The bicycle style tire is used for both indoor and outdoor use. The smooth low profile tire is best kept indoors. The smooth low profile tire are often a softer texture which offers a nice smooth ride on concrete floors, but gets chewed up by asphalt and gravel. In addition, there are a few other misuses of the wheelchair tires we often find. Patients often forget to disengage the breaks or the breaks were not adjusted properly. This will cause extensive wear on the tire and premature replacement.
The third cause of replacement is often as the fact that the tire is just old. Like many car or bicycle tires, the elements cause tires to develop cracks. There is very little you can do to reverse the effects of time. The best is to replace and move one.
The bearings on wheelchairs and walkers often do not last as long as the tires. This mostly is due to the nature of their use and their design. Bearings are often replaced for a few reasons.
The first and most obvious is simple wear and tear. The life span will often be determined by the use and weight of the occupant.
The second cause of bearings life being cut short could moisture either from washing or being left out in the elements will cause rust. The rust will cause tiny pits in the ball bearings. Therefore, the rough sounding bearing is often the unsmooth balls inside the bearings. Eventually, the bearing will completely fail and a replacement is inevitable.
The last bearing fail sometime comes from time. People will often bring us a wheelchair or a walker out of storage only to find that the bearings have rusted together or dust and oil in the air have made the bearings gummy and hard to turn.
Thus, the maintenance on wheels and bearings of wheelchairs and walkers will prolong the life of the equipment almost indefinitely. There are many wheelchairs that are currently in use from the 60s and 70s.