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News Link • Inventions

The GRIT Freedom Chair takes the wheelchair mountain biking

•, By C.C. Weiss

Trails, parks, beaches, woods … without a paved road or structured pathway, the wheelchair can quickly find itself out of its element. The GRIT Freedom Chair updates wheelchair design – well not technically wheelchair, but "recreational device" – with all-terrain capabilities. Part mountain bike, part (recreational) wheelchair, the Freedom Chair opens up a new world of exploration.

We've covered some pretty gnarly all-terrain wheelchairs in the past, including the HexHog and UNiMO Adventure. Unlike those two models, the Freedom Chair is unpowered, making it a cross between a wheelchair and an adaptive hand-cycle mountain bike.

The Freedom Chair was born more than half a decade ago in a student project called the Leveraged Freedom Chair. A small group of MIT students identified a clear need for a more rugged form of wheelchair in developing countries, reasoning that wheelchair users in such countries faced a particular challenging road – or lack thereof – in navigating underdeveloped and under-maintained ground.

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