Silver rigid frame with two handlebars, brackets, brakes and leavers; one for acceleration and one for reverse. In addition to a bell, screen display, quick-charging battery, and a medium-sized wheel.
15 Miles – 4 Hour Charging Time
Source of Item:
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Due to the nature of my disability, I can’t use an attachment that involves repeatedly moving my arms (e.g. a Wheelchair Hand Bike), so I opted for a Firefly Electric Wheelchair Power Attachment, by Rio Mobility which allows me to go anywhere, regardless of whether the terrain is rough or there is a steep gradient.
Before purchasing the attachment, I contacted John Preston who provided me with a lot of information about the device over the phone, checked whether my wheelchair was compatible and organised a home demonstration. I really appreciated the opportunity to test drive the product in my home environment before committing to purchasing! If I remember correctly, you have to have a manual wheelchair that doesn’t have removable/swing away footplates.
After raising enough money to order the Firefly, I was slightly disappointed with how difficult and time-consuming it was to assemble. There was also one part that arrived damaged, but thankfully a replacement part arrived within a few days.
The device hooks onto my wheelchair via a simple 2-point attachment system, making it quick and easy to attach and detach. I initially found it difficult to guide the hooks onto such a small target, but it definitely gets easier with practice! To remove the device you simply pull back the locking leavers, lower your wheelchair and lift the device off. I am then usually able to lean forward and place it on the floor, but because it isn’t too heavy it is very easy to pass it sideways to someone else.
This device is very simple to operate and has a small display attached that control the speed. The top speed is 12mph, which is great fun when you are in a clear open space, but you certainly don’t need to go that fast most of the time! The handlebars and brakes are easy to grip and support your hands very well. You also have a little leaver under each handlebar (one to go forward and one to go backwards), which can be swapped over if preferred. One of the main selling points for me was the fact that this attachment is considerably cheaper than other powered attachments on the market!
Overall, I would highly recommend this attachment to anyone who wants the independence that a power chair brings, without having to give up your manual wheelchair. It feels great to be able to independently walk my assistance dog, and I love nothing more than zooming alongside her. Although I recommend using this device in conjunction with Quickie Mountain Bike Wheels, as together these items have made a HUGE difference to my overall comfort, independence, and enjoyment!