A new wheelchair is being developed that allows people to get off the pavement and out into the country. This new off road wheelchair, dubbed the Mountain Trike, is being developed by two engineers from the University of Bath in England. Tim Morgan and John Wardle have set up a company to market their device, and the wheelchair will be launched this fall at the Rehacare disability exhibition in Dusseldorf. This will be the first off-road wheelchair on the market.
The Mountain Trike comes complete with 2 large wheels and one smaller one in the back for stability and steering control along with two fail-safe wheels in the front to keep the user from toppling over. There is a fully independent air-sprung suspension system to handle the bumpy trails. The chair has hand levers for the user to pull in order to go forward with minimum effort. An intuitive steering system allows the rider to pull the right or left lever to maneuver the chair in different directions. The trike also contains mechanical assistance similar to mountain bikes that allows the user to climb steep hills, snowy grounds, and even city curbs. The brakes allow the user to brake gradually which allows control unlike any other wheelchair.
Their hope is to potentially create a new off-road sporting event for wheelchair users including long-distance and indoor events. One wheelchair user has tried it out in muddy conditions and was impressed. Many feel as though the Mountain Trike will be great for non-disabled people as well. To see this wheelchair in action, watch the video below.