Whether you have a manual or electric wheelchair, there is a top speed that you can reach while propelling the chair. For a manual wheelchair it depends on how many rotations per second you can get from propelling the hand rims. It also depends how hard and quickly you can push off the chair to create momentum.
For a power wheelchair, it depends how much torque the wheelchair motor has, commonly you will see electric chairs top out at about 6-7 mph. Although some modifications can be made to either type of chair to boost the top speed of the chair, this would be something that a manufacturer would never recommend because it would likely void the warranty on the chair.
Fast Wheelchairs on the Go
There is also the fact that if you are going down a hill or a downhill slope, you will likely gain speed and momentum faster than you would if you were going up a hill. For some manual wheelchairs having smooth axles on the rear wheels will definitely aid the user in propelling the chair at a higher speed.
Active wheelchairs are synonymous with speed, because they are designed to be rigid, lightweight, and usually have better components than most manual chairs.
Some people have been able to benchmark the speed of a power wheelchair at speeds of up to 11+mph. However, the stability and maneuverability for a power chair at those speeds is seriously questionable, as you are not able to control the wheelchair as well when reaching those speeds.
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