Mountain biking is a thrill many have come to enjoy, but the excitement has typically been inaccessible to wheelchair users. Until now, that is. Enter the Manul 4×4 Handquad—a groundbreaking invention aimed at leveling the playing field. Developed by German mobility company Tretzeug Gmbh, this innovative vehicle promises wheelchair users a similar multi-terrain riding experience with the added bonus of electric assistive technology.
At the heart of the Manul 4×4 Handquad is a 4-wheel-drive hand-cranked drivetrain. What makes this feature even more fascinating is its 24-gear system facilitated by a Pinion gearbox, offering a vast range of pedaling options to conquer different terrains and slopes.
Powering this behemoth is an OLI 250-watt motor that delivers up to 85 Nm (63 lb ft) of torque, enabling riders to reach speeds of up to 25 km/h (16 mph). The motor is energized by a 36V/~20-Ah lithium battery. Although the exact range on a single battery charge is yet to be announced, Tretzeug has mentioned that the range can be doubled by adding a second battery.
While its core design is geared towards outdoor adventures, the Handquad is versatile enough for everyday urban use. Buyers have the option to equip their Handquads with either 20-inch off-road wheels or touring tires.
Further enhancing its adaptability, the Handquad comes with an articulated chromoly-steel frame, designed to maintain tire contact on uneven surfaces. For safety, the vehicle is equipped with front and rear Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. The estimated weight of the Handquad, with a standard single battery, is between 40 to 45 kg (88 to 99 lb).
Pricing and Availability
The Manul 4×4 Handquad is expected to be available for pre-order soon, with a projected price tag of approximately €16,000 (about US$17,400). Shipping is expected to commence next spring for buyers in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Manul 4×4 Handquad represents a significant leap forward in mobility solutions, offering wheelchair users a newfound sense of freedom and excitement. Though it comes at a premium price, the technological prowess and the doors it opens to a previously untapped world of adventure could well justify the cost for those seeking off-road experiences.