'Better' Wheelchair And Bike Wheel Gives Users Jostle-Free Ride Down Stairs, Curbs, And Even Off-Road
The Acrobat wheel automatically responds to changes in the terrain. Under standard conditions, the wheels suspension remains static. But when going over a bump or a stair, three compression cylinders in each wheel absorb the shocks that would normally be sent to the rider. The Acrobat wheel has a so-called "selective" suspension mechanism that acts only when the rider encounters an impact above a certain threshold, which riders can set according to their own requirements, readjusting when necessary, according to the SoftWheel website. The wheel's hub, attached to three spokes which are on springs, shifts from the center long enough to provide a cushion that absorbs and lessens the impact, allowing the wheelchair to go over curbs and stairs with ease.
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Once the rider travels over the obstacle, the hub automatically shifts back to the center of the wheel, and the wheel regains its rigidity and responsiveness. The shift back is smooth and seamless, according to SoftWheel. "It is the wheel that absorbs most of the shock generated by impact rather than the chair or the user's body," according to the Softwheel website.
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