Proform 415 LT Treadmill Review
Treadmill Doctor Note:
Arguably the worst value Proform ever. Just when we thought they had turned the corner, they release the 415 LT.
Overall Rating: 3.90
Avoid this treadmill like you would avoid the bubonic plague.
The Proform 415 LT is a disappointing treadmill to say the least. Proform had been steadily improving recently, but they really set themselves back with this model. Even at $699, you're paying too much for it. Considering how hard it is to find a quality machine at this low of a price, that's really saying something.
The walking area is fairly small, which isn't uncommon for such an inexpensive treadmill. The walking belt measures in at 18" x 50", this is significantly smaller than you're standard 20" x 60" belt. If you have a long stride, you may be tempted to run too close to the console with this model. This can force you to alter your stride, which has the potential to lead to injury.
The motor on this machine is pathetic. You usually see treadmills with this little power producing capabilities selling for about $300 less than this one. Theoretically, you can reach speeds of up to 10 mph with this model, but if you try to use this model for anything other than occasional, light walking, the structure and drive system won't hold up for long.
The cushioning system is one of the worst we seen. TreadSoft Cushioning is used to reduce the impact of running on your joints and back. It's better than pavement, but most treadmills will provide a much more forgiving surface. Luckily, if you try to run on it, you'll cause more damage to the machine than you will your body.
The projected reliability of this treadmill is its bright spot. As long as it's used correctly, it will have one of the longest life expectancies of any sub-$1,000 model. The quality of parts is very good for a machine that costs $699.
It's one of the louder models you're going to find. In this price range, that's not particularly surprising, but you can do better if you know where to look. If low price and quietness are major concerns for you, you're going to have to do your homework to find a model that suits your needs.
The warranty for the Proform 415 LT is horrible. Parts and labor are covered for 90 days and the motor is covered for 10 years. We don't blame them for offering this type of coverage. We blame them for making a treadmill that made them feel they couldn't offer better coverage.
These products are produced by Icon Health and Fitness. They are the largest retail fitness company. This is one of the original Icon brands and can be found in most mass merchants. They typically range between $500 and $1,500 and have short warranties for the most part, although we have seen a shift in regard to that on mainly motors in some units. The higher end units have much longer warranties. The gee-whiz factor is high on these machines because they are packed with features, but some of these features can be glitch prone. Except for the higher priced units with a selling price of $1000 or more, we wouldn't recommend these for serious runners, but the quality of the machine is so much better than those produced just a few years ago. Most people who are walkers or occasional joggers will be satisfied with the new Proforms.
Quality / Philosophy
Proform is produced by Icon, a company with thousands of employees and large resources. 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 had the quality to match. These days they put quality into the machines and pack them with features. On the low end, expect low quality, but that is more of a function of price rather than engineering. Proform is still saddled with many problematic models from their past, but the quality has rapidly improved, especially with their machines in the $900 and up range.
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 have promised an improvement on this and have new management in the service department, so we hope this helps. Although you get a value price for the product, you also get value service, so keep this in mind when buying their machines. Due to the sheer number of units they produce, we pick up support in many cases where this factory leaves off.
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