We purchase our trikes from Bike-On in Warwick, Rhode Island. Bike-On supports us with parts procurement and technical advice. Portland Wheelers in turn provides feedback on our experience, as we are the largest user of the OPair tricycle in the USA.
CycleMania in Portland generously provides local trike maintenance support.
The OPair tricycle is no ordinary trike. The rear half of the tricycle frame attaches via quick-release hardware to a uniquely designed stand-alone wheelchair. When the two sections are connected the chair tilts slightly back, lifting the front guide wheels off the ground. This produces a relaxed, stable sitting position, and makes conversation easy between wheeler and pilot.
The trike has special suspension and hybrid tires that are excellent on various surfaces. Disc brakes control the two front wheels, while standard caliper brakes control the rear wheel.
The trikes accommodate a wheeler weighing up to 225 pounds and a pilot weighing up to the same weight.
The e-assist is engaged at all times, assisting pilots at start up, in going up hills and when transporting heavier passengers. The e-assist enables volunteers of all ages and athletic ability to pilot the trikes.
The pneumatic-assist steering means secure handling, while the twin brake systems ensure complete control at all times. The wheelchair’s low center of gravity and wide front wheelbase provide superior stability.
Trikes purchased by Portland Wheelers have additional safety features including a 4-point chest harness, flip-up/down foot rests, and front wheel safety covers.
Wheelers at all levels of functioning ride in comfort and security. They do not need to be physically mobile (ambulatory) nor have advanced cognitive skills. Because of this, the program is available to a wide range of people and body types, young and old alike.