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Thread: Power wheelchair with suspension

  1. #1

    Power wheelchair with suspension

    I have seen a number of power wheelchairs with shock absorbers that apparently have some sort of suspension system. It looks like most of them do not allow the drive wheel to move up and down in relation to the seat. It looks like they allow the rear "wheelie bar" to move 2-3 inches damping from a hydraulic piston.
    Does this help smooth out the ride over fairly rough terrain? My butt is so fragile now going over even moderate terrain causes problems with my skin.
    I heard the new Quickie model is the smoothest ride yet.
    Please e-mail me with your input.
    Thank you
    Wayne
    hos55x@yahoo.com

  2. #2
    my Permobil by far has the best suspension. Its my third chair in 10yrs. Its like riding on a cloud.

  3. #3
    I recently demoed the Quantum Q6000, and it was very smooth as opposed to my Quantum Blast rearwheel drive power chair. I hear what you're saying about all the shock absorbers. This has a bunch, but I'm not sure if the drive wheels had anything. All I can tell you is that it was so much better comfort wise than the chair I ordered from them just over four years ago. I'd try checking out some of the newer chairs to see what you think. It seems they keep getting better throughout the years.

  4. #4
    My wife has the Quickie Freestylle M11. The rear pair are spring-loaded; don't know about hydraulics, though. I don't think the main drive wheels have anything - I'll try to remember to look tonight. She does find going over bumps painful (also bumpy roads when in the car).
    - Richard

  5. #5
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Air Tires vs. Shocks

    (This is a 4 year-old thread, so I'm rejuvenating it...)

    I have an Invacare RangerX, soon to be replaced with Storm Torque, and I'm trying to decide whether to pay $500 for shocks, that insurance won't cover.

    The RangerX suspension (10+ years old) is much better than the Invacare Rolls Arrow I had before that (no suspension). My legs used to spasm on every little bump, but they don't now.

    A friend (smart Harley repair guy) says he can add springs to the front casters on the new chair, and he thinks the rear springs over the wheelie bars don't help. I can't tell, but I think they do, because I can hear the springs squeaking right now if I just rock back and forth (me, not the w/c).

    1) If I order the new chair w/o the $500 suspension, will I be disappointed? My friend may be able to help the front suspension, but not the rear.

    2) I've always used foam filled tires. If it's a rough ride, can I switch to air tires to get better suspension?

    3) Insurance used to pay for shocks 10 years ago. If I appeal, do you think they will cover this?


    Thanks for your wisdom and experience!
    David

  6. #6
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    My advice is to go for the shocks. The "faux shocks" are good for nursing room hallways only. If your legs used to spasm with the Rolls, they will really spasm with the fake shocks. You could probably transfer the shocks from the Ranger to the Torque.

    Your Harley buddy should have recognized that the Invacare swingarm suspension is almost identical to motorcycle suspension. The pivot point is near the center of the chair. The motors & drive wheels are at the end of the swingarm and travel up and down depending on terrain.

    Calling the Torque part of the storm series is cruel irony. Because you cannot go out in a storm with this wheelchair without a bread bag covering your joystick control box. I've shorted out 2 boxes this past winter. Denver is probably fairly dry in the winter time but Vancouver is quite rainy.

    1-Have your doctor justify the proper suspension due to your spasticity

    2-I'm using foam filled tires with my Torque. It was a rough ride until I put on the proper suspension.

    3-Appeal. Always appeal.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dnvrdave View Post
    (This is a 4 year-old thread, so I'm rejuvenating it...)

    I have an Invacare RangerX, soon to be replaced with Storm Torque, and I'm trying to decide whether to pay $500 for shocks, that insurance won't cover.

    The RangerX suspension (10+ years old) is much better than the Invacare Rolls Arrow I had before that (no suspension). My legs used to spasm on every little bump, but they don't now.

    A friend (smart Harley repair guy) says he can add springs to the front casters on the new chair, and he thinks the rear springs over the wheelie bars don't help. I can't tell, but I think they do, because I can hear the springs squeaking right now if I just rock back and forth (me, not the w/c).

    1) If I order the new chair w/o the $500 suspension, will I be disappointed? My friend may be able to help the front suspension, but not the rear.

    2) I've always used foam filled tires. If it's a rough ride, can I switch to air tires to get better suspension?

    3) Insurance used to pay for shocks 10 years ago. If I appeal, do you think they will cover this?


    Thanks for your wisdom and experience!
    David
    Do you have the owner;s manual for the Rolls Arrow you had? I have one that I have got to figure out how to repair the controls for so I can use it, since I have torn a rotator cuff.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    On the Invacare RWD Storm series, go for the suspension. The shocks over the wheelie bars are suspending the drive wheel. The problem I have is the front casters, and I would get the spring forks.

    I have heard that among the rear wheel drive chairs the Quickie 6x6 has the best suspension. I am ignorant of more modern chairs or midwheel drive.

    The tires you use can make a tremendous difference. Foam filled is harsh. Inflatable is softer. Lower pressure is softer yet. Some are using very wide drive tires at very low pressure (4 psi), see WheelchairDriver.com or Frontier X5 with the big tire option. This provides are great ride, but it comes with its own set of issues.
    T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    MTS Omegatrac, air suspension front and rear. Pump under seat and you can control inflation of both separately.

    No power wheelchair can compare. I have owned a few with good shocks, including the Frontier X-5 and the Omegatrac is in a class by it's self
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

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