Video: How Tom Wheeler Rides with a Paralysed Arm

Oct 19, 2021
by Declan Deehan  

Following a mountain bike crash that lead to the paralysis of his arm, Tom Wheeler found a new passion for designing, most notably the creation of an arm-brace that would help him continue his original love for bikes.

Tom joined UK distributor, Saddleback Ltd, as a graphic designer in early 2021, but in his spare time he tinkers with shocks and 3D printers in his garage to form the perfect riding companion. When he's not riding or spending time with his wife and son, Tom engineers braces that help other people with monoplegia and brachial plexus damage to continue their love of cycling and motocross sports.


NOTBROKEN
Tom Wheeler
A paralysed arm hasn't held Tom back from his riding or designing goals


Posted In:
Videos



48 Comments

  • 70 1
 That's way cool! It looks like he connects a cord to his left hand, that would release the clamp for his right hand if he crashes. Amazing ideas, and awesome execution!
  • 16 2
 Yeah, accidentally downvoted your comment lol. He’s an inspiration.
  • 12 0
 Having the same injury as Tom, and witnessing his dedication, desire and drive to make this "artisan" technology work for him has been incredibly inspiring. I'm quite sure that most riders would not be aware of his injury if they saw him riding - testament to the traits outlined earlier.
  • 1 0
 Out of curiosity (if you don't mind me asking) - since he didn't touch on this, what exactly causes this type of injury? TBI, back / neck?
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: cervical fractures or brachial plexus injuries.
  • 6 0
 @bajazac: @RadBartTaylor Yep - he's correct. I have a complete C5-T1 Brachial plexus injury, I think Tom's is 3 peripheral nerves but the end result is nearly the same. I have a paralysed arm, lat, pec, deltoid are also affected which makes balancing a tad tricky.

I'm not sure what operations Tom had, but I had a couple of nerves transfers that, while not functionally amazing, are amazing medical achievements that have innervated by bicep (elbow bend) and stabilised my shoulder that used to sublux, or drop.

Hopefully Tom can dive into the tech of what he's made as its amazing.
  • 3 0
 @TommyWilkinson: His creation really is incredible. I see folks every day with BPI and spinal cord injuries and creative devices like these can truly be life changing for a lot of people that can't get full restoration of function with my nerve/tendon transfers. I cannot appreciate the subtleties that would give me any chance of ever fabricating something like this. I wonder if he would be a motivational speaker for some of my Craig patients. Quite a few here are injured in mtb crashes.
  • 1 0
 @TommyWilkinson: This is awesome cuz, get on it!
  • 2 0
 @jaydoc14: much respect to everyone at Craig. Saved my buddy 15 years ago from a snowboard crash/TBI suffered at Keystone. Thank you doc, you guys work miracles.
  • 3 0
 I too have the same injury. Was very fortunate to keep full movement of my hand, but my arm is f*cked. 21 years in for me now. Moved to Vancouver from the UK 14 years ago. Retaught myself to ride on Vancouvers North Shore. Lots of stitches, head injuries and frustration, but a bit of grit and determination seen me through. Now living in Squamish and riding 3-4 times a week (work permitting). I often wondered if there was some form of riding aid available. Would of saved me some time, hospitable visits and frustration.
  • 1 0
 Well said, Tommy.
  • 2 0
 @TommyWilkinson: Thanks for the kind words Tommy. We need to catch up soon. I did 4 nerves and had intercostal nerve surgery on the one remaining.

Super similar to you.
  • 3 0
 @jaydoc14: Hey, give me an email on trinitycreative3d@gmail.com. Would love to help if I can. Cheers,
Tom - Stay NotBroken
  • 2 0
 @digdashoos: Check out www.trinitycreative3d.com, we are working on solutions for riding and have some big updates for next year.

Cheers,
Tom - Stay NotBroken
  • 1 0
 @TomWheelerBPI: Very cool! Nice work Tom.
  • 14 1
 Tom Wheeler, what a champion! Solving real problems, thank you Tom, you're an inspiration.
  • 8 0
 What a legend.
  • 3 0
 I very cool to see prosthesis that are designed by the people who will actually use them, rather than the very flashy but not very useful bits that abled folk design. The whole thing becomes so much more purpose built and functional
  • 7 0
 Can we have a vid where he actually shows us the tech?
  • 6 0
 GMBN did a pretty in depth vid about him a while back

youtu.be/wIQGggqkrIg
  • 4 0
 I will get a new vid sorted to show all the latest developments I've been making with Trinity Creative. Cheers, Tom - Stay NotBroken
  • 3 0
 I remember racing DH in the early 2000s and there was a young guy racing then who had a similar kind of setup and just ripped. I don't know what the medical issue was, but whenever I have a shitty day on the bike I think of how much he had overcame to be a hell of a lot faster than me.
I have since had the privilege of meeting other para-athletes, and am grateful for the inspiration and reality check that they gave to me. I have so much respect for anyone who overcomes and just want to say thank you to Tom and anyone out there who continue to excel and inspire.
I too would love to see more articles/content highlighting these wonderful people and (from the mechanic in me) the tech that helps them.
  • 5 0
 GMBN had a doc on him a couple years back. Good watch. Inspiring dude.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIQGggqkrIg
  • 5 0
 Bad ass - this guy shreds....cool edit, cool music 10/10
  • 1 0
 So cool man my buddy slammed a snow blower and same thing so sad cause when he was 14 his name was billybikes everyone kkows as billy cause he dont ride a bike anymore doing 360 barspins but he actually did same thing 5 years ago
  • 5 0
 How Tom Wheeler Rides with a Paralysed Arm?
Faster than me
  • 2 0
 Absolutely inspiring stuff Tom. Always been in awe at your dedication and resilience to get back on a bike and shred! Great video.
  • 1 0
 Thank you so much. Means a lot
  • 2 0
 Tom is an absolute legend.. one of those anoyingly always positive guys Razz The guys at www.trinity-creative.co.uk do some truely inspiring work!
  • 1 0
 I met Tom once. Super nice guy and he took the time to explain some of the engineering. Its a shame there wasnt more on his current device, when you see it in the flesh its really interesting.
  • 1 0
 I've met someone who also rides with a paralyzed arm. He manages to just ride one handed with a double lever on one side of the bars. He sends too.
  • 3 0
 Resilience.
  • 3 0
 Respect!!!
  • 1 0
 Awesome in the truest sense of the word! Amazing motivation and grit. Go out and do something great today...
  • 2 0
 Hero!
  • 1 0
 Very solid work, lots of effort, great skills.
  • 1 0
 The phrase what’s your excuse comes to mind


Legend
  • 1 0
 So rad and inspirational to the people to come well done
  • 1 0
 I'm the kind of person who would spend whatever it took to be able to ride
  • 1 0
 Great work Tom!!
  • 1 0
 Respect to you Tom!
  • 1 0
 What a boss!
  • 1 0
 Cannondale Rightey…..
  • 1 0
 inspired
  • 1 0
 Awesome
  • 1 0
 Inspirational…!
  • 1 0
 what a legend
  • 1 0
 Wow,

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.010276
Mobile Version of Website