A wheelchair power cycle is an adaption that fits to most rigid frame wheelchairs, working on the same principle as an electric cycle with a powered front wheel but this one turns a manual wheelchair into a powered trike. I am able to offer a unique wheelchair power cycle review from the perspective of two disabilities, my own as a tetraplegic and my brother-in-law a paraplegic ( Long story and I’m not going to bore you with it)
I’m going to avoid filling your head full of the technical stuff such as weight, battery type, motor RPM etc and stick with the basics of what they’re like to use, are they safe and do they do what it says on the tin and as always at Mobility Shopper reviews we will tell you any good points as well as the bad points and leave you with contacts to find out more based on our findings.
How Does the Viper Power Cycle Work?
This part is rather ingenious, a docking station is fitted under the seat of your rigid framed wheelchair (not able to be fitted to folding wheelchairs) which allows the motorised front wheel and handlebars to connect to your wheelchair, the really clever part is when fully locked in place the two front wheels of your wheelchair are raised off the ground and your wheelchair is now a powered trike operated by a 9Ah Li-ion (sorry, a bit of technical stuff) battery that should take you about 10 miles and give you access to a rougher terrain than your standard wheelchair can’t normally manage such as woodlands, grassy areas such as boot sales and festivals and generally offer more freedom to do everyday things such as countryside walks with the dog and the rest of the family.
Viper Power Wheelchair Tetraplegic Users Review
The power wheelchair that I purchased had “quad bars” fitted, these are push to break handlebars that allow the user with less grip to be able to brake safely by simply pushing the handlebars forward, these worked well and removed the worry of struggling with conventional lever type breaks.
Once fitted the powerful motor will accelerate your wheelchair relatively fast and while this is brilliant fun you do need to have a reasonable level of upperbody strength and movement. One thing to note is because the Viper is front wheel drive there are certain terrains that would cause the front wheel to lose traction ie: steep hills and gravel paths, the result being that the front wheel spins. As a tetraplegic I was unable to lean forward to put weight over the front wheel to try and give it some traction on upward hills. I tried fitting a larger tread front tyre and even deflating the tyre slightly but neither were very successful.
Viper Power Wheelchair Paraplegic Users Review
My brother-in-law spotted the trike in my garage while down on holiday from sunny Scarborough, he rarely uses a wheelchair and manages to walk most places with the use of sticks but suddenly this “ I won’t be seen dead in a wheelchair” guy is begging me to let him try the Viper.
Unlike me he has greater upper body strength, was able to attach and detached the motor section with ease and while he was able to overcome most of the front wheel grip issues by putting a great deal of his weight over the front wheel he did have the advantage of being able to propel himself up hills manually when it became too much of a problem.
In short he loved the freedom, speed and acceleration of the Viper so much that when he went home I sent him home with the Viper as a present.
Viper Power Wheelchair Conclusion
My own personal conclusion was that my tetraplegic disabilities meant that I struggled with fitting the motorised front wheel and was unable to do this alone and because of the issues with the front wheel losing grip and the fact that I live on a hill the Viper Power Wheelchair was not really for me. That doesn’t mean that it’s not for you but what I would strongly suggest is if you do not have relatively good upper body strength you contact the company that makes them and arrange to try before you buy.
As for my brother in law he absolutely loves it and has been running it now for just over four years on the same battery and hasn’t had a problem.
The Viper Power Wheelchair is sold by a company called Team Hybrid ltd and is run by a wheelchair user called Mark Higgon. To find out more including price, availability and have any questions that you may have answered give Mark a call on (0)1329 832068.
The Viper Power Cycle should not be confused with a previous wheelchair power trike made by a dubious and thankfully now no longer trading company called PDQ that produced the PDQ Power Trike, there are still some of these floating about on eBay and my advice is to avoid them and go for the far better quality and less likely to break down on you Viper Power Cycle.