Great Features, Stability + Warranty!
Sep 3, 2000 (Updated Apr 22, 2001)
Review by kkwiatek
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:features, warranty(?), stability
Cons:slightly underpowered, long term neoprene pad wear.
The Bottom Line: Very stable treadmill, with a wide and long belt. A tad under powered. Slightly questionable quality... strongly suggest you should buy the extended warranty.
UPDATE: 22 April 2001: My wife and I have been running on our new EXP2000 for about 8 months now, and I must say it is an awesome treadmill!! Provides a great running experience! Absolutely no problems, -and we run on it about 30 miles a week! I am so glad we did not buy the proforms or image treadmills... the NordicTrack really has a much better feel as you run.... IMPORTANT: I noticed that the EXP2000 has been replaced by the EXP2000i, and seems to have a shorter warranty. It had been a solid 3 year warranty, but now it has been reduced. I think the motor is still covered for 3 years, but the electronics are only covered for 90 days! You should seriously consider purchasing the extending warrany. Sears 5 year bumper-to-bumper=$100 -but confirm that...
Recommend this product?
...and now back to the original review:
I ran on a wide variety of low end treadmills ($500 to $1300) at Sears (they had a wide selection). In the end, I purchased the Nordic Track EXP 2000.
RUNNING ON THE EXP2000
After running on the Image 10.x series, as well as the Proforms treadmills. I felt that the Nordic Tracks definitely were the most stable and had the most features. I noticed the difference as soon as I ran on it. The Nordic Track treadmill (exp1000,2000,300) really felt like a gym type quality treadmill. The Proforms and Image treadmills felt "rickety" and rough.
NOTE: you should know as you read this review, that I am 180 pounds and 6 feet tall. I run at high speeds (6-8 mph), for distances of about 3-5 miles every other day. Weight and height are BIG factors in selecting a treadmill. Bigger people are going to need more treadmill Horse Power, belt size, and stability.
THE GOOD FEATURES
The features on the exp2000 are pretty great. I really like the immediate "speed select". You don't have to keep pushing the "up and down speed" button like on most other treadmills. You just hit the "miles per hour" number that you want to run at. It has lots of pre-programmed courses to run on (although I found them too easy), AND you can input up to 2 custom programs with variations of speed and incline....
I thought the deck provided very good shock absorbtion. It has padding under the belt and the deck rests on 6 rubber "shocks". It provided me a "silky smooth" run. I saw another eopinion review that said it felt to "hard", but I really don't know how they could have said this. When I was in Sears looking at the exp2000, I bumped into a few other people looking at the exp2000, -and we all came to the conclusion that the exp2000 had a far better feel that the proforms and image treadmills.
The exp2000 was very quite. Again, I saw another exp2000 eopinion review that said it was "loud", but mine runs very quite...
I liked the light indicator system on the control panel. When I put it in "track mode", it gave me a visual representation of where I was on the "oval track".
The size of the belt is a generous 20 inches wide and 55 inches long -very nice compared to others!
The incline/decline is very quite.
Comes with two weights to work the upper body.
The Warranty is the ABSOLUTE best for this price range. Normally treadmills in this price range have ONLY a 90 warranty! The exp2000 has 1 years parts/labor and 2/3 years parts. Very nice.
On the down side, even though it has a great warranty, I still have some doubts about reliabilty (although less than if I had a 90 warranty). There is some risk here, the components tend to be plastic rather than metal.... Even still, I bought Noridic Track because I really liked the run it gave me, and the competition (proform and image) had only a 90 day warranty (extended warranty costs $100 to $200 extra!).
The other downside is that the Nordic Track exp2000 has only a 1.75 Continuous Horse Power (CHP) motor. This is a tad underpowered, and I did have a slight sense of this as I ran, but over all it provided a great run.
(IMPORTANT NOTE : be careful of treadmill Horse Power ratings. They like to play games with you. Stay away from treadmills that say "peak horse power". Look for "continuous horse power" of at least 1.5, but preferably 1.75 or 2.0. If the sign doesn't say, then it is probably "peak HP" --which is just the theoritical maximum possible HP it is capable of, NOT what it typically/continuously will run at! As if that weren't bad enough, some makers put FALSE "continuous HP ratings" on their treadmills, all you can do is really try and FEEL the strength of the motor -stay away from motors that have loud HUMMM sounds and that have "lag" when pulling the belt! )
The heart monitor is cool looking, but doesn't work that great....
BEWARE, the one potential down fall is that they put a plastic shield and neoprene pad under the tread belt. This helps with shock absorbtion, BUT over time the neoprene compresses and the plastic shield can wear through, resulting in VERY high friction resulting in a burned out motor. It will be ok if your keep an eye on it and inspect it frequently. If the foam compress, or the shield wears through, it should be covered under warranty.....
I was able to pick up a exp2000 for $800 bucks at sears. Normally it costs about $1000 (on sale)... but I got one that a lady returned, so they knocked $200 buck off. Even still, Sears treadmill people work on commission, and I think you will find they can take something off the price if you press them (actually, they wanted $840 dollars, and I talked them down another $40). Also, the exp1000 is $800 on sale at Sears, but has a shorter belt, less programming features, and smaller motor, but worth considering if you are lighter (under 190 pounds) and run/walk at lower speeds (3-6 mph).
IMPORTANT NOTE: even with the "good deal" I got, I feel treadmills are over priced! I don't feel I got $800 dollars "worth of something". I believe (perhaps incorrectly) that this is because ONE company called "Icon Fitness" makes a large portion of treadmills in the market (ie Proform, Image), thus possibly weakening competition for lower end treadmills!
I highly recommend that you spend LOT'S of time running on a wide variety of treadmills. Different people have different walking/running needs. It is only when you run at least 5 minutes on each treadmill that you can begin to get a feel for the differences between each brand --AND THERE ARE BIG DIFFERENCES. Given that the price for a decent treadmill is going to go for at LEAST $700 (some people say $1000), it is worth your time. If you don't get a feeling as your running/walking that says "wow I can see myself doing this frequently", -then it is probably not the treadmill for you.
NOTE: a good treadmill site (although VERY critical and partial to high end treadmills) is http://www.treadmilldoctor.com
Remember, while you are running to consider:
a) shock absorbtion (do my legs feel very comfortable while I walk/run?),
b) motor power at slow and fast speeds (does the belt seem to "lag", does the motor "HUMMM" loudly?),
c) warranty (most only have 90 days!)
d) Stability (do you hear loud creaks, and feel shaking of the frame?)
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