Horizon T101 Treadmill Review
Treadmill Doctor Note:
A multi-year Best Buy winner for Horizon! Strongest entry level Horizon that we have ever seen. Makes a claim for buying this over a comparably priced Proform!
Overall Rating: 5.95
One of the best efforts Horizon has made at the $600 price point. A solid mechanical design combined with better quality parts than they have used in the past makes for a unit that is surprisingly acceptable for the price.
This is a very average treadmill for a price that is well below average, which is why it earned our Best Buy award for treadmills priced from $400-$699. While you won't get anything spectacular with this model, it would be difficult to find a machine of this quality at a comparable price.
The motor in this machine is about average. It will give you the performance you need, but the frame and wear parts won't be able to hold up for anything other than walking, especially with heavier users. Only one other treadmill that we reviewed offers this much power at a lower price. Most treadmills with a motor of this quality will charge a couple of hundred up to a thousand dollars more.
The cushioning system is also about average for most treadmills. It consists of PerfectFLEX variable cushioning, which attempts to combine shock absorption with support. You can find a few models that offer similar impact relief for a little less, but you'll end up sacrificing quality in other areas.
This is a fairly reliable treadmill, which is a surprise given its price. It won't last as long as the as some of the really high-quality models will, but it won't break down on you too quickly, either. Given the fact that some companies will charge you well over $1,000 for a machine that is of a similar quality, we have no complaints.
It's a little bit loud for our taste. It's nothing that should deter you from purchasing it, but most of the treadmills we reviewed this year were able to keep the noise levels lower.
The warranty for this treadmill is what leaves the most to be desired. While there are many companies that offer similar warranties for a much higher price, we think Horizon should have the confidence to offer more, given that its parts and engineering can stack up with the more expensive models.
Another Johnson produced line, like Vision, Matrix, and Livestrong. The production of all of the Horizon line has been moved to China. The packaging on these machines is nothing short of spectacular, especially considering the price. Their component quality has picked up. Also, their low end models, around the $500 price point, can look very good, but the components are simply too cheap to hold up over the long term.
Quality / Philosophy
Hit low price points and sell as many as you can seems to be the philosophy of this brand for Johnson, and at this point, they are doing it very well. We gained a much greater understanding of Johnson's business in the past few years with our visit to their headquarters and facilities in Taiwan and China. Johnson is the most integrated manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. This can be both good and bad. The good is that you are in control of almost all aspects of production. The bad is that you are in control of almost all aspects of production. If you mess up, there is no one else to blame. They really seem to be focused on doing things the right way, so it appears that this is a case where it is good overall. We were impressed with their quality procedures, design, and testing processes, and the reviews will reflect our better understanding of their operations.
Horizon will remain a player in the US market simply due to market penetration. We believe they will continue to eat up market share. In the past, many of their units were simply a scaled down unit from their other brands, but now, Horizon is much more distinct. The only problem is typically you buy these at mass retailers, so the service level is generally not present. They make a very strong treadmill, especially near the $800 to $1000 price point.