Travel Wheelchairs

Portable Wheelchair With a Difference

Portable WheelchairYou probably know this type of wheelchair — it’s light, with small wheels, and designed to fold up fairly compactly for travel. At the Guggenheim Museum in New York last month I met a woman in a similar chair, but with a difference — hers had gears attached to the sides so that she could propel the chair herself.

She was delighted to talk about the chair, which was an old Convaid model, now discontinued. She’d used it for years, and still loved it — it did everything a travel chair does, but also gave her the autonomy everyone wants.

Research on AbleData suggests that the model is the Convaid Compax Self-Drive (” . . . has a self-propulsion mechanism consisting of two plastic- coated handrims located on either side of the chair above the rear wheels and a positive belt drive connecting the rims to the rear wheels . . .”), discontinued, apparently, in 2004.

So the question is, why was it discontinued? Anyone out there have any idea? Anyone else have any experience with it?