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Wheelchair mountain bike Answered

Hi guys, I have an idea for a go anywhere buggy that I can use on mountain bike trails instead of my wheelchair. I have a very basic design of my idea and need advice on where to go from here. I have a very rough sketch of my idea. But I have no idea of how to use AutoCAD or do anything else with this fantastic little device. So I thought I would ask all of you guys for your input. In the attached sketch. The pink represents a rigid frame. The green is suspension. The black is bicycle tires appropriate for your needs. The blue is an adjustable net seating. And the gray is batteries and motors. However my son informs me that it is possible to put the motor in the hub of the wheel. Which sounds like an excellent idea to me! My idea is to hang the frame from the suspension above the wheels.  And balance the weight of the occupant(s) and the batteries. I think that this has potential for many other applications, but I just want to go play in the woods and the beach again!


Currently I am involved in "TRACKED" off road wheel chair designs to allow care givers the freedom of RC control and allow the totally disabled the freedoms to experience outdoors safely. My design is Patent Pending and might be something that could be re-designed to accommodate a rough terrain very quickly.The tracked drive and suspension can support 400lbs .We started designing RC Armor,our hobby. Then realized when a friends daughter was injured and now paraplegic that our design could be altered to allow her outdoor mobility,on our green line and large city park safely and under full control. Stability,power and traction yet a smooth ride have proven this design. Our drive uses the basic invacare gearmotors so the power speed and battery life are no better or worse than the standard mobility chairs for hard road surfaces. If interested contact me,cheers Blake

Thanks for your replies. I love the motors! And I will check out the other links. The reason I went with this style is because I want to do extreme off reading. I live in Washington state and we have the best trails available. I really miss backpacking, and this design could afford me the opportunities to go again. I was a member of a search and rescue team before MS really kicked in. They have all of the rigging and strength available to get me to where I want to go. But it sure would be nice if I could do most of it myself.

To answer your question I have stomach issues that the recumbent position makes significantly better. But the real issue for me was weight distribution. There is some very rough trail out there! I need to be close to it!

Thanks again for all your help!
Queen Mary

Also, if you're in Washington, you might want to get in touch with the Seattle chapter of Disabled Sports USA. They're really cool. Several years ago, my wife and I went up to Alpine Meadows, which has a chapter that set her up with a custom sit-ski adapted for her disability.

If you're not that close to Seattle, you might also check with whichever ILC is in your catchment area; here's a list I got searching for "CILs in Washington state".

I understand the stomach issues. There are a bunch of recumbent bicycle and wheelchair designs out there. Do a search on "recumbent bike wheelchair", and you'll find a bunch of good pictures to give you ideas.

If you've still got good upper body strength (I don't know how the MS is affecting you so far), you might want to look at the "lever pump" models. However, your idea of hub motors was a great one, and should get you what you need.

One thing to think about, though. If you're trail-riding, you probably want to throw extra money at sealed hub motors, to ensure that grit doesn't get into the stator/rotator or the bearings.

Oh man! I just realized that without the motors. This would make a nice little site server for disabled! You guys are just giving me all sorts of ideas! You should be careful...

I did a couple of searches for "mountain bike wheelchair" and "off road wheelchair", and found some useful information. Here's the Google Images results, so you can see pictures of some different designs.

There are hub-mounted motors, and there's even an Instructable on how to make one!

Good luck!

I think the thought is to figure out how fast you want to go. I don't know if your idea of mountain trails is packed hardtop, repave railbeds, gravel trails, BMX, etc. I would say stability and traction would be big factors in your design. If you research it enough, there are probably mods out there for power wheelchairs to be more outdoor accessible. I don't know if you wanted a more go-kart device, which may be prohibited as a real motor vehicle type of thing on bike trails or camping areas. Do you require a more recumbent design and can control traditional bike steering handlebars? Good luck.