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Thread: New, need help with choosing chair

  1. #1

    New, need help with choosing chair

    Hi, I'm newly injured and in rehab in Toronto. I have to choose a wheelchair to use. I used to be a snowboarder and gymnast, so I want to be pretty active even in my everyday chair (the therapists told me there are also sports equipment).

    They seem to want me to order a TiLite ZRA, but I'm wanting a ZR because I heard it's lighter.

    I'm a pretty low level para, and am going to try to stay as fit as possible.

    Also, I have a choice for store to buy from - either HME or Motion Specialties or Shoppers Drug Mart - if anyone from Toronto has any advice, I'd appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    If I were you and this was my first chair...I would go with the ZRA since it is adjustable. The ZR is not adjustable (except for the center of gravity) so it is a better chair with someone who knows their dimensions/settings.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I would definitely recommend a ZRA for your first chair. You'll want a little bit of adjustability as you figure things out, unless you can borrow chairs from a dealer and try out a variety of configurations (and make sure you're in a variety of environments, wheeling around inside is a lot different than wheeling up a huge hill or across a gravel parking lot).

    I will say that it's amazing how fast a few years fly by, I get a new chair every 5 years or so, and sometimes I can't believe how fast it's happened. Personally, I don't think the weight difference will be that much. I'd buy nice wheels (like Spingery) instead, that will save you a lot of weight. Once you know what really works for you, then you can get the ZR. Although, your body will change over time, as will your chair needs.

  4. #4
    Go w/ zra
    C5/C6 Complete since 08/22/09

  5. #5
    Thanks everyone!

    Are there any other kinds of chairs that I should ask to try?

    People here seem pretty sold on the TiLite thing, but I think the vendor I have has some kindof exclusive deal with them so I'm a bit nervous that they might not be giving me all the options out there.

  6. #6
    I'm also really little (gymnast little), which is why I mentioned the weight - even a slightly heavier chair will make a big difference to me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I've had both TiLite & Quickie titanium chairs, so I can tell you what I think about the differences.

    Maintenance - very similar, tools are a little difference but it's not a big deal

    Look - actually, quite similar. When I had a quickie I took all the little logos off, and people always asked me if it was a Ti.

    The biggest difference, and although it sounds small, it made a big impact for me - is that the bar across the back that you pull to lower the back of the chair on the Ti is an actual metal bar. On the Quickie it was a cord, and would sometimes get stuck. The Ti never gets stuck.

    I also recommend getting hub locks (like D's locks or Surelocks), they also have made a huge impact in my chair satisfaction.

    And finally wheels - I mentioned it before, but nice lightweight wheels (like Spinergy) make a HUGE different in daily fatigue, as do Froglegs casters. I can barely stand to use my old chair that doesn't have them. I feel like I'm getting rattled to death even on fairly smooth streets.

    Good luck! Lots of this stuff is add-on, so you can always get the base model chair, and then upgrade as you can afford it.

  8. #8
    I'm in my first chair. It's adjustable, and I'm very glad it is; seemingly minor adjustments make a huge difference. And I demo'd first (albeit in a Quickie.)

    My opinion is your first chair should be adjustable despite being slightly heavier. The published base weights of the ZR (9.3#) & ZRA (10.7#) differ by only 1.4#. The rest of the weight is in the addons (including the wheelset). For example the base weight of my AeroZ is 13.2#, but with my 'heavy' wheelset and addons, it weighs in at about 37# (which I knew before ordering).
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I agree with all of the comments above, and if weight is an issue then definitely go with Spinergy LX wheels. I'm also really sold on the Frogleg softroll casters. Make sure that you order forks wide enough to accommodate the wider casters.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  10. #10
    Here's a view of the weight calcs I did before ordering my chair:
    Attachment 38149
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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