Review : ErgoGenesis "BodyBilt"
Ergonomic "Mid Back" J752 Task Chair
(CR / ESD type)
discontinued ErgoGenesis "BodyBilt" J752 ESD / Clean Room Task Chair
in Blue (ESD) Vinyl with the "Number 2 Deep Seat" and
padded armrest option.This was NOT a low cost "mid-back"
chair , so was it worth the money to purchase from this company (NO)
??See my "Hard Hitting" (updated) full report below .
Above picture was taken as brand new out of the box in November
of Manufacture : United States of America (Texas)
"J" Mechanics Part of Chair : Canada
Approx. Serial Number (Manufactured in mid October 2010) : 10-4635xx-x
New “Radio Room” Chair / “Now For Something Completely Different”
Was in the hunt for a new chair for the radio room and wanted to TRY something different over the usual Chinese offerings that one sees in retail stores and on line. This of course entails most of what is sold today.
After some research the USA Texas made “BodyBilt” chairs appeared to be very different (and desirable at the time to my eyes) over just about any chair on the market. They have been manufacturing office chairs since 1989~1990. What intrigued me first about these chairs was the offering of the very contoured seats (boy was that a mistake).
However , there is one other USA manufacture that is very near the “BodyBilt” offerings. Also made in Texas USA is “Neutral Posture”. After a bit of research, there was in fact was a major legal battle in July 2002 between these 2 companies. “BodyBilt” won this particular court case.
Also has been at least one financial difficultly (bankruptcy) with “BodyBilt” over the years. The core company was renamed “ErgoGenesis” later on (was previously “ChairWorks”, but this name is now used by a Chinese chair company).
“Netural Posture” also markets chairs with different contoured seats. I also found the street pricing to be less too. But they just do not look as exciting for some reason?
Yes, what I found out in reality was very sour with this BodyBilt chair, as you will read below. As usual I’m NOT going to give any “rosy-candy covered” advertising type report. In the usual “Hard Hitting” N9EWO style. Mind you there are many other models and configurations of BodyBilt chairs (but we will only cover the one in review here).
Even if this chair I review here has been discontinued now, this should inform YOU if it's worth dealing with this company and it's current products. The current mid-back BodyBilt "Task Chair" that still offers ESD / CR at the time this report was typed is the model J757.
Taking the Plunge / Arrived Almost Totally Damaged
Anyway, after liquidating a few radio goodies in order to finance this high-end chair, I decided to go with a “BodyBilt” ESD type J752 task model in Blue ESD vinyl. Mind you this is not your typical “Office Max” or “Staples” chair as the price is on the commercial side of the fence (ouch !). So it was major sticker shock. It was hand made to order and took about 4 weeks for it to be built (not including the shipping time) via Texas in the USA.
In my case it was shipped via truck (Estes Trucking). For what chair I ordered it was too big for UPS or Fed EX Ground. It came fully assembled (could the shipping method vary with the model ordered ?). The downside was the box arrived in very very bad condition (see photo below). Was heavily damaged on the lower end including being somewhat wet, but (whew) the damage missed the chair by inches. In my view the packing and thin box used were on the wimpy side for such a heavy high end product being shipped via truck. The chair was wrapped in plastic (as it should have been) ,so no water damage either.
The shipping weight was 73 lbs. The general chair (as ordered) was on the heavy side with its metal-chromed base it came with. Being a ESD chair that was a standard option.
was sent via truck and the very poor shipping carton that almost
did not make the trip !!
As I read around the internet (including reviews on Amazon) , I'm not the only person to experence this with BodyBilt chairs along with very poor customer service.
“BodyBilt” Chair / Ordering / General Model Features /
Generally Modular Construction
Why a “BodyBilt” chair : At first I liked the selection of the heavily contoured seats (I did not know any better before this) and the most chair adjustments that anyone can have.
One needs to take the time and read and understand the options BEFORE ordering. It’s intense, very confusing (ergogenesis very poor web site not helping the cause), and even the representative in Chicago I talked to did not even know AT ALL what was REALLY up with this ESD model for options (duh ??). That was a song and dance exercise and I think I knew more than he did. He was more worried about his credit with any sale (I said "see ya later gator"….I was done dealing with him at that point). Customer service first strike !!
I ordered an ESD Mid-Back Task type (J752, now a discontinued model), with a # 2 type “Deep Seat” and upholstered armrests. See the chart on this page (below) for the exact details on what I actually ended up with.
NOTE: Additional “memory” sport foam option was NOT available on an ESD chair model. I went with ESD Blue Vinyl. Black vinyl is the other color option as well as a (Gray ?) fabric version. Sorry, there is no real leather available on an ESD chair from BodyBilt. Leather would have driven up the already super expensive chair greatly anyway (like adding $ 700.00 + USD more?).
J Mech (chair mechanics) was also ONLY available with an ESD model. There are other chair mechanic types available for other models.
Neat part with these chairs is the modular design (for the most part). If you need a new seat, back or armrests, you can actually order these parts (however at extremely high prices) and should be easy for the consumer to install or change out (this may not be in all cases of course) ? However we don’t know what pricing would be involved either for parts like the entire replacement seat ? Will a replacement seat cost half the price of a new chair ? UPDATE : Cost of a new SEAT (at the time this update was added in 2011) is $ 250. USD , NOT including shipping and handling.
Getting Used To The “Deep Seat”....NOT !!! / Many Adjustments / So-So Chair Mechanics
There were different seat types available when I ordered this chair. I went with the # 2 “Deep Seat” for more support as more seat to body contact for less pressure. Well that’s what the manufactures hype said .
"The deeply contoured seat gives for passive weight distribution via surface contact. This also encourages proper-seated posture and cushions the high-pressure points that lead to discomfort on flat seat designs."
With this # 2 deep "tractor" seat configuration, it positions your legs out quite a bit so you are forced to sit near “spread eagle”. This takes a bit of getting used to (OK more like NOT !!!).
Now in my view if this highly contoured (maximum) # 2 deep seat really does help with total seat pressure could be greatly argued ? I feel "thigh" pressure in the process no matter how much I adjust it. Proper seat height is important too. If it’s too low the butt area suffers , too high any your thighs suffer even worse. These are basic chair adjustments of course. Also ones butt needs to be properly in the seat. It too forward is no good either (or too far back). Without a "seat slider" adjustment with this ESD model (it's not an option) along with the #2 seat, it sort of locks you into place anyway.
One has to keep
in mind that it takes time to adjust any chair to your liking and
comfort, do not expect to do this in just a few minutes. It took
me a good week of playing around and is still fairly
The # 7 Moderate seat is probably going to be best for most folks ?? The manufacture actually recommends the # 7 seat for most of its customers.
But the real gremlin with the # 2 deep seat for me is with the LARGE pommel (bump in the middle) and is covered more below. One Internet dealer says that most women prefer the # 7 seat to the # 2 seat and I can sure understand that (would a # 2 be even more painful for women)?
With the chair as ordered, I can adjust the seat height, seat tilt and tension, backrest angle, backrest height, armrest height and angle (arm rest tilt not available with upholstered type). Seat slider option is not available with the ESD model, but a similar backrest depth option is , but however I did not order this.
Talk about being the extremely versatile in the adjustment apartment. However to be fair, if one looks around (like I did) one can find most of these types of adjustments with some Chinese chairs at about 1/3 of the cost.
The mechanism was imported from Canada and does not look that robust to me (Northfield Metal Products in Waterloo, Ontario). The welds that hold the arm brackets on , look fair to me (see photo). Its body is anodized steel and some parts of the adjustment levers just feel very flimsy to me. The chair tilt adjustment can make some nasty cracking noises like something busted into pieces if you don’t support the seat properly before you engage it. Also when in the locked mode, it giggles around just a bit. At this price point, this seems to be a weakest "metal" part of it ? Time will tell how long it will hold up ?
A little note in regards to the "seat tension" adjustment (tilt when in free floating mode) . I found that you should tilt the seat fully (lock off) forward BEFORE adjusting the seat tension. Otherwise the knob may not feel properly. This one is not covered in BodyBilt manuals, or any Internet information on their website . This information I found on “Neutral Posture’s” web site video's and I found to be valid for my BodyBilt chair as well.
ErgoGenesis "BodyBilt" J752's underside "J Model" chair mechanics (this
part was made in Canada)
To my eyes only "so-so" construction , also one has to wonder how long the the 3 adjustments (levers) will hold up ?
The added welds for the arm brackets look fair to me as well.
You can see one of these small weak welds in center picture above if you look close enough.
not a real issue here , but should a high end "ESD - Clean
Room" chair have rusty parts out of the box new ??
The rusty area shown is on the top of the steel armrest brackets (both of them).
At least the welds look good here.
Issures / Backrest and Chair Height Adjustments / Not All Bad
Yes, we have vinyl covering being used in this chair. Of course will not be as durable as leather (again this is not available on a ESD chair). It is on the light softer side too and how long it will hold up will be another very interesting part we will have to see (Update : It did not , see below ) ?
**** MAJOR SEAT ISSUES ****
NUMBER ONE : However only after a week of careful use we have I would call excessive “ripple marks" on the seat. You always have marks that are going to appear in the vinyl (or the foam) from pressure from your clothing. These should disappear for the most part in a few minutes after your butt is out of it ?? This could be a normal trait for a vinyl chair with a # 2"deep seat", but how much worse this will get is a good question (see photo below) ? UPDATE : In 2 years of use the seats glue that holds the vinyl to the cushion (yes glue) has totally lifited up. So the vinyl just sits floating in the air now. Also the vinyl has serious wear creases (see picture below) and I'm now just waiting for a major tear to happen . It has NOT held up well !!
NUMBER TWO (and is the MAJOR NASTY seat issue for me) : Next seat nasty involves a sharp feeling after you settle "sink" into it (say an hour or so). Involves the rear end of the seated area and feels like I'm hitting one layer (end of) of foam in the cushion that has either moved around or is just defective ?? Like a foregin sharp object is moving around in there. After awhile this gets to such a "sharp feeling" where I MUST stand up and get out of it.
UPDATE : After a number of contacts with the "so-called" customer service and only getting a royal run-a-round on this matter , I then sent a long email to the CEO of the company , then (and only then) did I receive a replacement seat. This was indeed a defective seat issue here, but is still uncomfortable anyway you try it . Anyway customer service was near a total joke for me (why did I have to go through the CEO to get action) !! Yes as covered above the seat has NOT held up well at all either in the 2 years after !
NUMBER THREE : (however this one is not a defect and a much lesser issue, but for the record) Last seat bug for me is with the very large “Pommel” and may very well add to the uncomfortable situation. This is the bump in the middle that helps spread out the weight distribution (see main photo at top of this review). The # 2 seat places very undesirable pressure in the prostate area for me and of course gives PAIN (this would have to be even worse for a woman ??). Again one of course one must sit properly in the chair (back far enough and not too forward either) and have done this. But even with that properly executed, it can be a painful part of this chair for me.
There was a reduced “Pommel Foam” option for this chair that takes off 1inch of foam. Cannot say one way of the other if this would help the issue (untested) ? But I think if there is even less Pommel foam, could this make for an even a worst case issue in my case ??
It's not all bad news mind you. The backrest is super neat (but is not 100 % either, see photo below). The height adjustment has clicks and can be moved right where you need it. It can make a creaking sound while your back hits it, which is a bit annoying. Backrest angle adjustment also works very well.
The chair “gas” height adjustment works well too. Some chairs that have a gas cartridge for chair height have what I call “sink factor” as one sits down. This BodyBilt chair "gas" lift seems to sink down a bit more than usual (like its in 2 steps too ??). But is not a drawback to me at least at the time this report was typed .
HEY “ErgoGenesis” : If you FINALLY wish to make a US customer happy , send me a # 7 Moderate seat for this chair at NO COST (to replace the lousy # 2 seat that just will not hold up even for 1 year) !! This just may change my view on this chair (even with the other bugs) ?? The company CEO even refused this request in the past . Contact me at my standard email address as shown on the main page if you care to provide some real customer service !!
seat photo only 2 weeks old (left photo) , photo above taken
"cold" at the start of a day. This vinyl has gotten
much worst in only 2 years of use (right photo). Also the glue (yes
glue) that sticks the vinyl to the seat cushion has now totally
broken down , so the vinyl just floats now (sags bad as shown) in
the air until I sit in it. There are other issues with this # 2
"Deep Seat" too (see text) , it's just plain
uncomfortable after awhile (say under 1 hour). But the seat just
does not hold up under normal use.
my view at this price point
, construction quality (and some parts) of this "Body Bilt"
chair severely lacks.
You can see that the backrest does not "center" properly to the back of the seat. I can see no way for the customer to correct this nasty ill.
There is simply no excuse for this !! (NOTE : This picture above was taken when brand new, first day)
Note : Adjusting the seat "mounting" (ever so slightly) with it's four mounting bolts made no difference with this backrest centering issue. None.
So Is It
Worth It ?? / # 7 Type Seat Better ?? / Overall " Forget It
" - I Say Stay Away !!
Like I was saying at the beginning of this review that it was a very mixed bag for this J752 BodyBilt ESD task chair for me.
I find it to be "comfortable" only when one first sits in it. It does have an extreme degree of adjustments and the contoured seat which are the perks .
So with the TWO seat issues as covered above (#1 and #2) and bad customer service issues , I simply DO NOT recommend BodyBilt chairs . Especially at the much more higher price over a decent Chinese bonded leather chair which is going to be at a far lower cost. Yes nice Chinese chairs actually DO exist even if these "high-end" high priced US chair manufactures say "no way" (of course they say that.....).
I cannot say for sure if a # 7 Moderate seat would clear the Pommel issue up that happens with the # 2 type ? I have not tested a # 7 type seat and have no plans to do so at time this report was typed. The backrest being out of center with the seat is just another nasty that should not be at all.
So the old saying: “You Get What You Pay For” is NOT valid here to me. In my view one can do just as well or MUCH BETTER with a Chinese chair in the $ 200 to $ 400 price point (properly chosen) and don’t have to deal with the seat issues and a backrest that is not centered properly. These simply should not be there. Sorry that I must give a solid "thumbs down" for any BodyBilt chairs. WAY too much money for the low quality and the nasty issues I experienced .
I hope this review was of use and interest ?
c N9EWO , all rights reserved
"BodyBilt" Ergonomic "Mid Back" J752
Task Chair (CR / ESD type)
|- " Blue"
ESD Anti-Static Vinyl
- # 2 "Deep Seat"
- J Chair Mech (only Mech can can be used with a ESD model)
- CleanRoom / ESD - CRE
- Fully Upholstered Backrest - U
- Standard Chrome Cylinder, 5.5" stroke - Y6
- 25" Polished Aluminum w/ Chrome Base - B3
- ESD Casters - C9
- Upholstered S'port Arms (Left and Right)
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