Many people rely on wheelchairs to get around. There are around 2.7 million wheelchair users in the US. While they obviously serve a crucial purpose, there’s one problematic aspect – standard wheelchairs are restricted to sidewalks. This means that those wanting to get to a wide variety of off-road locations are hugely restricted by this. Not to mention that using a wheelchair across long distances can make your shoulders sore.
But one man, Zack Nelson, has come up with an incredible solution. His wife, Cambry, is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair to get around, meaning she has been restricted to the sidewalk for most of her adult life.
Zack wanted to help her go more places, to find a way to give her a whole new level of freedom. So, he decided to build his very own. The couple wanted to create something that’s quick, light and has a long-range. Unsure if it was going to work, Zach spliced together 2 electric bikes, and built a seat in the middle. Incredibly, it worked!
The couple doesn’t call the creation a wheelchair at all, instead, they simply refer to it as The Rig.
The Rig, it’s available for purchase right now, but here’s why it’s so awesome. “Personally, I love my light blue Rig,” wife Cambry shared in a video demonstrating the product. “We’ve put over a thousand miles on it and it’s taken me places I never in a million years thought I could go, like on a hike to a waterfall in Hawaii or up a canyon on packed snow.”
Yes, it truly is a mode of transportation that is “off-road” and you can even customize it with your favorite color. The “not-a-wheelchair” is a “fully electric, super quiet, accessible bike that can go 12mph with a range of about 10-20 miles,” the website reads. This means it can be used on just about any terrain you can think of – snowy, rocky, even slippery.
Here’s their video introduction of the off-roader
‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is fully electric and super quiet
“We wanted to create something affordable and capable and I think we’ve done it,” Jerry shared in the description of his product video. “We hope it brings as many miles of happiness, adventure, and exploration to you as it has done for us. Designing an affordable bike that happens to be accommodating has taken us more than a year and a half. Of course, we plan on building and improving The Rig over the next few years. We welcome all suggestions for improvement.”
While safety is a top priority and the YouTuber has built The Rig with as many safety features as he could, he reminds all users to wear a helmet. If you’re looking to get one of your own, each “not-a-wheelchair” is $4,750 and you can purchase it here.
The accessible bike can go 12mph
It has a range of 10-20 miles with one battery, and 25-35 miles with two batteries (depending on terrain, the weight of the rider, and weight of the cargo)
“Our whole goal is to provide something that is capable and affordable”
It has a rear rack mounting system to hold wheelchairs, coolers, camping gear, or a picnic basket
‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ was constructed using bike parts, so maintenance and repairs are really easy
It has an aluminum frame, detachable bumper, and four-inch off-road bike tires
With the bumper off, ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is 5 feet long and 32 inches wide
Which makes it fit in shortbed pickups with the tailgate up and also Jeeps and Subaru Outbacks
And can get through most doorways
Even though it handles most places pretty well
But it can struggle with loose sand or loose snow, as a bike would
Image credits: JerryRigEverything