Ataxia UK
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Nu-drive lever drive question

Nu-drive lever drive question

Hi, I'm Nigel (new member), age 67, retired. I have CA of unknown type but I'm told there is a link to SCA5. We thought I'd got mitochondrial disease but now we’re not so sure!

Got myself a wheelchair a few years ago and, recently, a pair of Nu-drive lever drives which allow me to propel the chair with a ‘rowing’ movement rather than use the rims. When attempting the latter, I tend to catch my fingers in the spokes (side effect of CA?).

I got the levers in an Ebay auction as they are very expensive new. These were sold without the ‘lever stops’ which attach to the frame and stop the levers falling to the ground when not in use. I am using some coach bolts screwed into motorcycle handlebar mirror clamps. A cheap temporary solution. This enables me to get out and use the levers. They are not a long term solution, though, as the stops need too retract or fold out of the way when taking the levers off to travel by public transport.

Does anyone know of a source of the ‘official’ lever stops or know of anything that would do the job.


8 Replies

Hi Nigel😊

How inventive😉 There are loads of people here who use a wheelchair,  somebody's bound to be able to help😊 xBeryl

1 like

If they're the original English ones then you may be able to find a pair at Murphy's Pharmacy in Ireland, they did have some a year or so ago. If they are the newer ones made on the continent they 'might' sell you a pair.

Other than that you could try cycle stops which should fit if your wheelchair frame

is a similar size but probably not if it's a heavy duty thicker frame.


Thanks Shield, I have sent an email enquiry to Murphy's (They are in Cork?). Not sure what cycle stops are. Could yo explain, please?


Yes, Cork is the place.

Cycle stops are the little handle shaped arms that cyclists pull out to stand their cycles up when they stop. They are very similar to the lever rests and have universal fitting for the frame, hubby had a play with some for my levers. Best  bet is to try a cycle shop or if you know of any keen cyclist who would have time to help.

The other cycle accessory I found useful are the little gadget bags that have velcro tabs that fix around the frame of a cycle but also a wheelchair. If you get the right shape you should be able to fix one to the bend in the frame by your knee, really handy for keys and cash. Again, a trip to a cycle shop might prove worthwhile.


This is a question about the energy used in pushing the wheelchair forward with levers instead of pushing forward with the wheels. Is it the same or do you need more or less strength with levers?

I don’t have the strength to push myself forward for more than a 100 meters but maybe the levers make it possible?


It takes less energy (40% less according to some reports). You need good upper body strength. Good solution, I think, for people with coordination problems. They take some practice, though, especially dealing with slopes, uneven surfaces, curbs, etc. Probably best for you to find some to try, first.


Thank you.


have you tried a trial of solu-medrol? this is not in regards to your wheelchair


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