What to Expect From Treadmills Above $1500 and Under $2000.
For under $2000, you can expect a decent treadmill that should hold up to moderate duty and occasional heavy duty use. While this is not the absolute top price you can pay, there are certainly lots of treadmills which are cheaper. This is mid-range pricing for home treadmills, so you should expect some premium features but not all of them.
At the very least, the best treadmills under $2000 should have:
1. a 2.75 CHP motor which runs quietly
2. more than 9 workout programs
3. a reasonably good warranty package
4. a substantial frame
How We Rated The Treadmills
When it comes to running on a treadmill, customers will find that not all treadmills are truly meant to withstand the kind of wear and tear which runners dole out to their machines. Therefore, if you’re a runner then expect to require a heavier-duty treadmill than those who plan on using their treadmill for lighter-duty walking workouts. The following four treadmills are rated according to how many features from the list above they possess. Also, since value is always important, we analyzed whether the pricing was in line with what the customer gets. Basically the following criteria were used:
1. Shock Absorption
2. Noise & Motor
4. Console & Features
5. Warranty & Customer Service
All four treadmills are also from name brands which are very well known in the home fitness equipment industry. That actually counts for something when it comes to buying treadmills, which are the number one product in this field. Let’s see how these four measured up.
Here is our list of the Top 4 Treadmills above $1500 – under $2000
Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill
Folding treadmills tend to be not quite as stable as their non-folding counterparts, but since this is a SOLE treadmill, it’s as sturdy as they come. That’s because this company builds fantastic, strong treadmills, even the folding type. Some of the unexpected features on the F85, which you’re more likely to see in a much more expensive treadmill include:
• a 4.0 CHP motor that’s as strong and quiet as can be
• a two-ply belt, not common in this price range
• large, 9″ LCD display console
• very high 400 pound weight limit
• great warranty package
• extra wide running deck is 22″ wide
The warranty is excellent: the two year labor warranty is unusual, and the five year warranty on electronics is sure to please also. To go with these, there’s a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor, and deck. Program offerings are good as well: 10 programs to choose from, including two which will monitor your heart rate and deliver a program which keeps your heart rate under a certain beats per minute, which you input.
Precor 9.23 Treadmill with Ground Effects Technology
Precor delivers brand name recognition and a good parts warranty (five years) but has a hard time measuring up to the standards set by our first review, the SOLE Fitness F85. However, for under $2000 you are still getting a great deal.
The Precor name means a lot, and some runners will have no other running deck than Precor’s Patented Ground Effects Impact Control Technology cushioning. Sure enough, the deck delivers soft impact yet firm resistance that runners love, plus a spring-back effect on the rear foot at push-off.
Runners will also appreciate that top speed is 12 mph, which is higher than many treadmills. If heart rate monitoring is not important to you, the Precor should make a fine addition to your home gym. Heart rate monitoring on the 9.23 is available only via touch on the handle bar grips. Telemetry is not available on this model.
There are only 6 programs to choose from, making the 9.23 a bare-bones treadmill for people who don’t need a lot of features in the console. This is quite sufficient for many runners, many of whom rarely make use of programs anyway. However, for a runner’s treadmill, the deck is a good 3″ shorter than average. With 57″ of running length, those with a longer stride may find the Precor 9.23 somewhat limiting, gait-wise.
LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i Folding Treadmill
LifeSpan is not exactly a runners’ treadmill, as it is geared more towards the older crowd, or the walker who demands close attention to heart rate and heavy integration with fitness software. Those undergoing rehab or post-surgery home workouts will benefit from the complex heart rate monitoring, numerous readouts and heart rate control. Warranty is nothing special: lifetime on frame and motor, 5 years on parts and one year on labor. Belt size, motor (3.25 CHP), and weight capacity (350 pounds) are all just slightly above average. Again, LifeSpan is all about the software, console, and health monitoring that’s possible withe My Zone heart rate control programs and the LifeSpan Fitness Club.
Smooth 9.65LC Treadmill
Smooth gives a very large running deck, which makes it stand out from the other treadmills in its category. The other feature which is typical of a more expensive treadmill, is the 4.0 CHP motor, which delivers a blissfully silent workout. The 2-year warranty on labor is of premium level quality too. Construction is solid so runners shouldn’t feel any shaking of the frame while running, even at top speeds. This, combined with the strong 4.0 motor make this a real runner’s treadmill. Coming in at just under $2000, this is a good value treadmill with premium-level features and workmanship.
If you’re in the market for a folding treadmill, the SOLE Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill is a clear winner. The folding feature does in no way compromise quality, while the features are those of a much more expensive treadmill. If you prefer not to have a folding treadmill, the Smooth comes out ahead, with its extra long running surface and quiet motor. The built-in speakers are also a nice feature, as are the unique hand rail controls.
But if it’s motivation, integration with software and heart rate monitoring you want rather than a runners’ treadmill, the LifeSpan might be the model for you. Just be sure all these extra features are really for you, by trying them out before buying. Many treadmill users think they’ll use the more complex console features but wind up not using them at all.