… The FreeWheel

This thing will change your life. If you’re an independent wheelchair user the Freewheel makes travel over rough ground a (relative) breeze. It clamps to your footrest and, when swivelled into position, lifts the front casters a few centimetres off the ground. Now taking the weight, the front wheel removes the need to back-wheel balance over surfaces like cobbles, sand and muddy tracks. There’s an old roadway near us that slopes gently downwards; with the Freewheel it feels like you are getting up quite a lick. When you’re finished, swivel the wheel forward and detach it from the footrest.

freewheel1It is a pain to fit after delivery. The US manufacturer makes the product suitable for the three most popular footrest designs but, to adapt it, you must saw a particularly solid bar of resin to the correct length. It took Johnny two hacksaw blades to get through it. Having said that, once it’s set you should have no complaints about reliability or security. And although your chair’s centre-of-gravity is altered slightly rearwards, I always feel in control.

It comes with a stowage clamp that doesn’t fit the rail behind my Quickie Helium. The wheel will stow in a plane’s overhead locker but be careful; it will hurt if some idiot ignores the standard plea to ‘take care when opening overhead lockers’, etc.

Believe me, Johnny knows.

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