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Thread: Questions About Wheelchairs/Components in General, and Specifically for TiLite Aero Z

  1. #31
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Thanks, my headache has gone away! I was at my aunts place last night for dinner with her, my grandmother, and her boyfriend. It was a long night and involved some wine when I usually don't drink any longer (just due to meds), so probably the reason for the headache!

    Ok, from what you said yea things are not good and you definitely should be concerned. I'm glad your at the point that you're not going to take any more crap, in my experience I've waited too long to get to that point before. Like I said I'm still in my first ultralight wheelchair (progressive disability so had a hospital chair that people could push me in before) and its been under 3 years for me still. But the best thing I did was research, especially researching here, before getting my chair. And even then I wish I had done more. But I was lucky in that the only things I was unhappy about were rather easy ones to upgrade as time went on like the tires, casters, and recently upgraded my wheels. So its good that you're taking care of things early. At this point, it seems clear they are NOT listening to you. Not answering your questions is NOT ok. Missing something here or there ok, but from what you've said with the amount of questions in repeated emails and them being constantly ignored, NOT ok! At this point if I were you I would send them a very simple email (to all parties involved, just flat out send it to all at once so they can see everyone is receiving it) as well as leaving the same message on voicemails, and then put the ball in their court. The message I would send would be as short and concise as possible. Tell them that at this point, you will not continue at all until your questions have been answered. If they are unwilling to answer your questions and allow YOU to make the choices for yourself without argument you will simply move on and order your chair through someone else. If they want to continue working with you, to please contact you prepared to answer questions. If you do not receive this contact in a timely matter, you will move on to ordering your chair elsewhere.

    I would try to trial the exact things you're going to be getting, which sounds like you're already arguing to do since they're trying to change things up from what you DID demo. As far as the back goes, many people prefer solid backs. The Jay3 though has complicated heavy hardware that if you don't have complicated needs you'd probably prefer to not have. I love the back, hate the bulk and weight of the hardware but with my needs its necessary. I love some of the simple streamlined hardware on the ADI or Roho jetstream (same thing actually, both manufactured by ADI) backs. And back height is a very personalized thing, so I wouldn't be willing to try out one height while allowing them to order a different height for you. I knew the height I'd need support, but when I ordered my chair they had NO rigid backs for me to try out. We went with the Jay3 purely from description of my needs, and I really do love it and the only thing I would change is the more aesthetic and lightweight hardware of the ADI back, IF it met my needs which it unfortunately doesn't. I completely lucked out that the Jay3 was perfect for me, and wouldn't be willing to gamble that again.

    In my understanding from posts here (my chair is not a tilite), you have to make sure to request the CAD, and preferably contact tilite yourself to let them know to NOT accept a sign off from the DME and to only accept the signing off from you personally. That they do not send out the CAD as default (but this may have changed), and if you do not contact them they will accept the signing off by the DME. This is the advice I see repeated to people ordering from Tilite and new to it. Also, only the first CAD is free and there is a charge for subsequent ones which is why its in everyones best interest to get everything or as much stuff as possible right the first time around.

    I would definitely consider larger wheels, especially at your height. You may prefer 26s! I'm only 5'3 but recently went from 24s to 25s. For me I couldn't get my chair low enough into the wheels, so it was a "if we can't bring me more into the wheels, lets bring the wheels up to me" situation to try larger wheels. But I couldn't be more happy with the results and will not go back to 24s! Even with getting a model chair that can go lower for my next.
    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.

  2. #32
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Oh, if you're interested with the Icon you can get one locally. I'm most likely getting a new chair through vocational rehabilitation and if so its going to be the Icon as its the only model that better meets my needs. And if you go with an Icon, measurements aren't an issue! If you're honestly interested you should contact Jeff Adams. There was no place near me, but he contacted the rep who is responsible for my area, I contacted the local DME I wanted to work with, the rep contacted the DME and they set up and brought the chair and did training on it August 7th, leaving the chair for me to come demo. I was hoping to see it Friday but I ended up having to go for some tests and the guy didn't call me back, so I'm anxiously awaiting monday morning to get ahold of him!

    And if you don't see an option available on an order form, contact the company. And you can also get items that are not carried through the wheelchair company, DMEs can just discourage it because of the extra work involved. For example when I was getting new wheels they told me I had to get wheels that were sold by Quickie because my chair is a Quickie. Thats bullshit. I determined the wheels I wanted, which were made by Round Betty. I went above the head of the guy I was working with at the DME as well as contacting Round Betty directly. Took some work, but I got the wheels. And if you're going to self pay for anything upgraded, do as Elarson said and just go with the NCO (no cost order) defaults and then price around the items you want to purchase directly. They will be much cheaper if you buy them from online dealers such as bike-on, sportaid, indemedical. And you'll have backups in the NCO items.
    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. #33
    MPEs on order form:

    Name:  SMPE.JPG
Views: 199
Size:  46.0 KB
    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>

  4. #34
    Another question for those of you who have purchased wheels on your own after the fact:

    How difficult is it to get your tires off your current rims and put on the new set? Or, do you purchase the new rims with tires on them?

    I see a set of Mag Wheels for less than $50, haha.
    Last edited by User Name; 08-10-2014 at 09:52 PM.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    MPEs on order form:

    Name:  SMPE.JPG
Views: 199
Size:  46.0 KB
    Aren't those air tires, though? I was kind of trying to avoid air and the risk that they could go flat. Or, do people not really have issues with that?

  6. #36
    Thanks for the additional info, ~Lin. If this goes south, I may be looking into that.

    Edit: Sorry, I meant to quote your second post.

  7. #37
    I have an aero r but love TiLite chairs in general. My quickie was never right and broke within the first months of me using it. Now onto your questions armrests depending on your level of injury are not necessary and handles are not necessary as well. Cushion i would recommend a roho they are the best out there i think. But you have 4 more years on me. Spinergy wheels are the best i think but do not go with solids. I did and now regret it because i cannot change them due to the cost. Scissor locks i have and they work great. And soft rolls are great.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  8. #38
    Senior Member
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    I don't have an Aero Z but have trialled one in the past (and should have gone for it) and am currently in the process of ordering a ZRA.

    Marathons ARE listed on the current Aero Z order form--top of page 6, '24" (540), 25" (559) and 26" (590) Schwalbe(R) Marathon Plus Evolution (Not available with Mag Rear Wheels)....$125'. That's them. $125 is a bit more than you'd pay for the tyres alone ordered from SportAid or somewhere, but they're not all that easy to fit so I'd be quite comfortable paying a bit extra to have TiLite do that. I think these would be great tyres for you as they're reasonably puncture-proof, black, with some tread but not too much, and high pressure. (You should look to invest in an appropriate tyre pump or air compressor if you don't have one already.)

    Your anxiety about this process is natural and most likely for the best. While many of the people working in the field genuinely want you to be delighted with your new chair, very few will actually take the time (and have the knowledge!) to get everything 100% right. You should take the time to learn how the measurements are done and do your own measuring, don't just believe that they know what they're doing. Perhaps they do, but there are enough bad apples that you shouldn't assume that YOUR apple is most likely a good one. (If you are happy with the length and geometry of the chair you currently use--or if you LOVE the demo chair in these respects--check out this info on Occupied Frame Length, which is a way of comparing chairs. https://picasaweb.google.com/1124921...?noredirect=1# You can request that TiLite include this measurement on your CAD so you can compare. If so, you'll need to instruct your DME what to ask for, as s/he won't know.)

    Sideguards are personal preference, but they aren't generally a bad idea. They do help to keep your clothes clean, especially in winter (some people use their guards only in winter), they give you a way of holding in extra fabric like a heavy coat, and they mean if you run a narrow chair (or you yourself get wider!) you can keep using the chair without a lot of rubbing against the wheels.

    Don't get push handles if you don't want or need them. Provided you get the 4" deep rigidizer bar, you can always buy aftermarket bolt-on push handles if you have an injury or something that means you're going to need to be pushed for a while. IMHO you should get this rigidizer bar anyway, because as others have mentioned it works better with solid backs, and also because there are other things you might want to bolt on to it which can't be bolted on to the rounded one. Eg if you use a FreeWheel it can be stored on a 'perch' on the rigidizer bar. (If you don't have a FreeWheel, do look into them. If you plan to use a FreeWheel, this should also factor into your choice of footrests.)

    If your insurance won't cover 'fancy' wheels, don't feel at all bad about getting the no-cost wheels (TiLite Shadows) with a view to buying the wheels you actually want from SportAid, BikeOn, Round Betty, or somewhere else online. Both Spinergy LX and Round Betty Dinos can be ordered with black hubs and spokes. With the Spinergies it's a special order and costs extra; with the Round Bettys it appears to be a no-cost option, and SportAid offers black-with-black Dinos as a standard option. In the meantime, the Shadows have a reasonably low-key black look, with matte black spokes and a black hub. The hub has a sticker you can probably remove without too much difficulty.

    Many folks working in this field have an unquestioned belief that 24" wheels are normal and suitable for all adults and larger wheels are only for "tall guys" or some other special group. As several of us smaller women on this board will tell you, there are other reasons for preferring larger wheels--like improved reach! If you have the opportunity to try bigger wheels before you pull the trigger on this purchase, I recommend it.

    Cushions are vital, both for health and for wheelchair fit. If you take measurements based on your existing cushion and then order the chair with a new cushion which is noticeably thinner or thicker, the fit of your chair will be off. This sounds blatantly obvious, but I've fallen afoul of OTs who think they can find me the right cushion AFTER the chair's arrived. If you're sticking with the same cushion you have currently, because it works for you and doesn't cause problems, then you can ignore this paragraph.

    I'm cheap. If I had your level of hand/arm function, I would choose from the no-cost wheel lock options and buy an alternative aftermarket if I didn't like them after a couple of months.

    I really recommend taking your time, double-checking everything, working on the assumption that the 'experts' mean well but aren't necessarily as expert as they make out, ensuring you have a paper trail so you can prove that, for instance, you did not want push handles and should not have to pay for them if they turn up, requesting your CAD and posting it here for comment.

    This is a difficult process and can be extremely frustrating--but not as frustrating as getting a shiny new chair that you can't or don't want to USE. Best of luck!

  9. #39
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name View Post
    Another question for those of you who have purchased wheels on your own after the fact:

    How difficult is it to get your tires off your current rims and put on the new set? Or, do you purchase the new rims with tires on them?

    I see a set of Mag Wheels for less than $50, haha.
    Most tyres are easy to install if you have good hand function and the right tools--or your friendly local bike shop will do it for you. However, Marathons are more difficult to install and solid tyres (eg Shox) are very difficult to install. Tyres are easy to remove intact, except for solids which I gather most people simply cut off.

    I don't know anyone who's had a catastrophic flat on a Marathon. Slow leaks, maybe, but not instant complete flat. They have quite good puncture protection--you're supposed to be able to run over thumb tacks with the things. If you get any pneumatic tyres you would be well advised to have your own pump on hand.

  10. #40
    Yes, Schwalbe MPEs are pneumatic. I carry tools and spare tubes with me. I've had one flat away from home in four years, which I had to fix on site. Thankfully weather was decent that day. Once I had a series of 3-4 flats at home in a few days - I'd had enough and took the final flat to a bike shop. He said the tires were old and causing the flats. I got new MPEs and, sure enough, no more flats.

    So yes, you may get a flat sometime, and need to be prepared. Also pneumatic tire pressures need to be maintained (I top mine off once a week with a Presta floor pump). From what I've read those who can change a flat much prefer pneumatic tires - I know I do. And Schwalbe makes really good products - I use their tubes and rim tape, too. I believe you need to use their products together to experience their value.

    YouTube has lots of bicycle tire changing videos from which to learn. Once you're ready to actually change a tire and before you buy the tools, I'd be glad to provide some tips - it's easy if you know what to do and have good tools. SheldonBrown.com (a bicycle website) is full of fabulous information.
    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>

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