The type of tires you select for you wheelchair will dramatically impact your ride's smoothness, maneuverability, speed and control. Pneumatic tires and airless tires are two types of tires for use with wheelchairs, and they cost between $15 and $50 (per tire).
Pneumatic tires for wheelchairs are filled with air. They are lightweight and able to provide the smoothest ride and maneuverability. The downside of pneumatic tires is that they are hard to maintain. Like most air-filled parts, pneumatic tires are vulnerable to punctures and frequently experience flats. Most pneumatic tires consist of the tire shell and an inner-tube insert that holds the air.
Airless tires for wheelchairs are filled with rubber, plastic or foam. Although airless tires do not offer the smooth performance that pneumatics do, they last longer when it comes to durability. Since they contain no air, flats and punctures are not a concern. Manufacturers will often focus on the "flat-free" feature of airless tires.
There are generally three types of airless tires:
Semi-pneumatic tires for wheelchairs - made of solid rubber or plastic with a ring of air running through the center.
Foam tires for wheelchairs - constructed from pneumatic tire inserts filled with polyurethane foam instead of air.
Solid tires for wheelchairs - molded from rubber or plastic, these are the heaviest and most durable.