How does the GRIT Freedom Chair work?

The GRIT Freedom Chair is an all-terrain wheelchair built for every type of adventure. Developed by MIT engineers, this easy-to- push, lever-driven wheelchair comes armed with rugged mountain bike wheels, a big, sturdy front wheel that doesn’t get stuck, and optional trail handles, allowing you to choose your own adventure.

Instead of grabbing onto the wheels directly, push the levers forward to propel yourself. To brake, pull them backwards all the way until they touch the tires. There is a part that comes out perpendicularly from the lever, such that when you pull the levers backward beyond a certain angle, it engages with the tire and stops it. The brakes are also used for turning; braking one wheel rotates the chair in that direction.

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY. This short video covers some basic tips about riding the Freedom Chair.

Is it covered by insurance?

This is a very common question we receive. Unfortunately, the GRIT Freedom Chair is not generally covered. We have on occasion worked with Vocational Rehabilitation programs and Workers Comp, but not private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. We've found that they generally won't cover anything that is used primarily outside or for recreation. While the Freedom Chair can be used indoors, it really shines outdoors, so individuals have a hard time making the case to their insurance company.

However, we will help you the best we can and will help you figure out the best way to present the Freedom Chair to your insurance company. Contact us at 1-877-345-4748.

How do I know that the GRIT Freedom Chair will work for my disability?

People of all ages and abilities are using the GRIT Freedom Chair to move beyond the pavement. We have riders with spinal cord injuries, multiple cclerosis, various joint conditions, amputations, cerebral palsy, and more. Our oldest rider is 94 years young and our youngest is 5, so we truly feel that there isn’t just one type of person this chair caters to. To learn more about our riders, head on over to our Rider Stories page.

How much does the chair weigh?

Our most popular model, the 3.0 weighs a total of 45 pounds. Disassembled, the weight of the heaviest part of the chair is just 25 pounds.

How do riders transfer into the chair?

Each rider has their own preference for transferring, and it can take some time to figure out what works best for you. To help show various ways and methods of transferring into the chair, we have compiled several videos below. Need a more specific example based on disability type? Let us know and we will reach out to a rider for you!

Ty, C5 quadriplegic

Jeremy, T-4 complete SCI

William, cerebral palsy

Nerissa, chronic pain, difficulty walking

Maggie, C5/C6 SCI

 

How much strength do I need to push the levers?

Pushing the levers is easier than pushing push-rims, so if you're able to maneuver those, you'll be absolutely fine in our chair. We've also had a number of people who can't use push-rims who do great in our chair. You need some strength to push the levers forward, and very little to pull back, as the backwards stroke just ratchets and resets for the next stroke.

Can I fit the GRIT Freedom Chair in my car?

Yes! We designed the GRIT Freedom Chair to come apart into small pieces that are easy to store into a car. The wheels, seatback, and footrest are all quick release, enabling the GRIT Freedom Chair to fit into the trunk of a small car. We designed it to disassemble in less than a minute, and the more you disassemble the lighter it gets (as opposed to folding chairs, which stay the same weight regardless).

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY. See the GRIT Freedom Chair being loaded into a Toyota Corolla.

Disassembled in the trunk.

Disassembled in the trunk.

Can I fly with the GRIT Freedom Chair?

Yes! We fly with them all of the time. We check them as "checked wheelchairs" at the ticketing counter before security, the same way one would check a bag. Since it's a wheelchair, airlines typically do not charge to check the chair and don't count it against your baggage allowance.

The levers are the only part of the chair that could get lost during the flight. We either put them into another checked bag or we tape them to the main tube of the chair. We often wrap this main tube with bubble wrap to hold in the levers more securely and to keep the chair from getting scratched.

When you check the GRIT Freedom Chair, tell the counter agent that the chair doesn't fold or come apart at all. This is not necessarily true, but you don't want them disassembling the chair to save space and then losing a component. Be sure to put a few name tags on the chair: one on the main frame and other on the seat back (in case they remove it). 

When you arrive at your destination, the GRIT Freedom Chair almost always gets put out at the "oversized luggage claim" carousel. 

Want to hear from riders who have flown with their chairs? Click here!

What is the weight limit?

The weight limit of the GRIT Freedom Chair 3.0 is 300 pounds. We worked really hard to make the GRIT Freedom Chair appropriate for heavier riders, which is why our weight limit is 75 pounds higher than typical wheelchairs. However, we're limited by the weight capacity of the bike parts (in this case, the wheels) that we have available to us. 

How do I choose the correct size?

The only measurement you need to figure out before ordering is your seat width: the widest width of your legs and hips. This tutorial video will help you choose the right GRIT Freedom Chair size. For more detail, click here.

Is financing available?

Yes! To help with the purchase, we have several financing options, including a payment plan, as well as tips on grants and loan programs. Learn more about financing options here.

I'm a Veteran. Can I get the GRIT Freedom Chair through the VA health system?

Yes! The GRIT Freedom Chair is on VA Contract (V797D-60697). Some veterans may qualify to receive a chair from the VA at no cost to them. If you get your healthcare at the VA and the VA has previously purchased equipment for you, you may qualify. Our Veterans Affairs page has much more information.

Is there a warranty?

Yes. We stand behind what we build.

Every GRIT Freedom Chair is hand assembled and certified by our engineering and design team in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We've tested the GRIT Freedom Chair extensively in the lab, in the field, and with the help of wheelchair riders around the world. Every component has been extensively prototyped and refined based on our combined twenty-five years of experience designing mobility aids for some of the most extreme environments in the world. That being said, unexpected things happen, and we want to be there for you when they do.

If you have any issues with your GRIT Freedom Chair you can contact us directly at info@gogrit.us or +1-877-345-4748.

We're the designers of the product and we'll do everything we can to make things right. In short, our two year warranty covers repairs or replacements of all non-wear components of the GRIT Freedom Chair manufactured by GRIT, subject to the terms below. Wear parts, such as tires, tubes, brakes, and bearings, are not covered. 

The full warranty can be reviewed here.

Can I return it?

We know you'll love your GRIT Freedom Chair, which is why we offer a 30-day "no questions asked" money back guarantee for most models. If you are not satisfied in any way, you can return your GRIT Freedom Chair in its original packaging for a full refund, minus the cost of shipping. Because they are custom built to order, returns of the GRIT Freedom Chair Pro come with a 15% return fee. Trust us, you won't be the first person to buy before you try. Over 80% of our customers have purchased the GRIT Freedom Chair without test riding and they tell us they can't imagine their lives without it.

Can I try it first?

We strongly believe that the best way to get to know the Freedom Chair is in your own back yard. That's why we offer a 30-day risk-free trial, and in fact, over 80% of our current riders bought the chair before they tried it. Here's how that trial works:

  1. Buy a GRIT Freedom Chair from us. You can order a GRIT Freedom Chair at our online store. Financing is available.

  2. We'll ship you a GRIT Freedom Chair via UPS Ground. It typically arrives within a week of you placing your order.

  3. The GRIT Freedom Chair is delivered. Your 30 day trial starts from the delivery date.

  4. Unbox the GRIT Freedom Chair. Save the original packaging, as this will be required for a return.

  5. Ride the GRIT Freedom Chair outdoors. It's ok to get it a little dirty.

  6. If you decide, for any reason, that the GRIT Freedom Chair is not right for you, contact us to initiate your return within 30 days of receiving the chair.

  7. We'll send you a return shipping label and some new straps for the box.

  8. Pack the chair, in good undamaged condition, back into the original packaging. Send it back to us using the shipping label provided.

  9. As soon as we receive the chair, we'll inspect it and then issue you the refund, minus the cost of shipping.

We've outlined the boxing and return process here.

Is international shipping available?

Yes, international shipping is available. Contact us at info@gogrit.us with your ship-to address to request a shipping quote.

How do I fix my chair?

We hope you don’t have problems with your Freedom Chair, but we know that things happen! To make it easy and affordable to fix, every moving part of the GRIT Freedom Chair is a standard bicycle part and can be fixed at bike shop. Here's a list of the components that are bike-shop friendly:

  • The rear wheels are 26" mountain bike wheels.

  • The rear bearings are bottom-bracket bearings.

  • The lever rotates around a sealed square-taper bottom-bracket cartridge.

  • The chain ring is a standard 64mm bolt-circle-diameter chain ring.

  • The chain is standard 9-speed chain.

  • The front wheel rotates around a bicycle front hub.

  • The footrest and parking brakes are held in place by bicycle seat post clamps.

  • The fork rotates around a bicycle headset.

If you're in a bike shop and need help finding replacement parts, don't hesitate to contact GRIT

What happens if anything breaks?

We're here for you! We designed the chair and are ready to help get you rolling again. Contact us and we'll make things right.

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