Row­ing mo­tion for ‘fastest’ wheel­chair

The Witness - Wheels - - WHEELCHAIRS -

WIS­CON­SIN-BASED com­pany Rowheels has re­leased what it claims to be the fastest wheel­chair with the rider pulling up in­stead of push­ing down on the wheels.

The com­pany was co-founded in 2012 by Salim Nasser, a Nasa en­gi­neer, inventor and quad­ri­plegic who Pop­u­lar Me­chan­ics wrote has “rein­vented the wheel”.

“Us­ing Rowheels’s patented hub, REV-HX wheels turn 30% faster than the hand rim.

“This re­sulted in an ex­tremely re­spon­sive and quick set of wheels.

“From pop­ping a wheelie to turn­ing, HX wheels do it quickly,” the web­site states.

The patented plan­tary gear re­v­erse propul­sion sys­tem en­ables the rider to pull the arms up in a row­ing mo­tion in­stead of push­ing for­wards in a down­wards mo­tion.

Con­ven­tional wheel­chairs re­quire users to push the rims for­wards, re­quir­ing the use of smaller shoul­ders and arm mus­cles and caus­ing repet­i­tive stress in­juries.

The com­pany states on its web­site the Rowheels chair over­comes many of the short­com­ings and in­ef­fi­cien­cies as­so­ci­ated with stan­dard push propul­sion and does it with­out the need for bulky levers or heavy bat­ter­ies and mo­tors.

The pull propul­sion or rowheel­ing is proven to elim­i­nate forces that lead to shoul­der-re­lated in­jury and pain com­mon to over 50% of wheel­chair users and uses up to four times as many mus­cles as push­ing — most of them the larger and more ca­pa­ble mus­cles in the up­per back and shoul­ders — re­sult­ing in a more sta­ble and healthy shoul­der joint, the web­site ex­plains.

The sys­tem fits onto most wheel­chairs, and is avail­able in 22”, 24”, 25” and 26” wheel sizes and users will be able to chose be­tween a va­ri­ety of tyres, hand rims and hub cap colours.

Users will also be able to choose be­tween a va­ri­ety of tri-hub colours and graph­ics. • Rowheels is in the process of build­ing its provider/dealer net­work for its prod­uct line. If you are in­ter­ested in be­com­ing an au­tho­rised provider, con­tact Rowheels at


A model dis­plays the pulling-up in­stead of push­ing-down mo­tion in the lat­est wheel­chair from the U.S.

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