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Best under $1000 Treadmill for 2017?: LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Review

If you are in the market for a good all round treadmill then the LifeSpan TR1200i, reviewed here, should really be near the top of your list. This treadmill has won countless best buy awards over the years, we decide to take a look ourselves.  Since it was face lifted in late 2015 has it has been given a new lease of life to make sure it stays relevant for runners today!

The hardest thing when choosing a treadmill is deciding if that investment, about $1000, is really going to turn into health and fitness dividends.  If this is a worry to you, look at the brand.  LifeSpan are consistently one of the highest rated brands on the market.  There is no evidence of ‘cutting corners’ to hit a price point.  Their customer service is second to none, and their machines give years of service.

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What exactly is the Lifespan TR1200i Treadmill, and what are its benefits?

Tr1200i Motor

As always we start at the heart of the machine.  The motor will, more than other components, determine the quality of the machine.  It also governs the speed and lifespan of the unit. The TR1200i is equipped with a reasonably powerful 2.5CHP motor. This is really the bare minimum you can have for a “running” machine.  This will power you upto 11mph, which is just shy of the top speeds achievable by its bigger brother, the TR3000i Treadmill.  However you will be paying a further $500 for that power.

Running Surface Size

With a generous 20″ x 56″ running surface this Treadmill should be comfortable for users upto about 6′ tall.  Any taller and you may have difficulty keeping a long stride length within the confines of the bed. To keep things comfortable, the LifeSpan TR1200i is equipped with a good suspension system.  It comprises 6 suspension units that will absorb the impact of your feet at full speed.  This will help to minimise injury and joint pain. Further cushioning is provided by the 3/4″ thick running platform, covered in a 2 ply belt. In common with all LifeSpan treadmills this will require a small amount of regular maintenance to keep it in top condition.  This consists of applying a small quantity of Silicon  Lubricant under the belt.  This can be a fiddly job, as the rollers will need to be re-tensioned after.  Most users are able to carry out the job themselves in an hour or so.

Speed and Incline Settings

With its top speed of 11 mph this should be able to push users of most abilities.  If you need a little more effort then there is the choice to change the angle of the treadmill.  On the TR1200i the angle can be adjusted from 0 to 15 degrees via buttons on the control pad.  This is automatic and can be controlled manually or via one of the built in programmes.

Console

This is where most of the change is obvious.  The new display is more modern and easy to use.  Its well designed to keep you on track there is a clear and easy to read console fitted to the treadmill.  I really like the clear no fuss layout.  With its blue LED lights it is easy to look at, even if you are running in a darkened room. The keys have a premium soft touch feel, and gives access to a number of functions:  time, calories, distance, steps, heart rate, speed, and incline level Heart rate is monitored via hand holds on the machine, or via a chest strap.  You will have to provide your own chest strap if you want to use that feature.  however it is compatible with most of the main brands. Finally as part of the console you are able to plug in an iPhone via a jack and listen to music through the built in speakers.

What are the TR1200i Programs

To keep the workout interesting there are a number of built in programmes. These are have been designed by a top fitness instructor and are ideal for helping you reach fitness or weight loss goals. The 20 programs control both the speed and the incline settings, so you can find the machine moving up and down.  Don’t worry if it gets a little steep then you can manually override the position and still keep going with the program. In addition to the preset programs there is also a couple of user programmable modes.  These are for heart training, set your target heart rate and the machine will adjust speed and incline to keep you there.

LifeSpan Fitness Club

The TR1200i includes membership to the LifeSpan fitness club.  This is a great online club that stores and tracks your performance.  During each exercise your resultes are continusly monitored and uploaded to the Fitness Club.  This will allow you to monitor your perfomance and see the improvements over time. Other features

I have just about covered everything you need to know.  It just remains to point out that there is a good book holder and water bottle holders to keep you hydrated during your workout.

Dimensions

The treadmill is foldable to enable storage in even the tightest of homes:

Assembled Dimensions (LxWxH) 74 x 33 x 54
Folded Dimensions 39 x 33 x 66

Warranty

To keep you machine in top form, LifeSpan offer the following: Lifetime on the frame and motor, 3 years on parts, 1 year on labor.

What are other reviews saying about the LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill?

As one of the most popular treadmills in on the market this has recieved its fair share of reviews.  Overall it has an impressive 4.3 out of 5 stars from over 130 reviews. Users liked the treadmill was well featured for the price (for more you are looking at 2x the price!) It is easy to assemble with just one person, taking about an hour.  Although it did take a couple of helpers to move the 240lb box into position! Any negatives? Just the one really, the LifeSpan Fitness Club that comes complimentary with the treadmill is valid just of one user, if you want more then you will have to take out a seperate membership.

Our Pick of Alternative $1000 treadmills:

Product name Rating Price
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
$899.00
Nautilus T616 Treadmill Nautilus T616 Treadmill
$899.00
NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill
$999.00
ProForm PFTL99715 Power 995i Exercise Treadmill, Graphite, Large ProForm Power 995i Treadmill
$999.00

What else could I get for $1000?

What else could I get for $1000?

What else could you get for $1000?

At this price there are a number of options:

In this article I have done a comparison of the sub $1000 treadmills, and its the LifeSpan that comes out top.  Also this is one of the best treadmills for home use you can find.

Model NumberTR5000iTR4000i ReviewTR3000i Review
TR1200i ReviewTR200 Review
Belt Size20" W x 60" L (50cm W x 150cm L)20" W x 60" L (50cm W x 150cm L)20" W x 56" L (50cm W x 140cm L)20" W x 56" L (50cm W x 140cm L)17" W x 48" L (43.2cm W x 121.9cm L)
Drive Motor3 HP Continuous Duty AC3.25 HP Continuous Duty DC2.75 HP Continuous Duty DC2.5 HP Continuous Duty DC1.5 HP Continuous Duty
Belt Type2.8mm Upgraded Thick Belt2.8mm Upgraded Thick Belt2-Ply2-Ply
Incline Motor800 lbs. (363 kg) maximum lift800 lbs. (363 kg) maximum lift800 lbs. (363 kg) maximum lift650 lbs. (295 kg) maximum lift
Rollers2.5" (6.24cm) Front, 2" (5cm) Rear2.5" (6.24cm) Front, 2" (5cm) Rear2.5" (6.24cm) Front, 2" (5cm) Rear2.5" (6.24cm) Front, 2" (5cm) Rear
Speed0.4 - 11 MPH (0.6 - 17.7 KPH)0.5 - 12 MPH (0.8 - 19.3 KPH)0.5 - 12 MPH (0.8 - 19.3 KPH)0.5 - 11 MPH (0.8 - 16.1 KPH)1.0 - 6.0 MPH (1.6 - 9.65 KPH)
Incline15 Levels15 Levels15 Levels15 Levels10 Levels
Deck Suspension8 Variable Density Elastomers8 Variable Density Elastomers8 Variable Density Elastomers6 Variable Density Elastomers
Deck1" (2.5cm) Phenolic1" (2.5cm) Phenolic1" (2.5cm) Phenolic3/4" (1.9cm) Phenolic with Brace
Folding SystemNon-FoldingEZ-DropEZ-DropEZ Drop
Side RailsAluminum Side RailsAluminum Side RailsNon-Slip PlasticNon-slip Plastic
Dimensions Full:73.5" L x 32.5" W x 55" H (183.75cm L x 81.25cm W x137.5cm H) Full74.25" L x 33" W x 55" H (185.63cm L x 82.5 W x 137.5cm H) Full 70.5" L x 33" W x 55" H (176.25cm L x 82.5 W x 137.5cm H) Full 70.25" L x 33" W x 55" H (175.63cm L x 82.5 W x 137.5cm H) Full Full: 60" L x 31" W x 52" H (152.4cm L x 78.7cm W x 132.1cm H)
Dimensions Folded:42" L x 33" W x 66" H (105cm L x 82.5 W x 165cm H) Folded39" L x 33" W x 63" H (97.5cm L x 82.5cm W x 157.5cm H) Folded39" L x 33" W x 66" H (97.5cm L x 82.5 W x 165cm H) FoldedFlat: 11" (27.9cm)
Step-Up Height8" (20cm)8" (20cm)8" (20cm)7.5" (18.75cm)
Max. User Weight350 lbs. (158.7 kg)350 lbs. (158.7 kg)350 lbs. (158.7 kg)300 lbs. (136 kg)250 lbs. (113.4 kg)
Warranty (Residential)Frame: LifetimeFrame: LifetimeFrame: LifetimeFrame: LifetimeFrame: Lifetime
Motor: LifetimeMotor: LifetimeMotor: LifetimeMotor: LifetimeMotor: 5 Years
Parts: 7 YearsParts: 5 YearsParts: 5 YearsParts: 3 YearsParts: 1 Year
Labor: 1 YearLabor: 1 YearLabor: 1 YearLabor: 1 YearLabor: 1 Year

Summary of Features:

  • Deck suspension system that can support up to 300 lbs.
  • EZ Drop folding system
  • Measures 33 x 54 x 70 inches
  • Built in speakers
  • IPod and headphone jacks
  • Built in pedometer (Intelli-Step)
  • 15 incline levels
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame and motor
  • 3 year warranty on parts, 1 year on labor

Video

Video

Introductory Video:

LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill Review Summary:

Faced with tough competition it should be hard to come out on top, and making a choice across the market should not be easy.  But the TR1200i comes out as one of our highest rated treadmills, and trumps the others to lead the $1000 market.   For a reliable and trouble free life, that will give years of great service there is no real need to look beyond the Lifespan TR1200i Treadmill.  The face lift from 2015 means that now it has lost its sightly ugly duckling look, with the modern yet sleek looking console that we really enjoy using.