Ohiyo!

As regular readers of this site are aware, I go back and forth on my opinions of treadmills and ellipticals from Spirit Fitness. Dyaco, their owner and manufacturer, produces some great equipment for Spirit’s sister company, Sole Fitness, but the Spirit equipment has fallen short on quality of late.

That being said, their Esprit line of treadmills and ellipticals have been doing decently well because they are repainted versions of the high quality 2006 Sole equipment. In fact, my unrequested advice to Spirit would be to get rid of their current sub-par Spirit XE ellipticals and XT treadmills and go full on with the Esprit line. The Esprit brand just needs to be beefed up a bit to be able to compete with everything else out there.

That leads us in to today’s review of the Spirit Esprit ET4 Treadmill. The ET4 is a stripped down and repainted version of the 2006 Sole F63 treadmill. The treadmill itself is very solid but doesn’t completely stand up to what is being offered by current year equipment from top competitors like Sole, Bodycraft or Smooth. For instance, the lack of fans (something found on almost every treadmill at any price point these days) has to be one of the silliest oversights I’ve ever seen. The lesser warranties are a bit of a bummer as well. I’m guessing that is done to help try to bolster the value of the highly over-priced Spirit XT line of treadmills.

In regards to the Esprit ET4 treadmill itself, there are a few things I want to mention. First off, the ET4 assembles exactly the same way all of the other Sole and Spirit treadmills assemble. Assembly is fast and fairly trouble free.

Next, the motor in the Spirit Esprit ET4, while listed at 2.25 horsepower, seems to be the exact same motor listed as 2.5 horsepower in the Spirit XT175 treadmill and as 2.75 horsepower in the Spirit XT275 – and the same motor found in the Spirit Esprit ET6 treadmill as well (listed there as 2.5hp). This may be a case of creative labeling to bolster the value of the high priced units, but I wasn’t able to get the units all together at once to do a side-by-side comparison.

Finally, the Esprit ET4 seems to have the same frame found on all of the Spirit and Esprit treadmills, which is a decently solid frame for a treadmill priced at under $1000.

All-in-all, the Spirit Esprit ET4 Treadmill is a solid, sturdy treadmill buy at under $1000. On its own it is a good value, but when you compare it to treadmills in its price class from Sole, Smooth or Bodycraft, the Esprit ET4 comes up a bit short. For being better than average but not by much, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Spirit Esprit ET4 Treadmill 3.5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.

The Esprit ET-4 Treadmill by Spirit is a solid treadmill but doesn't quite stack up to the 2008 Sole F63 in features
The Esprit ET4 Treadmill gets a decent 3.5 gold buddahs for being a sturdy re-release of the 2006 Sole F63 but loses a few points as a stripped down version of the current model.

Esprit ET4 Treadmill Specifications
Motor:
2.25hp
Rollers: 2.5″
Max Speed: 10mph
Max Incline: 10″
Running Area: 20″ x 55″
Display: LCD
Programs: 9
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Unit Weight: 220lbs
Price: Under $1000

-The Treadmill Sensei
http://www.treadmillsensei.com