Image Ellipticals

Image elliptical machines are made by ICON, a parent company that manufactures and markets seven fitness equipment brands including HealthRider, NordicTrack, Reebok, and Weslo. Image’s budget models are not recommended. Icon has phased out the Image brand in favor of promoting its other ellipticals, especially those with the NordicTrack and ProForm brand names.

An Overview of Image Ellipticals

Some typical features of Image elliptical trainers include:

  • Low purchase price Image ellipticals are usually priced under $500.

  • High repair cost – Repair needs for Image elliptical trainers make these machines costly in the long run. For instance, the Image 7.8 elliptical has a low MSRP, but consumers report frequent breakdowns – and the machine has just a 90-day warranty.
  • Poor warranty – All of the Image ellipticals we’ve reviewed have 90 day warranties. Even worse, customers report that the machines start to break down after just a few months of use.
  • Appealing extras – Some Image models, like the 9.5, have iFit technology and inclined ramps that enhance workouts. However, the short warranties on these machines make the extras not worth the money.

Overall Rating for Image Ellipticals

Image ellipticals don’t seem ideal for any consumer. They tend to have weak resistance, poor designs, and short warranties. If you’re motivated by Image’s low price and iFit feature, then check out ellipticals by other Icon subsidiaries such as Schwinn, NordicTrack, Epic Fitness, and ProForm.

Image 8.25 Elliptical

The 8.25 elliptical is a mediocre offering by the Image brand. It has just a 90-day warranty and a high return rate. The parent company ICON Fitness promotes its better budget brands such as NordicTrack and ProForm, but it doesn’t even devote a web page to Image ellipticals.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

  • 18” stride The 18” stride is suitable for many users. Taller people might feel as if they are stepping more than making elliptical motions.

  • Upper body exercise – Like most elliptical trainers, the Image 8.25 has upper body bars to give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously. However, users have complained that the handlebars aren’t well-positioned and can easily become detached.
  • Step counter – The MyTracks Step Counter lets users design exercise programs based on their stepping goals (e.g., taking 10,000 steps per day).

What You Don’t Get with the Image 8.25 Elliptical

  • Programs – Few programs are built into the Image 8.25’s console. Other budget ellipticals offer more pre-set programs and the option to use iFit cartridges.
  • A good warranty – Image ellipticals have substandard 90-day warranties. Even worse, customers frequently report that the equipment breaks down quickly and is costly to repair.
  • Ergonomic design – The 8.25 loses points for its uncomfortable handlebars and not-so-smooth resistance.

Overall Rating for the IMAGE Elliptical 8.25

The Image 8.25 has a bad reputation and a very short warranty. Its few attractive features aren’t worth the risk of soon owning broken equipment. For a better deal, buy a budget trainer by Eclipse, Epic, NordicTrack, or another brand with better warranties.

Image 9.5 Elliptical

The 9.5 is an elliptical trainer for very casual, infrequent exercisers. Average and serious athletes will quickly wear the machine out – and the warranty expires after just 90 days. Nonetheless, some people choose the Image 9.5 for its incline and iFit personal training technology.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

  • 17.5” stride The 17.5” stride is ideal for petites and short men. However, most average and tall people won’t be able to use a full range of motion.

  • Upper body exercise – Like most elliptical trainers, the Image 9.5 has movable handlebars to give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Incline – The 9.5 has three incline options. However, these must be adjusted manually. Ellipticals by other brands have motorized inclines, letting users conveniently adjust the incline in the middle of a workout. (One to check out: the Horizon EX 77, which has a 16-degree power incline.)

  • Programs – Ten exercise programs are built into the Image 9.5’s console. Users can also purchase 8-week iFit training programs to keep exercise interesting.
  • Extras – Extras include contact heart rate grips, a drink holder, and a built-in workout fan.

What You Don’t Get with the Image 9.5 Elliptical

  • A good warranty – Image ellipticals have substandard 90-day warranties. Even worse, customers frequently report that the equipment breaks down quickly and is costly to repair.
  • Silence – Many users report that the Image 9.5 trainer becomes squeaky or otherwise raises a racket after a few months of use.

Overall Rating for the Image Elliptical 9.5

Customer reviews have earned the Image 9.5 a low rating. Reports paint a picture of a shaky machine that becomes increasingly noisy over time, ultimately requiring repair and becoming an extra place to hang one’s clothes.

If it’s iFit that draws you, check out some other brands by the ICON parent company, such as NordicTrack and ProForm, or consider spending money on a gym membership until you’re ready to purchase a better quality trainer.

Image 8.5 Elliptical

The 8.5 is Image’s most appealing elliptical, but that’s not saying much. This elliptical’s main attractions are probably its low price and its iFit technology. The 8.5 also has adjustable foot pedals, which contribute to good ergonomics. However, with just a 90-day warranty, the Image 8.5 elliptical can’t be expected to last for long.

What You Get with the Image 8.5 Elliptical

The Image 8.5 is a very basic machine. Here are some specifics:

  • 17.5” stride The 17.5” stride is good for petites and short men, but average to tall people will probably feel constrained.

  • Adjustable pedals – Although the stride is fixed, the pedals can be adjusted for different foot sizes.

  • Upper body exercise – Like most elliptical trainers, the Image 8.5 has movable handlebars to give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Comfort – The 8.5 gets good user ratings for its ergonomic handlebars and shock absorption system.

  • Programs – Six exercise programs are built into the console. That’s relatively few; most budget ellipticals offer at least 10 preset programs. On the other hand, users can purchase 8-week iFit training programs to keep exercise interesting.

What You Don’t Get with the Image 8.5 Elliptical

  • A good warranty – Image ellipticals have substandard 90-day warranties. Even worse, customers frequently report that the equipment breaks down quickly and is costly to repair.

Overall Rating for the Image 8.5 Elliptical

The Image 8.5 elliptical trainer is an odd combination of good and not-so-good. iFit technology and a smooth ride are great features, but it would be silly to invest in a machine that has such a short warranty. People who purchase this machine can expect to enjoy it for a brief time until it breaks down. Some low-cost elliptical brands with better warranties and durability scores include NordicTrack and ProForm.

Image 7.8 Elliptical

The 7.8 is Image’s entry-level elliptical trainer. It includes 10 workout programs, 10 resistance levels, and an 18” stride length.

What You Get

The IMAGE 7.8 elliptical is a very basic machine. Here are some specifics:

  • 18” stride The 18” stride lets shorter to average-height people utilize a full range of elliptical motion.

  • Upper body exercise – Like most elliptical trainers, the Image 7.8 has movable handlebars to give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Resistance The 7.8 includes 10 resistance levels. Most ellipticals have a minimum of 16 levels of resistance.

  • Programs – Ten exercise programs are built into the console. Two are heart rate programs and the other eight are personal training programs that automatically adjust the machine’s speed and resistance.
  • Lower user capacity – Image machines have relatively low weight capacities of about 250 pounds.
  • No bells or whistles — Unlike NordicTrack, Icon, and some other elliptical brands, the IMAGE 7.8 doesn’t offer extras such as an iPod dock or incline training.
  • Warranty – Image ellipticals have substandard 90-day warranties.

Overall Rating for the IMAGE Elliptical 7.8

The Image 7.8 is so unpopular that even its parent company doesn’t actively promote it. This elliptical has few resistance levels and a very short warranty. Its low price would probably be quickly offset by the cost of replacement parts and labor. For a better deal, buy a budget trainer by Eclipse, Epic, NordicTrack, or another brand with better warranties.