No matter what kind of wheelchair you’re using, casters are involved. If you’ve got a conventional manual wheelchair, there are casters on the front. If you’ve got a Hoverround, there are more casters. If you’ve got a Drive Medical electric wheelchair (or one offered by any other brand), yep, there are more casters. Most scooters use casters, too, ranging from 4” to 8” in diameter.
The point is, you can’t really escape casters. They’re simply an integral part of the ecosystem of mobility devices.
If you spend most of your time indoors, your casters will perform admirably. They tend to do extremely well on smooth surfaces.
Suppose you spend most of your time using your chairs outside on rougher surfaces like cobblestone or in your yard. In that case, those casters are not only going to give you a rough ride (comparable to riding around in a jeep with no shock absorbers), but they’ll also make a ton of racket, which can be annoying.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about soft roll casters and why you may want to consider upgrading the ones currently on your chair. It’s a relatively small change, but it may make a bigger difference than you think!
What the Heck Are Soft Roll Casters For a Wheelchair, Anyway?
Casters can be made of a variety of different materials, but most of the casters on mobility aids sold today are made of Polyurethane. It is kind of a wonder material, and it’s incredibly rugged, durable, and versatile. However, as we mentioned above, the rolling casters that come standard on most wheelchairs do have their limitations.
Invented in the 1940s, it’s an incredibly versatile material used in everything from rolling office chairs to skateboards and, of course, in wheelchairs.
Given that the wheel is a pretty well-understood technology, you wouldn’t think that there would have been many innovations in the caster ecosystem, but you’d be surprised here.
Because Polyurethane has such remarkable properties, it’s easy to change its state from solid to liquid. Even better, it’s easy to alter the manufacturing process of those casters to give the wheels themselves different physical characteristics.
This is how soft roll casters came to be, and they are notably different from their harder and more unyielding cousins. In fact, you can press soft roll wheelchair casters with your thumb to deform them. They’ll bounce back to their original shape quickly enough, but they do have a remarkable amount of “give” in them, which makes them a whole lot more comfortable and significantly quieter when used.
In the world of aftermarket casters, there’s really only one name to know: Frog Legs!
The name itself sounds cute, but the company has a reputation for excellence, and they make some of the best aftermarket casters on the market today.
Frog Legs wheelchair casters are a little pricey, but this is definitely a case where you get what you pay for. They’re offered in a wide range of colors and feature aluminum hubs with Polyurethane stretched over and surrounding them.
Whether you invest in a set of Frog Leg casters or get yours from some other company, the major advantages associated with them are as follows:
- A more distinctive, stylish look
- A smoother, quieter ride
- Fewer vibrations that travel through the chair
- Better handling and maneuverability
Final Thoughts on Wheelchair Soft Roll Casters
There are all sorts of aftermarket accessories available for wheelchairs, no matter what kind of chair you’re using.
Most people don’t give any real thought to upgrading their casters, but doing so makes a much bigger difference than you might think, especially if you’re willing to spend a little extra to upgrade to Frog Legs wheelchair soft roll casters.
Try them and see for yourself. We’re pretty sure you’ll be impressed!
Resources & References:
- Wheelchair Caster Shimmy and Turning Resistance, Rehab.
- The Benefits and Advantages of Using Caster Wheels, EzineArticles.