The pushrim is an integral part of the racing wheelchair. You can’t get anywhere without a solid pushrim and a good pair of gloves! Though the pushrim surface is sturdy rubber, it eventually wears out just as tires do. They usually need to be replaced every one or two seasons, depending on the amount of mileage you put on them and the wear and tear they receive. One way to tell that the rubber on your pushrims is wearing out is that the rubber will start to come off in small chunks. This can prevent good contact between your gloves and rims and cause slippage. Sometimes the rubber can become so worn that you will start to see the threaded surface beneath. The more worn out the surface, the harder it will be to get an efficient push stroke, increasing your effort and decreasing your speed.
There are two main types of pushrim surface: rubber and laced. The rubber is either specialized tubing or tire tread, both of which are glued to aluminum rims. Laced pushrims have rubber laces wrapped around them for additional gripping power. Purchasing replacement tubing can be expensive, and using tire tread is an easy way to recycle your used tires. I prefer to use old front tires because they have less wear than rear tires and so will last longer on your pushrims. Continue reading