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Thread: Quickie GTi - First Custom Ti Wheelchair, Advice Wanted

  1. #1

    Question Quickie GTi - First Custom Ti Wheelchair, Advice Wanted

    I don't have a SCI; I have had severe deformities of my legs (surgeries 2002, 2003 for reconstruction), I have fibromyalgia, some arthritis, poor bone density (more than 20 foot fractures since 2003), gluten intolerance/perhaps celiac disease, etc etc. But I have used a (beastly) wheelchair frequently since 2002 or so, and I also use forearm crutches.

    So, this is my first custom Titanium wheelchair and I'm really excited because of the mobility it will give me that I've not had for a few years.

    After my car accident in 2007, I've had terrible lower back (SI joints, coccyx, pelvis) pain (on top of what I already had going on). So I knew that the most non-negotiable feature I wanted on my new wheelchair would be an angle-adjustable backrest. This feature quickly shoved TiLite out of the picture and left me with Quickie and Colours. And on the East Coast (USA), Colours doesn't have a great reputation, so I chose Quickie.

    I'm using a demo Quickie GTi and so far, so good. (There's a picture of the GTi posted here by another user: http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=87898)

    I want to run my thoughts by some of the folks here who have used manual ultralight chairs for a while and see what ya'll thought about my ideas thus far.

    Here are my thoughts so far about the demo chair and also what I wanted coming into this whole customizing process:


    Original Wheelchair Thoughts

    Lighter is better
    Adjustable back angle and areas of back support - adj tension? Quickie GTi
    Want to be able to get it in and out of car independently
    I hate swing-away footrests!
    Med sized casters - not so small (no rollerblade wheels) that they get stuck everywhere, not so large that they require a lot of swing room for turning
    Adj center of gravity
    Pop-up handles
    Waterproof upholstery for B&B issues

    I think I'm OK without anti-tippers. I need to learn to balance better, though.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Demo Critique

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=122749
    http://www.phc-online.com/help_options.asp?ID=1040
    http://www.edmond-wheelchair.com/qui...tom_colors.htm

    FRAME
    Adding strap underneath to make backrest angle adjustment easier
    Left leg pressing into side of frame - nerve tingling - related to cushion perhaps?
    Need seat 1-2 in wider?
    Height from seat to foot...changes with footwear.

    Accessories I want:
    Reinforced seat sling - if these slings tend to droop over time
    Tool Kit
    Plastic side guards, folding
    Adj. camber?
    I HATE THE BRAKES and so glad I'm getting the other ones!
    Wear pads on footrest (I'm putting that part on the ground to get wheels off)

    BACKREST
    I know I want a higher backrest than on the demo due to my back pain.
    Adj tension upholstery is the only way to go for me.
    But which one should I choose? - there are several adj. upholstery types.
    And about handles, I definitely need pop-ups because I don't want people pushing me when I can push myself, but I also need them for those days when I know I'll need a hand (or two).

    HANDRIMS
    Sound of handrims - annoying.
    Feel of handrims connectors - fingers getting caught (ouch!) and pinched
    Use rim strip? (What exactly are those?)
    NaturalFit LT rims? Do they add weight?
    Or Flexrims on LX Wheels?...weight?

    I've been having lots of pain in the middle of my forearms and strange pains in the middles of my hands. Not sure if it's stress fracture related (I fracture in my feet often), or if it's nerve related, but I'm prone to carpal tunnel and have had my hands casted for 3 years between 1998 and 2001, so I don't want to risk it because my hands are in every way my livelihood). Handrim choice is important to me.

    WHEELS
    Spokes catching on stuff in my yard all the time = annoying. I take my w/c into wooded areas frequently (camping is my FAVORITE hobby and I want to do it again!). I'm afraid of damage.
    Spinergy LX good choice?
    What about X-Core? Pros/Cons? Weight?

    TIRES
    How do I fill high-pressure tires? How do I measure the pressure and maintain them?
    Will these high-pressure tires wear out quickly?
    How often do I need to replace them and what do they cost?
    How do tires work with camber? - wear out much faster?

    CAMBER
    My apartment will accommodate at least 3 degrees of camber.
    Can I get adjustable camber?
    Does it add weight?
    3-6 degrees.

    CUSHION
    Seat cushions - firmer/softer pros and cons?
    I like how lightweight this demo one is.
    But this one (on GTi demo) seems to position me poorly and I don't like it.
    Coccyx cut-out? - My coccyx hates me! OUCH!
    Sometimes I know I do sacral sitting even in GTi demo...and yes, I know that's bad.

    CENTER OF GRAVITY
    With higher backrest and more "works" on the back end, the chair will be even heavier on the back and I'm a little concerned about tipping when I put the backrest in the furthest position and lean back. Is the axle the whole way back?

    WEIGHT
    In all of this, I am concerned about weight and I want to try to keep the weight down.
    Do you think I have too many "options" on the chair and I'm making it too heavy?

    OTHER
    We need to discuss and problem-solve other ways to get w/c into and out of vehicle.
    While I can use the method I'm using now (sitting and disassembling the para way), I'd like to find a way to get it into the car without disassembling, if possible. I can't bend down or forward like most people - I pull my back out or have spasms that make me fall. Bending to the side is somewhat possible. But during my bad weeks, even getting the w/c in and out the para way can be a challenge. (I drive a Toyota Matrix.)

    Thanks for any feedback!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Smile

    I like the looks of the Quickie GTI. PM or E-mail SCI____OTR thru this site. He is an OT at a VA in Ohio & also a manual wheelchair user himself. He will be the best one to answer your questions. I'm surprised he has not chimed in here yet on your post. If you ask him to he will. I've seen him answer questions for us a lot & also is very helpful helping someone who is in the market for a new chair. He's even been involved in doing an intricatre set up on a power chair for a Veteran at the VA he works at.

    I wish you the best of luck finding the best chair out there to suit your needs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    I have an angle adjustable backrest on my TiLite...do not know where you got that from.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
    I was told TiLite has no angle adjustable backrests by the man at the place where they custom the chair. Perhaps he just didn't know?? *Shrug.*

  5. #5
    I forgot to add that I'm seriously considering getting tubular arm rests because I tend to lean to the right. My head and torso lean to the right (muscle tone imbalance), and I get fatigued on that side. So that might add a bit more weight. I can sit comfortably for longer periods of time with less back pain when I have a table in front of me to lean on a bit. So I'm thinking the arm rests would do about the same - just give enough support when sitting for a long time without a table or other form of support - to help stave off the spasms in my back. Once that back pain gets started, it's there for the rest of the day.

    But I'm sure, like everything else, arm rests add weight. Just trying to balance these things.....Features VS Weight.

    I'm getting fold-down sideguards too. Hard to imagine anyone would get a wheelchair without sideguards, though I know some do. The weight of those is definitely worth it to me. Tired of slinging mud on my clothes.

    I'll eventually need to choose the color too....
    I wish Quickie had the same colors TiLite has because I know I'd get that breast cancer pink color with black trim.

  6. #6
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    Ti Lite definately has adjustable angle backs, I'm sitting in a 2004 ZRA with a adjustable back. More likely your dealer can make more money selling you a quickie

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbosse View Post
    I forgot to add that I'm seriously considering getting tubular arm rests because I tend to lean to the right. My head and torso lean to the right (muscle tone imbalance), and I get fatigued on that side. So that might add a bit more weight. I can sit comfortably for longer periods of time with less back pain when I have a table in front of me to lean on a bit. So I'm thinking the arm rests would do about the same - just give enough support when sitting for a long time without a table or other form of support - to help stave off the spasms in my back. Once that back pain gets started, it's there for the rest of the day.

    .
    The arm rests may help but you should also look into getting the backrest adjusted to support you properly. Even just a few foam wedges placed in the correct spots, for you probably along the right side and maybe under your right shoulderblade could really help straighten you out without adding weight. Leaning too much on amrests or tables is bad for your elbows and shoulders and can make your back posture worse over time. I find that getting most of the correction from the backrest and cushion and just using the armrests to supplement some support works best for me.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff B View Post
    The arm rests may help but you should also look into getting the backrest adjusted to support you properly. Even just a few foam wedges placed in the correct spots, for you probably along the right side and maybe under your right shoulderblade could really help straighten you out without adding weight. Leaning too much on amrests or tables is bad for your elbows and shoulders and can make your back posture worse over time. I find that getting most of the correction from the backrest and cushion and just using the armrests to supplement some support works best for me.
    Thanks for mentioning the cushion too. I really DON'T LIKE the cushion that I was provided for this GTi demo chair....I don't feel like it supports me in the right places and it needs (as does the chair I think) to be 1-2 inches wider. There's a bit of a "hill" in the middle to keep the legs abducted but the whole thing just isn't shaped to my butt (I don't have an SCI - I have a butt...*chuckle*). And I have a lot of coccyx pain, SI joint pain, yadda yadda yadda. So I'm thinking the coccyx cut-out would perhaps eliminate some of the pain, reduce sacral sitting, and help me sit back further in the chair without cringing and wondering when the coccyx pain will stab me with fire again. Anyways, getting a cushion that works well would definitely improve my posture.

    Foam wedge might be possible, but I wonder if increasing seat dump by one setting might be a better option? This is my first time having a chair that wasn't 90, 90, 90 (who ever actually sits at 90 90 90 anyways???), and I love a little dump because my back isn't FIGHTING all day to stay up straight and not become the hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm finding that dump is so helpful because it helps my body have more contact with the back of the chair and I can sit straighter for a lot longer without so much pain. I haven't even had that feeling I used to get where I knew I needed to throw my arm over the back of my chair to keep me sitting up straight(ish) for support.

    I can see how armrests/tables can be bad over time. I wonder if getting rid of the armrest idea altogether and sticking with a higher backrest, better cushion, and possibly increased dump would be the ticket. ....Hmmmm....lots to think about.

    I don't have insurance, so this is basically my one shot and I don't want to mess it up. I know many folks have said they didn't get their first chair exactly right. But I'm trying really hard to get it as close to perfect as possible.

    This demo chair has Quickie wheels, 24 metal spoke. And it has Schwable marathon high pressure tires. I like the tires, but I'm not a fan of the wheels. The metal spokes catch on EVERY twig and piece of junk in my yard and outside...I'm really active with my chair so I can't have stuff constantly getting stuck in there. I considered the X-Core but from what I read, they are definitely heavier. I'm all about light. So I'm thinking Spinergy LX might be my new best friend.

  9. #9
    I just ordered my 1st custom chair (been in an E&J Metro) and I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival. I tried to do a lot of research like you are, especially since we have to live with the decision/chair for such a long time. From my research and the many recommendations from folks here, Sportaid.com has the best people and price, especially when you have to purchase with your own $cash. You can call them and they are very pleasant, helpful and they will try to answer all of your questions. There is no tax added (unless you live in GA I think) and the shipping is Free. The Sportaid website has a chair-width calculator to help determine the overall width of a chair with various options.

    Check out Tisport.com that is the official Ti Lite wheelchair web site. They even have a chart with side by side comparisons of their wheelchairs. Click on the "Order forms" and you can see what comes standard and what options are offered. Tilite offers some items as standard that other companies charge extra for. You can also use the Tisport.com website to find a dealer in your area where you might be able to demo a chair or at least get better info.

    The 2GX is a relatively new design that offers a lot of flexibility/adjustability since it is your first "custom" chair; including an adjustable angle & adjustable height seat back plus the uphostery is tension adjustable by straps. You can even have fold down push handles on the back, I have seen them and they appear to be well made and sturdy. The 2GX has an Adjustable Center of Gravity. I believe you can order a fold down backrest (like a rigid wc) plus it is a folding chair with quick release rear wheels, so you can have lots of options on how to load it into your vehicle.

    I have seen and tried the Natural Fit Lt handrims and that is what I went with for much of the same reasons you have stated. You can order "Camber plugs" and have the ability to change according to activity. Tilite offers spoke cover guards that might help your situation, and many choices of size/type of front casters. The swing-away tubular armrests are easily removable. You can also order padded arm rests attached to the swing-away; click on the "Designs Unlimited" link and there is a PDF file with addtional options for each Tilite model.

    Whatever you decide, I have learned it is much cheaper to order items with the original wheelchair order versus ordering/adding later. Such as anti-tips and armrests. As you figure out what works best for you, you can shed any unwanted excess weight items (anti-tips) and with adjustments over time arrive at your optimum wc configuration.

    Hope you enjoy your new wc
    Last edited by Still Learning; 02-11-2010 at 03:12 PM.
    The IceDragon Avatar best represents my constant Freezing yet Burning Pain...not to mention all the other sensations that come with neuro pain

  10. #10
    This is great! Thanks for the advice! I go today to finish up the order form with the vendor.

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