Reader Mailbag: Sole F80 Treadmill vs Bodycraft TR1120/TR1140 Treadmills


As much as the Treadmill Sensei dislikes these questions, we get enough of them from you, my loyal readers, that they just have to be answered. Today we have Leslie asking us which treadmill is better for her situation, the Sole F80 or the Bodycraft TR1120/TR1140. Obviously, I can’t tell anyone what a “better” treadmill is, but I can give you my opinion on the matter.

Let’s see what Leslie to say…take it away, Leslie!

Dear Sensei,

I was directed to your website for the first time tonight (and loved it!). My husband and I want to purchase a treadmill for both walking and running (my husband, in particular, plans to run on it a lot). He is 5’10” or 5’11”, 175 lbs. and I am 5’4”, 135 lbs. I have had 3 knee surgeries, and have no restrictions with regard to my activity, but want to make sure I am always supporting my knees as much as possible when doing any kind of exercise.

You rated the Sole F80, Bodycraft TR1120 and TR1140 treadmills very highly. We obviously like the price of the TR1120 best, but the Bodycraft website lists this as a ‘walking treadmill’. We can afford the SoleF80 or the TR1140 if necessary, but don’t want to spend more money if we don’t need to.

What is your opinion when comparing these machines for running? We obviously don’t want to wear out a machine by running on it if it’s not made for that use. Thanks Sensei! -Leslie


Thanks for your note and your question. To start off with, have you considered an elliptical trainer over a treadmill? With your knee surgeries the nearly zero impact workouts of an elliptical might be beneficial to your physical health. Not that a treadmill is a bad thing, but any sort of standard running (on the ground or on a treadmill) will cause some stress on your knees. Just a thought I wanted to make sure to toss out to you.

In regards to the Bodycraft TR1120, the machine is a fantastic one for the price. At under $1000 it gives its owners an incredible stable and durable treadmill, and one that will out perform any other treadmill in its class. Bodycraft has done an excellent job in the TR1120 treadmill’s design. That being said, it is most definitely a walking/jogging/light running treadmill…although, for someone your size it would probably stand up very well to running. Your husband might be a bit too large for hardcore running workouts, but he’d be fine to jog on the thing.

For more intense running type workouts then moving up in class to the Sole F80 or Bodycraft TR1140 is something definitely looking in to. Also, the BodyCraft TR1160 Treadmill has had a bit of a price drop on and you can now find it for almost the same price of the TR1140, which gives you a larger running area, or the Sole F80 looks like it has dropped down to $1299 on AMazon.

To give you my opinion on what the best buy is, I’d actually recommend another option altogether. Probably the best treadmill deal going right now is for the Spirit Fitness Z500 Treadmill on Amazon. This is a closeout model and is the exact same unit as the best buy award winning Sole F83 Treadmill from 2007 – the only difference between the two units is the paint job. They both came out of the same factory and used the same off-the-shelf parts. For $1299 you’re getting a step up from the Sole F80 and a unit that is very comparable to the Bodycraft TR1140/TR1160 for a $200+ savings.

Right now, anyone looking to purchase a treadmill in the $1000-$2000 price range who isn’t looking at either the Spirit Z500 Treadmill or BodyCraft TR1160 Treadmill is really just throwing money away. I have no clue how long the sale is going to last or how many of these sale units Amazon has, but jump over and take a look. This is a great chance to save $200-$500 on some very high end treadmills.

That’s it from this end, I’ll be back tomorrow with more treadmill wisdom from the DOJO.

-The Treadmill Sensei

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