Updated on May 2, 2018


Created on June 7, 2014

Rough Rider Wheelchair

Upcoming Update

Developed By Unknown

Product Description

Rough Rider Wheelchair is a wheelchair designed to handle rugged terrain with ease.

Market Suggested Retail Price


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

RoughRiders are purchased by international NGOs, governments, and individuals engaged in local wheelchair provision. This list of field partners is available.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Components are mass produced  in regional factories.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Can be purchased directly from the designer. BOGO program available. RoughRiders are distributed by community organizations based on predetermined needs in developing countries.

Distributions to Date Status

End users are identified by community organizations engaged in wheelchair provision in local communities. Whirlwind has reached users in over 40 countries.

Design Specifications

Detailed design specifications are available by clicking here.

Technical Support

Simple assembly instructions on paper and video are provided with each order for the distributing organization to use. Each RoughRider chair comes with a 60-page User Manual which gives instructions on assembly, adjustment, and use. These instructions are for the wheelchair provider and for the wheelchair rider. Whirlwind assists with capacity building for local professionals and paraprofessionals in order to establish and maintain a sustainable infrastructure for wheelchair services such as assessment, fitting, rider training, and repair.

Replacement Components

Whirlwind is expanding its franchise program  with the development of Wheelchair Provision and Assembly Centers (WPACs), which will serve as local hubs for continuous in-person service for the RoughRider and its users.


Although life cycle is not indicated, users have been know to have the chair over 20 years.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Works on rough terrain; easily repairable; composed of readily available components for simple repair around the world; adjustable to accommodate individual needs; maximum load 100kg; affordable in developing country contexts.

Vetted Performance Status

Whirlwind conducted tests  found the RoughRider to pass the ISO Standard tests, including the minimum 200,000 cycles on the two-drum durability tests P10.4, and 6,666 cycle horizontal 50 mm (2 inch) drop test P10.5. Passing the static strength and impact tests is a good indicator of a chair's ability to also pass the ISO Standard durability tests.


A wheelchair that is not properly fit to the needs of an individual user can result in discomfort or injury (such as scoliosis or pressure sores) due to insufficient support or improper cushioning. There is also a risk of tipping while using a wheelchair.

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

William Armstrong, Kim D. Reisinger, William K. Smith. Evaluation of CIR-Whirlwind Wheelchair and service provision in Afghanistan  Disability and Rehabilitation, 2007, Vol. 29, No. 11-12 : Pages 935-948

Compliance with regulations

ISO International Standards for Wheelchairs. Extended ISO standards- developed by Whirlwind as a more appropriate measure of the forces a wheelchair will be subjected to on rough terrain in developing countries. Simplified Strength Testing of Manual Wheelchairs in Developing Countries-- developed by Whirlwind from ANSI/RESNA standards to allow for tests to be performed using simple, readily available tools when elaborate and expensive testing equipment is not available.

Other Information


Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


April 24, 2018

Motivation Rough Terrain Wheelchair

Read Solution


July 31, 2020

GEN_1 Design Wheelchair

Read Solution
All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member