Yesterday was a very long day at the DOJO for the Treadmill Sensei and I do apologize for the lack of a review. We had a batch of Bowflex Treadclimbers come in from a local gym that needed a ton of work. Those things are easily one of the poorest implemented fitness products I’ve seen in a long time. However, my dislike of low quality fitness equipment from Nautilus is a story for another today because today we are going to look at one of the best treadmill manufacturers on the block, Star Trac.
Star Trac is one of the older treadmill manufacturers around, and they have been producing high quality, commercial equipment since the mid seventies. Although they’ve been around for 30+ years now, they’ve really come in to prominence within the last 4-5 years as they (along with Matrix) have started to nudge Life Fitness and Precor out of the top spots in a lot of fitness facilities and gyms. Their equipment, especially their treadmills, is easily at the top of everyone’s list.
The unit I enjoy the most in the Star Trac line is the Star Trac Pro Treadmill. If the Matrix T5X is a sporty Lexus Treadmill, then the Star Trac Pro Treadmill is a beefy BMW four-door sedan. The Pro treadmills are big, beef and loaded to the brim with workout goodness.
The first thing I want to talk about is the motor, a 5 horsepower beast that will probably outlast its owner. In the 10+ years I’ve been working on Star Trac treadmills, I have never had one come in to the repair shop with a bad motor or a motor that’s been worn out from normal use. Any that do come in with motor issues are always from misuse or improper care. The motors used in the Star Trac Pro treadmill are some of the best built and designed. They’re big (did I mention 5 HP?), very low RPMs but high power, and they run cool. Star Trac built their motor for a great work out and a long life. You’ll never feel speed slippage on a properly cared for Star Trac Pro.
There are two reasons why a lot of atheletes do their training on the Star Trac Pro Treadmill (and its bigger brother, the Star Trac Elite Treadmill): stability and running surface. The Star Trac Pro Treadmill comes with a 62×20 running area, one of the longest you can get without moving up to an ultra highend Fitnex Specialty Treadmill (you know, the ones that go up to 25 miles per hour and a 25 degree incline). If you’re training for a marathon and need to do a high intensity, long running, variable work out, then you’ll also be very happy with the stability of the machine. The Star Trac Pro Treadmill will not move, slide or shake during even the most intense of workouts. They weight approximately 350 pounds and every bit of the Pro Treadmill’s aluminium frame is rock steady. Even the side runners are solid for standing on when you need to start or stop a routine quickly. From my experience the Star Trac Treadmills are some of the sturdiest short of one of the Noramco Super Tread Treadmills.
Some of the other features on the Star Trac Pro Treadmill are: a reversible 1 inch deck which does not require waxing; huge 3 inch rollers; a max 15 degree incline; top speed of 12.5 miles per hour, starting at .5 and moving up in .1 increments; integration with Palm OS devices; two personal fansl; 9 workout programs; a great neoprene rubber based belt; and, my favorite, is the warranty which is a fantastic 5 years on the parts and 5 years on the labor. For gym owners and home users alike, that is a great plus. When you’re buying the best, you expect the best.
The only downside for a lot of home buyers is going to be the price…but, remember, you’re buying a BMW so expect to pay for it. Prices on the Star Trac Pro Treadmills start at around $5500 and go up from there. On the plus side, you can generally get free delivery if you order these online.
The final word on the Star Trac Pro Treadmill is: Wow. For putting out a treadmill that doesn’t give the Sensei a headache, I give the Star Trac Pro Treadmill 5 gold buddahs out of 5.
Thumbs up from the Sensei for the Star Trac Pro!
Star Trac Pro Treadmill Specifications
Horsepower: 5.0 HP
Max Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.
Reversible Deck: Yes
Maximum Speed: 12.5 MPH
Maximum Incline: 15%
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes, pulse grip and wireless
Programs: 9 incliuding dynamic heart rate control, fitness test, and firefighter test
Special Features: Personal cooling fans, dedicated heart rate display, safety lockout control, entertainment ready, and FitLinxx certified
Roller Size: 3″
Running Area: 20″ x 62″