Life Fitness F3 Folding Review

Reviewed by

Features

7/10

Tech Specs

7/10

Build Quailty

8/10

Treadmill Review

Life Fitness manufactures treadmills for both commercial purposes and for home users, providing quality treadmills to all their users. The F3 folding treadmill is a good example of the Life Fitness line.

It is a tough machine with a heavy duty metal frame. It is one of the few folding models that Life Fitness produces. However, it does lack some of the features we’ve come to expect from the more expensive models of treadmills. Overall, we do like the F3 but it may only suit a specific group of users who don’t care about extra features.  

Price

Many of the treadmill manufacturers who make health club equipment allow buyers to select the console that comes with their treadmill. Depending on which console you choose and which warranty option you select when purchasing the F3, the price will range from $2,599 - $3,548.

Go Console: $2,599 (base warranty)

Track Connect Console: $3,049 (base warranty)

The F3 Is Built For Users who:

  • Are frequent treadmill users - The F3 was built to handle high usage and will hold up under frequent use.
  • Want a no-frills treadmill - While the F3 can be customized with the choice of console, the F3 still lacks several of the extras that other expensive treadmills are equipped with.
  • Need a high weight capacity machine - The F3 can accommodate a user who weighs up to 350 lbs, which is 50 lbs more than most home treadmills.  


Why The F3 earned

  • Overall commercial quality - As Life Fitness is a producer of commercial gym equipment as well as home gym equipment, the F3 has clearly been built along similar, commercial-quality lines.
  • Fewer features than expected - The F3 has fewer features than we have come to expect from treadmills in its price range, lacking fans, speakers, limited preprogrammed workout programs, small incline range, and more.
  • Fairly expensive for a home treadmill - Just the base model treadmill and basic console cost over $2,500. That is a steep price for those looking for a home treadmill, especially considering that the F3 does not have as many features as more expensive treadmills/

Main Specs - 7/10



Specs “Quick Review”:

  • Motor Size: 3.0 CHP
  • Running Area: 20” x 55”
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Folding: Yes
  • Footprint In Use (W, L, H): 34.5” x 78.5” x 58.5”
  • Incline Range: 0% to 12%
  • Max Speed: 10 MPH
  • Treadmill Best For: Walkers, Joggers
  • Electrical Requirements: 120v


Motor Size - The motor in the F3 is a 3.0 CHP. Life Fitness also measures the horsepower of their treadmills, which the peak performance of the F3 is 6 HP.

Running Area - The running area of the F3 measures only 20” by 55”, which is short for a treadmill in this price range. However, this sometimes happens with health club treadmill are constructed for the home gym market, like with the Matrix TF30 and its running area of 20” by 55”.

Weight Capacity - Many good treadmills can only accommodate users who weigh up to 300 lbs. But the F3 can hold a user who weighs up to 350 lbs.

Folding  - The F3 is one of the few Life Fitness treadmills that can fold. It has a hydraulic system to help fold up the deck of the F3 more easily and also release the deck to lower on its own.

Space / Footprint -  A fairly compact but heavy treadmill, the F3 measures 34.5” wide, 78.5” long, 58.5” high.

Max Speed - The F3 max speed is 10 MPH. The standard for treadmills in this price range is 12 MPH, so the F3 is a bit lacking in this respect.  

Incline - This treadmill has an incline range of 0% to 12% incline. Other treadmills in this price range tend to be able to incline to 15% and many decline to -6%. In this area especially it is clear that the F3 isn’t quite up to the high standard that should be expected for its price.

Features - 7/10



Features “Quick Review”
  • Display: 2 console options
  • PreInstalled Workout Apps: 12 (Go console), 16 (Track Connect console)
  • Speakers: No
  • Fans: No
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Handlebar, wireless
  • USB port: Yes (Track Connect only)
  • Audio Jack: No
  • Water bottle cubbies: Yes
  • Device holder: Yes




Workout Apps - Depending on which console is chosen, there are a different amount of workout programs available.

The Go console has 12 workout programs and the ability to hold 2 custom workouts. It will save 2 user profiles.  

The Track Connect has 16 workout programs and can contain 12 custom workout programs. It will save 4 user profiles.

Display - The display of the F3 is also dependent on which console is chosen. They do have some similarities such as an energy saver button to help cut down on the treadmill’s energy drain when not in use.

The Go console is the basic console display option. It has an LCD backlit, blue display with white lettering. There are plastic buttons to help you navigate the treadmill functions.

The Track Connect console display can do quite a bit more than the Go console. It has a black, backlit display with white lettering and the navigation controls are all of one piece with the console. This console is Bluetooth-enabled and can sync with devices like Jawbone, RunSocial, and FitBit. There is a USB port on this console if you do not have a Bluetooth-enabled device so you can download you custom workout programs onto a USB drive and plug it directly into the console.

Speakers - There are no speakers on either console.

Fans - Like many treadmills with interchangeable consoles, the F3 has no fans.

Heart Rate Monitoring - There are contact handlebar grips for heart rate monitoring on the F3 as well as a wireless heart rate monitoring telemetry system.

Other Tech Features
  • Create custom workouts online and import to console
  • Device holder
  • Smartphone/tablet holder


Build Quality - 8/10



F3 Folding Review: Build Quality

  • Warranties - 3 warranty options
  • Belt - 2-ply
  • Cushioning - FlexDeck
  • Customer Support - Phone, email
  • Return Policy - 30-day money-back return


We were very impressed with the build quality of the F3. Its heavy-duty metal frame gives the F3 a sturdy solidity which should help the treadmill last through years of heavy usage.   

The shock absorbing springs, Life Fitness patented LifeSpring shock absorbers, provide great flexibility to the deck of the treadmill. Life Fitness claims that their shock absorbers can reduce joint and knee stress by 30%. While we do not have a way to measure this claim, our testers did say that the F3 was a very comfortable treadmill to use.

There are 3 warranty options available for the F3. They all have a lifetime warranty on the frame and the LifeSpring shock absorbers, as well as a 10-year warranty on the drive motor. From the base warranty, the warranties vary:

  • Standard (no extra cost) - 5-year parts, 3-year console, and 1-year warranty
  • 3 Year Premium Extended Protection ($199) - 5-year parts, 3-year console, and 3-year warranty
  • 5 Year Premium Extended Protection ($499) - 5-year parts, 5-year console, and 5-year warranty   


There is a steep restocking fee if you want to return the F3. Life Fitness requires a 25% restocking fee, or $500 maximum if you return the F3 within the 30-day trial period. Should you receive a defective treadmill, Life Fitness will repair the machine at no cost to you.  

Bottom Line Review Of The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill

We liked a lot of things on the F3 but there are drawbacks. It does not have much in the way of entertainment options, it has a smaller motor than other treadmills in its price range, no fans, no speakers, and a small incline range for its price. On top of it all, the F3 is an expensive treadmill with less of the features we’ve come to expect from higher priced treadmills.

On the other hand, the lack of these features may not matter to some users. The F3 is a very sturdy machine with the ability to upload your own custom programs to the treadmill to keep things fresh. The warranty isn’t very expansive but as the F3 is a durable machine, we aren’t sure the shorter warranty is much of a problem.

So, if you want a straightforward treadmill without many of the frills that come with other treadmills, then you may want to consider the F3.

Best Place To Buy The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill

To make sure you receive the latest treadmill model and the best customer service, we recommend you buy the F3 directly from the Life Fitness website.  
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