My Treadmill Reviews

treadmill-reviewsNo one knows treadmills better than the service technicians that service all brands and models. As someone who services all makes and models of treadmills everyday, I know the good from the bad very well. I know which treadmills are well made, which ones last, and which ones are made very cheaply and have lots of issues.

The following information and links are for my customers that are looking for the best treadmills for their needs, and for their money:

I work on a lot of ProForm treadmills, and I service more NordicTrack treadmills than any other brand combined.  Please do not buy either of these brands!

ProForm treadmills are basically the worst treadmills that I see in the field. They are very cheaply made, low-end treadmills that won’t last very long, especially for the serious user.

Nordictrack treadmills also won’t see a very long life due to cheaply made parts, especially the motor control boards. I replace a NordicTrack motor control board at least weekly in Maine and New Hampshire, at a cost of $300-$400 by the time you add up the diagnostic service call, the new board, the shipping, and the installation.

Don’t believe Consumer Reports regarding the NordicTrack Elite 9700 Pro, which Consumer Reports gave it their highest rating of recommended machines, even over brands like Precor and Sole. Ridiculous! Consumer Reports put a couple other NordicTracks and even a couple PreForm treadmills in their “recommended” machines!

I think a lot of these so-called reviews are fake, either written indirectly by the treadmill manufacturer, or are paid reviews, or are simply written be people who have no idea what they are talking about.  I just read one this morning that said; “Nordictrack makes some of the best treadmills in the market today”! This is far from true!

Believe it or not ICON Health & Fitness makes both the NordicTrack as well as the ProForm treadmills. A better source of accurate information is from reviews of the people that have actually owned them, or the repair technicians like me that work on them when they break down.

There are two companies that probably produce the majority of all treadmills sold in the U.S., ICON Health & Fitness is one of them, producing a total of ten treadmill brands. The other company is Johnson Fitness.

However, you can’t completely place the blame on the manufacturers. The consumer demand for less expensive treadmills, and fierce market competition forces them to produce these low end machines. Quality and durability have to suffer somewhere to bring down production costs and make them competitive in price.

Here are some basic things to look for when shopping for that new treadmill:

1.) ROLLER SIZE – The front and rear rollers should be at least 2.5″ in diameter, and 3″ is better. Smaller rollers put more stress on the machine and the belt, they have smaller bearings, and because they have less surface contact with the walk belt, the belt can slip much easily and may require that the belt be tighter, thus putting more stress on the walk belt, the bearings, and the treadmill in general, which all adds up to a shorter life.

2.) DRIVE MOTOR SIZE – The drive motor should be at least 3 HP or more. Most of the lower end treadmills have small motors, some of which are no bigger than 1.5 HP or so. Small motors really strain to move people of heavier weights, and really struggle at low speeds.

3.) WALK BELT – Look for at least a 2-ply belt. 1-ply just don’t hold up well, especially for the person of weight or the serious runner.

4.) DECK SIZE – A runner should look for a deck size of at least 20″ X 60″. Shorter decks are okay for walking.

5.) FOLDING OR NON-FOLDING? – If your are a serious runner and have the space, I highly recommend that you go with a non-folding treadmill. They tend to be much more solid with a longer, beefier deck and frame. Great for heavier people and often come with better warranties.

Other things may be important to you such as a cooling fan, cup holders, workout programs, visual programs, etc.

VISION FITNESS  3stars

The only treadmill that Johnson Fitness produces that I like, out of all ten brands that they make, is the Vision Fitness. I would only purchase the higher end models like the TF20, the TF40, which are both folding treadmills. Or the T40, and the TF80 commercial treadmill, which are both non-folding treadmills. The prices of these models range from $1,999 to $3,799 for their T80 commercial treadmill.

I do not recommend the Horizon brand that you will see on their site as well.

 

SOLE FITNESS 4stars

The truth is that it is difficult to get a good quality treadmill for much less than $2,500. However,does have theirthat I like a lot, currently on sale for $1,799.99! This treadmill is normally $2,999.99.

For a good entry level or average home user treadmill, I recommend. The sale prices range from $999 to $2,299 currently, but don’t settle for less that the. They are very good quality for the money, and one of my favorites. . It is very rare that I ever have to replace an electronic component on a Sole Fitness treadmill, especially if they are properly maintained.

My absolute favorite treadmill overall for price, quality and durability is the. Check out the overview and specs on this machine. It’s a beautiful machine and for less money they some other manufacturer are selling junk for. . . seriously!

In addition they offer free shipping and no sales tax! I can also come out and assemble it when it arrives for just $75 in my local area. You just need to have it in the room or space it is going in when I arrive. I’ll even haul off your old one for free as long as I have advance notice.

LIFE FITNESS 5stars

If you’re a more serious runner and would like something with even more quality and durability, then I highly recommend Life Fitness Treadmills. The prices range from $2,199 to $9,498.

PRECOR TREADMILLS 5stars

are also very recommeded by me foe the serious runner. The prices range from $2,199 to $8,755.