How to Improve the Grip on Wheelchair Rims

Written by aubrey bailey
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How to Improve the Grip on Wheelchair Rims
(man in wheelchair image by jimcox40 from

Wheelchairs provide independence to people with limited mobility due to physical disabilities. Manual wheelchairs use upper body strength and endurance and are propelled by gripping the rims on the outside of each wheel and pushing or pulling to move in the desired direction. Wheelchair rims are typically made of metal making it difficult for you to maintain a strong grip. You can improve your ability to grip your wheelchair rims without the need for you to wear bike gloves or purchase a rim cover from a manufacturer.

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Things you need

  • measuring tape
  • calculator
  • pipe insulation
  • 2 inch wide electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Calculate the circumference of your wheelchair rim by measuring the diameter, or distance from one edge of the rim to the opposite side, then multiply that number by 3.14 (Pi). Measure the diameter, or distance around the wheelchair rim.

  2. 2

    Purchase pipe insulation at a local home improvement store using the measurements obtained in step one to determine the correct size.

  3. 3

    Wrap the pipe insulation around the rim of the wheel. Secure in place by wrapping electrical tape tightly around the pipe insulation, overlapping half the width with each layer.

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