I intend to review this cleaner several times at regular intervals.
My history- bought my pool home in June '03, told my wife pick out any house she wanted within our budget with one condition, MAKE SURE IT HAS A POOL!
I love swimming and never had a pool, so this was a big deal for me. we found a lovely home with a pool built by a reputable PB from our area and it was only 4 years old.
Pool came with a Baracuda Alpha and I was very satisfied with it. I had to replace diaphragm at least twice a year but ran it every day of the year usually, so no biggie. eventually the body broke and I replaced with a X7 quattro. MAJOR step backwards. The vacuum was terrible, had trouble from 1st day, got stuck alot on my nicely radius'd steps (thanks for noticing -wink!), would go through the foot pad and disk every year on my relatively smooth diamondbrite that the alpha would not.
After exactly 3 years and 1 month i came home to find it stuck again in the steps and the "engine" was in pieces. This 500 dollar vacuum needed a 200+ dollar part to repair. I knew I had to let it go and look to the future. I was purchasing an baracuda G2, which is an alpha, which gave us years of faithful and reliable service. That is when i heard about "The Pool Cleaner", andd incidentally where i discovered this very useful site.
I did some research, read everything i could here and online and decided for the extra 90 bucks to buy the pool cleaner. It came last Friday, I set it up Saturday.
OK- now the good stuff, the initial review!
Packaged well and took less than 5 minutes to get out and into pool. Instructions were not complicated and off i went.
In the pool- once in the pool and after i had the suction dialed in to a 12.2 rpm set up, which is the ideal speed they say, the cleaner was not performing well. I had to adjust the weight closer to the body to get the right balance. Once that was dialed in it ran very well and quiet, which is strange for me after the 2 baracuda's; they are noisy if you have never heard one.
The cleaner does not climb the walls very much so far, I called the company ( great service by the way, very patient talking to me); they said it can climb to water line if the wheel bumps are removed. These are little raised bumps on each of the two wheels to allow it to go over any obstacles if it gets stuck however they also lift the bottom thus breaking the suction. I was told I could cut these off by the rep if I wanted the wall climbing, i decided I do not need that, it goes up the wall perhaps a foot and if i need the walls cleaned that badly i am a poor excuse of a pool owner!
I have nothing bad to say so far- it performs well, sucks up everything and is silky smooth and quiet, which is nice after the loud baracuda's pulsing away and creating the sonic booms! At this early juncture i would recommend without hesitation. Hope I didn't ramble too much for you!