Our ProForm treadmill review takes a look at the biggest selling brand of treadmills on the market – but does popularity equal quality?
ProForm is another company owned by Icon Health and Fitness, one of the largest exercise equipment manufacturers. Other companies in the Icon stable include Nordic Track, Reebok and Health Rider.
ProForm treadmills largely occupy the bargain basement end of the market with a wide range of budget treadmills from $399- $999, although there are a few models now pushing into the mid-range sector and selling for up to and around the $1,600 mark.
The reason for ProForm’s popularity is the price – they’re generally cheap and in many cases packed with attractive features that disguise the build quality and weak motors.
So let’s investigate some of the range and see whether ProForm delivers value for money…
ProForm Treadmill Review – Introduction to the Range…
ProForm’s range boast over 20 different treadmills and counting…the range is huge and the choice bewildering.
This is partly due to the fact that as Icon owns a number of companies making similar priced treadmills, they often dress some of the same machines up with a different badge and features…
So a Nordic Track looks very similar to a Reebok, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a ProForm.
The churn rate is fast, too, with many models being changed after a few years and replaced with a new or revamped model.
One of the benefits of this strategy is reduced R&D and production costs… resulting in low retail prices. More of that in a moment.
First, though, our ProForm treadmill review is going to give the following models the once over – cheapest first:
This is by no means the full range, but is a reasonably representative cross-section of ProForm treadmills and will give you an idea of what to expect if you do your own ProForm treadmill review.
ProForm Treadmill Review – Features…
One or two of the over $1,000 machines may be worth a look, but generally they are not suitable for serious runners – or any kind of runner for that matter!One inescapable conclusion of our ProForm treadmill review is that you should avoid this brand if you’re looking for a moderate to high intensity workout.
The motors are generally low powered, ranging from less than 1.5 HP (continuous duty) – barely adequate for walkers. Although there are models equipped with 2.25 HP motors.
Similarly, the build quality on the cheaper machines like the 350 for example, is poor. They lack stability and would struggle to take heavier users.
Having said that, the more expensive machines are improving and are much better built – although quite why you’d pay $1,600 for a ProForm treadmill when you could get a Sole at that price, I don’t know.
ProForm treadmills in common with other Icon brands like Nordic Track, are packed with features, which can fool you into believing you’re buying a quality treadmill.
For instance, you can get built-in TVs and CD players, iFit.com compatibilty, power inclines, hand weights and cables for upper body workouts, cooling fans…
The list of features goes around the block!
All well and good, but the belts are short and narrow, the cushioning is virtually non-existant on the cheaper models and barely adequate on models pushing $1,000.
The stabilty is poor and the warranties generally 90 days max, although some models now have up to 15 year warranties on the motors.
All in all, whilst ProForm do offer an option to people on limited budgets, I’d think long and hard before buying one – particularly the cheaper models.
Don’t confuse cost with value.
Sure, ProForm treadmills are affordable, often feature-packed and appear to offer great value for money, but they are often lacking where it counts…the motor, deck, build quality and warranties.
Having said that, our ProForm treadmill review would suggest that when you pay $400, $500, even $1,000 for a treadmill you can’t expect commercial quality.
But with direct to consumer companies like Sole and Smooth now offering near club-quality treadmills for similar prices to the higher end ProForm models, with better components and more generous warranties, I know where my money would be going.
Still, our ProForm treadmill review would conclude that there is clearly a market for the budget machines that ProForm offers, so let’s take a look at a few of the current models…
Enjoy the Best Treadmill Reviews.