I got my new powerchair just over a week ago which means as requested it’s time to give it a review. This will be a two part blog as it was getting a little long for one entry. This entry is more about what I’ve got on the chair as opposed to my thoughts on it.
I have a Quickie Jive M Hybrid.
The M means I have the midwheel drive version. I got my first midwheel drive chair by accident when I bought a barely used second hand one and ever since I’ve insisted on midwheel drive as they have such a smaller turning circle which means they can handle tight turns and small spaces better than R or rear wheel drive versions.
Recently I went somewhere in my manual and everyone else kept commenting that it was a good job I was in my manual chair and not my powerchair (or “big chair” as someone described it) as it would never have got round there. I was thinking it was a shame I wasn’t in my powerchair as it’s midwheel drive and would have done it much easier!
Hybrid because it uses the same seating system that the Salsa did rather than the more complex seating system for the regular Jive. On my Salsa I had a Jay 3 backrest with thoracic supports like on my manual chair. The Jive I trialed had a Jay Comfort backrest and I really loved that so I’ve gone for that this time. I don’t have any thoracic supports as I thought the shaping of the comfort would make it unnecessary (plus those things are a couple of hundred quid and can be added in later). I am beginning to suspect I may need to add at least one on (on my left) but it’s not a clear or desperate need so I’d like to give it a few more weeks.
I’ve added a headrest for the first time ever as I discovered you legally have to have one on your chair to travel by car. I was told that responsibility lies with the driver and they were happy to sell me a chair without one. Mum insisted though (I was leaning towards no as it’s a way to save money) and I have to admit that’s the sensible decision. It’s taking some getting used to, possibly because it wasn’t in the right position to start with. I’m still not 100% convinced it’s in the right place but as I said to the tech I don’t know if that’s because I’m not used to having one. There is the option to take it off and just put it back on as and when I need it but it’s not something I’m keen to do as I’m then bound to take it off and end up travelling in a car unexpectedly. It is nice when I’m sat tipped back reading.
One of the problems I had with my Salsa was it couldn’t handle steep gradiants. It had a safety mechanism that killed it off if you tried to take it up anything it deemed too steep. But it often didn’t do things I thought it should. The Jive can handle steeper gradiants and I’ve also had motor and speed upgrades (although I had the same speed upgrade on the Salsa) to help with that.
I wrote about upgrading to an R-net control a few days ago. I’m still loving that and have done roughly 33 miles since I got the chair.
The only other things I’ve had tweaked on the chair I need to mention are my custom colour that I wrote about before it came and upgraded batteries to give me a greater range between charges. It blows my mind how far I can get between charges (and I haven’t seen any low battery warnings or come anywhere near close to one) but part of me does wonder if part of that is knowing how far I’m getting now I have R-net as opposed to not having any idea when I had VR2. But it definitely does seem to have a greater range. I’m looking forward to getting out for a whole day later in the week and seeing what it can do.