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Thread: Wheel choices...Round Betty vs. Spinergy vs. Aluminum billet wheels?

  1. #1

    Wheel choices...Round Betty vs. Spinergy vs. Aluminum billet wheels?

    I'm a chronic lurker here and I posted a while ago about a new manual chair. I'm hoping for some guidance on wheels!

    First off I live in Canada, in Ontario. I'm in the Toronto area and I spend about half my time downtown and half my time up north of the city on a farm - I'm a para-dressage rider. I've been using 24" spinergy LX wheels with marathon plus tires for the last year but I'm moving to 25" wheels now with my new chair (in the end I went with Mike Box and I'm just waiting for it to be built now! Can't wait!). Initially I ordered the SLX wheels with marathon plus tires again. I had been thinking about getting a second set of wheels eventually for use on the farm and putting knobby's on them and then having a set for downtown with Right Run tires. I have bad shoulders from crutches/manual chair use and so anything to help my push is a good thing! I was planning this two wheel thing for in the future and then winter hit. I own a car and so I drive as close as I can to a building but last week I ended up literally sobbing in a snow back after 45 minutes of the most frustrating snow pushing in my life. I spun out and got stuck and my shoulders were on fire and I cried. The street that I had to get down wasn't cleared at all and there was nothing I could do. A nice person helped and together we got me down the block. After that I decided to get the second set of wheels now so I can also use the knobby's in the winter in the snow! I would just throw knobbies on my 24" wheels but I don't want to mess with my dump and stuff to much by going between the two.

    I'm sticking with the SLX wheels and I ordered the Right Run tires. For my "farm/winter wheels" I am considering the Round Betty Dino wheels. I really like the idea of aluminum spokes for that application and the extra rigidity. My question is if it really makes a different for push efficiency? I have tried searching for reviews and the only thing I found appeared to be a sponsored review so I'm hesitant! What's the purpose of the aluminum billet wheels? Are they supposed to be more rigid or better for pushing? Or are they just expensive and "cool" looking? I want whatever is going to be able to really stand up to the demands of the farm and horses, while also being the best for my shoulders! Anyone out there make the change from Spinergy's to the Round Betty Dino wheels with positive results? Price wise they are appealing over the other aluminum options for sure!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Benny,

    I'am probably not smart enough to to contemplate the whole push efficiency question. I do however own a set of Round Betty Dino's. I love the wheel. I abuse them regularly and they can stand it. They also stand by their product and do all they can to make sure every set is perfect. I had a spoke issue when mine were new and they got right on it, IMO a great wheel.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Don't discard the knobby 24"s. You might find that with the knobbies being presumably fairly high-profile tyres and the Right Runs being low profile, that swapping between one set and the other makes very little difference to your dump. Though wider tyres might require that you alter your wheel spacing. You might find that putting higher profile tyres on 25" wheels changes your dump annoyingly from what you expect with your everyday/summer wheels. Then again, you might find that small changes in dump bother you very little.

    The theory is that with a more rigid wheel more of your pushing energy is transferred into forward movement and less gets wasted in your spokes flexing. But some folks claim that wheels with spokes that flex (Spinergy LX/SLX being the leading candidates there) you get a certain amount of cushioning against knocks and bumps. (I've even heard it claimed, by the local Colours rep, no less, that the flexing spokes of Spinergies actually make it easier to get up/over obstacles via some sort of spring effect. I have my doubts about that one.) If any good solid scientific research has been done comparing the kinds, I haven't seen it, so I'd say just go with the ones you like best in terms of looks and value. :-)

  4. #4
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    I'm assuming you have a FreeWheel or equivalent, to take your castors out of the equation in snow/grass/capital-T-Terrain? If not, see if you can try one out. :-)

  5. #5
    If cheaper wheels are more appealing then don't forget the round betty katana. below is a post where it is discussed a little. i also remember someone else on here that stated they were happy with them. i'm considering the katanas or the dinos. i like the idea of a metal spoke.

    Are high end wheels worth it?

    10-11-2013, 06:03 PM


  6. #6
    the copy and paste didn't work too well. the post was "are high end wheels worth it" on 10-11-2013 on this site.

  7. #7
    Hi Everyone! Thanks for the replies :)

    First the issue of the 24's vs. 25's - my 24s are SMALL for me. My current chair is a holy disaster of all disasters. I've had some functional changes but there are also things that never should have happened ever...like 24" wheels. My finger tips are a good inch and a half from the axel with me reaching and flexing my fingers as much as I can. I was on a high profile cushion for a while that made it worse. I have lowered my RSH .5inch for the new chair and gone to 25's and I'm hoping this helps. I don't think I would be too sensitive to small changes in dump, but I don't want huge ones since I have ergo seating and I don't want to throw it off a ton. Push comes to shove I put marathon plus tires on the "farm" wheels, and knobbys on the existing 24s for snow. I would be fine with that solution too. It's a lot of wheels but I would have a lot of options. I have a permobil M300 too with power positioning and tilt so I know I can sit comfortably with varying degrees of "dump" from that. We'll see!

    I have thought about the freewheel. Current chair has massive casters. They are 6inch soft rolls. They are a PITA with caster wobble like non-other. New chair will have 4inch casters. I am userd to popping up and watching the ground when I roll so I'm not worried about navigating downtown but I am a wee bit concerned for winter and and the farm so the free wheel is appealing. I am going to see what things are like initially and decide from there. I would have gone smaller than 4 if I could but with the farm it's impossible. Just so I'm clear I am in a well maintained horse farm with solid floors and stuff. I go through the gravel parking lot minimally - the bigger issue is when I'm at horse shows and stuff. I'm working on getting a van right now too and hopefully I will have it by show season and can bring my power chair with me!

    I don't really want cheaper wheels. I like the idea of the alumanium spokes for the farm. my chair takes a good deal of abuse from the horses at times...I am okay paying the spinergy/dino level for wheels. Aluminum billet wheels...not so much unless there is very very good reason to!

  8. #8
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Larger wheels won't bring your fingertips closer to the axle btw, only thing that can do that is rsh.

  9. #9
    I have both RB Dinos and Spinergy LX wheels. Both are excellent wheels but you can feel the difference when it comes to flex. It is not a ZOMG this is unbelievably better, but it is noticeable. Since the Dinos and LX cost pretty much the same I would go with the Dinos.

  10. #10
    I have two sets of dinos and love them. I found a noticeable improvement in pushing from my spox. I have beat the crap out of them and use D's locks that mount to the spokes and they have held up great.

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