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Thread: My new chair

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Auckland, New Zealand

    My new chair

    Hi all. Some of you may recall that I had saved the cash for my dream chair but was having some difficulties with TiLite claiming they couldn't build it to my desired specs (couldn't achieve RSH lower than 14.5" with 25" wheels, couldn't put bolt-on push handles on a titanium back). Ultimately, I had a chat with Mike from Melrose who took some measurements, went away to make some drawings, and then announced that he could build my chair. I gave him the chance. I received my new Melrose Piranha shortly before Christmas, and it's felt like home to me ever since. Although it's built pretty closely on the specs for my beloved Quickie Ti, just lower and narrower, the difference is so marked that I suddenly feel more disabled if I get back into the Quickie. I love this chair. I haven't got around to setting it up for FreeWheel or SmartDrive yet, so there's still the chance that I'll discover a problem when I do that, but so far my only problem was with the orange Round Betty Dinos I got to go with it having long tab pushrims that are too short for me to use safely. Melrose is addressing that issue. Shown below is my new chair, with the green Spinergies I've never used much previously because on my old chair the Surge LT pushrims hurt my thumb. On this chair my relationship with the wheels has changed enough that there's no pain.

    I'll just remind everyone that I don't have an SCI, I have a form of MD (pretty advanced now, alas), so if this chair looks weird and unusable to some of you it's because I have weird requirements. :-)

    Chair is 15" by 15+something", 9" backrest, RSH somewhere below 13" (haven't measured--they were going to attempt 12.75"), seat slope target was ~13 degrees so I don't know what FSH I ended up with either. 25" rear wheels, minimal wheel spacing (seriously, I can't believe how close they got that one), 5" castors. Welded backrest, which I get the impression they don't ordinarily do--they proposed a bracket bolted in such a way that it wouldn't fold, but I asked for welded (no extra charge!) and they've done a beautiful job. Cushion arrangement is temporary, I have a seating review coming up and hope to find a better solution than the current combo of low-profile ROHO + thinner foam cushion. Loop footrest, pull-to-lock brakes with extension handles, height-adjustable bolt-on push handles. Forks polished to match frame. Actual usable anti-tips, not set up as anti-wheelies! Bolt-on aluminium sideguards (profiling to wheel -1.5" was no extra charge!). COG 4.75" * adjustable to be more tippy but not less (because to allow rearward adjustment the RSH would have had to be higher).

    * Melrose seems to measure COG from a different point than others, so this number is higher than I expected.

    Melrose does not provide CADs, which was a source of some anxiety for me. I pushed, and was sent a reasonably detailed hand-drawn diagram, and thank goodness because I immediately spotted that the front frame angle was WAY out (around 15 degrees out). Frame angle is not an option on the Melrose order forms, they ask for a measurement pretty similar to OFL, and for the seat depth, and then they do whatever frame angle will connect those two measurements. The frame angle on my diagram was out because there wasn't enough seat rail beyond the front edge of the seat sling. This is something I was concerned about all along because different companies have different bends and different spaces between sling and bend. So seeing that it was wrong (I held a goniometer up to my computer screen to check) I was able to raise the alarm, and Melrose corrected by adding length between sling and bend.

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    Haven't got around to weighing it. I suspect it's a bit heavier than my Quickie, but I don't load it into a car myself and it's easier to push, so who cares? I've added an extra inch of cushion and I'm STILL sitting lower, which allows more scope for investigating new cushion options at my seating review.

    All in all, I'm delighted with this chair. It has everything I want and I wasn't obliged to make compromises based on what a therapist thought. I've got the backrest I wanted with no one telling me I had to go height-and-angle adjustable in case my needs changed. Frankly, when my needs change to the point where I need a backrest, I will also need a headrest and that will mean power chair. I think this little chair will do me very well until that day comes. :-)

  2. #2
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by QTiPi View Post
    [...]the difference is so marked that I suddenly feel more disabled if I get back into the Quickie. I love this chair.
    That's what it's all about. Well done. I'm always jelly of a Melrose ride, my rugby chair is but seeing their badge on a day chair is always cool.

    Hope it keeps you mobile for a long time.

  3. #3
    Beauutiful Thanks for sharing!!
    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."

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