Power-Assisted Wheelchair Systems
Rehasense's new range of PAWS handbikes fit to the front of almost every active wheelchair on the market that has a fixed front frame rather than swing-away legrests. They incorporate built-in motors and lithium batteries, as well as intelligent controls, and allow you to tackle challenging terrain and longer trips.
All PAWS handbikes feature a 48V 11.6 Ah Lithium battery that offers a range of 24.8 miles and can be easily removed to recharge in just 5 hours. A lower capacity Flight Battery is available as an optional extra, and is IATA compliant for air travel. Inclusive powerful multifunction headlamps ensure visibility, and can be set to automatically activate in low-light conditions.
The Tourer is the biggest model in the PAWS range - it features a 20 x 4" FAT tyre with chunky tread, and a powerful 500 Watt motor. It is a true off-roader - take it up hills, through forests trails, and over sandy beaches. You will definitely want to pair it with a set of FAT Wheels to replace your wheelchair's regular back wheels - or try Loopwheels Extremes for integrated suspension too.
The Tourer benefits from the longest wheelbase of any PAWS handbike, improving traction. However, this does mean that the size of it makes it tricky to get around urban environments - it's not designed for those.
Other manufacturers' handbikes require bracketry or clamps to be bolted permanently onto your wheelchair's frame, which add unnecessary weight when not using your handbike, as well as taking away from the looks of your wheelchair. The PAWS range have their clamping mechanism fully built-in to the handbike itself, meaning no clamps or brackets are left on your wheelchair when used without the handbike.
Simple 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.
Powered clamping and lifting - as the name suggests, just line up your wheelchair, press a button and the clamps automatically affix to your wheelchair, and then raise 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, but it is the automatic clamping and lifting that 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. Even if that doesn't apply to you, the powered clamps are still much easier to operate, and thus well-worth considering!
Two handlebar configurations are available on your PAWS handbike - either Standard controls or Tetra controls. The Tetra controls are designed for people with limited hand strength or control, and allow 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 drives you at a steady 4 kmph, and cruise control that removes the need 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 handlebar-mounted twin brake levers - these can be operated by either one hand or both, when heavy braking is required.
All the information you want about your PAWS's performance is available at a glance on the colour display screen, which automatically adjusts its brightness based on ambient lighting conditions to ensure visibility. Both the controls and your whole handbike have an IPS4 waterproof rating that let you drive in wet conditions with full peace of mind.
We think highly of the PAWS handbike range, and the Tourer is the ultimate off-road model in the range, and really impresses. Unlike some other manufacturers' handbike, the PAWS models come with most features as standard, and the only cost options on the Tourer 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 affixed 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, although being realistic most big off-road handbikes are fairly hefty to start with.
Triride's MadMax and T-Rocks and the two chief competitors to the PAWS Tourer - we would suggest trying one of them alongside the Tourer to get a feel for which one works best for you; the Triride models have much more powerful motors but don't have the same clamping mechanisms.