Stay Clean When It Rains While Using a Wheelchair

About: Projects coming soon: Xbox-HTPC/case Mod

     I've been toying around with this idea for a while. I am living in a studio apartment and they don't like it when I do wielding in my kitchen. Something about fire codes...The idea came from my friend Sean who is in a wheelchair. I made the joke about modifying his wheelchair with a lift kit and some bottom lights but he said he'd rather have something that kept him from getting muddy and wet when it rains. His wheels pick up mud and when he uses his hands to propel himself forward his hands and arms get dirty. Since it rains about 300 days out of the year here I started brainstorming. After many bad ideas I came up with this one. The problem is I can't build it. I have a basic idea for the design and was hoping someone might build it and test it out.

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Step 1: The Idea

     The idea is to add a ratchet-cover like attachment that cups about 1/4th or 1/6th of the wheel on both sides. The cover would probably cover the wheels handles and so would need to have handles itself. The cover would be attached to the ratchet portion which is attached to the wheel hub. The whole thing should ratchet backwards and lock in place so it can be propelled forwards with the wheel. If someone wanted to get fancy they could add a reversible locking mechanism where the user could flip a switch/button and it could ratchet forwards and lock backwards allowing the user to move backwards as well. I thought to keep it simple just allow the ratchet to fall back out of the way and let the user have access to the wheels again.

Step 2: Ratchet

Basically using the sprockets from a bicycle and securing them to the wheel chair hubs should work. The cover could then be secured with pipe or some kind of bar to the sprockets. basically it'd be done on both sides and each sprocket would be attached mirror imaged to each other. The goal is to get a cover that becomes the handle to propel oneself forward using a ratchet system but can be swung back out of the way.

    So there's the idea. Hope someone can come up with a prototype and post pictures.

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    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Good thought and I am happy to see some one is trying to help. My problem here is that I have a manual wheel chair which requires me to use my hands pushing the wheels forward to move. With this I would not be able to do so. Keep thinking on this though, you just might have something of a start. Thanks for sharing.

    Gene Walk

    7 years ago on Step 2

    Sorry, but this would not be very effective when it comes to transfering into a car, and then tearing down the chair in order to pass it over you, to the place that you want it until needed again. Good idea fof a transport chair, but not for my Quikie Ti.

    1 reply
    AthleticTrainerGene Walk

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

    I had a friend who does wheelchair track mention removable wheels. My goal was to make this as easy to use, lightweight, sturdy, and low profile as possible. I wanted the whole thing to be little to none wider than a regular wheel but still able to be collapsed. Is there any way you could think of to make it more "streamline" or be able to collapse in a different way to be more versatile?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    The fender frame should be mounted solid. The fender it self should be on sliders. As you need the fenders you slide them to the outside position. When not in use. You slide them back inward toward the chairs seat. I am in a wheel chair. This is the thought that I came up with.

    1 reply

    So you're meaning slide them medially (inwards) when not in use and laterally (outward) when you want to use them? interesting. I just wonder how that would work? If you could sketch how you see it I it may be helpful. I haven't had much time to donate to the idea due to moving 4,000 miles away and going to graduate school but once I have a garage/shed to work from I plan on making a model for tinkering things out.

    My thought was that if it could be worked where you pulled outwards and backwards to change the ratchet position then pushed inwards and forwards to change it back.