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Thread: Amy rear wheel or hybrid -how is it holding up?

  1. #1

    Amy rear wheel or hybrid -how is it holding up?

    Hi Gang.

    Anyone with Amy chairs? How do yo find it? How has it held up?

  2. #2
    Hi, I have a Amy AllTrack R3 HD. It's around 7 years old and still in good shape. The seat size was ordered wrong and DME never got around to rectifying that error. It has powered recline, tilt and articulating foot plate. All of which still works perfectly(knock wood). I went with HD version, not sure that is still option now and has Group 24 Batteries instead of Group 22NF's. One draw back is with bigger batteries the chair's overall width increased a bit over 25".
    To be honest I'm not a off solid smooth surface person, so do ideal on rough terrain use. Biggest feat for me is our driveway, it's steep but Amy climbs it without any problem and I travel around neighborhood in warm weather for a bit of sun and fresh air. Other than batteries and general maintenance that's been all that's been required.

  3. #3
    I have an Amy RWD with High speed motors and non-flared front. Pretty much problem free. 5 years.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Just letting you know that I will be writing you a long review of my experiences with the R3 soon. Lots of disappointments. Give me a couple days.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    OK, I’m going to have to break this into a few posts. First, I going to preface this by stating my original hopes and expectations, because some of the disappointments were due to misplaced expectations. I have been using a Quickie P200 for over 30 years. I love it. It is low, narrow, fast, highly maneuverable, jumps curbs, great outdoors, nearly indestructible. About 8 years ago, I got a P222-SE as being as close as possible to the P200, which was getting extremely noisy (couldn’t even talk on the phone) and hard to find parts. I would consider both chairs to be my version of a hybrid. They are RWD, and are great outdoors and at speed, but with their wheels further forward, you can wheelie the chair and hop curbs. With the casters so unweighted the chairs maneuver very well and have lower turning radii. The problem with the P222-SE was that it wasn’t as low as the P200. I managed to get the rear STFH (seat-to-floor height) on the P200 down to 16” which allowed me to get a 2” dump, with the front seat at 18”. The lowest I could get the rear STFH of the P222 was 17”, which meant the front was 19”. That 1” higher for the P222 makes a huge difference, as I can’t get under tables and desks and whatnot, and picking things off the ground was more challenging. Thus, the P200 became my “house chair”, while I would use the P222 whenever I went out. So, in looking for a new chair, I knew that height would be an issue. I was looking for a chair which drove like the Quickies, but was lower than the P222. The Amy Alltrack R3 sounded like the chair to get. The order form specified a STFH of 15.25”, or 15.75” with an elevating seat (using smaller 12.5” drive wheels). I felt the only negative to the smaller wheels was the top end speed would only be about 7.5 mph, rather than 8.5 mph, a reasonable compromise. I asked them whether I could get the 15.75” height with an elevator and get a 2” dump (because the dump was not shown as an option with elevator on the order form) and was told that it would be possible. So, we ordered the chair in early April, 2017. I ordered the group 22 batteries, which kept the chair under 24” width. I also ordered dual post, desk length armrests which would be sturdier than the cantilever ones, as I often put a lot of weight onto my armrests (I dress by leaning side-to-side over my armrests). I also ordered a center-mount footplate. This would be different for me, but, I never swung away my footplates (the P222 had a single, non-swing footplate), rarely flipped up the footplate, and I figured it would be nice to not have the bulk of the side hangers. My hopes were very high for this chair. I was going to get a chair that was lower than my P200 AND have an elevating seat for when I needed the seat to be higher.

    My first indication that things weren’t going to be as great as I hoped was when the factory sent word they couldn’t do the 15.75” STFH with the 2” dump. The lowest they could get was 16.25” rear and 18.25” front. It took many, many back-and-forth emails just to find out that they could do a 1.5” dump rather than the fixed 0, 1, or 2” dump they were used to. I wanted a 1.75” dump, which would put the front at 18” like my P200, but it took forever just to get them to talk to the fabricators and find out that 1.5” was possible, so I didn’t want to get insistent over just 1/4”. Plus, I figured that unlike my sling seats on the Quickies, this was going to be a solid seat pan, which meant that my cushion would sit higher, and I could add a wedge if necessary.

    Next…receiving the chair.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Upon receiving the chair in late June, 2017, four things were immediately apparent.

    1) This is not a RWD chair. The Amy is designed as a 6-wheel chair, and thus is a MWD chair. The drive wheels might be set a bit back to create better high-speed stability, but in every other way, this behaves like a MWD chair, only with poorer maneuverability. The front casters won't get off the ground, ever. Thus, no wheelies, no quick spins, no curb hopping. In fact, you can't really get over anything higher than an inch, or so. This is definitely not a climber like the Quickie 710. In my Quickie P222, I regularly went into my friend's house with a 3-4" step at the threshold. I just got tipped back so the front casters were on top of the step and then got pushed in (just like with a manual push chair). I can't do this with the Amy, but instead must have a ramp. Like most MWD chairs, the Amy also has high centering (when casters suspend the drive wheels slightly off the ground, so they just spin) issues when I go from the street onto a ramp, or when riding on my rough lawn, or even when on a water spill on the tile floor. Amy claims this is mostly due to me choosing the smaller diameter drive wheels, but then they should have provided some notation about this on their order form. Don't order this chair if you are expecting something that performs like the Quickie P222-SE.

    2) The Armrests: First, one side arrived slightly bent in, where the pads were closer in than the bottom. This meant that when you tried to flip the armrest back, the pad got caught on the backrest cane post. This could have happened during shipping, so not a big deal, I expected warranty to cover it. However, the dual post armrests had been redesigned, with a flawed design that never appeared in any of their literature. The first flaw is that the support for the pad is no longer a tube that runs the length of the pad, but rather a short plate (see picture). This means that there is no support under the full length of the pad and mine cracked within a couple days of use. Within a month the pad had completely broken into three separate pieces. The second design flaw is with the horizontal rectangular aluminum extrusion that sits above the adjusting posts and below the pad. This extrusion sticks out in front of the desk length pad, which defeats the purpose of getting "desk length". The extrusion kept hitting the front of my desk, so I couldn't pull all the way close to the desk. The front part of the extrusion serves no purpose, since pads are supported by the plate. Even full length pads wouldn't need the extra extrusion. It should have been cut off right in front of the front post.

    3) The Footrests: On my Quickie P200, the front STFH is 18" with a sagging sling seat and the clearance under the footplates is about 2". Every once in a while (like when going from street to driveway, or hitting the bottom of a steep ramp) the footplate will scrape the ground, but the chair is so tippy, that it is no big deal. On the Amy, the front STFH is supposed to be 17.75" with a solid seat pan and a slight wedge under my cushion making the underside of my thighs slightly higher than in the P200. Yet, with the hangers set at the proper length, the footplate is dragging on the ground. I don't understand why the P200 has 2" clearance while the Amy has none. I already increased the hanger angle to its maximum and still no clearance. The only workaround is that I use the elevating seat, raising it when I want to drive, and lowering it when I need to get under tables. Oh, and just a peeve, the hanger comes in two lengths, 12.5-15.5", and 15.5-19.5". The problem is that if you need approximately a 15.5" length (no one really knows the exact length until they are fitted in the chair), you don't know which one to get. Maybe you need slightly longer, maybe slightly shorter. Would it be that much trouble to have the two options overlap by an inch, or so?

    4) The cable for the joystick was too short. Whenever I raised my armrest, or did anything that extended the cable at all, it came unplugged in the back, behind the backrest. That is awfully annoying whenever it happens and you have to try to plug the thing back in with quad hands.

    Next: How my chair broke to being unusable within a month, Amy's response, and how it still hasn't been repaired after over 6 months.
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    Last edited by Kulea; 03-27-2018 at 08:46 PM.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  7. #7
    Kulea, "Thank you" for your detailed posts about Amy.
    Mine is, like posted one of earlier versions than yours but your information explains alot of my problems I mentioned with my chair's seating size being wrong. Especially, since I thought it was my lack of communication with seat fitting/measurements before it was ordered.
    "Thank you!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
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    I’m so used to a rear wheel drive chair. Every time I get into a demo front wheel drive or mid wheel drive chair it’s rough. Due to my weight now about 310lbs I’m very limited in what kind of chairs I can get. The HD option allows me too get an Amy system chair. But if the hybrid R Is not that much better than a mid wheel drive chair I might as well go all in and get a center wheel drive M Series and just force myself to get used to it. Which I’m sure I will eventually adapt too.
    "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

    -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    I’m so used to a rear wheel drive chair. Every time I get into a demo front wheel drive or mid wheel drive chair it’s rough. Due to my weight now about 310lbs I’m very limited in what kind of chairs I can get. The HD option allows me too get an Amy system chair. But if the hybrid R Is not that much better than a mid wheel drive chair I might as well go all in and get a center wheel drive M Series and just force myself to get used to it. Which I’m sure I will eventually adapt too.
    It does, at least for me to getting use to both Amy R3 HD and Center Wheel drive. Those extra wheels in back is my problem with backing onto lift and up ramps. Granted Amy extra wheels back there is tucked in closer to frame than Edge.
    But due to leaning problem have greater need for support. Since seat on Amy don't fit well I usually use Edge with Ottobock backrest with lateral supports.
    Anyway, whatever chair you chose I'd suggest having a manufacturer rep assist with the fitting. They seem, or at least use to have info on what dimensions work best. Amy they ordered 24" width, I told them that was way to wide, that measurement needed to account for my thigh roll but with supports it be less. The Edge is 18" seat width but with armrest attachments it's like 20" between them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeP2013 View Post
    It does, at least for me to getting use to both Amy R3 HD and Center Wheel drive. Those extra wheels in back is my problem with backing onto lift and up ramps. Granted Amy extra wheels back there is tucked in closer to frame than Edge.
    But due to leaning problem have greater need for support. Since seat on Amy don't fit well I usually use Edge with Ottobock backrest with lateral supports.
    Anyway, whatever chair you chose I'd suggest having a manufacturer rep assist with the fitting. They seem, or at least use to have info on what dimensions work best. Amy they ordered 24" width, I told them that was way to wide, that measurement needed to account for my thigh roll but with supports it be less. The Edge is 18" seat width but with armrest attachments it's like 20" between them.
    Which chair do you prefer?
    "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

    -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

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