I purchased the treadmill from a local retailer. Initially, I didn't see any independent user reviews on it so, I thought i would post something. My Projected running usage - Probably 2-3 X a week - average maybe 2 hours / week of running total.
The treadmill has a 20x60" belt with a 3.25 hp motor. Haven't seen any other in this price range with a motor like this one. Although they call the belt orthopedic, I don't think it is particularly thick - but seems fine. Overall, it feels pretty stable and solid (no shaking or motion). The cushioning isn't quite as good as the gym treadmills, but for the $ it's perfectly fine.
I very much like the user-friendliness of the treadmill. It has large well lit buttons, that are very straightforward and easy to use. I like the buttons a lot more than the standard flat buttons you find on most treadmills. My only concern is the durability of the panel. The display is well lit and clear with a lot of nice information - of course it has the standard stuff like incline level, time, heart rate, calories. But it also displays not so standard stuff, like number of steps, age, height, weight (more on this later).
The treadmill programs work a little differently than most of the gym treadmills I have used. They several programs grouped in several areas (e.g. weight loss, sports training, healthy living, etc.). You can select "incline" program or "speed" program for any of the programs. In terms of speed/incline variability - the treadmill pretty much works like any standard gym treadmill - e.g. If you select incline program, the incline will adjust (up and down), while your speed remains constant. Selecting "speed program" adjusts the speed up and down while the incline remains constant. Also, adjusting the incline during the incline program will increase or decrease ALL of the incline levels for the entire workout. The equivalent is true for the speed programs as well. Some treadmills only adjust the bar or "time period" that you are currently in.. I actually like this feature on the 4000i.
I am not sure how these programs were chosen to be in a particular group (e.g. I would like what makes "pyramid climb" healthy living vs. cardio run for weight loss. All of the programs are clearly explained in the manual - i.e. you can see the duration and the level of incline (for incline programs) for each minute of the program (a nice touch!) and the equivalent for the speed programs.
The user defined programs are pretty standard and easy to setup. You can go thru each minute/bar, and change it to the level/speed that you want. The heart rate monitor works really well! The accuracy seems good and it doesn't take a lot of fiddling.
One item that I miss from the gym treadmills is the random feature. It would be nice if it could generate some random incline and/or speed programs.
Another item that I noticed was missing (or at least I can't figure it out) is a way to change the duration/time in the middle of a program?! You can set the duration at the start, but once the program start, you can't change the time/duration of your workout. It seems a little bizarre to me that you can't do this, but it's not a deal breaker.
Ok, one of the big selling points for me was the ability to record and track my work outs and upload them to their system via the USB drive. You can record, the date and time of your workout, with frequent sampling (every 20 seconds, I think), of your heart rate, minutes, calories, distance, steps. I think the concept is terrific - and I like that they were able to include this feature in a cost effective treadmill. However, the implementation is lacking. So, uploading the data, and it does work. However, the website is user-unfriendly, and poorly implemented. Firefox support? nope! you have to use IE. It was developed using 1990's web technology and navigation. So much so, that I am wondering if any of their customers actually use it?? I am a web guy so I guess my standards are higher... The site very much needs an overhaul and update. I won't go into a lot of detail, but here are a couple of quick things about it.
1. Clicking on any of the links (e.g. Weekly View, Today's Workout,USB Update,Manually Log Exercise,Update Vital Stats) gives you a pop up. You wait several seconds for each popup to occur, then you can do whatever function you are looking to do - Totally unncessary and annoying.
2. The "analyze my exercise" is just not formatted well and therefore not easy to follow - the info is all there, just not user friendly and clean. It would be pretty easy to make this graphical and easy to use.
3. Dates - For the life of me, I can not figure out how to set the current date on the tread?! The default date on the treadmill display is always some date in May?? Is the factory set date? When I plug in the usb drive into the treadmill, my weight and height changes correctly, however, the date does not change. It always records that random May date on my usb drive. I just do a global replace manually on the dates using my PC before uploading the myexercise site - there must be something I'm not doing right.
4. My exercise profile. I am assuming since I filled all of this out, that it would create some customized workout for me. It would be nice to have some kind of intelligent recommendations based on all of the stats, supplements, health history that I put in. I still haven't been able to figure it out.
Again, great idea for the website, poor implementation. My thought that this was done more for marketing purposes than to actually serve their client needs. - i.e. mostly vaporware. Thus, don't make a decision to buy this treadmill based on this feature. The good news is that the treadmill works quite well, with other great features.
The speakers are average, but they are what I would expect for any treadmill. The arms have both incline and speed control - (another nice touch) - however, the buttons on the arms are easy to bump and change if you are the kind that likes to rest your hands on them (for heart rate, etc.).
So far, I am pleased overall with the treadmill.
The biggest concerns I have -
- durability (not a lot of reviews on lifespan treadmills, folding treadmill - what tradeoffs were made to make it folding.
- We'll see in a few years. Ideally, I would like to have it last at least 5 years. I am planning on silicone lubing the belt every 50 hours of use and cleaning around the motor and electronics as the manual indicates. I am assuming that this is standard? for most treadmills in this categories.