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Thread: Need help in buying a new Active chair - C5 Quad

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  1. #1

    Exclamation Need help in buying a new Active chair - C5 Quad

    Hi Guys!
    I'm on a quest to build and buy my first active wheelchair and get rid of the "heavy" folding chair assigned to me in rehab where I was indoctrinated with the fact that active wheelchairs ain't safe/apt for Quads. 3.5 years post injury, I find all sorts of quads handling their rigid ultralightweight chairs pretty well on YouTube/forums and realize I too deserve something which can be propelled easily enough so even I can go out without the embarassing/helpless feeling of who's gonna push me.

    I'm from outside US and will be making the purchase online myself, most likely Sportaid or Bike-On since DME is not an option here.
    More than a month of research and curiosity has helped me grasp a basic understanding of the terminology, brands, and similar stuff. But then, "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing".

    My Current(first) Chair:
    Been using Otto Bock Start M2 Effect since after my injury.
    Seat width: 17"
    Weight: 39.6lbs


    My Physique:
    I'm 21 yrs old, 6'2" tall and weigh around 175lbs. Specific measurements(skipped B & C ):


    My Disabilty:
    I'm a C5 complete quad, have no legs functions and partial hand functions (no finger grasp)
    Biceps: Grade 5/5 both arms.
    Triceps: Grade 1(left) / Grade 2(right).
    Shoulders: 3/5 overall in both arms (right stronger though)
    Wrist-extensors: 5/5 in both arms
    Wrist-flexors: 0(left) / 1(right).
    Fingers: 0 both arms
    I have some trunk balance and can sit unsupported on bed and wheelchair. alhough I tend to fall forward if sitting at 90 degree as my wheelchair has no bucket. My right hand is stronger which is why the current chair tends to keep going left. I can transfer with the help of board with someone holding the chair and me (if I fall forward).

    What I'm looking for:
    An aluminum wheelchair(coz titanium is costly?) which adequately suits my body and ability, makes propelling a breeze and enables me to climb atleast the little curbs with wheelies. A chair in which I can sit for long hours (6-8) without feeling uneasy and tired. Not sure if these are too much to ask :/

    Budget: $1700 excluding shipping to my country.
    Shortlisted chair: TiLite Aero Z (Series 2) - $1550 base config.

    Where I need help:
    You guys have much better experience with chairs and measurements and I was hoping if you could give me a better insight on some measurements such as Seat Depth, Front Frame angle, Back angle, Bucket etc.

    Following are the chair options I think will be suitable for me, along with comments: (Order form:http://tilite.com/assets/pdf/TiLite_AeroZ_series2.pdf )

    Frame: Full Adjustability
    Rear Seat Width: 17"
    Front Seat Width: NO Taper
    Seat Depth: 18" - worried if it should be more/less for my 21" hip to knee length, comments?

    Front Seat Height: 19.5"
    Seat to Footrest: 17" - My knee to foot length is 18" and I'll be using a Roho High profile cushion which is 4" when i'm not seated on it. Should these 2 options be lowered further, considering the cushion, and shoes height? If not, these can still be adjusted a few inches once I get the chair right?

    Rear Seat Height: 16" (Gives a bucket of 3.5")
    Front Frame angle: 85 degrees - What other factors should determine this apart from overall chair length?

    Footrest Width: 14.5"
    Footplate : Angle adjustable 13.5"

    Seat Back Type: Locks when folded - Aluminum release bars
    Push handle: Bolt-On Push Handle (+$175)
    Seat Back Height: 14.5"-19" - set at 16"
    Any other use of 4" Deep Rigidizer bar other than space for solid backs ?
    Seat Back Angle: 95 degree - will I be able to change it to 90 on my own?
    COG: 1.25" (will re-scale after trying if necessary)
    Camber: 2 or 4 - need the chair to be less than 24"
    Casters: 5" x 1 but which one? Plastic wheel w/ Poly, or Performance 5 spoke Aluminum?
    Front Forks: TiLite standards

    Rear Wheels: 24" TiLite Shadow (Spinergy goes to my wishlist) - Someone told me I should go for 26" since i'm tall. Is it correct?
    Rear Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Plus Evo
    Handrims: Silver Anodized Long Tabs - will fit Foam myself ( I read a thread about it)

    Wheel Locks: Composite Push to Lock
    Side Guard: Aluminum Quad removable (+$185)
    Black Aluminum Anti-Tippers (+$135)

    Total comes around $2000, so I'll probably use integrated push handles and no side guards.

    Also, can anyone tell me what will be the weight of above config? basically how heavy are Ti Shadow wheels?

    Damn! this has gone too long. Forgive me for such a long thread, but there are so many questions in my mind and I'm very skeptical since it's a BIG investment for me(that's all the money I could save). Please let me know if i'm missing something/suggestions.

    Thanks a lot, i'm eternally grateful for all your inputs!
    Last edited by chairDroid; 02-14-2012 at 09:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wills77's Avatar
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    I have an aero z series 2 and its been a great chair.
    here is a link to a thread i made about mine showing my specs and how much it weighs so you should be able to judge your chair weight off of that.

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=161352
    c6 inc since 2-19-11
    ex pro-am motocross racer
    tilite aero z s2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Wills77 View Post
    I have an aero z series 2 and its been a great chair.
    here is a link to a thread i made about mine showing my specs and how much it weighs so you should be able to judge your chair weight off of that.

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=161352
    I'm also a huge TiLite fan. A Top End Crossfire T7A will cost me 200 bucks less for same config and total chair weight of 21lbs but I'm giving first priority to TiLite.

  4. #4
    Looks like have done your homework real well! I have had an AeroZ1 for about 16 months now, and love it.

    Keeping in mind I'm an amateur, and my disability is different than yours, I recommend you do the following in no particular order (based on my experiences with the AeroZ):


    • replace stock fasteners with stainless steel (most everywhere) and grade-8 chrome (on axle mounts) (~$225) if you're in a wintery or salty-air climate.
    • put hub locks on your wish list (~$450)
    • consider Surge handrims (~$300)
    • with 3.5" dump, 85deg front, and 21" 'E', select 18" seat depth (E-3"), which you have done. I have an 80deg front and 3.5" dump; I ordered E-2", and my seat's a bit long.
    • consider ordering a +1 or +2 frame length for help when transferring
    • for footrest length, order it about 0.5" higher than you think you might ever want, and adjust it after arrival. It's much easier to bring down (make longer) than take up. I wish I had done that. (source: SCI_OTR)
    • if you think you'll ever want to go without antitippers, consider ordering the user friendly ones. They fold up easily out of the way.
    • Unless you know you need it, you can save a little money by not ordering the lock-down back. You can always use a bungee cord to hold it down if need be.
    • I have integral push handles. They serve me well. However they do offer rude ABs an open invitation to push me without asking
    • RE casters, a week ago I replaced my stock 6" billet aluminum hub TiLite soft roll casters with 5" FrogLegs aluminum hub soft rolls. The FL are so much better: they don't flutter (they're significantly lighter), and they roll like silk (I use identical non-stock bearings in my casters, so the FL tire rolls better). If I were ordering today, I would order the chair with 5" NCO casters, then replace them with FLAHSR (FrogLegs Aluminum Hub Soft Rolls) - $83 at sportaid.com - worth every penny.
    • RE chair width and camber: I prefer 4deg camber because it's friendlier to my knuckles. My chair (with 17" seat width, 3/4" rear-wheel spacing, 24" rear wheels, long-mount handrim tabs, and 4deg camber) is just shy of 27" wide at the floor.
    • Request a CAD drawing signoff by YOU!!
    • My original chair-weight tally:
    • Attachment 43803
    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>

  5. #5
    RE deep rigidizer bar, I have one with fabric back upholstery. I ordered the deeper bar because my condition can be progressive, and I might need a solid back someday. I know of no other reason for a deeper bar.

    RE front angle, I have minor arthritis in my knees, and they ache sometimes when bent too long. If they didn't ache, I would get a tighter front angle keeping in mind a tighter angle shortens the chair's wheelbase (for which a +# frame would compensate).
    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>

  6. #6
    Thanks for your keen reply Chas!

    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    replace stock fasteners...
    Stock fasteners: It's HOT here for almost 9 months
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    put hub locks on your wish list
    Hub locks: Do you mean the D-locks? I like them and they're already on wishlist
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    consider Surge handrims
    Surge Handrim: As of now, I'll put on foam(myself) for economical reasons but will buy a PushBlax or Surge in future.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    with 3.5" dump, 85deg front, and 21" 'E', select 18" seat depth (E-3"), which you have done
    Dump: yes, I found this out in the CAD thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    consider ordering a +1 or +2 frame length for help when transferring
    Frame Length: Thanks for pointing out! I can sure use the +1" for transfers.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    for footrest length, order it about 0.5" higher than you think you might ever want, and adjust it after arrival. It's much easier to bring down (make longer) than take up. I wish I had done that. (source: SCI_OTR)
    Footrest: I need help here. My knee-to-heel length is 18" and the ROHO cushion is 4". I'll be wearing shoes/slippers with around 0.5" bottoms. Doing the maths(taking compression of cushions in account) my footrest should be 15-16" from seat? and likewise 19.5" to floor should be okay I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    if you think you'll ever want to go without antitippers, consider ordering the user friendly ones. They fold up easily out of the way.
    Can the standard aluminum ones be removed , if not flipped up?
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    Unless you know you need it, you can save a little money by not ordering the lock-down back. You can always use a bungee cord to hold it down if need be.
    It's a No Charge option.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    I have integral push handles. They serve me well. However they do offer rude ABs an open invitation to push me without asking
    Exactly! which is why I'm looking for removable/folding options.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    If I were ordering today, I would order the chair with 5" NCO casters, then replace them with FLAHSR (FrogLegs Aluminum Hub Soft Rolls) - $83 at sportaid.com - worth every penny.
    Yes, the froglegs are in my wish list already. For now, 5" NCO performane should be good.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    RE chair width and camber: I prefer 4deg camber because it's friendlier to my knuckles. My chair (with 17" seat width, 3/4" rear-wheel spacing, 24" rear wheels, long-mount handrim tabs, and 4deg camber) is just shy of 27" wide at the floor.
    All the bathrooms in my home have 24" doors, *sucks*, so I guess it's already out of the question to enter them as the chair will be more than 24" even without camber. So I'll go with 4 degree camber.
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    Request a CAD drawing signoff by YOU!!
    From whom should I request? TiLite? I'm ordering from Sportaid or Bike-On.

    Thanks for the weight chart. I'm aiming around 21-23lbs if possible.
    I'll also go for 4" deep rigidizer bar then.
    Last edited by chairDroid; 02-14-2012 at 10:05 PM.

  7. #7
    If you are worried about width, you probably could fit in a 16in wide chair. I am 5'11 and 170 and have a 16in chair and could realistically do a 15. At 6'2 175 you must be fairly lean and unless you are a weeble 16inch should be fine.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    ..At 6'2 175 you must be fairly lean...
    I wish

    I'm bulky, used to wear 36" Jeans, it came to 34" now. Have fat thighs too

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wills77's Avatar
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    that will most likely be closer to 30lbs than 20. Our specs are almost identical but mine is 15x19. Mine weighed 30lbs without my 4in roho cushion. 34lbs with it. The only difference is I have a solid back.
    c6 inc since 2-19-11
    ex pro-am motocross racer
    tilite aero z s2

  10. #10
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    are surge handrims recommended for quads? Natural fits aren't, is the grip strip on surges enough?
    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.

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