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  • Fixed back? To do or not to do?

    I'm getting a Tilite TR (pretty sure at this point, though I could still change my mind and go with the ZR).
    Current chair is a ZRA, but I never ever adjust the back angle, I got it as far forward as it goes (I think), and I could use significantly more angle. Ideally, something past perpendicular with the ground, so it would be leaning forward slightly, making an angle of 75 or eighty degrees with the ground. DME supplier tells me 80 degrees is max with adjustable back and he thinks this is relative to the dump, so with a little dump probably no more than 90 degrees. I have now and am planning on sticking with some kind of fabric sling back.

    I hardly ever fold the back down. I can get my chair into the front or back seat of my car without putting it down. When I ride with other people and they haul it to the trunk, they're usually not worried about folding the back down (besides it doesn't fold much without taking off the cushion and I never ever do that).

    I'm thinking a fixed back wouldn't be that bad. Might even give me the option to go with fixed side guards, which seem much better than my floppy, sometimes falling off sideguards. And it might drop a few grams of weight and give an overall cleaner appearance.

    But what if I miscalculate? I'll be stuck with a back angle that sucks for the next five years....

    Anybody got some advice one way or the other?

    I'd love to hear from people who went with a fixed back whether or not you regretted the plunge. I'd also like to hear from you if you chose not to go this route and your reasoning behind it.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I went with the TR but wish I would have went with a chair I could adjust more. With my TR I was able to adjust the back angle from 92 to 80 approx. Would like to have been able to adjust the dump some.

    I ordered mine with the Roho Agility back. I also requested that they send the sling back that normally comes standard with the chair. I liked the feel of the hard back as it set me up straighter in the chair. Had nothing but issues with it and took me a year and a half to figure out that the hard back was the cause of those issues. I started losing feeling in my hands within 2 days and thought it must be the new type of hand rims I was using. My skin of my back side kept breaking down. Started to get a little scab form on back on one of my vertabre. Never dawned on my that all the issues with my hands and back side were related to the hard back and the angle as it felt comfortable to me. To make a long story short I had to get rid of it. I put on the sling back and after doing a seat pressure mapping change my angle from 92 to 85 degrees which removed a lot of pressure.

    This was my first rigid chair as I always had a folding chair. Went through a lot trying to figure out my issues. I sat in a sling back chair for 30 years before trying the hard back. Maybe my back could not adjust after all those years. Think every person is different. Doing better now with the sling back. Make sure they send you that sling back in case you want to change them out later.
    Last edited by Mike_Stan; 06-06-2017, 01:10 PM.

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    • #3
      I've been through the hard back ordeal similar to you. I had a sling back on my chair, but had a bunch of problems with irritation of the hardware in my back as muscle mass continued to wither away. I thought a hard back might help so I got one (by the time that process was done I'd also had the hardware removed from my back). Never could get used to the carbon fiber back, it caused pressure issues on my back and I couldn't lean back in it comfortably. I know for sure I want to stick with a sling back.

      The angle you're quoting 92 to 80 degrees is that relative to your dump or relative to the floor? With the minimal amount of dump I'd like to keep, I figure an eighty degree angle to the dump still is greater than 90 degrees to the ground (ie leaning backwards) and I want the back angle leaning significantly forward to the ground because given my lumbar lordosis and the fact that my back sits back in the sling a little more it's probably going to have me more or less sitting upright.

      I'm just nervous about having a fully rigid, nonfolding back that I can't adjust. It would be nice in a lot of ways, but if I messed it up I'd either be stuck with it or have to resort to drastic measures like cutting and welding on my brand new titanium frame...

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      • #4
        Sorry I'm not sure about the angle being relative to dump or floor. I ordered the chair with 2 inches of dump which was the same as my folding chairs. I understand your concern about fully rigid which is why I would want something I could adjust just in case if I had to do it all over again. Once you get it your stuck. As far as my back angle I had to adjust it to the same angle that was on my folders. Did not think back angle would make that much of a difference but it did for me. Wish I had the last couple years of my life back after all the BS I went through. Doctors telling me my hands had arthritis and I needed a new cushion which they said were the issues.

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        • #5
          After 32yrs, I have to say I'll never get another sling back. Get one of those fancy schmancy gel or air filled ones.
          Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

          T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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          • #6
            I agree with Lyniffer. The after market backs are far superior, and if you're concerned about the fixed back, get an adjustable one; like an ADI, etc.
            Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

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            • #7
              Been through my fair share of ADI backs. I went back to sling for the simplicity and weight savings.

              TiLite, on their CAD sign-off document, and order form, measure back angle to the floor.
              "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

              "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Oddity View Post
                Been through my fair share of ADI backs. I went back to sling for the simplicity and weight savings.

                TiLite, on their CAD sign-off document, and order form, measure back angle to the floor.
                Dope. So apparently my DME doesn't know what he's talking about, which I was relatively sure of. I guess if I can go 80 degrees with an adjustable back I should go that way.

                I agree with you on the sling backs. The way I use my chair they're just not a realistic option for me. I often lie on my bed or a couch while in the chair (just wheelie backward until my back is leaning against the bed/chair), and you can't do that in a rigid back frame (well, I suppose you could and I have, but it's incredibly uncomfortable and if you do it for long you're gonna get a pressure sore no matter how adjustable and padded that carbon fiber is). Sling backs don't have a downside for me, they're as comfortable as I need them to be and a couple pounds less weight along with less bulk is nice as well.

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                • #9
                  my last 2 tr's are fixed and new zr will be fixed. welded back and side guards. keeps the chair much mor rigid and tight. I would never go back to folding back and non fixed guards.
                  Bike-on.com rep
                  John@bike-on.com
                  c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                  sponsored handcycle racer

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fuentejps View Post
                    my last 2 tr's are fixed and new zr will be fixed. welded back and side guards. keeps the chair much mor rigid and tight. I would never go back to folding back and non fixed guards.

                    Once a person isn't at risk of getting their back angle spec wrong, I totally agree, especially on a TiLite. IMO their mechanism for adjusting and folding is sub-par (both in function and aesthetics).
                    "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

                    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by funklab View Post
                      Dope. So apparently my DME doesn't know what he's talking about, which I was relatively sure of. I guess if I can go 80 degrees with an adjustable back I should go that way.

                      I agree with you on the sling backs. The way I use my chair they're just not a realistic option for me. I often lie on my bed or a couch while in the chair (just wheelie backward until my back is leaning against the bed/chair), and you can't do that in a rigid back frame (well, I suppose you could and I have, but it's incredibly uncomfortable and if you do it for long you're gonna get a pressure sore no matter how adjustable and padded that carbon fiber is). Sling backs don't have a downside for me, they're as comfortable as I need them to be and a couple pounds less weight along with less bulk is nice as well.
                      I'd become intimately familiar with the order form. It includes a brief statement next to most measurements as to how they are done. It can vary from brand to brand in slight, but meaningful, ways. Since you're sticking with the same brand, you should be able to setup your ZRA how you want it, measure it according to the order form instructions, and be at minimal risk for getting anything wrong using those measurements for your ZR/TR.
                      "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

                      "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mike_Stan View Post
                        I went with the TR but wish I would have went with a chair I could adjust more.
                        That is the problem with a fixed chair. I would like a TR, but then I think what happens if I decide I want a different brand of cushion, firmness, or a contoured or non-contoured cushion? Would that then make me sit too high or low in the chair or make me want to slightly change the chair dump angle to compensate for the new cushion? But then I've not been in a chair that long so aren't as confident I won't want to change my chair's settings in the future.
                        eqpt - rigid chair, 2 scooters, crutches/sticks/frames, assistance cat.

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