top of page
2022__MARTIN_PETIT (2)_edited.jpg

Why a brake on manual wheelchairs ?

The answer is very simple: because there aren't any !  To slow down or turn, you have to grab the handrail, which rubs against your hands and strains your upper limbs.

A braking problem

Today, to brake in a wheelchair, you have to use your hands like brake pads.

And that's the daily life of 65 million manual wheelchair users around the world, 400,000 in France. So when we ask users directly about their need for a braking system, the response is unanimous.

Fauteuil roulant manuel - Roues classiques
Carte accès PMR Paris

An accessibility problem

Today, 10% of Paris streets have a gradient of more than 4%, the normative limit for ramps for PRM access.


Walking on sloping streets means constant braking for wheelchair users. An intense effort that can cause pain and injury to the hands, shoulders, and back. Safety is also compromised, as manual braking can be ineffective on uneven or slippery ground.

Overstraining of the upper limbs

Propelling a wheelchair, especially over long distances, puts excessive strain on the muscles and joints of the upper limbs.

Neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists are particularly vulnerable to these movements, which, repeated hundreds of times a day, represent an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Image médical - TMS

Braking, a major problem and a major cause of accidents

Alongside our multiple qualitative interviews in the field with wheelchair users, we conducted a survey of 164 wheelchair users between March and May 2020.

75 %

Have difficulty braking in a wheelchair or need help from others.

50 %

Have already lost control of their wheelchair on a slope or ramp.

85 %

Have already diverted their route to avoid slopes.

90 %

Think that wheelchair braking needs to be improved.

Sylvain, Lille

"The palms of my hands get dry, my fingers get hot, hands aren't made to be brake pads. When it rains, braking simply becomes impossible. So braking is perilous, descending a dreaded ordeal, sometimes even a renounced path."

Bruno, Dusseldorf

"Before using Dreeft, I used to get burns on my hands, particularly when I wanted to go downhill because the metal or rubber of the handrail rubbed against my skin".

Oksana, Rennes

"As well as hurting you in the long run, not having a brake is dangerous when you want to go out on the town. Before using Dreeft, I was often afraid of falling off. It's not at all suitable for going out in the open, for cobblestones... People in wheelchairs avoid leaving their homes because of that."

Dreeft - Le premier système de freinage pour fauteuil roulant manuel

Why waste energy on slowing down when you can devote it to moving forward ?

Try Dreeft, the first braking system for manual wheelchairs: a pair of wheels designed to brake without injuring yourself !
bottom of page