The Best Folding Treadmills of 2012

By J.W. Carpenter , last updated January 11, 2012

The best folding treadmills of 2012 as rated by leading fitness publications, retailers, and owners include the Sole F85 Treadmill, the NordicTrack Commercial 2150 Treadmill, and the Lifespan TR4000i High Performance Folding Treadmill. While folding treadmills tend to cost marginally more than similarly outfitted non-folding models, they are much better suited to small home exercise rooms and apartments where floor space is limited. This is due to the fact that the running track on a folding treadmill is designed to tilt up from the ground to be secured upright when not in use. The best folding treadmills are structurally sound and quite durable, and they sell with warranties comparable to similar non-folding treadmill models.

Sole F85 Treadmill

The Sole F85 Treadmill is among the best reviewed folding treadmills on the market, and Sole’s leading seller. The F85 is outfitted with Sole’s Easy Assist Folding System which allows exceptionally easy raising and lowering of the treadmill’s running deck. The deck itself features Sole’s Cushion Flex Shock Absorption Technology and a spacious running surface measuring 22 inches wide. It can be set to a maximum incline of 15 percent and is rated for use by persons weighing up to 400 pounds. The unit’s powerful 3.5 HP motor provides consistent performance at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. The F85 is outfitted with an LCD control screen, wireless heart rate monitor, and cooling fans. It includes a lifetime warranty on the motor, frame and deck, a five-year warranty on electronics and parts, and a two-year labor warranty.

NordicTrack Commercial 2150 Treadmill

The long-popular NordicTrack Commercial 2150 Treadmill has recently received an update for the 2012 year. Designed to stand up to heavy use in a commercial environment, this is a full featured unit that would make a great addition to any home gym. Keep an eye out for periodic NordicTrack pricing promotions that put this model squarely in the price-performance lead among models described here.

The 2150’s heavy duty running deck offers 20 inches of running width atop NordicTrack’s Quadflex Plus Cushioning System for a smooth, low impact workout at up to 12 miles per hour. With the push of a button, the deck can be raised to an incline of up to 15 percent or lowered to a decline of as much as three percent. It is rated to accommodate persons of up to 375 pounds. The 2150 also features a wireless internet-enabled, 10-inch full color touch screen for operating the unit and even browsing the web while you work out. When your workout is finished, the running deck’s EasyLift Assist Technology makes it easy to fold it out of the way. This unit includes a lifetime deck, frame and motor warranty, a five-year electronics and parts warranty, and a two-year labor warranty.

Lifespan TR4000i High Performance Folding Treadmill

The Lifespan TR4000i High Performance Folding Treadmill is another highly reviewed folding treadmill, garnering high praise from both Runner’s World and Health magazine. The unit’s running deck offers 20 inches of running width at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. It can be set for 15 degrees of incline and will accommodate users of to 350 pounds in weight. With Lifespan’s EZ Drop Technology, raising and lowering the running deck is a breeze. The TR4000i features an LCD display with push button controls and an integrated sound system designed for use with an MP3 player. This unit sells with a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, a five-year warranty on parts, and a one-year warranty on labor.

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