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Thread: New Tilite ZRA chair! And what happens when it isn't "right"

  1. #1

    New Tilite ZRA chair! And what happens when it isn't "right"

    Hi!
    <<<----
    OK, I have edited the title, and this first post at the top. Overreacting when a dream is not what you pictured it can be rough to keep at bay. But, luckily, there are people who can help "fix" a dream that is intially...slightly broken Below is the original thread, from word one...
    ----->>>>

    For those who have followed any posts I have made asking about wheelchair stuff, and then coments of ordering a TiLite ZRA...it finally arrived!

    The DME brings it over, looks nice, so I hop in and...ugh.

    First, they changed the push handles on the back. Now they stick about 6" above the upholstery. Bolt on, so yeah- I could always chop 'em down. Screw that, the chair I demo'd had normal looking ones, not these... pffft...

    With the settings that were quoted to me as being correct from the demo, with one change- seating width- it felt like a different chair. I was sitting ON it, not IN it. The cheap Keen cuahion I was issued by Medicaid was not much different to me than the Stiimulite classic. The Keen is supposedly 2.5", the Stim 2.75". Someone is lying. I would need to drop the seating about 1" to get it where the demo was. But, cannot do that with the front. 3" casters, center of three holes. That highest does not look like a good place for a 3" micro..

    OK. So, I figure, let them take this "thing" back and compare to the magic demo I tried, and figure what is wrong. Before I get back in my A4 tho, I figure- let's take a chance to see if these super-duper extra light wheels in custom all black I ordered and spent a month waiting for will fit, despite axle length difference.. Nope. Well, kinda figured that. Oh wait! Check that out! Cheap old clunky Sun rims I have with a set of Shox Firm tires are LIGHTER by several oz. (at least!) than these Spinergy LX's!!! LOL! Oh, you gotta be kidding! Yep, throw a set of Kik Mako HR tires and Natural Fit handrims on, and the rims become rocks. That explained PART of why I felt my old POS A4 felt better.

    I know, I can hear it screamed loud n clear, "Try settings! It will take time to set it up..blah blah blah.."

    I felt like I got grandma's panties for Xmas. I blame myself for being an idiot. I am in utter disbelief that my old A4 feels better than...well, anything. They are supposed to get the demo over to compare things and figure what is wrong. I measured things, and it was the same as the demo. Yet, it felt diferent. And the wheels rubbed my clothing; 16" seat wide on demo, I get 17" on this one, and this one rubs. LOL! Same camber as demo, and I have one doorway that is my smallest (bathroom), and my gauge. Both wheels barely pass thru, so width must be same as demo. Well, within 1/8" or less.

    Oh, I am tired of being ticked off now. I guess I will see what these morons come up with next. I feel like I have enlisted the supreme talents of Wile E. Coyote and friends for what was supposed to be a chair close to a dream chair.

    Anyone wanna buy some rims and chair?
    Last edited by nikki-k; 08-31-2007 at 12:53 AM.
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hype62's Avatar
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    First of all grats on getting your long awaited chair, but you seem dissapointed so not sure if its a grats thing or not. Good thing you got a ZRA though, you can still adjust it to your liking. Look at Jbinny, it took him a while before he got everything dialed in for his ZRA. It takes a while to get used to a new chair. Of course you will feel better with your A4 still, since you been in it and relied on it for so long, as with any new chair, I'm sure everyone felt that way. I was the same with my ZR too, it didn't feel perfect till after a day of use. All the things that you mentioned can be fixed. Of course adding natural fit and a solid tire to the LX will make it heavy. Having a whole new rear wheel configuration can make the chair feel very different too, especially with natural fit, it will make a chair feel bulky. What wheels were on the demo chair? You can try using the wheels from the demo chair on your new chair and see if it will feel the same as the demo chair. Is the push handles the one that you bolt to the backrest regidizer bar or the ones that are integrated to the back post? If its to the back post, you can adjust that to make it slide down lower. If its the bolted on ones, then you can probably chop off some of it yourself and bolt it back or just remove it if you dont want, or just send the handles to Tilite to have them shorten it. What kind of cushion were on the demo chair? Did you order your chair with sideguards? Well, keep us posted. Hope you can settle the issues you have right now.
    Last edited by Hype62; 08-29-2007 at 02:06 AM.
    May 2000, T4-5 Complete.

    Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  3. #3
    Hi!
    Yeah, adjustments might be able to help.
    But...
    I had a demo for 5 days. I adjusted it, but ended up back at the original settings. The TiLite rep brought it out, I sat in it, told him what felt wrong, what needed to be set where, and then he returned the following week, dropped it off, and I had those 5 days to roll around. Absolutely beautiful. If I could trade this POS for that demo chair, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    I was very unsure of measurements. I asked the TiLite rep to find out exactly what measurements the demo had, so I could duplicate them with the ordered chair. I found my DME here had given TiLite one wrong measurement, but the Ti person I spoke to went over the rest of the chair ot be sure it was right. There was one difference and one diference only: the seat width was 16" on the demo, and I got 17" on mine so that my wider butt would fit between cloth clothing guards better. Simple math: if demo has X" spacers resulting in A" distance between tires at the top (leg top height) with 16" seat width, then adding 1" to said seat width and subtracting that same 1" fom the spacers should result in the same A". So, either mathematics have taken a back seat to chaos theory in simple measurement, or the measurments I was given were wrong. With the one doorway I use as a guage, I would be able to add only 1/8" at most to the rear wheel spacing. Currently, both sides of my butt were pushing the sideguards out so far that I was rubbing on the wheels, making the chair slow very quicly after a push. No, I have not gained weight; exactly the opposite! I have lost 7 lbs at last check, a week ago, maybe more by now. Jeans I could fit in before now fall off, and I am unable to wear them. I have older jeans I wore once I started gaining weight, and those fit, but also are beginning to fall down as I slide and such while wearing them. (I am trying to lose 30 total btw- wish me luck!)

    Yes, I am upset, and probably overreacting. But, no mater what, it is ridiculous. he push handles are the bolt-ons, so I could cut them down. But, they are thinner and more feeble than the demo ones, and these are sitting up high like some sort of chopper handlebars placed on the wrong side.

    And if Kik Mako HR + Natural Fit handrims make Spinergy LX wheels heavier than Sun rims with Shox Firms.... please, someone explain how? The weights quoted by the DME do not match then. My Sun rims are everyday, regular weight rims, with regular pushrims. I am guessing aluminum. And the difference in weight is VERY noticeable. The demo chair had Spinergy Spox with pneumatics and aluminum rims, and those were lighter than my Sun rims..but, my Suns had pneumatics with solid cores at that time.

    It is almost like moving the COG on my A4 forward another 1/2", throwing on Shox Firms and 3" Volcanic Glare rollerblade wheels has made my A4 nearly as nice as the ZRA with Spinergy LX wheels. THAT is ridiculous.

    I know what you mean about the chair you have being what you are used to, and a new chair taking time and setup to get right. But, I had that demo for 5 days after having a few things done, and when I had to give it back, I nearly cried. Today, when this...thing...arrived and it was supposed to be exactly the same as the demo, except for some subtle equipment differences, and I tried it and got back in my A4 and found ti was a GREAT relief...well, I did cry. And then I hibernated for over 4 hours. Almost $3k for grandma's panties for Xmas. At least if it had been coal instead, it would have been fuel to keep war for the winter...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hype62's Avatar
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    I dont get why your butt would push the cloth sideguards out far enough to touch the tires, plus its 1 inch wider than demo. What are the rear wheel spacing and camber on the demo and what is it on your new ZRA? You might have to get some rear wheel spacers to increase the rear wheel spacing. But that would probably be bad since you are only getting 1/8 clearance from door frames. Either take off the natural fit and throw on some short tab aluminum handrims or change the camber to a lesser degree. Does the demo have sideguards and what kind?
    May 2000, T4-5 Complete.

    Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  5. #5
    Hehehe...that is what is so funny.
    The guy brought out the demo chair, 16x16. Wheel spacing was like 3/4", the lowest default. Camber was 2 degrees. It had short tab rims. He returned a few days later with 4 degree camber, different spacing (this is where someone might have screwed up on their end, but I dont know how), still short tab rims. I measured my dorframe with the chair sitting in it, with one rim of the demo chair tuching at the base of the doorframe. The remaining space on the other side indicated that if I had the same exact setup, but with long tab rims, the chair would barely squeeze thru.

    There were no clothing guards on this chair, and with the spacing, my clothing did not rub. I only wanted the cloth clothing guards for the wicked rainy seasons we get here in the pacific northwest, and the fact that I am so active. Actually, I am more active in the cold rainy season than during the hotter, dry times of the summer!

    New chair should have the same spacing between the inside of both tires at the top as the demo if the measurements I was given before ordering were correct. If the rep failed here, then it might be why things are wrong. One advantage of the A4 I have now found is that I can infinitely adjust the wheel spacing, vs incrementally spacing with the TiLite.

    The worst part is that if the front end needs to go down 1", I am SOL. Even 1/2" will be rough with 3" casters. Demo was 18.5" front STF, so I ordered 18" for mine, figuring the Stimulite being about 3/4" taler than the 2" cushion I used on the demo. I figured 1/4" would be minimal to deal with, and with some break-in, the Stimulite would squish down at least 1/8". What I found was a HUGE difference, one of about 1" minimum to get this chair to wht the demo felt like.

    Maybe I am delusional and too much of a b****...lol...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  6. #6
    How about using the NaturalFit thumb piece with standard aluminum long tabs? They are supposed to work with standard handrims and would reduce the weight. Maybe the everyday Spox hub has a deeper recess or is narrower than the LX hub. My 17" ZRc with 2 degrees camber, 25x1 Spox everydays, short tabs and 1" wheel spacing was ~26.5. With long tabs and 1/8" spacers on each side, it's about 27".

    Depending on the STF configuration, the fork on your ZRa may have a spacer between the top of the fork itself and the frame. If yours has one, it could be removed. Lastly, do you have tension adjustable by straps seat sling? You can sit about 3/4" lower without touching the crosstube.

    Don't give up hope.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    About wheel weights... I just switched my 26" Spox(24spoke) Pnuematic and coated rims, to 25" LX with Shox and pushblacks and it went up 1lbs.

    Ironically, it is getting easier to push the Shox.

  8. #8
    NIKKI, THIS IS WHY U DONT LET INCOMPETANT PT/OT'S AND DME IDIOTS DO ANYTHING BUT PUSH THE FUCKING PAPER. u have got to be proactive and very aggressive w/ this stuff. its your own fault the chair is screwed up. we told u to stay in total control of the process.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  9. #9
    I know, I know....harsh as your comment is, it is true.

    However! I hibernated a bit more, and have been on the phone, and emailing.

    First- Kik. Those guys are awesome. Very, very cool customer service. Although the tire is not for me, they were EXTREMELY helpful and gracious.

    TiLite: Working with them now. It seems the local DME did screw up on the spacing and such. TiLite is taking back the Natural Fits, and I can do titanium or anodized aluminum in trade. Shoot me, but I went aluminum. It is what was on the demo, I loved the texture vs titanium rims, and a few oz.'s should be fine. Plus, I want all black

    Throwing pneumatics on for a few days until Shox Firm black arrive. The Shox I got and said I did not like...well, I still do not like that center bead, but after weeks of wearing it down, they finally feel acceptable. Besides the center bead thing tho, I am now used to them, and if it saves me from flat tires, cool! The compromise is worth it to me. The Mako's I tried were a bit heavier (felt it to me at least). Between the pushrim change and the tire change, I should now be lighter than the Sun rims I have. Oddly, I am startng to think my dislike of the Sun rims is more for the bearings than the actual wheel. Completely overlooked that possibility, my bad (again!).

    The seat sling is not tension adjustable by straps. But, I am going to try lowering the rear STF 1/2" first, and see if that helps. Also, I did some searching, and have seen alot of people talk about how their Stimulite cushions need some time to break in to be "comfy." Since I am on a very cheap cushion right now (a Keen, from right here in Portland- lol), and it is VERY ...erm..."relaxed" and 2.5" new, that could be a huge reason for the other chair not feeling right, compared to my A4 or the demo I tried out. Even though the Keen is a 16" wide, I might try it out on the new chair to see how it feels. The beginnings of a pressure sore I had exprienced have disappeared (touch wood!) while using it (replacing my aged Jay2), and it is actually allowing me better seating posture than the Jay did. But, after only 2 months use, it feels like it is breaking down already. Seems like another month, 2 at most, and I will be sinking down and forward every day once again...

    The Ti rep is stopping by over there later today, and they will be comparing some things. I have asked for an exchange that I feel is reasonable: the bolt-on push handles from the demo for the bolt-on push handles that came on mine! After all, if this is the new design, then shouldn't the demo be up to date? Hehehe! The only reason I like the push handles to begin with is to hang grocery/shopping bags off of. Since getting the small underchair bag from TiLite, I got rid of my backpack. No reason for me to be a mule! I would like to figure a way to be able to twist the handles facing in, toward each other, flat across the back, and be able to use a cotter pin or something to allow them to be flipped out if I need. Cannot be lifted by them, and rarely do I need a push, so...

    I will check the front forks for that spacer. Good to know, so thank you!

    The cloth clothing guards are...well... I would never, ever, ever suggest them to anyone. My pants pushe dover the top of them, which might be due to cushion height, but since most cushions I have seen are 2"-3", I do not see why Ti would not have accounted for that, and either offered two sizes, or simply overcompensated. They will be sending out some rigid ones, both small and normal sized for me to try out and figure what will work best. Half tempted to try and make my own at some point...

    The only reasons for not ordering exactly as the demo were: seating, with clothing guards, would have been too small by 1/2" or so, and had to go 17" wide as a result; different cushion, different seating height as a result; wanted black parts instead of blue; figured if I used Shox instead of pneumatic 110psi tires, the weight difference between Spox and LX would cover the difference..plus they look cooler IMO

    I woke up this morning, and I thought I made a ig mistake starting this thread, and whining and complaing and all. Then I thought about it; better that it exists, so that anyone else that goes to do a new chair can see that things do not always go as they plan, or hope. If I had calmed down a bit, and not posted, and then waite duntil al was as I want it to be with this chair, all of this drama would not be here. No one would see how it can seem to be very wrong when they get a chair they wait so long for, but in the end, it can work out. It is like when I woke up in the hospital and they told me I was now a T6 Complete. Sure, it sucked, sure it was like gettings granny panties for Xmas. But, you either learn to adapt and move on, or sit in your own poo and waste away. All who warned me prior and after are absolutely correct: be pro-active. Stand firm on what you want. Do NOT give. Show respect so long as it is shown to you however. I did so yesterday despite my disappointment, and came here and whined and moaned instead. Today, I caled the local guy up and he had actually already started trying to remedy things. He had already spoken to TiLite, already gathered info on weights and measurements, and possible ways to make things "right." I told him my point of view, what I would like to see done, and things are moving forward, hopefully with a positive outcome.

    Not sure if I should simply continue this thread when the chair is finally completely as I want, with pics and specs and all, or start a fresh one.

    Now if I could only find some flourescent green tries....hehehe...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  10. #10
    It's possible that the folks at TiLite could actually be reading your posts (along with hundreds of potential TiLite users). Maybe you should keep this story line going, let the plot develop, and see if it has a happy ending.

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