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Thread: new wheelchair users: do NOT buy the invacare top end reveal

  1. #1

    new wheelchair users: do NOT buy the invacare top end reveal

    i haven't had any issues with my chair until now. the chair is quite adjustable, from COG to RSH, back angle, etc. the casters are angle-adjustable to compensate for rear adjustments. i was able to adjust everything by myself with a little bit of elbow grease and the right wrenches.

    what i can't understand is why the camber tube does not have the standard 1.25" diameter. it's a little bit smaller, about 1 1/8".

    this is a big deal for me because i was measured incorrectly and my chair is wide by an inch or two. my plan was to bring the chair to a fabricator, cut and weld the stabilizer bar and bar beneath the seat upholstery, swap the tubes, and be happier. the cheapest i could go this way is ~$120, not bad at all for a better-fitting chair.

    but if i want to keep the chair and make it work with a standard-sized camber tube, i need to find a machinist to design and make larger brackets to fit the bigger tubes. cnc design and time is expensive.

    i don't know if i should just hold out and save up for a new chair. the thing is, i think about my chair every day. i think about all the ways it can be just a little bit better. i know at some point i will have a chair that is as perfect for me as a chair can be. in the meantime, i'm just not satisfied.

    that being said, it ultimately isn't a HUGE deal - i fit through my doorways (17" frame with 3* camber) and life goes on. but it is a heartbreaker.

    edit: i called top end, and they said it was an invacare product just given the top end label. i was transfered to invacare customer service, and the woman said it was a design choice - she didn't have anything else to say besides that.
    Last edited by lacesoutvic; 06-14-2013 at 03:51 PM.
    T6 incomplete - 14 october 2012

  2. #2
    Having a chair an inch or two too wide is a big deal. Especially for we T/6's. Eventually you'll keep sliding to one side and that'll cause you to start leaning to one side causing scolliosis.

    Seems you know what you're doing and if it's a first chair, they are always wrong. Have you contacted the person who measured you for the chair? Course, once they get the money ....


    Sounds like Top End has gone the way of Quickie; passing the buck and no real service. There was a time Chris Peterson (Top End) would have insisted he build you a better fitting chair at no cost. He did that for me more than once.


    .

  3. #3
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  4. #4
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    You're telling everyone to avoid buying a Reveal because you were measured incorrectly?



    Bullshit.

  5. #5
    The Reveal isn't exactly a top of the line model (it was designed to be profitable at Medicaid allowables).

    Cutting and re-welding 7000 Series aluminum components that are part of a frame with way too many holes and fasteners (including a bolt on underseat cross tube!) just strikes me as a bad idea.

    It's not like someone gave you a free Hall's Hallmark that isn't exactly your size and nothing is lost by trying to modify it. Your Reveal is your primary means of mobility. Accept it for what it is and channel your energy into making it your future backup chair.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Having a chair an inch or two too wide is a big deal. Especially for we T/6's. Eventually you'll keep sliding to one side and that'll cause you to start leaning to one side causing scolliosis.

    Seems you know what you're doing and if it's a first chair, they are always wrong. Have you contacted the person who measured you for the chair? Course, once they get the money ....


    Sounds like Top End has gone the way of Quickie; passing the buck and no real service. There was a time Chris Peterson (Top End) would have insisted he build you a better fitting chair at no cost. He did that for me more than once.
    i only know what i'm talking about now because i've been looking up stuff and i've changed pretty much every setting on my chair to better fit my needs (more dump, longer wheelbase, etc.). i have contacted my DME, but i don't know what i'll be able to get done - they do already have the money as you said.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    i'll keep that in mind, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    You're telling everyone to avoid buying a Reveal because you were measured incorrectly?
    i'm telling everyone to avoid buying a reveal because of interchangeability/upgradeability.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI_OTR View Post
    The Reveal isn't exactly a top of the line model (it was designed to be profitable at Medicaid allowables).

    Cutting and re-welding 7000 Series aluminum components that are part of a frame with way too many holes and fasteners (including a bolt on underseat cross tube!) just strikes me as a bad idea.

    It's not like someone gave you a free Hall's Hallmark that isn't exactly your size and nothing is lost by trying to modify it. Your Reveal is your primary means of mobility. Accept it for what it is and channel your energy into making it your future backup chair.
    yeah, it is their cheapest chair. i contacted my DME about getting a shorter cross tube, then I would only have to cut and weld the rigidizer on the back. I would have no problem sitting around for an hour while work is being done on my chair. that still doesn't solve the camber tube issue.
    Last edited by lacesoutvic; 06-14-2013 at 08:43 PM.
    T6 incomplete - 14 october 2012

  7. #7
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacesoutvic View Post
    i'm telling everyone to avoid buying a reveal because of interchangeability/upgradeability.
    You're telling everyone to avoid buying a Reveal because if you cut it in half you can't put it back together again?



    Bullshit.





    Look, I sympathize with you. I do. I just moved from 16w to 14w and it has changed my life. Seriously. I've also worked with a local machine shop to make numerous modifications to my chair and my handbike. I know where you're coming from.

    But you're bad-mouthing a chair because it won't do this very specific and custom thing that; a) it wasn't designed to do in the first place, and b) only one out of ten thousand users would ever think of doing. That's like saying, "DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC - I decided I needed more torque so I tried to put a big-block Chevy V8 in there and it won't fit in the engine compartment. So DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC!"

    I'm only jumping on you because we try to provide good, informed advice here and your reasoning for bad-mouthing an entire chair model is way too narrow. There are plenty of new and uninformed chair users looking for information to help them make important purchases. For some people, the Reveal might be a perfectly fine choice, but if they see you write "do NOT buy" they may not know enough to know better.

    You even say yourself:
    Quote Originally Posted by lacesoutvic View Post
    ...it ultimately isn't a HUGE deal - i fit through my doorways and life goes on.
    So why scare people off a model of chair over something that isn't a big deal for you?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    That's like saying, "DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC - I decided I needed more torque so I tried to put a big-block Chevy V8 in there and it won't fit in the engine compartment. So DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC!"
    don't be so narrow-minded.




  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    You're telling everyone to avoid buying a Reveal because if you cut it in half you can't put it back together again?
    please don't put words in my mouth. everything would piece back together, but my camber tube would still be 17".

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    Look, I sympathize with you. I do. I just moved from 16w to 14w and it has changed my life. Seriously. I've also worked with a local machine shop to make numerous modifications to my chair and my handbike. I know where you're coming from.

    But you're bad-mouthing a chair because it won't do this very specific and custom thing that; a) it wasn't designed to do in the first place, and b) only one out of ten thousand users would ever think of doing. That's like saying, "DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC - I decided I needed more torque so I tried to put a big-block Chevy V8 in there and it won't fit in the engine compartment. So DO NOT BUY A HONDA CIVIC!"

    I'm only jumping on you because we try to provide good, informed advice here and your reasoning for bad-mouthing an entire chair model is way too narrow. There are plenty of new and uninformed chair users looking for information to help them make important purchases. For some people, the Reveal might be a perfectly fine choice, but if they see you write "do NOT buy" they may not know enough to know better.
    if you sympathize, then quit being a dick. that analogy isn't even close; i'm not looking for power assist out of my frame or anything. most people wouldn't even consider the reveal, i think the q7 is more pushed by dmes anyway. the reveal is quite adjustable, but with the cost of a custom chair you might as well get something better and less proprietary. let's say i broke my camber tube, then i would have no option but buy a brand new one from invacare because of the off-size.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    So why scare people off a model of chair over something that isn't a big deal for you?
    i explained everything in the original post. assuming: 1) the chair fits the users needs completely and 2) the user is measured accurately, it should be a fine chair. but you could say that about every chair. and it is a big deal for me because i think about it constantly and have to push with a wider chair. i said that it "ultimately wasn't a big deal" because i'm just glad i can fit through my doors.
    T6 incomplete - 14 october 2012

  10. #10
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -scott- View Post
    If we ever meet I owe you a beer.



    Quote Originally Posted by lacesoutvic View Post
    if you sympathize, then quit being a dick. that analogy isn't even close; i'm not looking for power assist out of my frame or anything. let's say i broke my camber tube, then i would have no option but buy a brand new one from invacare because of the off-size.
    I can sympathize with your situation while at the same time being critical of your actions. And the analogy is closer than you'd like to admit - you're trying to make a modification which falls outside of the capacity of how the chair was designed. I've made my point. Moving on...

    So question: if a TiLite user or a Quickie user breaks a camber tube what are the possible vendor options they have to choose from for a replacement? Are there many? I don't know. Or are you talking about the used market like on eBay? I always thought that a TiLite chair would need a TiLite tube, etc... I wouldn't think of buying a Quickie tube for a TiLite chair. So what's so bad about having to buy one from Invacare?

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