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Solid vs. suspension forks, who has gone back to solid?

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  • Solid vs. suspension forks, who has gone back to solid?

    I have been using suspension forks, both Frog Legs and Out-Front Glide, for 10 years. While I am not quite in the market for a new chair yet, I am considering excluding suspension forks next time. My main rational is I am questioning how much of the function matters to me vs. the added weight and bulk.

    If anyone has stopped using them I'd be interested to know your thoughts. I know some may have not liked them because of transfers (John Squires), I have no issues with transferring, I am more curious about rolling around.
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 05-21-2020, 06:53 PM.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  • #2
    I used frog legs suspension forks for 4 years on my first chair, and have used their uni-tine forks over the last 4 years in my current chair and haven't missed the suspension versions at all. If there is a large bump or crack I'm going to roll over I instinctively wheelie over them now out of habit, and those situations are pretty rare as it is.

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    • #3
      I'm similar to Brad, had the frog legs on my first chair, but since then the 3 chairs after have had normal forks. As a habit I do a wheelie over them so I never really need the suspension forks. Also the design of the frog legs was a bit faulty, I had a lot of falls because I hit cracks/bumps and it would flip me forward due to the way it compressed.
      http://www.adaptivesportsforums.com/

      I love sports! Wheelchair Basketball, Sled Hockey, Mono-Skiing, and Handcycling.

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      • #4
        I don't miss them either. Had them on my first chair for a few years then switched to Unitines for the past 10 years and haven't had any desire to go back.
        "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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by outkastsl View Post
          I'm similar to Brad, had the frog legs on my first chair, but since then the 3 chairs after have had normal forks. As a habit I do a wheelie over them so I never really need the suspension forks. Also the design of the frog legs was a bit faulty, I had a lot of falls because I hit cracks/bumps and it would flip me forward due to the way it compressed.
          I have Glides on my Aero T and have never liked their compressing characteristic. They tend to pitch you forward when encountering obstacles (trail change?).
          I made heavier elastomer that reduced that effect markedly but I am still not comfortable with them. Wheeling over obstacles doesn't do much good unless you can land softly, cause the bloody things still compress.
          Unless I come upon some affordable conventional forks I am considering solid mounting them

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          • #6
            After stopping using them found it easy to push my chair because I wasn't pushing against the suspension in the front casters.

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            • #7
              Had them for a few years... the polymer they use for the suspension slowly breaks down, and changing it out was a royal PITA. Once the polymer breaks down, there is very little suspension and the geometry is wrong so tended to catch them a lot in sidewalk cracks etc. Went back to regular forks, can't say I miss them that much.

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              • #8
                I haven't checked in in awhile. Thanks for the replies. I have had suspension forks on all three of my TR chairs; at this point, next time I order I am going to go without.
                C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

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                • #9
                  Had rear suspension on my first chair. made it harder to push so I gave them up. Tried a front suspension chair on loan for a week. Didnt really like ot either. if its bumpy I just slow down. suspension doesnt really add that much comfort anyway. IMHO
                  Last edited by NuckingFutter; 05-15-2020, 01:08 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have never used suspension forks but kinda curious now I use the single side forks that come on my ti zra . What are your guys recommended forks for daily use. I also like most just see a crack and naturally pop over them but would love to hear your guys options for best forks to use to make things easier and just more comfortable well not just forks I’m interested in any options

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeramie630 View Post
                      I have never used suspension forks but kinda curious now I use the single side forks that come on my ti zra . What are your guys recommended forks for daily use. I also like most just see a crack and naturally pop over them but would love to hear your guys options for best forks to use to make things easier and just more comfortable well not just forks I’m interested in any options
                      I had standard tilite forks, then frog legs suspension forks, then Outfront glide single sided suspension forks, and now frog leg unitines (single sided, no suspension) for the last 4 years and prefer them to the others. They are lighter, narrower, look better, and I can't tell much difference without suspension.

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                      • #12
                        For those who have switched back, how did it impact your spasticity? I switched to shocks after rolling through Washington D.C. a few times. They use river rock for their sidewalks around the mall area. With my solid forks the vibration would cause my legs to constantly spasm and fall off the footplate every 5 minutes or so. I have a calf strap, so I tried putting it in front, but then my feet just fell off the back. Since switching to the shocks, I've had minimal issues around DC.
                        Have you all had any issues when switching back?
                        I specifically use the Frog Legs casters that have the 220-280lb shock insert. Even though I weigh less, I discovered that the under 220lb shocks were too bouncy and when carrying a suitcase on my lap I actually flipped forward at one point. The ones I have now seem to have no issue even when I'm carrying a 50lb suitcase on my lap.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ToastGuard View Post
                          For those who have switched back, how did it impact your spasticity? I switched to shocks after rolling through Washington D.C. a few times. They use river rock for their sidewalks around the mall area. With my solid forks the vibration would cause my legs to constantly spasm and fall off the footplate every 5 minutes or so. I have a calf strap, so I tried putting it in front, but then my feet just fell off the back. Since switching to the shocks, I've had minimal issues around DC.
                          Have you all had any issues when switching back?
                          I specifically use the Frog Legs casters that have the 220-280lb shock insert. Even though I weigh less, I discovered that the under 220lb shocks were too bouncy and when carrying a suitcase on my lap I actually flipped forward at one point. The ones I have now seem to have no issue even when I'm carrying a 50lb suitcase on my lap.
                          Hmmm never used some but do they really have thst kinda force to push you forward... kinda seems like a big turn off regardless the benifits. I wanted to try some for your reasons ever bump my feet fall off foot rest and it’s the most irritating thing constantly pulling leg up , I try straps but I also don’t want to deal with them and then worry about pressure on legs I’m so lost kinda need a solution I thought frog legs would be it but you all seem to be making me think other wise

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                          • #14
                            Does a suspension make sense with solid casters? I don't think so. Because, as others have pointed out, you may not notice. That's probably because the softness of a suspension is no match for the hardness of solid casters.

                            A suspension makes more sense with pneumatic casters. Because pneumatic casters have a soft ride, a suspension complements and improve that softness.

                            Think of this way, if you have bad tires on your car would better shocks improve the ride? No. Because the tires are the limiting factor.
                            Last edited by August West; 05-26-2020, 10:21 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Well, in your car analogy, taking the shocks off would make things even worse, so yeah, while there is more than one variable at play, each component adds to the function of the whole system. On a car, the shocks are doing the heavy lifting of damping impacts, not the tires. Same thing with an air shock under a wheelchair.
                              "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

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