Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Amigo Scooters

Amigo scooters are the best anywhere and were the first mobility scooters, though Amigo doesn't get as much advertising and name recognition as other brands. They offer all kinds of features and customization that other brands do not, from specialized seating to a shabbat model (uses less energy/autoshutoff during nonuse without having to turn scooter back on) to a barber's style footrest for those awkward times that you're eating at a restaurant or sitting at a table and dangling legs make your back hurt (remember scooters have to be pulled parallel/sideways to a table and the seat turned). It's also the only scooter anywhere to feature the Tilt in Space, leg cushions, and side supports, options that most users can find only on wheelchairs. There is also a smooth ride seatpost if you ride regularly on bumpy terrain or flooring or a powered seat that many users select to raise and lower your height (great for getting under tables and desks but keeping yourself at a different ergonomic optimum at other times).

I love these options, but not all of them are compatible with one another. They can't be, given the nature of the construction, so some decision making is required. Ideally, I'd like the power seat, the smooth ride post, the tilt in space, and the ComfortFlex 2 seat because of my typical ride and typical pain level/seating needs. Here are some of the considerations that affect my decision (I have plenty of time thanks to insurance stalling):
The smooth ride post is not adjustable. It is 13" from the base of the post to the bottom of the seat.
The smooth ride post is not compatible with the power seat lift option.
The smooth ride post is not compatible with the Tilt in Space.
You can get a rocker switch or a key, but not both. (I want the rocker switch because I'll lose the key, but if I park it, someone can leave with it).
The ComfortFlex 2 seat has a flatter seat than the premium seat.
However, the ComfortFlex 2 seat is not compatible with the Tilt in Space.
The ComfortFlex 2 seat can be special ordered not to have the headrest attached.
The Tilt in Space rotates only 180 degrees, not 360 (should be fine for me).
Transporting the Tilt in Space can be more complicated and doesn't work with many lifts.
RD model is available in champagne (silvery color), scuba blue, green, or red. Blue or green? Blue or green? Blue or green?
Pneumatic tires work better on bumpy ground and flooring, but the flat-free tires won't, well, get flats.
I have to deal with very bumpy, pre-ADA flooring and pavement, but the Tilt in Space would give me a lot of pain relief (I sit in high backed chairs that will tip back when I must sit and do most of my work lying down). However, the Comforflex seat, the best affordable/ergonomic option for me, won't work with the Tilt in Space. You can recline the back a little, but the angle would be a problem.

The staff at Amigo are extremely helpful, by the way, and they know their equipment. They'll send out people to repair your scooter if it you have an emergency, even if you're out of town.

This is an extremely complicated set of decisions. Advice is welcome, of course. I wouldn't even have these options on other models--my temporary scooter (not Amigo) doesn't even have adequate leg length for me. I doubt, if insurance pays, if it will pay for some of the options, though they will truly help.

It's funny how disability-savvy women always want to know what color I'll get. That is an important choice, too, when it's available!

The word "Amigo" is definitely fitting for this scooter.

See myamigo.com. Several different menu items list customized features.

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