Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about the AdvenChair? There’s a good chance you’ll find it answered below. If not, feel free to ask and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
+ How do you pronounce “AdvenChair”?
We prefer “Ad-VEN-chair”. But if you buy one, you can say it any way you want. Thanks for asking.
+ Who is Geoff Babb?
Geoff Babb, the AdvenChairman of The Onward Project and the visionary of the AdvenChair, was an avid backpacker, climber and mountain biker when his access to the outdoors was interrupted by a near-fatal brain-stem stroke in 2005. Not one to be denied, Geoff and his family and friends have worked since his release from the hospital to create a wheelchair that can travel over the scenic but rugged terrain near his home in the mountain town of Bend, Oregon. While developing the second version of the AdvenChair in 2017, he had a second life-threatening stroke. But Geoff has once again fought back and is ready to ride the AdvenChair to new heights.
+ Who is on the AdvenChair Team?
The AdvenChair design team includes a helicopter mechanic and tool designer, mechanical engineers, a seating and mobility specialist, mountain bike riders and mechanics, and an adaptive sports program director. The key consultant on the advisory team is Geoff’s wife Yvonne who brings her unique perspective of being the person who is either driving the chair or making sure Geoff and the team are happy.
Business development is guided by the Oregon State University-Cascades Innovation Co-lab and Opportunity Knocks, a non-profit that provides mentorship, leadership, and industry expertise for businesses and organizations. The Onward Project networks with Central Oregon outdoor products industry through membership in the Oregon Outdoor Alliance.
+ What is unique about the AdvenChair?
The AdvenChair combines bi-ski and mountain bike designs and components. The driver pushes and steers the chair with adjustable-height mountain bike handlebars and controls the disk brake system with bicycle brake levers. The AdvenChair can be towed by a puller using two fiberglass poles attached to the chair and a waist belt and/or additional pullers using nylon straps. Wide 27.5 mountain tires are mounted on rims with through-bolt axles. The 16” front wheel can be removed for transferring in and out of the chair, transporting in vehicles, and maneuvering indoors.
+ What are the weight and dimensions of the AdvenChair?
The width is 30-1/2", length is 48-1/2" (with the wheel stowed), the height is 44-1/4" with the handle bars at the highest point. Weight without the front wheel is 55 lbs, and 60 lbs with the wheel attached. With the wheels removed and handle bars lowered the AdvenChair will fit in the back seat of most cars.
+ What size of person can it accommodate?
The AdvenChair comes in one standard frame size but three seat sizes, allowing it to be used by children or adults of up to 250 lbs. Children can grow with an AdvenChair simply by graduating to a larger seat, rather than buying a whole new chair, greatly extending the investment.
+ How many people does it take to operate the AdvenChair?
It depends on the terrain. On a generally flat or mildly hilly trail, one person will have no trouble. For steep, rocky terrain with tight switchbacks, it’s good to have as many as five people. The AdvenChair is ergonomically efficient for its drivers and pullers. With simple adjustments the trail-ready AdvenChair can be used indoors and easily folds for transport.
+ How can it be transported?
The AdvenChair can easily be disassembled for transport. The front and rear wheels can be removed, the small caster wheels folded, and the handlebars shortened to fit into a vehicle.
+ Why mountain bike components?
The design uses mountain bike components, which are stronger, less expensive, and more readily available than wheelchair parts, including frame geometry, through-axles, disc brakes and tires. A mountain bike inner tire suspension system dampens shock.
+ What is needed to maintain and repair the AdvenChair?
Standard bike tools and parts, available at any bike store, are all that is necessary for maintenance and repair. If you’re not a “do-it-yourselfer,” you should be able to have most repairs handled at a local bike shop. They can also provide you with the appropriate cleaning products and tools, same as would be used on a mountain bike.
+ Does it have a motor?
No. The AdvenChair relies on human power. Power assist devices may be tested in the future.
+ Where has the AdvenChair been tested?
The AdvenChair has tackled a variety of trails in wild places, including Smith Rock and Pilot Butte state parks in Oregon, Mt. Rainier, Glacier, Crater Lake, Saguaro, and Grand Canyon national parks, and other public lands in the western U.S.
+ What improvements and accessories are planned in the future?
As more people are able to test the AdvenChair, we will collect and analyze comments on rider comfort, team functioning, ergonomics including: optimal handlebar positioning and towing system, disc brakes, the ability to carry gear and water, weight, and ease of transportation. Available accessories may include a handle bar extension, head rest, towing package, and an under-seat bag.
+ What is its impact on the environment?
The AdvenChair will only leave tire tracks on the trail.
+ What is The Onward Project LLC?
The Onward Project LLC inspires, encourages and enables outdoor adventures for people of all abilities and the AdvenChair allows people with limited mobility to explore wild places and tell their own stories.
+ What will The Onward Project LLC do with the funds it raises?
The Onward Project LLC is seeking funding to build, test, refine and market its second-generation prototype, AdvenChair 2.0.