Every so often the Treadmill Sensei gets to take a look at a truly spectacular piece of fitness equipment here at the DOJO. That was the case about a month ago when a box labeled as the “Fuel FT94 Treadmill” was dropped off here at our warehouse doors. I’ve already talked a little bit about their great ellipticals, and due to high reader demand we decided to follow up and check out their two brand new treadmills.
I have to say that I was blown away by what we saw during our tests of the Fuel FT94 treadmill, especially considering the under $700 price. The test we ran were the standard, hardcore Treadmill Sensei tests – 12 days of running and walking workouts by two people (myself and my parter who actually exceeded the weight limit of the FT94) over the course of a two week period. The workouts were between 15 and 45 minutes in length and consisted of walking, jogging and light running by both of us. Keep in mind, we don’t have any of the magical testing machines that other review sites claim to use — it is just a couple of guys working out exactly the same way you, our loyal readers, will be using the machines. Although, to tell the truth, we’re probably a bit rougher on the treadmills than the average user is going to be.
Out of the box, the Fuel FT94 treadmill was about average in ease of assembly. Figure on it taking around 30-45 minutes to put together. The unit we received had one hole in the console that was a bit hard to get lined up. At first we thought it was mis-drilled but we quickly discovered it was a little plastic burr that hadn’t been cleaned out. As with all treadmills, putting the Fuel FT94 together is easier with a second set of hands helping out.
For those of you who are not familiar, the Fuel equipment is made at the same factory that the best buy award winning Sole treadmills and ellipticals are manufactured. In fact, the Fuel FT94 seems to be very similar in components to the Sole F63 treadmill. The only real difference seems to be in electronics and warranty — the 2.25hp motor on the Fuel FT94 appears to be almost identical (if not the same) as the Sole F63.
The Fuel FT94 treadmill shares all the great features found in the higher priced Sole treadmills, including heavy duty frame, easy-assist folding, MP3 speakers, shock absorption system and hand grip heart rate monitoring. A quick glance “under the hood” seems to reveal the same “off the shelf” components that was found in the majority of the old Spirit, Sole and Esprit treadmills. The Fuel FT94 appears to be a case of putting a new name on an older unit. The only real difference between the Sole F63, Esprit or Spirit treadmills and the Fuel FT94 is in the shorter parts warranty on the FT94.
If you are in the market for a high quality home treadmill but don’t want to spend the $1000-$1299 it normally costs, check out the Fuel FT94 for one of the best value treadmills for your money. Also, check out the Fuel FT96 for some great upgrades to the awesome Fuel FT94. The Treadmill Sensei gives the Fuel FT94 5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs for being the best bang for your buck under $1300.
The Fuel FT94 treadmill is one of the most stable treadmills available for under $700 and out-performs a lot of treadmills priced at $1000 or more!
Fuel FT94 Treadmill Specifications
Motor: 2.25 hp
Speed: 10 mph
Unit Weight: 220 lbs.
Max User Weight: 270 lbs.
Running Surface: 20″ X 55″
Belt: 2 ply
Heart Rate Control: No
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Standard Programs: 5
User Defined Programs: 2
Price: Under $700
-The Treadmill Sensei