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Thread: Kuschall employs formula 1 to perfect 'world's lightest wheelchair'

  1. #11
    Wow, just wow.

    I'd pay $15k for one and wheel it forever.

  2. #12
    I've been building carbon fiber chairs for years and using my current one for more than 6. Nothing else compares to a properly designed and built CFRP wheelchair. There isn't much advantage in pushing, but if anyone ever has to lift it the benefit is immediate and substantial.

    It's fun to see these kinds of articles pop up though. Using Graphene is laughable; simply because the market hasn't even accepted composite wheelchair construction in any form. If there are any hurdles to overcome with composite wheelchairs; trust me, Graphene isn't solving any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    Interesting, as yesterday I read an article that carbon fiber may be on its way out because its so expensive and labor (high skill level) intensive, and its difficult to repair.
    - It's not on it's way out in any of the industries I deal with; quite the opposite. There are definitely some (like wheelchair construction) that will likely never see widespread adoption, and IMO that's an area where it's needed the most. I used to actually take into account how many times I'd have to load/unload my chair in planning a day's activities because my old titanium chairs started giving me shoulder pain lifting them into the car. I haven't done that in years thanks to a CFRP frame that is less than half the weight of my last titanium one.

    Cost is the key though and it's just more expensive to build with composites. That's not gonna change any time soon, so unless the market decides the benefits are worth the additional cost, metal frames are still gonna rule.

    SCI-Nurse: that chair would likely cost more than $10k. Because it costs close to that to produce? No. Because they'll only sell a couple and it takes high margins to justify small scale production of "exotic or luxury" products.

  3. #13
    One of the fastest growing companies is Motion Composites. They are having success because they are designing their products to use carbon fiber where it is appropriate but use other materials and common sense designs where it is not. While they bring a fresh approach to the industry, they also recognize they are new to the game, and I have seen their products change in response to feedback they are getting from the field.

    Invacare is not in a position where they have unlimited resources to spend on R&D. I don't think this video would be out there if they weren't serious about bringing this product to market.

    From what I understand, Kuschall is revamping almost all of their designs, and Invacare is taking a global approach to marketing their products. It doesn't appear Top End will play much of a role in future everyday chairs. Rather, they will rely on Kuschall.

    Looking at the video, this is a modular design, which means only a limited number of "base frames" are required to produce the most commonly needed configurations. They are probably banking that a well-engineered base frame being produced for a global market will mean sufficient volumes to realize ecomonies of scale.

    Whether it will succeed is going to depend on whether they have committed themselves to approaching the ultralight with a fresh perspective--like Motion Composites. Innovative products are needed, but no new product will ever be pefect when it goes into production.

    Hopefully, they are getting good input from ultralight end users as they develop this base frame.

    Hopefully, we will see it in production sooner rather than later. The longer it gets held up inside the corporate bureaucracy, the more-likely the actual product is just a shell of what we see here.

    Hopefully, they break with past practice and listen to their customers once it is released to identify the inevitable changes that will be needed and make then as quickly as possible.

    Hopefully, they don't offset the costs by repurposing existing, but outdated, parts or using low quality components on other parts of the chair.

    To do these things would represent a major and welcome change in Invacare's corporate culture. Will the "new Invacare" be able to do this in the post-consent degree era?

    Let's not give up hope just yet. They need to in order to survive.


  4. #14
    I can vouch for Motion Composites. I have a Veloce and it's worked out great. Much easier loading and unloading from the car than my old TI lite Aero X. Very solid and wheels very well.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  5. #15
    Unless something better revolutionizes the market, the Motion Composites Apex will be my next chair. I like everything about it: adjustability, appearance, light and they are near me.

  6. #16

    Kuschall no longer available through Invacare in the US.

    Forget about my "insightful" analysis posted above. Invacare has decided to stop selling Kuschall's in the US. They haven't announced it yet, but a well-placed source within the company informed me of their decision a couple of days ago. They are not even fulfilling existing quotes.


  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by fasdude View Post
    Unless something better revolutionizes the market, the Motion Composites Apex will be my next chair. I like everything about it: adjustability, appearance, light and they are near me.
    i wanted the apex myself but its not compatible w/ d's so that killed it for me
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI_OTR View Post
    Forget about my "insightful" analysis posted above. Invacare has decided to stop selling Kuschall's in the US. They haven't announced it yet, but a well-placed source within the company informed me of their decision a couple of days ago. They are not even fulfilling existing quotes.
    HowIrollsports is still carrying Kuschall: https://howirollsports.com/product-c...y-wheelchairs/ Are you saying that it won't be soon?

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI_OTR View Post
    Forget about my "insightful" analysis posted above. Invacare has decided to stop selling Kuschall's in the US. They haven't announced it yet, but a well-placed source within the company informed me of their decision a couple of days ago. They are not even fulfilling existing quotes.
    Learned about this yesterday. Don't know any of the behind-the-scenes reasons for Kuschall being pulled.

  10. #20
    It's sad, because they make a damn fine chair with some really innovative options. Less choices is never a good thing.

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