This project started after I ruined a pair of Spinergy wheels trying to replace old bearings. I found no tools designed for people in wheelchairs to service their own chairs. There were bearing removal tools for bikes (all metric) and for cars but not wheelchairs (imperial and metric).
Any solution had to be cost-effective. Had to be easy to use so that it would and not damage high precision wheelchair wheels reducing rolling resistance. Wheelchair manufacturers recommend that you replace or service the bearings once a year. Most people never service or replace them. You can imagine how much rolling resistance and impact that can have on the body.
Most wheelchair hubs, where the bearing can be found, are made of soft aluminum. Wheelchair wheels are high precision parts. If you damage them a little they can have a lasting effect on the user who has to push them.
After lots of testing, we created three types of tools for the front casters, forks and rear wheelchair wheels: Brass Pin Punch, Blind Bearing Extractors and Bearing Press for large bearings and punch blocks for smaller ones.
The first tool was a brass pin punch. Most punches are made of steel which can damage the bearing or hub and they have a very short nose so you cannot reach down into a wheelchair hub. The second was a blind bearing extractor. This came from the bike world but we made it longer to reach into a wheelchair hub or fork. The third was a line of bearing installers. For smaller bearings, round a front caster, we made small cost-effective punch blocks used with a hammer. For more larger bearings found in the forks and rear hubs, we made a bearing press.
Several designs were made and refined. Then we develop a production process, warehousing and pick and pack so we could drive the company behind Wheelchairbearings.com.
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