Rigid frame wheelchairs quite often look similar – limited metal underneath, a foot plate and folding back usually achieve a lightweight wheelchair. The Genny Mono R is different. It uses a single stem frame and a flowing footrest to deliver a wheelchair that will (believe me) turn heads.
The wheelchair specifications
The wheelchair is aluminium and carbon fibre, meaning that it weighs 6.5kg without wheels. Whilst not the lightest on the market, it is complemented by a completely adjustable frame that doesn’t require tools. The seat, foot rest, brakes and back can be manually adjusted without the need of reducing your wheelchair to a pile of bolts and some allen keys.
The seat is carbon fibre, a single piece with a Velcro strip to hold the memory foam cushion in place. The backrest is the Scudo carbon fibre, weighing in at 500g. The vented upholstery and cushion offer great support, reaching well up the lumbar without impeding on your shoulders for propulsion.
The footplates are also carbon fibre and the casters have a single arm stem, giving a stripped down look. The clothing guards are also carbon fibre and can be removed for transport (although I confess, I didn’t bother).
The frame has two pitches of 75 or 90 degrees and the wheels can be pitched at 0 or 3 degrees camber. It can also accept 24 or 25 inch wheels, quick extraction seat pivots and has a Tarta backrest option. If you’re not sure what the Tarta backrest is, we suggest a read of the Genny Urban review.
Technically – this wheelchair is configurable and can work for most people. It’s been engineered to precision, much like you would expect from a train, say.
Looks and style
Looks is one area where the Genny Mono R is not going to let you down. The flowing frame gives a look that is one of a sports wheelchair – not a fitness wheelchair, an open top pretty sports car of the wheelchair world. The frame (available in red, black or white) is complemented with a carbon fibre knuckle between the knees. The wheelchair that arrived with us was red and looked sporting with the carbon fibre details.
I got a few looks when I tested the Genny Urban, the electric wheelchair from the same manufacturer. However, I got a few different looks when I was in the Genny Mono R. Looks of appreciation, the acknowledgement of a nice bit of design. People were looking at my wheels, because they were looking good.
The frame is finished with the Genny Mono logo – they are vinyl though, if you prefer that badge free look.
The brochure boasts of Italian design. I’m inclined to think that the boast is deserved.
Movement and motion
The wheels can have any tyres required, which adds to the versatility of the Genny Mono. I tested the Mono with slick tyres, meaning that my rolling around Bluewater shopping centre was more of a race. The push was smooth and easy to do, having configured the seating myself to meet my needs of a lower back of the seat and raised knees. This means that no matter what your needs, you can adjust it to yourself and your needs.
The height of the back was lower than I am used to normally and I didn’t feel uncomfortable or unsupported by it whilst on the move.
Living with the wheelchair
The Genny Mono R is very easy to use around the house – it is very stable and doesn’t damage easily – great if a door is swung open suddenly by small people. The lack of side supports on the front means that small people can sit on your knee without their feet being in the way of the front support stems. You just need to remember that you have a central support stem unless you want a sore coccyx.
The frame, being 6.5kg, is easy to put into the car. I use the car boot as my front seat and rear bench is occupied by children. It fit easily into my Ford Focus estate car, as well as sitting happy on the front seat if required. The back doesn’t quite fold flat, which might make the difference in some smaller boots. That said, the anti-tip folds neatly out of the way.
In the office the Genny Mono R works well – the adjustable back allows for a bit of flexibility when at a desk for a long time. I did find that in meetings I couldn’t cross my legs as I normally might but that is a small individual thing that many people might not encounter. In addition, the carbon fibre seat base feels firm underneath the memory foam cushion – which meant on occasion I’d transfer to an alternative wheelchair. I also struggled to find somewhere to add a cycle computer – a personal preference as I like to know what my wheeling distance is in the office or on site visits.
The pretty and sleek Genny Mono R looks different and delivers what you would expect from a rigid frame wheelchair. Whilst the colour range is limited, the simplified options and manual adjustment give something different from the main marques.
Looking great in the red, the Genny Mono gives the impression of a sports car. On a weekend, this is a great ride and feels casual as you do. During the week, I’d always keep an alternative chair for those long meetings.