Good Thinking

Wheelblades mini wheelchair skis for snow and ice

Wheelblades mini wheelchair sk...
Wheelblades help prevent the front wheels from sinking
Wheelblades help prevent the front wheels from sinking
View 7 Images
Wheelblades also work with stroller wheels
1/7
Wheelblades also work with stroller wheels
Wheelblades help prevent the front wheels from sinking
2/7
Wheelblades help prevent the front wheels from sinking
Wheelblades have a channeled base that keeps them straight and steady
3/7
Wheelblades have a channeled base that keeps them straight and steady
Wheelblades work with a range of wheel sizes
4/7
Wheelblades work with a range of wheel sizes
Wheelblades are designed to install quickly and easily
5/7
Wheelblades are designed to install quickly and easily
To install you pull the front wheels up
6/7
To install you pull the front wheels up
Secure the locking clamp and you're ready to face the snow and ice
7/7
Secure the locking clamp and you're ready to face the snow and ice

When the going gets snowy and slick, people turn to snowshoes and ice cleats to get them over wintery ground. Those in wheelchairs don't have quite as many simple options. Essentially mini skis that lock onto the front wheels of a wheelchair, Wheelblades are designed as an easy-to-use solution that aid traction and give a little extra oomph through snow, ice and slush.

Like a snowshoe does for the person wearing it, the Wheelblades spread the weight over a greater surface area. Instead of slipping and sinking, the front wheels float and glide. A pair of channels on the base of the ski compress the snow, which increases stability.

Swiss inventor Patrick Mayer, himself a quadriplegic, designed Wheelblades out of his own desire to make getting around in winter less of a chore. Mayer's condition was caused by a snowboarding accident, and as a snow lover, he was disheartened by the difficulty of getting around during the winter months. Unable to find an affordable, easy-to-use winter mobility aid, he designed his own. Upon constructing a solution that met his needs, Mayer decided he should get the Wheelblades to market for other wheelchair users.

To install you pull the front wheels up
To install you pull the front wheels up

Wheelblades use a clamp lock to secure to the wheels. They are designed to be installed within minutes by raising the wheelchair up on its primary drive wheels, lowering the front wheels on top and closing the clamp on the binding. The binding fits a variety of wheel sizes.

In addition to wheelchairs, Wheelblades will also work with strollers, providing extra mobility for mothers and fathers taking their child out on a winter walk.

Of course, like any mobility device, Wheelblades have their limitations. You obviously won't be able to plow through snow of all all depths and distances, and Mayer suggests pairing the blades with winter tires on the main wheels for the best results. The website also warns against going at speeds over 10 km/h (6.2 mph).

Wheelblades are available for pre-order with deliveries scheduled to begin in October, just in time for winter in Europe. The retail price is €87 each /€174.00 per pair (about US$112/ 224 as of publishing).

Source: Wheelblades

4 comments
Slowburn
It would work better if the wheel stuck through the ski just a little bit to be compatible with any surface.
Bill Bennett
Slowburn, yes it would, but, bad idea, then it would have to mount to the axle shafts of the wheel, have to come in different sizes for different wheel sizes and be a pain in the rear to install, going for a walk, yep got wrenches with me, or add rollers on the frame so the wheel could be exposed and cost three times as much
Gadgeteer
Agreed with Slowburn. These might be good on the ski slopes, but useless on city streets where surfaces may alternate between packed snow, loose snow, ice, slush, shoveled concrete sidewalks and plowed asphalt.
Pikeman
re; Bill Bennett You would only need to install the slotted skis once a season at most.