Do you or a loved one need to use a mobility device? Finding the best option involves a lot of choices, from the seat to the wheel options.
Whether this is your first purchase or you’re looking for an upgrade, consider all the factors you can. That way, you can get a comfortable, durable device to suit your needs.
Learn about the importance of different tire and wheel options for your mobility device, and how to choose the right one for you.
One of the first wheel options you have for your wheelchair is pneumatic tires. These have a few parts, as the tire has an inner tube that can come separately from the outer tire.
However, most of these tubes can come as a set, so that you have all of the parts you need. Pneumatic tires are usually grey, and they can look good with almost any wheelchair.
The tires use air to fill up, so you can adjust the air pressure to change the wheelchair’s ride. That way, you can feel comfortable when using your chair on different floors.
These tires can absorb shock, making it easier to go over rough terrain. You can also find different tread patterns, so you can use the tires in various places.
If you don’t want to worry about putting air in the tires, you can get foam-filled tires for your wheelchair. The tire manufacturer fills the tires with foam during the production process.
Foam tires feel like fully-inflated air tires. On the one hand, you don’t have to maintain the air pressure, but you can’t slightly deflate the tires. So, you have to deal with how your wheelchair rides when you use them.
You’ll need to know the bead width of your current tires if you want to get new foam-filled ones. That way, you can get the correct tire size for your wheelchair wheels.
A set of foam-filled tires can be very durable, so they’re great for people who want to use their chair a lot. You can have the flexibility you need without worrying too much about maintaining the wheels.
Heavy-Duty Foam-Filled Tires
If you need to spend a lot of time on rough terrain or uneven surfaces, look for heavy-duty foam-filled tires. They’re pretty similar to regular foam-filled tires.
However, they also tend to be thicker and have a different tread pattern. That way, your chair can handle more when you need to roll over different surfaces.
If you use regular foam tires, you may find that they aren’t quite durable enough. While they can be a great option, heavy-duty alternatives can be even better for some power wheelchair users.
Consider how often you use your chair and the surfaces you’re typically on. Then, you can decide if you need heavy duty tires or if you can go with other tire and wheel options.
Solid Urethane Tires
Urethane tires are another option for wheelchair users. They’re solid like foam tires, and they don’t require as much maintenance as other options.
These tires do require two pieces for smaller wheels, though larger wheels can use a one-piece tire. Sometimes, it can be hard to install these tires on your wheelchair, but they’re great after the fact.
The tires wear longer than other tires, which can be great if you use your chair and move around a lot. Urethane tires have a firm ride, so consider if you like that before getting these tires.
Unfortunately, knobby tires can have pieces break off. However, for the most part, these are good to consider when looking at all of your wheel options.
How to Choose the Best Wheel Options
If you have a power wheelchair, you should consider the best tires and wheels to support your chair. That way, you don’t have to give up your mobility just to take your chair in for maintenance.
Consider these factors when choosing wheelchair options and accessories.
Think about the environments you spend time in when in your wheelchair to help decide on the best tread pattern. Perhaps you work from home and have mostly wood floors. You may not need a durable, thick tread.
Maybe you spend a lot of time outdoors on park trails. Maybe you need to go over a lot of rough patches when you run errands. In that case, you may want a thicker tread.
A thicker tread can also help if you live somewhere with a lot of snow. Then, you can still operate your wheelchair after a major storm.
You should also consider how big the tires need to be. Your wheelchair tires should be big enough to fit on the current wheels, and you can look at your current tires to get an idea of the size.
Many tires have numbers on them, so you can match the numbers when using pneumatic tires. If you have foam-filled tires, you’ll need to use the bead width to match the tire size.
You can also use the rim size for your wheels to estimate the tire size. If you still can’t figure it out, contact the wheel manufacturer for help learning what size you need.
Of course, you also need to consider if you want pneumatic, foam, or urethane tires. All types have pros and cons, so you should think about your lifestyle and preferences.
Think about how often you can afford to swap out the tires or get tire maintenance. Then, you can choose the best tire type for your wheelchair.
Wheelchair Make and Model
You should also determine if your wheelchair make and model works better with certain wheel options. Electric wheelchairs can work well with any type of wheel, but your model may have a certain feel or ride to it.
In that case, you should consider wheels that work best with how you want to use your chair.
The Best Wheel Options for Your Chair
When getting a new chair or swapping out the wheels, you should consider different wheel options. The right wheelchair tire can make a huge difference in how it feels to ride.
Consider the terrain you encounter each day and if you want to spend time on maintenance. Then, you can select the best set of tires for you.
Do you need a new wheelchair? Contact us to receive an in-home assessment.