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Thread: Chair Suggestions, Please

  1. #1

    Chair Suggestions, Please

    So, Thursday, my doc and I start in earnest for a new chair for me. My current POS is a Quickie the DME tried to fit me into. My coming chair will be fit to me. I've learned.

    I have a powerchair, but most times I'm traveling in vehicles not equipped for a pc.

    Here are the things I know are essential to me in my next manual:

    -as lightweight as possible

    -folding, yet sorta rigid (Need folding as I don't drive, ride with others and most times a rigid chair won't fit in vehicle with multiple other people). Also, with folding, I can handle the chair more easily for disassembly/assembly/loading/unloading myself.

    For options I need quad release, one sided push brakes.

    Suggestions on a specific chair given these considerations?

    Anyone using a one-arm drive? Thinking of going that way. I primarily use my right arm/hand for wheeling. While I can push with my left hand, I use the back of that hand where the knuckles were to wheel. I have no wrist movement, am missing a couple of knuckles due to extensive hand surgery, cannot open my hand to palm a wheel with my left hand. Even with gloves, the top of my hand is sometimes bloody, the skin wears away quickly where my knuckles once lived. Short distances in my neighborhood, I'm okay. Longer rolls? I'm screwed.

    How important are froglegs? Spinergies? Yeah, they're considered options by insurance and I'll pay out of pocket, but how much of a difference do those items make? I'll pop for them if it'll make a noticeable difference.

    What's the difference in pneumatic, semi-pneumatic, solid as far as ride? Yes, I've looked at what's available at variousa sites, but what are the pros and cons of each?

    I'm looking to your experience because I got screwed last couple of chairs. I did it to myself by not educating myself. I need help to make better choices.

    I read a recent post by a CC member about problems going with a noted wc selling site. What has your experience been? Site like SpinLife for purchase or your DME?

    I know I'm asking lots of questions, but I want to get the chair that makes my life easier. The one I have works, but not as well as it could.

    Suggestions and advice appreciated. TIA.

  2. #2
    Rethink the folding aspect. I had a ti folder. Within a year it was a rickety bucket of bolts. I now have a kuschall rigid, love it. As small as you are I think you could pop off the wheels, fold down the back and stash easily in most cars/trunks. I thought the footrests suckd on the folder, much prefer the rigid tapered ones.

    Your insurance company may require you to go through DME. If not I'd skip them. I got my chair off ebay LOL.

  3. #3
    I sooooo don't rickety. I have rickety now and it blows.

    I didn't know backs could fold down on a rigid. That'd work.

    I just want something I can handle independently. Sometimes friends want to handle the chair after I'm out of it and they become frustrated with it because they're unaccustomed to handling it. I get frustrated because it's my chair and I handle it and me 24/7 except if I'm around those few people.

    What may look awkward to someone else isn't awkward to me. I'm driving it home to them I'm **really** okay handling my own chair.

    Okay. So rethinking folding. Let's go rigid with folding back, quad release wheels.

    I just want a better ride, one that does not feel like the uber heavy bucket of bolts I'm currently in. I wanna be able to get into and out of 99% of the vehicles out there on my own.

    Continued suggestions appreciated.

    BTW, why won't insurance allow for chair manufacturers instead of DMEs? That's bizarre. Also, it seems DMEs are much more expensive.

  4. #4
    I'm not sure about the insurance thing, just guessing. I'm only on my 2nd chair, the 1st one ins. paid for thru DME. Damn thing never did fit.

  5. #5
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    TiLite makes a nice chair. On-line and insurance I dont know much about, but SpinLife worked out ok as I was paying for it. Warranty for a cracked frame I just dealt with TiLite directly. Tires I like the 100 psi variety (Vtrak), big difference in rolling resistance compared to the standard kind. Buy a 110V compressor for those tires, as wheelchair tires arent like car tires, more porous rubber resulting in more frequent fills. That and pumping 100 psi by hand is I think impossible anyway. If you dont get fancy backs and just get a sling back for your TiLite (yeah I sound like a salesman), the back folds flat against the frame making it very compact. I have spinergies, not sure of any rolling difference, but easier to grab a hold of as there are less spokes in the way of fingers. Froglegs...I think they are a good idea, no real direct comparisons though as I never really used that spare chair I have built up on the cracked frame which has standard casters.

  6. #6
    Thanks for compressor suggestion. Going totally pneumatic has me a tad worried, but think it'd be better. The compressor will take care of what I can't by not driving. Had thought I'd have to hit up a service station to keep the tires inflated. Compressor will take care of that.

    Will obviously have current chair as a backup as well as my powerchair if I go flat.

    Glad you had a good spinlife expreience. Someone else here did not. Will see what insurance will and won't do.

    I just want a lighter chair with a true fit for a more portable (in other people's vehicles and on airplanes) me.

  7. #7
    I like my revolution(s), it's got the folding aspect but in a different way. Instead of folding sideways so you always feel like the chair is twisting side-to-side under you, (a feeling I learned to hate in my first chair!) the back folds down, and then the foot plate folds up under the seat. Nice little compact package. It supposedly fits in an overhead bin on a plane - I haven't tested this yet, as I haven't flown since getting it.

    Big problem is that it's a bit heavier than some of the ultralites you can get. Mine weighs in right about 23-24 pounds, I think, at 18x18. Yours would probably be a lot lighter since you're tiny, but even so, you could defnately find one a bit lighter.

    Actually, here, I have a picture of how it folds up:

    That was my first revolution, at 20" wide, and it with the wheels off, cushion and bag on, weighed 26 pounds. Wheels were like.. I dunno. 3? 4?

    Edit: Oh, also, I ordered from spinlife my first time. Lisa Ellis there was exceptionally helpful. The chair got damaged in shipping somehow and arrived with the axle sleeve on one side being out of round. She overnighted me replacement parts and followed up calling me three days later to make sure it was fine. I ordered other parts, replacement parts, and other things from them later on too, and had no trouble. I haven't ordered or tried to from anywhere else yet - except locally, and that turned out to be a really hellish experience. I wont be seeing those local guys ever again.
    Last edited by Jeannette; 04-02-2007 at 11:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Central Florida
    I second Beth's recommendation for a Kuschall...When the wheels are off and back down it'll go just about anywhere...You can even get quick release front casters if you're really concerned about portability...made airplane stowage even easier for mine...YEAH!

    as far as wheels, the Kuschall(Starek) ones are about the same weight as Spinnergies, HOWEVER, I get my fingers caught in the spokes a lot more than I did with Spinnergies...

    Push rims-I like the Natual Fit ones, howeve they don't make them in 26"...yet...

    Tires-I prefer high pressure pneumatic, had regular pnematic before & the high pressure ones roll so much easier...I also have a portable compressor to keep 'em filled...Make friends w/your local bike shop and they'll change 'em for cheap or free....

    Backrest-I like the Roho Jetstream Pro, low height...

    Froglegs-had them on my old chair for a short time, really liked 'em, but couldn't seem to have 'em with the quick release caster option(could have changed since), so I had to choose which I wanted more...I was doing A LOT of travel...quick release won out...

    I think Kuschall does the 1-arm drive option, but am not familiar with it myself...if you don't have their website already lemme know, i've got it bookmarked...
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  9. #9

  10. #10
    I've been using a Quickie II for 12 years, it's durrable and lightweight. which is comparible to the Quickie GTX (folding) with the exception that the GTX is a bit more streamlined (compact) and has a few adjustment options that the Quickie II didn't have.
    I just ordered the Quickie GT (rigid) because it felt a lot more stable-solid , (it should be here in 2 weeks !!! )

    Have you concidered "quad-knobs" on the rims? I used them the first 5 years , now I use rubber-coated rims. I have a freind who uses the one-arm drive, it took him months to get good at it and even then he swerved a lot ... I guess Practice makes Perfect.

    Frog legs are definately worth the money if you have spastisity issues or can't pop wheelies at every crack in the sidewalk ... they definately smooth things out.

    Try to get the smoothest ride you can get ... it might be 10 years until you can get another chair (as was my case) so you might as well get the best ... bla bla ... I'm rambling
    There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

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