Innovations: The Need for Speed

Mark_newNo matter if one uses an ultralight wheelchair, power chair or handcycle, many of us have the need for speed. From accessories to full models, manufacturers of mobility technology are looking for ways to pick up the pace of your propulsion with some way-cool — and fast! — products.

Faster Frog Legs
Legendary Frog Legs forks, the most popular aftermarket wheelchair accessory of all time, recently introduced its High Velocity fork to address modern ultralight manual wheelchair technology. Traditionally, caster flutter was addressed by tightening the fork stem or adding shims and O-rings atop the caster housing bearings. However, technology has changed, where most ultralight wheelchairs now feature a single bearing in the fork. As a result, there’s been little ability to dampen caster flutter on modern ultralights. To address this, Frog Legs innovated the High Velocity fork, allowing the average modern ultralight to travel an astounding 10 mph faster without caster flutter. Frog Legs takes its suspension fork concept and adds a quarter inch of trail, which locates the caster farther back on the fork. That seemingly subtle change makes all the difference, all but eliminating flutter. As a result, the High Velocity fork provides a smoother, safer, faster ride, and at an MSRP of $299, may be just the right price if caster flutter is slowing you down.

The Bounder H frame model can go up to 11.7 mph.

The Bounder H frame model can go up to 11.7 mph.

Bounding with Speed
21st Century Scientific invented ultra-high-speed power chairs in the 1980s and has been going strong ever since, being the industry’s only “speed shop,” one might say. Its most current Bounder H-Frame model is no exception, offering speeds up to a jacket-flapping 11.7 mph, continuously evolving to meet highly tailored needs. Beginning with its proven rear-wheel-drive H-frame design, the Bounder comes standard with its latest, exclusive UE1GT electronics, among the most powerful on the market. Next, Super Torque 3 motors are added, offering insane speeds, or if extreme torque is wished, Super Torque 4 motors are available, both in Panther belt drive or chain drive. Because the Bounder offers different drive pulleys, it can be geared to crazy fast, insane torque, or somewhere in-between. Of course, to fuel such horsepower, large batteries are needed — huge Group-27 batteries. Most recently, an off-road package option has been added, which includes monster off-road tires, additional ground clearance and enhanced rear anti-tip wheels. Additionally, a narrow power base option is available, taking the overall width down to among the narrowest in rehab power chairs at a scant 21.5 inches. The Bounder offers full power rehab seating and an all-but-infinite number of options, where customization is the rule, not the exception. If you want a power chair that’s literally double the speed of your friends’ power chairs, the Bounder H-Frame is the way to go.

You’re looking at the ATH-FS (All Terrain Handcycle - Full Suspension) model, which came out in early 2013. Lasher Sport says this is the first all wheel suspension recumbent style off road handcycle on the market, and it has similar wheel/tire options as the ATH. It starts at $7,995.

You’re looking at the ATH-FS (All Terrain Handcycle – Full Suspension) model, which came out in early 2013. Lasher Sport says this is the first all wheel suspension recumbent style off road handcycle on the market, and it has similar wheel/tire options as the ATH. It starts at $7,995.

Giving the Trails a Lashing
Handcycling is a very popular sport. However, up until recently, it’s also been glued to paved roads. Well, Lasher Sport has changed that with its ATH (all-terrain handcycle). A brainchild of Lasher Sport owner and wheelchair user, Bill Lasher, the Lasher ATH started as a one-off experiment, so that Lasher could mountain bike with his buddies. The design worked so well that after refinement, Lasher put it into his product line (a custom wheelchair company) and the Lasher ATH has been turning heads ever since. With a frame formed of ovalized magnesium, the body is both ultralight and ultra-strong, with a complete cycle weighing in around 40 pounds. The crank set is a Shimano SLX, with gearing that allows from long climbs to high-speed runs on the flats. Add to those features an array of mountain bike wheel options, and you have a ride that’s ready for the rough stuff, including 6 inches of ground clearance. Now, don’t be fooled by the Lasher ATH’s off-road emphasis. For those living in a concrete jungle, the Lasher ATH smooths rough roads and is quite a capable curb climber. Notable options include a winter wheel set for riding on snow-packed trails; light package; fenders; hydration system; and cargo bags. The Lasher ATH is custom built, so its $4,995 price tag isn’t cheap. However, the Lasher ATH will get you to a path less traveled — and that’s hard to put a price on.

Resources
• 21st Century Scientific, 800/448-3680; wheelchairs.com
• Frog Legs, 800/922-2129; froglegsinc.com
• Lasher Sport, 907/529-8833; lashersport.com

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