True Treadmill Review

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If you’ve been shopping for a treadmill, you’ve probably noticed the wide price range. Folding treadmills start at a few hundred dollars while non-folding treadmills run between $1,000 and $10,000. Are the more expensive treadmills worth it? It depends how you use it. Walkers can use the folding treadmills but need to find one with quality construction. The budget treadmills break down. Runners need at least one of the less expensive non-folding treadmills, such as the M Series TRUE treadmills. Serious athletes should consider the benefits of the features offered by premium treadmills.

In the following article, we’ll detail the different types of treadmills, their pros and cons and costs. We’ll also review TRUE, one of the top-quality treadmill brands. TRUE makes non-folding treadmills that are a benchmark for quality.

What Is a True Treadmill?

TRUE treadmills are high-quality products sold for both consumer and commercial applications. TRUE has been manufacturing treadmills since the 1980s and bases its operations in St. Louis. The company asserts that it focuses on delivering a high-quality product rather than trying to be the highest volume seller. As a result, TRUE treadmills are built to last. The company only uses premium components. Owners report that their TRUE treadmills last for decades with few problems. TRUE treadmills aren’t the cheapest, but if you keep them long term, the investment pays off.

Performance driven athletes love TRUE treadmills. Serious runners need a serious treadmill. TRUE delivers by offering only premium products. Home treadmills are made with commercial-grade components, ensuring durability. The company also asserts that it puts all its products through lifetime performance testing. As a result, TRUE treadmills have become known for smooth and quiet operation.

TRUE’s higher line treadmills offer patented special features. The Heart Rate Cruise Control feature automatically adjusts the intensity of the workout according to heart rate. Runners can program their workouts according to their target heart rate goals. Target heart rate training is one of the most effective techniques for increasing cardiovascular strength and endurance. Many professional runners swear by it. With TRUE’s patented Heart Rate Cruise Control feature, runners can reach higher fitness levels than ever before.

Injury prevention is another advantage of TRUE treadmills. The patented Soft System provides a safe surface for high-intensity and long-distance training. In addition to preventing injuries, the Soft System provides the perfect solution for runners with chronic injuries and older runners who need the extra cushioning to stay healthy. The top-of-the-line Excell 900 comes with the TRUE Soft Select, which provides customizable deck cushioning.

If you’re serious about treadmill training, check out TRUE’s treadmill line. Though not the lowest priced, the costs are still reasonable in view of the quality components and construction, with prices ranging from around $2,000 to $6,000. The higher initial investment pays off in the long run. Your TRUE treadmill will last, you’ll be less likely to suffer an injury, and you can create dynamic workout programs to get in the best shape of your life. 

Where are TRUE Treadmills Sold?

The company recommends purchasing its treadmills through an authorized TRUE dealer or through the company website. Authorized dealers are located throughout the United States, and Canadian customers can order online. You can locate an authorized dealer with the dealer locator on the company website. Authorized dealers are specialty fitness or electronics stores, such as ABT Electronics, Sears Fitness and Fitness Factory.

TRUE recommends buying from its authorized dealers because it invests in training authorized sales personnel. Dealers can provide ample advice on treadmill selection and demonstrate the features most relevant to the buyer. Purchasing from the store also allows you to test the treadmill. All TRUE treadmills are high quality, but you may want to compare the models by trying them out, that way you can see if features like the Heart Rate Cruise Control and Soft Select are for you. Dealers also offer financing.

Authorized dealers also provide delivery and installation services. Those who have set up treadmills appreciate the value of these services. Average treadmills weigh several hundred pounds and cannot be lifted by one person. Set up also requires multiple people and can take up the better part of a day. also offers delivery and installation services.

TRUE treadmills are also available online from sources like Amazon and Ebay. These sources rarely provide installation services. It is also important to note that warranties are non-transferrable and are also inapplicable to refurbished units. The warranty does not apply if purchased from an unauthorized seller.

Product Specs  

TRUE treadmills come in four product categories, the M-, Performance-, Z- and Excel series. TRUE makes all its treadmills with commercial-grade parts and provides a lifetime frame warranty and extended parts and labor warranties. The M series provides basic models at much lower costs. The Performance-, Z- and Excel series add progressively more features. All TRUE treadmills have small footprints, making them a good choice for home use.  

The M Series 

The M series provides well-made, durable and safe treadmills for a low cost. They are the choice for people who aren’t interested in the advanced features available with the other TRUE series options. With a 74-inch footprint, they are ideal for small apartments and spare rooms. Both the M30 and M50 come with an attractive LCD console, heart-rate tracking, and training programs. The M50 has cruise control.

The Performance Series

Runners who log high mileage, love intense workouts, or need extra cushioning because of injuries or age should consider the Performance Series. These treadmills are built with the TRUE Soft System, which decreases impact with a patented surface system. Performance Series offers more training programs than the M Series, comes with fitness app tracking, and provides up to four unique profiles for different users.

The Z Series

Upgrade to the Z Series to take advantage of TRUE’s patented Heart Rate Cruise Control system. With this unique feature, you can set your target heart rate and the system will adjust your workout so you cruise in the ideal heart rate zone. Users can set target heart-rate goals according to their fitness level and workout goals. Whether you are doing a recovery run at a low target heart rate or sprinting to reach your maximum heart rate, the Z series will get you there.

The Excel 900

This treadmill is in a class of its own. There is no other treadmill with its unique combination of advanced features. In addition to the Soft System and Heart Rate Cruise Control, the Excel 900 comes with a 4-horsepower motor that is as quiet as it is efficient. The Excel 900 provides the large surface area needed by larger and taller runners. In addition to the 15 percent incline, runners can add variety to their routine with the up to 3 percent decline. The two advanced console options offer everything from touch screens to Netflix to virtual training that allows you to run on famous race courses.

The Excel 900 earned the Treadmill Doctor Best Buy Award and the Reader’s Choice Best Premium Treadmill Award.  


The M Series costs around $2,000 to $2,400. Considering the durability, it’s a great value.

Performance Series True treadmills cost around $3,100 to $4,400. The extra cost is worth it for serious runners who benefit from the Soft System and advanced tracking.

Z Series treadmills are perfect for people who emphasize target heart rate in their training. At $3899 to $4699, you can pick up the Heart Rate Cruise Control and orthopedic belt for a small increase in price.

The Excel 900 cost around $6,100. Though $6,100 may seem like a lot for a treadmill, it’s a bargain for a premium treadmill. That’s why the Excel 900 wins awards.

How It Compares

TRUE makes non-folding treadmills. In this section, we’ll look at these other types of treadmills:     

Medical Treadmills
Folding Treadmills
Other Non-Folding Treadmills

True Treadmill

Price                                 $$

TRUE Treadmill provides great value.

Ease of Use                    5 Stars

TRUE treadmills are easy to operate. The optional Soft System is easy on the joints and the workout programs provide education and excitement.

Durability                        5 Stars

All TRUE treadmills are built to last.

Design Quality              5 stars                     

The small footprints and comfortable belt surface make it easy to store and a joy to use.

Warranty                       5 Stars

TRUE provides a lifetime warranty on the frame of all treadmills. It also provides warranties of 5 years for parts and one year for labor. The Excel 900 comes with a lifetime warranty on the motor and up to 2 years on labor and 10 years on parts


  • Built to last            
  • Small footprints
  • Soft System
  • Heart Rate Cruise Control


  • Costlier than other brands
  • Authorized dealers may be far away
  • Installation and delivery options are costly

Medical Treadmills

Medical treadmills are used in doctors’ offices, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities. They are larger than standard treadmills to accommodate patients with special needs. Medical treadmills have very accurate digital tracking that doctors use to evaluate patient progress. They are also more durable and use fewer moving parts, which makes them last much longer than standard treadmills.

Price                                  $$$ 

Medical treadmills may cost between $4,000 and $20,000 and up. Rehab treadmills are on the lower end of the scale. Medical treadmills that include diagnostic equipment are far more costly.

Ease of Use                       5 Stars

Medical treadmills are designed for easy use, so they can be utilized by people with physical difficulties.

Durability                        5 Stars

Part of the reason they are expensive is that they are built to last for decades.

Design Quality               5 Stars                 

Medical treadmills come with advanced digital capabilities and provide quiet, smooth operation.

Warranty                     5 Stars

Because of their cost and diagnostic equipment, medical treadmills come with extended warranty packages.


  • Durable
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Safe for disabled and ill patients


  • Very expensive
  • Lacks workout features of fitness treadmills
  • Limited speed

Folding Treadmills

Folding treadmills come in the budget or standard varieties. Budget folding treadmills are inexpensive for a reason. They are built with weak components and lack the stability of better-designed treadmills. They also provide a very short running belt and feel unstable during use. As such, they are for walkers only. Standard folding treadmills are ideal for walkers and occasional light running. They are sturdier and have longer running belts than the budget models. They do not accommodate serious runners or allow for a long stride.

Price                   $

Budget folding treadmills are just a few hundred dollars. For less than $1,000, you can obtain a folding treadmill fit for the serious walker or occasional runner.

Ease of Use        5 Stars

Folding treadmills are easy to operate and great for walkers. Storage is made simple by the design.

Durability             2 Stars

Some small folding treadmills a better than others, but compared to non-folding treadmills, they don’t last long and will have breakdowns more frequently.

Design Quality      2 Stars

Many folding treadmills are designed poorly. They provide too small a surface for real running and may even feel unstable to walkers. Better models will be good for walking workouts.

Warranty 3 Stars                            

Folding treadmills, particularly the budget models, have short lifespans and shorter warranties. These units are not built to last. In exchange for the low price, you will have to replace it sooner.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to store
  • Great for walkers


  • Unsturdy 
  • Low durability
  • Not suitable for serious runners/athletes

Non-Folding Treadmills

If you’re into intense workouts or long distance, non-folding treadmills are the only option. They have the sturdiness to withstand the relentless pounding of hard workouts. The belt sizes are sufficient to handle long strides. Within non-folding treadmills, there is a wide variety of quality. Very serious athletes need the higher end treadmills, such as those manufactured by TRUE. More fitness oriented runners who don’t plan to rack up high mileage on their treadmill can save money by going with a less durable unit with fewer features.

Price                                    $$

Non-folding treadmills range from $1,000 to $10,000 and up. A unit sufficient for a serious runner can usually be found for a few thousand dollars. Refurbished units provide significant savings.

Ease of Use                        5 Stars

Non-folding treadmills provide safer and softer running surfaces than folding treadmills. They are more difficult to assemble and weigh too much for one person to move. It’s a good idea to purchase one that comes with delivery and installation.

Durability                          5 Stars

In view of the substantial cost increase over folding treadmills, buyers should buy from a company that uses quality components.

Design Quality                     5 Stars

Firms like TRUE design their products to last and stand up to the demands of hard or high-mileage workouts.

Warranty                            5 Stars

Non-folding treadmills come with the longest and most comprehensive warranties.


  • Durability
  • Made for intense and long workouts
  • Cushioned running surfaces


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to assemble and heavy


We award TRUE 5 stars. The company produces equally durable and high-performance treadmills across all of its product line. You can’t go wrong with a TRUE. People who plan to use their treadmill lightly can save money by opting for the M Series treadmills. Runners who want to pack on the miles should get the Performance Series because of the Soft Surface feature’s ability to prevent injury. The Z Series offers Soft Surface and Heart Rate Cruise Control, and the top-of-the-line Excel 900 provides the deluxe experience at a low cost compared to other premium treadmills. TRUE treadmills aren’t cheap, but they provide 5-Star value over their long lifetimes.

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