How to tighten Wheelchair Brakes

There could be times that with excessive use of a wheelchair your brakes can become loose and not function properly when you want to step a wheelchair. This happens over time and it’s common accordance when using a manual wheelchair. This guide will explain how to tighten and or adjust your brakes on a wheelchair. This is important so you can properly stop and it will limit you from possibly having an accident because your brakes are not working properly.

How to adjust tighten brakes on a wheelchair

WhizzkidzUK explains how to tighten brakes in the above video. They do an excellent job of explaining this.

Adjusters that can be controlled on manual wheelchairs are the way that the person sitting in the wheelchair can reach down and grab the hand brake to stop. These can become loose and when fully engaged still does not have enough force to stop the wheelchair wheels properly.

Scissor brake and push to lock brake

Scissor-style brakes are used for the more active adult and the push-to-lock brakes are more common on pediatric wheelchairs for children.

They both will adjust the same way. You can do the following:

  1. Look for the block that attaches the wheelchair brake to the frame. This is attached to the wheelchair bar and that attaches to the actual brake.
  2. Make sure the wheelchair tires are inflated properly.
  3. Allen keys are prefered tool. And you should have one to make the adjustment in order to easily get into the brake block.
  4. Find the two screws that need to be loosened in order to loosen off the brake block. Loosen the brake block.
  5. Bring the brakes forward after ou loosen the brake block.
  6. Lock the brake on. and bring it up to the tire.
  7. Take the break off. Then push teh brake a few centimetes twoards the tires
  8. Tigthen the brake blocks again.

Adjusting Handbrakes on a wheelchair handle

Handbrakes are what caregivers or whoever is pushing the wheelchair can use to stop the wheelchair. These brakes are similar in style to those on bicycles and function very similarly. Not all manual wheelchairs will have these types of breaks and a lot of transport chairs will have them. For those that do have these types of brakes you can adjust them as follows:

  1. First you need to test the brake handle. Squeze the handbrake and see if the brake is too loose or too tight. Now we we will adjust the brake tension.
  2. Loosing the brake handle adjustment nut by turning that clockwise. You will either want to loosen or tighten the brake handle tension.
  3. Tighten brake handle tension: Turn the handle brake nut counterclockwise. This will tighten the brake tension when the brake lever does not quickly respond.
  4. Loosen brake handle tension: If the brake lever is scrapping on the rear wheelchair wheel you need to loosen the brake handle.
  5. To secure the brake handle. Turn the brake handle adjustbment nut counterclockwise.

Related questions

What are brakes on a wheelchair called? These brakes are sometimes referred to as wheelchair wheel locks or wheelchair brakes.

Do all wheelchairs have handbrakes? No. A standard manual wheelchair typically does not have handbrakes. Transport chairs and wheelchairs that cannot be self-propelled will typically have hand brakes.

When should you put the brakes on when in a wheelchair? Some of the comment reasons are when you are in your chair and not planning on moving. Others will be when you on transferring from out of the wheelchair into a bed, chair, or toilet.

What are wheelchair brake extenders? These are handles that can be attached to the push-to-lock brake so they are easier to engage and get to by hand. This extension will add around 6 to 9 inches of the brake handle.

In conclusion

Wheelchair brakes are a common part that over time can and most likely will need adjusting. Simply using the wheelchair slowly can cause the brakes to not stay in the proper place making stopping becoming more difficult.

Adjusting brakes both hand brakes and push to lock brakes are not difficult to adjust when needed. Adjusting them to their proper configuration will help make your time in the wheelchair safer and more enjoyable.

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.

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