Value for Money
Best Value Buy!
If you have less than $400 to spend on a brand new treadmill then your options may feel limited. However the Merit 715t Plus Treadmill reviewed here might be your answer.
At this price, unless you are buying used then there are very few machines that can be trusted to be safe and reliable. The Merit 715t keeps is cost low by being produced by one of the largest cardio equipment producers in the world JohnsonFitness. While the Merit brand might be their economy model, they have not cut too many corners to build this machine.
One thing to bear in mind, this is not a running machine. They describe the programs as Walks, you could jog on this machine. However with its 1.5CHP motor its only capable of 10mph. As such it is ideal for entry level users or people new to treadmills. If you are after a light workout without blowing the bank this is perfect.
To keep the price below $400 you cannot expect many features, such as mp3 hookups, or cooling fans. Even the console is fairly basic. This is not going to feel like a treadmill you might find at the gym, its considerably lighter for starters and it does not have the same shock absorbing systems built in. It does however have a cushioned pad with the Merit AEROsoft cushioning that reduces the impact felt through the legs.
Features of the Merit 715T Plus Treadmill
This is a folding treadmill, that can come down to a small enough size for keeping in a cupboard, or under a bed.
This is where the power comes from and its the power of the motor that determines how fast the treadmill can run. For a running machine we would recommend a minimum power of 2.5CHP. The Merit 715T runs at just 1.5CHP. This puts it firmly in the Walking/Jogging territory. As such its maximum speed is just 10mph.
While its adjustable, the incline can only be adjusted by a maximum of just 5%. There are three manually adjustable stops which increase the effort required in the workout, and your fat burn. At the next model, the Merit 725T up offers 10% of automatic adjustment.
The platform is 18″ wide and 47″ long. This is a good size for walking or light jogging (as the instructions say – no running please!)
While this is shorter than average, most of the longer treadmills have higher prices to compensate!
The console is simple and easy to use with clear led displays, perches for water bottles etc. There are a couple of built in programs such as; weight loss and hill walk. Most of the time it will be in manual mode. Reflecting the price there is only a thumb pulse heart sensor, fine if you are walking, but if you are running it will be hard to use. More preferable is the grip type, which can be found on the 725T.
The warranty is not long for this model. The frame does have a lifetime warranty, however the motor is just a year, and parts/labour a mere 90 days.
Features of the Merit 715t, and comparison with the 725t and 735t
|Merit 735t plus||Merit 725t plus||Merit 715t plus|
|Workout Area||18" x 52"||18" x 50"||18" x 47"|
|Incline||0-10% (Powered)||0-10% (Powered)||3-position manual|
|Horsepower||2.75 thp||2.50 thp||2.50 thp|
|Maximum User Weight||275 lbs.||250 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Motor||Lifetime||5 years||1 year|
|Parts & Labor||90 Days||90 Days||90 Days|
|Folded Dimensions||33" x 40" x 58"||31" x 34" x 53"||30" x 34" x 56"|
|Expanded Dimensions||33" x 73" x 50"||31" x 71" x 52"||30" x 63.5" x 56"|
If you have any desire to run, this is not for you. But if you just want to spend as little as possible on a treadmill that will offer gentle exercise then the Merit 715t Plus Treadmill is a great choice. It was awarded the best value treadmill in 2012 by treadmill doctor.
Are there better treadmills than the Merit 715T plus? Of course there are, but not at the same price.