Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Man Designs An Off-Road “Wheelchair” So That His Wife Can Go Places She Never Imagined, It’s Now Up For Mass-Production
471points
119.8K
People, Product Design

Man Designs An Off-Road “Wheelchair” So That His Wife Can Go Places She Never Imagined, It’s Now Up For Mass-Production

Cambry has been restricted to the pavement for most of her adult life. She’s paralyzed and gets around in a wheelchair. So, trying to help her go more places, her then-boyfriend Zack Nelson spliced together two electric bikes with a seat in the center. And it worked. Cambry said she experienced a whole new level of freedom with it. Not only could she overcome — or should I say, overdrive — obstacles that seemed impossible before, she could do miles without her shoulders getting sore.

Fast forward a year, Cambry and Zack are married and they’re starting to mass-produce the vehicle they call ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’. Throughout that time, the couple built upon the original design, making it a reliable off-roader.

More info: notawheelchair.com | YouTube

Image credits: zacksjerryrig

Here’s their video introduction of the off-roader

According to the couple, when choosing an adaptive off-roader, people have a few options but basically, but they either cost as much as a car or are super slow. So they put their heads together to try and build something that’s quick and light with a super long range. But getting it done wasn’t easy.

“The toughest challenge when developing ‘Not-A-Wheelchair’ is the price. We wanted to create something that is affordable for everyone. Finding quality components, and a simple enough design at the cheapest price possible took quite a bit of time,” Zack told Bored Panda. “But I think we have something now that everyone will be able to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost of other ‘off-road wheelchairs’ currently on the market.”

Image credits: notawheelchair

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is definitely not an indoor machine, so Cambry still uses her normal wheelchair for inside their home but any time she and Zack go to the park, or on a hike, she jumps in The Rig. “Its silent, which means that we can all still talk and chat while she rides next to the group,” her husband explained.

During these trips, ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ really showed what it’s capable of. “We have taken The Rig to Hawaii twice for testing. The bike has to be shipped with a freight company before we go, but we ship The Rig about a week before we fly out ourselves, and it’s waiting there for us when we arrive. All this travel was before COVID was a thing. Luckily, we also live near mountains and snow with long wide flat trails to try the bike out on.”

There are currently about 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States. The powered and manual mobility market globally is projected to grow exponentially due to aging baby boomers and increasing longevity, so special needs vehicles should become only more and more important. However, Zack wanted to remind everyone that ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is just a bike, with all the normal maintenance and issues that come with a bike. “It’s not a fine-tuned, polished, medical device.” That being said, the couple is very happy with it and hope other people will also enjoy it as much as they have.

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is fully electric and super quiet

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

The accessible bike can go 12mph

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

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)

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

“Our whole goal is to provide something that is capable and affordable”

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

It has a rear rack mounting system to hold wheelchairs, coolers, camping gear, or a picnic basket

Image credits: notawheelchair

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ was constructed using bike parts, so maintenance and repairs are really easy

Image credits: notawheelchair

It has an aluminum frame, detachable bumper, and four-inch off-road bike tires

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

With the bumper off, ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is 5 feet long and 32 inches wide

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Which makes it fit in shortbed pickups with the tailgate up and also Jeeps and Subaru Outbacks

Image credits: JerryRigEverything JerryRigEverything

And can get through most doorways

Image credits: notawheelchair

Even though it handles most places pretty well

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

But it can struggle with loose sand or loose snow, as a bike would

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

The recommended weight limit is 225lb

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

And the base model with no suspension and one battery costs $3,750

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: JerryRigEverything

Image credits: notawheelchair

Image credits: notawheelchair

Image credits: cambrykay

Here’s what people said about the couple and ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’

Share on Facebook
Popular on Bored Panda
Start the discussion
Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

"For His Then Girlfriend" - "Fast forward a year, Cambry and Zack are married". And here I was thinking "then girlfriend" was a nicer way of saying "ex-girlfriend" :)

Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

Now I wish BP would stop updating the articles :D

Load More Replies...
Emily Softley
Community Member
1 year ago

I would love one of these. To be able to get out into the hills again and do walking trails is high up on my want list. Regular wheelchairs just aren't friendly to any form of 'off-road'.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh, you can already get off-road wheelchairs. I know someone who has one made by a company called Trekinetik - or something similar to that. The design of this one looks a wee bit cumbersome though it would be very stable. They aren't cheap - kiss goodbye to three to four grand but they do exist.

Load More Replies...
Celeste Grant
Community Member
1 year ago

As a wheelchair user this makes me cry. I totally understand the wish to get to places you simply can't in an ordinary wheelchair. I'd love to go on the beach or walking with my partner in the countryside but it's impossible. This looks like a really practical solution to the problem.

Load More Comments
Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

"For His Then Girlfriend" - "Fast forward a year, Cambry and Zack are married". And here I was thinking "then girlfriend" was a nicer way of saying "ex-girlfriend" :)

Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

Now I wish BP would stop updating the articles :D

Load More Replies...
Emily Softley
Community Member
1 year ago

I would love one of these. To be able to get out into the hills again and do walking trails is high up on my want list. Regular wheelchairs just aren't friendly to any form of 'off-road'.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh, you can already get off-road wheelchairs. I know someone who has one made by a company called Trekinetik - or something similar to that. The design of this one looks a wee bit cumbersome though it would be very stable. They aren't cheap - kiss goodbye to three to four grand but they do exist.

Load More Replies...
Celeste Grant
Community Member
1 year ago

As a wheelchair user this makes me cry. I totally understand the wish to get to places you simply can't in an ordinary wheelchair. I'd love to go on the beach or walking with my partner in the countryside but it's impossible. This looks like a really practical solution to the problem.

Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda