Our Spirit XT8 treadmill review looks at the base model in the highly rated Spirit XT range – so how does it compare in a very competitive field?
As with the Spirit Z8 the XT8 is the pared down option in the range and suffers somewhat due to Spirit’s objective of building a treadmill to sell for around the $1,000 mark.
It’s certainly a much better put together treadmill than most competitors in this price bracket, but the question is would you be better stretching your budget to one of the models a rung or two up the range?
Spirit XT8 Treadmill Review – Features…
Gone are the rather big and clunky treadmills of the past. Instead, there are the sleek and attractive XT series.As with the rest of the XT series, the XT8 looks great and has really benefitted from the big investment that parent company Dyaco has made in revamping the brand.
The introductory XT8 is not as well-equipped as the more expensive models in the range, but you’re still getting a refreshingly generous package for the price.
For starters, there’s the proven 2.0 HP continuous duty motor, which is quiet, refined and adequate for walkers and occassional joggers.
It’s not really a treadmill for serious runners as the 50″ x 18″ running surface is a little small to stride out on.
The maximum speed of 10mph increases in 0.1mph increments, giving the user a high degree of control and is enough for most moderate intensity workouts.
The oversized 2.5″ rollers are the biggest you’ll get at this price where 2.0″ is far more common.
The benefit of bigger rollers is reduced wear and tear on the 1.5 ply belt due to less friction and belt tension – which should cut down on maintenance costs over the life of the treadmill.
The deck is solid and responsive and should prove kind to your knees – important if you’re planning on regular use!
The power incline goes up to a maximum of 14% and makes intense, hill walking a useful addition to your fitness program.
Our Spirit XT8 treadmill review found the overall build quality of this model on a par with some of the more expensive models in the range, sharing the same steel frame and many other components.
The XT8 folds, a bonus for home exercisers lacking valuable floor space and needing to store the treadmill inbetween workouts. It also has four transport wheels for easy movement and storage.
However, I’d suggest that it’s the electronic features where the cost cutting is most evident.
The blue backlit LCD display console is functional but not the most compelling user interface you’ll come across.
The 10 workout programs include five preset, one manual, two personal and two heart rate control programs, which should provide enough options for most people.
You get a pulse grip heart monitor built into the handles, but there’s no hands-free chest belt included in the price.
A lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, three years on the parts and a year on the labour are class leading.
Spirit XT8 Treadmill Review – The Bottom Line…
It should be apparent, but whilst our Spirit XT8 treadmill review concludes that there are a number of areas where the XT8 comes up a little short, it’s still a good entry level option for buyers on a budget.
Given their extra features, I’d be tempted to go down that route.
But if your budget is $1,000 and no more, then in the XT8 you’ll be getting a solid treadmill that should provide years of trouble-free performance.