The RGK Tiga Sub4 has been around a little while now – what makes the RGK Sub4 one of the most popular made to measure wheelchairs available? We took a look at the Sub4 in more detail. You can find all of the specification by clicking here.
Made to measure
Because RGK work within tight quality and measurement controls, you’ll be getting a wheelchair built within 5mm of tolerance in the design. This means that although the cushion and backrest may conform to standard widths and lengths, your knee to footrest, frame knee angle, COG and wheel positions are all exactly where you need them.
What does this mean in reality though? It means that the RGK Tiga Sub4 is going to be a lot more agile than something pre-built and adjusted to you – the difference between the COG being 20mm out of alignment with perfection can be the difference between climbing a kerb and not falling backwards. Likewise, the knee angle can aid both the balance and the push weight to the wheelchair.
If you’re an active user, paraplegic or tetraplegic, the bespoke build of the Sub4 means that you can reduce the push impression simply by moving your feet back. Likewise, the lightweight means that you can add heavier push-rims such as Carbolife Geeko or Surge LT without impacting significantly on the end weight result.
On the road with a Tiga Sub4
The Tiga Sub4, being a rigid frame wheelchair, has a very firm ride, in part thanks to the seat canvas and tension adjustable back. It’s quite nimble, thanks to the welded axle and the fixed footbar giving the rigid frame brilliant support as you move about.
Because the RGK Tiga Sub4 is a lightweight rigid frame wheelchair, you’re not going to notice the miniscule weight when pushing it around. I found the soft-roll casters great around down, as they held the road well, especially in the supermarket on those shiny surfaces. They were good in places where bumps came as standard, like on preserved railway platforms.
Being made to measure, you’ll find that the centre of gravity allows your balance to be pretty much spot on – I didn’t feel worried about being on an off-camber position or wheeling over steps. I liked that the seat sling absorbed some of the ride vibrations, taking the edge off the brick paving outside the office, for example.
This Tiga Sub4 had a welded fixed position backrest, so it wasn’t as compact as some wheelchairs. It sat happily in the front footwell of our fleet Alhambra and Focus. The wheels come off quite easily and the rigid frame is so light, you can easily lift it over yourself in the car or into the boot. With my own disability, lifting is a challenge and I found this wheelchair a lot easier than some I’ve tried.
A wheelbag can be opted for if you travel internationally and the rigid frame means that it’s less likely to be damaged on a plane than a folding frame when being loaded into the hold.
Because the Sub4 has an option to have a folding backrest, you can make it more compact, although its important to remember that you will add to the weight with the folding mechanism.
Adapting with options
Because the Sub4 is an ultralight wheelchair frame, it means you can add a couple of extras without impacting too much on the weight. My own first option would be carbon side guards – they keep that weight low too. The carbon footrest is a great addition too – the cut out doesn’t make a massive weight difference but shows the dedication to the idea of it being as light weight as possible.
Colour accents can be added to give the RGK Tiga Sub4 that unique touch and there are several frame colours available. Alongside this you can add Spinergy wheels, including Spinergy Blades, Jay backrests or a wheelAIR cooling backrest. I’d certainly opt for Spinergy Blades and Softroll front casters. Marathon Plus tyres are available as an option too, which in the Review My Wheelchair office, we consider to be the standard in tyres at the moment.
Because it’s such a lightweight wheelchair, you can add little pieces to the finished product that makes the wheelchair truly bespoke. Being made to measure, the Sub4 is also going to be built perfectly to your needs.
So what’s the catch? You need to make sure you’re in the exact position for the build you need, with your typical shoes on hand if appropriate (wearing platforms can really push your knees up!). You need to be aware fully of what you’ll be adding to the wheelchair and how you’ll be transporting it, as once the wheelchair is built, there is little that can be done.
Get it right, then you have a sturdy workhorse for the next five years. I certainly found it to be really robust and easy to live with. Keep it simple too and there’ll be very little to go wrong.
You can buy from RGK direct or through retailers including EPC Wheelchairs. Prices start from £4,284.