Rear Wheel Camber: How It Improves A Wheelchair's Performance
Camber angle in a wheelchair refers to the angle of the wheels in relation to the surface of the ground. A wheel with a vertical position and completely perpendicular to the ground has a camber angle measurement of zero. However, a wheel with a positive or negative camber angle is tilted inwards or outwards from the vertical position. The amount of camber introduced into the wheels of a wheelchair is measured in degrees. Athletes who wished to improve wheelchair-handling characteristics and stability first introduced camber into wheelchairs.
The introduction of a camber into the rear wheels of a wheelchair brings the bottom of the rear wheels farther apart, improving the wheelchair's stability and maneuverability.
TIP: Wheelchair users should consider the amount of camber angle that is suitable for their wheelchair. A higher camber angle provides better stability and maneuverability, especially when making sharp turns. However, a higher camber angle also increases the overall width of the wheelchair, which may make it difficult to navigate through narrow spaces.
At Reckless Wheelchairs we can make a wheelchair with any degree of camber you would like. In active everyday settings, we recommend 0 or 1 degree of camber. For those who want a little more stability, we may go to 2 degrees but that is seldom. It is a balancing act between stability and width. The wider you are the more stable but then you may use more energy navigating spaces or worse it may strict you from rolling someone. Think how narrow bathroom stall doors are.
TIP: If you are used to a 2-degree camber moving to 1 or 0 degrees is not a big change but can take a few inches off our width.
On the sports side, we will make tennis chairs with a 20-degree camber. Why? The more camber the easier it is to turn. On a tennis court for example, where you want to always keep in motion, you will benefit from a higher camber angle.
Some example camber angles:
- Everyday, 0-2
- Crossfit 2-6
- Outdoor push chairs 6+
- Count Shorts 18 degree
- Tennis: 20 Degrees
We are happy to discuss with you the right camber angle for you and how other geometry like the Center of Gravity can affect the performance of our next wheelchair.