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February 1, 2007

Times are tough in specialty fitness!

For our first blog we have are stating the obvious – times are tough for specialty fitness dealers!  The reason that this is happening is varied and only a fool would tell you for sure which factor is the most important for certain.  That being said here is what we think is happening and what this means for the industry and the consumer.  Weather – a warm January has certainly hurt dealers and manufacturers in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast.  Quality – the sub $1500 internet market and the sub $1000 mass market treadmills have dramatically improved their quality.  Economy – while not a bad economy, there is a lot of uncertainty about what the economy will be doing in the near future.  All of these factors, and a few others, have hit specialty dealer sales down 20% to 40% over same store sales the previous year.  If you are a dealer we hope you can ride this out.  If you are a consumer, this is a great time to get some great deals on treadmills and ellipticals from the specialty dealers!  It’s a buyers market and you will be able to get significant discounts if you demand discounts.

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February 16, 2007

New Product Alert!

It is not often that we at the Treadmill Doctor have to contradict ourselves, but this is the one time this year that it will happen.  In our current crop of ellipticals at the $2000 – $2500 price range we have several models listed as Best Buys and Runner’s Up.  If we had seen the True Performance Series FD 3.0 when we made the Best Buy list this year, it would have been at the top of the list hands-down.  This machine has a decent motion but what is really impressive is the quality that they have put into the mechanical design.  Similar to other ellipticals on the market with regards to the base concept, they have made changes that make this machine worthy of the True name.  Granted, True Fitness didn’t have this elliptical ready in time for the best buy awards so our oversight can be explained away, but we don’t like to be wrong.  So this blog entry is our way of correcting the situation.  The True Performance Series FD 3.0 is the best elliptical in the $2000 - $2500 price range – bar none. We also decided to include a link to the product page for True Fitness for this unit. This is becasue we have been receiving a lot or requests and people haven't been able to find the page on the True website. You cannot buy off of the True website, but they will direct you to one of their local dealers if you are interested.

Link to the True Performance Series FD 3.0 elliptical trainer

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February 26, 2007

The consumer's influence expands to Costco!

We have never seen this happen before so we were extremely surprised when this occurred, but Costco has brought back a model that it had already discontinued! In November we gave the Epic 425 MX sold at Costco, a best buy for its durability and value in the $500 to $1000 price range. Costco discontinued the model approximately a month later in a move that had been planned for some time. Apparently nobody thought to tell us. Now they have brought it back at even a better value than before. Costco.com will sell you the Epic 425 MX online at $799, and that includes free shipping to your home. If you are looking at this price range you will not find a better value. So in light of this momentous occasion of a company responding to consumer opinion we have included the link to our review of the Epic 425 MX below and also a link to the product page at Costco.com in case you are interested. Power to the people!

Link to Treadmill Doctor review of the Epic 425 MX

Link to Costco.com Epic 425 MX