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Thread: My new Tailwind power assist

  1. #1

    My new Tailwind power assist

    For the first four years I spent most of my time in a Cyclone (UK version of Colours) chair with e-motion power assist.

    While I can push a manual chair on the flat, my C5/6 grip means I struggle with braking or any kind of incline. The city where I live is quite hilly, the power assist made me more independent and, when it worked, I loved the set up.

    In 2008 I purchased a Frontier X5, mainly for long days working and travelling to other cities like London by train. As I explained to the anti-powerchair lobby (Fuente ) at the time, I viewed this like a 'jeep for my feet' - if my other chair was a basic mode of transport, the powerchair would be used for a reason of distance/terrain.

    And so it proved for a while. I used the e-motions as they became increasingly unreliable, going through about four sets of batteries, three chargers and two sets of wheels (I do a lot of daily mileage). As I got fed up the constant charging, so I lost patience and spent more time in the X5.

    A year passed, I put on about 30lbs and realised I should look for a new manual power assist. Found this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zKRh...eature=related got a demo and imported one from the US.

    It is AWESOME! Had it for a couple of months now so I'm used to it. Have lost about 40lbs (some before it arrived, thanks to diet & Vitaglide).

    If you've used e-motions it is both similar and very different. Similar in that it is like having power steering in the wheels and lightens pushing. However, it requires a little more effort and skill on the flat as it doesn't give you huge amounts of assistance. I like this, it is controllable and feels like you have exerted yourself. Now I'm proficient with it I feel really comfortable and confident i it, spinning round, tackling small kerbs etc.

    Where it really is amazing is going up hills, where it gauges the incline and boosts assistance, and down hills (something I've always struggled with) where it gauges the descent and slows you accordingly - no fun for paras but when you use your wrist or palm to brake c5/6 style you really appreciate it.

    Oh, and one battery charge lasts 7 - 9 miles and charges in about 4 hours from flat.

    Two minor faults:

    It has two metal side guards which form part of the backrest folding mechanism. They can't be removed so it makes a C5/6 transfer a bit hairy as you really have to scoot up and lean forward to avoid it.

    If you 'hold' the rims for more than about 20 secs to steady yourself at the top of a small incline - crossing a road for example - the power shuts off, assuming you've jammed the rim up against a table leg or something. This would be ok if it didn't put a suddenly much heavier chair into freewheel mode. I've nearly trundled off a kerb and into traffic twice. Lesson learnt, I use brakes now.

    Apart from that I love it. My X5 gets used a couple of times a week (and is also a truly awesome chair).

    Feel free to ask me any questions about it.

    Tailwind:
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  2. #2
    My original chair with e-motions (Tailwind only comes as a fully intergrated chair & wheels):
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  3. #3
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    I tried one at Abilities 08 in NJ and it was fantastic. Glad to hear it works in the real world. I dig the chair they put it on too, is that a Tsunami? I can see some oval tube, very trick. Congrats.
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  4. #4
    My X5 doing what it does and ensuring I was one of six out of 35 employees who made it to the office in the worst of the snow:
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  5. #5
    But you gained 40lbs. Powerchairs are the kiss ofdeath, yet again my point has been proven
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    But you gained 40lbs. Powerchairs are the kiss ofdeath, yet again my point has been proven
    I don't entirely disagree, never did. But that's still a generalisation my friend.

    Some people clearly have no option. I still use it but I'm lucky to have the luxury of choice, others have to decide on one or the other based on a number of factors.

    I agree that you should push if you can, when you can, but not at the expense of independence or knackered shoulders.

    It wasn't just less pushing which made me gain weight but it certainly helped.

    Have to admit I lost a lot of fitness and stamina as I gradually abandoned my broken e-motions. When I first got the Tailwind the 0.75 mile push to my office was tiring. Recently been out for a four hour long push in it. Am way fitter now.
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    But you gained 40lbs. Powerchairs are the kiss ofdeath, yet again my point has been proven
    I'm not overweight. I use a powerchair. And I'm healthier now then when I was a full time manual chair user.

  8. #8
    i guarantee you arent stronger. all im sayin ladies if you think healthy is what our wanna be resident "bodybuilder" looks like then use a pc full time.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  9. #9
    RR,I liked seeing the picture of you in the snow.
    Someone here said something once that I thought summed up people in your situation.
    Sometimes you need a car, and sometimes you need a truck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino View Post
    My X5 doing what it does and ensuring I was one of six out of 35 employees who made it to the office in the worst of the snow:
    "O to be in Manchester now that Spring is there..."

    With apologies to Bob Browning.

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