Vapor Wheels, a brand-new wheelchair wheel company based in Arizona has officially announced the launch of its first OEM partnership with 360 Fabrications,a growing wheelchair company located in the UK that specializes in building active day chairs, basketball chairs, tennis chairs and fencing chairs. Arizona is home to several fast-growing technology industries, and much like 360 Fabrications, Vapor Wheels shares a mutual desire to listen to consumers who are passionate about their needs and create a new reality for the wheelchair industry as both created for the user and the community.
360 Fabrications is owned by Jon Morris, who started his career as a wheelchair mechanic during the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games for Great Britain’s Wheelchair Basketball Women’s and Men’s teams. Morris’ experience at the games highlighted the need for a more personalized and detailed wheelchair option/building process for athletes.
Just like shoes, different wheelchairs have different design characteristics based on the functionality of the chair. Because there are no semi-sport wheelchairs, the difference between a wheelchair for daily use and one for sports is very important. An appropriate sports chair is determined by the age, height, weight, diagnoses and type of sport played by the user. Both companies were created because each recognized that it was time to evolve.
“With more than 131 million wheelchair users around the world, most consumers are relying on the same decades-old technology and for most, the wheelchair in general has changed very little over the course of the past generation,” says Lyle Rusanowski, CEO and founder of Vapor Wheels. “Vapor has been a company in the making for a while, and during the pandemic, our engineering team was able to shift gears a bit and focus on the launch of a non-proprietary wheel chair wheel like no other.”
“Technology is shaping the new norm and has the potential to make substantial improvements to people’s quality of life, including bringing existing mountain bike technology to the industry. For us, if Vapor can help solve major challenges that people in wheelchairs face, including customer service, and a multitude of choices, pushing wheel performance to levels previously unattainable,” says Rusanowski. “Having dealers like 360 Fabrications come on board to support, is just the first step in showing we are doing our job right from ideation to manufacturing and distribution.”
“When I came across Vapor Wheels on Instagram, I just had to get in touch,” said Morris. “The Vapor team got back to me right away, were great to talk to and before we knew it we had scheduled Zoom calls to discuss our plans. It was very clear from the get go that we were on the same page and it was an easy decision to become a great partner of this brand.”
Morris added, “When the first set of Vapor Wheels arrived, I was absolutely blown away with the out-of-box experience and quality. The first thing I did was put them in a truing stand to check them and they were straight as a die. It might not sound like a big deal, but having threaded inserts in the rims makes push rims so easy to change and fit, something that wheelchair wheels have needed for too long. With the wide carbon fiber rims, I could tell they were a bullet-proof wheelset and couldn’t wait to get them on chairs here in the UK.”
Vapor Wheels has a strong desire to push the envelope as they develop products for superior high-performance wheels made specifically for the wheelchair industry.
“We like to consider our community as family. We encourage our users to be involved in every step of the process as we create and add more and more products to our line up,” says Rusanowski. “We will not get stuck with proprietary technology and limit our creativity and design by providing one type of wheel. As the technology grows, we will continue to grow and offer more solutions proven to provide wheelchair users with a choice which will be driven by feedback from the wheelchair community.”
With Vapor Wheels and 360 Fabrications, users will receive one-on-one service. This includes hands-on customer service as they create their wheels and/or chair. 360 Fabrications offers multiple fittings on all chairs to achieve the perfect fit. Both chairs and wheels are fully customizable with sizing, and endless color options and each chair or set of wheels is built specifically for the customer. Something that has been unattainable before.
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