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Thread: Tilite chair advertised weight vs actual weight-

  1. #1

    Tilite chair advertised weight vs actual weight-

    I apologize in advance if I've missed this info on the boards, I have spent this last week scouring for info so I'm not such a newbie, alas I feel there are still things that will just take time, to pickup on.
    I have my chair eval tomorrow and the plan is to ask for the lightest Tilite adjustable chair insurance will allow because of my medical conditions,however, I realize just because it's advertised as the latest greatest weight doesn't mean I'll be able to spin my chair on my finger like a Harlem Globetrotter.

    I'm a SideStix gal who was swept off her feet, into her back up chair, a 15yr old Invacare Patriot SL. It's good for figuring out my measurements, but I'll be happy to return it to the land of the millennium bug.

    If a solid back is needed I realize that adds to weight, do all ADI backs fold down? Wheels,I've done a bit of research on hand rims, I have spasms and have limited grip, I believe Spinergy Flexrims or Out Front Surge/LT will work for me, weight opinions?

    I'm lost on tires, I want pneumatic, and Marathons look versatile,but I've read countless times heavy,what is a lighter alternative to Marathons? Brakes, D-brakes seemed like a no brainier, but I can't seem to find any weight info on them vs say scissor brakes.

    Thank you so much in advance for helping out this rookie!



  2. #2
    What insurance do you have?
    What is your disability?
    How do you transport yourself and your chair? Do you drive? What kind of vehicle?
    Do you go to work, school?
    How old are you? How strong are you?
    Where do you live? Snow country? Sand burr country? City, country?

    I would put off the ordering of the chair a bit. So people here can help you figure out what will work best for you. Of spend the night asking ?'s on here.

  3. #3
    Sorry, I didn't want to overshare Thank you! I posted last week and the Aero Z was suggested, I have severe spasms so I'm hoping BCBS will agree to pay for the TRA. When it comes to accessories though, I don't want to just go into a the clinic blind and just check off the menu (though I won't order unless I demo a chair).
    [QUOTE=baldfatdad;1762846]What insurance do you have?
    BC/BS
    What is your disability?
    SPMS, and Chiari Malformation, the latter causes migraines if I lift over 20/25lbs.
    How do you transport yourself and your chair? Do you drive? What kind of vehicle?
    I do drive, I have a 2004 Prius and a Sienna. Hubby is concerned a Rigid won't fit in the Prius's trunk because up to this point I've only had folding (manual and a Quickie v-121)
    Do you go to work, school?
    Stay at home Mom with an active family
    How old are you? How strong are you?
    37, can't lift w/legs, arm strength is building? I've been a forearm crutch walker so the arm strength is there, it's a balance before my migraine is triggered.
    Where do you live? Snow country? Sand burr country? City, country?
    Sunny AZ, main street, second tumbleweed to the right. However, we may be moving to Seattle in the next few years and I'm always looking on the horizon when configuring. I'm looking at Smart Drive, love it, and it sounds like it would do okay in Seattle rain, but, I get the impression it does not like snow at all.
    Last edited by Fallingwithstyle; 03-17-2015 at 08:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Member Califanna's Avatar
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    Fallingwithstyle [/QUOTE]Where do you live? Snow country? Sand burr country? City, country? Sunny AZ, main street, second tumbleweed to the right. However, we may be moving to Seattle in the next few years and I'm always looking on the horizon when configuring. I'm looking at Smart Drive, love it, and it sounds like it would do okay in Seattle rain, but, I get the impression it does not like snow at all.[/QUOTE]

    I have a SmartDrive and it does not do well in the rain. It slips or spins should I say and then it shuts down. It is not a sealed motor so be careful in the Seattle rain.

    I have owned two Tilites and have them due to the fact that they are light weight. But if you keep adding accessories to them, you will take away their versatility. I believe a Tilite guy on this forum gives great advice. Private message him for help.
    Last edited by Califanna; 03-17-2015 at 08:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    For weight, the TRA is lighter than the Aero Z, but the ZRA is even lighter. My husband has a ZRA, which is basically the titanium version of an Aero Z. Because of changes to Medicare, and consequently most insurance, it is often hard to get titanium funded. You may be able to qualify because of spams though. If you really want titanium, you could consider an Aero Z with the titanium option. Take a look at the TiLite website Funding Guidance for Titanium Frame & Chair Option Upgrades.

    I have read on forums of people fitting a rigid chair in a Prius trunk. I would test it to be sure. If you get a “mono tube” or “cantilever” frame like the Aero Z, you might also be able to put it in the back seat. Another option is the 2GX. It is much heavier than the rigid frames though, and you would need an adaptor for a SmartDrive to work with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwithstyle View Post
    If a solid back is needed I realize that adds to weight, do all ADI backs fold down?
    The weight of the ADI back is very light if you go with carbon fiber. If you have a folding seat back an ADI back will fold down. We got the 4” deep backrest rigidizer bar so there was enough room to fold the ADI back all the way down. You can also get the quick release hardware so you can take it off completely for transport. We have quick release hardware, and although heavier than the Fixed Elite hardware, it is still pretty light. This is a link with all of the ADI Mounting Hardware.

    Wheels,I've done a bit of research on hand rims, I have spasms and have limited grip, I believe Spinergy Flexrims or Out Front Surge/LT will work for me, weight opinions?
    My husband has the Surge/LT rims and really likes them. The thing I don't like about the Spinergy Flexrims is that they are attached, and I think you need to replace the whole wheel if something happens to the rim.

    I'm lost on tires, I want pneumatic, and Marathons look versatile,but I've read countless times heavy,what is a lighter alternative to Marathons?
    I think any tire with good puncture protection is going to be heavy. Maybe others know of lighter options.

    Brakes, D-brakes seemed like a no brainier, but I can't seem to find any weight info on them vs say scissor brakes
    D's Locks are really nice, but they are definitely a lot heavier than scissor brakes, but I don't know the weight. We really like the one-hand operation and how safe the chair is. Probably a good option if you have little kids jumping onto your lap.

    I don't know a lot about the SmartDrive, but another option to look into is the Spinergy ZX-1. It's especially good for people who do not have good upper body, arm or hand control, but it is no where near as transportable as the SmartDrive. This is the ZX-1 Power Add-on owners thread for more information.

    Note: My husband had strokes and has hemipresis, so not all of what I am mentioning may be applicable for MS.
    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. #6
    ELarson is pretty spot on in their info.
    The Right Run tires are much lighter than Marathons. If you aren't in sand burr area, I'd go with them for starters.
    Any modern chair will be lighter than that Invacare. How much lighter will depend on what you add to the basic frame. Arm rests add weight, removable leg rests add weight (you can get flip up foot rests if you are walking from the chair). And most of all that purse adds weight. My girl friends chair weighs 22 pounds with cushion, 31 with the purse!
    Go to the Otto Bock site. It tells you a lot about how to get the chair you need. Most companies are following medicare's guide lines and basing the chair on home use only. My girl told them she needed a 90 degree front end to do dishes, get to the bathroom sink and cook. That got her a light chair, because the clunkers aren't made that way.

  7. #7

    Seating Eval-ish today

    I had my eval-ish today. It was really a meet and greet, it's the power chair vs manual argument w/smart drive argument. I tried out a TR 15W (huh?) which of course drove like a dream, and an AERO Z, which in comparison was more like my invacare, but I think part of that was it was too big and I was over extending. I'm setting up a demo w/the Smart Drive rep, who called laughing and told me to keep the MX-2 under wraps, I told him the cat was out of the bag it was at the Expo. No measurements have been taken, PT said we'll see after I check out Smart Drive whether I like power assist or if I want to do full power. PT went over the differences in Tilite chairs w/titanium upgrades turning them into the next chair. I still don't understand why I can't try for a TRA if it's coded but instead need to go for the AeroT with the over priced upcharge.

  8. #8
    Ellyn,
    When I first drove the TR I thought it was the ZRA, and I was in HEAVEN! Compared to my clunker the chair turned on a dime. My PT was concerned I wouldn't be able to control a manual, no problem there. However, when he suggested I think about getting a ZR or TR right off the bat? Red flags went off for me, I told him I thought for my first custom chair I should get something adjustable. I'd love a ZRA, it was my first choice, if only I had the forethought to have this M.S exacerbation before the coding change right? Alas insurance will hopefully pay, PT told me thinks I should fight for titanium or Smart Drive, he thinks Spinergy Wheels will be enough of a dampening effect for spastic hands and legs. I'm not sure about that.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Califanna View Post
    Where do you live? Snow country? Sand burr country? City, country? Sunny AZ, main street, second tumbleweed to the right. However, we may be moving to Seattle in the next few years and I'm always looking on the horizon when configuring. I'm looking at Smart Drive, love it, and it sounds like it would do okay in Seattle rain, but, I get the impression it does not like snow at all.[/QUOTE]

    I have a SmartDrive and it does not do well in the rain. It slips or spins should I say and then it shuts down. It is not a sealed motor so be careful in the Seattle rain.

    I have owned two Tilites and have them due to the fact that they are light weight. But if you keep adding accessories to them, you will take away their versatility. I believe a Tilite guy on this forum gives great advice. Private message him for help.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you Caifanna, good to know about the rain. Is it a gets wet must send back to manufacturer type of situation or wait until it dries off? Are we talking avoid puddles or do sprinkles kill it?

  10. #10
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I find it odd that they suggest a ZR or TR as your first custom chair and would see that as a red flag also. It really stinks about the coding change, but I think it's worth giving it a good fight for a titanium upgrade because of spacticity. My husband also has seizures from shocks. We also have Spinergy LX wheels, and I do think they help, but everything you can do to make a smoother ride is important. For front casters go with softrolls, we find 5" to be a good balance between indoor/outdoor use, and consider suspension forks. We were not able to get my husbands chair configured well for FrogLegs suspension forks, but I still wish I would have figured it out, because with a power add-on (ZX-1) he really could use them, and probably with a SmartDrive you could also. Ask about the Out-Front Glide Suspension Forks, because it can only be configured when you buy the chair, not as an add-on later.

    My husband really likes his ZRA. It's a bit heavy, but that is because of all of the options he has. I don't know the adjustability on the TR, but I was reluctant, especially it being my husbands first custom chair. He also has a 2GX that we bought off of e-Bay and re-configured. I have friends with MS, and I do think that adjustability has it's real pluses, much like it has for my husband after strokes. He has had his ZRA for 2 years, and I still make minor adjustments to help him with specific issues he is dealing with at the moment. He also has spasticity and contracture, and being able to adjust really helps. I'm his primary wheelchair mechanic and caregiver, and although weight is really important, I think adjustability is even more important, especially if your condition is changeable. For example, my husband has been having clonus lately and his foot keeps falling off his footplate. By adjusting his rear seat height, flipping his footplates and moving his ADI back a bit it really helps. It seems to be getting better now, and we will probably go back to how it was before soon. I think sometimes people get too caught up in weight and then blow it all by not keeping their tires inflated, having hair in the casters (I'm very guilty of this) or carrying loads of stuff in their backpack. If you need to pickup your chair yourself to transport it, of course the situation is different, but if you have an AB like me doing most of the lifting, I would go for adjustability and comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwithstyle View Post
    Ellyn,
    When I first drove the TR I thought it was the ZRA, and I was in HEAVEN! Compared to my clunker the chair turned on a dime. My PT was concerned I wouldn't be able to control a manual, no problem there. However, when he suggested I think about getting a ZR or TR right off the bat? Red flags went off for me, I told him I thought for my first custom chair I should get something adjustable. I'd love a ZRA, it was my first choice, if only I had the forethought to have this M.S exacerbation before the coding change right? Alas insurance will hopefully pay, PT told me thinks I should fight for titanium or Smart Drive, he thinks Spinergy Wheels will be enough of a dampening effect for spastic hands and legs. I'm not sure about that.
    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).

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