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  • An Alternative to Tilite

    An alternative to the monopoly on titanium chairs that Tilite has...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmg2IilB1z5/

    http://www.teamhoc.com/
    Last edited by giles88; 08-26-2018, 01:51 PM. Reason: clarity

  • #2
    Get your facts straight!

    Originally posted by giles88 View Post
    An alternative to the monopoly on titanium chairs that Tilite has...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmg2IilB1z5/
    TiLite did not monopolize the titanium wheelchair market. In the 1980's Quickie made titanium wheelchairs which did not sell well. I owned one of them.

    TiLite was developed from TiSport who made titanium golf club parts. TiSport felt a need in the market for light weight wheelchairs and got FDA approval to start making TiSport wheelchairs about 1992. I still have my TiSport wheelchair serial number 286. Insurance companies had problem approving TiSport light weight wheelchair because they believed that they were used for sports.

    So, TiSport Wheelchair Division renamed themselves to TiLite. By word of mouth and the economy of need and demand TiLite gained popularity very quickly among wheelchair users who wanted a light weight wheelchair.

    Today TiLite does not heavily advertise their products.

    TiLite did not monopolize the titanium light weight wheelchair market. By the word of mouth about TiLite is how they gained their popularity not only in the United States but worldwide.

    Today, TiLite still makes each wheelchair by hand which still are the best on Earth.

    Get your facts straight!

    Ti
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting history lesson, thanks!

      I think (hope) Giles' use of 'monopoly' was hyperbole. Of course there have been Ti frames in the past and present, but I think it was design not material that set TiLite apart. Their chairs always looked heads above the other American manufacturers, at least in rigid frame. Their stuff was always real pretty and I can understand even paying out of pocket for one.

      I remember the Quickie Ti chair looking okay, but not striking in any way and that my insurance at the time would not cover it. For those reasons I never considered it an option.

      Interesting to see HOC getting into frames. I never got to try one of their skis and always thought it looked a bit much, but those chairs look pretty slick. One of them even resembles the old Halls Wheels design.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by brian View Post
        Interesting history lesson, thanks!

        I think (hope) Giles' use of 'monopoly' was hyperbole. Of course there have been Ti frames in the past and present, but I think it was design not material that set TiLite apart. Their chairs always looked heads above the other American manufacturers, at least in rigid frame. Their stuff was always real pretty and I can understand even paying out of pocket for one.

        I remember the Quickie Ti chair looking okay, but not striking in any way and that my insurance at the time would not cover it. For those reasons I never considered it an option.

        Interesting to see HOC getting into frames. I never got to try one of their skis and always thought it looked a bit much, but those chairs look pretty slick. One of them even resembles the old Halls Wheels design.
        i just got a new tr3 but will go hoc next. steve is making some beautiful chairs
        Bike-on.com rep
        John@bike-on.com
        c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
        sponsored handcycle racer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by titanium4motion View Post
          TiLite did not monopolize the titanium wheelchair market. In the 1980's Quickie made titanium wheelchairs which did not sell well. I owned one of them.

          TiLite was developed from TiSport who made titanium golf club parts. TiSport felt a need in the market for light weight wheelchairs and got FDA approval to start making TiSport wheelchairs about 1992. I still have my TiSport wheelchair serial number 286. Insurance companies had problem approving TiSport light weight wheelchair because they believed that they were used for sports.

          So, TiSport Wheelchair Division renamed themselves to TiLite. By word of mouth and the economy of need and demand TiLite gained popularity very quickly among wheelchair users who wanted a light weight wheelchair.

          Today TiLite does not heavily advertise their products.

          TiLite did not monopolize the titanium light weight wheelchair market. By the word of mouth about TiLite is how they gained their popularity not only in the United States but worldwide.

          Today, TiLite still makes each wheelchair by hand which still are the best on Earth.

          Get your facts straight!

          Ti
          Titanium4motion,

          Thank you for the history lesson and setting me straight. Since you have your finger on the pulse of Tilite, could you please enlighten me further?

          What year did Tilite start making Quickie's titanium frames? Or, did Tilite always manufacture Quickie's titanium frames?

          What year did Tilite switch from using American made Ti tube to cheaper Chinese made Ti tubing?

          When did Tilite start cutting corners in production and leaving burrs in all the holes, leaving ti chips and blasting media in the tube and under the camber clamps, rivnuts not set flush to the tube and building chairs out of spec?

          Help me keep the facts straight!

          Giles
          Last edited by giles88; 08-26-2018, 04:22 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fuentejps View Post
            i just got a new tr3 but will go hoc next. steve is making some beautiful chairs
            I'm in the same boat, just got my new TR back a few weeks ago after a factory mod. I'm really excited about http://www.teamhoc.com/ building Ti chairs. Steve is a great guy and treats the customer like a human being. Unlike Tilite which treats the "end user" like a piece of dirt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by giles88 View Post
              Titanium4motion,

              Thank you for the history lesson and setting me straight. Since you have you finger on the pulse of Tilite, could you please enlighten me further?

              What year did Tilite start making Quickie's titanium frames? Or, did Tilite always manufacture Quickie's titanium frames?

              What year did Tilite switch from using American made Ti tube to cheaper Chinese made Ti tubing?

              When did Tilite start cutting corners in production and leaving burrs in all the holes, leaving ti chips and blasting media in the tube and under the camber clamps, rivnuts not set flush to the tube and building chairs out of spec?

              Help me keep the facts straight!

              Giles

              Wouldn't be surprised if it coincided with their acquisition by Permobil. All their latest designs haven't been titanium, it's just an 'option' at this point. If Ti wasn't in their name I bet they'd have moved on like the rest of the industry did years ago. Ti is cool, but it's not functionally superior commensurate with its cost and fabrication/repair difficulties IMO. Steel and aluminum alloys can be made as durable and light as TiLite titanium frames...for less money. I see 'titanium' as a cool-factor buzz word the way TiLite uses it. Their frames aren't expected to last any longer than a Quickie and they're not always lighter than other alloys, which makes me wonder, "What's the point?!", beyond marketing.

              I also believe, should they endeavor to, Team HoC could really do the material justice, but that's probably true of anything they touch. Until they get too big for their britches and sell out to Permobil, of course!
              "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

              Comment


              • #8
                Enlighten.

                Originally posted by giles88 View Post
                Titanium4motion,

                Thank you for the history lesson and setting me straight. Since you have your finger on the pulse of Tilite, could you please enlighten me further?

                What year did Tilite start making Quickie's titanium frames? Or, did Tilite always manufacture Quickie's titanium frames?

                What year did Tilite switch from using American made Ti tube to cheaper Chinese made Ti tubing?

                When did Tilite start cutting corners in production and leaving burrs in all the holes, leaving ti chips and blasting media in the tube and under the camber clamps, rivnuts not set flush to the tube and building chairs out of spec?

                Help me keep the facts straight!

                Giles
                giles88,

                I'd be more than glad to educate you on what knowledge I can share with you if I know the answers. If I couldn't share what I know I wasted a lot of tax payer's money and money on medical insurance.

                What year did Tilite start making Quickie's titanium frames? Or, did Tilite always manufacture Quickie's titanium frames?
                TiSport or TiLite never manufactured 'chairs for Quickie. Quickie had their own titanium welding, cutting and bending facility. For some unknown reason Quickie Ti 'chairs did not sell so they stopped manufacturing them.

                What year did Tilite switch from using American made Ti tube to cheaper Chinese made Ti tubing?
                I don't understand why you would say Chinese makes cheaper "grade" or cost titanium?

                First of all titanium does not come from titanium ore like iron from iron ore. Titanium comes from the minerals ilmenite and rutile considered ores or deposits. There are also other minerals that titanium can be made from. So, where are the ilmenite and rutile ores or deposits located?




                As you see the United States is not on that list from Wikipedia. The United States has only a few titanium mills to produce titanium plate, tubes, rods and powder for US consumption.

                Commercial grade titanium must be 99.4% titanium. So if any of the countries listed above imports commercial grade titanium does it matter where it comes from? What makes United States commercial grade titanium better? It has to be 99.4% titanium. Now if you are talking cheaper as to cost that is a savvy way of TiLite to save money on purchasing titanium. I do know TiLite has metallurgists on duty to check the quality of the titanium they purchase. If there is too much impurities in the titanium it is not commercial grade and will fail under stress and strain.

                What makes you say the titanium comes from China? Does it say on your tubing "Made in China"?

                When did Tilite start cutting corners in production and leaving burrs in all the holes, leaving ti chips and blasting media in the tube and under the camber clamps, rivnuts not set flush to the tube and building chairs out of spec?
                Now that is a quality assurance problem. I would contact them directly and talk with the manager of manufacturing about that. That is poor workmanship and unacceptable to me. To build a 'chair which you signed the CAD drawing must be made to that drawing otherwise you have the right to refuse it.

                I had a problem with TiLite with my last ZRA which I was told by the manager of manufacturing that they can make a special oval rigidizer bar but when it came down to the CAD drawing it was the standard rigidizer. I put in calls to TiLite that were never returned. The district manager ended up calling me and telling me TiLite would not manufacturer the oval rigidizer bar because there was too much waste involved and costly.

                Any other questions?

                Ti
                Credits: Wikipedia.com
                "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've heard a lot of not so good things about TI lite since it got taken over. I know one of the founders of TIlite and he is now affiliated with the chair I currently use, the Motion Composites. I dunno why so many people seem against carbon fiber but this is the best chair I've ever had. I weigh 230 and my Veloce so far has been flawless, I bounce down curbs with it, takes bumps smooth and is extremely lightweight. Ya, the chair is 4 grand, but every time I lift it easily into the car it makes it all worth it.
                  "Life is about how you
                  respond to not only the
                  challenges you're dealt but
                  the challenges you seek...If
                  you have no goals, no
                  mountains to climb, your
                  soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Titanium simply isn't the wonder material the hype train believed it was. The end user and the business cases both failed, which is why there's only one big manufacturer still trying to make it work.

                    A quick DuckDuckGo search reveals the "unknown reasons" why the industry (provider and payer) backed away from titanium, aside from the poor cost:benefit ratio.

                    site:sci.rutgers.edu frame crack

                    This is almost exclusively a titanium frame result set. Making it lighter means making it too thin, since it's quite a heavy element. Thinness is its only option to compete, and that has consequences in wheelchair applications.

                    Quickie had too many axle plate failures. It was widely reported at the time. Not for "reasons unknown".
                    "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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Oddity View Post
                      Titanium simply isn't the wonder material the hype train believed it was. The end user and the business cases both failed, which is why there's only one big manufacturer still trying to make it work.

                      A quick DuckDuckGo search reveals the "unknown reasons" why the industry (provider and payer) backed away from titanium, aside from the poor cost:benefit ratio.

                      site:sci.rutgers.edu frame crack

                      This is almost exclusively a titanium frame result set. Making it lighter means making it too thin, since it's quite a heavy element. Thinness is its only option to compete, and that has consequences in wheelchair applications.

                      Quickie had too many axle plate failures. It was widely reported at the time. Not for "reasons unknown".
                      The problems with the Quickie Ti frames was the design, frame crush when adjusting the axle plate and retightening the bolts. I still have an old Quickie Ti frame (circa 1994), and rivnuts are all perfectly flush to the frame, every hole in it is clean, even the welds looks better than current Tilite stuff. And despite what my friend Titanium4motion says, yes Tilite did make that frame, I know this because Tilite told me they did.

                      I think the thin wall Ti tube is okay, if the design of the frame doesn't have any thru bolts, and its a fixed welded back, not adjustable. I actually prefer aluminum over Ti, and once tried to get Tilite to make me an aluminum TR, but as often is the case with them, they refused.
                      Last edited by giles88; 08-27-2018, 11:21 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Titanium4motion. I have a ? Do you have any idea what the alloy or percentage of ti to x is in the wheelchair frame?
                        As a comment to this discussion: I was at the VA a week ago and the "mobility" nurse (I am trying to get a Smart Drive), rolled her eyes and sighed when I ask how tilite was since Permobile took over. I didn't quarry further.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          silly geese.. beautifully designed but the forks are on the wrong sides! (my Lasher came like that)

                          I'm with oddity on this one- titanium is overkill. I'll stick to aluminum, although the comments and replies on their IG indicate they'll use any alloy you want.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Oddity View Post
                            Wouldn't be surprised if it coincided with their acquisition by Permobil. All their latest designs haven't been titanium, it's just an 'option' at this point. If Ti wasn't in their name I bet they'd have moved on like the rest of the industry did years ago. Ti is cool, but it's not functionally superior commensurate with its cost and fabrication/repair difficulties IMO. Steel and aluminum alloys can be made as durable and light as TiLite titanium frames...for less money. I see 'titanium' as a cool-factor buzz word the way TiLite uses it. Their frames aren't expected to last any longer than a Quickie and they're not always lighter than other alloys, which makes me wonder, "What's the point?!", beyond marketing.

                            I also believe, should they endeavor to, Team HoC could really do the material justice, but that's probably true of anything they touch. Until they get too big for their britches and sell out to Permobil, of course!
                            While I agree with all the statements about Tilite's customer service/workmanship going downhill since being acquired by Permobil, can an aluminum chair really be made as light as a Ti one? If so, why does Tilite say there is a 3lb difference on their site (assuming they aren't lying)? Because 3lbs is pretty substantial to me. It's unfortunate that Steve/HoC doesn't deal with insurance because their chairs seem top notch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tooley View Post

                              silly geese.. beautifully designed but the forks are on the wrong sides! (my Lasher came like that)

                              I'm with oddity on this one- titanium is overkill. I'll stick to aluminum, although the comments and replies on their IG indicate they'll use any alloy you want.
                              The last aluminum chair I had was the Invacare A4. It was too heavy. I saw a Colors aluminum chair at the Abilties Expo. It too was too heavy. You have to paint aluminum, which is a maintenance nightmare. I don't get the appeal. I know they say the Quickie Ti was not strong enough. But it was fine for me. And it was the lightest chair I ever had. It was my favorite. I am considering getting it back on the road if they still make parts for it.

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