Things to Consider When Buying Tires
Before you buy new tires for your wheelchair, there are several things you should consider. How much do you use your chair? Do you prefer tubeless or tubed tires? What do you expect from the tire’s traction? The tires may be affordable, but they are certainly a long-term investment that you hope will last for quite a while.
It’s essential to begin your search by considering how you use your wheelchair on an everyday basis. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’ll encounter a variety of surfaces and conditions that can influence your choice. The build of the tire for these situations differs from one that you’ll need for indoor use.
Think about how often you have to replace tires and the reasons the purchase becomes necessary. If you get flats frequently, you should think about the cause whether it’s the type of product or the conditions of the places you travel.
You’ll find wheelchair tires in a variety of sizes, making measuring vital to ensure the proper fit. There are standard sizes but bear in mind the subtle differences between imperial and metric measurements. We strongly urge you to consult your owner’s manual to get the precise specifications. Also, verify the dimensions of the products to save you the hassle of a return.
Traction and the tire’s thread are crucial considerations no matter where you go in your wheelchair. The design of these mobility devices cuts down on the risk of tipping over but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.. That’s where your tires can provide some extra insurance and peace of mind that you won’t get hurt.
If you use public transportation, that presents another valid concern. About 80 percent of people using wheelchairs find it hard to use. A tire with decent traction can make driving onto ramps easier and less troublesome.
Ease of Use
The practicality of the tire is another consideration that deserves some thought. It can cover a wide range of issues from the installation to the removal to the routine maintenance that a particular tire requires to get the maximum value out of your purchase. It matters little if it’s you or someone else taking care of these things. Remember the point is to make getting around hassle-free.
Tubeless or Tubed
Tires With Tubes
Tubed or pneumatic tires are the standard choice. You’ll see them frequently with other kinds of transportation including bicycles. They require an inner tube of some type.
On the positive side, you can adjust the pressure to some degree so that more surface area of the tire meets the ground to provide better traction. Likewise, you can add more air for a faster glide across smooth floors. They are also less expensive, making them a practical choice if you’re on a budget.
On the downside, you’re more likely to get a flat with them. If you hit something hard, it can pinch the tube and cause it to tear.
The alternative is to go the tubeless route. The construction is entirely different. However, they offer several advantages beginning with fewer flat tires. You can keep them at a lower pressure which will give your traction a welcome boost. It’ll make it easier to handle corners too. And those little bumps along your path will feel like nothing with the added cushioning.
The disadvantages exist with installation and maintenance, both of which are more time-consuming and difficult. To keep it functioning correctly, the seal between the rim and the tire must remain intact. That means using sealant to keep it airtight. It’s also worth mentioning that these tires are usually more expensive.
There is one other option. That is, going with solid rubber tires instead. The clear-cut advantage is that you won’t get a flat tire because there’s no air to leak out of a puncture. They are typically cheaper too.
Of course, they are not without their cons. The biggest issue with them is marring floors and leaving skid marks that are next to impossible to remove. Most manufacturers use materials to prevent them with options to choose gray instead of black tires. The concern rests with the installation.
The problem lies with the fact that they often have a smaller diameter to give them the necessary bounce if you run into something or go over a rough surface. That makes these tires much more difficult to install and may require taking your wheelchair to a bicycle repair shop or auto mechanic to get the job done.
We suggest keeping all these factors in mind along with the other considerations we’ve discussed to help you choose the right one to balance your needs with the product’s usefulness and practicality.