Unlike racing bicycles, touring bicycles aren’t as stripped back and thus allow cyclists to sustain performance over a period of time. In the same way, Grand Touring cars provide long-term performance insight that helps engineers design race-worthy cars for the road. The same principles of performance and sturdiness are used in the design of the Ultra Long Distance Wheelchair by designer Andrew Mitchell. The wheelchair has been designed specifically to accommodate rough usage by professionals over ultra long distances.
Comfort for the user and optimal performance were some of the main priorities in its design, though it is created more as a stylistic experiment for racing wheelchairs. To propel a wheelchair along, tracking motion is required and comfort of the user is paramount when the cyclist needs to transfer his physical strength to the wheelchair’s on-road movement over long distances. For touring use, the Ultra Long Distance Wheelchair positions the rider in such a way that his chest is placed in an open position to facilitate better breathing. The position of the legs is also more relaxed than a traditional racing wheelchair to minimize discomfort. This position also gives the rider more options for supporting body weight using a more traditional seating position than resting it solely on the legs.
By keeping the shoulders over the front edge of the driving wheels, the whole body position can be engaged by the rider to provide maximum power. In this orientation, the body position is quite open and thus helps prevent stress and strain over long periods of time. The exterior of the Ultra Long Distance Wheelchair has been covered in carbon fiber and some of it is left exposed intentionally. Gold and red accenting along the key performance parts helps draw attention to the smaller details of the bike and makes the wheelchair look sporty and aggressive.
Source: Andrew Mitchell