NordicTrack T6.1 Treadmill Review
Treadmill Doctor Note:
One of the best $700 treadmills on the market. With that said, there aren't any GOOD $700 treadmills on the market!
Overall Rating: 5.10
Icon Health and Fitness is the largest fitness manufacturers dominating the global market. Their unique selling proposition is producing feature packed machines that are visually appealing too. NordicTrack is a classic example of a company that is efficient at mass manufacturing backed by decent quality given the price range. Nowadays that kind of quality gets more value addition with extra features. In NordicTrack T6.1 they have a treadmill that presents a scaled down version at bargain basement prices, and users are responding by swelling their sales and profits.
The NordicTrack T6.1 was runner up to Horizon T101 in the $400 to $699 price range. In fact we consider it ironical that a company such as Johnson Health Tech (JHT) that specializes in mass marketing cheaper and lower quality machines should steal a march over a much superior Icon in this median price segment.
We think NordicTrack putting out entry level models like this one is like tolerating a blemish on a perfect Rembrandt painting.
Votes in favor of the treadmill
Walking area is good and adds value to treadmill
Surprisingly the walking surface is this treadmills strength, and even higher priced treadmills appear to carry the same size forward. But a 2.5 HP motor is not the ideal power source to run this tread effectively and efficiently. On the positive side taller and larger users can walk (not run) the tread in quite comfort provided they don't overuse the machine.
Cushioning offers support to walkers
The DualShox cushioning features are just about average minimizing the discomfort associated with tread shocks impacting your running joints and muscles. But then one can't expect anything better below the $1,000 price point.
Adding value to your purchase
You are unlikely to find a more popular treadmill at the $700 price point, and users aren't paying through their teeth for component quality and extra features.
Votes against the TM
At 2.5 HP the motor is pathetically underpowered
Power is a major casualty in this treadmill and it sadly mismatches the tread belt size of 20" x 55" which is not conducive for a satisfying treadmill experience. Reaching a maximum speed of 10 mph on this treadmill is fraught with risk, and running for your life (or health) on this tread belt is out of the question. The motor wouldn't catch up with you.
Warranty coverage stinks
Frame has a lifetime warranty, but for parts and labor you get only one year warranty and the motor has coverage of only 25 years, which is disappointing. It's like telling the public that there are limits to the extent to which the company trusts their own machines to last.
treadmill weight / user weight ratio rules out heavier users
Weighing in at 193 pounds this treadmill is hardly capable of taking on users clocking over 325 pounds as claimed. Weightier users will find the risks multiplying as cheaper parts wear out and operational costs increase after the warranty sinks.
The motor is underpowered and mismatched to the tread drive, making this treadmill a passable option for walkers only, not runners. Besides, the poor warranty protection leaves the user gasping when the coverage expires. Not reliable in the longer term and serious runners would rather turn to other treadmills like the NordicTrack C900 Pro for performance and favorable service.
The final analysis
The NordicTrack T6.1 is pretty competitive for its price range (below $700) but that isn't good news for high performing runners who will feel discouraged by its lack of supportive features. But for the average user who can't stretch his budget beyond $700 this is a somewhat
sturdy bulldog that will tag along faithfully as long as you don't make it run like a greyhound.C ut corners and put it into a great looking package is the MO for this machine.
These products are produced by Icon Health and Fitness. They are the largest retail fitness company. This well-known brand name is heavy on features and their newer units are holding up quite well in the home if you don't count some of the glitch prone features. The treadmills are beautifully packaged machines and look great in your home. NordicTrack is quickly becoming known for making a solid quality machine at a bargain price and they are selling more units that anyone else in their respective price range.
Quality / Philosophy
NordicTrack is produced by Icon, a company with thousands of employees and large resources. The NordicTrack models are near the top of the quality scale in the Icon line. Put simply, their machines have the best design in the business. Icon has a long, storied history that provides an example of how the big keep getting bigger. Icon used to be the mass-market darling because of their cheap prices but they used to have quality to match. These days they put quality into the machines and pack them with features. Icon also has the worst customer service in the business but we rate the machines by the individual machine quality, not the quality of their service.
Icon is the largest fitness equipment producer in the world with over $1 billion in sales. If the fitness industry were a solar system, Icon is so powerful that they would be the Sun. In terms of stability they are the best, but overall their customer service isn't up to the standards of any of the lower volume producers. They promised an improvement in service but the results were more of the same. Although you get a value price for the product, you also get value service so keep this in mind when buying their machines- apparently they price their machines so low in comparison to other companies that they don't have money left for service. Due to the sheer number of units they produce, we pick up support in many cases where this factory leaves off.