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Some of the best treadmills out there are simple in design. That is a trend that seems to be taking over all segments of the market, no matter the price range. ProForm PRO-5000 is one such machine. It looks quite simple, to the point, focused. However, it does feature a few goodies here and there which make using the machine easier and more importantly, more fun. At its core lies a 4 CHP Mach Z motor running a 22″ by 60″ running belt. That translates to about 12 MPH speed limit. Here’s the thing about this motor. It is a commercial grade unit.
In other words, it is a motor that has been designed specifically for high exploitation and high frequency of use. These are the types of motors installed in treadmills meant for use in gyms. Further more, PRO-5000 offers 15 percent of incline but also negative 3 percent decline. That is something you don’t see every day. The console unit is complex and features a whole lot of stuff to play with. You have 34 workout apps, all the stats tracking tools and much more. Overall, ProForm PRO-5000 is a beast when it comes to performance and functionality.
Bowflex may not be the first name that comes to mind when you are talking about treadmills. After all, they are much better known for their popular workout machine. Even so, they have proven to the entire world that they know how to put together solid, good quality fitness equipment. It comes as no surprise to anyone that you can find much of those qualities that have made Bowflex so popular in their BXT116 treadmill. Bowflex went with a powerful 3.75 CHP motor for this build and paired with a roomy 20″ by 60″ belt. The drive system on this model is borderline flawless.
The whole treadmill is silent, runs smooth and just inspires confidence. On top of the awesome drive train, you also have the 15 percent of automated incline as well as a rather advanced cushioning system under the deck. Moving up we see a large console packed with features. At its center lies a 7.5″ back lit color display surrounded by intuitive controls and a pair of speakers. Integrated heart rate monitoring comes as standard which also applies to USB charging port, an MP3 player and more. Bowflex BXT116 offers great value for your money.
One of the best options if you are looking for something that won’t push your budget to the breaking point, is the Sole Fitness F80. This is a more traditional higher end model which is pretty obvious from its design. You could describe it as bulky, massive and anything but compact. However, the plus side is that this machine offers so much in terms of performance. The entire treadmill sits on a heavy duty frame which uses precision welded steel tubing and other elements. Needless to say, F80 is a robust platform that you don’t have to worry about in terms of stability.
The belt is a standard 20″ by 60″ unit that’s being driven by a 3.5 CHP motor. It can get you up to 12 MPH in pretty manageable increments even if you’re a beginner. Even though there is no visible cushioning solution, Sole Fitness did implement their suspension technology into this treadmill. As a result, you can count on having a comfortable experience with minimal impact on your joints. The console is a massive one and packs a 9″ LCD display. The controls are simple and allow you to navigate the complex system of presets easily.
This entire segment of the market is full of massive treadmills which aren’t necessarily compatible with those who have very limited space to work with. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any, though. Meet LifeSpan TR3000i. This full sized, incredibly capable treadmill is a folder that you can bring in and out of storage in a moment. The whole compact side of its design doesn’t take anything away from its functionality. The only actual limitation and difference you will notice compared to other models on our list is the somewhat smaller running belt. Where as most other treadmills here boast 20″ by 60″ belt, this one comes with a 20″ by 56″ unit.
The motor driving this particular model is a very durable 2.75 CHP package. With it you’re getting all the torque you could ever need in a smooth and pretty silent motor. It has shown to be quite reliable even if you push it hard every day. Needless to say, you won’t have issues with the motor on this treadmill. Lastly, we need to mention the console that comes with a back lit display and 21 built in programs among other cool tools as well as features.
Treadmill design has always been standardized to a certain extent. Sure different brands add their own takes on aesthetics and such, but most of them stick to a similar core layout. Not GoPlus. At least not with this particular model. GoPlus 4.0HP electric treadmill which we are looking at here is an MacBook in the sea of featureless Windows desktops. They went with a very futuristic design that simply makes it one of the best looking treadmills you can find these days. Looks aside, this is a serious machine.
What you have here is a 4CHP motor pushing a 56″ X 20″ belt up to 12.5MPH max. The massive frame hides a well designed cushioning system which definitely takes away most of the impact as you run. Using this particular treadmill can be described as smooth and painless. The console is absolutely the most interesting feature it offers. You have a flat, touch sensitive surface that hides a 7″ display and all of the controls you could need to navigate the features. These include 18 workout programs and more. If aesthetics are an important factor for you, definitely check out this GoPlus model. Chances are you’ll love it.
Next up is a great treadmill from NordicTrack that goes under the name of C1650. The amazing thing about this treadmill is that it features all the good stuff at a price point that isn’t too exclusive. On top of that, it was built on a space saver design, which is just a fancy way of saying that it is a folding model. When it comes to actual hardware, we run into a few surprises. For starters you have the 3.5 CHP motor sitting in this bad boy. That paired with the 20″ by 60″ belt means that you are dealing with a proper running treadmill. The cushioning system is relatively simple compared to some, but it works and that is all that really matters.
The console comes with a bunch of features outside the usual built in workout programs. For starters you have a full color touchscreen that measures 10″ in diagonal. Underneath the display is a massive fan that offers some cooling as you run while the two built in speakers offer entertainment. As you can probably guess, this model features plenty of app integration and allows you to tap into various services for entertainment or otherwise.
Last but not the least we have the Nautilus T618. This treadmill is probably the your best option if you are operating on a somewhat limited budget. The treadmill is a full sized model that comes with all the goodies you could want. At this point you are probably wondering what’s the catch? There really isn’t one. T618 is a well established model that brings good hardware as well as software to the table. It comes with a 3.6 CHP motor that is linked to a 20″ by 60″ running belt. Both the motor and the belt have commercial grade qualities to them, making them low maintenance, high performance.
It’s also worth mentioning that the suspension system built into the deck just so happens to be one of the most tried and tested ones on the market. Moving on there’s your standard 15 percent incline. The massive console unit sitting at the top features not two but three displays. There’s your main display where all of the stats are listed and two smaller auxiliary displays used for more specific stats. Treadmill comes with 26 built in programs, RunSocial compatibility and so much more. At this price, it’s a steal.
This is one of those questions many new users ask for a few reasons. One, they might look at more affordable treadmills and see that they offer similar specs at much lower prices. Whatever the case may be, this is a legitimate question with a very simple answer. The main reason why you would want to invest in a higher end treadmill is because these models offer reliable performance. In other words, you are looking at a machine that will provide you with a challenging workout any day of the week. This type of reliability is present in treadmills that cost under $1000 as well, but in a limited amount. Naturally, all of that reliability comes down to hardware. Lets find out what makes these models tick.
High Powered Motors
At the very top of that list of hardware that improves reliability are motors. One quick look at the models we have chosen for this list reveal that there are barely any treadmills here that have a motor that is rated for less than 2.5CHP and even those are rare. Most of the models are somewhere within the 3CHP – 4CHP range. Continuous Horse Power means that you can count on that type of output for a prolonged period of time. Peak horse power which is what cheaper treadmills offer, won’t get you that prolonged performance.
Improved Incline Control
Next comes the improved incline control. For cheaper treadmills, it is standard to have around 12 percent incline at most. With models from this segment, you are looking at 15 percent as standard. On top of that, this is where you start seeing things such as motorized decline. Needless to say, that is not available in lower priced segments of the market.
At the end of the day higher end treadmills simply make sense. Yes the entry fee is higher and you have to really open up for some of these, but they are worth it. If you are serious about running and cardio in general, all of these seemingly small features come together and will make an impact on your performance and overall experience. The models we have selected for you today are by far some of the best your money can buy at the moment. Finding the one that best fits your needs is mostly a matter of personal taste.