A quick evaluation of Pride’s Quantum “Rehab” Q6 “Edge” Powerchair.

The Quantum Q6 is a “narrow” 6 Wheel or “Mid Drive” Hi End Powerchair. Best suited to individuals who are average to small build. And those who don’t expect too much in the way of range or speed or good outdoor capability.

One of the few powerchairs worthy of any real consideration by an adult as an “all day” full time, rehab serious and active powerchair. As such it needs to be good! I only point out the negatives in many reviews so its not quite as bad as this page may make it seem! However… PowerChair ONLY Menu

quantum rehab q6Like all modern Powerchairs it will need to be properly re-programmed and set up to suit its user. In the case of this and other Pride Mobility chairs this is even more important than usual as they all seem exceptionally bad in this respect.

Steering accuracy & precision is impossible at any speed other than very, very slowly on every Pride powerchair I ever tried.

Reprogramming is actually easy with most powerchairs. But to cure the problem you need access to an OEM level programmer. NOT the one your dealer has…

And Pride Quantum use their “own” Q-Logic controllers built for them or rebranded for them by another outside company, such as PG Controls, or Curtis… And they do not allow end users, or the tech guys access to these. Only “dealer” versions are available Which basically means you are screwed and it will never steer correctly…

Want more evidence? Read this …

The Q6 is a rehab style chair because apart from the usual fancy cushions, and other things we all need it can be fitted with elevating leg rests, seat risers, tilt, recline seating etc. We wont go into that here other than to say that before you order please understand what the options you choose do to the Centre of gravity, the weight of the chair (these fancy seating options can be hugely heavy) and the seat height. Which all affects stability and performance, range etc – especially with the small batteries fitted here.

It was designed to be narrow. That’s the Edge’s claim to fame. And at 24 inches it is. Its almost 2 inches narrower than the same companies Q6000 for e.g.. But add a wider seat cushion like 20 inches, which is typical for a (grown!) adult then it becomes as wide as most other hi end powerchairs are at about 25.5 inches.

Added 25th April — Its WHEELS are 24 inches wide. When not distorted slightly with the users weight added. But even with its commendably narrow arm tops (@ about 2,25 inches wide each) it has a 3+ inch wide control pod. See image. So we get 2,25″ + 20″ cushion + a 3″ control pod on the other side. Actual width 25 inches. More when actually measured though! So at 20 inches or bigger cushion size and you are better off with a chair that uses bigger batteries. Since there’s no point in having a chair that’s narrower than you are seated.

So at this point Prides own Quantum Q6000 is a better bet, since it also has full sized batteries and better speed & range too because it can have full sized group 24 batteries fitted. So a fat bum needing an 20 inch cushion completely defeats the object of this chair and its small battery “slimming” process…

To get it down to 24 inches wide they had to use much smaller 22NF batteries. That means less range or less speed no matter what they claim, and importantly less power as the internal resistance of the smaller gel batteries is higher.

And to try to combat this and regain some range the standard control system is just 75 Amps and speed is just 5 mph as standard. (6 is the “high speed” option…) No 8mph possible. Half way between a slow indoor chair and a faster outdoor one.

Unless you are VERY light the 6mph option will give even more limited range and torque since to make it faster requires taller gearing. Taller gearing eats batteries faster even if you drive slowly. So with such small Gel batteries speed is limited. And you can expect to replace them more often too, due to the higher average depth of discharge that is inevitable. This will likely not be a problem if you are a lightweight and don’t go too far..

A 100 amp controller is available, also not a very good idea with these small Gel batteries. Lack of power and voltage drop under load will soon become a problem if it is programmed to “go” when you do!

Unfortunately a 100 amp controller is the bare minimum that is really needed for a “grown” adult in a 6 mph powerchair. So 6 isn’t a good choice for heavier people. If you want this chair then go with the 5mph option.

It has small rear casters sticking out behind which hit everything behind you indoors, including running over peoples feet at a busy bar! Ask me how I know this! I am not a fan of mid drive chairs. And they sink in soft ground, snow, etc.

So what’s it like? Well like all mid drive chairs it has difficulty with the real outside world because it has to try and balance 4 small casters and a set of hard narrow drive wheels on uneven surfaces. Well it doesn’t work well! Depending on what you are used to.

This 6 wheel platform is at best a huge mix of compromises and they get hung up and stuck on things like gravel, curbs, and other uneven places. Ramp transitions that are not smooth, and other obstacles present the tiny casters with problems out in our real world environment. And it gets high centred with its drive wheels spinning uselessly far too easily on the loose stuff.

It only has 3 inches of ground clearance so you better be careful! on uneven stuff too, See here. So this chair is best suited to smooth areas like shopping centres and to indoors ideally. Especially with its standard wheels.

It is available with some 1 inch wider “off road” (ish!) tyres so as to try improve the ride comfort and be slightly better off road. But then the chairs width is then actually the same as the the “bigger” Q6000 (with its full sized batteries, better range, speed + longer battery life) and actually wider than my own powerchair Here and that has full sized batteries as well as a pair of 6 inch wide, real fat off road, high floatation low pressure tyres and big batteries And its smaller than the Q6000…

Who is this chair for? Lightweights, that primarily visit shopping centres and smooth places with mostly indoor usage that don’t mind shorter range, or high battery “replacement” rate and relatively slow and harsh outdoor travel and slower speeds.

It is available in masses of fancy colours though. If that sort of thing floats your boat! Personally I prefer my powerchairs black. They should be efficient, well built, well designed, powerful, controllable and capable of both indoor and real outdoor use and be invisible. So I build my own chairs… . here

Product specs:

Maximum Speed
Standard: Up to 5 mph Optional: Up to 6 mph – no 8mph option due to the small batteries.

Ground Clearance
3″ at centre of frame (Not adequate outdoors)

Overall Length
35.5″ That is without footrests… My chair Here is 35 including footplates. They are not trying.

Overall Width
24″ with 3.00 narrow hard tyres. With optional 4.00 tyres it is 25.5 wide – wider than my own home built powerchair that is truly off road capable. Here with 12 inches of rubber!

Drive Wheels
Standard: 14″ pneumatic Optional: 14″ solid – both are too harsh on the streets.

Caster Wheels
6″ front and rear low impact OMNI-Casters – far too small outdoors.

Standard Electronics
75A Q-Logic NE 75A Q-Logic NE+ 75A Q-Logic EX – too small, but all the batteries can sensibly cope with which is why the best option may be 5 mph unless you are very light.

Standard Battery Charger
8A, off-board – too slow. I use 30 amp at home, or 100 amp from my car…

Per Charge Range
Up to 15.5 miles – short range due to small batteries.

Battery
Two 12 volt, deep cycle NF-22 – most hi end powerchairs use bigger group 24 batteries. Batteries are always the weakest point limiting range and performance. Bigger is better.