Wow, I have to say that I’ve been surprised by the sheer amount of email we’re received here at the DOJO asking for a review of the Fuel FT96 Treadmill.
We had a Fuel FT96 (or T96) treadmill here in the DOJO a while back and I had put together notes for a review, but being swamped like we were I never got around to finishing it. Now that things are a bit calmer here I am able to get it done for all of you looking for more information on the big brother of the Fuel FT94 treadmill.
Like the aforementioned FT94, the Fuel FT96 is made by the same factory as the Sole Fitness treadmills and has a lot of the same higher quality components. Fuel is basically just a more budget conscious line of treadmills and ellipticals from Sole and is sold exclusively through Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Popping the box open and removing the Fuel FT96 gave us our first glimpse at the treadmill — a treadmill which looks surprisingly like the Sole F83 treadmill, but with a smaller 2.5 horsepower motor similar to the one found in the current Sole F63 or the 2007 Sole F80. A very solid motor, especially for a treadmill priced under $900. Assembly of the Fuel Ft96 was, again, very similar to the Sole treadmills and took us under 20 minutes to get together. If you’ve got a second pair of hands I can’t imagine it taking more than 30 minutes for most people to get ready to use.
The outstanding features of the Fuel FT96 include a very solid frame, huge 20″ x 58″ running area (far larger and more stable than anything else in the under $1000 price range), the large, cool running 2.5 horsepower motor, an equally large incline motor providing 12% incline to the treadmill, heart rate monitoring, heart rate control programs and a monster 325 pound maximum user weight. Fuel has done a great job in putting together a $1500+ treadmill and making it available to consumers for under $900.
If I had to nitpick about the unit it would come in the form of the treadmill’s belt. The Fuel FT96 comes with a pretty average belt for a budget treadmill — nothing terrible, but it would have been nice to see a more expensive belt with this fantastic unit. Of course the belt still matches up nicely with any other treadbelt on a unit under $1200.
If you are in need of an absolute best buy treadmill for under $1000 or want a budget treadmill with a larger deck for running workouts then the Fuel FT96 treadmill is a must to check out. For being a spectacular budget treadmill and a best buy contender for 2008/2008, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Fuel FT96 Treadmill 5 out of 5 golden buddahs.
A solid treadmill with a large motor and solid frame, the Fuel FT96 gets a perfect score from the Treadmill Sensei.
Fuel T96 Treadmill Specifications
Running Area: 20″ x 58″
Max Speed: 10mph
Max Incline: 12%
Heart Rate Contol: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Max User WEight: 325lbs
Unit Weight: 200lbs
Price: Under $900
-The Treadmill Sensei