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John Williamson

Sunrise Medical Quickie Groove Powerchair.
A modular, flexible, highly configurable hi end powerchair. New version!

Lets get something out of the way to start with!  Its widely advertised as being "modular". Comprises of "modules" that mean the same basic powerchair can be configured not only with a variety of seating options (which I will not go into here) but the Groove is also a slow 4mph, medium 6mph speed or "fast" (8mph plus) powerchair.

And also a rear drive, mid wheel drive, and front drive powerchair.  That's all great!  For the manufacturers. And the dealers.  But any chair that is designed to be all things to all people and front, mid, and rear drive as well has a lot of compromises built in.  Ever heard Jack of all trades, master of non?

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Quickie Groove

Click image for bigger picture  This photo shows some of the options. Rear drive with comfort seating. Mid drive with an automotive seat. Front wheel drive with rehab style seating. And three different types of arms...  There are more bigger real world photos further below on the page.

Now to begin with don't get the idea that you can configure your OWN Quickie Groove from front drive to rear to mid drive yourself because you cant. Each uses a large number of different components to achieve each version. Things like motors, casters lighting etc. At the very least.

So it has to be ordered the correct way to begin with. So really this should be three different powerchairs! The "modular" part only helps the supply chain.

And... Don't worry about all the horror stories about the OLD Groove powerchair and its Delphi electronics...  The manufacturers gave up and did what they should have done from the start and now use Penny and Giles control systems. Finally you can buy one without the old reliability worries. 

Like the majority of modern "full sized" hi end powerchairs the groove uses puncture prone tubed hard skinny tyres on the drive wheels that are 14 inch diameter. (3.00 x 8). With small sidewalls. This gives a harsh ride and is tiring on our streets. Or puncture proof foam ones that are even more harsh and eat battery power faster! 

A better solution would have been the fat low pressure tyres that I use on My OWN powerchair. These are tubeless (MUCH less puncture prone like your car) and offer a hugely better smoother ride on our streets.  As well as having mud, grass, snow, sand capability due to better floatation.  No powerchair suspension comes close to matching the ride comfort of these balloon style tyres.

The best chair configuration here for outdoors is the rear drive version. For reasons of stability, larger caster wheels than the mid drive one, and the obviously better outdoor capability this gives. And better stability than the front drive and rear caster one!

Ever seen a fork lift truck spin around when it tries to drive too fast? You cant beat physics. The front drive upsets my engineering sensibilities and I wouldn't choose that for any reason.

Quickie Groove Powerchair

The same base is used for rear or front drive version with the seat reversed and a few other changes. A very different bunch of parts is used for the mid wheel drive version. Both versions have doorway hitting swing away footrests. A centrally located single footplate would be better. There may be one available. In rear drive form its far too nose heavy with the drive wheels much too far behind you. Mostly because the backrest is far too thick.

This means a battery power wasting forward centre of gravity and also limited indoor manoeuvrability. It also puts a lot of weight on the small skinny front casters that will sink in soft ground/sand/snow and make steering on less than smooth surfaces more difficult. These casters have "suspension" of a kind as does the larger drive wheels, although its hard to know if its actually doing anything judging by the very harsh ride. And the caster fork is wide enough to hit every door as you drive through.

Suspension does not really work on any powerchair I have tried. Which is why I fitted fat balloon style tyres on My OWN powerchair instead as they take all the vibration and harshness out.  The arms look weak, like they would be damaged by my 20 stone lifting myself on them for pressure relief. But I cant say for sure.

In a nice short truly capable indoor powerchair the total length of the chair with you in it should be the same length as you are seated. From the back of your head to the tip of your toes.

So when you reverse to a wall your HEAD should touch first as it does in my own powerchair. In this chair like many others that's not the case. As there is a big rear end on the powerchair that hits the wall first. In rear drive mode. And its even worse in front drive mode... With a very long set of casters swinging around behind you. This chair is much longer than my own powerchair.

mid wheel drive groove

The picture above is the MID wheel drive version. Much smaller casters and the possibility of getting stuck when the drive wheels cant touch the ground over uneven surfaces mean that this is more suited to indoor use. Those tiny casters are lost outside in the real world...   And just look how much powerchair there is hanging out behind you when trying to manoeuvre in your house or in a busy pub. Those casters will run over peoples feet as you try to move about.  Again this chair is longer than my own making it less good indoors. And forget this for any real world outdoors use other than shopping centres and smooth areas.

Speed... 4 mph needs only small batteries for all day range. So a 4 mile per hour version of this chair is ridiculous as it could be more compact.

6 mph version is the best bet. With full sized group 24 batteries a 6mph powerchair will have good range and acceptable performance all day long. A good balance of power and range for the average user.

8mph version lacks torque and range and unless you are a very light person like a ballerina, or don't go very far each day, and have no need to use ramps etc its not really a very wise choice. Faster means taller gearing which means greater power consumption at every speed. It cost you range and torque. Speed is always nice but the cost is too high here.

WIDTH 32.4 inches wide with lights - that's huge! You better get rid of the lights... And 25.2 wide (with a small cushion) without them. Which is good. No idea of the width WITH an average 18 inch cushion which is what we really need to know. 

LENGTH 44.7 inches (shortest configuration) which is a huge 4.7 inches longer than mine!!!  All the rest are even longer...

Group 24 batteries. Which is good. Smaller batteries with some options/seating which is very bad.


Images of the very latest version at a mobility show recently below.

Groove wiring

This one has a seat riser. It looks from the rear that it has been in some sort of explosion. I cannot believe they think that this mess is acceptable! Looks like a ships boiler room. Also notice LED lights from a spaceship and the caster forks are far too wide for the skinny tiny casters. Which is why this one is scratched already. And that then no longer feature caster fork suspension. Nice thin arms though. Shame its as long as an oil tanker!


Notice 8 inch x 2 solid hard riding tiny casters. This in an attempt to make it more manoeuvrable indoors. So why make it so long then??? And they will make it useless on soft ground, sand, snow, and give you a hard time on out crappy footpaths...

Quickie Groove rear quarter

Obvious errors... 2 inch wide casters, but 5 inch wide caster forks! Rear wheels too far back. causing C of G to be too forwards. Rear anti tips too long and more importantly too far towards the outside edges so they will hit everything... All 4 tyres too skinny and hard for the outside world so a very harsh ride. Ugly bum. Wiring and bracket explosion. Just like the Q6000 chair here... and swing away footrests that stop me transferring and hit every doorframe. Other than that I like it. And they got rid of the awful Delphi electronics/controller!

To show it needn't be this way:

This image below is my own home designed chair. (NOT A GROOVE!)  A severely modified F55s chair. Notice how there is almost no powerchair behind my head! And no mass of wires everywhere. When I reverse to a wall my head touches first. Its so much shorter than the groove at 40 inches including footplate and in fact most powerchairs. And its clean. As in no wires/brackets, etc hanging about all over the place. And its just 25.25 inches wide WITH an 18 inch cushion on there and a foot of rubber! So its better indoors as well as out on the beach or in snow. So it can be done and with full sized batteries and fat smooth riding tyres and fat 10 inch casters to boot. And its not nose heavy. And uses tubeless tyres... And can be fast charged both in a car or at home in around an hour.

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Detailed Full PowerChair Related ONLY Menu HERE

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Detailed Menu of Everything else HERE!





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