Why doesn’t a truly universal cup holder to fit a wheelchair exist?

If you’re a wheelie, or powerwheelie – I’m either depending on circumstances – your thoughts will have almost inevitably, at some point, turned to sourcing a cup (or bottle, or mug), holder. All, however, even those insanely optimistically described as “universal” have a major failing – universal they are not.

My powerchair is easy – I can mount a Camelbak UnBottle behind the headrest. They’re expensive, but I’ve had mine for many years, a relic of my backpacking days. My manual chair, a Quickie Ti, isn’t so simple.

A conventional cup/bottle/glass/whatever holder needs a vertical, or very near vertical, tube to mount it on, and my Quickie doesn’t have a single vertical tube that’s accessible. It also needs that tube NOT to be on the side, otherwise the holder and contents will get scraped off in doorways, so the footrest hanger is the ideal place, within reach but adding nothing to the width, and these are only very rarely vertical.

What is needed is a mounting system which combines a tube clamp – big enough, and with sufficient shims, to fit any diameter tube – and a lockable ball pivot system as used in satnav car windscreen mounts, so that whatever the angle of the frame tube, the holder and its contents are vertical.

Then, as long as a chair has a convenient frame tube, at almost any angle at all, you can fit the holder. It’s not bloody rocket science but is anyone doing it? No.

It will would also be good to have interchangeable holders, because being a wheelie doesn’t mean that we’re all content with mugs of tea – some of us want pints of beer, and need a holder big and robust enough to hold a full pint glass (minus a good slurp so it doesn’t slosh out!), or a half if a pint’s too heavy, not to mention a wine glass or beer bottle (or even, in some cases, a wine bottle, though this would have even more of a weight problem than a pint of beer).

Something similar with a holder designed to hold a snack would also be extremely useful.

It IS doable, the parts already exist and any half-competent wrench-jockey can combine and modify them, so there are no R&D costs to worry about. Even so, I accept it won’t be cheap – FFS, what is when the words “disability aid” can be tacked on to it? – but if the will is there it can be done. And it can be affordable!

Here’s the idea – you can have it with my blessing.

Anyone out there with the gumption to make it work?


2 thoughts on “Why doesn’t a truly universal cup holder to fit a wheelchair exist?

    • Yep seen that – doesn’t even come close in terms of its mounting system – same universal defect as all the other “universal” holders.** Dropped my idea on them a week or two ago – no response – so I thought I’d put it out there for anyone to take up if they want to.

      **The focus is on the actual holder, not on the way it mounts to the chair – cart before horse. If you can’t attach it, it matters not at all how versatile the holder might be.

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