What are MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear manual wheels?

They are a new, patented geared technology for manual wheelchairs. They are wheelchair wheels with a geared hub that provides a 2:1 mechanical advantage combined with an automatic hill-holder. They are great for climbing hills, ramps, curb cuts, or door thresholds. Unlike power assist wheels, MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels have no batteries and no motors. You only use the geared technology when you need it, engaging it with a simple click of the hub. The remainder of the time your wheelchair works similarly to how it does with conventional wheels installed.

How do the 2-gear wheels work?

The MAGICWHEELS®2-gear manual wheels is completely mechanical; there are no motors or batteries. They have a built-in mechanical gear system, like a bicycle, except that the teeth of the gear are on the inside. The unique gear system is called a hypocycloidal drive. This design permits the gears to be placed inside the hub and around the axle, and provides the automatic hill-holder function that can be overridden by pulling back on the handrim.

When in low gear, for each time the handrim goes around twice, the wheel goes around once. This 2:1 ratio enables you to use half the effort for both climbing and braking. On flat surfaces, you simply click out of gear and return to standard 1:1 operation. After a little practice, gear selection becomes intuitive and automatic.

What materials are used in making the 2-gear wheels?

The 2-gear wheels utilize the latest in carbon fiber technology to produce a very strong, lightweight wheel. The carbon fiber is protected from damage from a flat tire by a protective high-strength aluminum rim. It is also protected from scratches and ultraviolet light by a polyurethane coating, similar to that used on cars. Interior parts are composed of stainless steel, high-strength aluminum, and engineering plastics such as Kevlar and Isoplast. Interior wear parts, such as precision gears, bearings and clutches, are composed of hardened high-strength steel for a long trouble-free life.

Will MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels fit my wheelchair?

Our 2-gear wheels will easily adapt to fit most manual wheelchairs. Please consult our web site, www.magicwheels.com, for a detailed list of wheelchairs that need adaptors. If your wheelchair is not listed, please contact Magic Wheels, Inc. at 1-866-624-4294 (1-866-MagicWh) for an evaluation of what is needed to fit the wheels to your particular wheelchair.

Do the 2-gear wheels add width to my wheelchair?

Usually, the 2-gear wheels with standard handrims will not add any width to your wheelchair. There are some situations, however, where the wheels must be moved outward a small amount to allow clearance for items on your wheelchair such as armrests. There are also a few situations where the 2-gear wheels are slightly wider than the wheelchairs’ conventional wheels, and without modification may add about 3/8” to the width of the wheelchair.

If you do choose the dual handrim option, there will be a very small increase in the width of your chair. The wheel’s concave shape does permit the recessed placement of the second 16” x 1” hand rim, but compared to conventional spoked wheels, this configuration adds 3/4” to the overall width of the wheelchair.

Will the 2-gear wheels add weight to my wheelchair?

The MAGICWHEELS® geared technology will add about 5 pounds to each wheel (or about 10 pounds total added weight) compared to conventional spoked wheels.

Does the 2-gear drive have a Quick Release Axle?

Yes, the 2-gear wheels use a standard push-button quick release mechanism. A bolt-on method is optional.

Can I use my conventional wheels with MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels?

The 2-gear wheels are interchangeable with conventional wheelchair wheels. They have a quick release axle design similar to the conventional wheels. Usually, the 2-gear wheels will install to the wheelchair so that no width is added compared to conventional wheels.

One unique case is where MAG (Molded Plastic Wheels), or ultra-light wheels such as Spinergy, are used. Because of the hub design on these wheels, the axle receivers are adjusted outwards, and installation of the MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels will make the wheelchair slightly wider. The two sets of wheels may be used interchangeably, but when using the 2-gear wheels, about ¾ inch in overall width will be added to the wheelchair. If you choose to no longer use the ultra-light wheels, the axle receiver may be permanently adjusted so that the installation of the 2-gear wheels provides no added width.

What are the main advantages of the 2-gear wheels?

Climb with ease
Similar to bicycle technology, engaging low gear gives added capability to ascend inclines and negotiate uneven terrain.

Proven to reduce shoulder pain by over 55%
An independent government-funded clinical study showed a dramatic reduction in pain throughout the 20-week study.1

Automatic hill holding with override in low gear
There’s no need to worry about rolling backwards on a steep grade, because the unique properties of a hypocycloidal drive permit us to include an automatic hill-holding clutch. When in low gear, you can take your hands off the handrim and not roll backwards. If you do want to reverse, or turn around on a grade, simply push back on the handrim and the automatic hill-holding will be temporally overridden.

Low gear provides increased downhill control
Just like a car on a steep hill, put your 2-gear wheels in gear and on a steep grade to assist in downhill control. Because of the 2:1 mechanical advantage of the hypocycloidal drive, 50% less force is required for braking.

1 “Finley, M.A., Rodgers, M.M. “Effect of 2-Speed Geared Manual Wheelchair Propulsion on Shoulder Pain and Function.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Vol. 88, December 2007, pgs 1622-1627.

What is the difference between Wijit® and the 2-gear manual wheels?

In the Wijit lever drive system for wheelchairs, you propel the wheelchair by pushing on the levers in place of the handrims. This lever drive system is a one-speed drive which gives you a slightly greater than 1:1 drive speed when you push on the ends of the levers. You may shift between forward, neutral, and reverse, using a knob on the end of the lever, but there are not multiple speeds. The levers may be stored in a rearward position when necessary. Wijit does not have a built-in hill-holder with override as a part of its system.

MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear manual wheels is more similar to conventional wheelchair wheels, in that you control the wheelchair with the handrims. The 2-wheel drive has a built-in mechanical gear system in the wheels’ hub, much like that of a bicycle. You use this system only when you choose, by shifting into low gear. Because of the geared hub, the 2-gear wheels have 2 speeds, 1:1 and 2:1, and a built-in hill-holder in 2:1 speed.

What is the difference between power assist and MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels?

Power assist wheels add an electric motor to the center hub of the wheels on your wheelchair. When you push, the electric motor adds energy, which effectively gives you a stronger push. When the system is turned on, these motors are always helping you.

The 2-gear wheels do not have electric motors or the batteries needed to power them. There is a built-in mechanical gear system in the wheels’ hub that allows you to change to a lower gear ratio, much like that of a bicycle. Most of the time your wheelchair works the same as with conventional wheels, but when you want additional help, the lower gear is there, ready to help you. The weight of the 2-gear wheels is substantially less than that of power assist wheels, and you do not have to charge batteries or worry about them running down.

What handrim options are offered on the MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels?

Currently, a total of 21 handrim options are available on the 2-gear wheels. For example, you could use a 21” aluminum handrim, or you might prefer a 16” vinyl-coated handrim. There are 12 options available if you choose to upgrade to dual handrims, available at a slightly higher price. The 2-gear wheels may also be fitted with projection handrims or Natural Fit tm handrims, also available at a slightly higher price. Further details may be found on www.magicwheels.com.

What is meant by “dual handrims”, and how are they an advantage?

Dual handrims means that you can have two gears, and four speeds
As an additional feature on the 2-gear wheels, you can choose to upgrade to a dual handrim configuration. This includes the familiar 21” diameter handrim available in anodized aluminum, vinyl, or foam, with a 3/4” or 1” diameter tube. This is set up just like a conventional wheelchair handrim and is often used for getting started and downhill braking.

The second handrim is 16” in diameter. The ratio of the 16” rim to the 24” diameter wheel is 2:3. This ratio provides increased speed. The 16” x 1” diameter tube handrims are available in anodized aluminum, vinyl, or foam.

By using the two hand rims in combination with the two gears you effectively have a total of four speeds. Additional hand rim combinations are available to meet special needs.

Can I use MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels if I have limited arm strength?

In most cases, yes, you can. If you are currently self-propelling a manual wheelchair, the 2-gear wheels should work fine for you. The 2-gear wheels are designed with a simple and easy shifter for users with either full or limited hand and arm strength.

Are the 2-gear wheels tested before purchase?

Yes, they are. First, each set of wheels is manufactured in accordance the FDA GMP (Food and Drug Administration Good Manufacturing Practices). Then each wheel is inspected to strict Magic Wheels Quality and Assembly Standards. Finally, testing is performed on each wheel. All wheels are test-driven on an actual wheelchair, then they are machine tested on a 5 degree hill with a 230 pound weight for 2000 cycles. Only wheels that have passed these stringent test standards will be allowed to ship to you.

Extensive clinical trials at the University of Maryland’s Department of Physical Therapy and rugged structural and endurance qualification testing at the University of Washington’s Materials Science Labs were accomplished on the 2-gear wheels before sales were started in early 2006.

Does the 2-gear wheels come with a Guarantee?

Yes, it does. The 2-gear wheels have a 5-year Limited Warranty. This warranty covers any defects in materials and workmanship on all working components, excluding tires, tubes and misuse. You can find a copy of the Limited Warranty on our web site, www.magicwheels.com.

How much do the 2-gear wheels cost?

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a set of MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels, including standard tires, a standard handrim configuration, and an adaptor to fit the wheels to your wheelchair (if needed) is $4995.00 U.S. dollars.

Why is the 2-gear wheels so expensive?

The 2-gear wheels are a precision mechanical device, designed and manufactured to high standards of reliability and performance. Minimum weight is a critical design factor, as are strength and durability. In order to meet or exceed the design standards, many components are manufactured from special high strength materials. For example, the wheel itself is made from a carbon fiber composite much like modern aircraft, Formula One race cars, high performance bicycles and racing yachts. Inside the hub is a precision gear system made of extremely high strength materials. The use of these exotic materials allows us to manufacture a lightweight, long-lasting, maintenance-free wheel that will not add width to the wheelchair with standard handrims, and still provide you with a 5-Year Limited Warranty.

Where can I purchase MAGICWHEELS® 2-gear wheels?

Please contact your local provider or our local sales representative (representatives are listed on our web site at www.magicwheels.com). You may also contact us directly at 1-866-624-4294 (1-866– MagicWh).