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

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Is a ZRA worth the additional out of pocket cost over a AeroZ?

    I first asked about a ZRA about three years ago - would you believe I STILL have not gotten my chair yet? Long story, for another time. But, it FINALLY seems like it's about to happen. Now, the problem is, not only is my provider out of network, my insurance is also not willing to cover the ZRA, or a lot of the add-ons I wanted. But, speaking with my provider, I can have a base AeroZ (which I hear is the same as the ZRA, just, in aluminum) covered by insurance, and get the Titanium/CF parts as upgrades that I can pay for out of pocket.

    The parts that insurance is willing to cover are:

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    which breaks down to about $1780.44 after the 30% I'm responsible for, plus the possible $250 deductible, if I haven't already met it. (That disk brake price is a little wonky isn't it? I thought the Surelocks were only about $550-650) Here are the add-ons insurance won't cover:

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    Which comes out to $3585 out of my own pocket. Now, while this is super subjective, I'd like to get feedback from ya folks about whether the upgrades are actually worth it. I think all the CF and titanium parts would decrease the weight of the chair by about 2 pounds overall. Other than weight... I believe titanium is supposed to be stronger, correct? It does make it harder to repair/weld than aluminum though, based on what the guy who patched up my chair told me last time. At the very least, I'd still want the Spinergy wheels, the Schwab tires, and the Surge handrims. It's all the other stuff (which accounts for about $2k of that) that I'm more iffy about. Let's assume that doing this would not break the bank: it's just a matter of worth/value (again, subjective, I know).

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Why do you want to save the two pounds? If it is only for pushing the wheelchair, I'd say save the money. If you daily have to lift the chair up over your lap and then into the back seat of your car it might be worth it if you are as weak as I am. But I would never order a carbon fiber Camber Tube. I don't trust the wheel alignment or that you can use SmartDrive, ZX-1 or anything that depends on the tube with one.
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2011
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    Mm combination of pushing the wheelchair, plus having to lift it into my car maybe... 4-8x a week? I have pretty good upper body strength, so, assuming the new chair is about as heavy as my current Quickie Revolution, it's definitely doable. It just does get a little heavy on the release, which usually means I'm dropping/slamming it into the ground as I'm taking it out, because setting it down gently is a bit more difficult. For the most part though, I was thinking lighter chair = faster speed in pushing around.

    And I had no idea about the CF camber tube limitation. I'm assuming you meant that to read as you can't* use any of those devices if you have a CF tube? Why is that though?

  4. #4
    I love my AeroZ1, but it's heavy mainly because of all the extra stuff I carry on it. I can stand and walk a bit, so I load my chair into the back of my Mazda CX-5 with a Bruno lift (crane style), and walk around to get in.

    IMO If you load your chair by disassembling it and lifting into your car over yourself with your shoulders, low weight is HUGE, and worth the extra cost. If you use some kind of lift, weight is not such a big deal.

    The disc brakes are top of the line - they're the only true wheelchair brakes available, made by ADI; all others are locks (including SureLocks). (Brakes control speed and direction while you're moving; locks keep you from moving when you're stopped.) Frankly I'm quite surprised insurance approved them (BTW they're heavier than locks.)

    Regarding the add-ons insurance won't cover, here's my opinion FWIW:
    - titanium backrest provides very little weight saving, but it's color will match the frame.
    - titanium back release has no benefit.
    - CF camber tube is not durable when rubbed or impacted. If you're rough with your chair, it won't last. (It IS light.)
    - titanium forks stems are a must on a titanium frame. Not so much on an aluminum frame.
    - titanium QR axles are typically a waste: they're heavier than SS. However if you live very near saltwater (salty air), they'll last indefinitely.
    - Schwalbe MPE are the best pneumatic tire available for flat protection. They roll well. I love mine (on my 2nd set). All pneumatics require more attention than solids.
    - Users either love or hate Surges. I love mine. They provide me substantial grip when ascending hills. If you can, try them before you buy.
    - someday, consider a solid backrest.

    PS: lighter chair has no measurable effect on pushing; when a heavier chair is adjusted properly, you won't be able to tell it's heavy. When a lighter chair is adjusted improperly, it'll be hard to push.
    Last edited by chasmengr; 01-23-2015 at 08:12 PM.
    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>

  5. #5
    Another note: I've read bad reviews of TiLite's CF side guards (tire rubbing, too flexible). Consider an aftermarket replacement for CF guards like ADI or CarboLife.
    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>

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by faji_tama View Post
    Mm combination of pushing the wheelchair, plus having to lift it into my car maybe... 4-8x a week? I have pretty good upper body strength, so, assuming the new chair is about as heavy as my current Quickie Revolution, it's definitely doable. It just does get a little heavy on the release, which usually means I'm dropping/slamming it into the ground as I'm taking it out, because setting it down gently is a bit more difficult. For the most part though, I was thinking lighter chair = faster speed in pushing around.

    And I had no idea about the CF camber tube limitation. I'm assuming you meant that to read as you can't* use any of those devices if you have a CF tube? Why is that though?
    IMHO faster speed is obtained from perfect wheel and axle alignment, and bearing condition. Of course light weight helps. That reminds me, Those LX's have the same bearings as less expensive Spinergys. All you get is less spokes (people may say your brakes will rock because of it) and holes in the hub and a little less weight.

    Tilite has said in the past that only chairs that are reinforced for add on power, bla bla, that's not quite applicable here. I honestly do not know if Spinergy would say no to using the ZX-1 on a cf tube, but that is the ZX-1 attachment location, so it is something to give serious thought. And with SD, they had a youtube up where it was said that the guy who was running around demonstrating the SD had a broken cf tube, so they may be reluctant to recommend the practice.
    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.

  7. #7
    My opinion on weight from cf upgrades is not worth it. However, I believe titanium is worth it not only for the weight but also the strength. My aluminum chairs did not hold up to my active lifestyle and constant in and out of vehicles. It has seriously been a completely different experience now that I switched to titanium. I don't have any cf upgrades and my chair is still light and easy to take apart and place in my suv.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kristopher View Post
    My opinion on weight from cf upgrades is not worth it. However, I believe titanium is worth it not only for the weight but also the strength. My aluminum chairs did not hold up to my active lifestyle and constant in and out of vehicles. It has seriously been a completely different experience now that I switched to titanium. I don't have any cf upgrades and my chair is still light and easy to take apart and place in my suv.
    You've got the added problem of corrosion with aluminum if they use salt. That would drain me.
    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.

  9. #9
    I've owned a Quickie Revolution, and now have a Top End Terminator. Even if the new chair and the Quickie Revolution have the same weight, the AeroZ or ZRA (or any monoframe chair) will be much easier to pick up, load, and unload than the Rev is.

  10. #10
    Holy Jesus, am I reading that right, $2,000 plus for the brakes!

    Wow... just... wow...

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