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Thread: Tried Icon yesterday

  1. #1
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Tried Icon yesterday

    GF and I spent the whole day yesterday at the Abilities Expo in San Jose. For months we have been looking forward to seeing the Icon. It had been circled on the calendar months in advance, she took the car to the shop for a tune-up and repairs. We planned the route, packed food, figured all the details out. She even made arrangements with her employer two months in advance.

    I mention all that so you can understand how high my expectations were built up for the seeing and trying the Icon. Studying all I could about it before and talking with Jeff and had it in my mind that this chair was the answer, the best thing to come along since I started using a chair 16 years ago.

    It was better.

    I tend to hyperbole but I'm in love and I want everyone to know it. I swear I didn't want to take my hands off the chair. It exceeded my expectations and Jeff was even nicer in person than online and to everyone who's been grilling him on the Icon claims (justly so), you can see that's saying a lot. Everyone at Icon was very nice and put up with my endless talking and questions and Jeff literally got bloody making all the adjustments I asked for as we tried setting up an Icon for me to try.

    We finally got it dialed in and I took it out of the hall. I saw some nice long stairs but they were caution-taped off. Hm, I wondered it the venue had some insight into wheelchair users. I did find another set of stairs but there was a security guard there. Still I wanted to test the chair so I used the stairs but compromised - I went down backwards. After, I headed outside looking for curbs and stairs. One nice set of stairs had some skateboarders smoking pot and playing with a video camera and I thought I'd leave them to it. I did run across the street, trying to use every curb I could. It's very soft and controlled coming down, like the chair doesn't mind. No jarring at all and I started wondering just how high a curb this thing could take. I would have to loved to find out but there wasn't time and I couldn't go all over San Jose trying to find an good testing course so back in I came.

    Unfortunately what I have to say is this - the chair is incredible, I am in love and I do think it is the answer for many people but, you won't be able to understand that until you try it. It's just not a chair you can really describe. To illustrate my point, I tried the stuff at the Lasher Sport booth. Very nice people, nice booth, gorgeous chairs. The Lasher is exactly as you expect it to be, very smooth, with a light boxy feeling. It felt like it looked in the pictures I've seen for years. I wasn't surprised but I was very pleased. It's a very nice chair. Thumbs up.

    I tried the Quickie Q7. I was surprised, it's very nice too and I can understand why so many people are attracted to it though I wasn't able to test it outside, it seemed like it would do everything Quickie claims about it. Feels lighter than most chairs and the oval-section aluminum tubing is very attractive. Nice guy from Quickie too, I really enjoyed meeting him.

    I went to the Tilite booth just to say hi and tell them how much my Tilite TR has meant to me - it's changed my life. They feel and act corporate. I felt like I was leaving a note in a suggestion box for a massive corporation who had ten departments between themselves and the one that read what's in the box. Great chairs and I love mine but .. they're starting to feel just like all the big ones.

    The Icon has to be tried, you have to sit in it and ride it to understand. It was to me, quite literally amazing. It feels light but in a way I haven't felt before. It's not just light but it feels like the frame is made of a strong wire. Poor words .. hard to describe. It just felt light and airy, light there wasn't much there under me, like I had the wheels to push and something keeping it all together but nothing you could really think about while pushing.

    Seeing the chair up close, I was surprised by how beefy the parts are. I worried about things not being strong enough but once you see the size of the pieces, they look like the could be used in bridge building and very pleasing to the eye. A simple few number of parts and some of them, like the seatpost and adjusting nuts, look almost like art. Very pretty. But pretty is one thing and durability that I can trust is something else. The chair gave me the feeling right away that I could thow it down a flight of stairs, get in it, pull-technique up the stairs, ride down them again and then fly off a huge curb and it would be unaffected. I know we all worried about the adjustments coming loose under vibration and stress but you have to see the parts with your own eyes and ride the chair. I trust those adjustable parts on the Icon.

    I checked out D's Locks and the fellow who owns the company and was doing demos was also the free-repairs-guy at the show. While waiting to talk to him about the locks I saw him working on people's chairs and listening to their sometimes very worried complaints. Axles with huge 23mm locking nuts were loose, some had used thread-lock even. Bolts were loose, some people were missing nuts. A line of folks came in, literally there was a line. The D's Lock guy was fast and good.

    I'm willing to bet a year in an Icon trying to the kill the damn thing wouldn't shake it's parts loose. Now I know that's a silly thing to say after only an impression from seeing it once and a 20 minute ride but that's also my point - the chair gives that kind of confidence that quickly and yes, I admit I've got a huge crush on it.

    So that's my report on seeing the Icon. It's not for everyone and everyone has to make up their own mind. I expected too much from it and it was even better than I hoped. I'm waiting for one change - and don't call me a hypocrite here, I'm waiting for a wider footrest. As much as I loved it, I can't use the chair right now. I don't have an SCI and I've got plenty of meat on my legs and I couldn't fit comfortably in the narrow footrest. Jeff says it's a change that is coming and with the Icon design it will be as simple as sliding one part out and the new part in, should take about a minute.

    Will Icon last, is it the new paradigm, will it really do what I think and the owners claim? Only time and people owning the chair will tell. For me, I'm in love (and clearly gushing) and ready once they can make a footrest for me and I can find the money (if you though building the Icon was a miracle!), I want one.

    One of the few times in my life my built-up expectations were surpassed. Thanks everyone at Icon and thanks so much for your patience as I ate up so much of your time.

  2. #2
    NICE POST! thanks for the info!
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  3. #3
    Thanks for confirmation of what I expect. I bought an A1 through Sportaid in October. Patiently waiting...
    What was the back setup on the demo chair and what back do you use on your Ti?

  4. #4
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteShick View Post
    Thanks for confirmation of what I expect. I bought an A1 through Sportaid in October. Patiently waiting...
    What was the back setup on the demo chair and what back do you use on your Ti?
    The back set-up was some kind of fabric/sling. It adjusted well enough pretty quickly. They did also have one with a rigid back but I don't do well with thick padding. My Tilite TR has the adjustable velcro straps and I've got it dialed in perfectly. Sometimes when I'm really tired I lean back far into it and take a rest and it's great. The seatbacks on the Icons I saw were not folding-type but Jeff did say that's an option and it's one I would probably want because I carry my chair across my lap to bring it in the car.

  5. #5
    Thank you grommet. What casters were on the chair? Did it have FL's? 4", 5"?

  6. #6
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteShick View Post
    Thank you grommet. What casters were on the chair? Did it have FL's? 4", 5"?
    I think they were the FL 4". They are single-sided and monstrously beefy with wide castors, maybe 1.5 or even 2"? My Tilite has 4x1" softroll tires and the Icon's were much wider. By the way, I talked with the the owner of Frogslegs and he says they making the Tilite tires now and even explained why some of the older ones probably failed. He says the castor parts on the Icon are made by his company.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteShick View Post
    Thanks for confirmation of what I expect. I bought an A1 through Sportaid in October. Patiently waiting...
    What was the back setup on the demo chair and what back do you use on your Ti?
    Ordered mine Sept. 14 and patiently waiting. I ordered the folding back which is causing the holdup. Maybe by the time it ships, they'll have removeable CF fendered side guards. Jeff says the second run production will be even better. It's expected to have some delays with startup production, just sucks had to pay in full 2 months ago rather than a deposit.

  8. #8
    Thanks for posting your review, grommet. I've been wondering what folks will think of the Icon. Please keep the reviews coming, guys.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  9. #9
    Senior Member sowseng's Avatar
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    any video ?
    Life is meaningles, though you create the purpose.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sowseng View Post
    any video ?
    Eek, that's a sore spot - no we didn't shoot any video. We brought the camera, new batteries, ready to go. But I was so caught up in what I was doing, we didn't take any pictures or video. I wanted to get a shot of me with Jeff and Christian but I didn't get that either. Sorry.

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