I primarily used “Consumer’s Reports” in making this decision. I wanted a simple, solid treadmill. The Vision Fitness units are novel in that they have several bases (3 non-folding that I looked at) and 3 consoles available that can be used with any of the bases.
I went and “test ran” the different base choices at lunch hour one day a couple of weeks ago and I elected to stay simple and picked up the T9200 base and the simple console. I was tempted by the deluxe console as I’m a sucker for the 5K program, but I’m so used to manually controlling my workout when I run indoors that it wasn’t enough of a feature to justify the extra cost.
The unit weighs in at a hefty 105 Kgs with the box included. I can tell you, *that* took a while to get out of my van and into the gym. My trusty little handcart was not going to be up to the job so I just had to muscle it over.
A couple of hours and a bit of sweat later I had the unit fully assembled and calibrated. For some reason (it was now after midnight) I didn’t feel much like doing my inaugural run at that point.
I now have a couple of runs under my belt and find I really like the unit. The old one had gotten progressively more noisy as the motor began to wear out and I was just used to it being that loud. This one hums along quietly and smoothly.
It has some nice “quick” features, such as “quick speed” and “quick elevation” that mean you don’t need to awkwardly hold onto an up or down button while trying to make major adjustments and run at the same time, such as when you break into a run after a couple of minutes of warm-up walking.
The only ‘nits I have about the machine – and these are really minor – are a) I’d kind of like to be able to see distance and time simultaneously on the display. I think I could have had this feature with the deluxe console so I don’t think I can really complain here. b) the heart rate display takes a LONG time to ramp up. Gripping the sensors after a hard run (not really feasible *while* running) has the display start at about 72 bpm – even though I *know* I’ll be up in the 130 -140 bpm range. It takes a good minute or so for the readout to climb to my actual rate. I presume this is so that the readings reflect a large sample so they can’t be skewed by, say, taking your hand off the sensor to wipe your forehead. I think it would be ideal for workouts where you can keep in contact with the sensor for the duration. The models in the store were like this as well so I’m confident it’s not merely an issue with my unit, this is by design.
As I said, minor little ‘nits. I regard viewing my heart rate as a novelty in any case. It really isn’t so hard to just take your pulse if you really want to know.