A company who continues to impress the Treadmill Sensei is Smooth Fitness out of New Jersey. Smooth tends to fly under the radar for most treadmill buyers because they are found almost exclusively online — although, their units are available at brick-and-mortar stores under the Evo brand name. The most important feature of a Smooth treadmill is quality vs cost: since Smooth is now in charge of manufacturing their own equipment they are able to sell higher end, higher quality treadmills and ellipticals at a much lower price. They sell factory direct so you aren’t forced to pay a middle man for the equipment, which gives a Smooth buyer the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on a unit of similar quality from another manufactuer selling through a retail distributor.
In layman’s terms what that means is: you’re paying under $2000 for a high class treadmill that a retailer would normally charge $3000 or more for. If you’re budget conscious like the Treadmill Sensei is (read that as “cheap”) then this is music to your ears.
The Smooth 9.25HR Treadmill is easily one of the Treadmill Sensei’s favorite non-folding treadmills right now. We had one come in to the DOJO recently for some maintenance — its owner hadn’t lubricated the unit’s deck or cleaned its motor since its purchase over a year ago. Luckily, even neglected as it was, the Smooth 9.25HR she brought in was still in tip top condition. I wouldn’t suggest abusing your machine but they do stand up exceptionally well and are long-life treadmills.
Weighing in at over 300 pounds and with a welded steel frame, the Smooth 9.25 HR treadmill more than stood up to my 8 days of 90 minutes-per-day testing. I could almost hear it laughing at me. An immediate way to judge a the sturdiness of a treadmill is to stand on it and then jump up and down — or, run full out on it. If the console doesn’t shake then you’ve got the makings of a solid machine. When I did this test on the 9.25HR treadmill here there was almost no console shake at all. Not to be beaten by a mere treadmill, I grabbed my partner, Mat who weighs in at about 330 pounds and stands near 6’1″ in heels, and made him run on the treadmill for 5 minutes. Even at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour the machine was strong and sturdy. Smooth has done an excellent job with the sheer stability of the 9.25HR Treadmill.
The Smooth 9.25HR’s motor was just as heavy-duty as its frame. The extra large 3 horsepower motor ran at very low RPMs (under 4000) and when we did a cold start with Mat standing on the deck, it pulled very low AMPs while still running smoothly. Mat normally starts his treadmill while standing on the side rails because most of them will lurch if he is standing on the belt. Not so with the Smooth 9.25HR. Smooth has done an excellent job in their commercial-quality motor choice. Factor in the best roller/bearing design in treadmills and you have a treadmill motor and deck that will last for 10 years or more with little to no problems (if properly maintained!).
The high number of programs (12), commercial style dot matrix monitor, high max speed of 12.5MPH and Incline of 15%, as well as the runway-sized 20″ x 62″ deck all make the Smooth 9.25HR treadmill one of the finest non-folding treadmills under $3000, especially with its budget conscious cost coming in at just under $2000.
For truly being a commercial grade treadmill at a home treadmill price, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Smooth 9.25HR Treadmill 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.
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Smooth 9.25 HR Treadmill Specifications
Max Speed: 12.5MPH
Max Incline: 15%
Display: Dot Matrix
Readouts: Speed, distance, time, calories burned, heart rate, 1/4-mile running track
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Running Area: 20″ x 62″
Max User Weight: 400lbs
Unit Weight: 304lbs
Price: Under $2000
-The Treadmill Sensei