When you start doing research on a new electric or manual wheelchair you will start to learn about wheelchair tires. You will notice that they will come in different sizes and configurations that are best suited for that wheelchair. Some tires are filled with air while others are solid. Some tires can even be filled with foam while others might be perforated. Because of this, we get a lot of questions on do wheelchair tires go flat? We will answer these questions and more on Wheelchair tires and if they can go flat on you.
Do wheelchair tires go flat? Yes, If the wheelchair tires are filled with air then they can go flat. The common pneumatic rubber tires are filled with air. They provide a nice smooth ride with good traction over flat-free tires. Air tires require more maintenance and you have to monitor tire tread, air pressure, and more. And if you hit something sharp you can flatten the tire.
Types of wheelchair tires
Rubber or pneumatic tires
Pneumatic tires are filled with air and are made of rubber. These types of tires we are all accustomed to. They provide a really smooth ride and because they are made from rubber they have great traction when compared to flat-free tires.
Not only do they outperform other tire types in traction and rideability but they also when properly filled allow for a faster speed in both manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. Because they are made from rubber they tend to stop faster as well.
The downside of these tires is they require much more looking after or maintenance than flat-free style tires. You will have to always check the air pressure to make sure they are not leaking or possibly already flat.
Flat-free tires have no air in them. They are either solid or they will have other types of materials like foam or polyurethane as the solid inside.
The great thing about these tires is you do not have to worry about the tires going flat. No air compressor or gauges are needed. This means no maintenance to its users.
The downside to this type of tire is you do not get the same smooth ride as you would get when using standard air-filled tires. However, the wheelchair can make up for these shortcomings especially if the chair uses suspension to make the ride smoother.
Urethane filled tires
These types of tires are filled with solid rubber urethane. These types of tires are puncture-proof and require very little maintenance. These tires work well in sport conditions and indoor use when the floor is smooth and hard.
However, over rough terrain they are very uncomfortable because they are made of solid urethane there is not a lot of giving. They are also much heavier than air field wheelchair tires making the wheelchair much heavier.
Foam wheelchair tires are filled with a soft but dense polyurethane rubber that can flex similar to air-filled tires. These tires like urethane-filled tires are almost maintenance-free. They also have more of a grip than urethane tires and can hold substation weight up to 400 pounds.
These types of tires share the benefits of urethane and pneumatic tires and are one of the more versatile options when it comes to power wheelchairs and scooters.
Wheelchair tire maintenance
For those who use air-filled tires, you need to check these tires at least weekly. If you see tires that are low on air they can really affect the performance of the chair making pushing much harder.
Keeping proper air in your wheelchair tires will help keep the wheelchair weight evenly distributed resulting in even tire treading to happen. It also provides the most stable environment for the wheelchair.
Underinflation will cause the wheelchair to have performance issues and it will negatively affect handling and turning.
Overinflation will also cause more wear down the middle of the red. Keeping your wheelchair tires at the proper inflation is important for the tire and for your safety.
Each tire should provide the proper tire pressure so you can make sure both tires have the same tire pressure for maximum performance.