Buying a commercial-grade treadmill is a big investment. I go by the mantra “you get what you pay for” which couldn’t be more appropriate when looking at treadmills suitable for commercial or personal use.
It’s important to know what you should be looking for so that you can discern the good from the bad. In this guide, I break down which product make the cut and why. Allowing you to make a more informed decision.
- LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
- ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
- Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
- NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill
- Xterra Fitness TR6.6 Treadmill
What To Look For In A Commercial Grade Treadmill
1. Programs And Console
Commercial grade treadmills are generally known to have their own exercise programs built into their consoles, often times designed by experts. For greater variety, a large number of programs that focus on specific fitness areas can be a great part of a treadmill, as it provides a little extra burst of motivation.
A treadmill’s console should also easily display statistics and progress – such as time, distance, speed, and calories burned – and perhaps have extra tracking for heart rates and step counts. The ability to sync progress data to an outside source is even better!
2. Power And Limits
The most important aspect of any treadmill – especially a commercial-grade one – is its motor and what it can do. A powerful motor can change the way a training machine runs entirely.
Most good motors are around 3 HP, although 2 and 2.5 HP are also acceptable to certain degrees. In addition, all good treadmills of this caliber should be able to reach high speeds and have some form of incline control.
3. Durability and Build
When you purchase a treadmill of a commercial grade, it can be an expensive investment. As such, you’ll want it to last. A good treadmill will not need to be replaced for at least a decade with proper maintenance and should be built of sturdy material to facilitate that.
A machine like this should also be steady and silent under even intense workouts – you don’t want it caving in on you when you are going at 12 miles an hour! A reinforced motor, thick running belt, and solid frame are signs of a durable treadmill.
4. Extra Features
These are not necessities but are always nice and convenient on a treadmill. A sound system for users who listen to music while working out, a fan to keep users cool, and a shelf for tablets, magazines, or water bottles are great additions to an already good quality treadmill.
5. Warranty and Customer Service
All treadmills of this quality and price point should have a good warranty – even up to a lifetime – and the customer service that comes with the product’s company should be easy to deal with. You don’t want to have to wade through piles of red tape just to replace a part!
The Top 5 Commercial Grade Treadmill Reviews
1. LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
This treadmill measures 33” x 54” x 70”, with a 20” x 56” running platform that can support up to 300 pounds. It is run by a 2.5 horsepower motor.
- This treadmill won the Treadmill Doctor “Best Buy” Award for Best New Treadmill and was named Fitness Fixations “Best Treadmill under $1000” in 2017.
- Its continuous-duty motor is designed for longevity and reliability, making all exercise sessions quiet, and the machine itself is made from an all-steel frame that is robotically welded for strength and durability.
- The treadmill is meant to simulate outdoor exercise conditions.
- Users will feel stable thanks to its biomechanically correct deck suspension system that is manufactured with six compressions shock absorbers to reduce the stress placed on the body during exercise.
- A multicolored LCD console will display and track standard user statistics, such as time, distance, speed, and calories, but it also makes use of unique technology. A feature known as Intelli-Step provides highly accurate step count figures in order to help users manage their goals. The console has guided navigation for simple usage.
- All data on progress can be collected via a USB port on the console and uploaded to numerous applications through a Club account. Results on the console itself are AutoSaved every 20 seconds so that all users’ data is secure.
- The treadmill also has 21 exercise programs designed by physiologists. They include weight loss, healthy living, heart rate, sports training, cardio training, and other applications.
- A built-in safety feature, patented by Lifespan, is present in the treadmill. It is known as Intelli-Guard and is meant to protect a user’s safety by stopping motion if a user leaves the platform for longer than 20 seconds.
- This treadmill makes use of EZfold technology, which is essentially a system that allows users to easily fold and unfold the treadmill without worrying about its weight thanks to a hydraulic shock mechanism. A soft drop system also allows the treadmill to be unfolded again safely.
- The product comes with a lifetime warranty on its frame and motor.
- There are no quick set buttons to change between speeds or inclines easily and in a fast manner.
- Without regular lubrication, the machine will squeak and become damaged.
- The heart rate monitor does not always work accurately and may have trouble detecting a user’s pulse at all.
- The speakers that come with the treadmill’s sound system do not sound good.
- Customer service can be difficult to reach if a user lives in a rural area.
2. ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
This treadmill runs on a 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Pro Motor and measures 72.22” x 33.87” x 57.1”. It’s running belt is a 1-ply commercial tread belt that is 20” x 60” long, and it can support up to 230 lbs.
- The treadmill was named “Best Buy” by Runner’s World Magazine.
- Its motor is self-cooling in order to last longer and run more smoothly for extended periods of time.
- Precision engineering ensures a quiet and stable workout, thanks to a 2.5” balanced, non-flex rear roller.
- The ProShox cushioning system lessens painful impact during exercise thanks to absorbers on the treadmill deck.
- This product has multiple instant controls, from the 0-12 mph QuickSpeed control, to the incline controls, which include a 15% Quick Incline control and also the option for Quick Decline controls of up to -3%.
- An oversized, backlit console is easy to see as it shows users time, distance, and speed; there is also a chest strap for heart rate monitoring. It also has 32 workout applications built in and 18 pre-set workouts to choose from.
- This treadmill is compatible with iFit, which has plenty of workouts available. This also allows for users to draw out a route on Google Maps that the treadmill will imitate the terrain of. Users can choose from pre-set terrains, too.
- The treadmill is compatible with MP3 players, tablets, and smartphones of all kinds, and it has two 3” speakers as audio output. It also has a CoolAire workout fan to keep users cool while working out.
- The machine can be folded easily with EasyLift Assist, a hydraulic spring designed function, to save space.
- The product comes with a lifetime frame and motor warranty, a five-year warranty for parts, and a two-year warranty for labor.
- ProForm’s customer service is not known to be the most helpful or accommodating.
- Quality control may be iffy when not purchased directly from stores – so buying online can be a risk.
- The iFit function is lost on users who have no interest in it.
- The belt may feel thin to some users.
- Regular maintenance is needed for the machine to run smoothly.
3. Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
This product has a weight limit of 375 lbs and it measures 35” x 58” x 80”. Its belt is 22” x 60” and it is powered by a 3.5 HP direct connection-type motor.
- High weight limit allows more users to be able to use the treadmill.
- A cushioning system known as the Cushion Flex Whisper Deck is implemented into the machine’s 2-ply running belt, allowing for less impact to be placed on joints.
- A study has proven that it reduces impact by 40% in comparison to an asphalt road. It is a proprietary system that only exists in Sole Fitness treadmills.
- It’s 2.75” rollers allow for a smooth and silent workout.
- The product has a 0.5 to 12 MPH speed range and has a 0 to 15% rack-and-pinion gear design incline.
- A pulse grip and chest strap monitor users’ heart rates.
- The product has a 7.5” LCD console that is oversized and very easy to seem, and it tracks all the necessary basic data. It also contains six standard exercise application programs, two custom programs, and two heart programs for users to choose from.
- This treadmill also comes with a sound system that is compatible with most MP3 players, and it also has cooling fans to allow for users to keep at a reasonable temperature while working out.
- The product comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor, and deck, a five-year warranty on electronics, and a two-year warranty on labor.
- Customer service is difficult to reach, making part replacement and repair work difficult to achieve.
- Durability issues crop up due to lack of quality control in certain models.
- Users cannot change exercise programs without deleting all progress on their current program.
- Pausing for five minutes may cause the machine to reset.
4. NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill
This 3 HP-run treadmill has a 20” x 60” belt and combines several features of previously mentioned treadmills.
- A larger motor case allows for less vibration and noise during exercise, and also leaves space for dual cooling fans that allow the motor to run longer and be more durable.
- The running belt on the treadmill is stretch resistant and designed to remain in the center of the deck at all times, reducing friction for quieter and smoother workouts. It is also padded with FlexSelect cushioning that can be adjusted via a knob to match preferences.
- Users can quickly adjust their incline choice from 0 – 12% with the push of a button.
- A 7” web-enabled touchscreen console displays statistics such as speed, time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned while also showing users the level of incline or decline that they are on.
- The console also has 32 built-in workouts that have each been designed by certified personal trainers. These applications include calorie burning programs, heart rate control exercises, incline-based training, and speed workouts.
- This treadmill is compatible with iFit, allowing users to choose from a wide variety of workout plans. It also has a nifty Google Maps feature, where the user can map out routes and the treadmill will set the incline to follow the terrain.
- The product has useful features such as an adjustable holder for tablets and magazines that don’t block the console. It also has an acoustic sounds system accompanied by dual 2” speakers and an AutoBreeze fan that adjusts its speed to match workout intensity.
- The treadmill folds up easily for storage with EasyLift shock.
- A lifetime warranty is provided on frame and motor, while there is a three-year parts warranty and a one-year labor warranty as well.
- The iFit feature can feel useless and be a hassle to those who opt not to purchase it or use it.
- Heart rate monitor often fails to record data accurately.
- At slower speeds, the machine may jolt between fast, slow, and the accurate speed.
- The console and fan are angled in such a way that they may not be comfortable to use for users of shorter heights, and they are not adjustable.
5. Xterra Fitness TR6.6 Treadmill
This product is run by a 3 HP continuous duty motor and can hold a maximum weight of 350 lbs. It measures 78.9” x 35” x 57.1”, with a 20” x 60” walking belt.
- The motor is powerful but silent, allowing for discreet and distraction-free workouts.
- Aluminum side extrusions allow for easy maintenance and a durable treadmill.
- The product has soft technology on its running belt to absorb any impact and reduce joint pain. It is also the 2-ply and heavy duty for durability.
- A 7.5” blue backlit console displays all the basic information you may need to know about, and it is easy to see due to its widescreen area. Heart rate is also displayed, thanks to an included chest strap.
- The console has several in-built exercise programs, including 7 preset ones, 2 user profiles, and 2 heart rate based workouts.
- The machine is easily controlled via quick speed and quick incline change buttons that are on the handlebars, which also have grip pulse sensors. Speed range goes from 0 – 12 mph and incline ranges from 0% – 15%.
- The product comes with a lift assist function so that the treadmill can be easily folded to save space.
- Additional features such as an audio jack for MP3 players and speakers, a reading rack for tablets, phones, or magazines, and a cooling fan add to the workout experience.
- The treadmill has a lifetime warranty on frame and motor, a five-year deck warranty, a 2- year part warranty, and free 1-year labor.
- All programmed workouts last for thirty minutes, minimizing variety.
- The speakers on the treadmill do not have great sound quality.
- Assembly instructions may be vague and difficult to comprehend.
- Quality control issues have led to some customers reporting back that their purchased treadmill does not meet its speed or incline specifications.
Final Words on Commerical Quality Treadmills
Out of all of these treadmills, we simply must tip our hats off to the LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill.
It has, after all, won two awards and has the most convenient data syncing capabilities of all the other machines. It is also the only treadmill that has a unique step counter and a special safety feature, making it a better choice for many users.
In addition, it has a large number of freely accessible programs that do not require further purchases, unlike the products that use iFit.
All in all, when looking for a commercial-grade treadmill, whether for personal or professional use, you should pay attention to durability, power, programs, and added features to see if it is the right option for you. I hope this guide has aided you in your quest for the perfect treadmill.