LifeSpan: The Company: LifeSpan makes fitness equipment that’s aimed at helping the 55+ crowd get into shape or stay that way. LifeSpan the company has been around since 2001, so it’s a baby in the fitness equipment industry where some brands have been around since the 1980s or 1990s. However, LifeSpan is part of PCE Health and Fitness, which has been around since the mid 1990s.
What to Look for in a Treadmill
Look for a treadmill company that offers treadmills for commercial applications like gyms, hotels or rehab centers. LifeSpan fits the bill here, since they provide exercise equipment for fitness centers and rehabilitation centers alike. The theory here is that if they can produce machines that hold up to commercial duty, then they can surely handle what the personal exerciser is going to dish out.
You also want a good warranty package. LifeSpan offers lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, which is very good. The 3 year parts warranty is average…not the best but not the worst either. However, for the slightly higher pricing on their treadmills, you would expect LifeSpan to come with a 5 year warranty on parts and a two year warranty on labor. Their labor warranty is 1 year.
Other things to look for in a treadmill are motor strength. LifeSpan doesn’t measure up well in this regard, with some of the weaker motors on the market. However, if you are a light duty exerciser they may suffice.
Also, quality of construction is of course important. Aluminum side rails are offered by most treadmill brands but some of the LifeSpan side rails are plastic. Their treadmills weigh a good 50 pounds (at least, depending on the model) less than other brands, which speaks to stability and quality…could be better.
Customer Service is a big factor in treadmill purchasing. LifeSpan has a better than average customer service rating.
A quiet workout is sometimes very important for buyers, and LifeSpan does pretty well in this category too.
Top 3 LifeSpan Fitness Treadmills
Designed to accommodate walkers who want to hang onto the handlebars while walking, the TR 1200i folding treadmill certainly hits the targeted population: the 55+ crowd. But if you think about it, holding onto the bars is possible on all treadmills. They also claim proudly that you can use the control panel controls without having to remove your hands from the bars…again this seems like overkill for the 55+ market but if that’s what you deem necessary, then LifeSpan is for you. We definitely suggest trying out a few different brands of treadmills first, to be sure you need all this TLC from your treadmill…because it does come with a little bit higher price for all those features.
The 1200i is the lowest price treadmill reviewed here, but then again the motor is a mere 2.5 CHP. For just a few few hundred more, you can get a different brand and a 3.0 CHP motor. Of course you won’t get all the frills like the heart rate monitor system and MyZone feature which keeps your workout within limits to protect your heart. But make sure you really need these things before paying for them.
This LifeSpan model is not for runners or heavy duty users. Why?
- The motor is smaller than many, at 2.75 horsepower.
- The belts are smaller than most (2.5 inches), meaning they will wear out faster with heavy use.
- The running surface is a good four inches shorter than most home treadmills. That makes it hard for runners to push out a full running stride.
What the TR3000i does offer is a complete array of fun functions that may make some exercisers work out longer and more often. The LCD console offers plenty of choices on the readout, including various programs and readouts about your workout. View your heart rate, calories, and more and make quick use of larger than normal touch keys. For people who are trying to get into shape, as opposed to people maintaining fitness, the TR3000i offers many motivational features such as these.
You also get a heart rate control setup where you can closely monitor your heart rate and choose exercise programs that keep your heart rate in mind. Again, this is aimed at older or less fit people looking to improve their fitness levels. You can enter your heart rate limits and the machine won’t let you exercise too much, keeping your hear rate under an certain number.
The TR4000i has a better motor than the TR3000i and also a longer running deck. Here we get the aluminum side rails for durability, too. It’s a folding treadmill, and for the price, which is a little hefty, this does not weigh in as the best deal on the market. You get an “upgrade” to the larger motor which on other brands is the standard. You get an “upgrade” to the larger 60″ long deck, which is also standard on other brands. But costing more than $500 more than other leading brands with similar features, this is not a bargain.
With plastic rather than aluminum side rails, a short deck and a weaker than most motor, many of the LifeSpan treadmills are not for serious runners. What’s more this brand is loaded with electronics designed to motivate newbies and to keep a close eye on heart rates. All this makes sense, however, when you figure in the fact that LifeSpan treadmills are made for the 55+ crowd. If you’re not the type to deal with a lot of gizmos and electronics, however, go for a brand that has a simpler control panel and fewer gizmos.
However if it’s gizmos you want, then the control panel of LifeSpan treadmills offer more than most. And for seniors, this can be both important and motivational. The step count is especially cute, and those with heart conditions will appreciate the MyZone heartrate function. We’d recommend the TR3000i for older exercisers. It costs $500 less than the TR4000i and probably has everything the 55+ user will need for moderate walking and lots of cool electronic features.