TiLite ZRA Series 2

Back in 2007, I blogged about getting my dream ride. I was deciding between the Kuschall Airlite Pro and the Invacare Top End Crossfire Titanium. In the end, I got the Matsunaga Max Pleasure Synergy GS-V instead. I settled on this Japanese-made aluminium folding wheelchair due to the fact that they had a local dealer who could take measurements and customise the chair to fit my body.

Matsunaga Max Pleasure Synergy GS-V
Matsunaga Max Pleasure Synergy GS-V.

The first chair that they delivered was too wide. I had problems going through doorways. I complained and it was replaced with a narrower chair. Having used it for more than two years, I quite like its maneuverability, how my body fits into it and how it improves my sitting posture. At 10kg, it is lighter than my previous chairs and easier for Wuan to lift up and store in the car boot.

Unfortunately, it began to squeak early this year. The seat does not fit snugly to the frame anymore and it tends to pull to the left when pushed. I cannot send it back to the local dealer for repairs as he is no longer in the wheelchair business. While looking for a wheelchair repairman who is familiar with this chair, I am going to get another one.

TiLite ZRA Series 2
TiLite ZRA Series 2.
Image taken from TiLite.

This time, I am going for the TiLite ZRA Series 2. It is a rigid titanium frame wheelchair and weighs about 5kg without the rear wheels. I have never used a rigid wheelchair before but from what I read, the frame has less flex as compared to a folding one thus making it easier to push. Besides that, less moving parts translates to less wear and tear and less maintenance.

The TiLite ZRA Series 2 has to be ordered from one of the online stores in the USA. The frame itself costs USD1,895. The chair I configured with the parts I want is around RM13,000 inclusive of a suitable cushion and shipping. The other snag here is that I have to do my own measurements. I need to get it right else it will be a very expensive piece of living room d├ęcor. The good thing about the ZRA Series 2 it is adjustable to a certain degree should my measurements be marginally off.

My “TiLite ZRA Series 2 Wheelchair Fund” has only achieved one-third of the amount needed. I plan to place my order before the year is out. Hopefully, I do not need to dig into my savings to fund this ride by then. It may appear like a large amount to pay for a wheelchair but it is worth the money if properly tuned to fit my body. In the long run it will reduce repetitive strain injuries to my shoulders caused by pushing a badly fitted wheelchair.

My Dream Ride – Making It A Reality

Kuschall Airlite Pro
Kuchall Airlite Pro
Image taken from Spinlife.com.

A few days after I posted My Dream Ride in September I received an email from Grace. She is a Malaysian who is currently residing and working in Texas, USA. She offered to pay for the Kuschall Airlite Pro. The Airlite Pro is to wheelchairs what Nike Air Zoom Moire is to sneakers. It can be customised to fit my body perfectly. I had to turn down Grace’s generous offer as I felt that it was too expensive a gift to receive. Besides, I believed I could work to earn enough to pay for it sooner or later.

In December 2006, the distributor for Kuschall in USA announced that they would no longer carry that line of wheelchairs in the country anymore. The news was disappointing as it was no longer being offered by online stores in the USA too. However, Kuschall announced in January 22 that another company has been appointed to distribute the brand in the USA again. Just in case the Airlite Pro will not be offered via the online stores, I am prepared to trade it for another equally exciting chair – the Invacare Top End Crossfire Titanium. This is another wheelchair that sports the minimalist design much like the Airlite Pro. Configured to my specifications, both will cost approximately USD3,000 respectively.

Invacare Top End Crossfire Titanium
Invacare Top End Crossfire Titanium
Screenshot of image from Sportaid.com.

The income from selling advertisement space in my blog has been increasing steadily for the past few months. To realise the dream of owning either of the swanky rides, I have decided to appropriate the money earned from that into a fund for purchasing one of the wheelchairs. At the same time, I will continue to blog as I have always been doing. Advertisements in this blog will be kept to a minimum and inconspicuous. Hopefully, I will able to ride in one before the year is up.