Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge


Everyone knows that there is a host of second hand sales websites, so we took a look through some to see what we could find.  Then we were quite literally inundated with an email, with a subject of “Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge”.  It read:

Dear Review My next Wheelchair

I need a wheelchair but my budget is smaller than a baby hamster.  What can I get for £1000?

Love, Bob*

*Bob’s name was changed and he certainly didn’t write “love”.

We’ve had a few questions on and off about the options for second hand rigid frame wheelchairs, which after some discussion led to what we’ve called the “Rigid lightweight under £1000 challenge” (a lot of work went into that title).  So, lets look at the rules, which imaginatively got titled….

The “Rigid lightweight under £1000 challenge” rules

We had some clear criteria.  Nothing was to be for parts, sizes to be realistic, under 10 years old and condition had to be acceptable.  We looked for:

  • Sizes between 15 and 20 inch
  • Popular brands
  • Strict price limit had to include shipping in the total

We looked on Ebay because that’s one of the most well known auction websites – that said, we know you can also look on Gumtree or others.

TiLite ZRA

We found a second hand TiLite ZRA for £500.  Measuring 15 inches wide, it’s on the smaller end of our search.  In a neutral grey colour, it was new in 2013 and comes with Spinergy wheels.  They’re not the lightest wheels but they are really strong, so you know that if you give your manual wheels a bit of hard work, then the wheels should handle the challenge.

TiLite ZrA - Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge

It’s a good looking wheelchair and a positive start to our hunt…

Quickie Life R

It’s high on the price end, but with an 18 inch seat, a rigid frame and frog leg casters, this has a reasonable specification for the price.  Although the Life R isn’t the lightest rigid frame wheelchair out there, sometimes a budget will dictate what you’re looking to buy.

Quickie Life R - Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge

It’s been reduced from £900 to £600 and has purple wheel covers on it.  It’s not a bad wheelchair for the money, but if you need reasonable back support, we’d look for something with tension adjustable back rests.  Let me point out that Frog Leg casters are worth about £100 though and suddenly you’re paying £500 for a reasonable basic wheelchair.

Kuschall K Series

One of the best rated wheelchairs on here, the K-Series can be had for (wait for it…) £400.  Yes, you read that right – £400.

Kuschall K Series - Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge

It has a 17 x 17 inch seat and purple accents against the blue paint work.  The purple paintwork actually got some discussion going around here – mostly because it’s purple (you can disagree in the comments).  It’s got a short and adjustable backrest, anti-tip guards and removable handles, so is a decent specification for the offer.  The size will

Concluding our “Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge”

We know they’re out there – we found three in an hour.  The larger sizes are hard to come by though and given that back support is vital, we think you should always look for a wheelchair with tension adjustable fabric or a Jay backrest to ensure that you can get the best support for your back.

Avoid something that has been made to measure unless you really like the gamble.  A wheelchair that can be slightly adjusted means that you can get the centre of gravity set up correctly.  Which leads us neatly to one last point:  when you’ve bought it, get it re-configured by someone who knows wheelchairs so that it fits your measurements.

Let us know if you have purchased second hand in the comments below please!  All you have to do is log in using your Facebook or Twitter, or register with us.  If you liked our Rigid lightweight wheelchair under £1000 challenge and you want us to try something similar for electric wheelchairs, tell us below too!

A wheelchair user for 20 years, Dominic looks at how a wheelchair works for its user base, not the brochure. Dominic is our lead editor.

1 Comment

  1. That Quickie Life looks to me like it does have a tension adjustable backrest, it’s the older design but there will be a load of straps under that velcroid on cover. It’s set pretty loose but that’s probably how the previous user liked it.

    I bought a couple of used chairs from ebay before I saved up and got a made to measure one. They were great, but I’d recommend getting the most adjustable chair possible if you have the option. To begin with I had a Bromakin with what turned out to be an unusually high rear seat height which wasn’t adjustable. I replaced it with a Kuschall K-Series for only £350, which was great. I figured out what measurements I needed and when it became too squeeky and tightening things up didn’t stop the noise anymore I splashed out on a brand new chair, confident I knew what I needed by then. I still have that K-Series as a spare chair, it’s perfectly safe just a little noisier than I like.

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