Our Top Pick for 2016: Xterra Fitness TR6.6 Treadmill
Read our full review.
Getting in shape is one of the best things that you can do for your life. Exercising your body allows you to fight off obesity and dozens of associated diseases. Creating a home gym or simply buying your first exercise machine is an investment. The treadmill remains as a top pick among consumers today because it allows you to run at any time of the day or year. These machines can be pricey, however. Top-rated machines can reach $4,000 when they’re brand-new models. You can find a treadmill that’s less than $1,000 by researching your options. The virtual road is ready for your busy feet.
Table of contents
- #1 Gold Pick (1st Place Winner)
- #2 Silver Pick (2nd Place Runner-Up)
- #3 Bronze Pick (3rd Place)
- #4 Budget Pick (Best Cheap)
iPod Compatible Audio
Large 20″ X 60″ Surface
Blue Backlit LCD Display
Easy Lift Assist
Widescreen Backlit Display
Charging USB Port
30 Preset Workout Apps
Lift Assist Folding Deck
Coolaire Workout Fan
Quick Touch Speed & Incline Buttons
Powerful 3.0 Chp Motor
Softdrop Folding System
#1 Gold pick (Winner): Xterra Fitness TR6.6 Treadmill
View it on Amazon for $1,799.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
At first glance, the Xterra Fitness TR6.6 treadmill might look like a standard exercise machine. Look again, and you’ll notice that it’s one of the best machines priced just under $1,000. Sturdy handles flank the tempting running deck as you hop on for an exercise adventure. Add a television to the wall in front of you, and it’s possible to run for hours with the right mindset. Explore some of the different features offered in the Xterra model before you run out and grab one.
Because you’re investing in an exercise machine, it’s important to look at the manufacturer’s dedication to the product first. Before you get excited about all of the features, consider the warranty period. Xterra Fitness offers an astounding lifetime warranty on both the motor and frame. There are limitations to this warranty, but most manufacturers don’t offer this type of coverage in the first place. You’ll also benefit from two-year coverage on the mechanical parts and five years supporting the deck itself. This warranty can be voided if the unit is abused or assembled incorrectly, however. Follow all of the directions regarding this machine, and you should have no problems with a valid warranty policy.
Take a look at the LCD screen that’s nearly 8-inches wide. With its brightly lit screen, you can see all of your running data with sweat pouring down your brow. The screen is your access point for all of the preset programs. Each one of these programs is about 30 minutes long, and they can be altered with some maneuvering within the system. You can also set up a manual program when you want a different or longer challenge time. Take a look at your heart rate as you try to reach your specific range that’s optimal for fat-burning purposes. It’s possible to get in shape without ever leaving your home.
In the past, you may have purchased an exercise machine and felt disappointed with the heart-rate feature. The heart-rate strap was probably an expensive add-on at that time. You’re in luck with Xterra Fitness because this treadmill comes with a strap included in the price. It’s designed to work with this particular treadmill in order to give you the best heart-rate reading. Being aware of your heart rate is important for both fitness and safety reasons. You don’t want to overexert yourself when you’re beginning to get in shape.
One of the biggest complaints for any treadmill is the running comfort. Some decks are nearly as hard as concrete. You’ll feel the impact with each footfall across the joints. Xterra designed the deck with some flexibility so that your feet and joints feel cushioned with each running session. The runner simply needs to have an overall weight of 350 pounds or less to benefit from the cushioning effect. Heavier individuals might wear down this feature because their weight is out of range for this product.
Remain cool as you jog along on the treadmill because Xterra integrated a fan into the console. Turn it on whenever you feel the heat of the run while grabbing your water bottle out of the nearby holder. These simple comforts will encourage you to continue on your running adventure as your fitness level improves.
Consumers report a few concerns with the Xterra treadmill. This machine has a large, 20-inch wide deck with a 60-inch length. Although these dimensions are optimal for most runners, the size also contributes to a heavy machine. In most cases, you won’t be able to move the machine on your own as it’s delivered to your home. Some consumers report that they needed between two and four people so that moving it was possible without injury. Ideally, select a location for your treadmill before it arrives. This area should be its permanent home in order to avoid any more difficult moves. Choose a ground floor or basement for its final home because the Xterra model weighs about 260 pounds.
Be aware that this treadmill is foldable, but with some limitations. You may have seen advertised treadmills that fold into a compact size and fit underneath a bed. This treadmill doesn’t have that ability, however. You can fold it upward so that it’s raised off of the ground. It has some sections that stick out from its surface, so you’ll still need space around the machine for these extensions. The base itself is relatively wide, which requires some square footage to keep the machine safely upright between workouts.
When you’re in the throws of a good run, you don’t want to struggle with buttons and settings. One of the last features that you might notice on the machine is the quick-access buttons found on the handles. Change the treadmill’s incline or speed without interrupting your stride. With an affordable price tag, the Xterra treadmill is a smart addition to any household.
#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): ProForm PFTL99715 Power 995i Exercise Treadmill
View it on Amazon for $869.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
ProForm is a well-known name in the exercise-machine industry, and they shine with their Power 995i treadmill. With a sleek silver and black design, this treadmill offers an attractive machine for your home without sacrificing functionality. In fact, you’ll be well-aware of the deck’s cushioning effect before you even step on the treadmill. The cushions can be seen from the side as you move the machine into position. Get to know the ProForm PFTL99715 model before you make any purchasing decisions.
When you’re a workout enthusiast, you’re focused on a machine’s power specifications at first. Although this ProForm model came in at second place, the machine still shines with a 3.0 continuous-duty horsepower motor. This specification means that the motor has more power than necessary to support your weight and the forces behind the run. There should be no slipping or jolts produced by the motor when you get up to the top speed. In fact, runners report that the motor is extremely quiet at peak speeds. You can run up to 12mph on this treadmill, and the motor will remain cool and quiet throughout the workout.
You aren’t limited to a flat-road run with each workout. Use the treadmill’s incline feature to give yourself a challenge. Expensive treadmills will usually give you steeper inclines, but you don’t have to pay any extra funds for this feature from ProForm. It’s possible to alter the deck to a 15 percent incline if desired. This angle allows you to run uphill and enhance your fitness even more. The incline can change throughout your workout as you run up and down hills based on a given workout regimen.
ProForm added many features into the console that makes any runner excited about their workout. There are several workouts programmed into the treadmill that are designed by personal trainers. Their knowledge on the best running workout is already in your machine. Simply select a workout and follow the trainer’s lead. You can also follow a Google Maps route that’s based on real-life roads and trails. A virtual run is possible with ProForm’s innovations. If you’re an iFit fan, connect your electronic device to the console. You’ll be able to access all of your data between the console and iFit. Your consistent health awareness will only allow you to improve your body over time.
This treadmill comes with a fan and water holder, but ProForm goes further with its accessories. Attach your tablet to the console in order to see your screen at all times. Use it for the workout or simply watch television. Some joggers might exercise for an hour or more, so this tablet holder can be a valuable feature in many situations.
Treadmills are naturally heavy because they must support a lot of weight and forces. You’ll be pleased with the ProForm machine because it folds up against the wall with little effort. The manufacturer added an EasyLift Assist feature that includes a hydraulic shock. Give the deck a lift, and the shock will take over the weight as you guide it up and against the wall. For many runners, this feature is a main selling point as they decide between treadmill models.
One drawback to the ProForm model is the assembly. The instructions are lacking in detail, and many consumers are noticing that their assembly times are taking longer than advertised. If you’re having any problems with the assembly, contact ProForm’s customer service with your inquiry. They can guide you to the right answers. You’ll be up and running in no time.
You may be surprised at how long the treadmill is when it’s finally in your home. ProForm designs this machine model to have a 60-inch deck length. You want this size because you’re able to stretch out during long runs. Some consumers report that they had to rearrange their furniture for this treadmill’s size. In the long run, however, you’ll appreciate the striding length as you run your way to those fitness goals.
#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Schwinn 870 Treadmill
View it on Amazon for $739.45*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
You might associate the name-brand Schwinn with your bicycle in the garage, but this company also offers quality, treadmill technology. The 870 model used to be priced closer to $2,000, but it’s now under $1,000. Don’t be fooled by the inexpensive price tag because you’re paying for a top-notch machine that can really get you in shape. Along with its 60-inch running deck and 300-pound capacity, the 870 treadmill has other features that you should consider as you shop around.
Take a close look at the running deck as you start your exploration around the Schwinn treadmill. The belt itself is made of a two-ply material. As it rotates around, it won’t slip on the pulley mechanisms. Your feet will also have a strong grip on the deck, which contributes to the best safety during a sprint. During the assembly process, you might see the crowned rollers that support the belt. These rollers are large with a 2.5-inch diameter. This size contributes to the belt’s agility around the deck along with cushioning comfort.
Today’s electronic savvy consumers are always looking for those device conveniences on their exercise machines. Schwinn doesn’t disappoint with its charging port designed with a USB construction. You can also plug your MP3 player into the console instead of fumbling with it in your hands or perching it precariously in a plastic holder. Use your devices to access workout information or listen to music. You might run farther when the right song is playing along.
Your MP3 player needs an outlet for those tunes so Schwinn has outfitted their treadmill with enclosed speakers. Look at the console, and you’ll see the speakers flanking the LCD screens. They’re acoustically tuned and powerful in order to keep up with your running speed. Pick some upbeat songs for your run, and the speakers will generate the rhythm for your stride.
Schwinn put a lot of design effort into their console. You aren’t just greeted by one LCD screen, but you have two displays to gaze upon. Each display offers distinct information about your run. In fact, it’s possible to toggle between four different users on these screens. You’ll always have your own information for each run as you specify the user. This information can guide your health goals over time.
If you get hot almost immediately on the treadmill, you’ll love the included fan. It’s located on the console where it can blow on your face or body with ease. This fan comes with three different settings, which makes its use comfortable for every user. A walker, for example, may want a low-fan setting compared to a seasoned sprinter who needs the high setting.
Because this treadmill is 5-feet long, Schwinn constructed it with a folding mechanism. It can fold against a wall when its not in use. The manufacturer added another feature to this machine by incorporating wheels. Although the treadmill is about 200 pounds, the wheels make the machine easier to maneuver around the home. It will move with ease on a hardwood or laminate floor. You may need help with its movement if the area has carpeting, however. Always use caution while moving the treadmill. It’s sturdy, but it can tip over at extreme angles.
Grab the handles several times during your workout in order to record your heart rate at the grips. Alternatively, secure the chest strap to your body. You’ll be able to see your heart rate at any time during the run. The Schwinn 870 treadmill has all of the features included in a high-end model but without the expensive price. Whether you’re an advanced or beginning runner, this treadmill is worth a try.
#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill
View it on Amazon for $649.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Workout enthusiasts are often wary about selecting a treadmill that’s considered a budget-friendly find. However, today’s manufacturers aren’t skimping on features or quality at the low prices. You may not have a 60-inch deck length, but you’ll have a reliable machine that gives you a strong workout each day. Discover how the Horizon Fitness treadmill can make your workout a challenge with its low price and top-quality parts.
At well below $1,000, the Horizon treadmill is amazingly quiet with its 2.25chp motor. Consumers report that the motor and frame create a very stable area during a fast run. The machine doesn’t shake under the pressure, which contributes to the quiet-motor operation. When consumers normally buy a low-cost treadmill, they’re usually greeted with loud noises consistently throughout a workout. Horizon worked diligently to improve their budget-friendly model, and the results allow you to use it in any household area. No one will complain about your workout noise ever again.
As you hop onto the Horizon treadmill, you’ll immediately notice the difference along the deck’s surface. A typical running stride means that you pound the front deck section with your heels while pushing off on the rear surface with your toes. Horizon takes this stride technique into consideration by creating a variable-deck cushion. You’ll feel the deck flex under your feet near the front, but the rear area is undeniably firm. In fact, the motor is also designed with your stride in mind because it changes speeds and power as your body accelerates or decelerates during a workout. Try to jog at a steady pace, and slowly increase your speed. You’ll feel the motor change as your workout develops over time.
Consumers have reported that some loud noises have occurred with their Horizon treadmills. However, many of these sounds can be solved entirely with the included lubrication bottle. When you assemble the treadmill, it’s recommended to use almost all of the lubrication. The rollers, metal mechanisms and other parts need the lubrication in order to move smoothly with each workout. If you use the treadmill on a consistent basis, try to lubricate it as a general-maintenance task. You’ll prolong its lifespan and reduce noises with one simple chore.
The Horizon treadmill doesn’t skimp on its console programming. You can try a manual workout that you’ve created, but look at the presets as you discover all of the options. Choose between calorie-goal exercises, distance-oriented workouts and step-goal selections. When you combine all of these workouts, they’re equal to more than 25 selections. You can also benefit from interval training that can incorporate various incline levels. Jog on a flat terrain, but then discover that a hill is approaching. You can technically create a real-life jog that keeps you physically indoors but mentally on the road.
The 20-inch wide deck on the Horizon treadmill leads many consumers to believe that the machine is lightweight. Although the deck is only 55-inches long, it’s surprisingly heavy at nearly 200 pounds. Before you accept your treadmill delivery, measure an area that can safely hold the unit. The machine’s weight contributes to its cushioning effect on your feet and its overall durability. You want a permanent location for the treadmill so that it can inspire everyone to get in shape.
Many treadmill manufacturers advertise their products with a comfortable and cushioned deck, but this fact is normally backed up with a thickness specification. Ideally, a comfortable deck will have at least a three-quarter inch thickness. This dimension is usually augmented with specialized rollers, soft cells and other design effects to further cushion the runner’s stride.
When you’re shopping for a new treadmill, take a look at the deck from its profile. In many cases, the manufacturer has left some of the rollers or cushions visible from this side angle. If the deck look narrow from your perspective, you’ll feel it during the run. Subjecting your joints to these impacts over a long time period will only damage your body. Read all of the specifications regarding the treadmill before you buy it. If the deck-thickness specification is vague, you can always go online and search for more details. Explore personal reviews from other buyers too. A firsthand account of a deck’s flexibility can help you make an informed purchasing decision.
When you shop for a car, the engine’s horsepower is a major consideration as you weigh hauling needs during your everyday outings. This consideration is just as important for a treadmill purchase too. Most experts agree that a high-quality treadmill should have a 2.0chp motor as a bare minimum specification. This motor can serve your entire household, from the walkers to the long-distance runners.
If you have a serious athlete in the house who spends hours on the treadmill, consider a 3.0chp motor. A stronger motor allows you to go faster at a reliable speed. Low-power motors will wear down faster when they’re used at their peak speeds. High-powered motors also produce the deck speeds that you need for a challenging workout. Look for treadmills that offer between 10 and 12mph ratings. Lower speed values will reflect a poor-quality motor. In fact, the model’s continuous-duty horsepower may not be advertised when it’s truly 2.0chp or lower. Perform extensive research on your treadmill, and you’ll discover the right motor strength for your needs.
When you order a treadmill, it will almost always come in a disassembled state. Before you purchase the machine, however, it’s a smart idea to read the assembly instructions that are often posted online. Look at the instructions, and verify if they make sense to you. Many consumers have complained that the instructions are difficult to follow, and their treadmill purchase suffers as a result.
If you have any questions about the instructions, contact the manufacturer. You can see if their customer service is worth the price of the product itself. This test run can help you narrow down your treadmill selections. When you finally have the unit at your home, you’ll be familiar with the instructions and apply them quickly to the parts in front of you. In most cases, the parts should be labeled or bagged with labels so that you can identify them in the instructions. Once the unit is up and running, you don’t have to perform this function ever again.
Size and Weight
It’s true that treadmills are heavy. Generally, a heavier model means that it’s more stable than others on the market. Always consider the treadmill’s weight before you buy it. If you live in a third-floor apartment, a 200-pound treadmill won’t normally work for your building. A ground floor is always the best location for any treadmill.
Read about the machine’s size before you buy it as well. You want to have a relaxed stride on the machine. Choosing a compact treadmill may force you to bunch your muscles up and run with an unusual stride. Ideally, you want a treadmill with a 55- to 60-inch length. This size does take up considerable space in your home, but it allows you to stretch during those long runs. Place the treadmill against a long wall and move other furniture away from it. You can achieve your exercise goals with some clever furniture arrangements.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
As you narrow down your options among all of the different treadmill products, don’t get caught up in all of the optional perks. Headphone jacks, USB ports and other items are often added to a treadmill in order to distract your attention away from other features. You want to concentrate on the features that truly matter, such as the deck’s width and weight limit. In the end, you’ll have a treadmill that serves you well for many years. Without high-quality features throughout your basic treadmill, it won’t last for very long and interest will wane in a hurry.
Discussion and comments
We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?
Do you know of an even better product?
- Frugal5, Best Treadmill For The Money, Frugal5.com
- Consumer Search, Horizon Fitness T101-04 Review, Consumersearch.com, December 2015
- Top Fitness Magazine, Schwinn 870 Treadmill Review, Topfitnessmag.com
- Consumer Search, How to Choose a Treadmill, Consumersearch.com, December 2015,
- Smart Review, Xterra Fitness TR6.6 Folding Home Treadmill, Smartreview.com, January 29, 2016