Great tip for manual wheelchair users.

I love to have water, tea, and coffee, basically any fluids accessible as much as possible at an arms reach. Being a wheelchair user I always have to think of ways to make anything work for me. Considering I have to use both hands when moving adds to the stress of simply holding a drink while walking. *cough, I mean rolling.

When I got the NOVA walker in 2010 I did not think much about this problem. A few weeks of using it I looked for a cup holder and sure enough NOVA makes one. They are okay. I mean I still have my third one. You see, every time I upgraded to another walker because of the stress fractures in the frame, I managed to crack and/or break the plastic holder. They were about $25 back then, now on amazon you can get the cup holder for about $17.50.

If your still using a walker I suggest finding a cheaper solution; Walgreens or Target has some that are 10 bucks just by simply doing a web search for a walker cup holder. NOVA’s brand in my opinion is fine, but I think a user could get a better product for the money. The cup holder is a cheap piece of plastic with two black screws.

When I got into the wheelchair I looked for solutions. Tilite has accessories for their chairs; it’s ridiculous to see that with all the “accessories” – which are over priced FYI – there is no cup holder!? I need to be a consultant with DME wheelchair companies like Tilite or Colours to give the designers and engineers a real-life user perspective using their products.

On the contrary, I found a perfect solution to add cup holders to my chair without drilling holes into the wheelchair frame or using any screws. I discovered that there is only one sports store that carries the type of “Bottle Cage” needed. Dicks Sporting Goods; not eBay, Amazon, Sports Authority, or Big 5 carries the correct rope cleat looking back of the Bottle Cage like Dicks… :/

For 6 bucks each it isn’t a problem if they break, fall off when out-in-about, or the Bottle Cage gets old. They are flexible- eventually break from medal fatigue, but worth it by allowing me to carry Big Gulps, Slurpees, Bottles, Soda cans, regular glass cups, and even mugs. Anything really! I have one on each side of my chair, love it!

To attach the Bottle Cage to the tube frame of the chair I first started with Hose Clamps available at any hardware store. Hose clamps are more work, but hold better than zip-ties. If the cup holders have to be taken off (say going through security at the airport) zip ties are faster to take off (with scissors or a box cutter versus a wrench or socket). Another benefit using zip ties is that hair on my calf muscles don’t get caught when they rub against the frame like Hose Clamps do. This solution is the most economical solution to keep drinks at an arms reach using a manual chair for daily living.

So to recap, here is what is needed:

2 Nishiki Alloy Water Bottle Cage
– Package of 6” or 8” zip ties (need 4) or two Hose Clamps.