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Thread: Help me pick out my first manual chair

  1. #21
    The Apex is a very well-made chair and my dealings with the company, on behalf of my customers, have all been very positive.

    The Apex, however, does not offer an option that I have on my TiLites: seat taper (or "squeeze" as it used to be called). My personal preference is for a seat that's narrower in the front than in the rear because it "cages" my legs preventing them from splaying. That makes my TiLiter more orthotic-like than what I could achieve with an Apex. And that's because metal can be bent in ways that cf presently cannot, which allows the user to achieve a more bespoke chair.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Stsmark View Post
    I?ve had my Apex for six months and I don?t like the amount of twisting and flex it has.
    Do you have the carbon fiber or aluminum frame?

    I ask that because I doubt they achieve the same stiffness with their aluminum version which uses tubular aluminum seat & backrest rigidizers.

    If you do have the cf version, where do you notice the flex?
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 06-02-2019 at 07:50 PM.


  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ejl10 View Post
    Short answer is that I'm damn lucky. Here in Massachusetts, the Medicaid Mass Health program serves as a backstop to private insurance for folks with disabilities, and given that we're an expansion state it's reasonably generous. As luck would have it, that just happens to be where my power chair is coming through. Frankly, I don't have a whole lot of understanding about how the program is set up, but I'm glad it's there. As far as my funds go, I was fortunate to have some friends run fundraising activities with others in the climbing community on my behalf while I was still unconscious after the accident. I'm trying to spend that money on things that really make sense to get me active again. Seems like that's what everyone in the community wanted for me.
    I hope that the money raised for you was placed into a trust that is protected as "non-income" or it can be considered income that could make you ineligible for Medicaid. It can come back to bite you even years later if not.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    The Apex is a very well-made chair and my dealings with the company, on behalf of my customers, have all been very positive.

    The Apex, however, does not offer an option that I have on my TiLites: seat taper (or "squeeze" as it used to be called). My personal preference is for a seat that's narrower in the front than in the rear because it "cages" my legs preventing them from splaying. That makes my TiLiter more orthotic-like than what I could achieve with an Apex. And that's because metal can be bent in ways that cf presently cannot, which allows the user to achieve a more bespoke chair.
    Not only do they not offer a tapered seat, the Apex doesn't have a "tapered" front frame in the traditional sense. What they actually offer is a "V" front end. As is the case with TiLite's V front, it is important to note the difference between the measurement that they use to spec this model and the usable footrest width that will result from that spec. Depending on the configuration, the difference can be significant--even greater than the 1" indicated on the Apex order form.

    This is because their spec is the distance between the lowest points of the caster arm assembly where it clamps to the frame. I define the "useable footrest width" as the portion of tubing that is perfectly horizontal (i.e.completely unaffected by the bend). If the lateral portion of the foot is on the tubing outside of the UFW, the foot will either be positioned in slight eversion or will be forced further inward on the footrest. If the former occurs, there is a risk for an eversion deformity over time. If the latter occurs, there may be a tendency for the legs to splay outward. It can also make it more difficult to fit a FreeWheel in between one's feet (In which case one should consider a tubular footrest option--not the cf footrest in the pic).

    In the order form pic, the red arrows are provided by the manufacturer, I added the blue markings indicating the UFW for comparison.

    Since I work mainly with adult males, I intentionally spec'd only 1" of frame taper for my demo knowing this could be an issue.

    Make no mistake, the primary purpose of the "Integral Frame Protector" is to protect the cf tubing. While it combines with the design of the front frame bend to create an ergonomic grab point for transfers, I wish they didn't incorporate the raised "leg protection" portion on the inside because there are better ways to address that issue.
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    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 06-02-2019 at 09:19 PM.


  5. #25
    Does the Apex have a locking folding back? Last time I checked, the choices were non-locking folding back or non-folding back. Figures I wanted a locking folding back. But that may change now that I have a van and don't get in a car as often.

    I know how much you like this chair. Personally, I wanted to like it especially after meeting the people at the expo shows. They are a great team. But it's ugly. Add the obviously needed locking back feature and make it look like something that isn't not-ready-for-prime-time and I'll reconsider.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI_OTR View Post
    it combines with the design of the front frame bend to create an ergonomic grab point for transfers...
    Do they offer a front angle bend that is less than 90 degrees? Personally, I don't see the need for extra several inches of seat tubing sticking out beyond the seat. I prefer minimal tubing that can be enabled by starting the bend at or behind the front of the seat. In terms of the TiLite order form, that equates to frame depth <= seat depth. I was considering negative frame depth but thought it was too risky. For my chair specs I went with frame depth = seat depth. As a result, front angle bend has to be less than 80 degrees for an about average height adult male.

    I think it was back in the 90s when Quickie default specs included seat tubing extended several inches beyond the seat and an 85 degree front angle bend. Both resulted in unnecessary extra length of seat tube and down tube, and an extended knee position. Today, TiLite default specs include seat tubing extended several inches beyond the seat and a 90 degree front angle bend. The result is the knee position isn't extended (good) but there is still unnecessary extra tubing.

    The seat tubing sticking out several inches beyond the seat creates a knee trap when transfering into the chair. Once the knee is stuck under there, you may have no choice but to go down to the floor, which sucks big time. This never happened to me when I was younger because my hips didn't splay so my knees didn't separate. But that is what happens today. I imagine I am not alone with this problem. For those transfers where I can see my knee falling into that trap, I strap my knees together. This problem would not exist without all that extra tubing. Ironically, people may want several inches of extra seat tubing sticking out beyond the seat for the sake of transfers.

    There are better ways of transferring without adding unnecessary seat tubing. Personally, I prefer to transfer using a closed fist on top of the cushion vs grabbing the seat tubing with a clenched fist. Because it gives me extra height (easier on my shoulders) plus it prevents a wrist injury during a transfer that may otherwise happen from twisting the wrist while grabbing the seat tube.

    It was a difficult process to get TiLite to give me this spec of seat depth = frame depth and a custom front angle bend. I had to burn a bridge with one DME over it in order to find another DME who would at least go to bat for me. I don't know why this was so difficult. These options are on their order form. Maybe they see me as just a lowly end user ignorant to my own needs and they know better.

    Personally, I find it egregious that TiLite would ignore such a request. I may understand if they came back with a good reason not to follow my spec. But all they did was ignore me and kept sending CAD files inconsistent with my request ("you'll take what we give you" attitude). If they're not going to do it for my sake, then they should at least do it for the sake of their own liability. Because I am telling them that I want this spec to prevent falling on the floor during a transfer. Yet they ignore it. Is it going to take someone getting hurt before they listen?

    TiLilte, if you are reading this post, then either follow customer specs or at least say why you won't. But don't just ignore your customers especially on matters of safety. After all, customer service is the reason why business left Quickie and went to you.
    Last edited by August West; 06-03-2019 at 07:12 AM.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I like my legs to be 'caged' a bit by the frame, which is why I use frame length if +1" beyond default (which is .5" past the seat according to the current Zx order form), for a total of +1.5. I also use the front of my chair to move heavy stuff around, like pushing my bed off the wall to change my sheets, or pushing furniture out of the way while vacuuming, etc. If I'm carrying stuff in my lap, and can't reach out for a door, I'll use the chair frame to push the door open, too. It's not useless tubing for me. Makes for a decent battering ram in crowds too. That, and some hub spikes, and I'm ready for Mad Max!

    edit: also why "Occupied Frame Length" is such an important spec. With it, we can maintain whatever relationship between where our butt is and where are feet are, then make whatever other decisions about frame angle and tube extensions around what's more important: where our feet are in relationship to the rest of our body.
    Last edited by Oddity; 06-03-2019 at 09:03 AM.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

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  8. #28
    Well, it's not useless in the sense of your use. But that isn't why TiLite wants the extra tubing. TiLite says they have the extra tubing for transfers. More power to you to find a use for the seat tubing that I never did in 35 years. I just use the footrest and caster tubing to move objects.

    Having said that, I did use your suggestion to start with "user occupied frame length" and then work backwards from there. That just reinforced the lack of need for the extra length of seat tubing. I considered the effect of caging my legs. While some of my legs below my knees are caged, much of them aren't. So what if I give up another 1" or 2"? Eliminating the knee trap during a transfer is much more important to me. Your body may differ and not have this problem.

    Regardless, this post isn't about finding a use for that extra seat tubing. This post is about me specing my needs and TiLite refusing to meet my spec without any feedback as to why. That's bad customer service. Maybe you didn't get that part.
    Last edited by August West; 06-03-2019 at 10:12 AM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I think of it like 'armor' for my atrophied, osteopathic, little legs. It is handy for transfers, but like I said before, I use my outer wheel. (That's probably a function of my strength to weight ratio and narrowness of the chair. Most people can't imagine that working, but I get the biggest lift and easiest xfer that way.) Moral of the story: It Takes All Kinds For The World To Go 'Round!

    FWIW, my recent ZR spec CAD drawing came back with a 'stability warning' regarding my CoG and wheel hub to caster hub distance. Maybe they've since added 'reasons why' to the process?
    "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

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I hope that the money raised for you was placed into a trust that is protected as "non-income" or it can be considered income that could make you ineligible for Medicaid. It can come back to bite you even years later if not.

    (KLD)
    Excellent point. I'm very fortunate that my friends set a trust up properly with the help of a tax attorney when they kicked off the fundraising effort. As I said, I'm damn lucky!

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