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Thread: RGK Hi Lite

  1. #1

    RGK Hi Lite

    I have been measured for an RGK Hi lite today, I would appreciate any feedback on the measurements.

    Seat width 430mm
    Spinergy Flexi rims
    Footrest height 115mm
    Width 320mm
    Rear wheel gap 20
    Camber 2
    Seat length 410mm
    Rear Seat height 400mm
    Backrest height 335mm
    ergo seat
    footrest fixed angle
    fixed backrest
    stroller push handles (removable)
    anti tips swingaway
    aluminium fixed sideguards
    schwalbe marathon plus tyres with car valves
    casters 4 inch soft rolls

    These are what the RGK salesman advised, what do you think? He said I would be better off with a fixed back rest to reduce weight? The build time is 12 weeks. I dont know if its the same for the other chair I was thinking about, the Ti-Lite TR3. I think I will be getting either one of these. I asked if it was wise to get a custom built chair and both guys said it would be ok so not sure if I`m getting good advice or not.

  2. #2
    I missed off front seat height 480mm and spinergy spox wheels.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Mesa, Arizona
    Sprout what did you like about each chair? Also if I had to get a new chair right now it would be either a mikebox or TR3 by tilite but I know what I need in a fixed frame chair now. For a first chair I still think an adjustable one would be best. As purchesing a chair is expensive. And if something isn't working you can not adjust it on a fixed chair

  4. #4
    I'm very glad my first rigid chair has some adjustability. Even now that it's dialed in, I know my next chair will have at least adjustable axle position (CoG).

    IMO, you're getting bad advice from the RGK salesman. I believe the RGK Hi-Lite is a great chair for an experienced user, but not for a newbie.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Have you actually tried a reasonably similar RGK Hi Lite? Because you should be very anxious about getting a non-adjustable chair like this unless you've already found a chair that suits you down to the ground in every respect and are ordering the Hi Lite to match that. This is a custom-made, bespoke, non-adjustable chair. This is what you will be stuck with for years, whether it fits you well or not. I would seriously advise you to FORGET about trying to save on weight until you know exactly what you want and need. A slightly-lighter backrest saves you NOTHING if you find two weeks later that it's uncomfortable and you'd like to change the angle except that you can't because it's welded in place. Find the right chair dimensions, angles, etc, and then start thinking about weight. Remember that the easiest way to save weight is to minimise the add-ons you'll be choosing, and, where possible, to go down in seat size.

    Can I ask why the ergo seat? I know that RGK promote them, but have you tried one? Did you like it better than a standard seat? If so, it's an option you can have on many brands. If not... well, there's not a lot of research on them. If it's not instantly more comfortable for you--or if you haven't been able to try one at all--I don't think you should take the risk. It might not suit you, you can't change it, it will do weird things to your cushion, and you don't know how it will impact on your posture in the long term.

    You've tried several chairs now, so chances are several different camber options. Did the 2 degrees stand out to you as better? Why? If camber made so little difference that you didn't notice it, then you might be better advised to go down to 0 camber to narrow your chair a fraction more. You should enquire whether it's possible to change camber angle in future. With an RGK, it probably isn't. With some other brands, it may be a reasonably simple, reasonably inexpensive matter of purchasing a new camber tube, or sometimes camber plugs or camber plates.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I don't mean to bag RGK, they make some great chairs. But not for beginners!

    So, in rough conversions, we're talking about a 17x16 seat. How does that fit? Can you get your fingers between your hip and the sideguard on the both side? It may be too wide. Do the sideguards 'grip' you so tight that it's difficult to get out of the chair again? It may be too narrow. Does the seat sling reach your calves? Seat may be too long.

    Have you tried different wheel sizes? You've put down Spinergy Flexrims, but you haven't said what size. There's a widespread belief that 24" wheels are appropriate for 99% of adults. I don't believe it for a minute. Try 25"s and maybe even 26"s if at all possible. Wheels are easily changed, but are expensive to replace!

    The TR3 would appear to have a good deal more adjustability than the chair you're looking at.

    It would really help us evaluate the proposed dimensions you've given if you could tell us how the chair felt to you. Could you reach the wheels well? Was it easy to push? Was it easy to tip and control? Could you get up/over small bumps in it? Could you get the wheels on and off by yourself? Did it work well with your cushion? Please remember, there is a whole lot more to this game than just weight! :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Oh, and there may be some confusion here. ALL the chairs you are looking at are custom-built chairs. However, some are highly adjustable, some are minimally adjustable, and some are not adjustable at all. General consensus is that newer users like yourself should always go adjustable.

  8. #8
    I think I agree with all the above comments. Adjustability such as the back angle is king in the beginning. Also I wonder why you have chosen the Flexrims. I had an opportunity to get some off Craigslist quite cheap and the seller said they were in great condition. However I could not find good reviews of their longevity, only that they tear. In fact take a look at the reviews on Sportaids site: (thumb down)

  9. #9
    @Nonoise - I really wanted natural fit handrims, but the flexrims were the only ones RGK was offering that were similar, so the guy suggested those. The reason for choosing natural fit handrims - I have tried them before and liked them, and I have a couple of bony lumps in my left palm that makes it a bit difficult to get a good grip on normal rims. I can grip the rims, but its better if I put more weight/pressure through my thumb and the fleshy cushion below my thumb.

    I was rather dubious about a fixed backrest myself. Even on the helium and kuschall K4 the backrest had to be adjusted. Not so much the angle, just the straps. Plus I would have thought that having a fixed back would be harder to life chair into car? It is quite crucial to keep the weight down at the minute, as well as my back problems I had a torn muscle in my right upper arm about 18 months ago and that muscle hasnt regained as much muscle strength that it used to have. That arm would take a lot of the weight when lifting due to right hand drive cars over here. I will have to do some work on it I reckon. :) Re wheel size, I did try 25" wheels when the man came who brought the Ti-lite chairs, I did like those. The only thing I didnt try was if they would fit under my dining table. I have tried an ergo seat before and liked it. It was on a top end crossfire T6, but that was a couple of years ago. I thought it might be a good idea to put my pelvis in right position. I have been doing physiotherapy at hospital and they are trying to stop me sitting too straight up. I have to try and relax and let my pelvis rotate a little, letting it roll back a bit. I tend to pull my back upright and it makes too big a curve in my back. I`m happy to get some adjustability as long as I can lift the chair myself, thats the main reason for getting the chair, so that I can go out myself. :)

    Regarding sizes, I was measured by the local council as needing a 16" wide seat, but that is too tight, I am squashing up against the side guards, 17" should be just right. The seat length is ok at 16" too as any longer and it rubs against the back of my knees. The other thing bout RGK they didnt specify front frame angle, the guy said it was sorted by frame length? He sat me in a wheelchair and put a book under my feet to measure footrest height or front seat height, not sure which. He was also advising me against 4" soft rolls, saying 5" would be best? I was going to have the small camber 2 degree because all the pavements over here have a camber on them I thought it might help with pushing? I can see what you are all getting at regarding adjustments, it does make sense. If the TR3 has more adjustments that may be the way to go. I found the ZRa too heavy. The man from Ti-lite is coming back on Friday, so I can have another look at that and try putting it in my car too. He has to visit again anyway because he left a stimulite cushion for me to demo.

    Thanks again for all of your help, it is a BIG help to me and I appreciate it. :) after all who better to get advice from than someone who has years of experience. I think the RGK guy may be the sort of salesman who being in a wheelchair himself, expects me to fit into what he likes. He was really nice, but the point of the exercise is to get something that suits me. The build time seemed long too, 12 weeks is a long time. Another non important thing that I did like on the RGK chair, they do free machine embroidery on the back of the backrest. You can choose any simple tattoo like Jpeg and they will do it for you. You can have it in different colours, just a clear design. It doesnt make the chair better, but I thought it was a nice idea, especially if you dont have to pay extra for it. You could also choose the backrest stitching colour, and the colour of the RGK log, and the little colour accents on the chair came at no extra cost. The chair he brought in had Topolino wheels on. He also suggested I just have the wheels that come as standard?

  10. #10
    The other thing I did not like about the Hi-lite was the height adjustable clip on push handles. I am going to have to have some sort of handles on, but they sounded quite obtrusive? They were suggested because having a low backrest would make it hard for my family to help me out pushing me, but I did rather like the fold down ones on the ti-lite? Is the bracket or whatever holds the height adjustable handles on ugly when the handles are not on? Are they easy to take off? I liked that with the fold down ones the handles would always be there just in case. Re anti tips with RGK these would be two swingaway ones, whereas with the Ti-lite they would be the push button ones, that came off and you could adjust the height of them so that you could go up kerbs. What type of anti tips are easiest to use and work well?

    The build time for the Ti-lite is about 4 weeks, a big difference to the RGK. I know if something is going to be fantastic the wait is worth it, but not sure if it would be or not in this case.

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