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Thread: Rio Mobility Dragonfly review

  1. #11
    I have a dragonfly and use it any time I am wheeling for significant distances. I take it every time I travel - clipping it to my chair and wheeling up to the gate (helps a lot on long distances in the airport) Then after the airline sees it is attached to my chair I point out that it is convenient for them that the "chair" comes apart. never had problems.
    It is the best way for me to get exercise - my wife and I take it for miles on the local trails - she either walks or takes a small folding bike.
    While the dragonfly is not as good a cycle as a handcycle - you can get somewhere - say a restaurant or bar and unclip it leaving a regular wheelchair. With a handcycle you are stuck in the cycle.
    I have modified it to lower the gear range and use a longer crank to increase power at the low end. It still has problems with hills much steeper than an ADA ramp. I also wonder if a larger front wheel will help.
    Oh yes - with the longer wheelbase it is possible to simply drive off a 6 inch curb. It is also possible to get up a 4 inch curb be getting some speed. the fromt wheel will bounce up and the chair will follow.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    . . . I take it every time I travel - clipping it to my chair and wheeling up to the gate (helps a lot on long distances in the airport) Then after the airline sees it is attached to my chair I point out that it is convenient for them that the "chair" comes apart. never had problems . . .
    SWEET!! Fabulous explanation
    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>

  3. #13
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    With my son's Firefly out of action, I found a local place that could rent us a Dragonfly for a week. I thought that it might be useful for him (both in terms of mobility and also exercise) but it's not something that we'll be purchasing. It doesn't work on grass (wheels spin, it's tough to get moving, and to keep momentum once you are going), and my son gets up hills faster without the Dragonfly than with it. At least we got to try one without buying, for once!

    Having pulled the old Firefly apart (I'm using the arms for another project), and from looking at the Dragonfly (which is identical in design at the arms that attach to the chair), it seems that the diameter of the handlebar downtube (ie the tubular that fits inside the arm connections) is slightly smaller diameter than it could/should be. This makes the cranks on the Dragonfly (and the handlebar on the Firefly, to a lesser extent) somewhat "wobbly", despite the fact that all the connections/bearings are solidly tightened. It's maybe a minor point, but having discovered the issue, it seems a bit daft that RioMobility didn't use a standard diameter bike downtube within the arm connections (that's the reason I spotted the diameter difference - I'm putting a standard bike handlebar/fork assembly within the old Firefly components, and the fit is far better.

    As for ckhouri's questions (which should maybe have a separate thread since this one is about the Dragonfly!):
    a) whichever puts more weight on the front end. But there may not be much of a noticeable difference.
    b) depends on the ground surface. If it is sand, then the more of the tyre that is in contact with the sand, the better. But on a flat sealed surface, no. A larger wheel might give the whole assembly a higher top speed, but with lower torque at low speeds.
    c) Again, depends on ground surface. But a wider tyre, particularly if it isn't fully inflated, will give you more ground contact even on sealed surfaces, so more grip.
    d) I would have thought that an extra battery would have improved the grip. Perhaps you could use a rear bike rack on the front of the assembly, and add weight to that? Another option could be to apply weight where the batteries are on these e-bike attachments: http://www.kitlivre.com/kit-livre. They offer a large range of different electric attachments, so you would think they have works out the best arrangements.

    There seem to be a lot more electric attachments in the market at the moment. I only found out about Livre (Brazilian) a few days ago, and the Triride is a new one to me too. It's probably not that surprising, since they are very easy to make, given the amount of e-bike equipment available. The only tricky bit is attaching it to the chair (which I am finding is quite a limitation for an Icon...so far, only the old Firefly model appears suitable, unless anyone else has any bright ideas?!?).
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  4. #14
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    I had put an extra set of axle sleves as far to the rear as I could in the axle plate of my quickie gpv so I could quickly change the position of the rear wheels of the chair. In the back position the traction of my attachment is greatly improved on asphalt. With my tires almost all the way to the front of the axle plate which is my preference for everyday wheelchair operation my attachment slips a good bit. I can spin the front wheel at will even on a flat surface but move the wheels back 2.5 inches and I cannot spin the front wheel and so far it has not spun going up a hill. My attachment is a Stricker Sport with a 24 inch front wheel and currently have a 2.35 Schwable big apple tire on the front. Yes you are right the review is for the Dragonfly but I think the general principles translate across all attachments hopefully chas wont mind. I guess the info might be easier to find if it were in a general discussion on attachments

  5. #15
    Thanks for the info. Sure it should be in a different topic... But I would not get your expert opinion there would i?

    Cheers.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckhouri View Post
    Thanks for the info. Sure it should be in a different topic... But I would not get your expert opinion there would i?

    Cheers.
    Of course you would!
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    . . . It doesn't work on grass (wheels spin, it's tough to get moving, and to keep momentum once you are going), and my son gets up hills faster without the Dragonfly than with it. . .
    The poor Dragonfly traction with standard axle position is why I ordered a second axle (mounted on amputee adapters) on my new TR. Traction is now superb on very steep paved hills and slightly sloping grass (even with the 12" wheel)!! I can start moving uphill on either of them from a dead stop (although starting uphilll can take a lot of shoulder strength).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    . . . it seems that the diameter of the handlebar downtube (ie the tubular that fits inside the arm connections) is slightly smaller diameter than it could/should be. This makes the cranks on the Dragonfly (and the handlebar on the Firefly, to a lesser extent) somewhat "wobbly", despite the fact that all the connections/bearings are solidly tightened. It's maybe a minor point, but having discovered the issue, it seems a bit daft that RioMobility didn't use a standard diameter bike downtube within the arm connections (that's the reason I spotted the diameter difference - I'm putting a standard bike handlebar/fork assembly within the old Firefly components, and the fit is far better. . .
    Great to know - I'll definitely keep in mind for future mods. Thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by djrolling View Post
    . . . Yes you are right the review is for the Dragonfly but I think the general principles translate across all attachments hopefully chas wont mind. I guess the info might be easier to find if it were in a general discussion on attachments
    I don't mind a bit
    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>

  8. #18
    My latest mod: Bike-on Ergo Handcycle Grips - love them

    Previous super-important mod: Shimano SL-S500: grip-mounted trigger shifter (on stock grip).
    Last edited by chasmengr; 08-07-2016 at 04:00 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>

  9. #19
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    After more days than I was expecting, here are picts of my (lightly) modified DFly. You can see the seat tube collar above the threaded sleeve to avoid slipping. Quick note: we preferred to remove all the headset in order to give a look inside... and it was absolutely free of any grease... It is now well lubricated and adjustable !
    On the second one you can see my chin speedshifter. I've used an aftermarket Shimano-compatible push-push lever found on eBay (15$). The collar in a car exhaust pipe collar, from eBay too (2$) The tube is an old handlebar if I remember well. We have re-shaped the levers with epoxy putty to make them fit my chin
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  10. #20
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    some answers for ckhouri, IMHO :
    a) make your combined wheelchair +triride as short as possible. This is one of the best solution to put more weight on the front wheel, and then, more grip. The "chas/djrollin' solution" (adding another axle sleeve as back as possible) is better if you can do it on your chair, and if you can change your wheel position before your ride. The third solution, inexpensive : lean your torso forward as much as you can ! I've made a trial: when you lean to the front your chest approx. 1", you add approx 15 lbs on the front wheel of your attachement ! It can make such a difference... and it is easier than putting some lead in your trouser's side pockets ! To achieve that, you can adjust your chair with the back as vertical as possible when attached (that means you will have to change that once detached) or ... set the attachment with your casters as low as you can and still ride safe (what I have done)
    b) not sure. If your wheel is larger, your wheelbase has to be larger too, if you want to turn without putting your tiptoes in the wheel. So, as referred above, less grip. Having a big frontwheel is better if you can use the "Chas/dj solution"
    c) wide, because you can run wide tires at lower pressure (this is true with all the sizes of wheels), and lower pressure gives you more grip. And on a wide tire, it doesn't add -too much- drag. I had to come back home after a flat on my DFly, ... I've never had more grip ! I've never been so tired (and so slow) too ...
    d) you can use diver's lead weight, as batec does. But IMO it adds some "non-productive" weight to your attachment, you'd better try new settings before.
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

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