OVERVIEW The Freedom model is the larger size in the Advance Mobility pushchair range, it is designed for the active, outdoor or sporting family. It will take you anywhere you want to go, e.g. woodlands, beaches and moorlands, a local fun run or marathon. The only limitation is your ability to get a secure foothold and be safe. The Freedom covers an age range from say 5 years to unlimited years, although suitability is more about size rather than age. The child's weight plus their lower leg measurement is a good guide to suitability and growth room and we will usually ask for these if you call us to discuss the pushchair. An Extended Footwell can be fitted for an older/larger occupant who outgrows the Standard Footwell (although the Rain Cover will not fit this and there is not an Extended Rain Cover for the Freedom). The Freedom has large 16" rear wheels and an interchangeable front wheel: either fixed 16" wheel, or a row of small swivel wheels.
The 16" Fixed Front Wheel is ideal both for rougher surfaces - off road, rutted tracks, across fields etc. or made up surfaces at speed (we have lots of customers who take part in 10k or Marathon runs with their Freedom). The large wheels offer a shallow angle of attack against any hollow or bump making it free rolling; on a rutted surface they smooth out the bumps for the occupant, or when used at speed minimise jolts and shocks. The fixed front wheel means that you simply push the Freedom in the direction you want to go it is not deflected by rough terrain or veer downhill when traversing a slope (like a pushchair with a swivel front wheel).
The Swivel Wheels work well on smooth urban surfaces where enhanced manoeurvrablity is valuable.
The relatively large 'footprint' of the Freedom makes it unsuitable for use around town, inside shops or other places indoors, e.g. School. Most owners of an all terrain special needs pushchairs will also have a more upright pushchair with a small footprint and swivel wheels for use around town, for example a Maclaren Major Elite, Trotter or Ergo Lightweight Pushchair Robustly made with an aluminium frame the Independence is sturdy but still reasonably lightweight (14kg). It is tested for an occupant up to 90kg (14stone) BUT please give some thought to:
how well you will be able to push a very heavy occupant on the terrain you intend to use it one (e.g. hilly or rutted terrain)
how you will load and unload the pushchair as the central front wheel requires the occupant to be more competent to get in and out and it is less likely that you will be lifting a larger occupant into the pushchair. (this is usually why the pushchair does not work in practice for use an elderly person)
In order to take the extra weight the Freedom frame has extra cross bracing so it does take longer to fold down or put up than the Independence model, it takes a couple of minutes but it isn't difficult (see images below). Most people remove the two rear wheels before folding, they are quick release it takes less than 10 seconds to unclip them (see images below). Removing the rear wheels fundamentally changes the shape and size of the pushchair making it easier to store or transport, it also reduces the weight by 3kg. The Freedom is easy to steer even with the fixed front wheel fitted because the weight distribution is mainly over the rear wheels. As an occupant approaches the maximum capacity for the pushchair more of their weight goes through the front wheel and it becomes heavier to steer. This tends to become noticeable at around 70kg.
We are sometimes asked by customers how one steers a pushchair with a fixed front wheel. It isn't complicated:
to veer to the left push harder with your right hand
to veer right push harder with your left hand
to turn at a sharp right angle pushdown on the handlebar to lift the front wheel off the ground allow you to swivel the pushchair around
This is fine when in large open areas where you tend to go broadly in a straight line, veering occassionally left and right with few sharp turns, but in an town situation with lots of sharp turns this could be a nuisance. The Freedom has a lower handlebar height than the Independence (which is perhaps unusually high and can cause problems for a short person). The alternative row of swivel wheels mamkes steering much easier but only on a smooth urban surface. The Freedom has dual rear wheel parking brakes, each activated by a separate foot operated lever, plus a 'running' brake for control - a standard bike caliper brake operated by handlebar mounted lever (see images below). There is also a Safety Wrist Strap: like a 'dog' lead' you put your hand through the loop before holding the handle, it is attached to the pushchair frame lower down so should you slip or accidentally let go of the handlebar the pushchair cannot run away from you. If you've not been used a pushchair with large wheels before you may be surprised by how fast it can pick up speed and outpace you even on a mild slope showing quite how 'free rolling' these are. The Freedom Seat is more than just a basic hammock style (a fabric slung between the frame which wraps itself around the occupant) it is tailored with padded base and central back section including a flexible support board and lightweight aluminium frame. This built-in support is ideal for most occupants but also forms the foundation for more structured support management. This isn't something we get involved in but we are aware that parents customise the seat with specialist products from other manufacturers, e.g. a Stabilo or BodyMap Vacuum Support Cushion System. Alternatively you can use Microbead Roll Cushions to provide informal support. The seat is at a naturally tilted angle and it can also has a - see (image below), and the Lambskin Comfort Liner adds that touch of luxury. The five point harness is substantial with lots of adjustment in all directions, the shoulder straps can be adjusted at six height levels. The Advance Mobility Freedom has a Lifetime Frame Warranty but do be aware that this only covers defects of manufacture not 'wear and tear'. Fabrics and other parts have a one year warranty. There is no warranty against punctures but the wheels contain seriously thick heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes (much thicker than on a bike). It is designed for a child who is happy to be in the pushchair - both the warranty and the safe working load may be significantly reduced if the child is not a co-operative occupant. The Freedom is CE marked. The Freedom pushchair is not 'Crash Tested' it cannot be used for transporting a child in a vehicle. Whilst the Freedom may be used for someone with special needs the seat may be unsuitable if they have a physical disability which requires postural support management. If in doubt please seek the advice of your physiotherapist. KEY FEATURES Frame
maximum weight limit 200lbs, 14 stone, 90kg (but check dimensions)