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John Williamson

Frontier X5 "All Terrain" Powerchair.

If you are looking for a top end "rehab" style Powerchair with good speed, good range, Big Amp Control system and true outdoor capability and some indoor ability then this is the best Powerchair out there. With a few small issues.  Although this one is better!  And this one is going to be better still!

For ANY outdoor use - even our "SMOOTH" streets - it is superior to all other currently available powerchairs. It offers a truly Smooth COMFORTABLE ride much like a boat over water.

Detailed Full PowerChair Related ONLY Menu HERE

Conventional Powerchairs rattle you about like a pea on a drum and vibrate you to death even on our supposedly wheelchair friendly smooth streets. 

Never mind on a grass field or any real "off road".  This is uncomfortable as well as physically damaging if you suffer from pressure sores or spinal problems as I do.

This is because normal powerchairs almost universally use hard small skinny tyres! 3.00 x 8 sized - (14 inch).   They have very high pressures and very small sidewalls. YOU FEEL everything you drive over only too well...

Suspension on all current powerchairs barely does anything to stop this high frequency vibration and bumping about and its unlikely to improve as it simply cant work at the slow speeds we travel at.

Why is the X5 so good outdoors? Because unlike every other modern powerchair it uses big soft low pressure "balloon" style main drive wheel tyres. These run at a very low pressure of just 4 to 7 psi and simply deform to absorb bumps, Even rocks and curb edges. You don't "feel" the obstacles or the surface. 

There is only one chair in the world better than this X5 for outdoor use that I know of and that's my own. It uses the same sized tyres as the X5 for the very same reasons. 

They missed an important trick though. I personally use tubeless ones on my own powerchair (up to 20 times less chance of a puncture causing deflation) 

And I use 4 ply tyres rather than 2 ply. They are even tougher and harder to puncture. And they are filled with off road puncture seal fluid - just in case!  I like to be sure! I can actually drill a hole in mine without the tyre deflating.  That's very important for a Powerchair user. No not drilling holes... Puncture survival! And a tubeless tyre cannot be fitted to an X5 wheel even though they are the same size. They failed.

While it performs well outdoors and off road too, its a bit big and high indoors. It width is claimed to be 28 inches. But my ruler showed me 28.5 inches+ across tyres. That is over 3 inches wider than my own fat tyre powerchair.  Why??? And its length is a good few inches longer too... As usual they just are not trying.

And it has an extra set of casters sticking out at the rear to hit everything behind you as you manoeuvre indoors. It feels like a tank in comparison to my own chair indoors. Even the seat is a few inches higher. 

I tried an X5 in my Rollx Van. Typical lowered floor minivan. It JUST goes up the ramp if you are inch perfect.  But that would get very tiring at night or in rain. Once inside headroom becomes a bit of an issue too, as does moving it about to get to the correct driving position. I drive from the wheelchair. It is too wide to go centrally in front of the steering wheel. It can be used in a van but isn't ideal. The electronic tie down would also need moving off centre to allow it to fit... 

Needless to say my own heavily modified fat tyred F55s powerchair is a fraction over 25 inches wide so has plenty of room on the ramp. And turns easier inside to as its much more compact / shorter too and has lower seat.

X5 factory programming is dismal, soggy, and vague much like all new powerchairs but with the aid of an OEM programmer that can be fixed!   If you can get hold of one.  Its not easy. An end user/dealer programmer will not fix that. Its considerably better than the last few Pride Quantum or Quickie powerchairs I have tried though!  They are absolutely unreal to the point of being almost unusable!  What were they thinking?  We are not all 93.

See powerchair programming here!

It uses a Dynamic Control System - now updated to a DX2 system. That is MUCH better than most systems. See why here!

It uses the large group 24 MK Gel batteries'. In a chair like the Frontier X5 that's bad. Gel batteries struggle with high currents that this chair requires off road with its big 4 pole motors and true 120 amp x2 control system (if programmed to take advantage) Good AGM batteries such as I choose to use in my own powerchair are far superior here - although they may not last quite as long.

There are a few quality issues too. Arms are flimsy, weak and wobble about. If you use them to lift yourself as I have to do they will bend and fail.  Swing away footplates are badly made and finished. The base appears to be reasonably well made. Non of it is finished well in common with almost every powerchair with thin single layer of paint on most parts and cheap steel bolts/bearings etc.   Another reason I built my own! That and I don't like that great chunk of powerchair sticking out behind me. Or mid drive (6 wheel) powerchairs generally. It makes them too long. And they can get hung up with drive wheels off the ground.   See video for some more details:


Power base below.....

The X5 power "base" seems pretty well built and solid however. In this image one battery is removed and you are looking at the rear. Obviously the seat has been removed! Notice the big soft squashy tyres. 145 / 70 - 6 rubber! There should be standard on all powerchairs. But there is no reason for it to be 28.5 inches wide! My built in a bedroom powerchair with the same sized tyres and batteries is 3.5 inches less wide!  Caster wheels are a little small for snow / sand etc but seem to manage mostly. Bigger would have been better. But since there are so many of them they would hit everything around you indoors.

Speed... There are claims of 7.5mph, 7mph, 6mph... Not sure which is correct. They all seem to be about 6.5 to 7 as far as different owners tell me. See powerchairs and speed.

However IF I had to choose a powerchair from all that is currently available (and wasn't allowed to just build my own) then I would seriously consider one of these. subject to reprogramming, and some off road goo in the tubed tyres. The puncture seal does not work as well in tubes though. Tubes pop like balloons, or stretch around the nail or whatever letting the air out.

X5-Frontier (image above)

Length: 43 inches
Minimum Transport Length: 32 inches
Width: 28 inches
Weight including Batteries: 260 lbs
Battery Type: Group 24, 75 amp/hr
Driving Range: 20 miles
Maximum Speed: 7.5 mph
Turning Radius: 21.5 inches
Maximum Curb Capacity: 4 inches
Incline Capacity: 15
Maximum User Weight: 400 lbs
Motors: Two 24V DC Custom Design 4 pole
Total Motor Torque: 900 Watts (watts isn't a torque measurement!)
Tires: 145-70/6 Low Pressure (3.6psi)
Park Brakes:  Electromagnetic Disc X2
Control System: Dynamic Controls DX2 High Current System

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