Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Wheelchair & A Product Review

I used to hate my wheelchair. I think I hated what it represented- the reminder it was of my accident and paralysis. I resented having to use it, and childishly, blamed the hunk of metal itself instead of actually dealing with the emotions behind the bitterness.

That may seem like a strange way to lead in to a product review, but for a long time, I didn't like "chair flair." The bright paint, lights, accessories, etc. that adorned other wheelchairs bothered me. Why would I decorate something I despised? My chairs were black with nothing flashy, different, or exciting.

Now that I am older and so much slightly more mature, I am thankful for my wheelchair. Now, it represents my independence and the freedom I have to do anything I want, regardless of my disability. I appreciate my chair and the partner it has become in my life.

And so, when I ordered my current chair about a year ago, I branched out a little. Addison helped me pick out a few places to add purple accents, and I love how it turned out. It displays my personality without looking like I stumbled into the middle of a paintball war. It's me.

This change in attitude couldn't have come at a better time, because before Christmas, I received a tweet from a company asking if I would be interested in receiving a set of camo spoke covers. I was reluctant at first, but I decided to try them out. And I'm so very glad I did! Not only do they look great, but they protect my hands and nails from spoke damage. I get comments all the time about the covers- the camo is very popular! They are easy to install- just a few velcro straps- and you can wipe them down with a wet rag when they get dirty. I waited to review them until I had time to use them in multiple capacities, including traveling. They have held up wonderfully!

There are only two cons to these spoke covers. The first would only apply to manual wheelchairs that have wheels that are removed by a center release button. With the current model of spoke covers, the release button is covered by material. You can slide your hand between the cover and your spokes to access the button, but it takes a little getting used to. I was told that newer models would have a cut-out for the release button.

The second con is that the company that made these covers seems to have disappeared! HB Wheelie Co. is no longer a website, Facebook page, or twitter account. They were a brand new company, so unless they have changed their name, I'm afraid that they may have shut down, which stinks! They had several different sizes and patterns, including a chevron I was going to try. So if you have any information, or can find any trace of the company, please let me know so we can spread the word about these creative wheelchair accessories!


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