The Treadmill Sensei has a Bowflex-sized headache again today, which interestingly enough isn’t from Bowflex related equipment. You see, over the weekend we took in 8 Proform treadmill repair jobs here at the DOJO. The jobs came from a bunch of unrelated people who all happened to breakdown at the same time. The reason this is a headache for me is because I am generally the one in charge of having to deal with Icon’s “customer/tech service” — I put that phrase in quotes because I don’t think the works “customer service” should ever be used together with the word ICON or PROFORM. It’s an oxymoron. Actually, you could leave the “oxy” portion of that word off and it would still fit them quite nicely.
To counteract the headache I thought I’d do a review of something quite a bit higher quality than a Proform treadmill…and, if you want quality, one of the names standing out this coming season is Lamar Fitness (or “Lamar Health, Fitness and Sports” as they like to be known…me? I think the name is way too long). To tell the truth, I wrote the notes for this review when a Lamar L1200 Treadmill came in to the DOJO about 2 months ago. Since we had an unusually busy summer this is my first chance to get back and do a full write up on the L1200 Treadmill, one of my top rated choices for a best buy treadmill under $1700.
The main reason I am a fan of Lamar equipment in general, and the Lamar L1200 Treadmill in specific, can be summed in three words: high quality components. Where a lot of mid-range manufacturers will overload their treadmills with plastic, Lamar goes out of its way to produce quality by using 14 gauge steel in the manufacture of their L1200 Treadmill. Most manufacturers are using 16 or lower gauge steel! The only other treadmills in the price range which can compete with the Lamar L1200 treadmill’s solid design and sturdy build are by BodyCraft and Quantum. Nothing else comes even close.
To help me run the Lamar 1200 through its treadmill paces, I had Hikaru “volunteer” to do a little running on it…well, to do a LOT of running on it. Over a 2 week period I had Hikaru do 2 workouts a day — a running workout in the morning for 20 minutes and then a walking one in the after noon for 45 minutes. The reason for doing dual workouts was to test two specific items: the stability of the unit with the running workout and the power and durability of the motor and drive system with the walking workout. You see, walking puts a lot more stress on a motor than a run does because your body weight is in almost constant contact with the belt, which can slow it down and put considerable strain on motor performance.
After 2 weeks we found the Lamar L1200 Treadmill performed with flying colors. Running in burst of 6-7 miles per hour, jumping up and down and general harsh treatment couldn’t weaken the L1200’s frame. In addition to that, neither long, slow steps or doing a cold start with Hikaru on the treadmill belt was a problem for the Lamar L1200’s motor. It started well and ran consistantly for the entire time. Lamar made an excellent choice when they chose the 2.5 horsepower motor for the L1200 treadmill.
From there the additional great features on the L1200 treadmill were just gravy. It has a monstrous 20″x60″ running area which is great for its price range — great for any price range — 8 workout programs, heart rate monitoring and control. and heft 225 pound unit weight, 10 mile per hour top speed and a 12% maximum incline.
If I had to nitpick about this unit, I would have wished for a higher top speed and incline, but that is such a stretch for a complaint it is barely worth mentioning. The Lamar L1200 Treadmill is a near perfect choice for the causal walker or the serious runner both. For being a best buy treadmill for under $2000, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Lamar L 1200 Treadmill 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.
Another top rated treadmill from a solid company, the L1200 Treadmill gets 4.5 gold buddahs out of 5.
Lamar L 1200 Treadmill Specifications
Running Area: 20″ x 60″
Max Speed: 10 MPH
Max Incline: 12%
Readouts: Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Incline, Pulse
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Unit Weight: 225lbs
Price: Under $1700
-The Treadmill Sensei