The Carbonbike USA R1 Racing Wheelchair is a brilliant design, offered by a master designer at the top of his game. This is a specialty wheelchair that won’t appeal to many, but if you’re a racer, this is the chair you want.
Recommended For: Anyone who’s into wheelchair racing and looking for a performance edge—IF you can afford it.
*Note regarding Brand Reliability: This metric is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.
Do you have a mobility issue that sees you having to use a wheelchair for at least part of each day?
Have you decided not to let that get in your way even a little bit? Most importantly, do you have a need for speed?
If you answered yes to those three questions, then you’re undoubtedly going to love what you read here in our Carbonbike USA R1 racing wheelchair review.
Make no mistake, this isn’t your average wheelchair, and as such, we rate this as a niche product that’s only going to appeal to a tiny slice of the public. In particular, it’s going to be of interest to those who are into wheelchair racing or who have tons of discretionary money and are looking for a beautiful, sleek wheelchair that will draw stares wherever you go.
Notice the word ‘beautiful’ in the sentence above? That’s not a typo; even though wheelchairs aren’t normally known for their style and good looks—this one’s different. You’ll pay a hefty premium for it, but it’s a breed apart.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything the R1 racing chair has to offer, and by the time you reach the end of our review, even if you decide it’s not the chair for you, we still think you’ll be impressed.
Curious to know more?
Read on, and let’s take a closer look!
An Overview of the Carbonbike USA R1 racing wheelchair
We regard this as a very strong component of our Carbonbike USA R1 racing wheelchair review. The first thing you’ll notice about the R-1 is its distinctive look. Everybody knows how wheelchairs normally look, and 95% of them (or more) don’t deviate from the pattern very much.
This one does, and to good effect. It’s rare when you can describe a wheelchair as a great-looking piece of equipment, but that’s certainly the case here. Consider this to be the sports car of wheelchairs.
There’s a good reason for that. This chair was built for speed and designed by none other than Chris Peterson, who has more than three decades of racing wheelchair design experience.
The depth of his experience can be seen in the sleek lines of this chair. It’s amazing to look at and genuinely fun to use.
Of course, looks will only get you so far. What really matters is performance, and to understand how this chair performs, the first, best place to look would be the raw numbers that define the design. With that in mind, here’s a quick overview:
Curiously, while this provides a decent overview (and these are all excellent numbers), it doesn’t paint a complete picture. The reason is that just about every aspect of this chair can be customized to taste when you place your order.
We’ll step you through the ordering process next, along with your various options.
Ordering a Carbonbike-USA R1 Racing Wheelchair
We consider this to be the single strongest component of our Carbonbike-USA R1 racing wheelchair review because just about every aspect of the chair can be customized to taste.
For this walkthrough, we’ll be using the ordering form found here.
At the root, what you’ll find is a series of prompts and dropdowns that allow you to specify what you want. Here are the various categories and the options available:
This is, frankly, amazing.
We love how much flexibility buyers have here. You can get your R1 exactly how you want it and ensure it fits you like a glove.
It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Lots of Extras Too!
This is yet another strong component of our Carbonbike USA R 1 racing chair review. While there’s nothing fancy or flashy here, you’ll find just about every spare part you need to keep your R1 in service for years to come.
There are literally dozens of parts available on the company’s website.
Note too that these do include a few high-value accessories like the fork-mounted flip mirror, so be sure to check out the selection for even more customization and personalization options.
Comfort is Not a Priority
One thing to remember about this chair is that it was built for speed. Given that, the designers didn’t put a lot of emphasis on comfort, so if you’re shopping for a chair you can sit back and relax in; this one is categorically not going to be for you.
That said, it wouldn’t be difficult to buy a memory foam seat pad (assuming you didn’t go with the fabric sling seating option) and enhance the comfort level a good bit, but in general, no. This isn’t the chair you’re looking for if you want something that will provide a luxurious seating experience. This is the chair you buy if you want to go FAST.
Pros & Cons of CarbonBike USA R1 Racing Wheelchair
Here are the things we think you’ll like best about the R1:
On the other hand, as we said at the start, this chair is NOT for everyone, and there are some drawbacks to consider:
Sure, if you’ve got a lot of discretionary income, it might not be a big deal to drop several thousand dollars on a custom wheelchair like this one, but unfortunately, that doesn’t describe most people.
Carbonbike USA R1 Racing Wheelchair Review Conclusion
As we said at the beginning, this is an excellent machine, but it’s definitely a niche product. If you’re into sports and you don’t want to let your mobility issue deny you that portion of your life, this would be a fantastic model to consider.
If you’re just looking for a chair to help get you from Point A to Point B, though, this isn’t a very good fit. Yes, it looks amazing. Yes, it’s fast, but it’s too highly specialized and too expensive to be a mass-market product. On that basis, we can only provisionally recommend it generally. It gets an absolute recommendation, though, if you’re interested in racing!
Comparable Products to Consider
If you’ve reached the end of this review and have concluded that the R1 just isn’t what you’re looking for, here are a couple of other options you may want to consider:
Maybe racing just isn’t your thing, but you’re interested in participating in other sports. You’re in luck because they make wheelchairs for that too! The Quickie All Court is a versatile, robust machine optimized for basketball. It’s a fantastic chair that definitely deserves your attention.
If tennis is your game, then this chair belongs on your shortlist of options to consider. Also offered by Quickie, it is every bit as robust and versatile as the All Court mentioned above.
References and Resources:
- Carbonbike, Official Brand Website.
- Effects of Adaptive Sports on Quality of Life in Individuals with Disability, University of Akron.
- Wheelchair Physical Activities and Sports for Children and Adolescents: A Scoping Review, National Center for Biotechnology Information.
- Learning of Wheelchair Racing Propulsion Skills Over Three Weeks of Wheeling Practice on an Instrumented Ergometer in Able-Bodied Novices, Frontiers.
- Wheelchair Racing, Wikipedia.