After a week of living with a wheelchair that could revolutionise how I get about, here I am, asking myself one question in particular: is this the chair for me?
It started off strong, the chair moving quickly, requiring very little effort to move, even with a child on my knee. The chair itself has a framework that holds the seat canvas, a bucket seat for added comfort and the drop to the footrest and casters allows the frame to curve with your knees. However, the cross hinge means that the chair flexes on each side as you turn and the casters have odd heights or when you go over bumps.
The fold takes place with a hinge locked cross that requires a tug on a piece of nylon rope to release the back to fold forward and another tug to release the brace. The footrest, which is sprung usually, should be lifted slightly to ease the fold – we had the spring removed as without it, the footrest remains flat at all times, a boon when trying to stand and swivel a transfer. To open, the front should be opened, and the linked string at the front pulled hard. This took practise with those regularly folding the chair but once mastered was a doddle. Brakes, on this chair, were side flick active locks. I am surprised how quick I got used to them
So, aside from the footplate, is all well with the mechanics? Sadly not. The nylon string, after a week in my home, started to fray and come away from the attaching point under the seat.
To make up for his misdemeanour the chair rode well, the ability to roll coupled with decent bearings and a good seating position. The casters location offered a good steering access, too. Word of advice, get the adjustable back, as the standard one will do your back in.
The chair, with a bag on the back, can get very tip prone – worth noting if you commute but makes up for this with a good front weight.
This chair is good, but I need to be convinced. It offers a lot but it has a formidable challenge coming up – the Sunrise Xenon.