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Thread: Wheelchair Questions

  1. #1

    Wheelchair Questions

    So I'm pretty much going through the process of customizing how I want my new wheelchair to be. I'm sure I'll have more questions, but to start out what are people's thoughts on flip-down push handles? I don't let people ever push me but there has been occassions where places are inaccessible or there are steps and these would help greatly when I do need help. My current chair doesn't have them and I don't want the ones that just stick out. Looking up prices they cost a hundred or so extra and later on if you decide you want them you can't really just order them and slap them on.

    Also, my current chair has the coated handrims for grip. The demo I'm using doesn't and I know without it your wheels are a little lighter. I did notice going down hills though, without the coated rubber they sorta slip fast through my hands and it's hard to slow down. Do people with good grip usually get coated handrims or not?

    Thanx.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  2. #2
    Hi November
    I thought the same way about handles. My wife and friends used them to pull me up stairs and large steps. My new chair does not hane handles so we had to improvise. They now pull me up using the bar that crosses my seat back. It is a little more difficult but it works. As far as the handrims, I do not have them coated. I am t10 so I have full function of the hands and a good grip. The only thing that coated grips might help me with is going down hill. If I am moving pretty fast down hill the handrims burn my hands. I don't know if coated handrims would remedy this. Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricandshe
    I am t10 so I have full function of the hands and a good grip. The only thing that coated grips might help me with is going down hill. If I am moving pretty fast down hill the handrims burn my hands. I don't know if coated handrims would remedy this. Hope that helps.
    It would make it worse, that is a reason why people with good grip don't use them.
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  4. #4
    How is it workin out?? Any chair you're leaning towards getting now?

    Coated rims: I had it on an old set of wheels. It can help with push but for me, I mainly push on wheel tires anyway. Also, the coated rimes make chair a bit wider and going downhill, I prefer the smooth glide of the regular rims - helps ME better control and guide the chair as it goes down hill. I use wrist under rims and use the rims w/spokes to slow/control and manuever my chair. Spokes hit against hands but not badly nor painful (gloves may help but I don't use gloves much) and the smooth rims makes it easier to control w/o resistence or burn of coated rims.

  5. #5
    What chair have you decided on?

    I had push handles (not the foldable kind) on my last chair (which was my first chair). I didn't want them to begin with, but my mom insisted I get them. They made the chair impossible for me to load into a car. I ended up chopping them off.

    The foldable push handles I've seen don't look very sturdy. Ask yourself if you want someone pushing/yanking you up stairs with them. When people are taking you up/down stairs, it's better to use the crossbar in the back anyway. Someone should be in front pulling you up by the front frame, and someone in back lifting/pushing with the crossbar. When people would push with the handles instead of the crossbar, it would put too much pressure on the thingy that locks the back and cause it to snap out of the locked position and try to fold the back. If it's just one person, I have them pull from the front while I push on the wheels or pull on the side rails.

    As for hand rims, I prefer the coated handrims myself, and they don't add but maybe a half pound at the most. It's just personal preference. My old rims had coated push rims, the new ones have uncoated natural fit rims. The natural fit rims have advantages and disadvantages. I tried them for about 5 minutes before deciding to get them, but after using them in the real world I came to hate them. They don't feel natural to me. I can get a better push with regular coated rims, but for going downhill I do like the natural grip rims, unless I need to stop quickly. You really need a good strong grip to use the natural grip rims for pushing up hills or anything but a smooth, level surface.

    For those of you who aren't used to coated rims, you should know there is a different technique to going downhill with them. Unless you're wearing gloves, you don't let the rim glide through your hand or it will burn. You have to hold the rim and let it down with your arm. It's kind of hard to describe, but the best I can think of is like a reverse push, if that makes any sense.
    Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  6. #6
    First off, thanx everyone.

    I thought the flip-down handles would be of use, but after just a week of having them they have been more of a hassle than help. Now I get people trying to help me more when they see them which I hate. Once they’re flipped up I have to ask someone to put them down which requires pushing a button at the end in while pushing down. It becomes a huge production wasting my time when I didn’t want help in the first place, haha. So, I’m thinking no flip-downs.

    Ricandshe, I would think going downhill the coated handrims would burn your hands more.

    Chick, things are going good in this demo. I haven’t used my own wc since I got in this one. I too have the tendency to push off my wheels when indoors and use the rims just when outdoors or in gross places. Habit, I think.

    Jim, like I said my current wc doesn’t have push handles. They(the rehab/vendors) got it for me that way because they wanted me as independent as possible. I would rarely use them on a new chair and so think I’ll just not get them. Just more crap I don’t need. When I do get help up stairs it’s two people, one in front and one in back normally. What do you mean by uncoated, natural fit? Just regular aluminum or titanium rims you mean? You’ve seen my hands and know my grip isn’t an issue really, what would you suggest? I agree with going downhill, I kinda reverse push/scoot bit by bit downhill unless there is no reason to stop or slow down at the bottom. If nothing to slow down for, I fly.

    This is the demo I have and love. The Kuschall Airlite Pro(on the right):
    http://www.kueschall.ch/en/K_Seri_894.asp
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  7. #7
    I use the foam coated handrims,and they burn big time without gloves going down hill..but you can still get good grip on them when there wet,and they got sparkles..who doesnt like sparkles.

    Nice chair,i tried one for a week a couple months ago.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jadis's Avatar
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    what about the quick release ones? I used to carry mine in the car just incase I ended up somewhere where I may need them, then I could slap them on the chair. I haven't seen them in a while since Boog cleaned out the van. I think they are packed up and in the barn. I could have him find them if you want pics tho.

  9. #9
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    I have the flip down handles, and they aren't a lot of help. Because of the low back on my chair, they are too low to be convenient for pushing anyway, and as was already mentioned, too flimsy for use on stairs.
    Last edited by sjean423; 05-05-2006 at 05:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun

    Nice chair,i tried one for a week a couple months ago.
    Was there anything you didn't like about the Kuschall?
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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