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Making Do with A Too Small ZRA

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    Making Do with A Too Small ZRA

    Hi All
    I am a total novice to wheelchairs and would appreciate any feed back on my attempt to make do. I have nerve damage due to cervical bone spurs, surgery at C-3/C-4 which has left me with very limited ability to walk. Also, difficulty with lifting anything over my head. I live alone and need a wheelchair light enough for me to lift out of the car. I am trying for a ZRA series 2 but have not been successful with Medicare so far. I have a teenager size ZRA series 1 that I use in the house. I am 6?2 and 145lb. I know this will not be a great fit, but is it possible that by substituting larger (26??) front and back (5 ???) wheels, I can make this small chair usable?
    Thanks
    ThinMan

    Small ZRA configuration

    #2
    You are only 145 lbs. Why are you saying it is a small chair? Is it because of E, the 13.5 seat to footrest distance? We are both 6'2". I agree. That distance on my chairs is 3+ inches more than that. Adding an inch in the rear and a half inch in the front won't do a lot, but you might be able to increase the foot rest spacing down some. You do need a cushion which are not cheap and they add height on their own. Which brings me to the question of where is this chair, Ebay? Don't buy something without knowing your personal specs. If you want to know if this chair fits, you probably need to try it.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      I think that chair could probably be tweaked for you. A tallish cushion and/or lower footrest is a first. I'm 6'0" and need 15.5" seat-to-footrest. It depends where your height is, too: legs or trunk. Measure from back of knee to heel, seated, for a general measurement. Probably raising the back to max 12.5" also. Larger side guards and wheels too. 24" is probably too small for you. Rule of thumb is when seated (on cushion) arms should hang so that finger tips just reach center of wheel/quick release.
      "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

      "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

      Comment


        #4
        Your ZRA's 16x16 seat size is probably the most popular width and depth for adults. I see lots of demo chairs this size (I see even smaller with 15" width). I have a ZR that size and I'm 5'10" 200lbs. For me, 17" is good. My TR3 is that width. But many people look for a snug fit and my ZR is kind of nice. It does have really great side guards; you'll probably need those to hold you in; don't see them listed on your chair. Of course 13.5" seat-to-footrest is not enough for someone 6' 2". But you have a ZRA and there's a lot that can be adjusted.

        You should adjust your rear seat height as much as needed and adjust your front fork height too. You can go with 5" casters if you wish but 4" are very common. There should be at least one hole available on your front forks to raise the front (each hole equals 1/2") Remember to keep at least 2" of clearance under the front of your footrest and adjust your fork geometry to keep them square (plumb) with the floor. The manual, available as a PDF download on TiLite's site, will show you how.

        Comment


          #5
          My husband is almost exactly your height/weight. He has a 16x18 ZRA. Although you might be a bit cramped on length, the width sounds about right. You could get a solid back like an ADI that you set a little further back. He uses 24" wheels and does fine with them. What others said about a higher cushion will also help. My husband has a Varilite Evolution PSV cushion that he adds air to adjust the height. A solid seat pan like an ADI carbon fiber will raise you up a little too. Here are his specs in the CAD respository if it helps: 16 x 18+1 85? TiLite ZRA 2 DU100082 Flip-up Footrests.
          Last edited by elarson; 13 Sep 2015, 4:20 AM.
          Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

          Comment


            #6
            What doesn't fit you on the chair?

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you that diagram was useful

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks

                Thanks to everyone who replied. It would be so amazing if I could get this chair workable in the outside world. I got it to see if could get a rigid titanium wheel chair chair in and out of my car (2002 Honda Accord Coupe) and to navigate the narrow upstairs of my 1850 house. I could and it does. The seat width (16") seems fine, but the seat depth (16") is short as I measure 20" (two fingers shy of back of knee). From the foot plate to bottom of seat is 15" and i am 17.5" (a seat cushion might fix this) but my lower leg ends up behind the knee which then sticks up in a point.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Forgot to mention my ZRA seems to have been modified from the Tilite spec list. The back is know a Jet Stream Pro and the wheels are 24" Spinergy SPOX

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You should be able to move the seat back a little on the Jet Stream Pro -- the hardware allows adjustment for seat depth. Another thing to play with might be to flip the footplate to get your legs extended a bit more. Maybe others can comment on this -- here is the drawing:
                    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was going to suggest flipping the footplate around. Kudos to elarson for actually doing it. I figured the OP's legs would be too long for his wheelchair without an extended frame. Many people with smaller butts and long legs opt for adding a couple or three inches to the frame length rather than go with the deeper seat dimension. Turning the footplate around isn't the best option but it should work. I've seen plenty of TiLite's demo chairs configured this way for sale on eBay.

                      You could remove the footrest and tubing entirely and turn it around. That will give you a maximum extension. Or you should be able to unbolt the aluminum footplate alone and turn that around, if you don't want it sticking out so far in front of your chair.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks great idea.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My plan (per your suggestions) is to:
                          *reverse the foot plate
                          *Looks like the axel can be lowered an inch
                          *Get a 3 inch high cushion
                          I would have done the first two by now but those hex nuts are really on there and afraid to use too much torque
                          *The hard seat pan and fabric back would give me more height and depth but don't know how to get those used yet.
                          Question: I am wondering if 24" tire with a taller profile exists?

                          Here are a few measurement the nursing service did for me.
                          Top of shoulder to tip of hand 24.5?
                          Top of shoulder to seat 23?
                          Width 15/16?
                          Chest width 14?
                          Heel to Knee 19.5?
                          SRP Seat reference to knee 21?

                          I have been reading forum threads. What a great site this is. I would never learn all of these things on my own. Thanks to all. If anyone has a ZRA 2 closer to my size I would love to see if we could make a deal.
                          ThinMan

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What do you mean by lowering the axle? What I'm picturing when you say that, would actually lower the rear seat height. But then you're trying to increase the rear seat height with a cushion of at least 3" thick and possibly using a solid seat pan.
                            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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ThinMan View Post
                              Question: I am wondering if 24" tire with a taller profile exists?
                              Yes. I researched this in relation to trying to find balloon or off-road tires for use outdoors. The outside tire diameter/profile will change if you go with wider tires and fill them to their max PSI. You might have issues with wheel spacing, but you could add spacers to the camber tube for that.

                              Below is a list of the tires I could find that come in 24-540 in wider widths. A few are made specifically for wheelchairs to not increase the tire profile (they are listed on the top marked with ***). Take a look at the Schwable Big Apple and Schwalbe Big Ben if you want tires without too much tread to use indoors as well as outdoors.

                              There is more information on our website with photo's and specs -- see 3.1 Current 540 Wheels and New Tires. I also made some rough calculations of the outside tire diameter compared with Schwalbe Marathon Plus 25-540 -- see 2.5 Tire Dimensions There is also a long thread about this on CCC Advice for best shock absorbing outdoor rear tires. The list is about a year old, and some of the links may not work.

                              Kenda Kobra K885 ***
                              Kenda Nevegal K1010 ***
                              Schwable Airborne***
                              Rubena V41 Walrus ***
                              Schwable Big Apple
                              Schwalbe Big Ben
                              Schwalbe Crazy Bob
                              Schwalbe Marathon Plus
                              Continental Town & Country
                              Continental Traffic
                              Maxxis Holy Roller
                              Maxxis DTH
                              Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                              Comment

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