Picture the scene, 1.5 miles of footpaths and off-road surfaces,
one state of the art 'chair, family helpers
lovely weather and me, Denis, useless on
my legs and getting on
a bit. The mission for me was to check out the claims of the K-2, is
it what it says it is or
is it an expensive piece of art for
time was about to tell.
I'm fast approaching 58, I'm an ex-fire fighter who came of worse
when riding my bicycle when a car decided to get a really close
look me by hitting me head on, that was 12 years ago and 12
years ago was the last time I was able to 'walk' on these same
paths. One day a couple of months ago I saw someone using a
very strange looking wheelchair which put my nice blue four wheel
one into shame,I had to know more and aided by Google I
found the K-2.
Now I'm not one to spend money if I don't have to so I was
almost in a coma when I saw the price "How much? I can buy a car for
that", how on earth is it ever worth so much? You can talk about
carbon fibre and mono whatever construction until the cows come
home, lean and mean bar changing the camber and Dyna-Brakes,
but the true test is does it work? So I set off with my most
cycnical head on to
prove that the conservatory is where it
belongs, footpaths and muddy bridleways are for two
legged humanoids not the likes of me who've swapped legs for
For those of you who know central Lancashire I was at Rivington,
and I was attempting to go from the Rivington Primary School car
park to the Lower Barn thenup to the Top Barn, which would mean
muddy paths for around half
a mile then dry but lumpy footpaths
for half a mile up a steep climb to the Top Barn, then half mile
back down on
a stony bridleway. The test was set and I was
I had brought my family with me to push, pull and
the 'chair as it would almost certainly fail stranding
me somewhere cold and icy.
First things first, the 'chair looks good, I mean space age
good, it throws the old design books out of the window by only
having three wheels, meaning you are stable wherever you
are, it places the big wheels at the front,again obvious,
why this hasn't been done before is a mystery, the best inventions
are so obvious when you think about it!
I set off, and the first thing I noticed was how fast it
and how responsive it was, and using the brakes for steering
takes some practice or you'll make 360 degree turns without thinking
or planning to! It was easy to push the wheels around as you
are slightly behind the drive wheels, using of the powerful
chest muscles and pushing
instead of pulling upwards. Due
to the three wheel set up
it was always driving and never finding
I easily managed the first leg, in fact I had
while my family caught
Now the true test, half a mile upwards on unmade paths,
then .5 mile down a bumpy stony bridleway, something I
last did 12 years ago, I was confident in my strength but would
the 'chair deliver, would it prove it's worth or was it a
conservatory talking point? It went up the hill easily, the only
downside was my strength,it was no match for the 'chair by not
allowing me to experience the 'chair to it's utmost, the drive and
stabilty were fantastic.
I smiled as I went downhill after the climb, I also had
secret little cry as my mind was showing me the other
paths and bridleways I could use once again.
I read that it
works well on the beach, on mud, and across fields and I don't doubt
it. My cynical mind was firmly put in it's place, the 'chair works,
but is it worth the money?
In my opinion it's worth every penny,
my horizons have been fantastically widened and my smile put back
where it once was! Not withstanding that when using the road wheels
it really comes into it's own as the best ever 'chair for pavement
and town use.
Would I buy one, you bet, my order's in and my deposit paid.
This 'chair must be the easiest sell any salesman could make, it
sells itself, literally. my local dealer is 'All Terrain Mobility
Solutions' (Bolton ), when I went there I was loaned
a 'chair for a long weekend and told to use it wherever I could
get to, and I did, and it worked, no pressure, no salespatter, no
well rehearsed pitch. The one draw back is the 10-12 week waiting
time for delivery, I want one now, releasing my from my four wheeled
'chair into the best all terrain chair built anywhere by anyone.
Michele is a frequent world traveller. She uses her Trekinetic
K-2 extensively and as her everyday chair. Follow her
adventures, including what happened when her chair got damaged
by a careless airline in Canada, on her fantastic blog
Tip: Scroll back through all the older posts
(at bottom of
page) and start at the beginning. Then it will make more
There are also entries and comments from
other K-2 owner's here
|Peter, Jagu & Family, Goa,
|Bryan z Massachusetts,
Chair is amazing!!! No problems.
I'm so glad i went with my
gut and ordered one of your chairs. The chair showed up today and
looked like it had not been touched. Nothing damaged and everything
looks great. I've only had it for a few hours and can tell i'm going
to love it. I will be taking it up to the lake for the 4th of
July and really testing this puppy out. I really think this chair
will open options i thought before were out of the question. I can't
explain to you how happy mom and i are that we went with
|Paul (zapalony wedkarz) ze
w Meksyku i Barbados
Keith (mouth painting artist)
in Mexico and Barbados
See Keithâs work on
| Peter & Joan |
Peter and Joan are married with a young family.
Joan has MS and is mostly pushed
They live in Sussex, UK and opted
Joan â the Passenger
I suffer from MS. I was diagnosed in 2001 and I
been dependant upon a wheelchair for around 3 years.
was given my first wheelchair by the NHS Wheelchair
Chichester. I was offered a choice of standard wheelchairs.
I quickly became aware of the difficulties
associated with using traditional wheelchairs. When my husband,
Peter, who had been working abroad, saw and pushed the wheelchair
he was horrified and worked on effecting a change for the better
which (as I had seen what was available), I did not believe was
possible. Peter saw the Trekinetic wheelchair in John Bell
& Croyden, in London, gave me the leaflet and looked for a
distributor on the Internet. We made an
appointment and went up
to see the chair at Hewardine
in Egham, Surrey, our nearest
distributor. I ordered it immediately.
Luckily I had seen wheelchairs en masse before and
knew to stick to my guns as the dealers are very good at pointing
out everything else!But there was nothing like it.
the vision of where I wanted to go - the Cuckmere Valley â which
none of the other wheelchairs could do
as they all seem to be
built for shopping trips. We took delivery of the Trekinetic All
Terrain 2 months ago.
We sound like a high energy family
but only want to do the normal things that families do. We have two
sons Paul 14 and James 13. The most overwhelming things I have done,
which nearly made me cry were when my carer and I went for a walk
outside the back gate and were surrounded by trees on a country
track; on a walk with friends on the estate woods and fields; then
last week when we went to the Woodland Fair at Bentley Wildfowl
Trust near Lewes. We could never have roamed the fields and marquees
in a traditional chair. While there we talked to a spinal injuries
wheelchair user who highlighted his difficulties with traditional
I also get lots of compliments about the
chair. I find it very powerful to talk to other wheelchair users
about the chair and the possibilities it opens up for them as it has
already done for me. Being in a wheelchair shuts the door on
life, which the Trekinetic opens up
Peter â the Pusher
3 years ago I had not given the practical aspects of wheelchair
design a second thought. Necessity has forced me and our helper to
struggle with the shortcomings of wheelchair design. The small
wheels at the front continually
get caught in every minor
pothole in the pavement causing the chair to come to a sudden halt
which sends shudders through the arms of the pusher and is extremely
uncomfortable for the passenger. At times my wife has almost
been thrown out of the chair.
Gravel, cobbles, unmade up
tracks and roads present no problems for the Trekinetic â it has
opened up a whole new world for us. We can now go for country walks
and on the beach as a family. Before Trekinetic we either couldnât
go or would have to leave my wife behind. As the pusher I
the Trekinetic All Terrain much easier to control than a traditional
chair as it is light and glides along with the lightest touch. We
have just had the umbrella fitting added to the handles at the back.
This means that the umbrella keeps not only the passenger dry but
the pusher too.
Not only does the design and appearance of the
chair lift my wifeâs spirits, it makes me feel good too. I donât
feel I am pushing a disabled person anymore.
Tekinetic has done for wheelchairs what the
bike did for bicycles. We drive a large estate car â
a Saab 9.5 â although our other wheelchair folded
it occupied the whole boot space making it imposible
to carry the shopping or luggage. The Trekinetic fits
in a little more than half the available boot space. We have space
for the shopping or luggage or Spot
(our now happy Cocker
| Max z |
I like the design and how this reflects on the user
itâs not medical and it looks like Iâm someone
who cares about
the way things appear). Added to this,
it goes places which are
difficult to tackle in a traditional manual wheelchair.
It has made an incredible difference to my life.
enabled me to go places I wouldnât have
easily been able to go
otherwise â beaches, mud paths,
gravel drives, etc. It has also
enabled me to travel much
more easily â e.g. recently we went to
is full of cobbles and hills. Equally importantly,
it allows my personality to be expressed more accurately
(i.e. I transcend being âjust another disabled person
Max is an expert in marketing, with specialist
He heads 'Good the Agency'
| Sandy i John ze
Sandy and John live in the North East. Before Sandy
diagnosed with MS, they were both keen hill walkers.
new K-2 owner Sandy, told us she was going to go on an epic,8 day
trek, across the Great Glen Way Scotland, we were
The 75 miles, all off road and all
âunsuitable for wheelchairsâ
was not to be taken lightly. We
supplied them with spare inner tubes and a spare rear wheel, which
can be attached with cable ties. Despite an uncharted course for a
K-2, they completed it all on time and we would like to know whether
this is a first for a manual wheelchair.
They did have a puncture
to the rear tyre, caused by a stiff thorn, but that was easily
changed by John. That was the only real problem and now the K-2
permanently stays in their car, covered with mud awaiting the next
Here is a selection of pictures they sent
from their fantastic journey.
Fort William to Gairlochy - Gairlochy to S. Laggan
Ft Augustus to Invermoriston
Invermorrison to Drum â Drum to Inverness -
Drum to Inverness â The finish!
Well done Sandy and John, spectacular
| James z
The Trekinetic is an awful lot faster than a
standard wheelchair and a lot better once you get off paved surfaces
I'm always camping, fishing and kayaking and I'd never get to
some of the places I go without it. In a conventional wheelchair you
are always looking down at the ground, taking care to spot possible
obstacles such as stones or tree roots, but in the Trekinetic, you
don't need to bother.
The drum brakes are great for holding the chair back and steering
it when going downhill.
The chair is good at getting over kerbs, as well; with the large
wheels at the front, you don't need to use the "wheelie" technique
you would in a normal wheelchair to
get the small wheels over
It also helps break down a lot of barriers. People won't normally
approach someone in a wheelchair but everywhere you go in the
Trekinetic, it leaves a wake of turned heads and quite a few people
come up to ask you about it. At the Isle of Wight Festival last
year, I could hardly move because of the interest in it. I for one
wouldn't go back to using a conventional
| Simon z |
Having MS one of the several things I miss is being able to
walk any distance, especially in the country.
Having found this remarkable wheelchair by surfing the web
there are very few places I and my wife cannot now go.
For anybody like me with good upper body strength
wheelchair/mountain bike hybrid is ideal.
The other thing Iâve noticed is the amount of attention an
interest from able bodied people including comments about style, not
what you would normally expect.
As a lady I met the other day said she thought it was great
except there was nowhere to put a handbag.
The three wheel arrangement is remarkably agile even in reverse.
(Tested in John Lewis glass department at Bluewater )
It is as fun to use on firm sandy paths as it is chasing around
Ikea, not to mention the superb old quaysides of the Garonne in
Bordeaux, as the pictures.
Dealing with Mike Spindle is a real pleasure especially as when
doing my own adjustments and servicing he has always been extremely
Having seen the new GT-3 I have to admit it is very tempting
(Anyone interested in a low mileage K2
| Jane z
Travels with my Trekinetic
I have had my Trekinetic K-2for 7 months now
imagine life without it !
I have just returned from a 6 week trip to New
and Australia to visit family and friends and my
Trekinetic went too. I informed the airline of the
dimensions and weight and told them it did not fold (following
the advice from Trekinetic, that it was less
likely to get
damaged that way).
The day after we arrived in Auckland I went out in
and realised the Trekinetic's Dyna -Brake sysyem was
working correctly, so my husband had a look and
found one of the
brake levers had been slightly bent (presumably by airline staff and
despite the chair
having been covered in "fragile" stickers).
An email to Trekinetic, back in the UK had a prompt
reply and a few days later spare parts arrived which my
was able to fit . . . this was an amazing
service and I was so
grateful as otherwise my whole
holiday would have been ruined.
The Trekinetic went everywhere with me . . . from an
open-air picnic and concert, to the beach, rough tracks and a
whirlwind few days in Sydney (sorry no photos of me in front of the
Opera House as I was in the wheelchair and forgot to hand the camera
to my husband !)
It enabled me to go almost everywhere I
wanted and caused comment wherever we went. Often it is the young
people who remark . . ." cool wheels !" . . . or something similar,
and my 3 year old great-niece had races with me (which I had to let
her win !! ).
This was my first trip abroad since my accident 2
ago and having tackled a trip to the other side of the
world I now know that I can still travel and enjoy myself and
thanks to my Trekinetic I will not be confined to city streets.
Also here's some more pics of me
abit nearer (and colder) to
Coming trough the early morning mist
Using Trekinetic's Dyna-Brake system
to control my down hill
No pain no gain!
| Anita z
A person says: "Too much beauty in this picture;
but I love
each of its intriguing components".
Another one says:
"Sweet pup - Great to be
able to get around like that".
Having MS, one of the several things I miss is being
to walk any distance, especially in the country....
The K2 is a cool wheelchair, a new world opens!!
Also for our
We komen nu op plaatsen waar
een conventional (wheelchair)
rolstoel niet kan komen.
(We are now in places where a conventional
wheelchair can not come.
It's crazy ....)
The K2 is perfect!!
| Heidi z
Hello from Down Under!
Since breaking my back 5 years ago, I have looked high and
low for a chair capable of the lifestyle I lead. That is, I'm in to
extreme sports and the great outdoors. I spend my time between the
beach or in the bush, hacking through sand, mud and vegetation. Oh
and camping by a fire at night, again mostly in sand, this is
This machine has made my life hell of a lot
and my partner loves it to it's less hard work for
The great thing is that there's no castors at the
front to get in the way, it means I don't have to
the back wheels over everything.
It will pretty much go anywhere! - well within
Once you get the hang of the drum brakes you can
some awesome skids and spin going down hill on gravel.
Beware though, I have had some amazing and funny
everyone else) wipeouts!!.
| Dennis z Sydney,
Iâm Dennis Cooper â Iâm the Australian distributor for
Trekinetic and I also have a passion for skiing.
I thought it would be interesting to see how the new âwonder
machineâ performs on the snow and I think I'm
the first person
to try this, so you might find this interesting reading.
Three years ago (when I was walking), my wife and I, plus
the kids â (then aged 4 and 7); all left the slopes on the last day
as a skiing family â I was so proud, the kids looked so great. We
went again recently for my 61st birthday, this time for me to
sit-ski. I was a bit cautious at first and because I wanted to
sus things out, I didnât take my K2: I took my conventional
chair â âbig mistakeâ.
As soon as I got out the door and hit the snow
I was stuck. Couldnât move, forward or backwards and just
spun âtil my wife came to give me a push.
Day 2 and beyond.
I took the K2 and as soon as I got on
to the snow, the difference was immediately obvious and I didnât
even have Trekineticâs (currently under development) metal studded
snow tyres on!
I was independent once more.
So much so that as soon as I got on the snow
I just took off, I couldnât help it.
I was oblivious to everything except snowball fights with
the kids and racing around all over the place with lots of fast
turns and making tracks in the snow.
I was so into it that
I didn't notice behind me, at the meeting point for all the disabled
skiers who were all getting organized for their particular lessons,
gear, etc . . . and they were all staring at me wide eyed.
Obviously it caused quite a stir, not only
amongst the skiers but more so amongst the guides and instructors -
many of whom come from a snow environment or use it
frequently. My instructor, a Swiss female, was very keen to
get information for her and her counterparts, because she saw a
definite need for one 'back home'.
About Sit skiing
Sit skiing is hard at first, balance is
so critical. More so for me I think because although a
paraplegic I also have scoliosis with a pelvic twist, so I had to
pack foam wedges under one side of the seat. Thatâs the great thing
for me about the K2; is that because I donât have any waist muscles
and it has a moulded seat, I sit âinâ the chair
to floating âon top of itâ and, believe it or not, I have much less
pain at the end of the day.
The first day, even though I was on dual skis, I fell more than
30 times, but I didnât care, and by the second day
I was on a
mono ski and skiing on my own -
of course I raced the kids!
Speaking of racing the kids; I donât have a choice; weather we
are out on the grass, beach or snow; weather they are on their
bikes, scooters, skates or walking you know kids,
always the same. âCome on dadâ is all they say
and off we go!
Well, my conventional wheelchair is a dinosaur compared to
the K2. I liken it to when I had the use of my legs and used to come
home to my slippers, now thatâs how I view my conventional
wheelchair, great for in the house but not much use outdoors!
A large amount of organisations are mistaken in their
requirements, in that for a place to be âwheelchair accessibleâ or
âwheelchair friendlyâ for instance, requires only disabled parking,
no obstructions and a special bathroom. Unfortunately this view
is not one that is
truly shared by wheelchair users.
Obstacles and âhurdlesâ, not apparent to an able-bodied person,
such as - cracks in the pavement/potholes; hills, up or down;
anything that is not a flat, hard surface; grass; mud; roots;
gravel; pebbles; sand; silt; wet or slippery surfaces; ice and snow,
etc; all create great concerns to someone reliant on a wheelchair
mobility and who wants to avoid face plants at all
There is however, I am happy to announce, one wheelchair that
handles all theseobstacles easily and efficiently,
not only from
the users point of view; but that of the
carer (read âpusherâ)
point of view. Not only does it
handle these âhurdlesâ
superbly, but they provide a
natural and refreshing relief, with
less effort and by
also using a different set of muscles.
Wet, muddy soccer fields use to be a no-go zone before
my K2, now I can enjoy my family outings no
matter where we
After two years of establishing the Trekinetic K-2 here in
Australia, we are really starting to make inroads with this
revolutionary machine. It is really something you owe to yourself to
at least experience. If anyone in Australia
would like to do just
that, simply e-mail me on
and Iâd be delighted to let you try one of our
Be warned though - your
will feel strange, when you return to
| Reverend David w
In Septâ 1988 I had a car crash, broke my neck and
my back and was paralyzed from chest down for four years. I was
subsequently (and ironically) diagnosed with a degenerative spinal
condition which was inoperable â and even though I had eventually
gained the use of my legs, would very soon lose the ability to walk.
As most of my disabled friends have done, I ignored the consultantâs
prognosis of being wheelchair bound within a year and managed, with
a great deal of determination and no small amount of stubbornness,
to get about using crutches and walking sticks for another fourteen
The Taj Mahal
The Maharajas Palace, Jaipur
It was only in 2003/4 that I had to accept that
occasional use of a wheelchair was necessary and began to discover
that âone size fits allâ was not a suitable maxim! As an ex semi-pro
weight lifter and rugby player, I do not have, by any stretch of the
imagination, a svelte-like physique! My figure is what in more
elegant, (eloquent), genteel times, would have been referred to as
âportlyâ. Todayâs more no-nonsense, âcall a spade a spadeâ (or a
shovel) society, would simply label me as either âstockyâ if being
considerate, or chubby if not. As I gazed at my reflection in the
mirror, I remember with great clarity, a dietitianâs instruction to
me, that I should stand naked in front of a mirror and jump up and
down. âAnything that wobbles, that God didnât INTEND to wobble,
comes offâ! she gravely and somewhat alarmingly announced. I
now sit back, behind my desk, a comfortable 16.5 stone (I never did
manage to metricate myself!) and accept that the Good Lord made us
in all shapes, sizes and colours so who are we to try and change
Wheelchairs of various shapes and antiquarian
design were displayed to me with much aplomb . . . seemingly proud
of the utilitarian, depressing designs that gave no thought to
style, fashion or aesthetics!
The contraptions all shouted
âLook at meâ. I am a disabled personâ. I HATED them with a passion!
The restrictive, thin (and extremely hard) wheels were clumsy and
awkward to use; the lack of suspension meant every fragile bone in
my spine was jarred to the point of me screaming to stop! The
ridiculously impractical guide wheels at the front, refused to go
over the smallest stone or obstacle and the vinyl seat felt like a
rather cheap deckchair! And as for the institutional design . . .
Then, like Willy Wonka, opening the last golden chocolate
ticket, I found the Trekinetic website! I was traveling
to India in five weeks and to be honest, wasnât relishing the
prospect of managing with crutches alone. I spoke to Mike and then
to Errol (Trekineticâs West London agent) and within 48 hours, was
sitting in one of their chairs, taking my first tentative 'steps'
around their showroom.
In 2000 I was ordained a priest and
work in Southampton as a âCommunity Ministerâ. This involves
spending time with people sleeping rough, those with drug and
alcohol dependency, the homeless, sex workers, and the
disenfranchised. Access to inhospitable venues is often necessary
and crutches are not the easiest tool to help when one is trying to
squeeze down narrow alleyways in the dead of night!
is on the edge of the New Forest, a real joy for those who enjoy
outdoor pursuits, walking etc; The unadopted and rather pot holed
road that leads down to Southampton water (alongside my home) was
always a bit of a test of both endurance and temper! I live within
25 metres of a wildlife sanctuary and reserve which has always been
unavailable to me . . . conventional wheelchairs sank into the damp
woodchip paths and left me stranded within minutes.
Trekinetic isnât phased by such obstacles. With itâs wheels set to
splay (MEAN) and itâs off road tyres almost floating over the
surface, I managed to keep up with friends as we enjoyed the
pleasures of the open countryside. The chair deals admirably
with gravel, woodchip bark, cobble stones, ceramic floors, tarmac
(complete with obligatory pot holes!), compacted soil, slate shards
The ruins at Hampi
I have spent every autumn and winter in India for
the past 14 years. I was beginning to think that I would have to
sell up and return to the UK . . . India is not the most disabled
friendly country. Roads are full of ruts and pot holes, pavements
are uneven and badly maintained. The Trekinetic performed like a
real Star! It was dismantled innumerable times and thrown into train
baggage compartments, aircraft holds, taxi trunks (and frequently
left assembled and âdisplayedâ on the roof of taxis!) It has
trundled very contentedly across rough, stony paths surrounding the
magnificent ruins of Hampi; itâs sacheâd across the manicured lawns
outside the Taj Mahal; itâs wandered around in an almost dream like
state, through the rich decorations of the Maharajaâs Palace in
Jaipur and raced friends across the white sandy beaches of Goa, down
to the azure blue sea; itâs bumped and rattled over the 1,000 year
old cobbles of Cochinâs â famous Jewâs Street and endured incessant
honking of horns and shouts of abuse from bus drivers and taxis as
itâs rolled down roads in Mumbai and Delhi.
On the way home,
I was waiting at Bombay Airport and this tall, softly spoken
Scottish man came up to me and said "Wow, that's the first
Formula One wheelchair, I've ever seen" ! I didn't think too
much of it, one gets used to all kinds of comments regarding
Trekinetic. A little later, whilst talking to another âadmirerâ, he
happened to say âWhat did David Coulthard have to say about the
chair?!â I confess that my knowledge of Formula One stretches to
James Hunt, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss and of course the great hope
for British F1 the young Hamilton . . . so whether or not I
had been talking to the great man himself, I am not sure.
If however, it was you Mr Coulthard, may I suggest you
contact Trekinetic . . . I am sure they could do wonders in
revitalizing your Formula One ratings!!!
Wherever we (my chair and I) have gone, we have
turned heads . . . some questioning whether it is indeed a
wheelchair! I never imagined that something as prosaic as a
wheelchair could indeed become a fashion accessory, but I think that
is exactly what has happened to Trekinetic!!!!! This year my Indian
travels will be taking me to Mumbai, Kolkota, Chennai (Madras)
Pondicherry, Bangalore and Goa. I am not remotely phased by such an
itinerary.....my trusty Trekinetic will ensure that my disability
doesn't prevent me from what has of late become a passion - travel.
My partner and carer Tony is also looking forward to being able to
explore for more than twenty minutes at a time, (to allow for
'coffee/rest breaks') - it's more likely now that HE will need the
respite, rather than me!
DC at the office!
Sunset at Goa
The staff, Mike, Errol et alâ have all been
fantastic. They are not just manufacturers/retailers of a product .
. . they really CARE about their creation AND their customers. The
frequent newsletters/e mails and the occasional phone calls mean a
great deal (to me) and make a big difference. I return to India the
end of November (Mike and his team are âservicingâ my trusty âsteedâ
as we speak) and do so, safe in the knowledge that there will be
little or no obstacles to me enjoy the diversity of such a
Like most disabled people I guess, I
experienced a certain amount of depression when I was initially
diagnosed and the depressing prognosis became a reality; however
Trekinetic has changed all that. I can be (and will be) as mobile as
any able bodied person. There will be very few, if any, physical
obstructions that will prevent me from enjoying even the most
It was be crass to say âTrekinetic has
changed my lifeâ, but it has certainly transformed it and given it a
whole new sense of purpose and excitement. Thank you Trekinetic!
(Rev Canon David E***)
Some photos are
Podrózuj z Trekinetic
This article kindly
reproduced from the October 2007 edition of FORWARD, the magazine of
the Spinal Injuries Association and is also published in the October
2007 newsletter of The Disabled Ramblers Association
Have Chair - Will Travel (Anywhere)
Dr Mike Bruton, Chairman and Founder of the Disabled Ramblers
Association, and Lynn Punchard Editor of Forward have asked me to
test and review, the recently introduced manual wheelchair, the
For me one of the most inappropriate phrases in the English
language is wheelchair-bound. My wheelchair, or to be more accurate,
wheelchairs, do not bind me they liberate me. I have one wheelchair
that is great in an outdoor urban environment, but it is hopeless
off road because of its
small casters and not good in an indoor
environment because of its large camber which makes it too wide for
many doors. I have a purpose designed and built cross-country
wheelchair that is great off road but very unsuitableindoors and
finally I have a chair with no camber that is good indoors.
This, horses for courses wheelchair policy is all very well if
you can afford it, have sufficient storage room and can transfer
easily from chair to chair. The K-2 has been designed to be an
adaptable wheelchair suitable for both the urban and off road
environment, a horse for all courses!
The Trekinetic K-2
Manual wheelchairs have improved dramatically over the last
30 years. This improvement has been gradual, progressive and
evolutionary: the introduction of rigid frames, cambers, lightweight
materials etc. However the basic design of rear wheel drive, a
tubular frame with two
large wheels at the rear and two smaller
casters at the front has remained.
The K-2 was designed by an engineer with a background in
designing components for Formula One racing cars. Its design is
revolutionary. No tubular frame but a Carbon Fibre bucket seat that
acts as a âMonocoqueâ chassis. Not rear wheel drive, but front wheel
drive with two large wheels
at the front and a smaller one at
The camber of the wheels is adjustable from parallel to up to 24
degrees by simply rotating the axle; thus giving the stability of
cambered wheels for outside use, or the narrowness of parallel
wheels for indoor use. The rear castor has a patented device that
keeps it in a straight line when wheeling forward, even when
crossing a slope, thus obviating the need for constant one arm
pushing to keep in a straight line. The rear castor has a shock
absorber which can be used to alter the inclination of the chair
depending on preference and circumstances of use. The footplate is
telescopic. The K-2 comes with hub brakes that can be used for
slowing, steering or parking. There are removable side plates to
protect clothing and even an umbrella that fixes to the chair.
A number of extras are available including rear push bar, water
bottle, seatbelt and transfer platforms. I have tried the chair off
road on a gravel track, a dirt track and grass of varying lengths. I
have used it along my high street, in an office, the supermarket,
Starbucks and in my local leisure centre. The K-2 coped with all
these variable environments perfectly well.
The chair does take a little getting used to. The angle of
pushing is different to a standard wheelchair and requires a
slightly different muscle action. I thought the rolling resistance
better than a standard chair despite my chair having large very
knobbly mountain bike tyres. I found that I could push the chair up
steeper inclines than in my own wheelchairs; this seems to be
because of the ability to
brace oneself against the back of the
chair when pushing hard. The chair is stable, probably because of
its low centre of gravity. The rear castor arrangement makes
virtually impossible to tip backwards, the telescopic footplate
doubles as an anti-tip bar in the front and a camber if activated
increases lateral stability. The bucket seat chair provides good
lateral support to the trunk.
The chair I tried was fitted with large aggressively treaded
mountain bike tyres. These were excellent off road particularly on
wet grass. However they made the
wheels heavy and increased
rolling resistance. I would like to have tried the chair with a
compromise tyre, one that was smooth in the middle but heavily
the outside. The manufacturer tells me they are able
to offer, as an optional extra,a spare set of wheels with smooth
tyres. It would be very interesting to see how easy the K-2 was to
push if it was fitted with lightweight, narrow, high pressure tyres.
The K-2 comes with thin seat liners. These would not be suitable
for most spinal-cord injured users as they would offer little
protection from pressure sores. However specially shaped Roho and
foam cushions are available.
With the wheels removed and the frame folded the
chair forms a
fairly compact load approximately
880 x 400 x 620 mm. weighing
approximately 9 kg
The K-2 is beautifully engineered and is by far the most
versatile wheelchair I have ever used. It is the only wheelchair I
have ever come across that, without
attaching any adaptions, is
perfectly at home on road,
off road and indoors.
In conclusion I would say that the Trekinetic K-2 is the ideal
chair for someone who wants a chair that they can use for the normal
activities of daily living and go off road.
For further details click here
For details about wheelchair rambling see http://www.disabledramblers.co.uk/
Comment by Mike Spindle, designer of the Trekinetic K-2.
When Roger contacted me and said he had been asked
to test our wheelchair, he also invited me
to come down and see
what the Disabled Ramblers Association was all about. I was pleased
to accept and
the event was scheduled for a Friday morning, near
Lymington in the New Forest.
I brought a K-2 for Roger and an identical one for myself,
in the hope that nobody would mind me joining in. In the event, when
I got there, Roger was stuck in traffic and would not arrive until
lunch time. There were about 20
wheelchair users and all had 4
wheel, powered electric buggies. Anyhow I was the only manual user
they said I should lead, I was not amused and wondered
if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I should
I am not a wheelchair user, by need. I weigh 16 stone and sadly not
very fit at all. Naturally over the last six years, Iâve done over
100 miles of testing, but I donât think 9 miles with little more
than a lunch break.
Anyhow, I could hardly say no, could
I? It was a perfect day, sunny but not hot, so we set off up a
gentle gravel gradient. I was with one of the organisers
had an electric TRAMPER buggy, like many of the others. The
TRAMPERâS coped with the terrain very well and if you at the stage
where you need a powered buggy, they would seem a good choice. The
only difficulty they
had was when we approached the sprung
loaded gates, that you often encounter on these rambles. As manuals
can turn on a sixpence, they are easier to position and
consequently, I opened all the gates (in chair) and let everyone
through. The terrain, scenery and wildlife is simply beautiful and
whilst they canât guarantee the weather, they can the views.
Thankfully after about Âž mile there, was a break that I
needed, more than the others. In actual fact I didnât feel so bad at
all, but I was perspiring a lot. It was vital for me, that I was
carrying a water bottle, otherwise I would have been in trouble.
I was really pleased with how the K-2 performed and I thought
of another improvement along the way. The K-2 has drop-in side
plates, not too dissimilar to a traditional wheelchair. They are
designed to keep your clothes away from the rotating wheels and
protect you from dirt. They do not hold you legs together.
It struck me that if we had a slot in the top of each of
the side plate, the user could thread a âVelcoâ loop strap and pull
it tight. This would keep your thighs centrally located and might be
useful. We are now prototyping this.
After 4Â˝ miles we
reached the lunch halt at a local sailing club and after alittle
while roger and his wife finally turned up. Raring to go Roger set
off and for a little while we travelled side by side. He observed
that the unconventional
front wheel propulsion of the K-2 ,
doesnât make you look down when you push.He said you can remain
looking forwards whilst propelling, something you have to
your neck to do with a traditional rear wheel drive chair. It was
the first time anyone, had observed this.
So you canât teach an old dog new tricks?
Roger (foreground) and I discuss the Disabled Ramblers
Associations plans and activities. Actually I was exhausted and
requested the stop.
Time was now pressing as Roger and his wife had to be somewhere
else shortly so Roger pressed. I take no pleasure in telling you,
that I simply could not keep up with this âOld Dogâ In the end
I threw in the towel and pushed my own K-2 for the final 1 1/2 mile
stint. I was pleased to finally see the car a park, which was
conveniently adjacent to the Gunn Inn. By the way, great crab
and Beer in Keyhaven, Lymington.
I would like to thank the Disabled Ramblers Association, for
allowing me to partake in their day. It was great to meet everybody
and I can only encourage anybody who has a K-2 to join them for one
of their outings. Quite honestly, there is nothing about it not to
They can provide the K-2âs natural habitat! http://www.disabledramblers.co.uk/