Quantensprung im punkto Reichweite, aber noch recht teuer.
Aus Gewichtsgründen lassen sich allerdings die E-fix Antriebsräder nicht mit einer Autobatterie/Akku betreiben. Da sie 24V benötigen und zwei 12 Volt Autobatterien/Akku dann viel zu schwer wären. Dieses Problem würde die Brennstoffzelle lösen. Mit einem 12Volt 12 Ah Akku (nur für Spitzenlast und Kurzstrecke) und der Brennstoffzelle wäre der Rolli wesentlich leichter als heute mit zwei 12 Volt 18Ah Akkus.
Mit einer Tankpatrone der Brennstoffzelle könnte der Fahrer verteilt über mehrere Tage mehr als 500 km mit dem E- Rolli zurücklegen. Bei einer täglichen Fahrleistung von z.B. 20 km ist der E- Rolli so einen vollen Monat lang einsatzbereit ohne jemals an die Steckdose zu müssen. 

Da müsste der Partner schon Haile Gebrselassie heißen, um da noch mitzukommen.  

Danke an Holger (siehe Kommentar) fĂĽr seine Beschreibung dieses Spezialumbaus!

Wheelchair Tuning Part VI (Competitor)

Monday, April 12th, 2010


It is no secret that I am constantly “tailoring” my wheelchair.
But even I am surprised about what my fellow wheelers are developing.

Wheelchair 24 carat gold-plated with dollar signs as spokes!

With this one “50 Cent” is pushed through the Bronx after a leg fracture!

Source Colours Wheelchair

How about this tank wheelchair with chain-drive!

Pedestrians have respect immediately, and the human crowd separates at a street fair like once Moses parted the sea.

Source TC Mobility

The army wheelchair for the Middle East mission.

The arms were not permitted to be shown.

My personal highlight, the donated

Indian Low Budget Wheelchair

of the world-wide operating organisation free wheelchair mission

Look closely, it has brake handle extensions.
This is no fake!

Translator BL

Rollituning Part V

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Ich bin so langsam ernsthaft am ĂĽberlegen, ob bei meinem Unfall das


aktiviert wurde, als mir das Auto auf den Kopf fiel.

Seinen Rolli mit zusätzlichen


zu bekleben, einen

Tacho und RĂĽcklicht
(siehe älteren Beitrag)

nachzurĂĽsten, ihn mit





zu modifizieren, die


auszutauschen, und das


von 3 verschiedenen Rollstuhlherstellern zusammenzufriemeln, wir wollen ja nicht

Die Maus
(siehe älteren Beitrag)

am Rucksack vergessen, erscheint ja irgendwie noch legitim.
Aus medizinischer Sicht sind sogar noch


vertretbar,aber mit

 2 Chromleisten,


24 Zoll Breitreifen*

*(ok, hoch statt breit)
(siehe älteren Beitrag)

und seiner Lederausstattung in Form meines neuen schwarzen



nehme ich es jetzt mit meinem Rolli mit jedem

3er BMW


Ein StĂĽck korrekt Wurzelholz, 2 PlĂĽschwĂĽrfel und eine
8er Billardkugel bekomme ich auch noch irgendwie verbaut.
Ăśber die Sorte des Wunderbaumes wird derzeit noch gestritten!!

Ich kann beim Fahren beide Ellenbogen raushängen lassen :-)

Rollituning Part IV

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


After winter season is over and snow is melted, finally my

special wheelchair winter tyres

are ready.
Because the wheelchair producers offer mountain bike wheelchair tyres for dumping prices as of 550 € on the open-ended scale,
I have decided while sitting in my flat during a snow drift to construct

offroad wheelchair winter tyres

myself and let it produce in small batch (two pieces).
I would like to point out that I have not copied anything,
the outcome should be reasonable after all.
The winter has just been too short!
Today I have the tyres on my wheelchair for the first time, and the snow is gone.
What a cheek.
OK, maybe instead

wheelchair downhill mountainbiking


Translator BL

Rollituning Part III

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Bei allen Luftreifen am Rolli sollte man ca. 14 tägig den


kontrollieren, oder man hat SpaĂź daran einen Anker hinter sich herzuziehen.

Der freundliche Tankwart um die Ecke ist wie dafĂĽr gemacht.
Es hat zwar etwas gedauert, bis er überzeugt war, dass ich wirklich auf meinem Rollirädern 8 Bar Druck haben möchte, nun gut.

Viele Rollifahrer verwenden Reifen der Fa. Schwalbe Typ:
„Marathon Plus“. Betriebsdruck 6-10 Bar.
Angeblich wĂĽrden die Teile auch 12 Bar aushalten.
So mutig war ich noch nicht, ich stand neben einem Rollifahrer als einer seiner Reifen platzte.
Brachial laut. Da piepsen nicht nur die Ohren.

Ich habe einmal einen Rollifahrer kennen gelernt, der nach 4 Jahren das erste mal richtigen Luftdruck auf den Reifen hatte und sich die Bremse dann nachstellen lassen musste, weil er sie nicht mehr drĂĽcken konnte.

Es gibt fĂĽr kleines Geld Minikompressoren die aussehen wie ein Akkuschrauber.
Wenn man an den Schlauch einen vernĂĽnftigen Ventilanschluss montiert, sind die gar nicht schlecht.
Es muss ja nicht immer ein GrĂĽner sein.

Wheelchair Tuning Part II

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010


Such an active wheelchair is in no way comparable with such a mobile garden bench as you know from the hospitals.

The manufacturers offer the most different wheelchair accessories which might be completely reasonable. You should negotiate about sponsoring in your individual case with your health insurance or bank. Don’t exaggerate, always use original parts of the manufacturer and let professional personnel mount it.

Only screw with your eyes :-)

I have tetra clips at the wheelchair tyres, i.e. the chrome clip is folded forward, then you put the hand into it and pull the wheel off.
It’s not “going“ any easier.


If the driving wheels are dangling, DON’T take it as given.
The length of the axes can be adjusted optimally, even if it is rather inconvenient.

Addendum: The tetra clip is not recommendable if not absolutely needed, because thereby the wheels always have a little “play”, and the metal holders are rattling on the spokes.

Translator BL