Proform Performance 600 Treadmill Review
Treadmill Doctor Note:
An upgrade from the Performance 400 model but still falls short in some critical areas.
Overall Rating: 5.27
Not a bad choice but not a great choice either. You really need to get to the $1000 range to get the minimum acceptable level of quality for a regular, average user.
If you're only looking to casually walk, the Proform Performance 600 will be fine. If you're looking to begin a serious fitness routine, this treadmill won't cut it. It's not really possible to get a good quality model at $799.
The walking area is a good size. The belt measures in at 20" x 55". This is a solid 5" shorter than the standard 20" x 60" walking belt. Still, it should be long enough to comfortably fit the stride of most users.
One impressive part of this machine is the motor. This is the highest power producing capability you can find for less than $1,000. You can reach speeds of up to 12 mph. The problem is that the structure and drive system won't hold up to a running routine, so you'll have to tone it back and stick to occasional walking.
The cushioning system isn't bad at this price. ProShox Elite 2 Cushioning is used to reduce the impact of walking on your joints and back. If this is a major area of concern for you, you can certainly find more running surfaces that are more forgiving or last longer without paying more for it.
If you want a treadmill that will last, you're going to have to pay more for it. The projected reliability on this model is pretty sad, and that's common in this price range. The life expectancy will be short unless you barely use it. Either way, you won't be able to get as much exercise as you probably intend to if you're thinking of purchasing fitness equipment. The quality of parts just isn't where it needs to be to hold up over the long term.
The bright spot of this model is its noise level. It's not easy to find a machine that makes this little noise during operation at such a cheap price. The warranty on the Proform Performance 600 is okay. Labor is covered for 1 year, parts are covered for 2 years, and the frame and motor are covered for life. This isn't exactly a great warranty, but you can't expect better coverage on a $799 treadmill.
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.