Introducing the Rifton Pacer

A video inservice showing new features and functionality


The Pacer is a gait trainer that achieves proper positioning and provides dynamic weight bearing and shifting for a natural gait pattern and easier stepping. In this 40 minute video, recorded in March 2016, the large Pacer frame systems, accessories and features are explained and demonstrated.

See more Pacer videos here.


Good afternoon and welcome, thank you for joining this webinar and I am looking forward to guiding you through this demonstration of our newest item here. It is the large size Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer.

My name is Delf, and this is the large Dynamic Pacer gait trainer. We’re looking forward to having the medium size Rifton Pacer available for you in June or July 2016, after which our design team will work on redesigning the small Rifton Pacer. We are redesigning the entire Rifton Pacer gait trainer line. So far we have the large size complete and that’s what I will be showing you today.

During the session if you have a question feel free to type your question into the chat window or I will give opportunities for questions at the end of each session and you can always unmute yourself and ask the question and then I will answer it for you.

Three years ago when our design team started redesigning the Pacer and designing the Dynamic Pacer the first thing they did was to conduct a survey of 4.000 therapists out of which 700 responded. Our design team took all the feedback they got from the therapists and narrowed it down to five main features that the therapists wanted to see on an improved version of the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer.

Those features included an easier way to adjust the height. It includes our new dynamic feature which enables dynamic weight-bearing and weight-shifting. It also includes a new major accessory; the multi-position-saddle which enables better pelvic positioning during gait training, as well as easier transfers for clients getting on and off the Pacer.

They also developed three bases to allow more versatile action on various surfaces—outdoor, indoor and also over a treadmill. These are the things I am going to demonstrate today in this webinar.

I’ll start with the gas-assist height adjustment. To adjust the height of the upper frame on the Rifton Dynamic Pacer, all you have to do is to press the white lever under the head and push to go down and then simply press the lever and it will come up for you. There’s a 30lb gas assist in this single column here.

You will also notice that there are height indexing marks on the front of the column which enable you to record the optimal height for a given client. This is so that adjusting the height the next time around for therapy you’ll be able to get it right the second time very quickly and easily from your records. That’s the height adjustment on the upper frame.

You will notice that we have a single column upper instead of two columns which enables easier accessibility when adjusting supports, and also gives you the ability to access the client from the side. The other great new feature about our upper is that you can take it off the base and collapse the whole product by pressing this white button here. Remove the upper out of the base frame and collapse it so that you can store it in the trunk of your car for transportation. It also allows you to use one upper on any of the three bases, which is great. So these are the basics on the height adjustments and the single column upper.

Now for the new dynamic feature; this is a standard upper, and this other one is the dynamic upper and you will notice that it has adjustments which allow you to lock or unlock the dynamic feature. Right now we are in the locked position. To unlock the vertical movement you just push this lever up and you get three to four inches of play up and down. To unlock the side-to-side movement you just push this back lever forward and you have about two inches of play side-to-side.

For best results when using the dynamic feature activate the swivel lock on the casters so that the Pacer moves in a straight course and doesn’t veer side-to-side. This is how you get the best results from the dynamic weight-bearing and weight-shifting system. Obviously a client will have more weight on the Pacer and as they walk the Dynamic Pacer will shift back and forth and up and down so that they are not limited to a rigid gait training structure. This will allow them to acquire a more typical gait pattern. These are the basics of the dynamic feature. Of course if you do want to lock it, lock the vertical movement and lock the horizontal movement and then it becomes a standard upper frame again.

Now I would like to play a short video clip of a client in the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer which will show you how the new dynamic feature of the Dynamic Pacer can help a client with gait training over a treadmill. (Shows video)

So hopefully that video answered some of your questions and helps you to see how the dynamic features of our new Rifton Pacer work with a client supported in it. At this point I’ll give a little bit of time if anyone has a question on what I have covered so far, specifically the height adjustment and the dynamic features of the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer.

(No questions)

I will now move on to the next great feature that we have developed here at Rifton which is our multi-position-saddle. The multi-position-saddle combines improved pelvic positioning as well as easier transfers into the Dynamic Pacer and off again. We will start with the pelvic positioning features. To insert the multi-position-saddle into the Pacer all you have to do is press this little white button on the side, and push the multi-position-saddle up into the Pacer. To take it out you just press the little white button on the side and then the large button in front and it comes straight out. Obviously that is a safety feature so that if someone hits the little white button on the side while someone is in the Pacer the multi-position-saddle does not fall out. This is how it is attached or installed.

Now I want to show you the different positions and adjustments that you can do on the multi-position-saddle. First of all you can adjust the height with this white lever down here. From the bottom position it moves all the way up giving you a range of eight inches in height. The multi-position-saddle also has height indexing marks along the front so that once again you can keep a record of the optimal height for a given client who will be using the multi-position-saddle. So that could be very useful for you.

The next adjustment we have is the tilt of the multi-position-saddle. With your hand in the same place, push this button at the back of the multi-position-saddle which enables you to have five positions of tilt, 15˚ forward, 7½˚ forward, flat, and 7½˚ back and 15˚ back. So that allows you a nice range of tilt positions.

Next we have this lever under the seat which allows you to change the seat positions. It enables the seat to slide through a range of positions with about six inches of play. Then we have the hip corral and the back pad here which secures the client in the Pacer. The hip corral can also slide forward by pressing this white lever at the front and pulling it out. It has six positions within a range of three to four inches. In other words you can adjust the hip corral in relation to the seat.

The other adjustment that you can make is the height of the hip corral by pushing this button you can go all the way up and all the way down here with several different intervals in between. You can also take the hip corral all the way off if you need to, like this.

So this covers all the basic positions that you can have with the multi-position-saddle.

Now we will talk about transferring clients in and out of the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer. I will demonstrate this using a chair.

With your client in a seated position, either in an activity chair, or a wheel chair, or something else turn the Pacer and undo the buckles here so the back pad hangs down behind, and then back the Pacer up to the seated client. Lower the Pacer all the way down using the main height adjustment and then adjust the height of the saddle so that the client can slide onto the multi-position-saddle easily. Now help the client to slide straight onto the seat of the multi-position-saddle and secure them into the hip corral by fastening the buckles securely on both sides. Once your client is secure, raise the Pacer to an approximate height with the main height adjustment, and then adjust the multi-position-saddle height, seat positioning forward or back, and the tilt, and adjust the hip corral. This is the basic procedure for transferring a client into the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer.

One of the great features is the single column at the front which gives you great accessibility from both sides.

The one other thing that you can still do is to use the Dynamic Pacer in reverse for clients that need less support. To do this you need to take off the hip corral, push back the forward backward slide, pinch the tabs at the front and push the seat out. Turn it around and put it back in the same way and you have the client supported from behind with the seat backwards. These are the basics of the multi-position-saddle with improved pelvic positioning during gait and also how to transfer clients.

Does anyone have a question?

Question: Hi, we have a question here about transferring a client from a wheelchair into the Dynamic Pacer. We tried it and it is a bit harder when the client is in a wheelchair as it is harder to get around a wheelchair. What do you recommend as the best method to do that? Your demonstration was only from a chair and the frame doesn’t fit around the wheelchair base so we can’t get the client close enough to get onto the saddle seat.

Answer: Well I can see that it would be a problem if the base doesn’t fit around the wheelchair I guess the closest that you can get the client is how I showed it today and you just have to help them slide onto the seat. You would have to help them out of the wheelchair if the base doesn’t go around the wheelchair this would take a couple of therapists helping the client.

Question: I guess we could slide the seat a little closer to the client?

Answer: Yes you could slide the seat all the way back and get the best height for that person and once you have the client secured you can adjust it from there. I hope that gives you some good options.

Then I will move on to the last “wow” features of the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer which are the new bases. As you can see we have three bases, the standard indoor base, the utility base for outdoor use, and our new treadmill base.

I will start with the standard base. Just so you are aware the standard base with the standard upper is the same price as the old large size Rifton Pacer gait trainer. So you can get the same thing that you got before for the same price and then add on any accessories you’d like in addition to that. Now I’ll show you that the standard upper and the standard base have some great new features as well. One great thing about this combination is that it is 20% lighter than the old large Rifton Pacer frame.

The casters on the standard base have all the same features as the old Rifton Pacers they are just marked more clearly and are much better quality casters as they have twice as many ball bearings in them. So this is an improved version just right off the bat. I will go through the basic features.

1. Here is the swivel-lock that is easily activated by hitting the button on the top. And then to disengage it you hit the white tab at the back, and you have your swivel again.

2. Then you have the brake and you engage it by hitting the tab above the wheel, to release it you kick it back like that.

3. Two other features we have are the drag feature which lets you go from light resistance all the way to heavy resistance. This gives resistance when there is a client in the Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer and you don’t want the Pacer to run away with them. These are the same features as the old ones but marked more clearly with nice new bars.

4. We also have an anti-reverse lock. This makes the caster go forward and not backward with a ratchet, like this.

Those are you four caster features. If you are using the Pacer in the posterior positon and having the client supported from behind, you just turn the casters around like this and you have your reverse ambulation with the anti-reverse lock just the same as if you were going forward.

A new feature we have is a caster with an odometer at the front. So no more counting floor tiles or laps around the gym. All you have to do at the start of a gait training session is to press down on the reset button, and it will take you to zero. Then you can start charting progress from there.

If you would like to see the total distance that the Dynamic Pacer gait trainer has travelled you just hold the reset button down for three seconds or so, or even a little less, and it will tell you in thousands of feet. This one is 15.000 feet; which is the distance that this Rifton Dynamic Pacer has travelled all together. If you want to switch to meters you just have to hold the reset button down for ten seconds and it will switch to meters if meters are more helpful for you. So that is a great new feature and it is an accessory so if you’d like an odometer caster on your new Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer you just need to order it. This goes for the standard base, the treadmill base and the utility base.

Now for the utility base and its features: The standard base will fit through a 28″ doorway but you will notice that the utility base with the wheels at the back is a little wider so it will only go through a 32″ doorway. The 11″ wheels are at the back and 8” casters at the front have all the same caster features like the odometer if ordered. With wheels in the back and casters in the front it is a slightly different configuration. You have your swivel lock at the front; to release it just hit the tab in the front, and it will swivel, to lock it just hit that button on top and it is locked. We do recommend using the swivel-lock when you want to use the dynamic feature because that keeps the Dynamic Pacer in a straight course while the client is using the dynamic body support and shifting back and forth, and up and down.

The rest of the caster features are at the back, with your brake which you just push down with your foot and back up with your foot to release it; you’ve got you anti-reverse lock so that the Dynamic Pacer gait trainer only goes forward; and then there is the drag feature which gives a little more resistance and is very clearly marked. This is the utility base and it is great for outdoor use, it gives you the ability to traverse much more rough terrain in a safe manner.

And finally we have the treadmill base. I am just going to show you how the treadmill base fits over a treadmill. To use the treadmill base you just take your upper and it inserts into the treadmill base like this and then you bring your client from wherever they started out, around to the front of the treadmill. When you get to the treadmill you’ll want another therapist supporting the client to get up onto the treadmill, but we have a very nice raising feature where you just push down that lever and raise the whole upper frame up so it fits over the treadmill at the appropriate height. Now you have all the same settings on your upper frame and your client is over the treadmill. Lock the wheels in the back and you are all set for gait training over a treadmill. This obviously gives you the opportunity while to assist with your client’s gait training from the side, making any adjustments of supports easy. We do have two sizes of treadmill bases this one is 35″ wide and the other one is 40″ wide for a wider treadmill. The other great thing about the wider treadmill base is that the wider base is more stable for taller clients who are less than 200lbs which is our large size Dynamic Pacer maximum weight limit and it gives greater stability for gait training anywhere else. Then there is the odometer caster, and all the same features of your standard base on the treadmill base casters.

This covers our three bases. Does anyone have a question on any of the bases or any question on any of the material I have covered so far?

Question: I’d like to know how wide the treadmill base is.

Answer: We have two sizes of treadmill bases one is 35″ wide and the other one is 40″ wide.

Those are our big new improvements but there are a few more things to go over. I showed you our major new accessory the multi-purpose-saddle. But we also have a couple more accessories to show you. The great news is that all of our old accessories are compatible with the new Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer except for the ankle prompts. Ankle prompts are the one exception. You will need to get to the appropriate ankle prompt for each base as the bases are all different designs. You will need to get a treadmill base ankle prompt, a utility base ankle prompt or a standard base ankle prompt. They are all redesigned to fit the new bases.

However as you can see here we have two bars on the side of the new Dynamic Pacer gait trainer upper to which you can attach the same clamps that were used before on the old Rifton Pacer. I will show you how they work. It is the same clamp which clamps onto this bar here. One new item we have is a new style of communication tray, which as you can see has an arm that can swing around to allow you to have the communication tray directly in front of the client. It has a knob up on the top here for you to be able to swing the communication tray around to get it where you want to and you can always loosen the knob underneath to adjust the tilt of the communication tray or to turn it from side to side if you need to.

The other new accessory that we have designed is the arm platform. This is a simple, new accessory for arm support that the client can lean onto while in the Dynamic Pacer. It slides into a clamp just like other prompts and like the arm prompt it has a knob underneath which helps you to adjust the tilt and the position of the arm platform. It is nice and simple it is good for a client to lean on. They can hold on to the front and lean on it, and there are two straps to secure the arm.

Otherwise all the prompts and accessories that you used on the old Pacer are still available and compatible with our new Dynamic Pacer. The one prompt I do want to demonstrate here is the chest prompt. I’m sure you will notice that the combination of the multi-position-saddle and chest prompt gets you very good positioning for the client in the Dynamic Pacer. The chest prompt slides into the clamps and opens at the back just like before to enable you to transfer your client into the Pacer. From there you can use the knobs to make the necessary adjustments for a forward tilt. The same applies to the height adjustment on the clamps as before. So this is how our accessories work on the new Rifton Dynamic Pacer gait trainer.

There is a request to see the hip positioner.

I will now demonstrate how you put the hip positioner onto the new Rifton Dynamic Pacer. Of course the multi-position-saddle covers a lot of the same things as the hip positioner does with pelvic positioning and so on, but you have to do what is right for your client. The old hip positioner is still available if you need it and you attach the handholds into the clamps at the back just as on the old Rifton Pacer, clip your hip positioner on and then fasten it onto the front of the Pacer like this.

This covers all the main points of the new Rifton Dynamic Pacer and again you will surely notice that having the upper detachable from the base gives you the opportunity to have a designated upper for each client in a school or institution.

The fact that you can have all the adjustments and supports for a given client on their own designated upper is also a hygiene concern. But with the three new bases you can choose which base to use for a given activity on a given day. This gives you a wide range of activities for your clients. The other great thing is that with the three different bases you can share them so that more than just one student can use the treadmill or outdoor base.

To sum it all up I think we have come out with a very nice new product that should help you a lot in your work. It is more versatile than before, the adjustments are very intuitive and clearly marked. It should be easier to use and as always, with all Rifton products it is highly durable. Just to remind you the standard upper and standard base are available for the same price as the old large Rifton Pacer. So you are starting with the same basic product but newly designed and improved.

Thank you very much for joining me in this session and it was a privilege to guide you through the demonstration.

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