Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: New Chair, what options should I get?

  1. #1

    New Chair, what options should I get?

    Hey, I'm a 9 years post T8 complete in his 30s who gets around reasonably well,

    So it's finally time to get a new chair. I've been rolling a TiLite ZRA for about 6 years now and it's been great for me, but it's starting to fall apart a bit. Maybe you fine folks will help point me in the direction of new and awesome stuff I should equip on my new chair.

    1. What chair should I get? TiLite has been really great (compared to my old aluminum Quickie). I was thinking of going with a TR or ZR, not sure which to get. Sticking with TiLite, I'm sure I could calculate the proper dimensions and avoid the extra weight and parts of an adjustable chair.
    -Any thoughts ZR vs TR?
    -Here are the features that are most important to me in a frame in order of importance: Slimness (my chair plus wheels combo is just under 22 inches wide right now, but this probably has more to do with wheels than frame since anything can be made to fit me), center of gravity (my ZRA has the wheels as far back as the frame allows and I'd still rather have my chair be a little more front heavy. This is one reason why I was considering TR over ZR, assuming it had a little more tubing up front so maybe COG would be a little further forward? Not sure about this though), lightweight (I gotta sling this thing in and out of the car a half dozen times a day, so weight is important)
    -I assume TR is "stiffer" than ZR just because there is more tubing, but I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing?
    -Any other chairs that I should consider?

    2. Wheels. What should I get?
    -I've got 26" LXs at the moment, but I'm planning on going with 25" wheels of some kind just to give myself a smaller turning radius. Any opinions on wheels? I see Spinergy has some additional options and their website doesn't really give me a good idea of the difference between LX, XLX, LXL and various permutations of each. Having a small number of spokes is important to me so I can grip the hub easier. I'd like a reasonably sturdy wheel, but it doesn't have to be indestructible. I drop down off the occasional curb, but otherwise I don't get too abusive with my wheels.
    -Also anyone with experience with spinergy carbon blade? Or Round Betty? I just haven't found enough information on either of these
    -And i forgot to mention that one of the most important features of the wheels is width to me. I need to keep my chair as narrow as possible.

    3. Handrims - I'm really, really considering splurging on a pair of titanium handrims, not for the weight savings (if any), but because after wearing off the anodization on my aluminum hand rims I have to wear gloves everywhere because the wheels blacken my hands. Any opinions/experience with these would be appreciated.

    4. Seat pan - My fabric seat pan has been sagging for years and I hear good things about solid seat pans. So I'm probably going to go this way unless someone has some strong opinions.

    5. Forks/casters - I run 3" (ish) casters and prefer something that I can replace with a standard pair of rollerblade wheels if need be (because going thru a DME takes a million years and I just want to be able to order off of amazon). As far as forks, I do not care at all about weight. In fact I kind of want the heaviest forks possible to help shift my COG forward. Does froglegs still make a suspension fork? Is it any good?

    6. Back fabric - I really want a simple, stupid fabric sling back because it has worked best for me over the years. My only issue with the standard TiLite back that came with my ZRA is that it is hard to clean because it has foam built into the back, and my back gets super sweaty in it. Any ideas on some back fabric that breathes and is easier to wash?

    7. Side guards - I've got the big TiLite side guards (aluminum?) and they work pretty well for me. I've got nothing against carbon fiber or something exotic, but I don't know that it's worth it. Also is there such a thing as fendered side guards that cover the wheels? That seems like an interesting option to me, especially if you can press down on the fender and brake against the wheel.

    8. Brakes - I know some people don't believe in them, but I'm a wuss and I need them. I really like the aluminum scissor locks that came with my ZRA, but I don't think they make them any more. I want something that's easy to operate and folds away underneath the chair and out of sight when not in use. I'm not opposed to D's Locks, but I don't know enough about them and from what little I do know I think they will add a few mm to the width, which is unacceptable (if that is indeed the case)


    I'd love to hear from anybody who's bought a chair in recent years what I should be looking out for. I'm sure I'm unaware of a bunch of new stuff on the market, I thought about a

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    3,480
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    Hey, I'm a 9 years post T8 complete in his 30s who gets around reasonably well,

    So it's finally time to get a new chair. I've been rolling a TiLite ZRA for about 6 years now and it's been great for me, but it's starting to fall apart a bit. Maybe you fine folks will help point me in the direction of new and awesome stuff I should equip on my new chair.

    1. What chair should I get? TiLite has been really great (compared to my old aluminum Quickie). I was thinking of going with a TR or ZR, not sure which to get. Sticking with TiLite, I'm sure I could calculate the proper dimensions and avoid the extra weight and parts of an adjustable chair.
    -Any thoughts ZR vs TR?
    -Here are the features that are most important to me in a frame in order of importance: Slimness (my chair plus wheels combo is just under 22 inches wide right now, but this probably has more to do with wheels than frame since anything can be made to fit me), center of gravity (my ZRA has the wheels as far back as the frame allows and I'd still rather have my chair be a little more front heavy. This is one reason why I was considering TR over ZR, assuming it had a little more tubing up front so maybe COG would be a little further forward? Not sure about this though), lightweight (I gotta sling this thing in and out of the car a half dozen times a day, so weight is important)
    -I assume TR is "stiffer" than ZR just because there is more tubing, but I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing?
    -Any other chairs that I should consider?
    I approach new chairs conservatively. My desire is to make small, incremental improvements to fit and function. Big changes introduce risk I'd rather avoid. On this basis I would opt for a ZR over a TR.

    2. Wheels. What should I get?
    -I've got 26" LXs at the moment, but I'm planning on going with 25" wheels of some kind just to give myself a smaller turning radius. Any opinions on wheels? I see Spinergy has some additional options and their website doesn't really give me a good idea of the difference between LX, XLX, LXL and various permutations of each. Having a small number of spokes is important to me so I can grip the hub easier. I'd like a reasonably sturdy wheel, but it doesn't have to be indestructible. I drop down off the occasional curb, but otherwise I don't get too abusive with my wheels.
    -Also anyone with experience with spinergy carbon blade? Or Round Betty? I just haven't found enough information on either of these
    -And i forgot to mention that one of the most important features of the wheels is width to me. I need to keep my chair as narrow as possible.
    I think turning radius has more to do with wheelbase (length and width) than wheel size. Moving from 26" to 25" will drop your rear seat height by .5", so adjust the spec accordingly to maintain the same ride height as your current chair. I don't find a compelling reason not to stick with LX wheels.

    3. Handrims - I'm really, really considering splurging on a pair of titanium handrims, not for the weight savings (if any), but because after wearing off the anodization on my aluminum hand rims I have to wear gloves everywhere because the wheels blacken my hands. Any opinions/experience with these would be appreciated.
    No experience.

    4. Seat pan - My fabric seat pan has been sagging for years and I hear good things about solid seat pans. So I'm probably going to go this way unless someone has some strong opinions.
    I prefer solid. Depending on how sagged you currently run your upholstery you could experience a significant rise in your final seat height (front and rear). .5" is normal, but it maybe more, depending on your current sag. This will affect where your back meets the top of the backrest so you will need a higher backrest to maintain parity with your current setup. It will also affect getting your knees under tables, especially if you're cutting it close already. I'd recommend at least .5" lower seat heights going solid.


    5. Forks/casters - I run 3" (ish) casters and prefer something that I can replace with a standard pair of rollerblade wheels if need be (because going thru a DME takes a million years and I just want to be able to order off of amazon). As far as forks, I do not care at all about weight. In fact I kind of want the heaviest forks possible to help shift my COG forward. Does froglegs still make a suspension fork? Is it any good?
    This is surprising, given your preference for a heavy front end. Larger casters would perform better (in terms of ride quality), and be heavier. I've never gone through the DME process to get Frog Leg casters (my preferred) Ordered online via Sportaid they show up a couple days later. 4" casters would raise the front .5", 5" would raise 1", so frame height would need to lower than current chair.

    6. Back fabric - I really want a simple, stupid fabric sling back because it has worked best for me over the years. My only issue with the standard TiLite back that came with my ZRA is that it is hard to clean because it has foam built into the back, and my back gets super sweaty in it. Any ideas on some back fabric that breathes and is easier to wash?
    Nope.


    7. Side guards - I've got the big TiLite side guards (aluminum?) and they work pretty well for me. I've got nothing against carbon fiber or something exotic, but I don't know that it's worth it. Also is there such a thing as fendered side guards that cover the wheels? That seems like an interesting option to me, especially if you can press down on the fender and brake against the wheel.
    Weight and 'bling' are the only reasons I'd go with CF sideguards. They're cool, sure, and lighter, but costly. I use them.



    8. Brakes - I know some people don't believe in them, but I'm a wuss and I need them. I really like the aluminum scissor locks that came with my ZRA, but I don't think they make them any more. I want something that's easy to operate and folds away underneath the chair and out of sight when not in use. I'm not opposed to D's Locks, but I don't know enough about them and from what little I do know I think they will add a few mm to the width, which is unacceptable (if that is indeed the case)
    I use D's. They work great. Some downsides are: They're very heavy compared to TiLite's composite scissors. 2lbs for a complete setup. They don't engage in a precise spot, the chair moves a bit (~.5-.75") before they engage. The chair wiggles a bit when engaged. Some people really don't like the wiggle. Doesn't bother me at all, especially while scissors
    feel more solid, they can slip, but D's cannot slip. The reasons I use them are their unslippabilty and that I can engage to full lock one handed the flick of my pinky. Seems whenever I need to lock my chair I'm busy doing something and they're just damn convenient to just flip on and off.


    I'd love to hear from anybody who's bought a chair in recent years what I should be looking out for. I'm sure I'm unaware of a bunch of new stuff on the market, I thought about a
    Seems to me your biggest risk is how changing wheel sizes and seat pan will affect your frame height, compared to your current chair. Accounting for where you're gaining/losing height to maintain the same final ride height and backrest feel is going to be important.
    "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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    3,480
    Blog Entries
    1
    You also mentioned Froglegs elastomer suspended forks. I used them on my first chair. They were effective for soaking up vibration and small hits from thresholds and such. They are heavy and may serve well to make up for using such small thin casters like rollerblade wheels. They require occasional replacement of the elastomer to maintain optimal performance, every ~3-5 years. They're worth considering if TiLite offers them (assuming TiLite is your preferred brand).
    "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

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Southeast, USA
    Posts
    544
    Here's a recent thread I made about my new chair and why I went with what I did. I have a similar injury level as you and some of the same requirements for a chair. Not sure how much help it will be, but feel free to ask any questions. I went from a ZRA to a TR.

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?253195-New-TR3-upgraded-everything

  5. #5
    Don't forget to take cushion measurements into consideration with your new chair. For example, the height from footrest to thigh while on cushion - what height is cushion. Also what is depth of cushion you will use.
    On my last chair I got about 1" more depth in chair frame. In my case, I need the space where the tubing begins to bend down, to grab onto for balance, transfers, etc. I didn't want that space interrupted by front of seat material. If you're good to go with agility and transfers this probably would not be an issue.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the thorough reply, Oddity, I didn't think about the fact that a solid seat pan is going to raise my sitting position, but obviously you are right. When I pop off my cushion now it is curved from sitting in a sagging sling for so many years.

    I can't run 4" casters with my current setup because the front end is too narrow, so wheels 4" or larger will hit my feet when I turn. I don't want to go any wider, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to have the same problem. And with regard to the frog legs, I assume Out Front Glide Suspension forks are of similar weight/design.

    Also thanks for your post Brad, I read through it. I really like the look of those X laced LX's, and the two tone spokes are nice too. I'm gonna have to find some more information on those handrims, but in the mean time, do you know if it's possible to remove the brand name from the handrims? Spinergy sticks were surprisingly easy to remove from their rims, and I HATE having brand names plastered all over something I have to ride every day.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    Don't forget to take cushion measurements into consideration with your new chair. For example, the height from footrest to thigh while on cushion - what height is cushion. Also what is depth of cushion you will use.
    On my last chair I got about 1" more depth in chair frame. In my case, I need the space where the tubing begins to bend down, to grab onto for balance, transfers, etc. I didn't want that space interrupted by front of seat material. If you're good to go with agility and transfers this probably would not be an issue.
    I definitely know what you mean, I had a longer cushion on my second chair and it took away the space where I used to grab the frame for transfers.

Similar Threads

  1. ZX-1 Manual into Power Chair Options?
    By noworries in forum Equipment
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-26-2015, 10:55 AM
  2. Shower chair options?
    By Willyg in forum Equipment
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 10-28-2012, 02:54 AM
  3. My options for my new chair
    By totoL1 in forum Equipment
    Replies: 149
    Last Post: 06-26-2010, 04:29 AM
  4. Power Assist chair options
    By Brianm in forum Equipment
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-11-2009, 08:54 AM
  5. Chair back options
    By ikeraider8 in forum Equipment
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-14-2007, 03:19 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •