Man Designs an Off-Road Wheelchair for His Wife To Have Outdoor Adventures

Not a Wheelchair Adaptive Bike

Wheelchairs may not seem like they can go off-roading, but thanks to Not a Wheelchair, they can. Zack Nelson and his wife Cambry Kaylor developed the adaptive device that they call The Rig. The somewhat vague name is intentional, as their creation is hard to define what, exactly, it is. “What do you call a chair with four wheels, off-road capabilities, totally silent, super-fast, and a great long-range?” Nelson says in a video introducing it. “I’m not really sure either, but it’s definitely not a wheelchair.”

Kaylor inspired Nelson to first create The Rig. In 2005, Kaylor had an equestrian accident and became paralyzed from the waist down. She uses a wheelchair and has had to live within the limitations of its design. To help her have all sorts of fun outdoor adventures, Nelson fused two electric bikes together and put a seat in the middle. It was comfortable and allowed Kaylor to maneuver off the pavement. Knowing they were on to something, the couple then got to work improving upon the initial design. This led them to an accessible electric bike that can go 12 miles per hour and has a range of about 10 to 20 miles.

The overall goal for The Rig is that it be capable and affordable. After all, it was a hole in the market that encouraged them to invent The Rig. “Shopping for an off-road wheelchair can be frustrating,” Nelson writes. “There are a few different options out there, but they can cost as much as a car or are super slow.” The Rig, by contrast, comes in a variety of colors with a starting price of $4,750.

Although The Rig is a great option for wheelchair users to maneuver outdoors, the creators note that this isn't a medical device. “The Rig does have manual steering and manual brakes. It does require upper body strength and hand strength to maneuver,” Nelson writes. “Just about as much strength as it takes to operate a normal pedal bike. Also, coordinating the throttle, brakes, and the steering does require full cognitive and decision-making ability.”

Scroll down to see The Rig in action, and learn more about it on the Not a Wheelchair website.

Zack Nelson wanted to help his wife, a wheelchair user named Cambry Kaylor, have outdoor adventures off the pavement.

The Rig Off Road Wheelchair

So, he fused two electric bikes together and Not a Wheelchair (aka The Rig) was born. The couple spent time refining the design with multiple prototypes.

The Rig Off Road Wheelchair

What they landed on is an agile electric adaptive bike that can go up to 12 miles per hour with a range of 10 to 20 miles.

The Rig Off Road Wheelchair Not a Wheelchair Adaptive Bike Not a Wheelchair Adaptive Bike The Rig Off Road Wheelchair Not a Wheelchair Adaptive Bike The Rig Off Road Wheelchair

It's about the size of a bicycle and can fit into trucks and SUVs.

The Rig Off Road Wheelchair

Learn more about The Rig in the video below:

Not a Wheelchair: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Zack Nelson.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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