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Thread: How reliable is Icon A1?

  1. #1

    How reliable is Icon A1?

    My wheelchair is nearly reach its 5 year old mark and im in market for a new wheelchair.

    After my 2nd tilite, i'm in mood for something different. I'm travelling extensively, like more than 20 countries in the past 5 years and finding my tilite isnt exactly fitting for the most scenarios (off road, heavy luggage, snow). I have my eyes set on Icon for a while now, but I wonder if it's rugged enough to be useful. I'm tempted by it on-the-fly adjustment. I know I could benefit a lot from it when travelling, but if it isnt rugged or tough enough, it's benefit might be rendered useless when it fails. I dont want the camber to loose after 10-15 high drops. I dont mind the maintenance, as it comes with the package for adjustable chair. But having parts loosen permanently (the look of the caster fork scares me) is scary indeed.

    But i might be wrong. I havent tried the chair so giving assumption might not be fair.

    Any feedback from the people who personally own this chair? or the manufacturer himself to give some kind of assurance?

    I need this chair to be able to survive rough terrain. Will it deliver? Will it come with the necessary tools?

    I have found some people having issue with the front end, but i heard Jeff offers a couple of front end. I'm guessing the wider one wont give blister anymore?

    any feedback is appreciated.
    walking is OVER-RATED!!!

    Broken in August 14th, 2003. T9-L1 complete.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    So for ive only done a demo for a week, dont have my own icon yet. But it was incredibly rugged in my opinion, and when i took it to the bike shop to adjust the shock pressure, the employees (they crowded around) would not stop ooing and ahhing and repeating that this part or that part was such high quality, and then saying how the whole chair was obviously high quality and with a lot of thought put into every part of the design, and asking the cost guessing a minimum of 5k. Im told thats very high praise coming from bike people.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  3. #3
    It is very reliable. I have a ZRA and an Icon, I bought the Icon actually because felt I needed a backup chair after Delta broke my CF camber tube in half (I travel a lot). The Icon quickly became my primary chair simply because I was able to adjust it so that it fit so much better than my ZRA. My ZRA fits okay, but it was sized/fit all by a PT. Once I got ahold of an Icon it was so easy to adjust it that replaced my ZRA (except when I need to use my ZX-1).

    I have had the Icon for over a year, and fly a lot (I am delta platinum) an aside from having them tear the foam padding on the front wing (I have the standard "narrow" front wing and like it) the baggage monkeys have not been able to damage my Icon. The CF seat pan is well worth the extra money, it makes a significant reduction in the weight. One other cool thing is that I usually reserve either first or the last row aisle in business when I fly. I switch the camber of my Icon to 0 degrees and change it so the wheels are next to the frame and I can get to the seat without an aisle chair. That change takes a single allen wrench and about 5 minutes.

    I have a non folding back w/ a ADI medium backrest, and some quick release clamps so I can pull the front wing off easily. It is nice to be able to pull the front wing off if needed (I so far have only needed it when I have had 3 people in my mini cooper.

    The shock is also great for urban wheeling.

  4. #4
    t8burst,

    Does your employer fly you for business purposes, or is your extensive traveling for enjoyment rather than for work?

  5. #5
    The Icon tested very well in all the RESNA specified tests, particularly the double drum test and the drop test - I just got back from the University of Michigan, where we got them to do the WC-19 crash test.

    I was told that fewer than 20% of the manual chairs they've tested pass on the first test, but the Icon performed so well that we might qualify for a secondary (higher) certification that car seats for kids are required to pass. The director of the test lab watched the test personally, because he was interested in how a highly adjustable chair would perform on the test, and he said he was "blown away", and "incredibly impressed".

    The Icon A1 is incredibly durable, and stays together for the same reason that a $2,500 bike doesn't rattle loose - good engineering, rigid quality standards and high level manufacturing tolerances.

    We're going to put the test video up on YouTube once we get the official certification for the WC-19 from the lab - we have the hard copy of the test results that is stamped "pass", but it takes them a couple weeks to do the necessary filing.

    The A1 is performing really well in real world testing too - we had some early problems with the castor arms yielding under heavy use, and some of the early carbon seats de-laminated, mostly when people were attaching their cushions to the top skin with velcro to keep them in place - when they pulled the cushions off, it caused a force that we didn't consider in design/engineering (we only considered compressive forces, we didn't think about the skins being pulled apart).

    We redesigned both parts to be more robust, we replace any old revisions with no questions asked, and we pay the shipping.

  6. #6
    One reason you probably want it is so that you can flip the casters forward for rough terrain. That by itself makes the chair highly desirable in my opinion and I would have one if I had a full time need for a footrest.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    t8burst, what clamps do you use for the front end? I'm interested in getting some down the line for quick wheelbase adjustment.

    Of course I don't even have my Icon yet, but I'll bookmark the clamps. The wait is killer, and of course NuMotion is moving incredibly slowly as usual and ignoring my emails requesting status.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  8. #8
    Thanks @t8burst @~Lin. It's really helpful.

    @nonoise exactly. the front caster setup is very appealing on rough terrain coupled with 5"/6". i do hope the chair, like their previous invention, have a variety of front end. (I remember marvel having the off-road front end).

    @jeffadams glad to hear. i did a search beforehand and saw. the only issue bugging me is the caster arms, freewheel attachment issue and the wide/narrow front end. since it's all solved, the only thing left is that i have no idea if i'd be needing a wider/narrower front end which wont cause blisters. I read somewhere in the forum that tapered are customs but not sure where it stands as of now.

    Owh, and one more thing. Is icon compatible with the use of adaptive handcycle which attaches to the front end? or is it not advisable?
    walking is OVER-RATED!!!

    Broken in August 14th, 2003. T9-L1 complete.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I'm only 2 months into my Icon experience. I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but haven't encountered any issues with reliability or durability. I took the time and locked it down thoroughly once I got it setup (medium and strong thread locker everywhere). Total overkill, yes, but I don't need adjustability. I'm thinking of swapping to a non-folding backrest, too. There is an Aussie guy that posts here whose son has put thousands of km on an Icon A1 using a Firefly front cycle attachment. Plenty tough, IMO! I'm also using it 10-15 hours a week off-road, with a Freewheel, coaching and chasing young soccer players around, and it does a terrific job. Another month, or so, of experience and I'll post of full review. I'm afraid I'd just be a gushing fanboy if I posted a review now!! I like it quite a lot.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    There is an Aussie guy that posts here whose son has put thousands of km on an Icon A1 using a Firefly front cycle attachment. Plenty tough, IMO!
    That'd be me.... Yep, no problems in using a Firefly with the Icon. The only thing I would advise against is using quick-release clamps to hold the Icon's front end if you are going to use a Firefly (or similar), as the quick-release clamps don't fasten as tightly as the allen-keyed connectors. We tried the quick-release and the front end slipped out slightly several times (thankfully not fully), due to the Firefly forces.

    FreeWheel works well too, with the new footrest design. And we've had no problems with the original caster arms (the design of which I liked, but others apparently did not!).
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

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