If you saw the new Quickie Xenon 2 FF roll by, you’d swear it was of the ever-popular Q7 rigid series — and it is. Well, sort of. While the Xenon 2 FF carries the 7000-series aluminum frame and caster housings of the Q7, there’s a secret distinction hidden under the seat: it folds.
Rather than using a box frame design, the Xenon 2 FF draws on a rigid lineage, from the mono-tube side frames to the seemingly one-piece footplate, all weighing in at 19.4 pounds. Yet, with just a tug, it folds. It’s a rigid ultralight without the rigid limitations, increasing transportability.
The Xenon 2 comes in three versions: the FF mono-tube, the Hybrid dual-tube (300-pound capacity) and the SA (with swing-away leg rests). Many designers over the decades have tried to create a “folding rigid,” but the Xenon 2 series is among the most successful designs.
Quantum’s Edge series has provided an industry-leading power wheelchair since its introduction eight years ago. While the unmistakable “edge” aesthetics remain, it’s now on the third generation, the Edge 3.
The biggest distinction of the Edge 3 is its use of automotive-grade suspension components, known as Smooth Ride Suspension technology. SRS uses coil-over shocks with dampening to improve both comfort and performance.
The real key to the Edge 3 and SRS technology is in the dampening. Power wheelchairs have long used spring suspension, and while it has worked, its downfall has been a somewhat bouncy ride. By contrast, adding dampening smooths and equalizes the movement of components, such as drive wheels and caster arms. Rather than “chattering” over lumps and bumps, the Edge 3 with SRS has more of a gliding effect over rough spots.
A common understanding of suspension is that it’s for comfort. However, in the power wheelchair world, suspension is equally vital for reducing spasticity and aiding those who require the smoothest ride characteristics and those who drive with specialty controls.
Image credit: Photo by Sunrise