Pros:Very durable, mine is 10 years old and still going, personal trainer programs
Cons:Loud motor, no real shock absorbtion
The Bottom Line: The Image 10.0 Treadmill from Icon is well-priced for what you get, and isn't made disposable like so many other pieces of equipment on the market.
Wyoming winters are often brutal, and the various trends in the weather can make up to half of the year unsuitable for walking and running outside. This has made the state one of the higher-ranking states for obesity, and also led my mother to the realization - about ten years ago - that there had to be an alternative that would allow everyone in the household to get adequate exercise. Sure, there is a local YMCA, a few hours' drive will bring you to a ski resort, and the mountains nearby offer all manner of opportunities for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and more. The only problem is, for most of those you need time and/or money, and you need to be able to semi-safely travel the roads. Since it's not often that these factors fall into alignment, she invested in the Image 10.0 treadmill from Icon.
Recommend this product?
At the time of purchase, this treadmill cost about $450, and was around mid-range cost for available models. Though Icon has since stopped manufacturing the Image 10.0, it can still be found on some sites and in some outlet stores for about $280. For this price, you get pretty much your basic treadmill. The track can be used flat or set at an incline, and there is a built-in heart monitor (of somewhat questionable accuracy, but mostly useful). The display measures distance, current speed, approximate calories burned, and approximate fat calories burned. In addition, there are four "personal trainer" programs that you can choose from that automatically vary your speed for a good walk/run workout (which can be made more difficult with a bit more incline, if desired).
I personally used this treadmill for several years throughout high school, and recently acquired it from a loving mother whose need for it had decreased, and who wanted me to have a way to exercise even while pregnant, and then with a brand new baby in the dead of winter. Possibly the best feature on it for me other than the personal trainer programs is the folding track - I have a fairly cramped house, and so have had to content myself with only a balance disk, resistance cord, small exercise trampoline, and similar "closet gym" items that can be folded up very small and put out of the way. When the track is folded up on this, it is about two feet wide, and is light enough that I didn't have any difficulty folding and unfolding it days before (and days after) my daughter was born.
Next, this treadmill is definitely a lower-range piece of equipment and, while it's a great tool for average people just needing to move a bit, it's certainly no marathon runner's dream. The Image 10.0 reaches a top speed of 4.5 miles per hour - and that only if you don't live very close to neighbors, and certainly assuming that you don't live in an upstairs apartment. Translation: there really is no shock system on this baby, so everyone in the neighborhood will know you've hopped on the track. I remember countless mornings waking up to the sound of my mother's feet hitting the treadmill, and now I cringe to see the plants on a shelf nearby shaking as I do the same thing. I'm not huge, but it's kind of hard to push yourself to power-walk or to run and still step lightly.
I honestly can't remember if the treadmill was quite as loud new as it is now at ten years old, but I do recall that it always had a bit of sound to it. The loud motor really doesn't bother me because I can still hear my music, and my neighbors (in a townhouse) can't really complain because I only use it during the day and it's quieter than my vacuum. That said, if you have someone working at home that is bothered by noise, have a baby that isn't used to noise when s/he sleeps, or otherwise wish for a stealthier treadmill, then you may want to go for a different machine.
Despite the shocks and the loud motor, I really can't complain about this treadmill. It has undergone almost daily use, rarely less than a couple of times a week, and it is still going strong. The track has never been replaced and, while it shows slight wear in the center, appears to still be a long way from needing it. While replacement parts are available, they do tend to be expensive and, considering the age of this machine and its original cost, it may be time to shop for a new one when it eventually does have issues.
I think it's safe to say that what has now averaged out to a cost of about $45 a year since the treadmill's purchase -- and still going - has certainly been a worthwhile investment. Icon has clearly made a sound, durable treadmill that's within fairly easy price reach for most people, and is perfectly suited to walkers and slower joggers. When it finally does come time to begin my search for a new machine, I certainly would not hesitate to purchase another of Icon's products.
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