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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Mobility Roadshow

About a year ago, Neil and I went to the Mobility Roadshow at Donington Park and that was where I tried out rigid frame, lightweight wheelchairs and decided to save up for one. The show is a great place to try things out, test drive cars and wheelchairs, talk to the experts and chat with other disabled people. So yesterday, we went again - this time at Silverstone.

Overlooking the exhibition centre and car park
Exhibition Centre, Silverstone

Test drives

We're both quite into formula 1, so it was pretty exciting just to be at Silverstone race circuit. Part of the track was used for test driving cars. We did two test drives - one for a car that we're already quite sure we like and one for a car that I didn't even know existed. In the morning, we did several laps each in a Hyundai Tucson. It was a completely new car to me and I really liked it. It ticked a lot of boxes for us:

  • high-up car
  • good visibility
  • comfy seats that wrap around legs and back
  • huge boot
  • can take a hoist
Me in my chair, waiting in the pit lane for a test drive
Waiting in the pit lane

In the afternoon, we test drove a Ford C-Max Grand. We had a normal C-Max in Finland, so we were likely to be happy with it. It's a shame that Toyota weren't there, as the other car we are potentially looking at, is the Rav-4.

There was so much other stuff there, that it would be impossible to mention everything, so here are a few of my personal favourites...


They had wheelchair segways! Neil liked them as much as I did and actually, I think they could be quite a hit with able bodied people too. 

Neil and the demo guy on their segways
Segway demo
I was a bit worried that they might tip over backwards but I found it incredibly stable. You just lean forwards to go and back to stop. You can steer them one-handed, which means carrying coffee would be manageable. I thought that it might solve the thick pile carpets problem. So we asked how much...


...moving swiftly on...


One of the things I really wanted to try was Loopwheels. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo but I've pinched this one off their website...

A wheelchair with loopwheels on

They have got really good suspension and can smooth out a lot of lumps and bumps. We also looked at different types of push rims that you can get for them. They do some with rubber coating. I liked that because when it rains, mine get slippery and really difficult to push. Rubber ones would give better grip. So, I've asked for a quote... I'm expecting them to come in at just under £1000 per pair.


It wasn't even worth taking photos because hoists are so boring but we did spend a good hour or two looking at and trying out different hoists for the car. We are likely to get a new car this summer and if we get the hoist fitted at the same time as buying the car, we don't pay any VAT on the car. This is a massive saving!

After looking at millions of hoists, I think we have decided to go for the smallest one. It lifts up to 40kg and my chair is much lighter than that. It has a carabiner to attach it to the chair and a remote control for lifting.

Mountain Trike

I tried these off-road wheelchairs last year, with a view to getting one as my regular chair but having tested it, I didn't think it would be any good for everyday use. This year, I tried it again. Having had several holidays where an off-road chair would have been brilliant, I was thinking off getting it as an extra. The only problem is the price. It's over £4000.

A mountain trike off-road wheelchair

You drive and steer it, using the pull handles. The advantage of this is that you don't get mud up your sleeves. What we did discover, which we will almost certainly do at some point, is that they now hire them out for long weekends or for a week or two. If you hire it, fall in love and then buy one, they knock the hire price off the cost. You can't say fairer than that really.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the report. The wheelchair segway really was something when you first see it in action. The Silverstone location was special and to see so many great inventions to help out people in need, fantastic.