The smoothness of the ride, speed, maneuverability, and control are all related to the wheelchair wheels, tires and casters.
Manual wheelchairs usually have two sets of wheels:
• A pair in front (called caster or steering wheels);
• And a pair in the back (called drive wheels).
Power wheelchairs may have up to three pairs:
• One drive;
• Two caster.
Size can also have an influence on maneuverability within the environment, a larger diameter rear wheel makes maneuvering on rougher terrain easier due to its enhanced ability to climb objects but, depending on its position within the wheelchair frame, can make the wheelchair footprint slightly larger making it difficult to navigate very tight spaces, but with proper set-up this could be avoided. Typical rear wheel sizes for a manual wheelchair will range from 20”-26” in diameter, 24” being the most common.