Frame and Transport
The Helium is the top level rigid-framed aluminium wheelchair in the Quickie range - it features aircraft-grade aluminium that has been put through several innovative processes including heat-treating and hydroforming to make the tube walls thinner, lighter and stronger. The tubing is oval shaped rather than circular, making it stronger, easier to grip, and allowing lighter attachment brackets. Combined with ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre options including sideguards and platform footplate, as well as carbotecture castor forks, this gives the Helium a starting weight from 6.8 kg or 6.4 kg on the Helium Pro. With wheels popped off, this reduces to just 4.8 kg - and the oval framed double-locking backrest bar gives you a convenient and ergonomic grip when lifting your Helium.
For the lightest frame and ultimate rigidity, the Helium Pro variant is available with a fixed welded axle position, and the backrest angle can even be welded too - although both reduce the range of adjustments available. The Helium is unusual in having such a range of adjustments on such a high-end lightweight wheelchair, and indeed it has a similar level of adjustability to the Argon2, save the rear seat height (although this can still be fine-tuned). The centre of gravity is infinitely adjustable, so can accommodate your preferred balance of stability and manoeuvrability.
Despite being ultra-lightweight, the Helium's strength and durability is shown by its weight capacity of 125 kg (dependent on options). As you would expect, a range of seating sizes and options are available, allowing your Helium to be set up to provide the comfort, support and performance you expect. This ranges from lightweight options such as the clip-style Airflow seat and stylish Exo Pro breathable back to more supportive ones such as the J3 backrest range for those that need help with their posture. The ground-breaking Freestyle back breaks barriers to independence by providing trunk stability but also 360° of upper body motion from your wheelchair, without restrictive back canes. As well as allowing more access to your environment, it also provides better access to the wheels, making your pushing more efficient. The Freestyle back can have either a carbon backrest shell for the lightest possible weight or an aluminium shell to match your wheelchair frame colour.
Performance and Options
The drive characteristics of the Helium are impressive, giving quick and direct reactions to the most minimal effort - making it the ideal companion for your daily activities. Featuring an ultra compact footprint for tight turning and making the wheelchair more portable during stowage, the frame angle can be as little as 92° (EU 88°), and inset up to 30 mm each side - also giving your Helium a sleeker, more active look, as well as better positioning of your legs. A wide range of wheel and handrium options are available - Spinergy wheels are the most popular for their low-maintenance durability, while the Ellipse 3R handrims feature gripton rubber strips for maximum traction without the "burn" that rubber handrims get when controlling your wheelchair on downward slopes. Tyre options include Schwalbe One - the lightest, and ideal if you are confident in changing inner tubes, or the Marathon Plus tyres that feature a kevlar lining for high levels of puncture resistance, and which can run flat if you get caught out with a puncture.
The Helium features next generation style that can be fully personalised to your taste. There are a choice of 32 eye-catching frame colours (everything from "matt black" to "flamingo glitter"), which can be contrasted with one of five accent colours for components such as the castor forks, wheels, stickers and backrest plate, and there are a further three anodized colours for the rim and hub of the wheels. Modern frame graphics, influenced by the latest bicycle industry technology, are available to further make your wheelchair stand out. As you can see from the photos, black paired with a blue or red highlight works particularly well - though there are many more colour combinations available. Style can be further enhanced with a one-armed aluminium castor fork - though these do work out as heavier than the lightweight Carbotecture forks.
The Helium is one of our favourite wheelchairs - ultra-light, versatile and stylish, all without breaking the bank. While most equivalent high-end wheelchairs achieve their weight reductions by cutting out adjustments, the Helium retains a wide degree of configurability, allowing it to be fine-tuned to your needs, and modified should your requirements change. Its closest equivalent is the Ki Mobility Rogue, an aluminium-framed rigid chair that comes in at the same weight; Kuschall's K-Series 2.0 is their closest equivalent and significantly cheaper, while TiLite's ZRA is another similar chair but in vibration-dampening titanium.
If you have bespoke requirements beyond the standard options on the Helium, we can support you with this - working alongside Sunrise Medical's Built 4 Me team, we can arrange for custom-built adaptations, whether that be a style package, an ergonomic curved backrest, one-arm drive, or something entirely different. Simply contact us with your requirements, and we can help to make it happen.
The Quickie Nitrum has now been released as a successor to the Helium, and offers a number of improvements, particularly to the backrest release mechanism and transportation options. Thanks to manufacturing improvement it is also cheaper than the Helium - we would therefore recommend the Nitrum over the Helium.