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Thread: New Tillite ZRA drags like a tank and has no rolling cruise.

  1. #1

    New Tillite ZRA drags like a tank and has no rolling cruise.

    Hi everyone, I'm new here and relatively new to a wheel chair. I've been in loaners the past two years and finally have my first non loaner chair. Currently have no left hip and half my pelvis acetabular is missing from a staph infection caused by former hardware that wasn't installed properly. Among other issues like spinabifida and several disc injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. That's my brief now here is my question or concern. I have a Tiilite ZRA series 2 chair that is beautiful. That's it, just eye candy to me. When I lift it it is extremely heavy compared to my loaner chair and difficult to lift although it's considered lightweight it weighs in at 32lbs. That's after stripping arm rests and push handles off. It has no ability to coast. I am struggling with everything to propel myself and I am quite muscular in my upper body. The front wheels were so tight I couldn't turn them by hand so I loosened them some and can now spin it a revolution or two. It came with 12 degrees camber and a second 4 degree axle. The axle was loose when I first rolled in it and it spun over and locked up both wheels against the brakes leaving me stuck out in the street. I resolved that issue and adjusted it but it seems difficult knowing how to set the toe in or out. Not sure which has more drag. Thinking I'm going to swap axles to the 4 degrees and see if alignment is better. I talked to tilite and they suggested upgrading to ceramic bearings as these standard wheels are not designed to handle that angle pressure on steel bearings although they sold this to me like this, well my supplier that is. I'm also considering swapping the 3" soft rolls out for 4" frog legs after having issues catching my foot pan on the street coming off the sidewalks and wheels catching on cracks I hadn't had to worry about before but I do not mind wheeling though I don't want to do it all the time. Spinlife looked up my chair and said the center of gravity is set back two inches and should come forward which should resolve some issues. I am mechanically inclined to deal with this myself although expected it would be setup properly to begin with. Now I don't want that place touching my chair and just figure this out with some help. Any thoughts or ideas? Upgrades I should do right now? Suggestions? Not too many things make me cry but this is obviously my appendage, independence and my mobility and I need it working as soon as possible. Tearing it apart right now to see what I can do. I will be looking for your responses. Thank you.

  2. #2
    You may be happier with 4 degree camber. Check toe in, toe out. To do so simply measure spacing between rear wheels fore and aft half way from floor. They need to be equal. If not pushing is a nightmare.
    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
    Just curious was this chair spec'ed for you by a seating clinic? If so i would go back to them and tell them and the DME that the chair is unusable the way it was given to you.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  4. #4
    Yes I had 5 therapists and my supplier present when they fitted the chair for me and it was clearly not setup properly as well after talking with Tiilite last evening they confirmed the axle was set back 2" from center of gravity and the bearings they supply that insurance allows isn't really adequate for coasting and they stated most people order new bearings right away. I went to VXB and ordered front and rear Silicone Nitride to replace factory. I took the front caster wheels off and found the bearings were crushed by my supplier by over tightening which was disappointing. There was a number of issues with the chair upon delivery including they didn't supply my a Roho seat but instead a J seat, they didn't install composite brakes so the factory ones nearly skinned my thumbs when rolling, and they put push handles on it and a few other issues they agreed to correct for me. I am convinced they don't know how to setup the chair properly. I moved the axle forward 1.25" and readjusted the camber toe by eye until Tiilite who has agreed to mail me a bubble level for setting up the axle and I will replace the bearings myself. I haven't had a chance to take it out of the house yet since readjustment but I could tell a considerable difference just rolling around my family room from what I did adjust so I am hopeful I can correct it. Between Tiilite and Spinlife I think I have an idea what needs to be done but it certainly made me quite disappointed initially upon delivery.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uguessesit View Post
    Yes I had 5 therapists and my supplier present when they fitted the chair for me and it was clearly not setup properly as well after talking with Tiilite last evening they confirmed the axle was set back 2" from center of gravity and the bearings they supply that insurance allows isn't really adequate for coasting and they stated most people order new bearings right away. I went to VXB and ordered front and rear Silicone Nitride to replace factory. I took the front caster wheels off and found the bearings were crushed by my supplier by over tightening which was disappointing. There was a number of issues with the chair upon delivery including they didn't supply my a Roho seat but instead a J seat, they didn't install composite brakes so the factory ones nearly skinned my thumbs when rolling, and they put push handles on it and a few other issues they agreed to correct for me. I am convinced they don't know how to setup the chair properly. I moved the axle forward 1.25" and readjusted the camber toe by eye until Tiilite who has agreed to mail me a bubble level for setting up the axle and I will replace the bearings myself. I haven't had a chance to take it out of the house yet since readjustment but I could tell a considerable difference just rolling around my family room from what I did adjust so I am hopeful I can correct it. Between Tiilite and Spinlife I think I have an idea what needs to be done but it certainly made me quite disappointed initially upon delivery.

    Sorry about your troubles, tl/dr, but I was wondering about the bearings comment early on. TiLite said insurance companies are dictating what bearings they put into their wheels?!?!?! Is this for real?!?! I'd love to read TiLite's response to this question...
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  6. #6
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    My new Tilite ZRA needed a lot of adjusting too

    My Tilite ZRA s2 which I just got a few weeks ago handled like crap too from the get go. The rear tires were under inflated at 80psi. The rear wheels were toe'd out 7/8" while the manual states the max alignment tolerance should be less than 1/8". (To be noted, I only have the 2 degree camber.) Also, my 4" Litespeed soft roll front casters look great but like you do not seem to spin freely like the frog legs ones do. I got the lightest of everything put on the chair and it still seems to be a pound or two heavier than my 8 year old Top End Terminator Titanium with a dual camber option. I like my chairs stripped to the bare essentials--meaning: no brakes, no cloth guards, etc...

    BTW, I sure would like to get my hands on that specialized bubble level like I've seen in their adjustment videos that they offered to send you as it would make aligning the rear wheels soooo much easier. Who did you contact to get that?
    Last edited by fasdude; 10-02-2015 at 12:39 PM. Reason: adding comment

  7. #7
    As always, a picture of you in the chair goes a long ways. I wonder why they would start you on 12 degrees of camber, as that is more of a sports setup. Do you need armrests? I would lose those in favor of side-guards. Blaming the bearings seems like a stretch. Many of us have replaced the bearings in our casters, but the stock ones were working fine for me; I simply replaced them after they became filled with hair and put higher quality ones in. I have never replaced any in my rear wheels noer read of anyone here doing so, but not saying someone hasn't posted it.

    I also would love one of the bubble levels.

    Reading fastdudes' comments is a bit concerning. As we know, TiLite was bought out last year (?) and we hoped things wouldn't go south. I always recall their video of sending new chairs down a ramp to be sure they track straight; I wonder if this still happens, in light of his toe being so far out. Low tire pressure certainly isn't an issue of concern to be directed at TiLite.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  8. #8
    Senior Member TiLite's Avatar
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    Hello, TiLite is not directed by insurance companies to provide a specific bearing, but we determine what bearing we feel is the best quality for most users and provide accordingly.
    TiLite. The Ultimate Ride.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiLite View Post
    Hello, TiLite is not directed by insurance companies to provide a specific bearing, but we determine what bearing we feel is the best quality for most users and provide accordingly.
    Thanks for clearing that up!
    People will say anything on the Internet.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  10. #10
    I'm sure it's just coincidence that the cheapest ones always suit the user the best in their eyes lol.
    T4 Complete since 01/01/2012

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