Horizon Fitness is a brand that makes some very highly-rated treadmills and cross trainers – some pretty high-end, others relatively low-budget.
Their T101 is a popular sub-$1,000 treadmill that strikes a good balance between both performance and affordability, while also promising a few extras that ensure it meets the needs of the modern home user.
As Horizon Fitness themselves state, it offers ‘Everything you need – nothing you don’t’. Today we’re going to put that sentiment to the test…
Out of the blocks, this is a stylish treadmill with a down-to-earth black and grey color scheme that would fit into most modern homes.
The FeatherLight folding system features a clever hydraulic-assisted lift, making the process of stowing the track upright much easier (why waste effort on folding – keep your stamina for the workout itself!). Small wheels on the bottom make rolling it around much simpler.
While the machine still requires a few square feet of floor space when stowed, this foldable design makes it easier to permanently keep the treadmill in a busy living room or office when not in use.
When in use, the T101 has certainly been optimized for comfort. With a robust steel frame, it doesn’t shake or wobble even when the speeds increase.
As for the deck, this treadmill features a generous 20” x 55” running space, with 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning. This means that each of the three zones offers varying degrees of flex – from a firmer push-off zone at the back to more give at the front impact area.
Under the hood, the T101 is a real workhorse of a treadmill. It’s fitted with a 2.5 CHP drive motor, which actually recalibrates with each step. This translates to a motor that runs at a low RPM, so it’s very quiet and efficient, regardless of the speeds you reach.
On that note, the top speed of this one is 10mph, which is quite standard for treadmills in this range and about as fast as many users will want to go. You can find speeds of up to 12mph on other sub-$1,000 treadmills, so, if you want to go faster, definitely browse around.
When it comes to controls, you have a selection of one-touch buttons. These buttons allow you to make quick jumps in both speed and incline (this one has a motorized incline range of between 0% and 10%). For example, you want to go from a 2% gradient at 4mph to an 8% gradient at 8mph? Two button taps are all it will take.
However, standard +/- controls for speed and incline levels are also present, so you can tweak things as you like.
Sticking with the control panel, the T101 boasts plenty of features that enhance your comfort while pounding the track.
The headliner is the inclusion of built-in Bluetooth speakers, allowing you to listen to music, movies or workout instructions without the need for headphones. Considering there is also a rapid-charge USB port on the console, this is ideal for runners who can’t live without their smart device.
As is common on many treadmills in this price range, a small but efficient fan is built into the main console, which is a godsend for when the sweating really starts! There are also pulse-grip heartrate monitors integrated into the handles, as well as an emergency tether, which is crucial for working out alone.
The control panel is also well-designed, offering a simple but comprehensive main console. This features a built-in device holder, allowing you to follow along with video workouts on a tablet (not included) or even watch your favorite NetFlix boxsets, while there is plenty of room for things like a smartphone, towel and drink on either side of the main panel.
Running on the T101 is a pleasure. The advanced three-area track is beneficial for walkers, joggers and runners alike, delivering flex and firmness where required. Users of all sizes should find this treadmill easy to use, although taller users (over 6ft) may find running feels a bit too cramped.
We’ve established that this machine is not as flexible in its top speed and incline maxes as some of its competitors in this price range, yet there are plenty of options for both beginners and advanced users.
The fact it comes with a variety of different workout programs is a bonus, with everything from long distances to high-intensity interval programs included. The LCD display is one of the more basic in this range and a bit of a shame, but it does the job and highlights things like time, distance and calories burned quite clearly.
Overall, the T101 is a robust machine – Horizon Fitness put their money where their mouth is by including a lifetime motor and frame warranty.