Outdoors

The Rig is made for wheelchair users who wanna rough it

The Rig is made for wheelchair...
Its makers describe The Rig as being "Not a Wheelchair"
Its makers describe The Rig as being "Not a Wheelchair"
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Cambry and Zack Nelson, with their creation
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Cambry and Zack Nelson, with their creation
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Seen here carrying a regular wheelchair, The Rig is being manufactured in partnership with Utah Trikes
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Seen here carrying a regular wheelchair, The Rig is being manufactured in partnership with Utah Trikes
The Rig's steering handles fold back for easier rider access
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The Rig's steering handles fold back for easier rider access
Its makers describe The Rig as being "Not a Wheelchair"
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Its makers describe The Rig as being "Not a Wheelchair"
The Rig's rear chain-drive system
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The Rig's rear chain-drive system
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Just because someone has limited mobility, does that mean they should be limited to traversing smooth pavement? Not according to husband-and-wife team Zack and Cambry Nelson, who are now marketing their off-road motorized "wheelchair."

Known as The Rig and made mainly from bicycle parts, the vehicle was initially developed by Zack to help Cambry take part in their outdoor adventures.

It features an aluminum frame with detachable bumpers, a padded adjustable seat, a 1,000-watt ebike motor linked to the rear axle by a chain drive, dual steering handles, front hydraulic disc brakes, plus 4-inch-wide fatbike tires on each of its four wheels. Front and rear independent suspension is an optional extra, as is a second lithium battery for added range.

The whole thing measures 5 ft long by 32 inches wide by 41 in tall (1,524 by 812 by 1,041 mm), and tips the scales at a claimed 120 lb (54 kg) – that's with the suspension package, and a single battery. One charge of that battery should reportedly be good for a range of 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km), depending on usage and rider weight. The Rig has a maximum payload capacity of 225 lb (102 kg), and a top speed of 12 mph (19 km/h).

Seen here carrying a regular wheelchair, The Rig is being manufactured in partnership with Utah Trikes
Seen here carrying a regular wheelchair, The Rig is being manufactured in partnership with Utah Trikes

It should be noted that the electronics are not waterproof, so the vehicle should only be used in dry conditions. And while it can't accommodate a second passenger in the back, it does have a cargo-mounting system that allows gear such as camping supplies, a cooler or a conventional wheelchair to be brought along for the ride.

The Rig is now available for pre-order in a choice of seven frame colors, with prices starting at US$4,750. For reference, some other electric off-road wheelchairs we've seen are priced at $10,000 or more.

Shipping is planned to take place in November. You can see The Rig in action, in the following video.

Source: Not-a-Wheelchair

This is 'Not a Wheelchair' - Introducing The Rig

View gallery - 6 images
4 comments
michael_dowling
Nice,but I don't like that it is RWD. Should be FWD. I used to drive a RWD car,and got stuck in snow every winter at least once. Driving FWD for the last 25 years,I haven't been stuck once. The wheelbase is a bit narrow,and users could tip in some situations,so a lower seating arrangement might help.
Karmudjun
There are issues with any drive mechanism - you should never be hiking or trekking anywhere solo in wilderness areas but I don't think anyone cautioned Jim Bridger or Jim Bowie about exploring solo. I am glad to see another alternative for those no longer ambulating to experience nature first hand even if it requires innovative technology. Personally I'd prefer horseback as a means of exploring nature - but I grew up riding so I'd just be happy riding through horse friendly trails now that I am handicapped. The price is a little steep to start with for a limited usage item, and Michael_Dowling has a point about the seat height - if the center of gravity is too high, tipping is an issue. If the trail is wet or the soil loose, sliding downhill would also be an issue. But innovation leads to refinements - who knows it may be the best thing for the wheelchair confined nature lover yet!
Islandboy
Interesting. What advantage will this have over an adapted Quad Bike? Regards,
ljaques
Very cool. Compact and much more portable than a quad, and the price isn't too awfully bad, with others running upwards of twelve grand. (Ripchair, Tomahawk, TerrainHopper, etc) Even standup wheelchairs are godawrul @$13k. Then again, with a friend and a workshop...