Quickie XTender Power Assist - Does It Improve Mobility?

Transform a Manual Wheelchair into a Power Wheelchair

A man using a wheelchair.
A man using a wheelchair. Alija/Getty Images

The Quickie Xtender is a bit of a hybrid concept. It bridges the gap between manual wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs.

What is the Quickie Xtender?

The Quickie Xtender is a set of power-assisted wheels that you buy separately and add to your existing manual wheelchair.

The wheelchair you selected and purchased remains the chair you will sit in. The wheels are simply replaced to get the benefits of the Quickie Xtender.

The product includes instructions to remove the existing wheels and replace them with the motorized wheels.

The Purpose of the Quickie Xtender

A wheelchair user routinely encounters environments or terrain in their daily living that can be exhausting and difficult to negotiate with a manual wheelchair. Perhaps the person lives on a hill or has to traverse a hill in their daily travels. These types of scenarios may eventually limit the person's range of freedom and independence.

By turning that person's manual wheelchair into a power chair with the Quickie Xtender, the power assistance can reduce the owner's fatigue. They will not tire as quickly because they will not have to manually roll the wheels themselves. Less fatigue for the user means they may be able to go farther and become more mobile.

On those hill scenarios, the Xtender provides what Quickie calls "rollback" assistance. This feature helps keep the chair from rolling backward on a hill thanks to the motor's propulsion.

Using a Wheelchair with the Quickie Xtender

The wheelchair user still pushes the wheels on their chair, like a regular manual wheelchair. The power assistance motor assists in the propulsion of the chair.

The Xtender system makes the user's push more efficient and effective by making the chair move further with less effort.

Some people prefer the look and feel of their manual wheelchair because it's what they have grown accustomed to, so the Xtender solution meets that need.

Pros and Cons

Testers found the product to be reliable but calling for support took some effort.

You may find the expense of replacement parts considerable. When you shop for this product, talk to the salesperson about the process to follow if you need replacement parts. Also, get a sense of what they charge for those parts should you need them.

The main replacement part to be concerned with is the battery. The chair is well-built, but the battery, as with most products, is what has the shortest lifespan. Make sure you ask the salesperson what the battery and chargers cost in case you need to replace them. They can cost in the hundreds of dollars.

Consider using the Quickie Xtender with pneumatic tires only. Solid inserts seem to put extra pressure on the spokes and hubs, which can cause them to break.

The Quickie Xtender is easy to control and it definitely takes the exertion off of the user's shoulders.

As it claims, you can go farther, and up hills, etc., with much less physical effort.

Quickie XTender Features and Benefits

  • The power assistance strengthens the force the user applies to the wheelchair hand rims.
  • The user still enjoys the benefit of quick-release wheels that they have benefited from on their traditional manual wheelchair
  • The chair stores and transports like a traditional manual wheelchair.
  • The power-assist units in the wheels are electronically synchronized so the chair propels straight.
  • The power assistance battery is light weight.
  • The user does not have to program the power assist wheels in any way.
  • The hand rim grip accommodates people with poor hand dexterity.
  • The system helps the user move farther with less effort and exhaustion.
  • Makes climbing hills or traversing other difficult terrain like grass and dirt paths easier.
  • "Rollback" assistance for climbing hills helps prevent the chair from rolling backward.

Quickie XTender Power Assist Specifications

  • Available/Compatible with Quickie 2, GT, GTi, and GP Series
  • Product Weight: Approx. 35 lbs. off-chair
  • Product Width: 11" - 22" seat width
  • Product Length/Depth: 10" - 20" seat depth
  • Product Height: 18" seat to floor
  • Product Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Overall Width 20.25"- 30.75"
  • Caster Options 4", 5", 5 x 1.5", 6", 6 x 1.5", 8", 8 x 2"
  • Rear Wheel Size: 24"
  • Important Note: Wheelchair is not included. XTender includes everything needed for first time use (tires, tubes, handrims, axels, battery, charger).

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