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    Caster issues

    Howdy folks,

    So I just got my new TRA and I am working on getting it set up right. I was hoping to lower the front end a tad, so I dropped the casters to their lowest position, and in doing so I came across a couple issues I was hoping some of y'all with more experience and mechanical inclination could help me with.

    First off, I got the wider front casters, and as I was going to adjust them, I realized they don't spin very easily at all. On my previous chair I ended up putting rollerblade wheels on and they will spin for 10 or 15 seconds freely if I give them a good spin. The casters on my new chair spin about a half turn before stopping and there is significant resistance when turning them. Even if I completely remove the axel, but leave the little plastic sleeves wedged in between the caster forks it doesn't spin freely, so I'm not overtightening anything.

    This isn't the hugest deal for the moment, maybe it will loosen up once it gets some wear in, but if it doesn't... this is going to put significant strain on my shoulders from having to push harder. It is definitely noticeable when pushing.



    A picture will help with the second issue I'm having:


    You can see that the caster fork has very, very little clearance from the ground (Less than 1/8" by my guesstimation). A bit of uneven ground and this will certainly snag, possibly flipping the chair. And even if i run over perfectly smooth surfaces, once I lose that first 1/8" of wear on the casters I'm going to literally grind to a halt. Plus those metal nubs are going to be dragging through any kind of carpet I try to roll across, making life quite difficult.


    I can't (and wouldn't want to even if I could) go with a taller caster.

    The issue I'm running into with this chair as with my last one is that I must have been off on the front height again (despite the fact that I lowered it a couple inches), so I can return the caster to the middle or maybe even tallest position to get the clearance from the forks dragging on the ground, but that will require me cutting away half of the front height of my cushion... which is really going to annoy me, I hate cutting up a perfectly good cushion, and I often (as I am at this moment) lean back in my chair with my ischiums on the very front of the cushion, so I'd rather have as much cushion there as possible.

    anyone have a better solution?
    I suppose I could cut away the excess front fork that sticks out, but I'd have to find someone to do that for me because I don't have the tools or physical workspace to do it for myself in my studio apartment.
    Anyone know if tilite or anyone else makes a lower profile caster fork that I could swap out without having to cut or grind something on my brand new chair?

    #2
    This might be a good thing. If the tightness is not affecting push, I would leave it alone and see how your chair performs. Think back about the number of threads of members attempting to solve caster wobble. Push fine and no wobble at speed would be great.
    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
      Originally posted by nonoise View Post
      This might be a good thing. If the tightness is not affecting push, I would leave it alone and see how your chair performs. Think back about the number of threads of members attempting to solve caster wobble. Push fine and no wobble at speed would be great.
      It's probably 20% harder to push. When on smooth concrete surfaces it feels like I'm pushing on carpet. This is unacceptable to me.

      It's not because of tightness or looseness of the bolts going through the axle though, as I said above, I completely took the axle out and it still wouldn't spin freely. My best guess at this time is that the plastic axle sleeves (not sure if this is the right word, they go between the caster forks and the caster itself and the axle slides through them) are causing excessive friction against the bearing or the caster itself, they are a new design I haven't seen before that slot into the caster.

      Comment


        #4
        As for your excess caster fork length, you cannot successfully use it like that very long. Cutting them off is simple with an inexpensive Dremel tool which you can use in your apt. Home Depot and others have them. https://www.dremel.com/en_US/
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by funklab View Post
          It's probably 20% harder to push. When on smooth concrete surfaces it feels like I'm pushing on carpet. This is unacceptable to me.

          It's not because of tightness or looseness of the bolts going through the axle though, as I said above, I completely took the axle out and it still wouldn't spin freely. My best guess at this time is that the plastic axle sleeves (not sure if this is the right word, they go between the caster forks and the caster itself and the axle slides through them) are causing excessive friction against the bearing or the caster itself, they are a new design I haven't seen before that slot into the caster.
          Not good. So if you stick your finger in the bearings are they themselves sticky? (hard to turn)
          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


            #6
            Might need a picture of "plastic axle sleeves". packing? hair guards?
            Last edited by nonoise; 7 Sep 2019, 6:15 PM.
            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


              #7
              I'd cut that excess fork off with a Dremel cutting wheel, file the ends clean, and move on. As for the caster spin, not unheard of for casters that sit on a shelf for a while to develop bearing issues. Can you spin them holding the center of the bearing with your finger tips? When off the chair, of course, do they still have resistance to rotation?

              edit: why the need to cut the cushion? Seat to footrest won't change raising the front .5" at the fork.
              Last edited by Oddity; 7 Sep 2019, 4:58 PM.
              "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


                #8
                Holding the inner race and spinning the out race the bearing should spin freely, should be no resistance. There should be a sleeve between the two bearings, if that's missing, or too short the bearing will bind.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by funklab View Post
                  but that will require me cutting away half of the front height of my cushion... which is really going to annoy me, I hate cutting up a perfectly good cushion, and I often (as I am at this moment) lean back in my chair with my ischiums on the very front of the cushion, so I'd rather have as much cushion there as possible.

                  anyone have a better solution?...
                  I'm beginning to think you are trying to reduce dump. Cutting a wedge out of a Supracor cushion is no easy task. You do have another choice with the rear axle height if it is not maxed out or bottomed out since the TRA has adjustable dump.
                  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


                    #10
                    If it is a brand new chair you should be able to demand replacement castor wheels or bearings. It should have arrived in good shape!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have wide casters on a TR also. The spacers are not plastic they're aluminum. I had to file them down so as to reduce the drag.they work fine now and I've replaced the bearings several times since. The spacers go into the bearings so the axel never touches the bearing, and they are just too long to fit right you probably noticed when you removed the axel the wheel didn't fall out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        **deleted due to duplication**
                        Last edited by funklab; 7 Sep 2019, 10:02 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          When I got my last chair it originally had tilite litespeed casters on it (which yours seem to be). I had the same problem. It was like the aluminum spacer between the bearings was too short and when I tightened the axle it squeezed the bearings in to where they didn't spin freely. I eventually bought a set of froglegs aluminum wide soft roll casters, with their axle kit, and the problem went away. But being that your chair is brand new, I agree with Tetracyclone that you should make them fix it. It's obviously not supposed to be that way. I made tilite rebuild my entire frame because they got the first one wrong.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by spinner View Post
                            I have wide casters on a TR also. The spacers are not plastic they're aluminum. I had to file them down so as to reduce the drag.they work fine now and I've replaced the bearings several times since. The spacers go into the bearings so the axel never touches the bearing, and they are just too long to fit right you probably noticed when you removed the axel the wheel didn't fall out.
                            I think you're right, WTF though? Why would they make them obviously too wide? It takes some serious force to wedge it in there. Seems like a simple enough fix.



                            For those of you who haven't seen this type of spacer/caster before I'll post a pic

                            it's a little hard to see, but the spacer slots into the bearing.

                            If I take it out and hold it by the spacers (which I can do since they're slotted in like that) it spins freely. If I clamp down with 10 pounds of pressure or so the caster stops spinning just like it is on my chair. I think spinner has the correct fix, which should be pretty easy.

                            Originally posted by nonoise View Post
                            I'm beginning to think you are trying to reduce dump. Cutting a wedge out of a Supracor cushion is no easy task. You do have another choice with the rear axle height if it is not maxed out or bottomed out since the TRA has adjustable dump.
                            Not exactly reduce dump, more reduce the height of my knees while maintaining the height of my footrest. Or more precisely, I need to bring my footrest up so that my feet fit properly (too long right now), and in doing so it will make my knees too high to navigate life (can't get under the table at home, which means I can't get under several of the desks at the various locations where I work.

                            I still might end up having to take my breadknife to the Supracor after modifying the caster forks. It's no easy task, you're right, but I've done it before. Takes a lot of time and creates one helluva mess (at least when you do it to a new unused cushion because of all of the little hole-punch like plastic pieces that come off of the supracor.).



                            Originally posted by Oddity View Post
                            I'd cut that excess fork off with a Dremel cutting wheel, file the ends clean, and move on. As for the caster spin, not unheard of for casters that sit on a shelf for a while to develop bearing issues. Can you spin them holding the center of the bearing with your finger tips? When off the chair, of course, do they still have resistance to rotation?

                            edit: why the need to cut the cushion? Seat to footrest won't change raising the front .5" at the fork.
                            Seems a shame to carve up a brand new fork, but I guess that's the simplest answer. I'll try to borrow a Dremel from someone at work, because I really don't want to buy one, I already have too many belongings.


                            My goal is to lower the front end to allow me to raise the footrest (in comparison to the seat) while keeping the footrest to ground clearance at the same ideal height. Mostly just so I can get under stuff I need to get under at work and at home.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Brad09 View Post
                              When I got my last chair it originally had tilite litespeed casters on it (which yours seem to be). I had the same problem. It was like the aluminum spacer between the bearings was too short and when I tightened the axle it squeezed the bearings in to where they didn't spin freely. I eventually bought a set of froglegs aluminum wide soft roll casters, with their axle kit, and the problem went away. But being that your chair is brand new, I agree with Tetracyclone that you should make them fix it. It's obviously not supposed to be that way. I made tilite rebuild my entire frame because they got the first one wrong.
                              I've been waiting 2.5 years to get this chair. I'll be damned if I let an incompetent DME anywhere near it. It'd be nice if they would fix it, but definitely wouldn't be worth the time they would take to do it (undoubtedly months), much less the things they would inevitably screw up in the process. When I went to pick up my chair I made sure what I ordered was on it, and then I ran away as quickly as possible. If anything needs adjusting or fixing it's on me now.

                              I'd much rather spend a couple hours grinding down the spacers and refitting them than wait months for the DME to do their thing.

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