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I love the treadmills that I use at the gym. I just don’t always love going there to use them — half the time I blow off my workout because I don’t have time to drive across town or because I have to be home by the time my kids get home from school. And my knees and joints can’t handle running outside on the pavement anymore. I’ve had several home treadmills, but they just aren’t the same as the high-quality equipment that I use at the gym. If only there were top-of-the-line commercial treadmills available for home use. Well, it turns out there are! And one of the best on the market is the Precor treadmill.
Consumer Reports says that the four things you should keep in mind when shopping for a treadmill are size, ergonomics, high-tech features, and speed adjustability. In all four of those categories, Precor is outstanding. The only downside is that a Precor treadmill will cost you a pretty penny. But if you want a top-notch piece of gym equipment at home and you don’t mind the price, a Precor treadmill is an excellent choice.
The Precor Treadmill Home Lines
Precor has two different lines of commercial-quality home treadmills: the 200 Energy series and the 400 Precision series.
The 200 Energy Series
The Precor Treadmill 200 Energy Series is the company’s entry-level line of treadmills. Like the 400 series, this line is very high quality, but they make the Energy Series treadmills in Taiwan. The TRM 211 and the TRM 243 feature traditional shock absorption technology using rubber grommets.
There’s very little difference between the lower mechanics of these two models. And they both feature a 3.0 continuous duty HP motor with a 20-inch by 57-inch running surface. The Energy series treadmills also incline from 0 to 15 percent. And they are capable of speeds from 0.5 to 12mph. The weight capacity for the 200 series models is 300 pounds. The differences between the models are in the console, interactive electronic features, and display. For most people, the 200 series is more than adequate.
The 400 Precision Series
The Precor Treadmill 400 Precision Series is the company’s premier line of treadmills made for home use. They are the same quality as the treadmills you use at the gym. And the Precision treadmills are made entirely in the United States. The TRM 425 and the TRM 445 have identical lower mechanics. They also both feature a 3.0 continuous duty HP motor with a 22-inch by 56-inch running surface. The Precision series treadmills incline from negative 2 to 15 percent so you can run both uphill and downhill. And like the Energy series, they are capable of speeds from 0.5 to 12mph. The treadmills in the Precision series have a higher maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds. The main difference between the two models is the console. The TRM 445 has the best console. This series is for people who want a superior deck and cushion exactly like commercial treadmills.
The Precision treadmills also feature integrated foot plant technology which preserves your natural gait by adapting the belt speed to the foot speed you take with every step giving you greater stability. These treadmills also have one of the best shock absorption systems in the industry. The decks are designed to absorb shock in the front where it is softer and give a solid push off in the rear where it is more firm. When it comes to shock absorption, no one beats Precor. And Consumer Affairs rates the Precor treadmills 4.1 out of 5 stars.
What’s So Great About the Precor Treadmills?
Precor is a giant in the fitness industry. They have been providing top-of-the-line workout equipment to hotels, gyms, and residential customers since 1980. And they revolutionalized the industry when they introduced the first cushioned treadmills and elliptical trainers in the 90s. Precor is also responsible for the first electronics in fitness equipment. So they are certainly a brand that you can trust with a new treadmill.
One of the great things about the Precor treadmills is that they all feature a no-maintenance running platform, which means that the decks require no additional periodic lubrication.
How We Reviewed
This analysis was an independent review of the Precor TRM 211, the Precor TRM 243, the TRM 425, and the TRM 445. And for some comparison, we took a look at the Sole F85 Treadmill, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill, and the 3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill. In the review process, we looked at customer and professional reviews. And we compared features on each treadmill. We have no business or financial ties with any of the companies we reviewed.
Our Precor Treadmill Review
Overall we found that all of the Precor treadmills are very high quality. The biggest drawback is the price.
Precor TRM 211
The Precor TRM 211 comes with a very basic console with blue and white LCD. And it comes without handrails. This Precor treadmill also comes with six built-in programs. And it comes with a digital touch sensor for heart rate monitoring. The lifetime warranty that comes with this model covers the frame and welding for a lifetime and parts and wear for five years. It also covers the console for three years and labor for one. On the downside, this treadmill only comes with one user profile. And it doesn’t come with a USB port or device charging.
The TRM 211 costs from $2,000 to $2,400. Most people feel satisfied with this model. Amazon rates it 2.8 out of 5.0 stars. But some complained that it doesn’t feel like a commercial grade treadmill. It is a good piece of equipment that will work well for most people. But if you can afford a little more, the TRM 243 is a major upgrade.
Precor TRM 243
The TRM 243 is a step up from the TRM 211. Precor upgraded this treadmill to the 40 premium console with a 7-inch full-color display with backlit capacitive touch buttons and an acrylic LCD faceplate. The TRM 243 comes with all of the awesome things the TRM 211 has, but it also comes with 23 preset workouts, 16 custom workouts, and touch or wireless heart rate monitoring. Precor has also added handrails, a spot for your water bottle, a reading rack, and a tablet clip to the console.
This Precor treadmill is about $1,000 more than the TRM 211, costing from $3,000 to $3,400. There aren’t a lot of customer reviews available on Amazon for this model, but it is clear that Precor has upgraded to this best of the Energy series treadmill. The TRM 243 also comes with the same warranty as the TRM 211.
Precor TRM 425
The TRM 425 is the first treadmill in the 400 series. And it is a step up from the Precor Energy treadmills. It comes with the upgraded 20 console with a high contrast blue-white LCD screen with an acrylic overlay. This Precor treadmill also comes with 9 built-in workouts and a larger running surface measuring 22 inches by 56 inches. And it supports two different user IDs. The TRM 425 features a Ground Effects Impact Control System which gives the best shock absorption on the market. And you can run both uphill and downhill on this treadmill because it inclines from negative 2 to 15 percent. It also comes with a warranty covering the frame and welding for a lifetime, parts and wear for 10 years, the console for 3 years, and labor for 1 year.
The TRM 425 costs from $4,100 to $4,500. People generally love this treadmill. But some complained that the motor was not the best for frequent long runs. This Precor treadmill is an excellent piece of equipment, but if you’re going to spend this much money on a treadmill, you might as well spend a little more and get the upgraded TRM 445. The treadmill has a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars, but that is only from one Amazon review.
Precor TRM 445
The TRM 445 is Precor’s best home treadmill. It is essentially a commercial machine. The only real difference between the TRM 425 and the TRM 445 is the choice of consoles. The TRM 445 has the upgraded 40 premium console. It also supports up to four user IDs. And the console has a USB port for smartphones or tablets with a plugin for headphones. If you want a top-of-the-line gym treadmill for your home and you can get over the significant price tag, then this is the one you want.
This Precor treadmill costs from $4,900 to $5,300. And Amazon rates it 3.7 out of 5.0 stars. Most customers love this treadmill. The biggest complaint is about the high price.
Now Let’s Look at Some Competitors
For some comparison, we also reviewed three other top selling treadmills.
Sole F85 Treadmill
A Sole treadmill is an excellent machine. It features a supersized running surface measuring 22 inches by 60 inches. And it comes with an enhanced 9-inch display which can dock a tablet. It runs on a powerful commercial 3.5 continuous duty HP motor. And like the Precors, the Sole has a reversible deck which doubles its life. For the best shock absorption, you can’t beat Precor. But the Sole comes in a close second. It also comes with 10 preset workouts, and it has Bluetooth connectivity. The console allows you to dock a device so that you can watch a movie or the news on the treadmill’s screen while you workout. And the Sole has a weight capacity of 400 pounds. This treadmill also folds up to conserve space.
This treadmill is very comparable to the Precors but for a lower price. The Sole F85 costs from $1,800 to $2,000. And Amazon rates it 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. One of the complaints about this treadmill is that it doesn’t respond to speed changes very quickly. Another complaint is that it is loud.
NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
This NordicTrack treadmill is a top pick for Amazon but it has a smaller motor than the Precors, and it certainly doesn’t offer the same shock absorption. The NordicTrack can incline up to 10 percent, and it comes with 20 built-in workouts. One nice thing about the console is you can plug your iPod or other MP3 devices into the sound system. The running surface on this treadmill measures 20 inches by 55 inches. And it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
This NordicTrack treadmill costs considerably less than the Precors, costing from $350 to $710. Most people find this treadmill adequate. Amazon rates it 3.9 out of 5 stars. But if you are looking for a gym-quality treadmill, this one probably isn’t it.
3G Cardio Pro Runner Treadmill
Like the Precors, the 3G treadmill features a 3.0 continuous duty HP motor. One great thing about this model is that you can fold it up to save space when you’re not using it. This treadmill also has a 20.5-inch by 58-inch orthopedic running surface. And it supports up to 350 pounds. You can use the built-in pulse monitor or a wireless chest belt to monitor your heart rate. This treadmill also has a decent console with eight built-in programs. Like the Precor 200 series treadmills, the 3G inclines from 0 to 15. And it is capable of speeds from 0.5 to 12mph.
The 3G Cardio Pro Runner costs from $1,800 to $1,900. Customer reviews are generally good for this treadmill. Amazon rates it 3.9 out of 5 stars. This treadmill is a decent piece of equipment, and it is cheaper than the Precors. But the console isn’t as good as the TRM 245 or either of the 400 series treadmills. It also doesn’t offer nearly the shock absorption of the Precors.
Overall Pros and Cons for the Precor Treadmill
Here’s what we liked and didn’t like about the Precor treadmills.
- Superior shock absorption
- Commercial quality equipment
- Commercial grade consoles
- Commercial grade motors
- Ergonomically sound
- Comes with generous warranties
- Treadmills are extremely heavy
- For the price, it should come with more features
Here’s How It All Shakes Out
Of the seven treadmills that we reviewed, our favorite was the Precor TRM 425. We also really liked the Sole F85 Treadmill. But head to head, the Precor wins. You’ll have to pay a small fortune for a Precor treadmill but based on customer and professional reviews the quality outweighs the hefty price tag. As a runner, the thing I like the best about them is the superior shock absorption. There simply is no other treadmill that can match Precor in this area. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell us in the comments if you have another top choice for home treadmills.