Power-Assisted Wheelchair Systems
The range of Rehasense PAWS handbikes fit to the front of almost every active wheelchair on the market with a fixed front. Incorporating a built-in motor and lithium battery, as well as intelligent controls, these handbikes allow you to tackle adventurous terrain and longer trips.
All PAWS handbikes feature a 48V 11.6 Ah Lithium battery that offers a range of 24.8 miles and charges in just 5 hours. A Flight Battery with a lower capacity is available as an optional extra, and is IATA compliant for air travel. Powerful multifunction headlamps ensure visibility, and can be set to automatically switch on in low-light conditions.
The Cruiser sits in the middle of the PAWS range, offering much improved off-road performance over the PAWS City, while not being so big, bulky and expensive as the PAWS Tourer. This makes it suitable for a variety of uses - the chunky 16" wheel and 500 Watt motor allowing it to traverse rough terrain such as muddy fields and forest tracks, backed up by a top speed of 18 mph. It is more compact than the Tourer, meaning it can be used around the town too, and is a bit lighter to lift into a car.
Most other handbikes require bracketry or clamps bolted permanently onto your wheelchair's frame, meaning that they add unnecessary weight when not using your handbike, as well as impacting on the looks of your wheelchair. The PAWS range have the clamping mechanism fully built-in to the handbike, meaning your wheelchair has no clamps or brackets left on it when used without the handbike.
Easy clamping is available in two ways:
Manual clamps - line up your wheelchair and push the long levers to clamp the handbike on. Push forward on the handlebars to lift the front of your wheelchair off the ground, and you're ready to drive off.
Powered clamping and lifting - as the name suggests, you simply line up your wheelchair, press a button and the clamps automatically affix to your wheelchair, and then lift you up ready to go. This upgrade is available on every PAWS handbike and allows effortless docking.
Both methods are much easier to operate than traditional clamping mechanisms. The automatic clamping and lifting is the star attraction of the PAWS range - ideal for those with limited dexterity or upper body strength who struggle with manual attachments on other models.
Two handlebar configurations are available on PAWS handbikes - either Standard controls or Tetra controls. The Tetra controls are designed for people with limited hand strength or control, allowing easy driving without exertion. Both handlebar variants can be adjusted between multiple positions to provide a comfortable fit for you.
Amongst the controls are forwards and reverse modes, a walk mode that keeps you at a steady 4 kmph, and cruise control - meaning you don't have to constantly grip the throttle to maintain a steady speed. Traction mode can be enabled for stationary starts on slopes or slippery surfaces, while track assistance helps to keep you driving straight and sure.
The front disc brakes are controlled by by twin brake levers mounted on the handlebars - these can be operated by either one hand or both, if heavy braking is required.
The colour display screen provides all the information you want at a glance, and its brightness automatically adjusts based on ambient lighting conditions to ensure visibility. Both the controls and your whole handbike have an IPS4 waterproof rating, meaning you can enjoy driving in the rain or splashing through pudles.
We're big fans of the PAWS range of handbikes. The Cruiser offers a good balance of off-road perfomance while still being usable in urban environments. Unlike some other manufacturers' handbike, the PAWS range comes with most features as standard, and the only cost options are the power clamping/lifting and tetra controls.
The clamping is the key advantage of the PAWS range, and is especially useful for those who struggle with attaching a handbike, or who want to be able to regularly use their wheelchair without a handbike, and don't want it compromised by permanently attached brackets.
The clamping mechanisms do add some weight to your handbike, meaning it's heavier to lift into a car, which is a slight drawback. We would recommend trying the PAWS Cruiser alongside Triride's similarly-sized but more powerful equivalent, the Special HP16, to find out which works best for you. The Empulse StreetJet has a 16" wheel option and also doesn't require bracketry left on your wheelchair, plus has more personalisation options, so is worth test-driving too.