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Spinergy ZX-1 Power Add-On

What we decided on...

Spinergy ZX-1 Power Add-On

391471_10151490512293953_2124625913_nExtend your freedom with our revolutionary ZX-1 Power Add-On offering lifestyle enhancing mobility. The ZX-1's modern, lightweight design is highly maneuverable, easy to operate and is packed with features allowing you to engage in more day-to-day activities with style.

Click here to download the Brochure.

The ZX-1 has two drive motors, each having a power rating of 320 Watts (746 Watts is equivalent to one horsepower). The joystick controller can be ordered for either left-hand or right-hand operation.

ZX-1 User Profile

There are many different type of users that the ZX-1 is a good fit for. Generally, they are those that have upper body limitations, those who do not want a large power chair, and those who do not need all of the features of a  power chair or use it full-time.

  • Users who require a power chair sometimes but prefer to stay active in a manual chair.
  • Users who require a power chair but need the portability of a manual chair.
  • Users who are not able to transport a power chair.
  • Users who do not require full power chair features, like tilt-and-recline, high speed, etc, .
  • Users who require basic power chair functionality with a small footprint.
  • Users who need to easily separate the manual chair for accessibility.
  • Users who have upper body and limb weakness, strain and/or injuries.
  • Users who are in recovery post shoulder surgery.
  • Users wishing to minimise the risk of shoulder injury.
  • Users who fatigue over the course of the day.
  • Users who are not able to use other power add-on options such as the SmartDrive or power handbikes because of  inadequate upper body, arm and hand control due to paralysis, hemiplegia/hemiparesis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, joint disorders, muscular disorders, and injuries and amputations.

ZX-1 Specifications

ZX-1 Chair Requirements

  • Rigid frame with a horizontal round camber tube
  • Camber tube mounted level with wheelchair rear wheel axles
  • Free of obstructions under camber tube
  • Camber Tube Diameter 1.25", 1.375", or 1.5"
  • Unobstructed camber tube Length 9" or greater
  • Space Between Anti-Tip Mounts 9" or greater
  • 24”, 25” or 26” wheelchair rear wheels
  • 15”-20” rear seat width (14” can be used with some configurations)
  • Minimum of 6” of space between camber tube and front caster wheels or footplate
  • Center of gravity set at 5” or less
  • If armrests exist on wheelchair, they may need to be removed, and possibly also the armrest brackets.

ZX-1 Dimensions

  • Height: 30” (Floor to top of Joystick)
  • Width: Up to 20” (not Including armrests)
  • Length: 24” (From Front FrogLeg fork to rear of cover)

ZX-1 Warranty

  • Lifetime warranty on frame
  • 6-month warranty on batteries
  • 1 yr. warranty on all other components

ZX-1 Product Photo's

Overview of our requirements

We are looking for a power add-on for an ultralight rigid frame wheelchair (probably a TiLite ZRA). It will primarily be used outside at the house in the garden and shed, around the neighbourhood, at the nearby nature area, going to stores, visiting friends and while doing hobbies like painting and theatre.

It will also be put into the auto so it can be used to visit family and friends and going to events, and when traveling by airplane. We think it will be used inside the house some of the time also, and at places like restaurants and pubs where a manual ultralight wheelchair on it´s own is better to get around.

We will be trading in an expensive power wheelchair that he almost never uses because he can´t get into places with it because of curbs (almost everywhere) and he can´t take it to most of the places that he would like to go, because it can´t be put in our auto. We live in a rural area, and an auto is needed for almost everything we do.

Overall, my gut feeling is that the first type, a drive unit connected under the wheelchair will be the best for Rob, but they are slower and have less range. Of these, we like the ZX-1 by Beach Mobility, which the the rights for development and manufacturing are now being done by Spinergy, a well respected wheel company. The inventor Pat Tallino is also a wheelchair user, and what I like about it is that it's purpose built for adding power to a wheelchair easily, using already proven wheelchair components. It's also really easy for Rob to use on his own, which is really important for him (and me) that he can get some independence back.

Our requirements are

  1. Range around 30 kilometers / 18.5 miles (more is good, but not necessary)
  2. Speed around 7-10 kilometers per hour / 4.3-6.2 miles per hour (more is good, but not necessary)
  3. Easy to self ride with one hand, due to hemiparesis, weakaness in one side of the body.
  4. Not a big footprint to be able to negoiate around obstacles, doorways and crowded places.
  5. Ease of use (not complicated) with all of the instruments and brakes on one side.
  6. Cost in combination with an ultralight manual wheelchair that is lower than a power chair.
  7. Easy to self connect/disconnect, or with minimal assistance from others, with no use of tools or heavy parts to move.
  8. No heavy adapter/mounting system when it is not in use, so that the manual chair is not weighted down when self propelling.
  9. Do not want modifications to the manual chair that compromise it's use when being used manually
  10. Abiliity to handle ramps, inclines, and small curbs with safety mechanisms for brakes, tips and lights,
  11. Built in suspension to help with bumps to avoid seizures, and the ability add a third-wheel,
    like the FreeWheel, to help minimize bumps from the wheelchair front casters.  .
  12. Ability to be separated from the chair for places that are not fully accessible, which is common in Europe.
  13. Easy to leave unattended and locked so it does not get ripped-off if we leave it outside.
  14. Easily transportable to take in the auto or on airplanes, with charging possibilities in other countries (Europe, UK, US, etc.)
  15. Easy to maintain with parts that can be replaced easily and cheaply online, without needing to order through dealers or wait for repair people.
  16. Latest technology with light weight long running batteries, preferably Lithium-ion polymer (li-po) as of the date of this research.
  17. The ability to add a rack in front to be used when shopping and lights for driving at night.
  18. It would also be good if the power add can also be used with a TiLite 2GX folding ultralight wheelchair.

Our requirements are not

  • Other Power Add-ons with fixed mounts on the chair like AAT max-e, Benoit Solutions Light Drive, because they are not easily connected with one hand and too heavy to leave on the chair when not in use.
  • A Power Handbike because we are looking into this separately.
  • A Power / Manual Assist, like Decon E-Move, Alber e-motion, NuDrive, Wijit, Rio Mobility Pivot, etc, because it needs to be operated with one hand (due to hemiparesis) and these can not be.

ZX-1 Review


Everyone is different with their requirements for mobility equipment, and there is no such thing as a one-technology-fits-all solution. This review is our take on the ZX-1 and it is focused on the needs of those who have had strokes. My partner Rob uses a wheelchair full-time after surviving severe sepsis that caused severe …

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ZX-1 Photo’s and Video’s

Rob’s ZX-1 Power Add-on Part 3: Sunny September Stroll

Updated: September 2014

This video was made while Rob was using the ZX-1 Power Add-on after adjustments were made for the speed. There are still some adjustments that needed to be made so he is still riding it very conservatively.

Rob’s ZX-1 Power Add-on Part …

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ZX-1 Operation

Operating the ZX-1 Power Add-on

Connect the ZX-1 to the wheelchair

  • Disconnect the battery charger from the charger port below the joystick module.
  • Press the Power button to power on the ZX-1.
  • Verify the battery level displays green on the Battery LED indicator.
  • Press the Mode Select button to place the ZX-1 in driving mode.
  • View page »

    ZX-1 Components Photo’s

    The following are photo’s of the ZX-1 components from both the original ZX-1 and the new ZX-1 that we received to fix some problems we were having (see ZX-1 Adjustments).

    New ZX-1 Components

    These are photo’s from the new ZX-1 we received in October 2014 (#87):

    Original ZX-1 Components

    These are photo’s from the original …

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    ZX-1 Adjustments

    ZX-1 Initial Setup

    The following are all of the images from the Spinergy ZX-1 Operator’s Manual (Z100080 Rev. 4). The information in red are the adjustments that we made:

    These are the adjustments that we made to fit a 16″ x 18″ TiLite ZRA wheelchair (see TiLite ZRA Specifications). Because of the configuration of the …

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    ZX-1 Wheels and Tires is the go to site for information.

    • Powerchair Tyre Pressures  What should they be and why?
    • Tyre Weld Aerosol Punctures. We just love those! At least get et a can of tyre repair foam today!
    • Puncture Proof Tyres I mean real puncture proof, like the military use. NOT solid, foam filled, inserts or and …

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    ZX-1 Joystick Programming

    VR2 Actuator Control

    The model of VR2 Control System used on the ZX-1 is the VR2 Actuator Control made by PG Drives Technology (now part of Curtiss-Wright).

    • 1 or 2 actuator control
    • User friendly actuator selection
    • Programmable actuator endstop force
    • Automatic end-stop detection
    • New actuator interlocking functions
    • Programmable speed limiting and Inhibit functions

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    ZX-1 Batteries is the go to site for information about batteries in general.

    • Batteries for Both Vans & Power Wheelchairs
    • Inverters & Chargers
    • Very flexible charger!
    • Charging Batteries
    • Fast Charge Your Power Wheelchair
    • Which batteries to buy

    ZX-1 Standard SLA Batteries and Charger 2014

    On the ZX-1 shipped in 2014 we received two Universal Power …

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    Other Power Add-ons

    Overview of Other Options

    The following are other options that we considered instead of the Spinergy ZX-1. For various reasons, none of them fully fit our requirements. At the bottom is a comparison of all Power Add-ons listed, though some of it may be out-of-date.

    MAX Mobility SmartDrive

    The SmartDrive is a revolutionary new power …

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    1. avatar

      You have done a tremendous service by organizing and researching the add on wheelchair motors.
      i was searching high and low for solutions to help my husband. I would be very interested to hear which add on motor you chose and how it is working out.
      I am also trying to find out the various prices.
      thanks so much

      1. avatar

        Hi Mara, I’m glad I could help. It’s hard researching this topic, and they all present information very differently. I am hoping that we will go with the ZX1, but it still has not been released.

        One thing I would mention, make sure your chair can handle the add-on you are looking for. We are spec’ing a new chair before we will be able to have full specs on the ZX1, and I recently found out that the armrests and anti-tips that we want may cause a problem. It’s best to be in contact with the add-on manufacturer and make sure your chair and configuration will be compatible.

        I just added some more pictures of other power add-on wheels and levers, even though they are not what we are looking for. Feel free to send me an e-mail via our contact page if you have questions. — Ellyn

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