BETHEL, CT (BRAIN)—Wheel manufacturer Topolino Technology is introducing wheelchair wheels for the very first time this September.
Even though Topolino’s founder and president Raphael Schlanger has been working on the design and testing of these wheels for several years, “the timing hasn’t been right” to launch until now, according to Topolino’s sales and marketing director Geoffrey Falkner.
Falkner said the CarbonCore WX2.5 wheelchair wheels (pictured) are the lightest in the “everyday” category, coming in at roughly 2 ½ pounds for the set. Another bicycle wheel manufacturer, Spinergy, has been making wheelchair wheels for several years now.
“The biggest difference [between ours and theirs] is the weight and ride quality,” Falkner said. Topolino's wheelchair wheels will be available in standard 24-inch (540) and 25-inch (559) sizes, with a suggested retail price of $1,180 per set.
Topolino’s wheelchair wheels will be compatible with most big wheelchair manufacturers. “They are very durable—designed for everyday use,” Falkner said. “They can take some abuse.”
The wheelchair owner, according to Falkner, will incur the cost of these wheels right now but the company is pursuing avenues where these wheels would be covered under Medicare. “We will eventually be covered by Medicare,” Falkner said.
Topolino will work with wheelchair distributors and retailers to sell these new wheels in the aftermarket; the company is also in talks with several OEMs.
Topolino recently introduced the CarbonCore WX2.5 at the Abilities Expo in New Jersey. “The initial response was fantastic,” Falkner said. “It was unbelievable.”