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Tilite ZRA

tilitezra21The TiLite ZRa is a very good chair in my opinion.  First off, lets start with the name.  Each of the letters, ZRa mean something.  I’m not sure why the “a” is lower case, but anyway.  The “Z” means it is a Z frame.  Meaning if you look at it from the side, it looks like a Z.  It has no lower frame like say the Quickie GPV or Invacare A-4.  This is both good and bad.  The good thing about this is that it saves on weight.  Now bear in mind the ZRa is made of titanium, so it is light to begin with.  But this helps even more.  The bad thing about having no lower frame is that the caster barrels (where the caster forks attach to the frame) have that one single support, the one place that attaches them to the rest of the frame.  So if you hit a serious enough bump, you could bend the caster barrels, and then your chair will not roll right at all.  I have not done this and would think a pretty serious bump of some sort would be needed to bend the frame, as titanium is very strong.  Anyhow, on to the next letter in the name, R.  The “R” means ridgid.  In other words, it does not fold up, at least not totally.  The backrest does folds flat forward.  Just pull the bar on the back, near the bottom, to release the lock.  Then fold the back forward as normal.  As is customary for all ultralights these days, the chair has quick release axles for the rear wheels.  Most of you know the drill for these.  Push the button on the hub in, then pull off the wheel.  Finally we have the “a”.  The “a” means it is ajustable.  See, this chair comes in two versions.  The non-ajustable ZR, and the ajustable ZRa.  I have the ZRa.  Things like footrest height, backrest height, rear wheel spacing, etc can be ajusted.  On the ZR, they cannot be ajusted.  So, the ZRa is the better of the two models if this is your first chair.  You can play around with different settings and stuff to see what best suits you.  Now, I ordered my chair brand new from www.sportaid.com.  I took the needed measurments myself.  One thing I’d change, if I could, is the seat sling-to-footrest height.  I ordered it maybe a few inches too high.  But it’s no big deal, I’m ok with that.  I ordered the red upholstery, which I like.  There are a few other colors available and also the frame itself I believe can now be ordered in several colors.  And there is also the color anodized package.  You can chooose between 4 colors for the axle, caster barrels and other hardware pieces.  Whatever color you choose is the color for all the hardward pieces.  In closing, this is by far my favorite chair so far, and it is my third chair.  It’s light, easy to adjust things on it (save for the footrest adjustment up and down), and handles really great.  I will definitly buy a TiLite again when “new chair” time comes around.  Whether it’s this model or a different one, I’m not sure.  But this is a great ride.  No, it’s “The Ultimate Ride.”

– ZRawheeler

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7 Responses to Tilite ZRA

  1. Seth says:

    Good read. What other 2 chairs did you have before this one? How is it with getting into and out of vehicles?

  2. cath says:

    I love my ZRa, though I have nothing else to compare it with as it is my first chair. It’s fiddly to adjust, but I think that’s just my lack of experience with chairs. It’s very easy to lift, Seth – if I can heave it over my head into the car then anyone can.

  3. Angel says:

    Thanks for the great review.

    I was looking at ordering a chair from Sportaid or Spinlife, but I require shipping to Australia. May I ask how much shipping cost was for this chair and how long it took for you to receive it?

  4. Ahiru says:

    ZRawheeler lives in the US. Sportaid ships wheelchairs to other countries and in some ways just getting them to organise the shipping creates less hassle. I used the free shipping within the US once to try and pay less for it overall (to send spinergy wheels) and I ended up paying just as much once the GST etc popped up at customs.

  5. Anne says:

    Hi there, I am newly disabled due to MS and am looking into buying my first custom chair. Looking online at chairs is so overwhelming, especially since I don’t know what so many of the options really are or which is best.

    Anyway, I think I’ve narrowed my choices down to either the ZRa or the Quickie Ti Titanium. Does anyone have any experience with the Quickie chair? Pros and cons? I am a small framed female and one of my biggest concerns is getting a light enough chair to be able to get in and out of a car myself. Other than that, I really have no idea what I am looking for. Any help or advice would be appreciated!

  6. Ian says:

    I’ve got a ZRA, but not tried the Quickie Ti, so cannot do a comparison. The ZRA is much, much lighter than my previous Quickie GPV, but that is no surprise.

    However, the ZRA and the Quickie Ti are both made of the same stuff (Titanium, obviously) and have very similar frame designs. I can’t see the total weight being very much different.

    I think that getting a chair with a fair amount of adjustment will be the important thing for you, so you can gradually work towards a set up which is right for you. Looking at the specs, both seem to offer that, so I guess you’ll not go very far wrong with either.

  7. Johnboy says:

    Hey guys– a little late to the discussion, but I saw some posts talking about needing international shipping. SpinLife has a pretty good international shipping deal through Bongo International and it is MUCH cheaper than other sites I’ve looked at. The new ZRa and ZR just came out this week– SpinLife has some photos and it looks pretty awesome!