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Choosing the wheel base that best suits you
At Magic Mobility our engineers work to create mobility solutions that suit each individual’s needs, with powerchairs in front-wheel, mid-wheel and rear-wheel drive.
We asked our Rehabilitation Engineer Jem to talk us through each of the drive types and explain the benefits to help you decide which is best suited to your lifestyle and living terrain.
Front wheel drive powerchairs have the main, larger, drive wheel positioned at the front of the chair, providing excellent turning ability. They are well suited to tackling inclines and tight turns and help make driving a car or getting up close to benchtops, desks and bathroom sinks easier.
The Magic Mobility Frontier V4 FWD has interchangeable Hybrid and Off-Road tyre options, enabling users to go from everyday urban off-road environments through to roomy indoors.
The Frontier V4 FWD powerchair has a compact footprint (670mm with Hybrid tyres), and is very easy to manoeuvre.
It’s often a good choice for heavier users as the weight is distributed over the front drive wheel, providing added stability. FWDs are also often the preferred choice for users needing to drive a car or with office workers.
In addition to excellent curb climbing ability, mid-wheel drive powerchairs also have great off-road capabilities. The main drive wheels are positioned near the centre of the chair, with smaller castor wheels providing stability at the front and rear.
These castor wheels are particularly useful on slopes, as they help maintain the centre of gravity and prevent the chair from tipping forward or backward.
Mid-wheel drive powerchairs can turn on their own axis, so they’re great for maneouvring tight spaces and have smaller turning circles generally. The Compact 73 has a turning radius of 530mm while the Hybrid and All Terrain is 580mm.
A mid-wheel drive powerchair is often a good choice for first time users as they are the most intuitive and simple powerchair to drive. They are also a great choice for those who like to get off the beaten track and go a bit further as they provide more stability when traversing bumps and rocky areas.
That’s probably one of the reasons why the Magic Mobility All Terrain is our top selling chair globally. You can read more about the Frontier V6 AT and its bogie arm design here.
Rear-wheel drive powerchairs are intuitive to drive and simple to use, and are well suited to indoors and outdoors. The drive wheel is positioned at the back of the powerchair. Through this design, the majority of the weight sits over the drive wheels. This delivers excellent control, climbing and tracking, particularly on an uphill slope and at higher speeds.
Often rear-wheel drive powerchairs deliver the smoothest ride for users, particularly when combined with the larger knobby tyres.
Our engineers have developed a rearward stability system that allows the chair to go up and down curbs without getting stuck, and increases stability when going up hills.
Just like the Magic Mobility Frontier V4 FWD; the RWD has interchangeable Hybrid and Off-Road tyre options.
The RWD is often a good choice for users who need an attendant control. Attendants often find the chair easier to drive as the pivot points are at the rear of the chair, making movement and turning easier to control.
Are you interested in trialling a Magic Mobility powerchair? Contact us today to find a dealer in your local area.