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Thread: Is a ZRA worth the additional out of pocket cost over a AeroZ?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by rlmtrhmiles View Post
    Good! Now I can talk on same level. What kind of seat pan do you use? What is average life of your Sport cushion. I use the Sport, but only get 6-8 month life out of them. They are hand washed. They are not beat in anyway. Current cushion even developed a hole from the top of the cushion about where thumb sits when pushing wheel. My configuration is as follows, TR3, tension adjustable seat strap. Cushion cover, solid wood insert bottom of cushion, top of cushion, cover and then my ass. But only get that short life? Maybe 6-8 months. What kind of like do you get from the cushion? I have even thought of remove wood insert and replace strap seat with carbon fiber. Whole intention of chair is to keep as lightweight as possible. I just wonder if a change like this would increase life of cushion. It would take cushion away from resting against wood insert. Wood insert keep seat solid. CF would still keel solid seat and take away any friction of cushion sitting against wood. I am on the chair seat 6+ hours/day. Also am not a person liking to give away energy absorption by chain components instead of it transferred to ground on each push.
    I use a custom carbon fiber seat pan. I'm on my cushion for 16 hours/day. My cushions last a long time -- years, not months.

  2. #62
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    Is your set pan flat or contoured to your body? I ad other Stimulite cushions on older chairs that last forever, like you are saying. IU really think the wood insert has something to do with the life. Going to look at other set pans and see if can remove wood insert.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    I use a custom carbon fiber seat pan. I'm on my cushion for 16 hours/day. My cushions last a long time -- years, not months.

  3. #63
    Try throwing your cushion in the washing machine, rlmtrhmiles. That may help bring it back to life.

  4. #64
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Ooo that's niiiice. I never thought to get a solid seat, but it'd definitely prevent this sagging problem that my current one has, after almost a decade of use. Might I inquire as to a ballpark cost?
    Be aware that a solid seatbase will change you configuration slightly, precisely because of the sag in upholstery. In early 2013 the seat base was $300 and the mounting hardware was an extra $200. See this thread for information about not using the mounting hardware, and using Velcro only. Overall, I can see why others are doing this, and think it would work well also. ADI Carbon Fiber Folding Sideguards $300.00.

    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    I'm perplexed about one thing though: ya folks have mentioned that CF doesn't hold well against rubbing. Are we talking about rubbing against hard options then, rather than softer ones?
    I think you are confusing what people have said about carbon fiber camber tubes with other components. Most people I have heard from who have carbon fiber seat backs, seat bases, and sideguards are very happy with them, and would never go back unless they had to because of cost. The weight is incredibly good in comparison to their aluminum counterparts, and they are more solid than any cloth counterpart.

    Carbon fiber tends to be less abrasion resistant on the surface (not structurally) than titanium, aluminium, etc., but most of the applications that they are commonly used for do not have a lot of abrasion, and certainly not with soft cushions, clothes, etc. Although I think some off the carbon fiber frames are very sweet, I don't think they would be looking very nice after a few years, which is why we go with titanium (my husband has visual issues and bangs into a lot of stuff).

    We need to budget for 7 years with my husband's wheelchair, and I think the extra cost of carbon fiber is worth it for a full-time chair user, and also for me in maintenance and needing to order replacements. It was a hassle to sort out, but I don't regret it for a second. My husband also does some pretty heavy physio therapy in his chair, and I don't think that would be possible without carbon fiber.

    I think you need to look at your bugdet, the cost of ownership over whatever is the amount of time you can get a replacement, and most importantly, look at your individual needs. Everyone's needs are different...

    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    They actually drew up a CAD for me back in the day for that chair... it's been so long, I hope they'll do another one for me without charging. I think that measurement was omitted the last time around, and I'm not sure if it was due to my dealer or to TiLite - I'll have to ask my dealer if there's a way I can talk to TiLite directly and yet still go through them.
    I would insist on a new CAD drawing with your current configuration. Even if you have to eat the $75 cost, it will save you potential years is sitting in a misconfigured chair and fighting the powers that be to fix it.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  5. #65
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Also, sort of an aside, but I was browsing through SA for some other parts I wanted. My original plan was to get the standard TiLite fork with the 5"x1.5" plastic wheel with poly tire and swap it out with the 5"x1.5" soft roll Frog Legs tires instead.

    But, looking at the AeroZ form, the NCO before for the plastic poly wheel is no longer available in that size, only for 5"x1". If I want to it at 1.5", the cheapest option is the LiteSpeed plastic with soft roll. Problem is, SA's soft rolls are apparently now 5"x1.4". Will this cause any issues?
    We did a similar swap out for the NCO casters with the FrogLegs EPIC Aluminum Wide Softroll Caster 5 x 1.4. Make sure that you specify in the notes of the TiLite order form that you need the wide forks suitable for 1.4" wide casters. I think that may be the default, but it's better to be safe than sorry. In my view, the wider the soft rolls, the better for an everyday chair. I'm kind of shocked that you got approved for ADI brakes and carbon fiber sideguards, yet not for aluminium softroll casters!

    It's a real PIA, but if you are doing major swap-outs like we did, you need to make the parts store, now called the TiPro Components E-Store, your best friend and figure out how it works (it's horrible). For example, on the Aero Z it lists the A2FW6 5"x1" Plastic Wheel w/Poly Tire as a NCO. Go to the part store to Front Casters & Forks > Bearing Forks > AERO Z Bearing Forks > For Standard Wheels. I "think" that the A2FW6 is the AS111476-Z AEROZ2 STD FORK ASY,R-BLK. It lists the AS115297-CK01 BEARING FORK,1.5"STD,BLACK ASY. That means that you are probably okay to swap out the the FrogLegs EPIC Aluminum Wide Softroll Caster 5 x 1.4. On our ZRA it worked just fine.

    Note: If you go for the titanium frame I think it will be even more difficult to sort out what parts you are getting, because I think in essence they will be shipping you a ZRA. I would get firm clarification about this, because there are some parts that are different for an Aero Z and a ZRA. I don't mean to get on a soabox, but this is what really upsets me about how US Medicaid changes have really made everything more difficult, even for people who are not on Medicaid, because US insurance companies have followed their lead. If you want my rant on this, read The future of titanium wheelchairs?.
    Last edited by elarson; 01-29-2015 at 01:01 AM.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  6. #66
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    Sorry about the delay folks! Been a little swamped lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    Be aware that a solid seatbase will change you configuration slightly, precisely because of the sag in upholstery. In early 2013 the seat base was $300 and the mounting hardware was an extra $200. See this thread for information about not using the mounting hardware, and using Velcro only. Overall, I can see why others are doing this, and think it would work well also. ADI Carbon Fiber Folding Sideguards $300.00.
    Would it though? Initial seat measurements aren't made to account for the eventual sagging that happens, are they? A solid seatpan is starting to sound a lot more appealing though, and I like those ribbed custom designs I saw a lot of folks in that thread doing. What are some of the popular companies doing CF seatpans these days, in addition to ADI?

    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    We did a similar swap out for the NCO casters with the FrogLegs EPIC Aluminum Wide Softroll Caster 5 x 1.4. Make sure that you specify in the notes of the TiLite order form that you need the wide forks suitable for 1.4" wide casters. I think that may be the default, but it's better to be safe than sorry. In my view, the wider the soft rolls, the better for an everyday chair. I'm kind of shocked that you got approved for ADI brakes and carbon fiber sideguards, yet not for aluminium softroll casters!
    I actually don't think I considered asking for those, because I was planning to replace them on my own. Wasn't thinking at the time, so, I'll be sure to add them in addition to all these other things and see what insurance says! I'm a little worried they're going to reject a bunch more stuff since I've now filed a request for the lower end items...

    Actually, on that note, since I'm going through a DME company, what's the best way for me to still talk directly to TiLite? Should I just ask my DME is there's a direct contact at TiLite that we're working with, that I can chat with?

  7. #67
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Initial MEASUREMENTS don't take into consideration the sagging, but when you sit in the seat your perspective of how well the rsh works for you etc takes into consideration the sagging. I can't remember the exact measurement thats said to take into consideration when switching from upholstery to a solid seat, and thats with new upholstery. If you're used to old upholstery for example, the difference would be even more. So you should probably make sure you have the ability to lower the rsh an inch (from your sweet spot on upholstery) when going to a solid seat.

    what sort of talking with tilite are you expecting to do? For most things tilite will tell you that you have to work with the dealer. They do answer questions, and answer questions here even. And you can make sure they know that YOU, not the dme, need to sign off on the CAD before its made. But just be prepared to be told to deal with the dealer for issues.
    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.

  8. #68
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Would it though? Initial seat measurements aren't made to account for the eventual sagging that happens, are they? A solid seatpan is starting to sound a lot more appealing though, and I like those ribbed custom designs I saw a lot of folks in that thread doing. What are some of the popular companies doing CF seatpans these days, in addition to ADI?
    At minimum, you need to account for the seat base height when measuring the front and rear seat height. The ADI CF base is 1/8" (0.1250mm) high. A good way to know is to measure with a similar height plywood board.

    In my research I never found any other CF seat bases besides the ADI. TiLite sells a G10 Solid Seat, a composite material composed of woven fiberglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder. If you are going to do a DIY version, I think most people use Dragon Plate.

    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Actually, on that note, since I'm going through a DME company, what's the best way for me to still talk directly to TiLite? Should I just ask my DME is there's a direct contact at TiLite that we're working with, that I can chat with?
    Unless you are not getting the answers you need from your dealer, it is also my experience that TiLite does not work directly with customers. You could try posting your questions to the TiLite Wheelchairs on the Manufacturer & Vendor Forum. They are usually pretty good to respond there.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  9. #69
    Senior Member TiLite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Actually, on that note, since I'm going through a DME company, what's the best way for me to still talk directly to TiLite? Should I just ask my DME is there's a direct contact at TiLite that we're working with, that I can chat with?
    You can contact TiLite directly with your questions. Our customer service number is 1-800-545-2266.
    TiLite. The Ultimate Ride.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    So you should probably make sure you have the ability to lower the rsh an inch (from your sweet spot on upholstery) when going to a solid seat.
    Ah I think the ZRA and AeroZ's allow for up to 2 inches of adjustment along most things?

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    What sort of talking with tilite are you expecting to do? For most things tilite will tell you that you have to work with the dealer. They do answer questions, and answer questions here even. And you can make sure they know that YOU, not the dme, need to sign off on the CAD before its made. But just be prepared to be told to deal with the dealer for issues.
    That's a good point. I think it's just a combination of lack of faith in DME dealers (especially after getting screwed over by the previous one), as well as just that my current one is SO slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    At minimum, you need to account for the seat base height when measuring the front and rear seat height. The ADI CF base is 1/8" (0.1250mm) high. A good way to know is to measure with a similar height plywood board.

    In my research I never found any other CF seat bases besides the ADI. TiLite sells a G10 Solid Seat, a composite material composed of woven fiberglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder. If you are going to do a DIY version, I think most people use Dragon Plate.
    Oh, I guess I was thinking that 1/8" wasn't really significant enough to make a difference, especially since all the options come in half inches. I'll chat with my dealer about it! What was the final conclusion from that thread about the custom plates though, with the attempts at adding some suspension? I only got to about page 5 or 6, and I'm wondering if they concluded about what thickness and cut was ideal for durability (I jump curbs fairly often).

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