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How can I make my new chair the smallest, tightest, compact chair possible?

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  • How can I make my new chair the smallest, tightest, compact chair possible?

    I have been meeting up with a seating and chair specialist and when the issue of camber was raised, I stated I wanted none, as my current chair has 6 degrees, which is ridiculous, considering I am a t9 complete with good trunk control. There's nothing more frustrating than going to a friend's place, or staying in a hotel, and not being able to squeeze into the bathroom because my chair is too wide.

    She suggested that I have some camber. What do you think? Also, what else can I do to order the most compact chair possible? I currently have a TiLite ZRa that I have had since 2000, so I'm long overdue. I plan to stick with TiLite because I want a super lightweight, compact chair, but I'm thinking of getting a ZR because it fits slimmer in the front.

  • #2
    Hey Kira, There has been some discussion on the "Open frame" design on the ZR and Crossfire type chairs here on CC. I know many of the seating specialists down here are opting for the Top End terminator or Ti TR. 6 degrees for an everyday chair is fairly steep. I think Ti will custom make your frame to your design. Be careful as I have seen a few come out of Ti that have been wrong. So be sure and read their printout of your chair.

    I have the ZRA presently and have 0 camber on the chair and really haven't had any side to side tipping problems at all. I'd go with at the most a 2 degree camber.

    Top End does have a camber tube that has two different cambers on the axle insert. You could have a 0 degree for everyday and a larger camber if you wish to look a little more sporty.

    I may have met you once before. You came down to my house in Blaine to pick up a sportschair. If you need to have the new chair sent to me again, no problem.

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    • #3
      If you provided specs for your ZRa, members would have a better understanding what things could be changed (as well as identify any potential drawbacks).

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      • #4
        Kirana,
        I went to zero camber and also you can get hand rims that have 2 settings that bring them a little closer to the tire. They are real close to the tire so it takes a little getting used to but works for me and takes off about 3/4 to 1 inch off of the overall width of the chair.
        Gary
        T-10 ,,1980,,

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KiranA View Post
          I have been meeting up with a seating and chair specialist and when the issue of camber was raised, I stated I wanted none, as my current chair has 6 degrees, which is ridiculous, considering I am a t9 complete with good trunk control. There's nothing more frustrating than going to a friend's place, or staying in a hotel, and not being able to squeeze into the bathroom because my chair is too wide.

          She suggested that I have some camber. What do you think? Also, what else can I do to order the most compact chair possible? I currently have a TiLite ZRa that I have had since 2000, so I'm long overdue. I plan to stick with TiLite because I want a super lightweight, compact chair, but I'm thinking of getting a ZR because it fits slimmer in the front.
          This 14" wide, 16" deep TiLite TR on eBay looks pretty tight. It has no camber, but a new camber bar is very easy to replace. It's got a fixed back and solid seat.
          stephen@bike-on.com

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          • #6
            I would say 2 degree's max too.

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            • #7
              I had 1° in my chair for a while and I noticed it was a lot harder to turn, so don't forget, camber also helps you turn. I'm up to just 3° and it made a big difference and I still fit everywhere I need to but sometimes just barely. My seat is 16 inches wide and the top of my wheels are about 1 inch away from the seat back at the top of the tire.
              C-5/6, 7-9-2000
              Scottsdale, AZ

              Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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              • #8
                This is really dorky of me, but could someone provide a scientific explanation, I guess from a physics standpoint, as to why camber would help when turning?

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                • #9
                  Less tire on the ground.

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                  • #10
                    because the wheels are further apart there is a lower/wider center of of gravity, the wider the the centre of gravity the longer the distance the tire will travel with the same exertion - think of it like pivoting. It's easier to swing a longer spoon between your fingers than a smaller spoon assuming the spoons were the same weight because the center of gravity is wider. So if you had say a 80 centimeter width between the 2 back wheels, the effort to push one and hold the other would require more effort than if the wheels were 90 centimeters apart because the ground ur covering when u turn a wheelchair with wider stanced tires is wider/longer as well, ur exerting the same force but covering more ground...

                    I think that's how it goes...

                    I hope it makes sense.

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                    • #11
                      2 degrees of camber has worked best for me as a compromise between the turning advantages of a lot of camber and getting into tight spaces. I would go with a little more camber if my chair wasn't so wide (18") - maybe 4 degrees. I use to have a reversible camber tube with 0 and 6 degree options. The difference was considerable in chair performance and accessibility. The accessibility gain of the lower camber far outweighed the performance loss.
                      Foolish

                      "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

                      "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

                      "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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                      • #12
                        i always run 4 deg. i would go no less than 2.
                        Bike-on.com rep
                        John@bike-on.com
                        c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                        sponsored handcycle racer

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                        • #13
                          Camber Study - FWIW

                          http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jou...pdf/Veeger.pdf

                          No scientific explanation for my opinion, but my impression as a user is that the reduced tire contact surface and the direction of weight transfer changed by increased camber affects friction and allows for lower radius turns. Think of a motorcyclist leaning into a curve. The gain in lateral stability is unquestionable. All these factors become more important as speed increases.

                          My first basketball chair had a caster plate that used shims (washers) to adjust the camber. I maxed it out (added more washers) and kept the seating position as low to the ground as possible when I was a guard. At the forward position I jacked myself up a bit to battle with the trees. Even with the maximum camber possible, it was possible to get knocked over sideways - and this often happened.
                          Foolish

                          "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

                          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

                          "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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                          • #14
                            you should consider the tr - its lighter than the zr (less metal) and the thinner tubing makes it look tighter from the front

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                            • #15
                              And it has a more efficient transfer of push to roll energy than its mono-tube ZR cousin.
                              Originally posted by amyk View Post
                              you should consider the tr - its lighter than the zr (less metal) and the thinner tubing makes it look tighter from the front
                              Foolish

                              "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

                              "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

                              "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

                              Comment

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