In the first of our new Know How series of blog posts, we're offering some simple guides on common parts and spares you may need to replace or adjust during the use of your wheelchair or other mobility equipment. Many wheelchairs have parts that can be replaced easily and without the use of tools, making it more convenient for the user to do at home rather than arranging an engineer.

Replacing the wheels on your manual wheelchair when you wish to fit a different size or specific wheels for outdoor, off road activities is straightforward enough task. A lot of manual wheelchairs have an quick release function allowing you to detach the wheelby depressing the button cap in the centre of the wheel. The only slightly more complex part of the process is knowing what size of quick release axle pins you have and what size you will need for your new wheels.

Don't worry; we've got you covered!

First things first, knowing the diameter of your axle pin, this means how "thin" your axle pin is. The diameter of your axel pin is determined by the bearings in your wheelchair; most chairs use a 1/2" (12.7mm) diameter including brands like RGK, Kuschall and Quickie. On occasion, some chairs have a narrower 12mm diameter bearing and need a more specialised pin. If you are in doubt what diameter you need, give us a call or email and we can double check for you.

How to measure your axle pin


Axle pins have a nut at the cap end, this can make fine adjustments to custom fit your wheels. When measuring your axle pin, ensure this nut is fully extended to the cap end, this will give you a more accurate measurement of the entire lenght of the pin. We measure the pin from this point to the base of the ball bearings at the opposite end of the pin. Because these ball bearings are inserted and must clear the frame of your chair, measuring beyond these will result in a pin that is too long.

The length of axle pin is divided into 2 sections: L1 is the part of the pin housed in the wheelhub & L2 is the part which fits into the frame work of your chair. You will need to measure the wheel hub on your existing wheel and compare this to the size of the wheel hub you wish to change to. By adding L1 + L2, it gives us the overall length needed.

For example, your current pin measures 110mm, your hub measures 53mm and the wheels you want to switch to measure 57mm: you will need to opt for a pin measuring 114.5mm to fit correctly. 

Final adjustments can be made by using spacers, small washers that fit on the axle pin. These can help if your pin is marginally too long or if you wish to move your wheels further from your side guards, preventing the inside of the tyres from coming in contact with your chair.


We have a range of quick release axle pins available to purchase, ranging in size from 85mm to 130mm, covering all sorts of wheel options and configurations. Have a look at our selection below and feel free to get in touch if you need any additional assistance.


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028 9267 7077