Why do Wheelchairs Have Angled Wheels?

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For the wheelchair users or those that are well exposed to the various models, whether it is the electric wheelchair or the manual one, you may have noticed that some models are designed with angled wheels. But you still wonder why it is so.

Yes, you may not have heard the word “camber” before but that’s exactly what it is called. Now, to calm your curiosity, we need to look at the importance and why it matters to you.

The wheelchair camber and what it means

The camber is the measurement of the wheels as it relates to the ground surface. The camber angle is said to be zero when the wheel is perpendicular to the ground and completely straight up and down. The wheel angle is considered negative when it tilts towards the wheelchair at the top. When the angle is away from the wheelchair at the top, then it is considered as a positive camber measurement.

However, this angle on wheels applies only to the rear wheels, especially for the electric wheelchairs.

Why does wheelchair with angled wheel matter to you?

To answer this question, we would have to look at the benefits of having this design on the various wheelchair models.

Wheelchair parts

Benefits of the angled wheels on a wheelchair

·         Redirects forces to soften the ride.

·         The wider footprint adds lateral stability to the wheelchair.

·         Protects the hands when pushing in tight areas since the bottom of the wheels will make contact first with walls and doorframes.

·         Places the push rims in a more ergonomic position for pushing. It is more natural to push down and outward.

·         Less strain on shoulders since the plane of the wheel is closer to that of the shoulder.

·         Gives the wheelchair a sportier look.

·         Makes turning quicker.

It is important to note that having angled wheels on a wheelchair may add to the cost of the chair.

It is solely the responsibility of good electric wheelchair suppliers and manufacturers to note that inappropriate angled wheels;

·         Will make the wheelchair wider

·         May cause the wheels to rub against the armrest side panels or against the user

·         May cause diminished traction and uneven tire wear on a conventional tire

But, some wheelchair manufacturers usually add offset treads to the tires which will compensate for the angle or cambering.

However, some electric wheelchairs do not come with the camber adjustment option. So when ordering from an electric wheelchair supplier, you need to specify the degree of the camber you would prefer.


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