Wheelchair bearings are cylindrical housings that allow for free movement of caster wheels, caster forks, rear wheels on manual wheelchairs, motors, gearboxes and some suspension components of power wheelchairs and scooters. In fact, bearings are more prevalent than you might think: the average manual wheelchair has 12 bearings!
Over time, bearings become worn, causing a general deterioration of the wheelchair or scooter part the bearing is attached to. Symptoms can include:
- Increased effort to push a wheelchair (or self-propel)
- Decreased agility of a manual wheelchair
- Squeaks, groans, etc. of manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and scooters
- Outright failure of the bearing (the bearing breaks apart)
The good news is that in most cases, bearings are easily replaceable. All you need is the size of the bearing, the reference number if available, and the bearing type.