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Thread: How old is your aluminium wheelchair?

  1. #1
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    How old is your aluminium wheelchair?

    I'm trying to get a cost benefit analysis between an aluminium vs titanium wheelchair. One factor about having a titanium wheelchair that surprised me was I have had this particular wheelchair for 20 years. Was not expecting that to happen. When my parents were footing the bill for wheelchairs it was a 2 year relationship max. The first titanium wheelchair has lasted me, 6 other tittanium wheelchairs I bought with morbid curiousity, thinking maybe I could get better, but that wasnt the case. The only reason I have the need to buy another wheelchair as my physiology has aged to the point big changes need to happen. I am very curious about "very Lightweight" wheelchairs on the market as my shoulders are screwed. Dump has to be reassessed as I find I feel like I'm falling forwards out of my wheelchair, never happens but the feeling is constant.
    Everybody wants freedom.... They just don't want it for everybody else...

    A college professor, a man I now consider my dad, once told me...
    "The minute you let someone decide what you can and cannot do, your life is no longer yours." A truer word has never been spoken in my opinion.


    Professor Bill Johnston
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  2. #2
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    See how long the company guarantees their frame for.
    Tilite is 5 years, should imagine that is probably similar for most major manufacturers.

    Upside to aluminium is it is pretty easy to get it welded by a third party.

  3. #3
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    Do u reckon an aluminium chair would last 20 years? The reason I ask is there is an aluminium wheelchair that claims the frame is 4kg. Not sure of its lasting power tho.

    Starting to think is a silly metric to base a buying decision tho.
    Everybody wants freedom.... They just don't want it for everybody else...

    A college professor, a man I now consider my dad, once told me...
    "The minute you let someone decide what you can and cannot do, your life is no longer yours." A truer word has never been spoken in my opinion.


    Professor Bill Johnston
    (1930- )

  4. #4
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Yeah 20 years is kind of arbitrary. Especially when we can get new ones covered every 3-5 years for not much money.

    Also, if you're looking for super light you're probably gonna sacrifice something for that in terms of tube thickness etc. I rolled a Lasher daily which was magnesium/aluminum alloy with MDS properties equivalent to 6061 T series aluminum for 11 years without any issues at all. Still solid as a rock and more so than my 6 month old TiLite. (The upholstery didn't even sag a bit racing sail cloth.)

    How long a chair will last is mostly about how it's made; welded vs screws and brackets, straps instead of holes drilled through for upholstery, beefy tubing and forks, etc, etc. The kinds of stresses and forces put on a wheelchair used at normal speeds and taken care of (e.g. not thrown to the ground and dragged around during transfers etc) just aren't that demanding of a material. Shit happens though and everything can break.

    (I have a 21 year old Cannondale aluminum frame bike that I used and 2 kids have used as their learner and main ride that whole time (successively not simultaneously). It's still fine and bikes take more beating than chairs do because the velocities they're used at are so much higher.)
    "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

  5. #5
    i had an aluminum one for over 6 years i would still have it if it wasn't for the fact that i needed a new backrest for it and wanted a new rigid one instead of the flimsy fabric one i went with to begin with. as i had just put front castors and new wheels on the other one the year prior. and was going to wait another couple of years before i went for another one.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  6. #6

  7. #7
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    ti lite first 1 13 years frame cracked ti lite replaced it still using it

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