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Thread: Icon or ZRa? HELP!

  1. #1

    Icon or ZRa? HELP!

    I have an orthopedic defect, rather than an SCI, and it's finally time I quit limping around and began using a wheelchair whenever I'm out of the house. Previously, I used a hospital-type occasionally, and an electric when I've had muscle weakness issues, but don't have much experience with the various types available.

    I am paying out of pocket, so I have some freedom to get what I want, but I can't figure out what is best. My family has opinions, but don't know anything about it and aren't going to be using it, so it's really my problem.

    ICON: pros are that its width can be changed, as my weight may fluctuate over the years, so I might be able to use it longer. I also like being able to change the dump and back angle easily, if needed due to muscle weakness issues. Cons are that it is more expensive, by about 2k, once everything is figured in, it'll probably take a few weeks longer for delivery, the back height does NOT seem adjustable without replacement which will be important in case of muscle weakness, push handles can't be folded, and I will have to order and put on the Surge handrims I want myself, as they can't be ordered on it. It also fits my personal style less in appearance, which may impact how I feel about being in it, although I do think it is cool looking - just not "me".

    ZRa2: Pros are that it is proven, the height of backrest can be adjustable, it is less expensive, dump is more difficult to change (won't be changing it often, though), can get folding push handles, Surge rims pre-installed, fits my personal style. Will probably arrive a couple of weeks sooner. Cons: can't adjust width so weight changes could end me up in a chair that doesn't fit - that's a huge one. Adjustments are more difficult to make.

    Looking at the lists, it seems like it comes down mostly to adjustable back height vs. changable width - both are a big deal and it's either/or. I don't know how much my weight would have to change to require a new chair...and I can't afford to make a mistake here.

    Any advice from more experienced users? Anything I'm overlooking? I feel overwhelmed.

  2. #2
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    If I were you (and I am not) I would personaly go for the ICON. Icons adjustability is way more than any other chair. well most chairs. and if you need to order another back in a few years. atleast its not a whole chair. the adjustablity that the icon offers is what sounds like you need the most. I know for me seat adjustablity is very very inportant as my weight fluxuates. so looking at the fact that you might have to get a back later is less of an issue than having to order a whole new chair. If I were you I would call Icon and talk to them. bolt on handles work just as well. so if this is a long term investment. that would only need a few minor tweeks here and there. and if your like me you use your chairs till they fall apart or they can no longer be used then I would go Icon all the way. make sure you call Icon they maybe planing an adjustable back in the near future. worth checking out. they are a new compony and I exspect to see many promising things to come. just breathe and it will all work its way out. thank god you don't have to deal with insurance. good luck keep us posted on your progress.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BriRi's Avatar
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    How are you planning on transporting your chair? What type of vehicle do you have? Neither of these chairs fold side to side so most cars will require the wheels to come off, even if putting in the trunk. A folding chair may be best for your situation. Will you have room for the chair, even with the wheels off? Will someone be helping you with the chair?

    Also, don't ever order wheels from a manufacturer because you'll pay way too much. Order from one of the many online companies that can set you up with the exact wheel/tire/handrim combination you want for a much better price. Use the "free" wheels that come with the chair for spare set, or donate to charity(that's what I do). Even if you are already ordering from online discount dealer you won't get fair credit for wheel upgrades so I would still order seperately.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Icon is new technology. Built by a small company that has the customer in mind. Tilite ZRA design is old built by a company that is impossible to talk with. If there is any problem the person must go thru the dme you bought it from. With Icon, you speak with the designer personally. I'm sure he'll chime in on this thread.

    Once a chair is dialed in, the user rarely changes the configuration; especially if they have a lot of balance etc. Rather than worrying getting fat and needing a wider chair. I suggest you think of staying in shape to fit the chair. It's been shown that a person will eventually fit the chair they are using if it is too wide.

    Personally, from the sound of your ability, I would go with the Icon. For me, I've owned a ZRA, I would not order one again. It was okay because I used it to get the measurments for the chair I now own. A Tilite Tr. I much prefer the Tr over the ZRA in that it is more stylish, uses smaller tubing and is a full frame, more durable chair.

    I'm sure the Icons back raises and lowers etc. Jeff Adams seems to make sure the chair fits the person and is available to work with it until it does. The ZRA is a "get the chair and work on it yourself." If there are any problems, too bad, it's up to your dme to sort it out; we don't want to talk with you company.

    If you are insisting on a Tilite, I suggest going for the TRa rathr than a ZRA.

    Don't feel overwhelmed lol. We've all gone thru it and will help in anyway we can to ensure you make a decision that's best for you.

    There are a lot of chairs out there besides a Tilite, if you don't want to go with an Icon.

  5. #5

    Sharing a comparative wheelchair review

    I hope this review assist in approaching a decision. Icon design stages have been a collaborative effort for 15 years; furthermore, the longer a body sits on a chair, our bodies becomes compromised. Icon's design focus is driven to a rider's activity. For an example; Icon's understanding "suspension" and how lack or stiff suspensions on most chairs are localize. Meaning you only feel the smoothness on the area where its mounted (front casters or rear of seat).

    Riding on an Icon, you sense an overall smoothness from your ankles, knee, and hip joints because its suspension is designed to lessen/eliminate this jarring/pounding on the body as you will soon experience navigating all types of uneven pavement.

    ** I enjoy observing social behaviors, and as I parked myself in full view of Colours and ICON's booth there was buzzing activity for both products at San Jose's Abilities Expo.

    For starters Colours booth was at least 5x larger in space than ICON capturing three isles of traffic. Colours display of stacked rims were shiny towers of polished metal. Upholstery selections seduced your imagination if you were to coordinate their samples with your personal wardrobe. Plenty of photo opportunity indeed for the female models/dancers. Perhaps the same idea as "cheerleaders" as to a football team, complete with matching uniforms. Different storefront, diverse customer base. The likelihood of Colours consumer base identify image as a priority. So does ICON.

    ICON's booth was simple in tone, minus the flash. The longer I watched activities of both representations, an obvious story unfolded.

    The ICON lured their audience who came prepared with myriad of challenging technical engineering questions. Confident in its design and function, Jeff and Chris did not use "sales technique dialogue" rather both men welcomed concerns addressing how to simply adjust ICON to configure to one's body needs and improving mobility.

    This is where my observation shifted to focus. Being a non-techie person, and lack of experience in using handy tools besides a hair dryer, all I needed for an adjusting tool was a "J" wrench, and my hands can twist open a jar of moisturizer, I can make the adjustments myself, how great is that? This alone answers my capability status. Less dependency in asking for a favor. Furthermore the absence of flashy rims and upholstery stretched my choices of coordinating wardrobes, AND sitting on an ICON projects onlookers that its rider expresses a conversation on its design and function delivery, a far in depth dialogue than a wheelchair upstaging its user.

    I've been a consumer of many materials and how I observe a user inter-faces with a product gets my attention. The ICON display was unassuming, yet boldly illustrates confidence, and by the reactions of its testers many spent a minimum of half an hour with ICON's representatives, whereas Colours were quick to snap a photo opp.

    Every detail expressed in ICON's concept and delivery are embedded in compassionately understanding how a body is less compromised for its long-termed usability. Factoring these simple and progressive reality, I envision myself a progressive rider of an ICON.

  6. #6
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    LizZenU you give great reviews

  7. #7
    You can adjust the back height on the Icon. Same as many other chairs. Pic of the Icon with the back extender off my A4.

  8. #8
    I guess the first question I have is how much do you ambulate and do you stand up when you transfer? If so, where do you think you get the most leverage to push up to a standing position?

    Until I hear the answer to that key question, I'll hold any further thoughts.


  9. #9
    Wow - Icon seems very popular here so far - I would never have imagined. Nobody here worried that it's new tech, then?

    We have a PT Cruiser for transport. Not usually anybody in the back seat, so I figured I could remove the wheels and put it back there for preference. Or, I could put it in the back, if that works better, or even fold down the rear seat. Cruisers are pretty large inside. I figured I'd get the fold down back on the wc, assuming that the Icon side guards will let it fold.

    I can stand to transfer, and can be on my feet up to about 30 minutes per day without severe pain at this point. But standing causes my leg bones to slowly bow outward, so in order to conserve the walking ability that remains, staying off my feet as much as possible is necessary.

    So the height of the back is established, but I can slide it up and down? That might work...
    Last edited by PhoenixFiresky; 11-25-2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Add info.

  10. #10
    @Patrick Madsen: I didn't just mean I'm afraid of getting fat(ter). I meant my weight is moving up AND down, for no clear reason either way, although some seems to be related to illness or medication - both of which I don't have a lot of control over. That's why it's a concern.

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