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Thread: first chair, got some questions

  1. #11
    Junior Member
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    May 2017
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    Southern California
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    Avoid the hand rim driven SmartDrive. Get training! I had the hand rim push drive for a year and it takes strength to activate. Get training because outdoors it is Still scary. Also avoid TiLite suspension forks, adding Froglegs later is a better option. I don't notice the added weight of the SmartDrive when I use it but there a lot of other good options for power assist if you don't plan to remove the SmartDrive.
    Last edited by tinlizzy31; 05-03-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #12
    Junior Member
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    I had fabric side guards and they were useless and difficult to remove; they got wet even in small puddles and so your clothes got wet too. I like the larger plastic remove able side guards on my Tilite; but every thing you add increases the weight of the chair. Watch the weight of your wheelchair cushion too; some of the Gel cushions are very heavy. I've found that the comment about the "providers" is unfortunately true.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tinlizzy31 View Post
    Avoid the hand rim driven SmartDrive. Get training! I had the hand rim push drive for a year and it takes strength to activate. Get training because outdoors it is Still scary. Also avoid TiLite suspension forks, adding Froglegs later is a better option. I don't notice the added weight of the SmartDrive when I use it but there a lot of other good options for power assist if you don't plan to remove the SmartDrive.
    thanks for the advice! i'd probably be getting the newer smartdrive mx2+ with the option for tapping to start. i should be able to push some of the time, but having the option to avoid it when i'm not feeling as well would be nice. it's looking like i won't be getting a tilite (probably going with the cheaper ki mobility rogue), but if that does happen i'll keep that in mind about the suspension forks. not sure i'll even want them since i do need to lean toward lighter stuff (now doctors say i need to avoid lifting over 20 lbs).

    Quote Originally Posted by tinlizzy31 View Post
    I had fabric side guards and they were useless and difficult to remove; they got wet even in small puddles and so your clothes got wet too. I like the larger plastic remove able side guards on my Tilite; but every thing you add increases the weight of the chair. Watch the weight of your wheelchair cushion too; some of the Gel cushions are very heavy. I've found that the comment about the "providers" is unfortunately true.
    i'll avoid fabric sideguards and gel cushions then, thanks!

  4. #14
    I know gel cushions can be heavy, but I found that my gel cushion is much more comfortable for me than lighter (air or foam) cushions, so I'd be careful to rule things out just based solely on weight alone. For sure get help with cushions from your doctor or a PT where you can be pressure mapped or try out different cushions to find what works best for you first without taking weight into consideration and once you know what works then narrow it down based on the weight.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFu18 View Post
    I know gel cushions can be heavy, but I found that my gel cushion is much more comfortable for me than lighter (air or foam) cushions, so I'd be careful to rule things out just based solely on weight alone. For sure get help with cushions from your doctor or a PT where you can be pressure mapped or try out different cushions to find what works best for you first without taking weight into consideration and once you know what works then narrow it down based on the weight.
    i'm hoping to balance weight and comfort as much as i can, and i definitely plan to get a seating evaluation, but i'm kinda thinking air or foam would be best since i won't typically be spending all day in the chair. i may not need the level of comfort you're talking about... still, i'll definitely keep your advice in mind and i'll at least try a gel cushion if i can. thanks!

    the atp is coming on wednesday, i'm a bit nervous but mostly just excited to finally get started with this!

  6. #16
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    North Brittany, France
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    TaLaaaa ! Here comes Captain Obvious !! ;p
    The quest for lightness doesn't suffer any compromise. so IMHO :
    - the lightest chair is (am I right ?) the Panthera X. It is carbon fiber made and most of the time, users love also the stiffness. For sure it is not the most comfortable… And it is pricey, too. But the black carbon can match with every clothes ot a fashion nerd ;p
    Anyway, buy your chair as small as possible. As narrow as you can, lowest backrest that fit your needs. Whatever the material, less tubes= less weight. Choose a CF footplate, CF bolted sideguards. Have a look at the upholstery, it can be very heavy ! Not for the seat itself where you can choose a fabric one, but you can prefer honeycomb ventiled backrest… And if you can, remove the leg strap.
    - Brakes : If you can stand a little bit, maybe you don't need brakes. Lighter, lighter… If you need them, try with only one first, on one side.
    - suspension forks ? No. Heavy.
    - the lightest wheels are... I don't remember. But choose these.
    - Rubber is very heavy. I think Schwalbe's One is a good choice, but have a look at sports tires like Kenda Iron cap or similar. You can use Latex liquid rubber inside, as punctures are possible. Keep in mind a light tire will reduce the wheel inertia and increase your push ability.
    - light handrims are in Carbon fiber, but Titanium ones may be close and more durable. Again, both will decrease the wheel inertia.
    - you can find carbon fiber casters (Round Betty ?) If their size doesn't match, buy PU casters from In-Line Roller market, they are lighter than rubberized Aluminium.
    - Cushion. If you can stand, if you move well your body, if you have full sensation AND if your butt isn't too bony (sorry) can't you avoid it ? Or use a thin common low density foam ? It will be lighter than EVERY cushions ! If you need more protection, try honeycomb like Stimulite or similar.
    OK. But now, maybe you want/need to make compromises between weight, comfort, rollability, money… and more. I think this post isn't close !!
    Last edited by robotnik; 05-08-2017 at 04:56 PM.
    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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