My experience with wheelchair athletes is one that I am amazed that some users make do with extremely inferior wheels, sometimes supplied with a new chair. They have personally had built for them. I do not know of any other custom wheel builders who specialise in ‘chair wheels’ and those especially for competitions. I know that a lot of internationals are sponsored and use carbon fibre discs or 3, 4, or 5 spoke composite wheels.

However, those who race on spoked wheels, in my experience are doing so on factory built on a machine wheels. I attended a training session and one wheelchair user at the competitior was in his chair at the start. I noticed he was moving slowly forward and systematically tightening each spoke nipple in his wheels with his fingers. The chair was less than a month old, cost a vast mount of money and had radial straight pull spokes. The wheels were void of any lateral strength.  A complete waste of time with a wheel not supported by two legs of a fork holding both sides of the hub. So flimsy and useless on a track with bends, the rider was wasting so much energy with output loss and flex on the wheels.

wheelchairsI rebuilt the wheels with his own hubs, designed and built with the rims and spoke pattern to personally suit him. His speed went up and his times vastly improved. Does this sound familiar????