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Selecting a sports wheelchair - what to look for

There are many things to consider when you are looking for any wheelchair but even more considerations when buying a sports wheelchair. If you are in a position to buy a sports wheelchair purely for sport use then the criteria may be different than if you plan to use the new wheelchair for everyday use as well as for active sports. In addition to this other factors are your physical size and build and what you intend to use the sports wheelchair for.

Sports wheelchair specifications

Height and weight of the wheelchair user are important factors when choosing which wheelchair is right for you as it will affect seat height and depth. Propulsion is generally using hand rims although players of some sports will also use their feet to track backwards, which is where the seat height becomes important.

Another factor that affects things greatly is the users weight, heavier people will require a more robust frame made from stronger materials to withstand the harsh environment in which they may be used. Lighter users tend to have more scope as most sports wheelchairs will provide them with sufficient strength.

It is these materials that affect the cost of the sports wheelchair and in general lighter materials such as aluminium, composites or carbon fibre. Both the frame and wheels are specialist and this generally pushes the cost right up. Depending on your budget the features and quality will vary as will the performance of the sports wheelchair.

Another consideration is the type of sports you are interested in as this affects the frame design including frame angles and joint strengths. Typically, sports wheelchairs are designed for a specific sport so you will need to find a sports wheelchair that is designed for your chosen sport.

Where to purchase your sports wheelchair

Now that you have these factors in mind, you can figure out how you plan to purchase the sports wheelchair. Internet shopping is great and often saves time and money however you really want to be able to test ride the wheelchair prior to purchase. This will give you the opportunity to see if a specific model is the right one for you and if its not then the chance to try alternative models until you find a suitable solution. For this reason buying a wheelchair in a wheelchair or mobility shop is without doubt the best option.

There is, without doubt a real advantage to purchasing online as you will undoubtedly save money so perhaps a combination approach is good if at all possible whereby you try various wheelchairs out without obligation to buy and then make your purchase online. If you are fortunate, you may be able to see other folk using sports wheelchairs at clubs. It is always good to get other peoples opinions as their use will bring experience and their comments may be invaluable.

When purchasing online most sites offer free delivery, sometimes even next day. Otherwise the cost of shipping the wheelchair can add substantially. We offer free delivery on all wheelchairs and most are next day within the UK.

Used sports wheelchairs

Finally if your budget is restricted you can consider buying a used sports wheelchair. A good way to track one of these down is by monitoring adverts in the wheelchair sports leagues to see if anyone is selling a wheelchair that may be suitable. All the above considerations remain important but you may find that you might get a great deal on a quality sports wheelchair that suits you requirements. It is also a great opportunity to try the sport out to check it suits you before you spend your money. 

When shopping for a used sports wheelchair make sure you know the selling price of the wheelchair when it is purchased new. Be sure you don't pay too much for a used sports wheelchair. The condition of the used wheelchair is a consideration as well. You will want to check it out thoroughly for wear and tear and particularly frame condition paying attention to joints regardless of the materials used in the manufacture. By the nature of what they do, sports wheelchairs tend to get a hard time.