We recently had the opportunity to trial the FreeWheel attachment. I’d long heard people talking about how good it is at making access easier on difficult terrain. When we were travelling around New Zealand we wondered if it would have been helpful on the gravel and dirt trails. So when we were heading to Fiji and couldn’t take BJ’s beach wheelchair, we thought we’d give the FreeWheel a go. As many of our Have Wheelchair Will Travel Facebook community were keen to hear about our experience we thought we’d do a FreeWheel review.
We decided to travel to Fiji with BJ’s old wheelchair. BJ’s off-road tyres are compatible with his old chair and we don’t worry about it as much when it’s being handled by baggage handlers. I feel more precious about the new chair with its gorgeous paintwork.
The FreeWheel fitted into one of our suitcases with clothing packed around it so that was handy but at approximately 2.5kg it did add some weight to the luggage. Admittedly not much, but we always seem on the cusp of the luggage limit so it all counts.
BJ’s footplate needed to be modified to accommodate the use of the FreeWheel. The footplate was dropped lower which made it necessary to add foam to the plate so BJ’s feet still had stability.
The FreeWheel clips on and releases easily from the footplate
We trialled the FreeWheel locally and we were super impressed with the ease using the wheelchair on grassy and hilly terrain. Hubby was sold on it just for the additional off-roading capacity the chair gained and the smooth ride.
In Fiji we only used the FreeWheel for the beach. We found it easier but we feel we don’t have the set up quite right yet as the front castor wheels still found their way into the sand on occasion.
This wasn’t a problem when we had such willing and enthusiastic helpers in the Fijian locals.
We are still keen to look into purchasing the FreeWheel as we feel with the right positioning of the footplate it could be great for our travels. The FreeWheel won’t ever replace BJ’s beach wheelchair but it’s a good portable compromise.
You can make enquiries about the FreeWheel through Mogo Wheelchairs.