Offroad wheelchair tire guide

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Do you to love the outdoors?

...But your wheelchair makes accessibility difficult.

 

Offroad wheelchair tire guide

Many outdoor Adventures can be accomplished while living in a wheelchair. Whether it be camping, fishing ,hunting or pretty much when you have your wheelchair in the dirt you will need offroad wheelchair tires.

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Outdoor wheelchair terrain might include:

  • Hard packed dirt
  • Loose dirt
  • mud
  • gravel
  • rocks
  • and more
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One of the biggest obstacles when going outdoors in a wheelchair can be the surface it’s rolling on. There will be a variance in traction depending on the type of terrain you are on. Most custom lightweight wheelchairs are suited for indoors with smooth tires with little to no tread creating a friction-less glide across wood or tile floors.  These smooth tires will limit the outdoor accessibility for the user.  A quality set of offroad wheelchair tires is a necessity for any wheelchair user that loves getting outdoors.  Ideally the wheelchair user would have an indoor and outdoor set of tires for maximum accessibility. This guide you will showcase offroad wheelchair tire comparisons, information and advice for youre next wheelchair adventure.

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The tires are the only part of the wheelchair that make contact with the surface it's rolling  on. Everything from proper body position, weight distribution and center of gravity translate to the offroad wheelchair tires.
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Offroad Wheelchair rims and wheelchair tire sizing

When selecting offroad wheelchair tires you must know the wheelchair rim size.  When searching for tires realize that wheelchair rims and tires go hand-in-hand.  The two most common size rim for manual wheelchair rims are 24 inch and 25-inch rims. A wheelchair rim will either have an identifying mark of 24” or 25” or a decal with its size. Otherwise, the existing wheelchair tire will identify the size of the rim. When looking at the sidewall of an existing tire there will usually be two numbers printed. 

Offroad Wheelchair tire size

Tire Sizing Can be a little mind-boggling because bicycles and wheelchairs have different size rims and tires but are usually listed similarly. The best way to do this is to match the ISO (International Standards Organization) which is basically the metric sizing. 25" Wheelchair rims have an ISO of  559mm while a 24" Wheelchair rim will have an ISO of 540mm. A 25" wheelchair rim has an ISO of 559mm which will accept standard 26" mountain bike tires.  

24" Wheelchair rims = Very few offroad tire options

25" Wheelchair rims = Many options most 26" mountain bike tires will fit.

When you have 25” wheelchair rim most 26” bicycle tires will fit and it drastically lowers cost, increases availability, and makes replacement easier.  Most local bike shops can perform maintenance on 25" wheelchair tires.

OffroadWheelchair tire width

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Wheelchair tire width is an important factor when installing offroad wheelchair tires. Offroad wheelchair tires give you greater traction and stability when outoors. The more surface area in contact with the ground improves grip and traction. Wider tires reduce the clearance between the handrail and frame but really improve accessibility with a wheelchair off road.

Most local bike shops will replace the offroad wheelchair tires if they are familiar with the standard sizing. They will usuaully charge $20-30 for the installing  new innertubes and tires but if you are looking to save a few bucks - Watch this video on changing wheelchair tires.

Wheelchair tire tread pattern

Just looking at a tires tread pattern can give you a good idea of how an offroad wheelchair tire might perform outdoors.

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Wheelchair offroad tires

Got Traction?

  • Widely spaced knobs will dig into Dirt in well.
  • Tightly spaced knobs are left provide lots of contact in hard packed soil or rocks.

  • The knobs that run down the center of the tire provide traction.

  • The smaller lugs on the sides of the tires engage for grip and stability.

  • The knobs on the Wheel are ramped to reduce rolling resistance.

  • Most offroad wheelchair tires will have the direction of the rotation marked on the tire sidewall.

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24 vs 25 inch wheelchair rims

The size of a custom lightweight wheelchair rim is usually determined by the user's arm length when sitting in this chair. The longer the distance from the shoulder to the arm.

The longer arm the bigger the wheel.

Since wheelchair rims are not the same size as bicycle rims. A 24” wheelchair handrim only has limited options for offroad wheelchair tires.  

A 25” Wheelchair rim will accept a 26’ mountain bike tire. There are many more Options available to easily order from Amazon.

25" Offroad Wheelchair Tires

24" Offroad Wheelchair Tires

24" Offroad Wheelchair Tire & Wheel Set

 

Wheelchair Inner tubes and puncture guards

Offroad wheelchair tires usually do not come solid so you do have to care for an inner tube. Offroad Tires are usually heavy duty and offer good puncture protection. 

When going offroad with your wheelchair you will want to take some preventive measures with your offroad wheelchair tires. It is recommended to have these tire supplies anytime offroading in your wheelchair.

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  • Tire depressors

  • Puncture guard

  • Tire pump

  • Spare Inner tube

  • All available on Amazon.com

The puncture guards will give you the added Protection and confidence on the trail.  The inner tube liners can resist puncturing from nails, glass, sharp rocks, or anything else that poses a hazard on the trails. When going Outdoors with your offroad wheelchair tires always have a tire pump.

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Schrader valves vs Presta valves

Presta valves are a skinny type air valve and can be easier to pump because it does not have a valve spring to compress. These valves require a smaller hole in the rim Which is better for wheelchair racing tires and rims.

Schrader Valves are much more common in wheelchairs due to there rugged design.  They are much easier to use because of their spring closure Which is up inflated by most  compressors at a gas station.

 

Proper offroad wheelchair tire inflation

Proper tire pressure lets your wheelchair roll at optimum levels On the surface the tire was designed for. The manufacturer  specified PSI  (Pounds per square inch) will be identified on the sidewall. Offroad wheelchair tires and will absorb shocks and flex on rough terrain when properly inflated. In some offroad conditions a slightly lower PSI then what the manufacturer recommends might improve your traction and accessibility in some terrain. By doing this it allows more flexing for the tire and gives/more traction.

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A smart habit to pick up is to check the tire pressure in your offroad wheelchair tires before any outing or a adventure. The air in the inner tubes slowly leaks out into the atmosphere. No matter what kind of environment or usage. If you're offroad or indoors on carpet best practice is to check your tire pressure weekly.

Most Tire pumps today a  accommodate both types of air valves. Presta and Schrader tire air valves.  An air pump should have a built-in pressure gauge so wheelchair tires can be inflated to proper specifications.

As a last line of defense wheelchair users should carry an extra spare inner tube for emergencies.

Changing the inner tube on a wheelchair can be a little difficult but with a few tools and patience it can be done. 

Wherever you may go offroad on your next wheelchair adventure. There is many options for offroad wheelchair tires hopefully this guide will assist you in choosing the best tires for your chair and terrain. 

Offoad wheelchair tire guide resources

www.sheldonbrown.com  

https://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/tires/yourtires-air

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/biking/best-mountain-bike-tireshttps://www.karmanhealthcare.com/determining-the-seat-width-for-a-wheelchair/Best Mountain Bike Tires On The Market | Review and Guidehttps://mountainbikereviewed.com/best-mountain-bike-tires-review-guide/

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