January 16, 2006

Badass Wheelchairs


As I narrate the world for the kid, I've always been particular to point out and explain wheelchairs to her; what better time for her to identify with someone in a rolling chair than when she's riding in one herself, I figure. Anyway, that, and my own gear fixation, led me to notice years ago that wheelchairs mostly seem to suck and look bad. They were necessary evils that people had to put up with, constant reminders of a life changed and compromised. To an obviously lesser degree, strollers are like that, too.

So I'm stoked and a little jealous to see these sweet, high-performance wheelchairs from Lasher Sport, an Anchorage-based custom manufacturer. Lashers find design and functional inspiration just where you'd want them to: in mountain bikes and choppers, not tool carts and hospitals. The all aluminum frames feature insane cutouts--like the flames on the new BT-Tribal; and check out the wheels and the punchouts on the BT Ballistic. But with its frog-stance front wheels specially mounted to avoid the always annoying offroad "'face plant' issues," the BT-Trail gets the title: the Bugaboo of Wheelchairs.

Except, of course, that every Lasher is custom-made from scratch to its owner's specifications--and they have a base price of around $5,000. Which makes them the Six Bugaboos of Wheelchairs.

Lasher Sport, premium wheelchairs and sports equipment
[lashersport.com via ap]


It's nice to see you expanding the scope your reviews. I'll be sure to come here first in 30 years when I'm buying my first walker.

Cannonade made a short lived run of wheelchairs seven or so years ago. For some reason the line was abandoned before it really got off the ground. They had plans for a whole line of chairs for everyday use thru competitive racing and they were to be sold in the bike shops along with their bicycles.

Wheelchair fetish? You're in for some fun. My girlfriend's Per4Max Shockwave weighs in at 18lbs with wheels - only a bit heavier than the kid's Bugaboo and way cooler. Take a look at the Quickie titaniums. Check out the ti-lites. Take a ride round the Colours wheelchair site. There are some fabulous chairs out there. (Thanks fo the Lasher link.) It's a pity that insurers often won't pay for the chair that's best for the user. Wheelchairs don't have to be "constant reminders of a life changed and compromised." Wheelchairs (if they're well-designed and effective and match the user's needs) are the means people use to get round and have the life they want. My girlfriend's chairs enable her to work, socialize, parent, live and love. Deciding to use one was a hard but excellent decision.

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