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Seating clinic for new chair. Questions

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    Seating clinic for new chair. Questions

    Anyone gotten an ADI back with fixed elite hardware and sorry for the fixed? I have a van and don't have to break down my chair. Also considering fixed frame. Are these good ways to lighten the chair, sleek it down some? I've been in this ZRA for 11 years and am thinking I have it dialed in enough that I could save some weight. But I am a little worried about doing that, and I'm getting older, might change. Thoughts? Thanks!

    My thoughts are:

    Where weight savings matters the most is when breaking down and transferring the frame into a car. In terms of the pushing experience, the couple lbs in brackets and fasteners that you might save will be imperceptible. The 'lightness' of pushing feel (and direction changes) is almost entirely 2 things: tire pressure (145psi rules) and wheel base geometry (the more square, the more agile).

    Going fixed can achieve a tighter feel, with less chair/parts flex under load, and increase the responsiveness of the chair, but it isn't necessarily because of weight savings.

    If you aren't breaking your chair down and lifting the frame on a regular basis I wouldn't focus too much on weight.

    I prefer fixed backs and axle positions for the increased rigidity and for the parsimony achieved by far fewer parts doing the same essential job of rolling me around.

    Fewer brackets and fasteners is simple and stiffer and I like that. Lighter?! Not really by much, and not by enough to feel when pushing a 25-30lb chair plus a ~150lb+ person around.
    "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


      I prefer an adjustable back in case I decide to change to a different cushion or back. CHanging from a slingback to the Java back and cushion I use now required I change the back angle and height. If it was a fixed back it would have been difficult to adjust or would need to buy a new chair. It also gives me an opprotunity to finetune every once in a while.

      I imagine if I were a very low injury, I'd op for a fixed back once I dialed in the chair for a while. There's not that much saving in weight going to a fixed back.


        I really appreciate these responses! That's a good point about the pushing experience not being that different with the slight decrease in wt. Hadn't thought about needing to change the seat angle with a different back. I've always had a solid back (Matrx PB elite at present) Was thinking of going with something better looking (with less hardware) like the ADI Cf or the Roho agility CF. I was just thinking they would look "cleaner" with fixed hardware. But you all are saying not to do fixed BACK, not fixed HARDWARE, right? The adjustable hardware on my Matrx back is ridiculously "clunky"!
        Last edited by Lynne; 15 Sep 2020, 7:57 PM. Reason: adding info


          For me, I'm a T6/7. My sports chairs had fixed backs etc.. One thing to think about is how tough to load into a car or when traveling. How much of a hinderance would a non foldable back be when in other vehicles other than your own.

          I have a van so a foldable is not a big deal but if we used my wifes car, a fixed back wouldn't fit in the trunk and would be a hassle putting in the back seat. I just like the option to fine tune and change things around if necessary. With your being an incomplete, and sure that you are not going to be changing backs or cushions during the lifetime of chair; a non foldable is an option.


            A TRA with rigid back is for good for general use including driving my van. A Quickie Ti with sling back is better for driving my car to social occasions. Because it's transfer weight is significantly less and the sling back conforms to my body shape and looks better. Less is more.

            Having said that, you'd better have good posture with a sling back. No sense in the back looking better if you don't.


              Well, two more questions. Does "satin" finish aluminum look the same as satin titanium? I'm currently in a titanium, but may not qualify this time. Will I get the same look in "satin" Al? I saw painted gray, or whatever it's called and didn't like it. Also, can I still get a drawing thingy like 11 yrs ago? Can't remember what it's called.
              I laughed out loud, August West, when I read your comment about "looking good"! I have poor trunk control and balance so the solid back helps with that.
              I actually had my eval yesterday! Good points, Patrick Madsen. the PT really pushed me to at least go with the adjustable folding back, but with minimal hardware on the back itself. He thought I should consider being able to change back angle as my body changes. My chair is small enough that it does fit in my husband's SUV, however.


                Two more questions. Does the "satin" aluminun ZRA look the same as the "satin" titanium? I have the titanium now but if I don't qualify for Ti this time wonder about the Al finish. Also can one still get a CAD drawing before ordering like 11 yrs ago?
                Well, I had my eval yesterday! The PT really encouraged me to go with the adjustable back to plan for physical changes which might require a different back. My chair does fit in my husband's SUV. I appreciate your comments Patrick Madsen.
                I laughed out loud, August West, when I read your comment about "looking good"! I have poor trunk control so the solid back helps with that. SO I'm going with the same (Matrx) back with minimalist hardware this time. They suggest the CF makes little difference in wt and I didn't like the look of the JAY and it didn't seem lighter anyway.


                  I've tried a lot of solid back Lynne. My favorite is the one I'm using now called The Ride Java solid back. It has full adjustment of up, down, forward/back and angle adjustment and is not as heagy as some of the others out there.

                  If I didn't have an adjustable back on the chair, I wouldn't have been able to try the different solid backs because they are all different with some taking up a lot of space due to the hardware needed to attach the back.

                  Make sure you order the deeper crossbrace on the back frame to give you enough space to compensate for the hardware attaching the solid back.


                    Yes you can get a CAD drawing and you should. Because there are specifications on it that are not on the order form it helps you to better understand what you're getting.

                    Satin aluminum paint may look similar to satin titanium but not for long. Because any paint will be quickly damaged. I'm wondering why you would pick that color. I think most of us pick titanium for weight and low maintenance not for color. Is it because it would better hide the scratches?


                      I'm not sure you get a CAD for a ZRA August. It's been so long since I've ordered a ZRA.Something I didn't like re the ZRA was the larger tubing they use on it so went with the TR or TRA for the smaller diameter tubing.. You may want to ensure you have room to grab the front of the frame rail if you se it to transfer with. I found adding an inch before the bend to the down tube very helpful for transfers.


                        Thanks "guys". I wasn't understanding that the "satin" aluminum was PAINT. I thought it was buffed, or whatever, like titanium is. I didn't want any painted chair because I thought it would looked scratched. Also, I sorta like the black parts/satin look of my satin finished ZRA now. My first choice is titanium, but if I can't get my ins. to help I might have to consider aluminum. Oh! It just occurred to me. Maybe if the Al is just buffed metal it would rub off black on surfaces like hands, clothes?
                        Yes, I do use down tubes, but want to stay short as possible and find that it's adequate. I have short tubular armrests and I start "scooting" with those. Wish I could ditch the armrests. Have had precarious "incidents" trying to do without. Too little trunk control.

                        Have any of you heard of or seen NewtonAirGrips hand rims? I use plastic coated. They had me look at some others. QGrips, maybe they were. I thought they'd be too grippy for downhill. But the AirGrips sound tougher than plastic, and not as grippy as QGrips. Saw them at Sportaid.


                        • August West
                          August West commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Looking at the order form, it would appear that satin finish is an option for aluminum. But I would think it's just for titanium. Because aluminum without paint would be dull no matter how much you buffed it. Over time it would pit and get even uglier.

                        • Oddity
                          Oddity commented
                          Editing a comment
                          yeah the satin is only for titanium. The 'matte' is what they call the 'satin' like painted aluminums finishes. There are only 2 options. Ive been happy with the 'titanium grey' matte finish. Its a powder coat not a paint, so its quite durable. Been a year with no signs of wear other than having dropped it once. The scratches are faint darker lines and didn't go through the coating.

                        Originally posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
                        I'm not sure you get a CAD for a ZRA August. It's been so long since I've ordered a ZRA.Something I didn't like re the ZRA was the larger tubing they use on it so went with the TR or TRA for the smaller diameter tubing.. You may want to ensure you have room to grab the front of the frame rail if you se it to transfer with. I found adding an inch before the bend to the down tube very helpful for transfers.
                        I got a CAD for a TRA so I bet they give one for a ZRA. Adjustable or not, there are still dimensions on the CAD that are not on the order form so it makes sense to approve a CAD before any chair is built. For example, only the CAD specifies how much seat tubing protrudes beyond the cushion.

                        For you the extra tubing help with transfers. For me it's a trap to fall on the floor. I want to get rid of as much of that tubing as possible because my knees spread apart during a transfer. As a result, a knee can caught under that tubing right at the front angle bend. When that happens there is no way to recover. I'm going down. This is a relatively new problem for me because my knees never used to spread apart during a I transfer.

                        Next thing to make transfers safer for me is D-locks. I've gone down due the locks slipping and the chair moving out from under me. But I digress.

                        Get the CAD. Don't let them talk you out of it. If they try, they're doing you a disservice and aren't a good DME. Tell that to your insurance making sure you let them know it's a safety issue and they will have no choice but to get involved on your behalf.
                        Last edited by August West; 17 Sep 2020, 7:00 PM.


                          Good to hear they provide a CAD for the ZRA. It's been so long since I tried a ZRA I forgot if they provided one or not. The company has changed so much since Marty Ball was in the company. I remember the old aluminum push rims that'd turn the hands black.


                            First CAD is free. Then it's $75 per CAD.

                            Let's say that they provide a CAD and you request a change to it, then they'll charge you $75. Let's say that you mark up an existing CAD and send it to them. Then they'll send an formal CAD back to you that should match your mark up. It's unlikely that they will guess exactly what you want on the CAD the first time so clearly it's better for you to initiate the process by sending them a mark up CAD. That way, they'll know exactly what you want so they can get it right the first time.

                            You initiating the CAD by sending them a mark up helps all parties. Because it keeps the cost down for you and it reduces the CAD time for them.