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Thread: New Rigid Frame Wheelchair Design Options/ideas Discussion Forum

  1. #1

    New Rigid Frame Wheelchair Design Options/ideas Discussion Forum

    After having much difficulty (Injuries) with my current rigid frame wheelchair (which happens to be my first) I have decided to custom fabricate one of my own. Recently I came in contact with a former Nascar fabricator and he will be the one who will be doing the work, I currently ride in a Quickie Q7 and have bad caster flutter and the chair was sized improperly so I get thrown out of it sometimes when I would hit little rocks or cracks in the pavement.


    I would like to hear about other issues you may have had with a past or present chair and recommendations on things that could make our life easier as wheelchair users.

    What design style do you like the best and why?

    What chair features do you wish your current chair had?

    Any ideas for new frame design?


    I would like to hear anything you migh have to say pertaining to this matter.

    Thank you for your time and I will certainly be keeping everyone posted on the process of the build.

    Ryan

  2. #2
    A bit of history might help. Your injury, height, weight, age, aches and pains? Where/how do you use your chair? Then people with similar use can help you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sowseng's Avatar
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    something less maintenance.
    something that I don't have to worry that the parts will drop off.
    something that I don't have to worry that the screw will get loosen.
    Life is meaningles, though you create the purpose.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sowseng View Post
    something less maintenance.
    something that I don't have to worry that the parts will drop off.
    something that I don't have to worry that the screw will get loosen.
    I think you're describing an all-welded chair.

  5. #5
    I like the way you are thinking about custom fabricating a chair of your own. And you've asked for suggestions, however you have already identified wanting to solve the current issue of getting dumped out forward. So my first question would be are you looking for a solution that satisfies both your indoor and outdoor needs? I don't do wheelies so good and do not like being on the lookout for cracks and bumps on my travels outside. So my solution is to have separate chairs for indoors and outdoors. Indoors I use 3 inch casters so they stay out of the way of furniture etc. but outside I have 6 to 8 inch casters for the rough terrain. And those outside casters are set such to maximize wheelbase. Wheelbase being the distance between caster and rear wheel axles.

    Many folks choose 4 inch casters. I have a perfectly good fitting ZR with 5" casters that I stopped using regularly because of caster size. Indoors I snapped of some trim on the house when the wheel poked out so far when I turned around in a tight spot. And outside I had to be too diligent to avoid getting dumped forward.


    edited to correct ZR caster size to 5 inches
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    I like the way you are thinking about custom fabricating a chair of your own. And you've asked for suggestions, however you have already identified wanting to solve the current issue of getting dumped out forward. So my first question would be are you looking for a solution that satisfies both your indoor and outdoor needs? I don't do wheelies so good and do not like being on the lookout for cracks and bumps on my travels outside. So my solution is to have separate chairs for indoors and outdoors. Indoors I use 3 inch casters so they stay out of the way of furniture etc. but outside I have 6 to 8 inch casters for the rough terrain. And those outside casters are set such to maximize wheelbase. Wheelbase being the distance between caster and rear wheel axles.

    Many folks choose 4 inch casters. I have a perfectly good fitting ZR with 5" casters that I stopped using regularly because of caster size. Indoors I snapped of some trim on the house when the wheel poked out so far when I turned around in a tight spot. And outside I had to be too diligent to avoid getting dumped forward.


    edited to correct ZR caster size to 5 inches

    I am a L1-L2 gunshot wound victim and I am very active. I have tried to work with the wheelchair vendor about the current issues however to no avail. The wheelchair vedor originally sized my chair 3" to short (the frame) and this is what I believe caused the miserable experiences I have been having with my Quickie Q7. Working with the Vendor to solve these issues after they refused to replace the chair they attempted to basically change out every part on the chair in attempts to solve the 'frame issue.' All these experiences and interactions with other active chair users caused me to begin looking for other avenues which is probably a good thing. we will see.. lol.

    The original chair design had 4 inch caster wheels. I then purchased a set of frog leg casters with 3" inch wheels and that didn't help much. I found that the frame chair flexes too much (If you look at the Q7, the frame post that hold the casters) I would hit a small rock or debris the small wheel isn't enough to get over the 'small stones' and gets stuck under the whee causing the frame to flex and then momentum throws the operator out of the chair. I have since changed to 4" or 5" which is the max I believe the caster forks can handle.

    My most recent accident was at a Target department store on my way into the store when I was rolling along, I hit a small crack (about 1/4'') while rolling with my girlfriend and I basically did a Superman out of the front of the chair. I landed on my left foot with all my body weight while my foot was flexed and it caused fractures to the top of my foot, both sided, and three broken toes. I was black, blue, and yellow for weeks!! It should't be this difficult for us to go out of the house! I have also sustained similar injuries while rolling between classes on my current College campus. About 7 falls in a year and a half since I got the chair.

    Ryan
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  7. #7
    L1-L2 gunshot would is the cause of my injury. I am 29 year old male who weigh aprox. 185lbs. and I am 5'11". I am a very active user and use it to do everything. Basically indoor/outdoor. I am a student at UNC so I have to get around on campus and of course all the normal errands. I will add that I drive a car, not a van. I have a Lexus LS400 which I really like because it is so big inside. If I am driving by myself I put the chair on the front passengers seat, when someone is with me, I flip it into the RR passenger seat and it is quite easy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmichael View Post
    I am a L1-L2 gunshot wound victim and I am very active. I have tried to work with the wheelchair vendor about the current issues however to no avail. The wheelchair vedor originally sized my chair 3" to short (the frame) and this is what I believe caused the miserable experiences I have been having with my Quickie Q7. Working with the Vendor to solve these issues after they refused to replace the chair they attempted to basically change out every part on the chair in attempts to solve the 'frame issue.' All these experiences and interactions with other active chair users caused me to begin looking for other avenues which is probably a good thing. we will see.. lol.

    The original chair design had 4 inch caster wheels. I then purchased a set of frog leg casters with 3" inch wheels and that didn't help much. I found that the frame chair flexes too much (If you look at the Q7, the frame post that hold the casters) I would hit a small rock or debris the small wheel isn't enough to get over the 'small stones' and gets stuck under the whee causing the frame to flex and then momentum throws the operator out of the chair. I have since changed to 4" or 5" which is the max I believe the caster forks can handle.

    My most recent accident was at a Target department store on my way into the store when I was rolling along, I hit a small crack (about 1/4'') while rolling with my girlfriend and I basically did a Superman out of the front of the chair. I landed on my left foot with all my body weight while my foot was flexed and it caused fractures to the top of my foot, both sided, and three broken toes. I was black, blue, and yellow for weeks!! It should't be this difficult for us to go out of the house! I have also sustained similar injuries while rolling between classes on my current College campus. About 7 falls in a year and a half since I got the chair.

    Ryan

    Many people have great success using a Freewheel with their manual chairs for greater stability outside, and over ALL kinds of surfaces. I coach soccer and baseball using one and can do so quite easily! I trail ride with it, too. Even managed a few decent enough games of paintball using it! (Chair hits didn't count, though!)

    I, like nonoise, also have dedicated indoor and outdoor chairs. Larger tires and casters as well as fenders for the outdoor ride. Bigger push rings, too. Wider, but not longer, wheelbase. The Freewheel takes care of the front-back wheelbase.

    There are ways to create a stable OEM chair, too. I have a 15x16 with great stability.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  9. #9
    I agree with Oddity on the Freewheel idea. Have you tried one? My favorite WC is an out of production three wheel design that I put a larger front wheel on along with other changes. The three wheel design is fantastic for going over rough terrain. With a production Freewheel you can remove it to use the chair indoors, so you get two for one useability.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    check out the centre-of-gravity setting on the OP's chair. Before you get excited building/buying, blowing resources on a new ride you need to trouble-shoot what's wrong with your current one. It's not the nameplate on it nor the wheels and tires. It's the geometry. Start adjusting that badboy. Put in some effort. It's not fun but it will pay off. In spades.

    You need to lighten up that front-end. Right now, with the rear wheels so far back (as far back as they go, it appears), all your weight is between the 4 wheels. Which means an awful lot of it on those front casters. You, as an L1, HAVE TRUNK! By this I mean your abs work. Anyone with functioning mid-section should be running almost 4" COG, some people even more. You should be able to (almost) wheelie your chair without using your hands to pop up the front end. Try it. You will be amazed how much easier your chair rolls over surface irregularities (ie. sidewalk cracks) .. it will keep you out of the ER, too.

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