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TiLite ZRA Questions

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  • TiLite ZRA Questions

    Hey everyone! I'm finally getting a rigid-frame chair after many years in folding (Quickie 2 and TiLite 2GX). I'm buying it myself from SportAid. I'm going with a TiLite ZRA because I've never had a rigid frame chair that was remotely comfortable before, and I'm sure I'll need to do some adjustments.
    Here are my specs:
    Seat width: 16"
    Seat depth: 16"
    Frame 1" longer than seat depth
    Front seat height: 18"
    Rear seat height: 15.5"
    Front end angle: 80 degrees
    Seat-to-footrest length: 15.5"
    V-shaped front end, footrest width: 11.5"
    Folding adjustable-height back height: 16"
    Integrated push handles
    Camber: 2 degrees
    Rear wheel spacing: 1"
    Center of gravity: 1"
    Front casters: 4"x0.75" (I'm going to replace these with Frogs Legs 4"x1.4")
    Rear wheels: 24" TiLite Shadow (I'm going to replace these with Spinergy LXs)
    Front fork: standard
    Axle: stainless steel quick-release
    Handrims: aluminum anodized
    Wheel locks: Uni-Locks
    Back upholstery: velcro adjustable (I'm going to replace this with a J3 back)
    Seat upholstery: tension-adjustable by straps
    Side guards: aluminum rigid removable small
    Armrests: 11"-14"

    My question is: are any of the titanium or carbon fiber options worth the money?
    Titanium footrest: $105
    Titanium seat back: $122.50
    Titanium back release bar: $24.50
    Carbon fiber back release bar: $45.50
    Titanium camber tube: $35
    Carbon fiber camber tube: $122.50
    Titanium fork stems: $35
    Titanium quick-release axles: $136.50
    Titanium hand rims: $280
    Carbon fiber side guards: $52.50 more than aluminum

  • #2
    Note: I ask about the titanium hand rims because I could swap them from the TiLite wheels to my Spinergys.


    • #3
      I’m glad you are able to get a new chair. You obviously have decided you need the adjustability of the ZRA. I hope it works out well for you.

      It’s interesting that the titanium footrest/abs cover cost $105 extra. On my TR3 it was no charge. I really like my footrest, but the real question for you is: do you need an angle adjustable model? That appears to be the more important choice here.

      It doesn’t look like you’re going for the color anodizing option. That’s why I picked the std aluminum tube. I wanted it to be sapphire to match. I’m sure the titanium tube is lighter and more resistant to cracking. For $35 dollars, it seems like a bargain. Not real excited about carbon fiber myself.

      The back release bar… I hate them to begin with. Removed them on my last two chairs, probably do the same on my TR3, so I wouldn’t waste my money. But for you, I don’t feel any strength or weight saving justifies the extra cost of titanium or CF. Plus I have seen where at least one of our members has had trouble with the carbon fiber bars separating from the metal ends that attach to the release levers.

      Titanium fork stems do seem nice for only $35. I almost got them myself.

      The titanium hand rims seem like an expensive replacement for aluminum. Titanium does have a harder more durable surface to resist scratches though.


      • #4
        As I recall, the titanium fork stems are near a must have, as the standard ones have rust issues that the Ti counterpart do not.

        I opted for the carbon-fiber side guards on my new chair over the Al version and I like the CF side guards, not only in looks but they are w/o doubt lighter. In the grand scheme of things the weight may be a non-issue.

        One plus of the Ti backrest is that it will color match your chair, if you care.

        Having had my (stock) Al camber tube in my hand, I was surprised at how lite it is.

        I'd be curious how much lighter the Ti axles are, as the stock ones are surprisingly weighty.

        I am curious of your choice of 80 degree front over 85?
        C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982


        • #5
          If it were me I'd consider titanium axles and fork stems. And instead of titanium hand rims, I'd go with natural fit, I'm really liking the ones I've got.
          I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses!
            My PT suggested angle-adjustable footplates, so I could keep the flex I have in my ankles. I guess I'll go with them.
            Sounds like the titanium fork stems are a good idea. $35 bucks isn't a big upcharge.
            I may end up taking the back posts out entirely, because the J3 back can just clamp to the receiver tubes. Aluminum it is.
            I've never really tried side guards, so I'll go with aluminum and get carbon fiber if they seem terribly heavy.
            Aluminum camber tubes, too. I do remember people having problems with the carbon fiber ones, and I doubt the titanium ones make much difference.
            I'm going with 80 degree front end mostly because I like having my feet a little in front of me. 75 definitely puts my feet too far out, and 90 degrees doesn't put them far enough. I essentially chose 80 degrees as a compromise. No particular reason against 85 degrees.
            The titanium hand rims are pricey, but I've heard they don't make your hands as filthy. Mine are always covered in a dark, shiny layer of aluminum oxide. The option on the ZRA is substantially cheaper than getting them directly from SportAid, so I'll have to consider that carefully.
            I'm a para, so I don't need the extra grip of Natural Fits. They just seem too big and bulky.
            Last edited by EastRando; 10-19-2012, 05:58 PM. Reason: Replaced "to" with "too"


            • #7
              I’ll throw these in, since you’ve not yet signed off on your CAD.

              If you’re foot/shoe size is in the 10 ½ -11 neighborhood, seriously consider an 11” footrest width. Every little bit helps when your operating in close quarters and need to get as close to stuff as possible. I almost went 12, then 11 ½ – very glad I reduced all the way down to 11”.

              Read somewhere in the forum that weight/strength advantages of tit axles vs stainless axles is a moot issue. Save $136.

              You’re specking 16+1” and 80º. You might consider +2 and 85º where your feet will be similarly planted and, I understand from SCI_OTR and others, the “lean far forward” leverage, fulcrum, moment, whatever you call it, is less pitch-prone.

              My 16 +1 85º ZR does fine leaning strongly forward, and I suppose +2 85º would be even more stable. But the negative here for me and me only is I’d be dealing with slightly more frame forward along the side of my upper leg just below the knee, which would interfere with the way I deal with my particular legs. For me, a less-interfering-to-knee +1 80º would definitely be more comfortable and functional should I ever need my feet set more forward. Just a thought. Your situation very well may differ.


              • #8
                Thanks, nofuss.
                I think I'm going to go with 11.5" on the footrest to make sure I have enough width - my current TiLite 2GX has no taper whatsoever, so it'll be significantly narrower anyway.

                That's a good idea about adding another inch and going with 85 degrees. I'm definitely doing that.


                • #9
                  If you go with the angle adjustable footrest and want to use a Freewheel you will have to pin the footrest with a couple of sheet metal screws to immobilize footrest.


                  • #10
                    I do not like the standard foot rest on the ZRA it keeps dropping, so I have had to follow the instructions to set it back. I reckon the way the other foot rests mount on the ZRA is the same as this one... so you may want to go ahead and order a bottle of Vibra-Tite VC-3 and get a T25 torx bit. The vibra is the stuff TiLite says you have to put on the bolts after adjusting it four times... oh you need a rubber mallet too.


                    • #11
                      I am thinking about getting a Titanium chair but i do have a few questions that maybe someone could help me with. If i get the shinny tit will it stay shinny or will it become dull over time. Also does it show scratches very bad?