Pros: Works good (eventually), rather compact, pretty heavy-duty
Cons: Price, Customer Service, initial problems, a bit too small, awkward initally.
I was looking for an additional workout machine that fit the space in my apartment, to go along with the Bowflex I bought last year. Seeing that the winter was coming up, I'm not going to be out bike riding or playing baseball. I needed a cardio machine to keep up the pace. Viola, the Treadclimber commercials caught my attention.
Well, for starters, I should have read the reviews on epinions.com before I purchased, as the reviews had a negative connotation to them. I normally never make these kind of mistakes. But alas, I did, and I ordered the TC5000 back in September.
They said it would take 4-6 weeks to deliver. Hmm. WHY? Being the reckless person I was at the moment, I didn't ask why. I just hoped it would take only 2-3 weeks as many of the reviews indicated. It was supposed to ship via UPS in three manageable boxes.
So 4-5 weeks go by, and I decide to give them a call. Guess what??
"As part of our ongoing effort to improve customer satisfaction, we have built your Treadclimber, and shipping it to you 100% fully assembled and tested"...
HEY THANKS MR. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!! WHY DIDN'T YOU ASK ME FIRST IF I COULD TAKE DELIVERY OF A FULLY ASSEMBLED MACHINE????
The entrance to the room it was going in COULD NOT take a fully assembled machine, genius.
So they had to cancel that order, and re-ship one out. That took another two weeks. GREAT.
Delivery and boxes
Well, I finally get the boxes (meanwhile the "trucking" company is calling me still trying to deliver the fully assembled one)...
Two boxes contain the TC5000, and one has the fruity "pad", which I don't need. Getting the boxes up 3 flights of stairs was a great workout in itself. One box weighing close to 150lbs, the other around 70. Heck, Maybe I can return the machine and deliver Treadclimbers for a living, probably a better workout, no? :)
The Treadclimber was relatively easy to install. Not a problem. Had lots of leftover screws, etc. But I was wasn't worried. Took about an hour. I did it myself, but it would help to have someone else around, as it did get a little awkward at times, but I managed.
Does it work?
Well, after installation, I turned it on, and bingo. The treads move. I try it out for 5 minutes. A bit goofy, but I figured I'd get used to it. So I turn it off, clean up, and take a shower and rest after that grueling install.
My girlfriend comes over later and wanted to see it. I take her to the workout room, turn it on. Press start.
The thing went KAPUT just like that.
"Error 5.S.. no speed sense"... (I read something similar on here).. I WENT BONKERS. I call them up the next day, and they "walked me through" some troubleshooting steps.
WHY IN THE WORLD should I be the one to do this? This great 5 year warranty they should have had someone here ASAP. But alas, I wanted the thing working, so I try what they tell me. Nope. Speed sensor works fine. It's either the motor or the control board.
So I have to wait yet another week or two, they're going to arrange for a "tech" to come fix it, along with the fact they're expressing me both a new motor and a control board, to "be here when the tech comes"... GREAT... *&%$!
I get the motor and control board. But after reading what others have experienced regarding these techs that knew minimal about the treadclimber, and more about "regular" treadmills, I decided to change the motor and control board myself. It came with instructions, and wasn't too hard. Took an hour. Powered it up, it worked. Ok, round 2.
Does it work? no, really, does it?
OK, it's been 10 days or so, and it hasn't failed yet. So let's talk about the actual machine for a bit.
I'm a 6'4" / 225lb guy, so this may be a challenge, eh? It says it can handle 300lbs, but it never said anything about height. I had my wonders.
So I've used it about 5 times now. It takes a bit to "get used to".. the hydraulic treads move based on how you step on them. The first few times because of the way I walk, the treads would eventually become uneven, and I'd end up walking like a stumbling idiot until I "fixed" them. Rather frustrating, but I started to get the hang of it.
Once you learn to walk at a deliberate, even pace, it wasnt' too bad.
As I got more comfortable with it, I have to say I got a pretty decent workout. Definitely does many of the things they claim.
You really have to pay attention to how you walk when you use it. Often times, my foot "almost" slips off the back. Sometimes, I hit my foot on the plastic edge at the front, and others, I step it the middle (where there are no treads), and it squeaks. I'm sure as time passes, I'll gradually correct and minimize those mistakes.
The heart monitor works most of the time, and I find it to be very useful in controlling the intensity of my workout. It has been a bit intermittent, especially when I start, but it seems to start working in a minute or two.
- Since I've installed the new motor, the fan now hits the metal plate, and I have to probably take it apart again to adjust it. Great. More annoying work.
- I weigh 225. Many times the tread slams on the bottom. Which leads me to believe that it may not be able to handle a 300lb individual. Either that, or the hydraulic settings at 10 or 12 are just too flimsy, and I have to adjust. We'll see.
Well, as you read, my woes made this overall experience rather discouraging.
However, once this thing eventually starts working consistently, I feel that it certainly is a great workout, and great for the space (while it could have been 4 inches longer or so).. for the price I paid (2398) I feel a bit ripped off. But it's better than nothing, and I will try my best to get my money's worth (and a rebate).
So, I hope that others that order this may have a better experience. Perhaps you can take delivery of a fully assembled unit. That would help.
All in all, despite my problems, I think that I will benefit in the long run with improved health and endurance.
You just have to decide whether it's worth your money, and the possible risk.