Why patronizing your local bike shop can result in spending a fraction of what your medical dealer says you need to spend for wheelchair repairs.
Disabled influencer and content creator Cole Sydnor, who goes by @Roll.With.Cole on all the socials, shared a video to his followers chronicling how thinking outside of the box and patronizing his local bike shop resulted in getting his wheelchair repaired for a fraction of the price.
Check out Sydnor’s video below.
According to Sydnor’s profile, he’s a C5-C6 quadriplegic which means he needs to use a wheelchair for his day-to-day life.
It looks like as of 2021, Sydnor’s been testing and providing feedback on this particular wheelchair with power assist wheels.
As with all things mechanical, some preventative maintenance and parts replacements are needed as you go through normal wear and tear.
For a wheelchair, high wear items include the wheels and tires, chair cushion, brakes, and lubrication of moving parts.
Sydnor’s chair needed new tires.
As this screenshot shows, they were absolutely bald.
While technically still usable in some situations, lack of tread is a cause for concern on wet surfaces and emergency braking situations.
As Sydnor states, his local medical dealer (supply) wanted an eye watering $1,300 for new tires, presumably including labor.
That’s right, over a grand and then some for two tires!
That’s more than some people are willing to spend on four tires for their car.
Resourceful as ever, Sydnor and his wife Charismia Jamison decided to ring up their local bike shop to see if they can help them out.
As Sydnor’s video shows, not only did this local LA bike shop charge more than reasonable prices for tubes, tires, and labor, they got him back on the road in literally under 10 minutes.
According to their receipt, they only charged him $40 for tires, $21 for tubes, and $34 to install each wheel with said tube and tire.
And it’s not like they used regular bike tires, this local LBC ordered the correct wheelchair spec tires made by Primo.
All in all, Sydnor paid a hair over $100, practically $1200 in savings compared to what his medical dealer wanted.
This just begs the question, what is that medical dealer charging Sydnor an extra $1,200 for?
To be fair, this wheel isn’t an ordinary wheel, it has a compact motor assist attached to it.
Regardless, changing a tire on said wheel doesn’t require any extra skill compared to a regular bike wheel beyond being a little more careful.
“When I asked for clarification on their pricing, they (the medical dealer) really couldn’t give me an answer as to why it was so expensive…,” Sydnor said in reply to a comment asking for an explanation for the $1,300 quote.
I’m glad Sydnor was able to save that much and hopefully he’s empowered other wheelchair users to hit up their local bike shop, too.