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Thread: Icon wheelchair - I need you help

  1. #1

    Smile Icon wheelchair - I need you help

    Hi! guys. I am new in this community and need your help for new chair buying. I have joined this community 3 months by now but this is my first post.
    I am a person with polio and an intermittent wheelchair user. I use crutches for walking most of times and use chair when I need to walk long. I live in South Korea (currently staying in US about a year) where there are many stairs so I have to use crutches many times.

    I have had an Action A4 for almost 20 years and it still works, which means that I am not a heavy user of chair. I got it from a friend who bought it as brand new but found it did not fit with him. Fortunately it fits fine with my body(or my body got used to its size). I also have a second hand TR which I bought one month ago to learn about chair (measure). I bought it on e-bay by paying about 1000 dollar but I think it was a good choice because I learnt a lot of measures which I did not know at all.

    Ordering a new chair is my first time experience and I am so nervous about it.

    After reading posts here, I narrowed my choice to Icon and ZRa. If you are kind enough to give me some advice, I will appreciate your advice.
    I am afraid that my English is not good to explain my question clear enough.

    I want to ask question about Icon chair first because my mind is in love with it now. But I have not seen or tried it by myself yet.

    1. Seat pan size

    My question for Icon is how much seat pan can be expandable. I think my body (5" tall with 113 pounds) fits quite well with 15x15 (this is my old chair size and I am OK with it. I got another one, 14x14, in which I feel so tight. One problem is that although Icon gives me many options for seat pan but they don't work for me. I can choose one of twos. The one is with 16" or expandable depth and with 15" width minimum. The other one is with 15" or smaller width and 15" depth. I can get 15" depth seat but it has 15" width at max. I think that I am currently fine with 15" width but my body can gain some weight and 15" max is a kind of risky. There is no possiblity that my legs grow so 16" depth will be the same condition for good for me. Which one should I go with? Can I order a custom seat pan which is 15x15 with the width expandable?

    2. Weight

    Since I put in and out my chair of my car (trunk) while I stand over crutches, the weight of my chair is a critical factor. I have action A4 Titanium (with cloth back rest, no brake, and no side guard) which I think is light enough for me. I compared it with my TR (with CF side guard, brake, but after detaching J3 back) and found that TR seems a bit heavier). JeffAdams mentioned in his post that Icon is about 14 pound without wheels) but I am not sure about it. Does anyone have an Icon chair and know exact weight?

    3. Wheel base

    Interestingly, order form of Icon chair requires my preference of wheelbase. As I said before, I feel fine with my A4 so try to start from it. It has 25" wheels and 5" caster and almost no distance between rear wheels and caster. Thus, my calculation of wheelbase would be 15". Am I right at measuring wheelbase? As I know, Icon chair's wheelbase can be adjustable. Does the form simply ask my rough preference?

    I have more questions but can ask them later.

    Looking for hearing from you.

    Last edited by jungsik; 10-27-2015 at 02:45 AM. Reason: try to clear meaning of my post

  2. #2
    Hey Jung, I live in Blaine, Wa. and am in B'ham 2 or 3x's a week. We have a pretty good group of w/c users in the county. I'm not sure if you're up to playing sports but we have a wonderful game called Gangball that's played every Monday at Blodel gym. PM me if you're interested. There is also a spinal cord injury support group that meets the first Monday of the month at St. Joe's rehab Center, So. Campus. It would give you the opportunity to meet other local wheelchair users.

    If you have any challenges with the measuring, I can help you out. 5ft and 113 lbs; a 15 may be too wide for you. 25" wheels are pretty tall for a shorter person and 5" casters are heavy if you're concerned about weight. It would be nice to see you sitting in the chair you have and see where your hands hang in comparison with the wheels. Icon is a great chair and Jeff Adams is really helpful. Good luck and hope to meet you soon.

  3. #3
    Patrick, thanks for your response. I love to meet you and other guys because I know few people here and spend most time in front of computer. I am a very social person spending at least two days a week with friends in Korea so I got pretty bored and lonely since I moved to here. I also love sports. Currently, I swim but it is a lonely sport and want to do something more fun. I will definitely PM you and wish to meet soon.

    I did not even know whether 25" wheels are tall or short to me. I have just used my second hand chair for many years. While reading posts here for the past months, I realized how ignorant I was. If I get a chair this time, I am sure that I will use it for the next 10 years, so I am very cautious about getting a right one this time.
    Last edited by jungsik; 10-27-2015 at 03:35 AM.

  4. #4
    i'm 5' 11" and sometimes i feel like 25" is big. 5' is (no offense intended) short, i would suggest 24".
    walking is OVER-RATED!!!

    Broken in August 14th, 2003. T9-L1 complete.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by nia adha View Post
    i'm 5' 11" and sometimes i feel like 25" is big. 5' is (no offense intended) short, i would suggest 24".
    I think my body got so much used to 25" wheels after using them almost 20 years. I now have a TR with 24" wheel and 14 x 14 seat which I feel so tight and small in it.
    Is this because my former chair (A4) had 3 degree camber angle? Now I have to decide the seat size and feel so confused. I measured my butt and it is 13.7 almost close to 14". If I add 1" on it according to advice here, should I order 15 X 15 seat?

  6. #6
    I think icon seat pan is adjustable about 2 inch per side, making a 14" goes up to 18". mine is 14", widen up to 15".

    You commented in my post if icon will be much heavier, that would depend on your current ride and icon setup. mine has the wooden seat pan, and that adi backrest is damn heavy (the mount, that is). as heavy as it is, i can lift it up still with one hand. im gonna shave off some weight on mine. if you get carbon fiber and cloth backrest, i doubt it'll be much heavier. altho it is, still, heavier.

    But as far as pushing goes, its good. doesnt feel heavy at all. kinda have lots of torque, and the centralized weight makes it pushes better.
    walking is OVER-RATED!!!

    Broken in August 14th, 2003. T9-L1 complete.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I agree. My Icon is setup with a CF seat, the first version of ADI adjustable hardware, Rogue Ti hub Tsunami wheels, and no brakes or transfer handles (although the wheels do have Surelock hub rings installed). I haven't weighed it, but I guess I could hang it off my luggage scale if it really matters to anyone. I don't find it troublesome at all to breakdown and transfer into a car, or heavy feeling when pushing. I think the weight being so centered under the chair causes it to feel lighter at the pushrim, but that's just a gut feeling.

    Technique for breaking down and loading needed to be worked out before it became smooth though. Neither parts I was used to using to manage the chair while getting wheels off and lifting existed on the Icon!
    "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

  8. #8
    Thanks for your responses, Nia and Oddity.

    My plan is to get cloth backrest and carbon fiber seat pan, probably without brake. I have J3 back but will not put it on new chair if the chair is too heavy. My upper body is pretty strong so I do not worry the weight when I roll the chair. Weight is only concern when I lift it in and out of my car trunk because I stand up over crutches. It is a short period of time but I feel it gets harder and harder every year. Most of you seat in the car and move the chair over your body. If I lift the chair in that way, I would not have much problem. However, most of parking spaces in my country are pretty narrow and I prefer putting the chair in the trunk. Jeff mentioned once that the bare bone frame of Icon weighs about 14 pounds and my A4 titanium (again cloth backrest, no brake, and no side guard) is 14 pounds if Invacare site is accurate. Then, I will be fine. If I see the chair in person, I will immediately find the answer but I have not gotten any response from Icon. Will be more patient.

  9. #9
    Hi! guys,

    I finally test-drove an Icon demo chair this morning. It rolls really smooth as you guys mentioned. I was also impressed with the quality of wheels by Icon. To me, they look sturdy and light. I don't think I will buy Spinergy wheels separately.
    Still my concern is weight. The chair was not as heavy as I could not handle. I was able to move the chair in and out of my car trunk but it was not easy because the chair did not have a rigidizer. If it had a rigidizer, would I feel it less heavier?

    The sales rep is a really nice man and offered me a demo chair (really good condition) at a very competitive price which is really attractive to me (under two grands). And he is kind enough to lend the chair to me one week so that I will be able to decide whether I like or not. I will borrow the chair a couple of weeks later because the sale rep. wants to adjust the chair for detailed size fit for me. Since I have owned my previous chair almost 20 years, this new chair will be with me long time. I expect that I will have a difficult time to make decision between Tilite and Icon. A good dilemma, though.

    Oddiy and Nia, What do you think of long term durability of the Icon chair? I will go back to Korea with my new chair in next July. There is no Icon dealer in Korea, so I will not be able to get any help if the chair goes wrong.
    Last edited by jungsik; 12-17-2015 at 02:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I'm sure it is a durable chair. It went through more testing than most chairs on the market. Each component finite element tested as well as the whole package, under a variety of stressful but typical situations for a wheelchair to encounter. That's just my opinion, though. I don't have enough miles on mine to have direct experience. So far, so good.

    If I were going to live somewhere with no chair support, and I needed it for my mobility, I would feel OK about an Icon, but I would worry some, too! I might want something simpler. All else being equal, I tend to prefer simpler solutions, especially when reliability is a priority. I've been riding a magnesium/aluminum alloy cantilever frame for 8 years without a single problem. The only moveable parts are the wheels. As a result I trust this design, and the fabricator's build quality, a lot.

    Most importantly I'd have a backup. I firmly believe in the old saying, "Two is one, and one is none!" My 8 year old chair that has never broken even has a couple backups! Including the Icon.
    "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

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