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Thread: Anyone tried the freedom chair?

  1. #1

    Anyone tried the freedom chair?

    http://www.gogrit.us/

    I'm looking mostly for a way to get around my yard so I can do some yard work, but this looks like it would be fun to take on light hiking trails too. Has anyone tried one of these? Are they as durable as they look?

    I'm also interested in any cheaper alternatives for getting around a standard grass yard easily.

  2. #2
    GoGrit is currently looking for chair ambassadors (free chair to try for 12 months). Applications are due in three days (17FEB 5pm ET)!!
    Last edited by chasmengr; 02-14-2016 at 02:30 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."
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BoyFallDown View Post
    http://www.gogrit.us/

    I'm looking mostly for a way to get around my yard so I can do some yard work, but this looks like it would be fun to take on light hiking trails too. Has anyone tried one of these? Are they as durable as they look?

    I'm also interested in any cheaper alternatives for getting around a standard grass yard easily.
    A Freewheel is much cheaper. My three wheel Quickie 3D tennis conversion does fine in the yard. If you have sufficient upper body strength, you shouldn't need the levers. However what I find in my yard and garden is traction is a problem with my skinny rear tires.
    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.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    GoGrit is currently looking for chair ambassadors (free chair to try for 12 months). Applications are due in three days (17FEB 5pm ET)!!
    Heh, I think I'm probably the opposite of what they're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    A Freewheel is much cheaper. My three wheel Quickie 3D tennis conversion does fine in the yard. If you have sufficient upper body strength, you shouldn't need the levers. However what I find in my yard and garden is traction is a problem with my skinny rear tires.
    That's the other one I was looking at. How sturdy are they? I'm worried about how it will hold up over time.

  5. #5
    Sorry, I don't have a Freewheel, my modified 3D is similar so I think Freewheel should handle tough terrain just fine. As to durability there has not been anything serious that I recall reported here about them. There was something about an alignment screw or something that was easily fixed, besides Pat the inventor is a member here.

    I have another chair I also use in the yard much more often that has an extended wheelbase and six inch casters. It is just several cheap recycled Quickies folders, but the long wheelbase made it possible to get over stuff. The cost of that chair went up when I added Magicwheels (retail 2k) 1k demos. Those have stepdown 2:1 gearing which really flatten out hills. And for some hard to understand reason you can run in low gear downhill, braking with the handrims is easy. You'd think the rims would want to go twice as fast as the wheels, and maybe they do, but it is easy to hold the speed down.
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Them Bones's Avatar
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    I have a Freedom Chair and a Freewheel. They're very different. The Freedom Chair is like a mountain bike, while the freewheel is like a pair of hiking boots.
    Sorry, I can't come up with a clever analogy... but that kind of fits. The Freedom Chair is a great solution for doing very challenging terrain for extended time. The Freewheel will cover the rest of your needs.

    I use the freewheel much more than I use the freedom chair, because there's just more times when it's all I need. Most of the time when we are outside we are in a yard of some sort, with a reasonably smooth, if not level, lawn. The freewheel is super convenient. You can be out and about with one and pop it on and off as needed. It barely takes up any space in your car. You can fit it in a suitcase. And of course, it costs much less.
    On the other hand, the freewheel is very light, so your chair still has about the same tipping point. Depending on your footplate, you may need to modify or reinforce your chair to accept a freewheel. The bolts can rattle loose, so keep your allen wrenches with you at all times.

    The first time I tried the freedom chair on a trail I was amazed by what I could do. Two things that really set it apart from the freewheel are the center of gravity and the lever drive. Also, it's really sturdy. It feels really solid and gives you a lot of confidence in it's ability to handle a beating.
    First, the center of gravity. I went straight up some pretty steep hills. Not only steep, but covered with roots and rocks. It will tip backwards, but not nearly as easy as your everyday chair + freewheel. I've strapped ankle weights to the front wheel arm to bring the COG even farther forward.
    Second, the lever drive. This is really the key feature. I have good upper body strength, but the levers just put you in a different class. There's much less strain on your shoulders, as it's now more of a bench press motion. The lever drive lets you float right over those rocks and roots. It's like shifting to a lower gear. I don't know how else to explain it other than by saying you just have more strength to drive yourself up and over obstacles. And you can spend much longer on the trail without worrying about your rotator cuffs. The ergonomics of the lever drive make it a more powerful motion. You can get over obstacles easier, through sand easier, and all the while not fearing to tweak your shoulders.
    There are a couple downsides. It's big and heavy. It would be unwieldy in a store. Hence the mountain bike analogy. It's a specialized piece of equipment that is the best for a few specific activities.
    Also, unless you have strong trunk muscles you will need to use a chest strap. I rigged some backpack straps with a sternum strap too keep me upright when going downhill. A simple velcro chest strap worked fine for me, but the backpack rig is much more comfortable.

    I use the freewheel way more often than I use the freedom chair, simply because it's more broadly appropriate for most of my outdoor activities. It's like the 90% solution, you know what I mean?
    However, if you like going out on trails, into real woods and over terrain that would challenge an A/B mountain biker, the freedom chair is absolutely better. I went right through trails with the freedom chair that I turned back from with the freewheel. If that kind of activity is what you're looking for, then it's the better option.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Is this freedom chair something a quad could use?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Them Bones View Post
    I have a Freedom Chair and a Freewheel. They're very different. The Freedom Chair is like a mountain bike, while the freewheel is like a pair of hiking boots.
    Great review, thanks a lot. I'm leaning more toward the freewheel now.

  9. #9
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    I contemplated buying the Freedom Chair hoping to help maintain my mobility. I currently have to use my power chair for anything other than a flat surface and very short distance inside. There are lovely nature trails where I live, but my power chair cannot get to them...I miss being in the woods. I am concerned about grasping strength as I have little. Do you think the added help from the levers and some grasping assist gloves would assist enough or it is really for someone with good strength and endurance?
    On another note, you mentioned adapting backpack straps for chest support. I am waiting for another evaluation to see if insurance can provide some for me, but that all takes time. Can you explain what you did? I'm currently using a flat bungee cord, but it's not very stable and it expands, obviously. Your solution sounds intriguing.

  10. #10
    I have some big ass knobby back wheels and a freewheel which I put on my Icon. The problem with offroad wheels is it screws up your COG, dump, etc. All adjustable w/ the Icon.

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