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Quantum R4000 demo & comparison

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  • Quantum R4000 demo & comparison

    I've finally tested a Quantum R4000. It is a solid stylish chair w/ much thought put into the details.

    The demo model was not the right size for me ( a couple inches too wide & the seat back a little too vertical & too tall) but those of course are adjustable and I tried to ignore that as best I could. The rep did adjust everything I thought of, including the drive programs. Maybe I'm just used to Quantums, but of the chairs I've tested (Permobil Street, Bounder H-frame, Frontier X-5, Quickie Rhythm or Groove) this controller was the easiest for me to use smoothly. The others probably would have been eventually adjusted for me but the rep only needed a couple minutes w/ the programmer & soon I was driving it at full speed without scaring myself.
    One thing I've always liked on my Blast are the smooth progressive brakes and not surprisingly the R4000 has their equals. I was never able to get the brakes right on the H-frame. My brother & I worked w/ the programmer (graciously supplied by 21st Century w/ the chair demo) and could not produce the effect of the brakes being applied gradually. The brakes were effective but sudden with lots of loud clicks. The R4000 has clicks too as various mechanical bits engage but not more so than the Blast.
    Noisewise the R4000 is comparable to any other I've tested w/ perhaps a higher pitch to the motors than my chair. (Of course on my chair I have the aftermarket dual exhaust producing a basso profundo rumble ) .
    One of the places the R4000 lags is in its ride. The demo was compromised by having the smaller 8" casters w/ solid tires or inserts front & rear. This produced unpleasant thumps on bumps my Blast barely jostles me over. I do have 9" casters & air-filled tires so the comparison is not valid. The X-5 had the smoothest ride w/ its down-filled pillow tires. The Street probably was close but the local Permobil rep would not let me borrow one to test here in the 'hood, so I'm going by a quick test at NSM. The H-frame had suspension front and rear which puts it ahead of the R4000 & my Blast.
    Getting back to noise, my dad was driving the R4000 when he was able to hear my old Blast rattling & squeaking w/ metronomic knocks as it caught and passed him. He had the R 'floored' & registering 7.9 MPH. I'm disappointed because I thought the 8 MPH rating was conservative & would likely be the Blast's 8.5 equal. In order to feel better, I (easily) adjusted the controller settings from MPH to KPH and soon was cruising at 12.5!
    I was happy to test the tilt because I'll probably finally get one. It was v smooth and went back far enough for me. I've read for true weight shifts you need a higher degree of tilt than whatever this was but it has to be better than nothing (my current tilt-ability). This chair mostly treats you like an adult (Gawd I'm tired of the nanny-state) and allows you to drive tilted. The Permobil slowed you down at some small tilt & many chairs won't allow even a small repositioning at full tilt. Also tilt lockout switches cause a variety of problems as indicated on WCJ. I don't know about the H-frame because its switch was attached where I couldn't reach it. However I know 21st Century will install it wherever you say.
    One big problem happened going up the driveway. There's a 1.75" lip that I easily rolled the front wheels over. BTW, the torque on this chair is great. On mine, torque & acceleration are directly associated. Adjust one adjusts both so if you want to drive smoothly despite spasms say, you limit how easily you can crawl over hard thresholds or bumps. The R has separate adjustments & can crawl slowly without twitchy acceleration. The H-frame controller did not seem to be as adjustable. Back to the lip: When the rear wheels got to the lip I stalled! I thought this was strange considering the ample torque. Then I noticed the speedo (which I've never had before, also an odometer) indicating a couple MPH. The rear wheels were spinning futilely, not touching ground because the nanny-anti-tip wheels were set so low that I high-centered on an average driveway. Apparently these can be adjusted to allow for normal outdoor driving. I just hope there is enough adjustment possible to go over a typical curb.
    Summing up, the R4000 has lots going for it, in a chair that should be affordable (compared to the Street & H-frame) & fundable. The controller matches the fancy Quickie one (w/ optional IR sender), the motors are pretty fast yet torquey, the adjustability of everything is great, and the basic design and build quality are modern and first rate. The Street matches it in slick clever design, outdoes it in comfort, but probably lags in build quality and is much more expensive. The H-frame is like a expensive '60s hotrod & I would love to have one if it could be modernized. The studly 'Off-Road' version really capitalizes on that image but I'm not sure about how up-to-date the controller is. So w/ a few changes the R4000 would be closest to what I want.

    live free, drive fast

  • #2
    I called Frog Legs & they said they can provide either the Bull Frog Legs (up to 3" wide casters) or the 'coming soon' Big Rig Shocks (only up to 2", & not for HD chairs) for the R4000. They also have 'soft roll' casters to match pneumatic tire cushioning & solid tire toughness. That should help the ride, but I don't have any first hand info. Anybody have a RWD chair that they added Bull Frogs to?

    Oh yeah, one great little detail I forgot in my review: the foot rests had (instead of plastic bumpers - which quickly get torn up) little wheels on the corners to protect furniture or walls.

    And a warning: The 'tilt' function felt so good I sat like that probably half the day. I've never had that capability b4, so the change in sitting position caused a red area on my tail bone. Fortunately some rest & it faded.
    So be careful w/ a new seat.

    live free, drive fast


    • #3
      How's the R4000 Holding up?

      Hi RahWheels,

      Just looking at an R4000 MYSELF. I noticed your post is from 2008. How has the R4000 performed for you since then? Happy?


      • #4
        Hey CC,

        I was about to answer on your other thread but you found this oldie so I'll comment here:

        I put off getting a new chair for a year, hoping that someone would make a faster rehab chair or civilize the Bounder. No new tech for a year so I started the paperwork on a R4K in fall '09 (damn, there's a bunch of back and forth w/ ins. & doctors and therapists). My new R4000 arrived at the dealer (NSM) at the end of Jan. Being an experienced user and picky and having a functional Blast I had a bunch of things to add-on and adjust and was willing to wait 'til everything was perfect to pick it up. Still waiting!
        First the Bull Frog (Legs) took weeks to sort out. They kept sending the wrong stem size, but if anyone wants BF's for a R4K I've been the beta-tester and they should be a straightforward order now.
        I always have a lapboard hooked on my chair so I of course wanted a new one. Unfortunately that wasn't fully addressed at the beginning so only now are the specialized clamps getting here.
        Anyway, enough whining. Here's a thread (on WCJ) about my initial impressions (I did get to drive it b4 it went back into the shop).:

        To answer a couple of your (other thread) questions:

        Quantum does have a small 100 amp joystick :

        That same thread addresses your leg rest query.

        I'm thinking your problem going up the ramp might have been from too low rear casters, like in my demo at the beginning of the thread.

        I'll post here when I finally get my chair. Right now instead of R4K, I'm refering to it as 'that damn slow 4kr'. Let's hope it is worth the wait or I'll call it 'that damn mother 4kr'.

        live free, drive fast


        • #5
          Originally posted by rahwheels View Post
          Let's hope it is worth the wait or I'll call it 'that damn mother 4kr'.
          hEH, Heh, Heh, Mother 4kr - That's funny.

          Thanks for your input.