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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2007
Having "cut my teeth" on the Mercedes of ellipticals, the Precor FX series, I was hesitant to look at other models. But while recovering from a hockey injury, an elliptical workout was prescribed and I wasn't too keen on driving 30 minutes each way for my daily workout. Hence, the quest for my own equpiment began. Here's a quick laundry list of pro's & con's for the Image 8.25...

PRO's:

Very economical!

Electromagnetic resistance instead of "the knob" is great for changing

the resistance on the fly with a push of a button.

Adjustable handle height, great for the whole family

LARGE foot pedals

5 included programs are very adequate for most users

Step counter is a nice touch

"MyTracks" step counter is customizable

Excellent assembly/use/care instructions

CON's:

Somewhat wobbily

EKG is not accurate

Pedal angle pushes you forward slightly

I was impressed that it had an EKC/ECG feature on it for the price. Once I used it, I realized that I had better stick to my Polar chest strap if I want an accurate heart rate reading. After only 15 minutes with the resistance level set at 1, it claimed I had a heart rate of 213! Being a paramedic, that reading really concerned me. I checked my pulse manually and it was only 110. Oh well, lesson learned.

Speaking of that here's some tips if you purchase this elliptical:

Buy extra grease! The less-than-a-teaspoon size packet included doesn't even come close to lubricating all the parts during assembly.

Wear cross-trainer or running shoes! I tried it barefoot and then again with my thin soled martial arts shoes... "uncomfortable" doesn't describe it! Wear some beefy soled shoes as the tread on the pedals are pretty deep and hard.

Overall, I'd recommend this to the average person looking for the benefits of a no impact cardio workout and not looking to spend a fortune on the equipment. Even with the reisitance levl set at 1, it gives you a great workout... and you can't beat the price!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2007
I'd give this three and a half stars if it were available.

I bought this thing because the demo model looked pretty sturdy. I've had it now for a couple of weeks. On the positive side of things, the components were extremely well packaged. Bits of supporting cardboard had been added here and there to support the pieces. Assembly was straightforward and took an hour or two. My kids have been using this as well, and enjoy it. I weigh about 225 lbs. and have found the machine to support my weight with no problem. (It's rated at 250 lbs.) I'm a stair stepper/runner and use the machine for a 20 minute workout with resistance between 3 and 6 (max is 10). I set it at 7 once or twice for a very good burn finish. The display is easy to read and the couple of programs included are probably okay for the user not seeking lots of frills. I generally just modify the resistance myself.

On the negative side, the machine is solid enough but not rock steady. Perhaps a slight movement back and forth is par for this type of equipment. I found that I have to place my feet at the front of the very large pedals, otherwise I have to lean forward. My chief complaint is that the oversized knobs used to "lock" the handle bars into place just don't work. Maybe I'm too rough, but they were constantly sliding down. I ended up deciding that I liked the machine enough to keep it, so I went ahead and drilled a 5/16" hole in each arm and ran a hex bolt through it to support the sliding arms. Now they don't go anywhere. :-)

In summary, for the price the machine is decent. Be prepared to live with a quirk or two and fix the things that drive you nuts. Meanwhile, I'm getting benefit from mine and am good and tired when I'm done with my 20 minute routine.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
You are buying something for $200 which gyms pay >$1,000 for. Expect to get what you are paying for! You cannot get a steak for the price of a hamburger.

Squeaks - WD-40

Arm slides down - Figure out a fix or don't push down so hard on them.

A bit wobbly - Tighten bolts here and there and put forth extra effort to keep stable. (sort of a added workout if you are an optimist)

Bars breaking - Ummm...not mine. You guys bashing yours with a sledgehammer for your upper body workout or something?

Does need maintenance like the tightening of bolts and WD-40 just as most everything in the world with moving parts does!

Be aware...there are only 2 "real" programs. The other three are counters (2 calorie and 1 step) which the display does anyway so they are just a creation of the marketing department.

Used for several months to lose the excess weight and it worked very well for that. Loved being able to watch TV while on this thing for 30 minutes a day and lost 20+ lbs in a few months and now on to the real workout(P90X).

[...].
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2007
I really liked this machine when I first started using it. Easy to put together, fairly sturdy. I have now owned/used it for about 1 year. It began to squeak (which wd-40 helped) and the handle bars began sliding down. I put a set screw in each arm to hold the handles in place. Then the squeak became really pronounced so I tried to take it apart to regrease. One of the orginal screws has rusted so that it cannot come out (despite being in my family room) and when I openned the flywheel case a large amount of rubber fell out. The drive belt is slowly being eaten away where it rubs on some of the mechanism. I also noticed that one of the handles is cracking.
It may be that I am working the machine fairly hard, resistance 6 or 7 and over 50 rpm, but it seems like the machine should be able to handle that. Looking at some of the other reviews, I wonder if just got a lemon. But I am going to have to find a better machine.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2008
This machine has been used moderately for about a year and a half. Right after the warranty ran out, it started making squeaking noises inside. I took the machine apart, reduced the tension on the flyweel and the squeak went a way. However, this did change the tension settings.

THEN, the rod that holds the right foot arm broke. After examining the broken part, it was obvious that it was poorly designed and/or manufactured. It broke right through the weld. I called customer service and they were very helpful in getting a new part ordered FOR SEVENTY FOUR DOLLARS PLUS SHIPPING!!!!! This is a cheap piece of steel with a rod welded on one end. Give me a break.

This was a very inexpensive machine - you get what you pay for.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2008
I bought this elliptical at a local store. The price was right since i wasnt really convinced I would use it and I liked the 18" stride too. The item comes with a 90 day warranty, so i pitched the receipt saying to myself "theres no way it will break in 3 months." It turns out ive held true to my new years resolution, and i use it about 5 times a week doing the 300 (20 minutes approximately) calorie program each time. Now im a 26 year old male, 180 pounds and 5'9", pretty average i think... well after 2 months the thing was squeaking like crazy! Being a mechanic by trade, I took it apart and regreased all the bushings, but one persistant squeak remained. I didnt find it until the weld at the bottom of the up-right broke, while i was running on it! Needless to say, the squeak was gone, replaced by my cursing instead! I took it to the shop, and removed the plastic trim to get a look at it, the welders were set WAY too cold! Blah blah blah, I was able to repair and reinforce mine, and 6 weeks later it is still holding up and working fine. However, I do not believe the average person has the ability or access to the tools I have. Long story short: If you are serious about using this equipment, spend a few more dollars and get a better unit!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
I bought one of these machines, put it together, and had it for about three weeks. It squeaked almost right away and the handle bars were constantly falling down. During the third week, one of the supports cracked and could have thrown me off if I hadn't been careful. I took it back to the WalMart where I bought it and they gave me another one. This time I had a service technician come to my house and put it together. Even HE couldn't get this bucket of bolts to run like it was supposed to. Icon's customer service was terrible and it took them almost three weeks to get the technician back to fix what he should have fixed the first time. In short, don't waste your time or money on this piece of junk. It's not worth your time.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
I purchased this b/c I am 5 months pregnant and can't run outside in the Houston heat anymore. I think it is good for the price and the programs pose a good challenge. I use it once in the morning and once in the evening.

I do agree with the other reviews that it is wobbly but it is not significant enough to chose a different machine. I would be interested to hear suggestions on how to reduce the wobbliness, if anyone has found a way.

My husband has even gotten on it a couple times, and he is not one to exercise on purpose :)

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get a workout in at home, this is a good option.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2008
My wife surprised me with this machine two summers ago. It was easy to put together and worked well for a few weeks. I am 6 ft tall and weigh around 190 lbs, which seems to be too much for this machine to handle. I used the hills program which takes the resistance to high levels and that may have made it worse. My wife also tried this machine but found the stride uncomfortable and bouncy (she is petite, 5 ft 2 in).
Our experience included the following: shoes are a must, otherwise the pedals are very uncomfortable. Drilling out the handles because they kept slipping. Lubricating the the joints and mast for loud squeaks. Taking the plastic off because the drive belt was slowly being rubbed away by an ill-fitting piece. Have first one handle, then the other crack and break off during a work out. Realizing that the center mast has bent to one side slightly which helped to worsen the loud squeaks and bouncy stride.
I'm writing this review while waiting for a much sturdier (and more expensive) machine, the esprit EL-3, to arrive. I believe that elliptical trainers are very good machines, but like only if they are sturdy enough to really allow you to work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2008
I agree with the other reviews. It gives a great workout, I've had it since January 2008, and used it many times, although quit when the weather started getting nicer.

I do have a problem with the noise (squeaking) that it makes when you work out on it. I feel like I'm going to wake the whole house up when I use it. My husband swears he can't hear it upstairs (i'm in the basement), but I can't even hear the tv or my music over the noise. Must find a way to grease or stop the noise somehow.
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