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Thread: Titanium versus aluminum

  1. #1

    Titanium versus aluminum

    So I worked at a bike shop for a while, and I know the benefits of titanium over aluminum when it comes to bikes. But how much difference does it really make in a wheelchair? will five or 6 pounds really make a world of difference?
    by the way, I'm a C4 C5 Quad, and I've been using a Quickie2... and let me tell you, that thing is a turd! Any suggestions on what I should get for a new manual chair?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    for a quad, huge!!

    i'm c5, and my chair is a tank thanks to the cusion, backing, a tie-down for my van, i wish i could shed 5 pounds.

    throw a 5-10 pound dumbbell on your lap, wheel around for 1 hour, then take it off

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jbinny
    So I worked at a bike shop for a while, and I know the benefits of titanium over aluminum when it comes to bikes. But how much difference does it really make in a wheelchair? will five or 6 pounds really make a world of difference?
    Absolutely! Think of the percentage of weight that is. Mere ounces can be significant when you're dealing with an overall weight of only 20 or 30 lbs. Added weight increases braking distance, uses more energy to push, stresses your joints more to lift in and out of a vehicle, etc. Think of that compounded over decades.

    C.

  4. #4

    Titanium

    I have had four 'chairs so far. Three of them aluminum and one titanium. I'll never go back to an aluminum chair. Yes those 4 or 5 pounds do make a difference especially on your shoulders.

    The titanium frame will take a beating and still look like new whereas an aluminum chair looks like shit after a couple of years. The same goes for hand rims. The titanium I don't have a problem with of the chair but the bolts and nuts that the manufacturer uses on them are galvanized steel. After two years of going through the four seasons they start to corrode as with some of the aluminum parts too. All parts and bolts and nuts should be made out of a higher grade of stainless steel.

    The several hundred dollars difference between the titanium and aluminum 'chair may seem a lot but the titanium frame 'chair will last much longer. I sport a Ti-Lite TRA and I am very pleased with it. I did over the years replace the galvanized steel bolts and nuts with stainless steel.

    One item I look for in a 'chair is welded in front casters as to bolted on casters. I once had a caster bolt snap and was left to mobile around on three wheels. The same 'chair one the back support bracket bolt also snapped under normal wear. I was able to get through the day with that problem.

    Another item 'chair companies should look at are there wheel locks. They clamp onto the frame. I think there should be an easier mount for wheel locks. They should also be easier to adjust too.

    If you use a 'chair for your full time mobility needs go for a titanium frame. Also remember to get a good quality seat cushion too. That is just as important. I used an Otto Bock Floam cushion which is like 16 jelly donuts that I sit on. I have never had any problems with the cushion just washing the seat cover which is just normal care.


    titanium4motion

  5. #5
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    You also get a much smoother ride in the ti chairs.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by titanium4mo[FONT=Verdana
    tion][/FONT]The titanium frame will take a beating and still look like new whereas an aluminum chair looks like shit after a couple of years. The same goes for hand rims.

    That's a good point too.

    All parts and bolts and nuts should be made out of a higher grade of stainless steel.
    The nuts and bolts can be had in titanium. They're not cheap, but if all the fasteners are done in titanium, it will take another few ounces off the chair.

    C.

  7. #7
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Speaking of steel nuts and bolts, those ARE the heaviest parts of a titanium chair if you discount stuff like cushions. Caster stems are the biggest culprit, although not so bad if you have the kind that are hollow, followed by the handful of misc bolts scattered about.

    I think I posted this question before...who has titanium caster stems? I think someone said Colours had them, but I am really wondering if they could be used on my TiLite chair (many many varients of stems used on those). Anyone have a Colours parts catalog with dimentional drawings like TiLite has available?

    Titaniumformotion: Check out the TiLite under seat mount wheel locks. I dump my chair on its side every day a few times and have yet to adjust them. They are totally out of the way of damage and needing readjustment, easy enough to use too.

    And speaking of bolts...haha, I break them before they rust out. I'm regularly changing my armrest bracket bolts due to the snapping from the strain. I got a big box of Grade 8 nitride plated (mil spec ya know) bolts...no rust with the nitride and I think they have a higher tensile strength than stainless (at least at that price point). Broke a couple backrest bolts too, but havent had one break since changing to grade 8 bolts thoughout. I'm sure all this bolt breaking could be solved by using larger diameter bolts...but I'm not a wheelchair engineer, lol.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jadis's Avatar
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    the colours parts catalog on the website is old. I would email john@colourswheelchair.com and ask him.

  9. #9
    Titanium chairs are the same weight as a well made aluminum chair. I have had several ti chairs and now use a Colours Zephyr. Its aluminum and lighter than any ti chair. Im on my second one...

    I have also used carbon fiber chairs and co-moly chairs.

    It more important to get a well made and designed chair that fits you properly. Spend the extra money on getting it set up properly.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bcripeq
    I have also used carbon fiber chairs
    Made by who?

    C.

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