The Spirit Z8 Treadmill Review – Not enough bang for the buck


The Treadmill Sensei has returned from a very relaxing weekend with the family. Ok, more like a semi-relaxing weekend spent at a party with more than 60 of my wife’s family. God, it’s good to be back to work. I was even glad to see Hikaru’s Fugly face gazing back at me as I entered the DOJO this morning…wow, who’d have thought I’d ever type that sentence?

As always, at these family gatherings, I have members of my beloved’s extended family either trying to get advice on what treadmill or elliptical they should buy…or, I’m having the less intelligent members of her family trying to rub in how they went against my advice and bought a new Proform treadmill from Sears. To those, I just chuckle quietly to myself and wait for the repair calls to come in.

This week I must confess to some of my advice being taken and it not having been the best…at least, not how it was followed. My wife’s cousin, based on what he’d read here on the Treadmill Sensei, went out and purchased a Spirit Treadmill. “Great,” you say. “The Treadmill Sensei is continuing telling us how fantastic the Spirit treadmills are, so his cousin-in-law made out. Yay!”

Well, in this case, we’ve got a little bit of a problem. You see, the aforementioned cousin-in-law went out and purchased the little brother of the Spirit Z88: he bought the Spirit Z8 treadmill. Unfortunately, the Spirit Z8 just doesn’t quite live up to the reputation of it’s bigger brother.

I want to start off by saying the Spirit Z8 treadmill is by no means a bad or poorly made piece of equipment. Not at all. It is a well constructed and sturdy a treadmill. The problem is that it just doesn’t quite stack up, features-wise, to everything else at its price point.

You see, at an average price of $999, the Spirit Z8 treadmill only comes with a 2 horsepower motor…and, while it is a well made, cool running 2 horsepower motor, the Spirit Z8 comes up lacking in a world of the Ironman 320t Treadmill with a 2.5 horsepower motor, the Horizon T63 with a 2.25 horsepower motor, the Fitnex T30 with a 2.2 or even the Ironman 220t with a 2.25. For almost a thousand dollars, a customer should expect a larger motor for his money.

Moving on to the side of the deck, the Spirit z8 treadmill comes up short here to with a tiny 50″x18″ deck. This is just too small of a running surface (I’d call it a walking surface) for anything over about $599. It’s not impressive at all.

Let’s go over some of the other features of the Spirit Z8 treadmill: a 275 pound max capacity comes up short in an arena where 325-350 is standard; the 2.5″ rollers are average for this price point, as are the 5 programs. The lack of wireless heartrate monitoring is a bit of a disappoint.

On the plus side, the unit does have a great Spirit warranty coming in at 5 years for parts and 1 year for labor.

All in all, the Spirit Z8 isn’t bad, it’s just not really all that great. For trying to scrape by using Spirit’s good name, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Spirit Z8 treadmill 2.5 golden buddahs out of 5.

THe Spirit Z8 gets 2.5 gold buddahs out of 5
The Z8 Treadmill from Spirit comes up average with a 2.5 out of 5.

Find out more about the Spirit Z8 Treadmill and get the lowest price online.

Spirit Z8 Treadmill Specifications
Motor: 2.0 HP
Max Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
Folding: Yes
Max Speed: 10 MPH
Max Incline: 11%
Heart Rate Monitoring: Pulse grip
Heart Rate Control: No
Programs: 5
Display Type: LCD
Roller Size: 2.5″
Deck Thickness: 1″
Running Area: 18″ x 50″

-The Treadmill Sensei

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