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 stop a wheelchair. Brakes become loose over time, and anyone familiar with using a manual wheelchair will go through this. This guide will explain how to tighten and or adjust your brakes on a wheelchair so you can adequately stop yourself while moving a wheelchair. Learning how to tighten brakes can help to limit any accidents while in your chair. Let’s get started.

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 how the person sitting in the wheelchair can reach down and grab the hand brake to stop. However, these can become loose and, when fully engaged, still do 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 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, which connects to the actual brake.
  2. Make sure the wheelchair tires are correctly inflated.
  3. Allen keys are the preferred tool. And you should have one to adjust to quickly get into the brake block.
  4. Find the two screws that need to be loosened to loosen off the brake block. Loosen the brake block.
  5. Bring the brakes forward after you loosen the brake block.
  6. Lock the brake on. and bring it up to the tire.
  7. Take the break off. Then push the brake a few centimeters towards the tires
  8. Tighten 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 similarly. Not all manual wheelchairs will have these types of breaks, and many 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. Squeeze the handbrake and see if the brake is too loose or too tight. Now, we will adjust the brake tension.
  2. Losing 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 to tighten the brake tension when the lever does not respond quickly.
  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 adjustment 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. However, 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 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 standard part that will most likely need adjusting over time. Simply using the wheelchair slowly can cause the brakes to not stay in the proper place, making stopping more difficult.

Adjusting both hand brakes and pushing to lock brakes are not difficult to adjust when needed. However, changing 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.