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Wheel recommendations?

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    Wheel recommendations?

    I'm looking into rear wheel recommendations, and/or troubleshooting help is welcome too. Here's my background:
    I'm a part-time chair user and insurance covers nothing. I need the chair for long distances / long days as I have Cerebral Palsy and while I do walk, the forearm crutches just aren't enough for all the places I go or all the busy people around me who may run into me. Hence, the chair...and it is my friend.

    My current chair is used, about 13 years old and still going strong. The (I think original) wheels on it were Sun Rims SW6000s. There was a lot of creaking and pinging, and I think it was the wheels. I scraped up the handrims (12 degree camber option; I use the 3 degree option for commuting) - and tried to remove those and trade them with another set of handrims I had. ($$$ does not grow on trees.)

    That fix went wrong; I had to get new handrim bolts. I also found out during this process that my original SW6000s had been tightened too tight (my fault) - and will require a pretty good repair on the outer wheel rim. I called for some bike shop quotes (not the nice bike shop I found later) - and the price was just about the same between possibly repair / buy new. All shops (notwithstanding the nice bike shop that I didn't call) - said they would hit me with a consultancy fee ahead of time to see if they were repairable, then charge on top of that if it was more than 3 turns on 4 spokes (there's 36 per wheel).

    I temporarily used another set of wheels (solid inserts; felt like about 10 lbs apiece, grunt). After shoving those around for a few days I was able to trade out 7/16 bearings to 1/2 bearings in a brand new set of wheels that only cost me $70 (they were cheap because they're an oddball bearing size, and a simple bearing trade put me in business.)

    After less than 48 hours of having the new, trued and tightened with inflated tires wheels on the chair (I think they're New Solutions brand, 24"), I found out another reason they could have been sold so cheaply. They're soft. I mean, they're soft as in jumping one curb and getting caught in one public transit clamp (possibly) took them out of true so badly that I had to make a desperate wonky roll to my nearest friendly bike shop and, found out pleasantly, they only charge $12-$15 to true a wheel, instead of the $30 base price another bike shop wanted per wheel, to go up as they had to do more than 3 turns on 4 spokes (I have 36).

    The friendly bike shop was able to do a pretty good job; not perfect, but it helped a lot (darn rivnut handrim on the cheap wheels kind of made it difficult for them). They have all the mods to do w/c wheel truing, so they'll gain some more business from me. They also recommended that I get some higher quality wheels when I can afford it. Yeah, figuring out I need to go that route...(at least at the cheap part). The bike shop recommended Spinergys, as that's what the local w/c b-ball leagues use (and the bike shop can true, too). However, I'm not sure that I can afford Spinergys at the moment, and I've seen reviews on here that Sun Rims may be just as good. I've only had Sunrims in the past, and wouldn't mind going with them again, it's just figuring out where the best choice is.

    Budget wise I'm kind of locked into the $100 range. $150 or $175 at the top of my budget and I'd rather not go that high. $200 isn't going to happen. I've seen some used Spinergys for that on eBay at times, sometimes in good condition, sometimes not. I'm willing to do repairs on whatever wheels I get, depending on the price of parts. I know the budget pretty much puts Spinergys out of the equation, and that's fine, but I do want to get a rim that won't come out of true every time I turn around. I'm willing to buy used.

    What's a good brand somewhat in budget? Sun Rims? Others I don't know about? I'm pretty new to the wheelchair parts world, although not completely inept.

    Is it possible to replace just the spokes of these cheap wheels (with the right size but a heavier metal) and do any good? Would a different spoke pattern do better? They're currently in some sort of design-inspired Z or half-Y shape, and my other wheels have all had the more traditional V type spoke layout. Do you have a recommendation of which spokes to go with if I try this route? I doubt a person could put Spinergy spokes on this "traditional" rim, but I will admit to entertaining the thought... Or, should I just guess that if the original spokes are so soft, the outer rim of the wheel is soft, and stronger spokes won't help?

    My usual rolling conditions are outdoors, with a considerable amount of time on minimally-maintained brick sidewalks. I think that's what's really done a job on a lot of my Sun Rims spokes. During the week I run 3 degree of camber to fit on the buses (30 inch wide ramps, chair about 28") - and over long distances with minimal buses, I'll sometimes throw it to 12 degrees (31.75 inch width footprint). It's not uncommon for me to leave it all day / all week at 3 degree camber, but the 12 degree option really helps to conserve energy on those really long treks. (And make me even faster, LOL).

    Carpet / tile conditions indoors.

    Wheels must be able to handle jumping and/or dropping curbs without taco'ing or coming out of true (eventually is fine; weekly is not; monthly will add up too). My environment is not always perfectly ADA-accessible.
    Wheels also need to take outdoor undeveloped (i.e. grass, dirt) areas without an issue. I train a service dog puppy and he likes a bit of grass to go pee! I've got outdoor wheels set up on a different chair for the really serious outdoor stuff, but the wheels should take some outdoor undeveloped area use, please.

    Wheels must be able to handle the occasional misplaced, offensive "clamp" mechanism. I'll either get into it without realizing it and then get stuck, or a strap on public transit may find its way to my wheel, for whatever reason (someone in a rush, or just wheeling over it wrong and me hooking it without knowing it). This can generate large side-to-side forces. Again - the occasional truing required because of this is fine; but I need it to last several times before I have to go back to the bike shop.

    Thank you for any guidance you can give! I appreciate this forum and have looked through it for a lot of good advice (generally without posing questions; I search and they are solved)!

    With appreciation,
    Last edited by Mystery; 23 Nov 2014, 5:46 AM. Reason: Edited list of what wheels must survive :)

    I did that once, fixed up old 24 inch sun wheels when I was getting started wheeling. Let me tell you, don't waste you money doing so. Watch Craigslist. For about fifty bucks you should be able to get brand new take offs.

    As for truing, check out you tube and get a spoke wrench. You can learn to fix a wheel up to be passable.
    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.


      A picture of what you have would be a good start. What is the clamping mechanism? I think the 12 degrees of camber is a bit much for a street chair. Might see how you feel with 4-6. In general a wheelchair should use radial spokes. The spokes go from the rim to the hub without touching or crossing any other spokes.


        I have a pair of used spinergy spox 18 spoke rims with standard uncoated handrims.. they are 24 inch rims ... I could fit into your upper budget plus shipping if your interested pm me ...


          I PM'd you GJ2; I'm definitely interested in hearing more!

          In response to Bald Fat Dad...the wheels I have had previously must be the radial spokes. The current wheels I have are New Solutions at Allegro Medical, and they seem to cross each other terribly (as compared to the straight radial spokes that never crossed each other). The old wheels I had were very close to this Quickie parts listing. I have 2 sets of Sun Rims SW6000 and one that is rebranded as a Quickie but looks and is sized exactly alike.

          In doing further research, I found these updated Quickie wheels, and I also found the New Solutions wheels rebranded on Quickie's website. Personally, making the discovery of those listed together (and rebranded) kind of scares me. They're both the same price on that website and I would hate to pay over $350 for the same damn wheels that came out of true so easily (for $70/pair). It doesn't make me feel very good to see the radial wheels listed on the same website for the same makes me worry those might just hop right on out of true, too. (Of course, I'm being a tad paranoid because they are two different products, but I will say after seeing that, I'm leaning more toward spending the money on Spinergys and not worrying about truing all the time! )

          And thank you to NoNoise for the advisement against trying to true the taco'd wheels...I agree, but was willing to try anyway. I think I'd much rather spend my time (and fingers; truing tends to make them sore) - on something else. And getting "take offs" (or used wheels) is fine with me!

          Also, does anyone know the advantages / disadvantages of the radial wheels vs. the crossed-over-spokes wheels? Does one ride better than the other? Take effort better? I would think the radial wheel would be better, but they must make crossed-over spoke designs for a reason. What is it?

          Thanks again for your help. If others have more to add, please do!
          Last edited by Mystery; 24 Nov 2014, 2:40 AM. Reason: Added wheel spoke design question


            Wheels with cross spokes were invented, because the chain drive on a bicycle wants to wind up the spokes before it moves the wheel. By crossing the spokes you pre wound them. In a chair we don't have that problem.


            Look at these.


              In following up with this:
              A couple weeks after posting this, I was sitting at work with New Solutions wheels on my chair - I was sitting at work. Just sitting. When out of nowhere, KABANG! The sound reverberated the entire room including the floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows. It was terrible. It didn't quite sound like a weapon, so I was momentarily worried but slightly curious, and the (one, at the moment) coworker in my office was quite helpful. I said, "(name), what was that?!" "I don't know." So we started looking around...she eventually wandered out to the hallway where everyone was talking about the huge sound and "what in the world was it?!" Not finding an answer immediately in proximity, we decided that we had better call Security, just to be safe. It sounded like something huge had fallen, or something else correspondingly large in major mishap and/or danger, and the type of workplace we are, a call to Security for something like that (especially still not identified after two minutes) - is warranted.

              So, there I am, continuing to look for cover, trying to find out if there's anything I can find about our sound - maybe something in an unused cube that had fallen? When I find that my damn chair won't wheel properly. Now, I'd been struggling with it all morning, and it had wheeled tough, and I could tell it was majorly out of true (with a bulging tire) - on the bus 15 minutes ago...but really? Failing me at this time? When I'm half petrified? Yeah, I can walk some, but not over long distances. Long distances are only possible with a ton of adrenalin running through me, in order to escape, and I would probably need a coworker's arm if I had to walk it.

              Then I looked down at my chair...and I said, "(coworker name), I think we found out what it was." "Really? What was it?!" (Embarrassed) - "I think it was a wheelchair tire." "Are you kidding?" "No. It's totally off the rim. Look." Then we laughed, breathing a sigh of relief. "Oh my gosh," I said, "I am so glad I read about those happening on the wheelchair forums. If I hadn't read about it I never would have known." We laugh and breathe some more.

              We call Security back to tell them of the probable solution, "Yes, I'm (name) and we just called about the huge sound in (location). We think it was a wheelchair tire." "A wheelchair tire?" the dispatcher asks incredulously. The tone reflected a very polite, but very confused, unsaid, "where in the world does a wheelchair show up from?" - I interjected: "Yes. We have a few wheelchairs in here (true!! Mine was not the only one! However, mine was the only one with pneumatic tires....). We think one of the tires exploded." "Okay," responded the dispatcher, "I will let the responding officers know of the possible solution."

              I was not on the clock yet. I decided since I wasn't on the clock yet, and since I preferably need my chair at work, (in rollable condition, mind you) - that I would attempt to change the tire. I have a spare inner tube and everything I need. I also had a chair in the corner with solid (mag) tires if I absolutely had to trade them for a day. Well, it took me a damn hour, but I got it done. I found the inner tube to be completely exploded, totally unsalvagable, with something like a 3" gash in the seam of the side of it and the tire bead blown off. I had to make the tire work, since I only carry a spare tube, but I did make it work. I limped along the rest of the day with wheels that I wasn't sure were going to function. The irony of all this? I had bought new wheels (quality ones this time!!) just a couple days before. Yeah!

              I got new tubes at the bike shop that afternoon and came home.

              I then talked with Allegro Medical. In my opinion, they are not helpful and I will not deal with them again if I can help it. They advised me to write a review of the wheels, which they would post. They have not allowed it to be posted, even though they reassured me that they could not edit it or refuse its posting. They have lost my trust as a mobility equipment dealer. They do not stand behind their products or even make it right for the consumer, in my opinion. I knew I was outside of the warranty period, and they have a "if you take it out of the packing you have to keep it" type of policy, but them telling me to post a review and then not allowing it really bothers me. I thought, if nothing else, I will make someone pause before blindly buying these wheels. For Allegro Medical to not allow the review, in my opinion, they are continuing to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. That's how I see it anyway.

              Additional wheels in hand a few days later, and energy in my body, I took apart the (good) tire and saved the tube. I looked for any manufacturer's marks and could find none. I also looked on the other one. I found the original tube crammed in to the point they were risking pinch flats in my opinion (the tube was pinched 3 places) - and the spoke heads were pushing through the rim tape. Either of those issues could have caused a flat tire, I think. The wheels were unsalvageable, and while I tried to get the handrims off, I ended up stripping screws so I said (bad words) and "forget it." As soon as I pull out my custom bearings, the wheels are going in my recycle bin. The tires (which had crappy tread on both, and damage on the one) - and the Original surviving tube, made by JChangJiu, (tires were made by "Feichi Tyre" (international spelling)) - went in the trash. I have had good luck with CST tire tubes, so I'll try to stick with those if I need more. I did just buy some Kenda heavy duty tubes to have on hand though for spares, as the ones I picked up from the bike shop seem really thin ("do not inflate with floor pump" seems like a hint they might not be good quality).

              The only thing that worries me about the tire tubes now (especially the Kendas) - is that there was mention of lead in some tubes but not others. CST didn't seem to mention it, but Kenda does, and I would have preferred to stay away from lead if possible. I suspect all of them have some levels of lead in them though...but less would make me feel better.

              If anyone would like me to post the full review of what I wrote for the tires (model number RW241P, manufacturer unknown - I was told New Solutions was a distributor of them and they were "made overseas," and he kept hurrying me through things...that's why I looked for a manfacturer's mark but I found none) - I will be happy to do so (I saved a copy).

              In the meantime, I think I'm choosing to stick with Sun Rims or Spinergy. I'm not going to try an off-brand again unless other people have reviewed it well or I get a good enough deal to justify the hassle.

              I will post back with my reviews of Spinergy next. Can't wait to try them... ... Getting the chair ready now. I need to see if I can adjust the camber system on my Quickie R2, as I think that's a tad out of line. I also want to drop the RSH of my gray chair (Quickie Ti) but won't do that until the green chair (R2) is fixed. One chair in working order at all times, even if the adjustments aren't quite to my liking!



                These "economy" wheels are what you 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.



                  Didn't know the difference, although they are listed for $110 over at other sites. Spinlife sells them for $110, and Quickie / Southwest Medical may sell them for something like $300. I know Spinlife's are the RW241P model, not sure what's really there in Quickie's listing, but I have an opinion about RW241P (and anything that looks like it). I believe they're only good enough for the recycle bin, and perhaps indoor-only use. In my opinion, this should be clearly disclosed as part of the product description.



                    What kind of spinergy's did you get?
                    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.


                      I got some awesome Spinergy Spox, Lin. They came all done up and perfect so I'm really excited. Although I did have a slight mishap, which I am embarrassed to report. (Smart self on left, dumb self on right.) I switched my bike pump to Presta after a bit of work figuring it's just a tiny hand pump...put the things together and aired up the tire...then somehow broke the valve in the bike pump! After my shoulders were really tired! Now, a smart person would have probably just given up by that point....and ran with whatever air was in the tube at that point (I specifically thought it was a good idea for them to be shipped with flat tubes, so one did not explode in pressure changes and scare the postal workers terribly!), but I thought to myself, "Okay, I'll just consider this a sign and go ahead and replace that tube, so I don't have to deal with it far from home. Again, smart self on left, dumb self on right...

                      No matter what I did, I could not get the tires to come off. Finally, after doing tons of research, and watching several movies, I stole the idea to soap the tire up with dish soap (any stuff in a spray bottle will work; one of the movies used Lysol spray; so did I because that's what I had on hand). I got the tires off with a lot of work! Yeah! Then came time to put the new tubes in and put them back together...I even used dish soap in reverse. It did not work! I got 3/4 of the tire on, but the last 1/4 won't go on at all. I think I've tried everything I know, so I have reservations at the bike shop next week and I'll drop them off before work and pick them up after work or whenever they're done. I doubt it will take them long, even though I've heard Kendas on Spinergies are tough to work. They're my friendly bike shop that has no problem doing wheels and will charge me an excellent rate, so I don't mind waiting. I also checked with bike shops more local to me, which would have been nice...but they do not do wheelchair wheels. It is just not profitable for them, and I understand that.

                      In the meantime, I was wise and went down to WalMart and bought myself a decent floor pump that does both Schrader & Presta valves with the click of a button and can be operated via pushing down (instead of pulling back). I've tried it for a short amount of time and find it much better to use. I haven't put the tires up to 110 psi yet, mostly because I've been spending a lot of time trying to get the new tube and tire put together (when will I wise up?!) - but I've got the other tire and rim to practice on (preferably before I go to the bike shop, in case I do something stupid again).

                      I have a second Schrader (extra) tube that fits these wheels, plus the one with the broken valve, but with a bike pump that will do either Schrader or Presta with the click of a finger, and my tiny hand pump also being tradeable valves, I'll be okay running a valve of each. It will help me tell them apart too...but I promise, there are easier ways (already on the wheels too) - to tell them apart besides going through what I just did, LOL!!

                      Hey, if I wasn't stubborn, I wouldn't have made it this far. Now I need to find myself an emoticon a bit more supportive than a frying pan... Yeah, foot in mouth and no talking about it! Laugh.

                      Really looking forward to getting the tire / tube on the rim and the other one aired up (that I can do). Then I might also ask my handy bike shop guys and gals if they wouldn't mind also lending me a hand with a camber tube adjustment (my regular accomplice for wheelchair adjustments is injured, so I can't bug him for any repairs. Not tires, not camber tubes, not brakes...or RSH / FSH - but at least he will eventually be okay. And my handy bike shop is a fun place to go. I think the bike shop even has fun with me! (I bring a fun chair, a sweet puppy, a good sense of humor...what else could you need?)

                      Happy holidays!

                      Last edited by Mystery; 23 Dec 2014, 7:46 PM. Reason: removed a stray extra line :)


                        I've got to run (play with) my new Spinergy Spox for two days! They're doing awesome!

                        I finally worked on Tuesday the 30th which meant I had a nice fit for the bike shop near work (local bike shops are not set up for wheelchair wheels - they do not find it economical which is understandable). I needed the shop to help me fit on the tire and left them both wheels. I took my old basketball chair (Quickie R2) which is set up with some dump and other settings that meant that if I tried to slap the 25's on the chair I thought I would have better luck with the measurements than if I tried to put them on my Quickie Ti which has no dump and different casters that I might have to re-square.

                        The nice part is that the Quickie R2 also has better transit securement ability which is nice on bad weather days, hee hee.

                        For anyone wondering, I was able to transport the extra wheels by putting them on my lap handrim to handrim, then looping a dog leash around my waist and through the handle. Then loop the collar clip through each of the handrims and pull it back to the part wrapped around me and clip. Worked pretty well to keep my hands free and able to wheel.

                        Got them down to the bike shop and dropped off, then went to work. A few hours into work I got the call they were done!! YAY!!! Had to finish work and barely made it before closing but I did make it, so now I get to have my wheels over the extended weekend. Got down to the bike shop, paid the bill (they charged me less than $10 to fix my attempt and put the tube/tire on properly, which was pretty tight because they were Kendas on Spinergys, then they aired up the tires for me (both) and they were all ready for wheeling as soon as I paid for them. Whoo hoo! All I had to do was trade out the wheels (they even offered help but I can do that) - with the same axles, then put my 24 x 1 3/8 spoked wheels (Sun SW6000s) on my lap and the Spinergies on my chair and they felt awesome! I had a load of "cargo" of course but they felt really nice. The fact they were 25's didn't bug me a bit but I will admit to being mostly downhill (love the run from the bike shop), and then on flat surfaces when I tried them in my home community.

                        Did really good on the bus and only had to re-think my approach to the last tiny curb (about 1/2 to 1 inch but you have to do it correctly so you don't endo) - to my car. That was mostly because of the cargo on my lap though. I had a friend with me at the moment so maybe my "help" up the curb was partly her too but I'm not sure. (In the case of this friend, she understands how to help with wheelies and such, so it doesn't bother me if she reaches over. I want most people to ask me though.)

                        Yesterday went grocery shopping before New Year (non-party) and the moment I saw the crowded parking lot I was like, "okay, no crutches, CHAIR!" because I do walk some with crutches but prefer to deal with crowds from my chair (so many people don't see my crutches and bump into me anyway, which can tip me over because the crutches have only limited balance compensation ability to keep me vertical).

                        It was quite the shopping trip, with three times in / out. First time we had to go back outside for Puppy (I have a service dog in training). Second time got to checkout, realized that I had changed my routine and left my wallet at home. My spare cash was not enough to cover the bill so I had to go back and put all the groceries away. During this, I got emotionally overwhelmed (I'm also Autistic and do not handle crowds well) - and left the line just crying out that it was too much. Part of the trigger was the following:
                        A man got behind me in line. He appeared to "target" me and the pup. I had just dropped a big box from my lap (6 inch x 7 inch x 12 inch) and the pup, learning retrieval, was convinced it was "his" box as I will let the pup practice and learn on boxes that I am buying. (I don't mind the holes). Well pup cannot open his mouth that wide so I had to have some human help. This guy seemly forced his way in, tipping off my creepy meter with how close he stood to my chair. I did have to ask for his help to get the box.
                        When they realized I didn't have enough money, they wanted to pay for my groceries (guy and supposedly his wife, although I couldn't see his wife). I declined. I am NOT in the interest of taking anyone's charity and prefer to remain fiercely independent and self-sufficient. If I had, like...majorly lost my wallet, or something like that, and had to rely on charity, that would have been different. But not in this case. So I thanked them for their kindness and, beginning to freak out and become overwhelmed, left as quickly as possible.

                        Next went to one of the aisles with no people in it to start putting things back but also to calm down. Something about them just seemed like, "Okay, those people seem kind and I appreciate it, but my creepy meter is going off and I need to go." I sit in the aisle for a few minutes. Then the guy comes back and I realize he is dangling a $100 bill. He tries to impose it upon me but I insist that he take it back. He says his wife is telling him to do this. My creepy meter starts to tilt again. I do not want his $100 bill. A $10 bill I might take. But not $100. $100 is really hard to come up with this month.

                        Finally I get the guy to leave. I take deep breaths with me and the pup. Next thing I know I see another woman come around the aisle. She has some similar features to the guy and she is dangling the same $100 bill. Oh, he does have a wife. She immediately comes over to me and starts imposing it on me. I decline. Next she grabs me and starts hugging me and feeling me around my shoulders and upper arms. Um, wait. This is too creepy. I guess again maybe they are trying to be friendly but hugging a stranger and feeling me that much sets off my creepy meter. I finally get my arms free and she hugs me again. I am smart and decide that I will watch her hands and finally she takes the $100, at my insistence, back with her and lets me go.

                        Creepy meter completely riled now, believing they will follow me or hassle me at my car, I stay in the store with the pup for a very long length of time, watching as I put all my groceries back. I did drop the chocolate bars that my family wanted me to get and the pup stood over them like, "hey, Mystery, give the command and I'll have fun!" Except with me having to go back to home to get my wallet I took someone else's help as I don't think it's right to have the pup in training grab something like that (there's still a chance he'll leave teeth marks or slobber. I don't mind it on my groceries, but someone else might and I try to be polite).

                        Next I go home, unaccosted by "kind" people. Grab my wallet and back to town I go...

                        To purchase my groceries in peace, to pay for them in peace, to meet someone I hadn't seen in 8+ years who knows me and totally respected me when I said I had complete and total control of the situation (carrying groceries on my lap without disaster, I hoped) - and have a wonderful time and figure out that the way the night had gone was just meant to be.

                        Oh, and about the wheels: they felt awesome the whole way. The grocery store is flat, and rolling was super easy. Parking lot was fine too. Once again I had cargo on my lap for some of the time but when I unloaded it to my car I practiced a couple of wheelies and I think they'll do fine. I might be able to go up just a tad higher now, not sure. Really feeling like I got a lot out of each "push" and it was good and strong and transferred my power directly to the floor and forward motion. Seemed like the casters didn't have any float, so maybe I can avoid adjusting them. Wheels seemed to feel well positioned under my hands without having to adjust CoG or anything like that, either.

                        The real test will come when I go back to work next week (big ramps and such, "normal conditions") - but for now, I'm really happy with how the 25's feel. Also really liking my introduction to Spinergy Spox...they feel really nice.

                        Very happy!!


                          I'm so sorry things went so badly. I have aspergers and anxiety so I understand what you mean. The attention and subsequent issues being out with a SD or sdit in public is something those without personal experience cannot understand. For those getting dogs for psychiatric reasons, it can be hard to understand prior to the dog and make an informed decision that this is going to truly help their disability, and for some it can make it worse. Not easy for those of us with mobility dogs either though!

                          Since you were putting the groceries back, it's good you didn't let the dog touch them. Generally in the service dog community anything the dog puts their mouth on needs to be bought. Along the same line as how the dog can't go sniffing food, or eating things off the floor even if available in a restaurant. If I did not like dogs, (and some people have religious issues against dogs, or severe allergies) I wouldn't want to pick something off a shelf a dog had their mouth on. Just part of us knowing when we are in public we are representing all service dogs and handler teams and working to improve ease of access for ourselves and others.
                          Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                          I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.


                            Mystery, I am so glad you found some wheels that make you happy! I also enjoyed reading your narrative about all of your adventures (and misadventures)... and could picture everything as you described it!

                            As a part time wheelchair user, you have NO insurance coverage? I have had a feeling that as a part time chair user myself, I would not be covered for a wheelchair either. Enjoy your new Spox! Rosie
                            It is what it is... NOW what?!


                              Thanks for the feedback, Lin & Rosie.

                              Went to the local WalMart store today and tried the chair out with the new wheels some more. Really liking them. The pup also went with me and did well. With my help so he did not rip them, he got to retrieve two giant coloring books that slid off my lap. He was a very happy pup as he enjoys the beginning retrieve. One book might stay with me but another book is going to a small co-worker's child that likes "doggy!" as he calls my Pup (and my now-retired service dog when my fully trained one was working).

                              The wheels feel really nice. I'm 5'4" if body stretched out (pull! ) with a 19 FSH on the chair (17 RSH). Arms are about 24" from top of shoulder to outstretched fingers. While I can feel the difference in the 25" wheels it feels like I am reaching down less which is giving me more push power. It feels good and we were able to do the store really well today. When I would throw my 24" knobbies on R2 it felt like they were too far back (despite being able to throw 24" regular on there and be fine) and not getting enough push but I'm not feeling negativity with the Spinergies. I am noticing that my chair feels a little different but that's to be expected. It's a good difference, at least for now. I want to give things a fair chance and then adjust one or two things at a time before I start adjusting willy-nilly.

                              Re Lin's comment about the Pup: Exactly right what one pup-team does affects the others. I wish more people realized this. I have had my struggles throughout the years related to "cleaning up the emotional damage" left by the last team in a business, generally a pup who freaked out & ran amok and the owner didn't even care. Luckily, most people in my community know me now, and know that even though I now have a pup and not my experienced dog who is unflappable and awesome, they know I won't let the pup get away with much.

                              This is the first pup I've trained for a formalized (beginning stages at the moment) retrieve, and yes, I do try to keep in mind that if I'm not planning to buy it, the pup keeps his mouth off of it! It helps at the moment that Pup still puts the occasional teethmarks on things, so I only feel safe to let him "retrieve" if I am going to be the one who buys the box! You should have seen him trying to pick up the first box of was so precious. All these people saw it slide off my lap and land on the floor, and they started to offer to help, and then they realized he was standing over it looking at me. I looked into Pup's eyes and I saw the "I want to try this, Mystery." So I said, "Get it! Bring it!" and he worked and worked...I had to help him flip the box to a different end that he could bite better (too wide the first time). Then he was like, "Okay, let me! This is MY box!" And he got it in front of the whole a good strong grip because he is learning I need that (I knock it out of his mouth otherwise, darn spasticity) - and brought it to my outstretched arms and didn't let it go until I had a good grip on it. I was so proud!!

                              Re: Rosie
                              Yes - it is true that I don't have any insurance coverage for the stuff on the chair. This is mostly because I don't use the chair at least a majority of the time in my house is actually not wheelchair accessible (and I have something called Cerebral Palsy, not SCI) - so the only places I can access with my chair if I am having a bad time are my front door / living room, computer area and kitchen. I use forearm crutches and/or wall / furniture walking to get myself around in the house. Sometimes I walk on my own too (no mobility devices) but I make sure I'm having a good day then and my spoon count is high, so I can afford to do it. If I'm feeling unstable / shaky at all I don't risk a fall - I get smart. I have some major medical issues (an ostomy, to mention one) - and if I fall and break a wrist, self-care is out of the question. Also my job which is computer dependent and my voice cannot work voice recognition software.

                              Out in the community I have to be even more aware and smarter. I have a choice: I can either look down at the surface I'm walking on so I don't trip and fall, tuning out everything else. This is bad because I can walk headlong into people or cars or travel lanes (and have done so), trying to plan a safe path for my feet. OR, I can watch everything around me, and risk catching my feet / crutches in a hole I don't see and going down. Or in even a little lip of surface change like a 1/2 inch or inch tall. As soon as I lose a crutch, it's a pretty good idea that unless I can compensate with (my older dog, now retired) - service dog on the other side, the rest of me is going to go with the lost crutch. On rare occasions I have gotten lucky and caught myself with the other crutch. Then, see argument above for not breaking a wrist, and you understand why I use a chair. Also, I really struggle with whole body fatigue (and wrist pain) from the crutches, whereas that does not happen in the chair.

                              For what it's worth, Doctors were totally ready to write me a script for a motorized chair (at least a scooter) - because of my balance / mobility / fatigue / distance issues, and I'm the one who said "wait, anything powered won't fit in my car and I'm not able to put a lift on it. Also, I'm not ready to lose all my exercise by just pushing a button. I would rather have a manual chair because it can fit in my car (on the seats), and it also gives me some cardio workout and other benefits that a powered device will not give me." So - the doctors agreed, but my insurance didn't. For what it's worth I believe a scooter or power chair would have been more expensive than a manual chair for my insurance.

                              FYI, my insurance did pay (part) of the cost for my forearm crutches. The ergonomic properties were considered an "unneeded upgrade" (myself and my PT at the time disagree with that - we realized how much weight I was actually bearing onto my crutches with the amount of wrist pain I was in with the standard demo crutches) - and so I got stuck with about $80 of the total $130 cost for those. At the time I was too tired to fight it (after fighting with another DME who tried to cheapen me) - so I just paid and got them. I needed them.

                              I would think in your case that your doctors would be able to write letters of medical necessity because of your complex medical conditions and help you get the chair at least partially paid for. If I had been willing to wait another two months for my forearm crutches I could have probably gotten the $80 covered and picked up by insurance, but I was too darn mad by then, and was using my chair exclusively because I had broke the demo forearm crutches to dangerous levels and didn't have anything but my dog training wheelchair left (a Quickie Ti, for dog training + community use. My first chair. Before Quickie R2 also came to me). So it was chair or nothing and nothing wasn't good.

                              For stuff that isn't paid for by insurance, eBay and Craigslist are my favorite places. Also here is very good, as you know these things are from "wheelers" also and I tend to trust "wheelers" in their information moreso than I trust someone who does not wheel. The only thing is that you want to be fairly sure of what you want to try before you buy it out of pocket, as depending on your location and time of year / month, people might not be interested in buying medical stuff secondhand and you may have to keep it around awhile.

                              I hope this helps. Sorry for the detour off topic, obviously I like to type and talk about the puppy and chairs and wheels and...