What do I need to get rolling?

We supply the Merit Drive hubs, bolts, backing plates, and nuts. You supply the ratchets or you can buy them directly from us! This keeps the costs of shipping down which keeps costs down for you and it allows you to get ratchets that fit you and your chair rather than standardized ones that may or may not work for you. The levers you'll receive if you buy them from us are telescopic and can be adjusted from 305mm to 440mm in length. I recommend getting levers that are about 6-12 inches/15-30cm longer than the radius of your wheelchair wheel. For example, if you have 24inch wheels, you'll want a ratchet that is between 18-24 inches long. Flex heads are definitely suggested, and you need a ratchet with a 1/2 inch drive as that's the size of the hole in the Merit Drive hubs where you insert the ratchet. If you're having trouble finding suitable ratchets, send me a message with your zip code and country you're in and I'll do my best to help you find an affordable pair!

Will the Merit Drive fit my wheels???

Most common question I get about the Merit Drive hubs is: will they fit my wheels???

So I made this handy sizing guide so you can test for sure if the Merit Drives will fit your wheel!

On your laptop or tablet:

Step 1: Download the photo

Step 2: Zoom in/out until the square box is the size of an actual credit card/ID card

Step 3: Without zooming in or out, place the picture of the Merit Drive hub on your wheel.

As long as the holes for the bolts are not covered to where the bolts can't go through your spokes, you are good to go! You may need to rotate them a little to make sure.

Printed on 8.5x11 inch US Letter Paper:

Step 1: Print the PDF

Step 2: Make sure that the rectangular box is the size of a standard credit card/ID card

Step 3. Place the printed hub shape on the hub of your wheel.

As long as the holes for the bolts are not covered to where the bolts can't go through your spokes, you are good to go! You may need to rotate them a little to make sure.

You can access the PDF file here, but make sure when printing you have it set to 100% and sized for US Letter sizing 8.5x11 inch paper. PDF Sizing Guide

What size bolts should I use???

TL;DR: If you have mag wheels/plastic wheels, you will need the 90mm bolts. If you have metal wire spokes, you'll need the 40mm bolts. If you aren't sure, send us a picture of your wheels and we're happy to help you decide! You can message us through this website or on Facebook at bit.ly/MeritFB

Video on the different bolt sizes: https://youtu.be/402dALkBxDI 

We have two lengths available for your bolts: 40mm and 90mm. Because the Merit Drives are 25mm, the backing plates are 2mm, and there is a rubber squish plate that will add about 1mm, plus the nuts needing about 4mm to twist onto, that leaves you with 8mm of play for your spokes to fit into with the 40mm bolts or about 58mm of play for your spokes to fit into if you get the 90mm bolts.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to us here on our site or on our Facebook page bit.ly/MeritFB

How many bolts do I use and where do they go???

If you have mag wheels, you will likely have 3, 5, 6, or 8 spokes. If you have 3 or 6 spokes, you'll use six bolts. If you have five, you'll use five bolts, and if you have 8, fit the bolts wherever they fit and make sure you have at least five!

If you have metal wire spokes, you will likely have a multiple of 3 or 5 spokes (mine have 30). Count the number of spokes that meet the hub on the outside of your wheel (the side facing away from your chair). Since my wheel has 30 total spokes, 15 attach to each side of the hub. That number, 15, is the one you're going to work with. If it's a multiple of 5, use 5 bolts. If it's a multiple of 6, use 6 bolts! 

Here's a helpful video explaining it: https://youtu.be/mG3dERITjTY 

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to us here on our site or on our Facebook page bit.ly/MeritFB

How do you install it?

The Merit Drive hubs install using either five or six bolts on each side. You place the Merit Drive on top of your hub and in contact with your spokes, place the bolts through the Merit Drive and spokes, place the backing plates on the back so that the spokes are held between the plates and the hub, and then twist on the nuts. That's it! Just add the ratchets and you're ready to roll. 

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to us here on our site or on our Facebook page bit.ly/MeritFB

Is it hard to use/hard to get used to?

Nope! If you've seen my video here: (https://www.tiktok.com/@meritleverdrive/video/7191936578023853317) this was the first time I ever used my Merit Drives. They're super intuitive and very similar to how you use your manual chair without them. If you have trouble, practice for a bit on some level ground with lots of space until you get it down.

How steep a hill can it climb?

As steep as you can handle! I use it every week on this hill at my university campus, which is about a 10% gradient (ADA ramps are a max of 5% for reference).

How fast can you go?

As fast as you can push! It's you-powered, so it goes as fast as you can drive it.

What maintenance do I need to do for the Merit Drive?

Make sure you tighten the nuts on the back of the hubs occasionally and keep your ratchets in good shape, but otherwise, that's it! Because the Merit Drive is a single piece of solid metal, there's really no maintenance on the actual hubs themselves.

Can I still remove my wheels if I have quick-release axles?

Yes! Because there's a hole in the middle of the Merit Drive, you retain access to your quick-release axles, so all you have to do is press on the axles through the hole (using your finger or a pen or anything that fits through the hole) and pull the wheels off as normal. You can also have a "key" 3D printed using these files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5851217 

Can you get through normal doorframes?

Yes, for the most part. Occasionally, because I have a wider chair (18" seat width) I do occasionally get to a door where it's a bit tight. When I run into this, I go through the door to the point where my drive hubs are about two inches from the frame, then turn slightly to put one side through and then put the other side through and I'm good to go. If you have a wider chair, you may have to take your levers off to get through smaller/older doors.

How does it work on different surfaces?

I've definitely found it's easiest on pavement/roads and indoors on tile or linoleum, but I don't have issues on sidewalks, carpet, mats, grass, trails, etc. and while it's hard to use on sand, it's much easier on all surfaces I've tried than it is with just my push rims! 

How hard is it to remove completely?

If you need to remove the Merit Drive completely from your wheel, you just removed the nuts from the back and pull it right off! If you're planning on doing this regularly, I'd recommend using wing nuts and wing bolts so that you don't need any tools. 

Do I need to remove them to put in my car?

Nope! If you've got the room, you're good to go. You just put it in the car like normal.

Does it work okay in tight spaces?

Yes! As long as you have the room to where you could make the turn without the Merit Drives plus the width of your levers (so about an extra inch or so), you're good to go. Check out this video where I was in a very small elevator: https://youtu.be/AzEyibAahEI 

They're really loud!

If you've seen my videos, you've probably noticed they're loud in some of the videos! While it's really not that bad in person, you can add some generic grease to your ratchets or use gearless ratchets and you can enter stealth mode and kick the noise. Check out this video for how to do that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc1en8Fjgw8

Do your shoulders/arms hurt from using it?

Not nearly as much as without them! While I do get some soreness if I'm out all day and climbing a ton of hills or going off-road, it's nowhere near the pain or damage I've done to my shoulders using the pushrims. 

Is there a weight limit? How much torque can it handle?

For reference, I'm over 250lb/110kg, and I use it on massive hills. Beyond that, the Aluminum used has a minimum tensile strength of over 70,000PSI. So you're very, very unlikely to hit that number. I haven't tested the torque yet but I plan to soon so come back for more info!

Is it too bulky for indoors?

Nope! I take mine to class, through the mall, into stores, to McDonald's and Taco Bell, and everywhere else I went with my manual chair before I added the levers!

Do you bump into things?

I mean, yes, but no more than I already did without the levers. I'm just a klutz. Your mileage may vary on this one!

Won't the wheels fall off?

Nope! The hubs surround the axle pin but connect to the spokes. Neither the hub nor the socket wrenches touch the axle, so there's no chance your wheels will fall off because of the Merit Drive.