My powerchair - the saga draws to a close…
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Finally, after being buggered about far more than seems sensible, I’ve ordered a new powerchair - the Class 3 Pride Quantum 6000. There’s a Flash video here.
You can check out the Quantum range, plus Pride’s full range, on their US website (the UK website is a waste of space). Beware, the volume of the videos there will blow your windows out if you have decent speakers!
The above is the basic package, mine has the 8mph option, with the optional, and far more superior, height-adjustable armrests, lighting package and a seat lift.
Note that the armrests are set extremely low in the pics - when I get it set up they’ll be much higher. That also means that the seat-back isn’t as weirdly tall as it appears. The seat is the standard TRU-Comfort, though I’d have preferred the fabric-upholstered Synergy seating, as shown in the main pic. It came as a package however, so that wasn’t an option, neither was my preference for a black one, which looks seriously cool!
It has a claimed range of 25 miles which, under real-world conditions, translates to about 15-16 miles. The European standard for assessing range is hopelessly unrealistic - a 10-stone person circulates on a flat track until the batteries run out. No starts or stops, no kerbs or ramps, or hills, no cold weather; I feel that 66% of the claimed range is about all you can expect, and less that that in winter as cold saps battery power (not that most people would want to be riding a powerchair that distance in the winter). It will do 8mph, as I’ve said, and that’s under perfect conditions with the light rider too, though my experience suggests speed is affected less than range in the real world.
The seat lift will be invaluable when shopping and, in the pub, it will raise me to the right level at the bar - no more scrabbling about on stools designed for six-footers!
All things considered, it’s a good choice, the only downside is the price, around £6,000. Mine’s an ex-demo machine, though, so I got it for a lot less. It may mean I have to budget for batteries sooner than I might have had to with a brand-new one, but I can live with that.
As you can see, mine has a foot-plate rather than leg-rests. I was going to change until I found out that the leg-rests were an insane £300 (be aware that the mark-up on disability products can be as high as 200-300%). Both have their advantages. The plate flips up, so you can get to the seat more easily, and it takes up less space in the home when not being used (you should NEVER keep powerchairs or scooters in an unheated, badly-ventilated shed or garage - they need the same conditions you do!). Conversely, leg-rests may be a little more comfortable, and provide useful places to mount additional lights or a cyclists’ water-bottle holder.
Additional lights, by the way, because the lights fitted are OK for being seen, but are rarely any use for seeing by, and a flashing amber light is a legal requirement for Class 3 machines like this if you ever venture onto a dual carriageway (in my opinion it should be used on all roads - you can never be too conspicuous in a powerchair or scooter). This one costs about £28 delivered.
Yes, it’s white, but a layer or two of amber cellophane
sweet wrapper under the dome will change that.
Get it here
All I need now is for Motability to do their thing, which takes
2-3 weeks, and I’m mobile again.