Epic 425 MX Treadmill (Discontinued)
- Reviewed On: December 01, 2011
- Reviewed By: David Hu
MSRP: $1150, Price As Reviewed: $1150, Model Year: 2007
Where To Buy : See Our Best Buy Section
We have discontinued our coverage of this model as of December 1st, 2011. Please visit our Best Buy Section or visit our home page to see our latest reviews.
Summary of What The Experts Say
Treadmill Doctor, the leading authority gave a best buy rating to the Epic 425 MX treadmill which is a product from Icon Health and Fitness. The other treadmill review sites we’ve looked at also seem to be impressed with the treadmill they're getting for the price.
Note: Even though the Epic 425 MX received a best buy in 2006 from Treadmill Doctor, it is no longer available for $799. Please read the "What You Should Do" section below to help you decide what to do.
Summary of What The Users Say
Users of this treadmill have had interesting experiences. They were generally happy with the treadmill but one user has reported a cracked deck from 25 to 30 miles of use per week after one and a half years. (Note: I’ve actually bought this treadmill less than a year ago before starting this website. You can read my experiences below along with instructions on what you should do.)
What You Should Do
Receiving a "best buy" rating seems to have jacked up the price of the treadmill considerately in recent months - or at least this seems to be the case if you buy it from anywhere but Costco. The current low price is $1399 which is a fair bit higher than the $799 when the experts reviewed and awarded it the best buy rating. At this price, you should really have second thoughts on buying even if it did receive a best buy rating.
Since I bought this treadmill myself back when it was on sale at Costco, I'm going to detail you my personal experiences. If you're looking for the short answer on what to do, you can skip to the verdict below. Otherwise, please read on.
When I bought this treadmill, I was torn between getting a Sole or Smooth after conducting research online. While I was researching, I was made aware of a treadmill that was currently sold at a local Costco by a family member. So I went to Costco, copied the model number and did some research online. Typing the model into Google and doing a little poking here and there, I discovered it was most recently awarded a best buy rating from Treadmill Doctor. Even though I was seriously leaning towards a Sole at the time due to the many positive things said, I also knew of the "treadmill affiliate game" those sites were playing. In other words, I knew I couldn't entirely trust most of the reviews out there because they get paid if I buy. (If you didn't quite understand what I just wrote, you should read the article "The Truth Behind Treadmill Review Sites".) With that in mind, I went and bought the Epic 425 MX treadmill instead of a Sole or Smooth.
As an aside, this was actually one of the reasons why I started this website so I can provide a service for future buyers like you where all the research is done, the price is compared, and decisions objectively analyzed. From my personal experience, when you're in a buying frenzy, you don't think very straight but I digress. Let's talk about the nitty-gritty details about the treadmill based on my own personal experience.
First, what I like about this treadmill. The treadmill feels solid most of the time. In fact, I would say that it feels as solid as the ones I used at the gym. The belt is also quite long at 60 inches which is longer than most residential treadmills. It’s even longer than some commercial models out there like those from Landice. The console is quite nice with the blue LCD light behind all the key stats (distance, time ran, calories burned, speed, incline, and quarter mile track). All in all, I think I would have been very happy if I only used the machine for jogging but the problem is I also run quite a bit on it.
Now, let’s talk about the problems.
1. Unstable speeds – This seems to occur more often at higher speeds (greater than 9 MPH) but is also present at slower speeds. For example, if I set my walking pace at 4 MPH, the treadmill could fluctuate anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5 MPH. Although it’s only for a few seconds before reverting back to its supposed speed, it’s still a problem that shouldn’t have existed. Similarly, when I increase the speed to something higher like 9 MPH, the problem becomes more apparent. Apparently, the famed "Commercial" Odyssey motor is having trouble keeping up or at least having trouble stabilizing. In a typical 15 minute run or jog, you should expect about 15 to 30 seconds when the treadmill is running at a speed less than what it states.
2. Loud - The treadmill is quite loud. This is probably because the treadmill is tuned at a high RPM to obtain its high horsepower rating resulting in loud sounds.
3. Weird sounds - The longer you workout on this treadmill, the weirder the sound becomes. One time, when I ran for about 20 minutes at 8 MPH, the treadmill started sounding louder and weirder right near the end. This weird sound carried over for a few sessions in the following days. By weird, I mean it didn't sound quite like what a motor sounds like usually. It sounded like a louder, grumpier version of the motor.
4. Incline struggle - Motor sounds awfully grumpy when I crank up the incline. This has led me to limited running at high incline levels.
So with all these problems, would I still have bought it today? It depends. Since I'm Canadian, I don't have as many ecommerce choices as people in the U.S and thus, my choices in treadmill are severely limited online. Local fitness equipment sellers also have limited models available as well. So, at that time, the EPIC 425 MX was and probably still is the best choice for me unless I want to pay an extra few hundred dollars for shipping overseas from a store in the states.
When I bought the Epic 425 MX, I bought it with the expectation that it was not going to last me more than a few years of regular use. As I intend to rejoin a gym in the future as my situation permits, this treadmill’s longevity is not a serious issue for me. In other words, even though I'm not completely happy and I’m certain the treadmill will break down in the future, it's also not wise for me to spend a couple of thousand more on a near commercial level treadmill that's going to last me a few decades. To give you an idea of the longevity of the Epic 425 MX, we’ll refer to one user’s experience on the Runners World forum. He/she noted that they had to replace their Epic 425 MX after about 1 and a half years of use with an average of 25 to 30 miles per week due to a cracked deck. This translates to approximately 2000 miles on the machine before breaking down. If you’re jogging at 6 miles per hour, this is equivalent to about 300 hours of jogging. If you jog for three hours each week, the Epic 425 MX is probably going to die after about 2 years (300/3=100weeks=2 years). Of course, this calculation isn’t scientific but it would probably serve as a decent indicator for the average user that’s considering the Epic 425 MX treadmill for their home.
Verdict: If you can get this treadmill at its original price of $800, it is one of the best possible choices. But because of the price increase, you really are better off not buying. If you want something similar to the Epic 425 MX, consider the 600 MX and 800 MX instead. Expect the treadmill to encounter its first break down after about 2000 miles.