How Fast Can a Manual Wheelchair go | With Complete Guide

A question is asked frequently by those who want to know before getting a wheelchair, how fast can a manual wheelchair go? Well in this article you will get your answer along with different factors that involve the speed of a wheelchair.

The use of wheelchairs is increasing with an increase in the disability rate in the world. A wheelchair does not only provide you support in your rough and hard times but it is the reason for your mobility. With a wheelchair, your mobility speed is changed as compared to a normal walking person.

The average manual wheelchair speed is in the range of 4-5 miles per hour. It’s only for a manual wheelchair. An electric wheelchair’s speed is faster than a standard manual wheelchair.

The speed of a Manual wheelchair can be affected by a lot of factors, some of them related to the wheelchair while others are related to the surrounding of a wheelchair. Our team finds some of the main factors which can affect your wheelchair speed, so without wasting any time let’s get to it.

how fast can a manual wheelchair go

How Fast Can a Manual Wheelchair go:

How fast can a wheelchair go? Well, most traditional and average wheelchair speeds can reach from of 4 to 5 miles per hour. This is actually the fastest manual wheelchair speed. It is the top speed of a manual wheelchair and you can’t go faster than this speed.

If you have a wheelchair caregiver and want to speed up then it’s up to you but I suggest you don’t because you end up hurting yourself.

The manual wheelchair can go and roam slower than an electric wheelchair and is actually recommended for a lot of conditions. The self-propelling wheelchair user can propel the wheelchair slower which is not only good for their health but also suitable for their condition.

The faster wheelchairs are power or electric wheelchair because they have motors and can operate on batteries while the manual wheelchair can only propel with their hands or push with help of a caregiver.

The speed of a wheelchair can vary from one point to another. The variation in speed wheelchairs depends upon different factors, some of those factors are given below.

Factors Involved in Wheelchair Speed:

There are different factors that involve wheelchair speed. Some of them related to wheelchairs while others related to the surrounding of wheelchairs. So if you want to increase the speed of the wheelchair then you need to know these factors.

Types of Wheelchairs:

types of wheelchairs

There are different types of wheelchairs and normally each one has its own purpose and destiny to fulfill. Every type of wheelchair is designed to provide what are they made of. Just like that, a Lightweight wheelchair is designed to give you fast speed with lightweight.

The fastest wheelchair speed is only in a lightweight wheelchair as compared to other wheelchairs. If you want to get a manual wheelchair that is faster than another wheelchair then you should get a lightweight wheelchair.

You also keep in mind that this wheelchair speed is dependent upon the caregiver’s hand and also on the user’s. If you propel faster with your hands then it definitely goes faster.

Other than a Manual wheelchair an electric wheelchair is actually the Faster wheelchair on the market. So if you want a really faster electric wheelchair then you should consider getting an electric wheelchair.

Wheelchair Maintenance:

wheelchair maintenance

How fast should a wheelchair go is something that is related to and dependent on the condition and maintenance of the wheelchair. All you need to keep track of is the rear wheels of the wheelchair because it’s responsible for all the speed.

So what you should do to increase and maintain the speed of the wheelchair? All you need is to maintain the wheelchair in good health and shape. Oiled the parts of the wheelchair from time o time.

Another thing that you keep track of is to check the tires of the wheelchair from time to time. Some of the wheelchairs have tires that need air from time to time and can also become flat.

so you need to keep track of that and check the tire pressure after some time and keep it inflated. It would be better to get a wheelchair that has flat-free tires.

Different Terrain:

Terrian can make big difference in a wheelchair’s speed. Terrain can make a big difference in the speed of a wheelchair. It is simple to understand that when you use or roll your wheelchair on a flat surface it will move faster as compared to rolling on an incline, rough, and bumpy road path.

The speed will be the effect when you move the wheelchair through mud and sand, sometimes the wheelchair is totally unable to move on those terrains.

so the solution for these types of situations is to choose an alternative path otherwise the speed of the wheelchair will be slower. Other than that I will recommend you get a big-wheeled wheelchair.

Check also: Best Manual Wheelchair for Stairs.

Different Weight Distribution:

Weight has also a very important impact on wheelchair speed. Basically, the wheelchair’s weight capacity is about 200 to 400 lbs. Wheelchair weight plays an important role in wheelchair speed.

The speed of the wheelchair is directionally proportional to its weight. If you increase your weight then the speed of the wheelchair will be slow. But if you put less weight in a wheelchair then speed will be automatically increased.

Another thing you need to check is its bearing and make sure it doesn’t have any dirt on it. If it has dirt in it then clean it properly and especially the axle. Grease the axle regularly because it can create friction with movement and that slowing down the wheelchair.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Fastest Speed for a Wheelchair?

A manual wheelchair doesn’t have that much speed but a power wheelchair can go up to 4mph which is the same as 6 km/h which is the fastest speed for a power wheelchair.

Can you Push Yourself in a Manual Wheelchair?

Yes, you can when you are able to use your hand. You can properly push yourself in a wheelchair by pushing the hand rims which are on the side of the rear wheels. You can also push yourself in a power wheelchair but in the wheelchair, all you do is push a joystick and the wheelchair will move forward.

How Fast is a Racing Wheelchair?

The speed of a racing wheelchair depends upon the hand speed of athletics. The faster the push the wheelchair the faster it goes. The maximum rate that a wheelchair reaches is 30km which is equivalent to 18 mph.


The fast speed of the wheelchair seems good for a lot of wheelchair users but it also has some downfalls like it increases the chance of getting hurt. But if you have a smooth pathway or roads and have a wheelchair caregiver then it should be fine.

I hope you get what you looking for about how fast can a manual wheelchair go but if you didn’t find what are you looking for, like how fast do electric wheelchairs go? Then please let me know in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

In the end, I just want you to say that please keep your environment clean because it’s our only hope for survival on this planet Earth.

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