Whenever a new Consumer Reports magazine comes out with a feature on treadmills or ellipticals, the members here at the DOJO gather around for a lot of good laughs at what the “experts” have to say. As you may or may not know, our friends at CR put out another magazine with treadmill reviews this past February. And boy did it cause some laughs.
One of the “top rated” treadmills in particular was worth a good chuckle: the Schwinn 820p treadmill from Nautilus. I’m not completely sure what the reviewers were smoking but I think they need to share it with the rest of us.
If Nautilus had priced the Schwinn 820p at about $699 it would have been an excellent buy, but at the $1000 or more the treadmill sells for, the unit is simply outclassed by the opposition.
The Schwinn 820p Treadmill comes with a sorely underpowered 2 horsepower motor. It’s not a bad motor, it just isn’t quite up to what the top treadmills in its class are offering. When other brands are offering 2.2 or beefy 2.5 hp motors, it’s hard to step down to the Schwinn 820p treadmill’s smaller 2 horsepower one.
Another pretty significant problem with the Schwinn 820p treadmill is the stability. Unfortunately, poor design choices have taken what are normally thick support beams towards the front of the machine and replaced them with much thinner ones further back. What this does is take away from the sturdiness of the front of the machine. As you work out you’re going to be throwing your weight forward and larger owners will definitely be uncomfortable by the lack of support in the machine…even smaller owners who perform harder workouts will have problems. When most other $1000 treadmills have 300+ weight capacities the Schwinn 820p treadmill feels a little flimsy at a max capacity of 275 pounds.
Following the stability problem, the Schwinn 820 treadmill has a lot of plastic in it and overall the machine suffers from lower quality parts. Although most fitness equipment is produced overseas the Schwinn 820p is a victim of poor production standards.
If I was forced to find something nice to say about the Schwinn 820p treadmill the only things I could come up with would be: decent sized rollers on the deck. That and some good marketing people.
Hopefully both CR and Schwinn will get their acts together next year. This time around, however, the Treadmill Sensei can only give the 820p Treadmill by Schwinn 2 Golden Buddahs out of 5…and he thinks that’s being generous.
The Treadmill Sensei says, “These are not the treadmills you are looking for.”
Schwinn 820P Treadmill Specifications
Horsepower: 2.0 HP
Maximum Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
Reversible Deck: Yes
Maximum Speed: 10 mph
Maximum Incline: 15%
Heart Rate Monitoring: Polar wireless strap included & pulse grip
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Programs: 5 preset, 2 custom
Display Type: LED
Display Readouts: Time, speed, distance, grade and calories.
Roller Size: 2.5″/6.4 cm
Frame Warranty: 30 years
Motor Warranty: 30 years
Electronics Warranty: 2 years
Parts Warranty: 2 years
Labor Warranty: 1 year
-The Treadmill Sensei