Reader Mailbag: Life Fitness vs Star Trac


I’m trying to catch up on some of these reader questions today. This time we have a gym owner wanting to know about the difference between Life Fitness and Star Trac fitness equipment. Let’s see if we can help him out.

Sensei –
I read your online reviews and the are very detailed.

I manage a large community center and I was interested in your thoughts of Star Trac equipment quality vs. Life Fitness. We are about to make a large purchase of equipment and I have hear negative comments on Star Trac that seem off base considering your review.

Granted, we are a commercial user vs. the home buyer, but can you tell me which of the two are better in terms of long term maintenance? Your comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you -Sean


Thanks for the note and I’m glad you like the site. It’s strange that you’re hearing negative word about Star Trac. From my experience — and, keep in mind, the DOJO does mainly commercial installations at gyms, apartment complexes and the like — Star Trac and Life Fitness are the two main companies when it comes to commercial fitness equipment right now (sure, Precor deals with great ellipticals, but the rest of their equipment isn’t quite as sterling). However, people do fall in to camps when it comes to opinions on the two brands — they love one but hate the other and nothing will change their minds.

My preference is Star Trac just because I think their designs are a bit more modern but that’s a mainly aesthetic preference. If pressed, I’d say the new Star Trac units are a bit better built and designed, and are a little more maintenance free (of course, nothing that runs for 100+ hours a week will be completely maintenance free!).

Truthfully, your gym will do fine with either product. They are both very high quality and have great customer service when you need it. New units from either camp will last you a long time with the proper maintenance. A treadmill from either company should last around 7 years or so before you might want to consider a replacement. You’re basically comparing a Mercedes to a BMW.

Thanks again and take care!

-The Treadmill Sensei

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