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Kuschall employs formula 1 to perfect 'world's lightest wheelchair'

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    Kuschall employs formula 1 to perfect 'world's lightest wheelchair'

    Wonder what this will cost??

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    "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


      Thanks for sharing KLD!

      That is a beautiful chair for sure and it is nice to see some R&D in terms of wheelchairs but I doubt it's affordable, practical and something that will be feasible for producing in my lifetime

      I wonder how many eons it will take to pass all the testing and become an approved mobility aid?

      Still it is nice to see and dream.

      Still it is nice to


        Kuschall has several models which are available only in Europe, so even if this model eventually goes into production I wouldn't automatically assume that it will be available for purchase in the US.


          Looks great. The use of a rectangular frame is thinking outside the box. I'm not so sure that the material has to be as strong as the claim they make but, why not. Just would seem to add to the price I would imagine.
          I refuse to tip toe through life, only to arrive safely at death.


            Makes more sense to put it on the coffee table to admire s artwork.


              How will it hold up? Does it need to be painted?


                Interesting, as yesterday I read an article that carbon fiber may be on its way out because its so expensive and labor (high skill level) intensive, and its difficult to repair.


                  That chair is a game changer. It's beautiful and light. I agree though that it will probably never see mass production at an affordable price and probably not distributed in North America. My first chair in 1989 was a Quickie GPV--a solid "tank" of a chair that the Rehab centre recommended for me. It was popular and highly adjustable for a new SCI. My second chair about 3 years later was a Kuschall Champion. If the GPV was a tank, the Kuschall was a sports car. It was light with a ground breaking design--the first L shaped frame I ever saw. I really loved that chair! The quality of construction was far superior to Quickie. It was a lot faster and much more responsive than the GPV ever was--a night and day difference. As a bonus, it was way easier to transfer it in and out of my car's back seat. It wasn't long before everyone that could afford a good chair in our WC basketball league was getting one. The only downside is that it costed about 1k to 2k more than popular chairs of that time. Poor people or people on public assistance couldn't afford one which was unfair.


                    As we're all well aware, insurance rarely and only stubbornly covers the cost of titanium frame chairs. In these dystopian times it's not hard to imagine when someday insurance won't even cover aluminum frame chairs in favor of corrugated cardboard. The current better known carbon fiber chairs such as the Panthera X and the Carbon Black are fairly rare sightings. Carbon Black seems to have changed management (if not ownership) multiple times and they were recently open-palming for capital heavily over Facebook. All this to say -- and agree with the consensus here -- that while this new Kuschall Carbene chair has many in the wheeler crowd drooling (and let's pause to marvel at how many adapt well enough to their injury to then become excited over cool-looking chairs!) it's likely to never be owned by anyone who doesn't have lots of disposable income.


                      Wow, just wow.

                      I'd pay $15k for one and wheel it forever.


                        I've been building carbon fiber chairs for years and using my current one for more than 6. Nothing else compares to a properly designed and built CFRP wheelchair. There isn't much advantage in pushing, but if anyone ever has to lift it the benefit is immediate and substantial.

                        It's fun to see these kinds of articles pop up though. Using Graphene is laughable; simply because the market hasn't even accepted composite wheelchair construction in any form. If there are any hurdles to overcome with composite wheelchairs; trust me, Graphene isn't solving any of them.

                        Originally posted by baldfatdad View Post
                        Interesting, as yesterday I read an article that carbon fiber may be on its way out because its so expensive and labor (high skill level) intensive, and its difficult to repair.
                        - It's not on it's way out in any of the industries I deal with; quite the opposite. There are definitely some (like wheelchair construction) that will likely never see widespread adoption, and IMO that's an area where it's needed the most. I used to actually take into account how many times I'd have to load/unload my chair in planning a day's activities because my old titanium chairs started giving me shoulder pain lifting them into the car. I haven't done that in years thanks to a CFRP frame that is less than half the weight of my last titanium one.

                        Cost is the key though and it's just more expensive to build with composites. That's not gonna change any time soon, so unless the market decides the benefits are worth the additional cost, metal frames are still gonna rule.

                        SCI-Nurse: that chair would likely cost more than $10k. Because it costs close to that to produce? No. Because they'll only sell a couple and it takes high margins to justify small scale production of "exotic or luxury" products.


                          One of the fastest growing companies is Motion Composites. They are having success because they are designing their products to use carbon fiber where it is appropriate but use other materials and common sense designs where it is not. While they bring a fresh approach to the industry, they also recognize they are new to the game, and I have seen their products change in response to feedback they are getting from the field.

                          Invacare is not in a position where they have unlimited resources to spend on R&D. I don't think this video would be out there if they weren't serious about bringing this product to market.

                          From what I understand, Kuschall is revamping almost all of their designs, and Invacare is taking a global approach to marketing their products. It doesn't appear Top End will play much of a role in future everyday chairs. Rather, they will rely on Kuschall.

                          Looking at the video, this is a modular design, which means only a limited number of "base frames" are required to produce the most commonly needed configurations. They are probably banking that a well-engineered base frame being produced for a global market will mean sufficient volumes to realize ecomonies of scale.

                          Whether it will succeed is going to depend on whether they have committed themselves to approaching the ultralight with a fresh perspective--like Motion Composites. Innovative products are needed, but no new product will ever be pefect when it goes into production.

                          Hopefully, they are getting good input from ultralight end users as they develop this base frame.

                          Hopefully, we will see it in production sooner rather than later. The longer it gets held up inside the corporate bureaucracy, the more-likely the actual product is just a shell of what we see here.

                          Hopefully, they break with past practice and listen to their customers once it is released to identify the inevitable changes that will be needed and make then as quickly as possible.

                          Hopefully, they don't offset the costs by repurposing existing, but outdated, parts or using low quality components on other parts of the chair.

                          To do these things would represent a major and welcome change in Invacare's corporate culture. Will the "new Invacare" be able to do this in the post-consent degree era?

                          Let's not give up hope just yet. They need to in order to survive.


                            I can vouch for Motion Composites. I have a Veloce and it's worked out great. Much easier loading and unloading from the car than my old TI lite Aero X. Very solid and wheels very well.
                            "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


                              Unless something better revolutionizes the market, the Motion Composites Apex will be my next chair. I like everything about it: adjustability, appearance, light and they are near me.