Hi folx! I'm Jude and I'm the creator of the add-on lever drive, The Merit Drive! Over the years, as an ambulatory wheelchair user, I have struggled to find the perfect add-on power assist for my chair and my life.
Power assist wheels left me running into walls, pushing and pulling on my hand-rims erratically in crowds, and having to switch them on and off way more frequently than I expected. They ended up being more of a hassle than a help for me personally.
I tried out an attendant power assist, attaching it to my footplate and gerry-rigging the control to be operated by my foot, but ultimately it wasn't very powerful, it was bulky, it impeded my ability to hop curbs, and it tired out my ankle to operate it - beyond that, it wouldn't work for someone with more limited leg function.
I dreamed of trying a SmartDrive, but couldn't afford even a used one. Used SmartDrives that are for parts only can run over a thousand dollars, with new units costing over six thousand dollars!
I tried push rim grips, wheelchair gloves, hill climbing brakes, the works. All of it made things more complicated -- and expensive!
I've spent thousands trying to make my wheelchair work for me only to get sore joints, soggy gloves, dirty hands, and disappointment.
The only thing that even remotely worked for me were lever drive wheelchairs like the GRIT Chair, Mountain Trike, and NuDrive Air (which I got to try out but couldn't afford for myself).
While these are AMAZING options, they're costly, bulky, and aside from the NuDrive, you can't use them with your custom chair made just for you. Now that I finally have my perfect chair, I want a lever drive that works with it, not instead of it.
Right now, I'm studying for my master's degree, so my wonderful wife, Marissa, has taken the reigns of the business while I study. Back to her: