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Thread: Seat back advice for a ZRA2

  1. #1

    Seat back advice for a ZRA2

    Hi all,

    I'm new to life in a chair (injured 7-9-11), and am still figuring things out. I ordered my ZRA2 while I was still in rehab. At one-month post injury, I knew nothing about chairs and just went with what my OT recommended. It has certainly been an adventure trying out different settingsā€¦ I started with 2.5" dump, then increased it to 3.25" - the increased maneuverability was great, but my legs would go bonkers when I got out of the chair. So I'm back to the 2.5" for now.

    Anyway, my current mission is to find a comfortable seat back. My OT recommended a mid-size J3. While I was still recovering and wearing a brace, this back was fine. But now it's driving me nuts! I'd like to get a smaller, lighter seat back, but I'm not sure what to get.

    I'm looking at the 10" ADI CF, Roho Jetstream, or Motion Concept's Matrx MX1. I know the MX1 is new to market, so it's been hard to find any dealers that offer it (let alone have a demo).

    For those of you that have been around longer, what are you thoughts on the three options above?

    Also, I made the mistake of getting integrated push handles on my chair (again, on the OT's recommendation). Is it possible to order a new back from TiLite with out the handles? The lighter and more streamlined I can make the chair, the better.

    Thanks for all your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I think push handles are integrated with the back canes and not the back... But I'm also new to chairs. I'm sure someone can help you out and tell you what you need to do.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  3. #3
    If you want a lighter chair a molded ridgid back just adds weight to it. The hardware to attach it is heavy. Yes, you can get a backframe without handles.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    The J3 is already a rigid back though, and 5 lbs. I doubt changing to a shorter rigid back would increase the weight. An option like the jetstream will be decreasing the weight.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  5. #5
    Last edited by chasmengr; 12-31-2011 at 06:44 PM.
    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."

  6. #6
    I am a T8 and had the same problem. I was fitted for my chair in rehab with a TLSO brace on and the chair just didn't fit. I ended up getting a entirely new chair in fact. I would recommend the Jetstream Pro (10') it is what I have on my ZRA2 and I love it.

    Oh and get rid of the push handles, not really sure how you can do it. If your chair is 16 inches wide I have an extra satin titanium back frame (its a long story) that I will send you for shipping cost.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Tidewater, VA
    If you go with the 10" ADI (highly recommended) once you have it mounted I would take a saw to the back rest canes. My preference is to have just enough tube above the mount to hang a pack from, when the occasion arises. ~1", or so. No more push handles, and with a couple of tube caps (Lowe's Fastener Center) a cleaner look. Of course, I'm not above sawing on a new chair, some people might not think that's a great idea!

    He who hears not me but the Logos will say: All is one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    I came out of the hospital December 2005 - T5 complete. I got a Ti ZRA with a J2 back. I also had the optional push handles and wheelie bars. For a seat I got a 4" Hi Profile Roho.
    Also armrests. I also had a 2 degree camber axle.
    The first item to go were the wheelie bars. Took them off within a couple of months, as soon as I was comfortable in the chair.
    The next after about 8 months I ordered a 4 degree axle - glad I did and wish I had from the beginning.
    Next off were the armrests. I found that they got in the way to much so I ditched them too.
    At the same time the Push Handles also found the shelf in the cupboard.
    Within the first year I had really got down to side guards (which I modified myself) and no other external pieces. I did make a back cover to go under the backrest to under the seat so there was no "exposure of my ass" from the back end.

    It took about another year or two before I decided to change the J2 for a different back. As I got better with my lateral stability I decided to cut down the size of the back so I decided on a Future Mobility Healthcare Phantom Back. It has worked well for me and I have no complaints.

    I did have problems with the Roho. My right leg - at the front of the cushion - the air pockets never seemed to keep air in them very well so I went to the Roho Nexus Spirit. I have to move around a little more to make sure I don't have any pressure points but it has worked out way better.

    So over the years you will find that you will change things and cut things down to suit your lifestyle.

  9. #9
    Welcome T/4, as you can see there is a lot of knowledge on this site. The more efficient your chair is for you, the better off you're going to be. So many just take the chair as they got it and that's it. Once you get it dialed in, it'll be a completley different wheeling experience.

    I tried the Matrix and have a Jetstream hanging out in the closet. I think the Jetstream was the most comfortable for me. I went back to a sling because they feel more comfortable and I want the back to form to me not me conforming to the back. I have a TR but use the Invacare webbed padded back upholstery.

    If insurance will pay, buy the posts, if not, you can always cut the posts. I don't think they are that expensive.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the replies, all.

    @Geoffrey I also got handle bars and anti-tips on my chair. I've already ditched both, I just haven't gotten around to removing the parts that are bolted on to the chair. I should probably go ahead and do that to shave a few pounds.

    @t8burst I didn't know you could get the back canes in satin titanium to match the rest of the frame! Mine are black (I'm guessing painted aluminum). Unfortunately, my chair is 18", so I won't be able to take you up on your offer. Thankfully, I'm in a position to be able to buy the replacement parts.

    As an aside, I got injured in a bicycle race (the worst injury, by several orders of magnitude, that the organizers have seen in the 30 years they've been hosting that event). My wife is simply thrilled that I have another piece of equipment to constantly tinker with.

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