Trekinetic Overview: Who, What, Why?

Trekinetic All Terrain Limited was originally a state of the art engineering company (under a different name) that specialised in the manufacture of components for the Motor Racing and Formula 1 industries. Some of the worlds most iconic road and track vehicles, were originally built on components manufactured in our factory.

Back in 2000, we decided that there must be a way to get this cutting edge technology before a wider audience. But which was the product that could best benefit from such advanced technology?

By chance, we stumbled upon the everyday wheelchair. Alarmingly, it was still based upon an antiquated metal tube chassis design. This technique had been abandoned by most automobile manufacturers in the 1950's, when they switched to unitary construction. Yet wheelchair manufacturers were still employing it. Why hadn’t they moved on?

Six years,14 running prototypes and thousands of modifications later, the now definitive Trekinetic 3 wheel, manually propelled K-2 was unleashed upon the world in 2006. It was not entirely ready and not everybody was convinced. However, many wanted to know more and within 2 weeks the fledgling Trekinetic website had rocketed from zero to over 13,000 hits. Plus we had our first few orders.

Nowadays, you would be surprised to know, how many people rely on the K-2 for daily transport. From the remotest corners of the globe, to the most exclusive city streets, all our customers share the same open minded approach to life. And with their Trekinetic they are going to get as much out of it as possible.

The Monocoque Seat

A bit about automobiles: In the old days motor cars had a tubular steel frame. The body, engine and wheels were bolted on to this frame that was called the chassis. Then somebody thought, if we can make the body strong enough, we can bolt everything to that and discard the frame chassis. This strong body, or stressed member is known as a Monocoque chassis. At TREKINETIC we realised that if we made our seat out of a high tech, strong, lightweight material called Carbon Fibre, two things could happen. It could be made strong enough to attach all the mounting hardware and dispose of the chassis idea entirely. Also if we shaped the inside to suit the human body, superior comfort and support could be effected It meant a complicated moulding process and huge tooling investment, but we decided we just had to do it.

Why is Front wheel drive better?

Consider this: When you propel a traditional rear propelled wheelchair, you are effectively pushing only against your body weight. If you push hard enough, you might lift yourself out of the chair. That limits how effectively you can push. We realised that doesn't quite happen with front wheel propulsion, because the reaction to pushing is resisted and supported by the backrest.

The only reason it wasn't done before, is that nobody could make a front wheel propelled 3 wheel chair run straight. We finally solved this with our innovative rear wheel bias system. Then we found our big wheels at the front idea, had a totally unexpected ability. Namely that the chair could traverse uneven and rough (off-road) surfaces with unheard of ease. Even the power GTE model benefits from this configuration.

'Varicam' Variable wheel camber

If big front wheels can roll over rougher ground more easily, that means higher speeds will be possible, right? Basically yes, if you wish. However, higher speeds can reduce stability, so we needed to camber (incline) the wheels outwards to overcome this. But then that was no good for getting through doorways. So a truly revolutionary, self locking 'Varicam' variable camber system was developed. It is quick to change (15 seconds) and requires no tools or loose parts. It was considered so ingenious, that it was used in a world-wide competition by the prestigious engineering magazine Eureka, to see if engineers could work out how the problem was solved. For you, it's just another elegant solution to an everyday problem.

The Dynamic Braking system

During our extensive testing programme, we found our new wave, 3 wheel, front driven machine had abilities far in excess of some conventional wheelchairs. However, downhill when the going got tough for example, we wanted to be able to control our descent by applying braking to the front wheels. Rather than our hands slipping off, we came up with a lever system that not only dynamically slows the chair, but can make it change direction too. It works just as well for the attendant version and both types have an integrated handbrake and offer a further dimension, compared with convention.

The Nitrogen Shock Absorber

Its not just a shock absorber, its a variable length, lockable shock absorber. With the big tyres on the front, a nice smooth ride with shock absorbing characteristics was assured. But the rear wheel tyre could not be so big. So we fitted a gas shock absorber and then thats when the real Eureka moment arrived. If our shock absorber could change its effective length automatically (like the height of an office chair) owners could angle the seat to change their weight distribution, just when they needed to. It means when going downhill for example, you can recline the seat back, so you wont feel youre tipping out. This was our Trekinetics first Patent and typical of our pursuit of the elegant solution, namely one component doing two jobs.

Transformation (folding)

No matter how good a chair performs, it's not much good if you can't transport it in a car. Trekinetic designed-in this aspect from day one, even the GTE. Unclip the quick release wheels, unclasp and collapse the rear assembly, slide the telescopic footrest in and that's it. It takes just moments: 2 wheels,1 centre tub, nothing to get lost.

Our satisfied customers

We had it delivered to a friends house and have since picked it up from there so we can have it with us on holiday.

Everything is intact and working as it should and we are giving it a real test drive at the moment.
It is a very smooth push and I love the way it steers and handles on dirt tracks. The brakes were absolutely amazing on the downhill as well and I didn’t need to worry about losing control on some very steep sections.

I will forward the photos to the Lions Club too, they will love them!

Thanks again, we really are very happy with the chair and can see it being central to our lifestyle for many years.

- Mikaela

From Victoria Discovering Her New K2

Hello Mike
I thought I would get in touch and thank you again for making a wheelchair available for Jackie to go to Myanmar. Our trip was absolutely everything we had hoped for. The chair enabled us to do so much and the chair has been on every form of transport from a bullock cart, to pony and trap, side car, tuk tuk and long boat.

The terrain we travelled over was difficult at times for those on two legs, the three wheels managed admirably, assisted at times by the crew of the boat.

Rest assured the wheelchair was put to very good use and created a holiday for us to remember in the months ahead.

Thank you,
Kindest regards

- Ian and Jackie

Discovering Myanmar (Burma)

The Trekinetic made all the difference for me to get around on my school trip in France.

- Ben

From UK on school trip to France

Before my accident I was a big traveller and it's thanks to this chair that I’m able to continue this outward bound lifestyle. The light weight means people can very easily lift me and the chair over any obstacles and up the occasional flight of stairs. I’ve managed to get on and off public transport and around major cities in Mexico, Brazil and Sri Lanka without any problems. We take long walks on beaches and through forests which would otherwise be impossible. Thank you so much Trekinetic!!

- Tom

From London, UK (GTE)

When I became paralysed from a horse racing fall back in 1995, the thought of being in a wheelchair, confined to concrete and unable to access the great outdoors filled me with depression.

Thanks to the Trekinetic, it feels like the whole world is available for me to explore. I use it every day, whatever the weather, to exercise my dogs. We use the labyrinth of bridle paths and footpaths to explore Shropshire and beyond. Because of its compact design I’m able to put it in the boot of my car using a hoist and go off on my own wherever and whenever I want. I have found it to be extremely reliable and tough and can cope with almost any terrain. I have even been to the summit of the Wrekin, a 1000' Shropshire landmark, in it. It turns on a sixpence and can go through some types of kissing gate. If it could go over styles I'd be even happier but some local councils are slowly replacing stiles with gates.

It often attracts the attention of people who are interested in engineering and design and they are fascinated and impressed by it. The tyres are also a talking point.

I'm delighted with the Trekinetic because its trustworthy, reliable and it keeps me sane by getting me out into the countryside.

- Rebecca

From the Shropshire, UK (GTE)

© 2016 | All rights reserved.