From the depths of the DOJO’s darkness the Treadmill Sensei returns to extoll his wisdom upon the uneducated masses. Tonight I want to return to one of my favorite “whipping boys,” Proform and its parent company Icon Fitness. I have to admit to having a bit of a love-hate relationship with the equipment Icon puts out. As some one who is truly passionate about quality fitness equipment, I hate them for the incredibly shoddy equipment they sell. On the other hand, as a service tech who runs a booming repair business I love them for making shoddy equipment which I can then turn around and charge people lots of money to continually fix. If I were a less moral person then I would be whole heartedly recommending their product to my readers in hopes of drumming up more business for myself. Unfortunately, and much to my wife’s dismay, I just can’t do it.
Which brings us to this week’s review victim, the Proform XP 650 E treadmill…or, as I like to call it, yet another craptastic treadmill from the world leader in doody. I do apologize for my use of the word “doody” in a sentence.
The first thing I want to talk about in regards to the Proform 650e treadmill is the borderline falso advertising Proform does with the unit. When you take a quick glance at the motor specs for the 650e you see a fantastic sounding 2.8 thp motor — in fact, a lot of lazier treadmill dealers just list it as a 2.8 HP motor, leaving out that rather mysterious “t” in their listings. Now, we’ve all heard of continuous horsepower (sometimes called CHP), but what the heck does THP mean? Well, the THP in the Proform XP 650 e (whew, that’s a long name for a treadmill!) specifications means PEAK horsepower.
I’d like to say I don’t know why Proform phrased it that way, but I do. They want to fool buyers in to thinking they are getting a much more powerful and reliable motor than they really are. You see, the true rating of the 2.8 THP motor on the 650e is about 1.25 continuous duty horsepower! You read that correctly: 1.25 horsepower! In other words, Proform is trying to pawn off on its unknowing customers a treadmill with a motor so weak it doesn’t really even qualify for walking on. Now, let the Sensei be bold for a moment. If you’re going to throw away $899 on a treadmill you can’t even walk on, just send a check to the old Sensei and he’ll send you a non-working treadmill from the graveyard out behind the DOJO. Hell, I’ll even throw in a broken Tony Little Gazelle for free!
If you want to know how weak a Proform 650e treadmill’s motor is, your Sensei decided to do a bit of a test on one we’ve had in the warehouse for a few months now. The 650e here is about a year old and was purchased by one of our customers at Sears back at the end of 2005. After about 6 months of disuse, the customer had us take the unit away when they ordered a Horizon T63 to replace it.
Anyway, I am not a large man…I stand about 5’7″ when I’m wearing my “tall shoes,” and weight between 160 and 165 pounds (depending on what Mrs. Sensei made me for lunch that day). I turned the 650e treadmill on, selected on of the 8 workout programs it comes with and got to jogging…well, I call it jogging but Hikaru calls it my old man power walking. Do you know what happened? Well, after about 2 minutes the belt started slipping pretty majorly and the motor itself started to make a grating noise. My “old man power walking” was obviously too much for for the 2.8 THP MachZ motor Proform installed in the treadmill. Figuring I was much too buff to be jogging on the treadmill, I switched to a medium pace walk — about 2.5 miles per hour. I wasn’t too surprised to find the belt still slipping every few seconds. That’s right, even an average walk caused the motor to become overworked!
I have to say that after my “workout” I did wish I owned a gun so I could shoot the Proform 650e and put the poor thing out of its misery. For the $899 price you can do much better than the piece of junk Proform has released in the form of the XP 650e Treadmill. And don’t even get me started on the insulting 90 day warranty. To misquote a great man “these are not the treadmills you are looking for.”
For providing more suction than a Hoover, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Proform 650e Treadmill 1 Golden Buddah out of 5.
XP 650e Treadmill? Most expensive paperweight ever!
Compare the Proform 650e Treadmill.
Proform 650e Treadmill Specifications
Horsepower: 1.25 HP
Max Weight: 300 lbs.
Max Speed: 10 MPH
Max Incline: 10%
Running Area: 19″ x 55″
-The Treadmill Sensei