The Quickie Argon is a lightweight, aluminium, adjustable active user wheelchair that is in the middle of the Quickie range. It is a rigid monotube chair with round tubing.
My add-ons are: aluminium fender sideguards, 5×1.5 inch soft roll casters, height adjustable push handles, lightweight wheels, marathon plus tyres, ellipse handrims, push to lock brakes, a tubular footplate with a plastic cover and a Jay easy visco cushion. I have it in a sleek matt black with some blue spoke covers added for a pop of colour.
Source of Wheelchair:
NHS wheelchair services with a few paid for top ups (soft roll casters and marathon plus tyres)
Benefits of using the chair:
This is my first active chair and the difference between this and my previous “hospital” style chair is astounding. It is lightweight and compact meaning I can manoeuvre quickly and go so much further with each push than in my previous tank of a chair. I can also now perform a “wheelie” as the centre of gravity is far enough forward that I can balance on just the back two wheels for a moment. This makes accessibility much easier as I can manage to go up a little “step” which I couldn’t in my previous chair. I’m still working towards being able to manage a full non dropped curb…
It is very adjustable which has been great for my first chair – I still haven’t found my perfect set-up but have made a lot of changes over the 6 months I’ve had it.
Overall, I am pleased with the add-on choices I made. The push handles can be easily folded out of the way when you don’t need them and are great for hanging a rucksack from! I think the fender safeguards are really aesthetic, alongside helping protect my clothes from the countryside mud. The soft roll casters help dampen vibrations a little, as do the pneumatic tyres.
Lots of active wheelchair users hate push-to-lock breaks and call them “thumb busters” but I personally find them so much easier to use than the scissor style. When I tried the scissor-style ones, I managed to get myself caught and bled over the demo chair so 0/10 would not recommend!
I have the ellipse push rims and I love them – I cannot recommend them enough! They are an ergonomic oval shape and have a rubber strip running around them to help with grip. They are so much more comfortable in your hand, and I no longer have the wrist pain I used to get when using my old chair. They are probably the best feature of the chair.
My Jay easy Visco cushion is ok – nothing much to report. I have since tried better options, but I can sit on it for a few hours without getting too uncomfortable.
Drawbacks of the chair
The rigid frame is great when pushing, but less good when trying to get it in the car. It doesn’t go in my car (a Honda Jazz) without the seats down and it requires gymnastics to get it into my sister’s tiny car! The wheels come off easily and the backrest folds down but that’s it. I am tempted by a folding frame chair just to make transport easier.
Personally, I wish my frame were a little longer and the angle a little less steep, along with wanting a lower backrest. However, this is an issue with my set-up rather than the chair itself.
I am not really a fan of the pneumatic tyres. The marathon plus tyres are meant to be puncture proof but I have had 4 punctures in 6 months and they are so stiff that I can’t independently change the inner tube. This means that I have to wait a week for the NHS to come and fix it each time, meanwhile my chair is out of commission and I am housebound. The pneumatics tyres are great when they work but I am heavily considering swapping to solid tyres.
For an active user chair, the argon is relatively heavy. If you are an experienced user who doesn’t need the adjustability of the argon, go for something fully welded and you will save yourself a lot of weight.
Would I recommend this chair to someone else?
As a first active chair, I would definitely recommend it. It has a lot of options and adjustability which means you can fine-tune it to find the perfect fit for you. It is reasonably lightweight and it’s aesthetically appealing. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for an experienced active chair user as the added weight from the adjustability would not be worth it.