Lever drive

Learn about the benefits of this revolutionary approach to mobility


Lever drives combine the efficiency of handycles and the small size of manual wheelchairs. They amplify your force, making it easier to self propel, especially outdoors on grass, sand, and rough terrain. Scientific research shows that lever drives are ergonomic and a great source of low-impact cardio exercise. While lever drives have been around for decades, new products on the market like the GRIT Freedom Chair make the advantages of lever drives accessible for everyone.

What are the benefits of using a lever drive?


Easy to push

The GRIT Freedom Chair's lever drive has a mechanical advantage between the lever and the wheel, making it easier to push the chair forward than on push-rim wheelchairs.


Low impact

Lever drives use an ergonomic motion that engages large muscle groups in the chest and shoulders. They can help eliminate the shoulder issues that plague push-rim wheelchair users.


Clean hands

Lever drives keep your hands far away from the wheels and everything they are rolling through. They also provide easy braking, since you don't have to try to grab slippery push rims.


Fun to ride

Lever drives take the physical stress out of pushing yourself around, helping you to focus on enjoying your environment and the friends and family you're exploring it with.


Heart healthy

The ergonomic lever motion is easy on smooth ground, exercising your heart and lungs rather than just your arms. Many GRIT Freedom Chair riders love the low impact cardio workout.



Lever drives are compact, especially when compared to crank-drives on handcycles. For example, GRIT Freedom Chair easily disassembles to fit in the the trunk of a small car.

Who is it for?

Lever wheelchairs have been around for a while, but new designs like the GRIT Freedom Chair have introduced them to a much wider audience! With over two hundred GRIT Freedom Chairs in parks, at beaches, and on trails around the US, it's clear that all kinds of riders can benefit from lever drives. Members of the GRIT community include:

Anyone with difficulty walking


Outdoor enthusiasts


People who want to exercise


People with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, leg amputation, traumatic brain injury, and other disabilities can use lever drives. Since lever drives are easier to push, and don't require grip strength to operate, riders who cannot self-propel in a regular push-rim wheelchair may be able to push themselves in a lever drive chair. Many people who do not typically use a wheelchair, but have difficulty walking outdoors or for long distances, can enjoy the benefits of lever drives.

Outdoor enthusiasts with limited mobility who miss the freedom and adventure of the outdoors can also benefit from lever drive chairs like the GRIT Freedom Chair. It's also a great choice for wheelchair riders who are looking for a form of low-impact exercise to keep in shape.

How does a lever drive compare?

vs Manual Wheelchairs

Easier to push

Studies on wheelchair propulsion found that lever drives don't require as much strength as push rims.

Lower impact

Ergonomic studies found that the lever motion doesn't stress your shoulders and wrists like push rims do.

Keep your hands clean

The padded levers keep your hands away from trail dirt and street grime.

More stable on uneven terrain

Lever driven chairs, like the GRIT Freedom Chair, can have a larger footprint than traditional wheelchairs, increasing their stability.

vs Handcycles

Upright seating position

You can sit comfortably at a normal wheelchair height, rather than inches above the ground.

Indoor mobility

Chairs with lever drives are a lot shorter than handcycles, making them much easier to maneuver indoors.

Easier to transport

Since lever drive chairs are shorter and narrower than handcycles, they can fit in your car's trunk.

More versatile

Handcycles are great on roads, and that's about it. Lever chairs work on the road, but also the yard, the trail, the beach, the store, and more!

vs Power Wheelchairs


Unlike power chairs, in a lever chair you can push yourself, which helps you build strength and endurance.

More fun

Pushing yourself in a lever chair is fun! Feel in control of your own mobility and proud of your ability.

Easier to transport

Lever drive chairs are lighter weight than power chairs, and don't require lifts or specialized vans to transport.

Infinite battery life

Unlike power chairs, lever chairs don't have electronics that need recharging or mainteance. You're the battery!
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See for yourself!

The GRIT Freedom Chair is the world's most popular lever drive chair. Ride one at home risk-free for 30 days.