A: The BT base price is $3995, the BT-Trail is $3995, the BT-ATB is $4495, the BT-G Tribal is $4795, the BT Ballistic base price is $4995, and the BT-MG Magnesium base price is $4995.
Q2. Why are your chairs so expensive?
A: There are a number of factors involved in the pricing of the chairs. First, the chairs involve a great deal of machined billet aluminum parts. This process costs more than using off-the-shelf plastic pieces, but the result is very durable pieces that look sharp and can be finished in a variety of ways. There is also a lot of welding in place of bolt on parts that give the chair extra strength but is more time consuming to fabricate. Finally, premium parts are standard on our chairs. The standard front caster forks are Frog Legs shock absorbing forks which are considerably more expensive than cheap standard forks. The standard rear wheels are Spinergy wheels which are the lightest and toughest wheels on the market and are far more expensive than standard steel wheels found on other chairs. Also, consider this, you'll spend $150 for shoes that look great, though you probably won't ever walk on, you'll spend amazing amounts on a car, truck or van, so then, doesn't it make sense that you'd be willing to spend a few extra dollars so your wheelchair reflects who you are? After all, you spend just about every waking hour of the day in your chair... shouldn't it look the best and be the best you can get?
Q3. Why do you call them 'premium wheelchairs'?
A: Premium means "having or reflecting superior quality". From the machined billet aluminum fittings, to the high quality hand made craftsmanship of the frame, to the top of the line Spinergy wheels and Frog Legs caster forks, this chair is designed to be a superior quality wheelchair. We also will customize your chair with just about anything you can think of-- custom stitching, custom side guards, custom finish (mirror finish, anodized, powder coated), and anything else you can think of. These chairs truly are one of a kind!
Q4. Why aluminum... Isn't titanium better?
A: Good question! There is a lot of myth and folklore in material properties. Let's examine the qualities of both. Titanium, as an alloyed metal, is almost twice as heavy as aluminum, but it's stronger. In order to achieve a lighter frame the wall thickness must be much thinner than aluminum which is possible because of it's strength qualities. Aluminum, being a lighter metal with a less overall yield strength, requires a thicker tube wall and usually a larger diameter tube (as seen on most aluminum mountain bike frames). Different alloys of aluminum yield very different strength properties. We use 6061-T6 'aircraft' aluminum for is great strength properties. Titanium is difficult to weld and requires an inert atmosphere. Aluminum is much easier to weld. A titanium chair can be very light and durable, but should you ever need to weld it, modify it, or repair it, it must be done by a specialty shop. An aluminum frame can be welded by just about any welding shop or hobbyist. While we initially looked into Titanium, cromoly steel, carbon, and aluminum for our chairs, in the end, an aluminum chair with the proper alloy, tubing size, and wall thickness is comparable to other materials, and in our mind the greater cost of the titanium and the potential troubles of welding it just isn't worth it. Plus, large tube anodized aluminum is just plain cool!
Q5. Why Magnesium... What is it?
A: Magnesium (Mg, #12 on the periodic table of elements), the eighth most abundant material on Earth, was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davey in 1808. Magnesium was first commercially used in the aircraft, aerospace, and the automotive industry. It has been and is used in auto body panels and engine blocks, rims (popularized as Mag wheels), Formula 1 race cars, aircraft, aerospace, missle applications, computer enclosures, and more recently has begun to emerge in the bicycle industry. Lasher Sport is always looking at other industries for new technologies that can be adapted to the wheelchair industry and magnesium was a natural fit. The benefits of magnesium over aluminum and titanium are evident in the statistics. Magnesium, the lightest structural metal, is 35% lighter than aluminum and 62% lighter than titanium. Magnesium has a superior strength to weight ratio making it very light an strong. Magnesium is also excellent at absorbing vibrations making its dampening abilities and super smooth road feel a benefit when used in a wheelchair frame. Ultimately, the end product is an Impossibly Light wheelchair with excellent ride characteristics.
Q6 Why 1.5" tubes when the industry uses 1" tubes?
A: You'll notice that the mountain bike industry uses larger diameter tubing. This has to do with the strength characteristics of an aluminum tube. We also think that larger diameter tubing looks pretty cool on a wheelchair frame.
Q7. What is the "anodized" or "powder coated" finish you use?
A: Our standard finish is a powder coat finish. It is similar to paint in that it is sprayed on, though it is much more durable than paint. It also come is just about any color style or pattern paint has to offer. As an option, we use Type II sulfuric anodizing on our frames. This is an electrochemical finish that creates a coating that penetrates the metal during the process and is between .3 and 1.0 mils thick. While it can be scratched with a sharp object, it doesn't chip. It requires no clear coat which can yellow or cloud over time, and it doesn't add appreciable weight to the frame. Anodized finishes can be almost any color or graphic pattern.
Q8. Why don't you offer mountain bike style knobby all terrain wheels?
A: Not only do we offer all terrain wheels, we now have an All Terrain Chair, the BT-ATB (All Terrain Beast).We also offer knobby mountain bike tires on any other chair, though our order form doesn't expressly show every type of wheel we can put on your chair, be assured that we can build your chair with any rim or wheel you desire. We can even provide a 3" wide knobby tire and wheel if you desire!
Q9. If your chairs are truly custom built, why are there measurement guidelines?
A: The order form lists guides for chair sizes, but we can build just about anything you want. Just call us and we'll work with you on your order form. Our goal is to build a chair exactly the way you want it with the options you desire.
Q10.How soon will I receive my chair after I order it?
A: We are a small shop and we custom make your chair when we receive your order. Depending on the model you choose, the options, the finish, and the number of chairs we are working on, it will take from 6-10 weeks... but the wait will be worth it.
Q11. Your chairs are pretty cool! Are you working on any other products?