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Thread: How to use 1.5" wide FrogLegs soft roll casters on a TiLite chair

  1. #1

    How to use 1.5" wide FrogLegs soft roll casters on a TiLite chair

    I've heard that the 4x1 TiLite aluminum soft roll caster isn't bad, but at an MSRP of $165 per pair on the order form and a staggering $127 each if ordered as a part, there was no way I would be getting them on my ZR. One negative thing about TiLite is their relatively narrow fork width and limited caster options. I wished I could have ordered 4x1.5" FrogLegs aluminum soft rolls, but had to settle for the 4" Volcanic light ups because they represented the best value. They have a tendency to become planted when encountering pavement irregularities and make my ZR susceptible to endo's if I'm not paying attention.

    Today, I was rummaging through some parts in the store room and came across a pair of aluminum forks which had been sent to us by Invacare to raise the STF height on a demo ProSpin X4 last year. They mistakenly sent us the short fork instead of the tall one which had been requested, so they were never used. Looking at the ProSpin fork and the TiLite fork, they both have the same double bearing design and are nearly identical except for the width (TopEnd also uses a black anodized version of this fork on the Crossfire).

    Guess what? They fit with nearly no modification. The only thing I had to do was back the studs out of the caster head tube a little to increase their length. Here's the result...



    During limited testing, it appears the wider soft roll has greatly diminished the risk of planting both casters and the ride is definitely smoother with no noticeable decrease in responsiveness. I don't know if that will continue to be the case as they begin to wear, but I am willing to make that trade off.

    The 4x1.5 aluminum hub FrogLegs softrolls are available through SportAid for $72.00 per pair. The ProSpin short forks (Part#1128012) have a MSRP of $44.10 each. That's a total of $160 dollars--slightly less than what TiLIte's MSRP is for their 4x1 soft rolls on a new chair.

    I'm suspecting that both companies use the same supplier. I only wish that TiLite would use forks which would allow a variety of aftermarket casters to be used on their chairs. Being part of the "User's First Alliance" shouldn't just mean they are committed to lobbying for enough reimbursement from third party payors to remain profitable, it should also mean that users who have to pay out of pocket can obtain replacement parts for their products which represent a decent value.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    I've heard that FrogLegs themselves can be a cause for endos. Have you found this to be the case?

    Also, how can I find out if my casters are 1" or 1.5" Where do I measure? I think mine are 1" but not 100% sure. In case you forgot, I'm using a Top End Terminator circa 2000 or so.

  3. #3
    FrogLegs suspension forks can be, but soft roll casters on a standard fork are less likely to plant than a harder caster. I believe you probably have 4x1 casters on yours, but I actually took one of these casters off of a 4" old style TopEnd fork (a different sized spacer must be used). The width is at the hub. If you stuck a pencil through the hub and marked where it entered and exited, then measured the distance between the marks, you would be able to tell. It's a pretty wide fork so you could easily use any 4" caster in it. The big difference between your fork and the new style of fork is that the bearings are in the fork and not the caster barrel (beneath the black disc in my pic).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Gotcha. That's what I thought. Thanks for all the info! I've been wondering about whether or not to try the soft rolls, and I think I'm leaning toward them after reading your post. I'm not getting a new chair anytime soon, so I'm in the process of upgrading and maintaining this one, and your posts, even if not relevant to my current situation, are very helpful. And they make me think more about tweaking my chair. You're definitely a great asset to CareCure.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion
    I've heard that FrogLegs themselves can be a cause for endos. Have you found this to be the case?
    they can be b/c they do "dip" the front end forward when they flex, but it's a negligible amount & you learn how they respond pretty quickly... after the first fall.

    on the flip side, sometimes that flex gives enough time to react and avoid an endo.

    I run frog legs w/ 6x1.5" soft rolls. I like em. Would I get them again? I think so...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hype62's Avatar
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    Those 1.5" softroll casters look pretty nice, looks lighter than the tilite 2 piece softroll casters. Either way, softrolls do smooth out the ride a good bit, I would recommend them.
    May 2000, T4-5 Complete.

    Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Scott and Hype - Thanks for the recommend on soft rolls. Scott, I think I'll stay away from FrogLegs and 6" casters though.

  8. #8
    np. I have a 4x1.5" set too & actually like them more. The 6" ones roll better over rough terrain & provide a more ideal match for the rear tires I'm using.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Pruett
    The 6" ones roll better over rough terrain & provide a more ideal match for the rear tires I'm using.
    Yeah, I get that. I figured that's why you would use that setup.

  10. #10
    Your wheel locks are interesting, are they TiLite? Thanks

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