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 one in which indoor exercise is often a critical component of healthy living. Sure, there is a local YMCA and lots of outdoor recreation opportunities, but it’s tough to go out of your way for the daily workout. My solution? Along with a resistance band and balance disc, it’s the Image 10.0 treadmill from Icon.
At the time of purchase, the Image 10.0 treadmill cost about $450 – about the middle of the range for available models. I wasn’t interested in the bottom-barrel machines, but couldn’t afford the really fancy marathon trainer type ones. Icon has since stopped manufacturing the Image 10.0, but it can still be found on some sites and in some outlet stores around the $200-$300 range.
If, after reading this review, you’d like a treadmill that’s similar in form, function and price point that’s still in production, consider this Weslo Cadence G 5.9 treadmill. That said, parts such as replacement walking belts, motor belts, safety keys and other goodies still appear to be available. But I digress.
At this price point, you get pretty much your basic treadmill. The track can be used flat or set at an incline, and the incline is controlled from the console as opposed to those totally inconvenient manual-set ones. I’m not sure the exact degree of incline, but it has about a half-dozen settings up to a decidedly steep hill (how’s that for specificity?).
This treadmill does have a built-in heart monitor, but of somewhat questionable accuracy. It’s built into the console so it doesn’t move with you, so you may end up with a few 300+ readings if you try to check your rate while you’re still walking. That’s a bit of a pain, but just assume that any heart-exploding numbers are likely inaccurate and re-check it.
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. Make each program more difficult by adding incline.
Okay, call me silly, but there’s a lot of things I didn’t know about treadmill maintenance with this little baby. I wrote a review on this one in the past citing how terribly loud it is, and how much speeds can vary with use. Then I discovered that treadmills are actually supposed to have routine walking belt lubrication. After investing in some of this lubrication for my treadmill, it’s suddenly about half-volume and the speeds all work great. You may call me silly now if you like, but I’d never heard of such a thing. You can also get the lube made by Icon specifically for their treadmills right here. Lubricants come in either wax-based or silicone-based formulas, but ask someone more knowledgeable than I about the difference. That said, here’s how to use the stuff:
I started using this treadmill in high school, when it was the winter exercise of choice for a total of three people. It came with me when I moved, and is still running great on its original walking belt (despite my lube ignorance) now that I’m nearly 30. That’s with about 50 miles a week during the first 5 years of its life when it had multiple users, and now a steady 20-30 miles a week.
Possibly the best feature other than the personal trainer programs is the folding track – everywhere I’ve lived has been tiny, so it’s awesome when things take less space. In fact, it’s the only non- “closet gym” item in my exercise collection, though a FitDesk will soon be added to the ranks. The folded track is about two feet wide, and is light enough that I didn’t have any difficulty with it even while pregnant.
Don’t expect this to be a marathon runner’s dream. The Image 10.0 reaches a top speed of 4.5 miles per hour. There really is no shock system on this baby, so you might want to look elsewhere if you have an upstairs apartment or fussy neighbors.
Want an alternative use for it? Now that I’ve been planning the switch to a FitDesk, I’ve started training my 4-year-old Catahoula (yes, that’s a dog) to use this machine. The sound disturbed him at first, but now he’s able to get a nice several-mile jog every day – a must for these high-energy dogs – regardless of my current work schedule or the -30 weather outside (or 120 degree weather, depending on the season). Just clip the safety key to your dog’s collar to trigger the shutoff if he falls behind, and never leave your dog unsupervised. Here’s a quick bit on why treadmills can be so great for dogs:
As I mentioned, the Icon Image 10.0 treadmill is loud, but not nearly as loud as I originally thought. It’s easy to talk over it or listen to music. If it grows steadily louder, check the lubrication and the health of the bearings.
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. I think it’s safe to say that this treadmill has certainly been a worthwhile investment.
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