Bought a new treadmill - Ironman Envision

Finally bought a Treadmill - Ironman Envision!

I must say it's turning out to be a great so far (in around 2 weeks) and I'm able to run regularly in spite of rain/chill in the morning. And moreover I can tune my workouts to the desired intensity. If you are in that market, it's a big jungle out there - Treadmills range anywhere from $258.71 (Unbranded) to $5899 (True Fitness Excel 9.0) and probably more expensive ones as well. Here are some tips I found handy in order to buy a treadmill for home usage:

Here is the 3-step process I followed:

  1. Identify the need - What purpose will the Treadmill serve ?
    1. What will a typical running week look like ? How many miles ?
    2. How many runners will use it ? - Just yourself, or spouse as well or may be a buddy or neighbor. Always plan for a little extra cause it may end up getting used if it's in home :)
    3. What is the weight of the biggest runner ? - Treadmills can handle certain normal weight reasonably well. You may as well need more professional support if you are above that weight limit anyway ;-)
  2. Identify the model (within your budget). This is the most difficult step but if you've done the first step diligently, then this is much easier. This is mostly done by checking the online reviews at some of the websites mentioned below:
    1. Treadmill Doctor
      1. Best Buy Treadmill (classified by budget) - here, here, here, here
    2. Treadmill Adviser
    3. Treadmill Tips
    4. Treadmill Ratings, Reviews & Comparisons
    5. Treadmill Comparison Charts
    6. Just Treadmill Reviews
    7. Treadmill Resource Center
  3. Run on the exact Treadmill model (that you intend to buy) in a store. Even though this step is important before spending a high 3-figure or low 4-figure $$ but it may not be possible all times (for example in my case). Then you rely on online reviews & return policy of the store.

Post a question in Runners World Forum if you have any doubts or clarifications or seeking particular model comparison.

Here are some of the joys of this machine:

  • The installation was really smooth with well guided instructions. It took me around 90 minutes from opening the box to get the machine running. The first nut took some time and then it was seamless.
  • The speed and incline controls on handle bars are really useful.
  • One-touch speed and incline controls are very useful too.
  • MP3 input keeps you occupied for some time but it takes some experimenting to figure out how exactly it works. Still need to hook up my TV.

The maximum distance I ran on this machine so far is 5 miles/40 minutes and it has behaved well! In all, I've spent approx 5 hours on this machine feeling happy. Few things that I don't like:

  • Once the Stop button is hit, all the meters are reset to 0. A summary of results would be useful.
  • The speakers are not powerful enough, especially at higher speed the music is barely audible.
  • If the security key is detached, the belt comes to a sudden stop. This could be dangerous if you are running at a high speed.

Technorati: running treadmill ironman envision

Comments:

Congrats on your new toy. One slight warning, though: I don't know if it was just me, but once I got used to treadmilling, I found it harder to run outside, as my knees can no longer handle outdoor running as well as they can handle the treadmill.

Posted by Glen on February 18, 2008 at 09:35 AM PST #

Thanks Glen, I hear you completely.

I ran 10 miles yesterday after running on treadmill for past few days and felt it. But I'd rather take care of my knees than running outside. My family is especially worried with my long distance road running :)

Posted by Arun Gupta on February 18, 2008 at 01:11 PM PST #

Envision is a decent buy. Wishing you healthy and long runs!

Posted by Adam on February 20, 2008 at 02:53 PM PST #

I just took delivery of the same treadmill. But my motor ticks, and when I increase the speed the ticking speeds up. I'm worried that sounds like a ticking time bomb.

Can you please email me an audio recording in mp3 format of what the treadmill sounds like with the machine operating alone without a person on it?

Is your machine running fine?

I just called the customer service and they're going to have someone contact me in 72 hrs to setup an appointment and have replacement parts sent to me.

Posted by Fred on March 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM PDT #

Fred,

I don't hear any ticking and will post an MP3 when I reach home and get time, it might be few days though!

Getting it checked is always a better idea with lifetime motor & frame warranty.

-Arun

Posted by Arun Gupta on March 19, 2008 at 12:36 PM PDT #

hi Varun,
I really dont know much about treadmills, but is it generally good to keep it in apartments? I mean how much noise can it create when one starts running....coz I just hope I dont get complaints if I use one. Does the noise level depend on treadmill brand too?

Posted by Sundeep Singh Nanua on March 29, 2008 at 06:48 AM PDT #

Hi Arun,

I got the company to send a guy over. That ticking sound was actually the speed sensor being too close to the fan blade.

It's fixed now and the treadmill is now wonderful. I'm enjoying it. Great purchase.

Posted by fred on March 29, 2008 at 11:05 PM PDT #

Fred,

I finally came home late Friday night and was planning to create the MP3 over the weekend. But glad the issue is now fixed.

-Arun

Posted by Arun Gupta on March 30, 2008 at 08:47 AM PDT #

Hi Arun,

Please consider adding my site Treadmill Ratings and Review site to your list. I've worked in the fitness equipment industry for a number of years and provide detailed reviews that discuss the pros and cons of various treadmill models.

Thanks,

Posted by Fred Waters on April 01, 2008 at 06:40 AM PDT #

Arun
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I saw a great offer at Costco for this brand and am planning to go for one. The one advertised comes with a LCD TV panel and fan!
1) Are you still happy?
2) Are there any comparatives to index the cushioning factor? In otherwords which machine reduces damage to knees....
Thanks
The one

Posted by Sukumar on April 20, 2008 at 06:37 AM PDT #

Sukumar,

I've been a road runner for past many years and really enjoying my treadmill. Specifically, I can now run in those cold winter days which used to keep me inside. Definitely a good buy, I still have to connect the TV though :)

In terms of index cushioning factor, it comes with TargetZone Deck Cushioning that gives you a feel from concrete running to soft treadmill. I've not tried changing it yet but have been generally happy with the performance.

A definite buy!

-Arun

Posted by Arun Gupta on April 21, 2008 at 03:01 AM PDT #

Now that you have the treadmill put it to use all day with a treadmill desk like TrekDesk. I work all day at my treadmill desk now and it has changed my life. You can find TrekDesk at its website by the same name.

Posted by Fergie on May 29, 2008 at 10:13 AM PDT #

i didn't read too many good comments about Iroman treadmills.

Posted by treadmill reviews on July 13, 2008 at 09:25 PM PDT #

Nice blog with all key links. I am going to buy one today! Hope this will last me longer than the Healthrider one.

Six months have passed since you bought the treadmill. With this hindsight you still think you made the right decision ?

Posted by Anil on August 04, 2008 at 01:36 AM PDT #

Anil,

We are very well enjoying the treadmill. Although I don't use TV that much (neither it's hooked up). So I think could've saved some money by waiting for the non-TV version. But I do hope to connect it one day and then it'll completely worth it.

Posted by Arun Gupta on August 04, 2008 at 01:48 AM PDT #

What is helping the Ironman brand of treadmills to get into more homes is their lifetime frame and ten year motor warranty. A warranty such as this will certainly help you get the most for your money. However, if you’re spending your time calling the service man, how much running are you getting in?

Posted by Kevin from Treadmill Reviews on August 12, 2008 at 02:36 AM PDT #

Kevin, lifetime frame and 10-year motor warranty was certainly one of the big factors for me to pick Ironman. I've been happy with the treadmill so far but it's barely 6 months I bought it. I expect it to be more heavily used during upcoming Fall/Winter time and then will be in a better position to qualify the machine.

Posted by Arun Gupta on August 12, 2008 at 02:41 AM PDT #

Hi Arun:
Could you please list our site http://www.treadmilltalk.com as a resource for treadmill reviews in Step 2 above. We have spent the last two years making this site a top reference for anyone interested in buying a treadmill. I am sure your visitors will find our site useful in selecting the proper machine. We also developed a set of comparison charts where you can compare prices, features, specs and warranties side-by-side.

PS: We also have a sister site where we review elliptical trainers: http://www.allellipticals.com.

Thanks!

Kevin

Posted by Kevin Urban on September 14, 2008 at 05:48 AM PDT #

Hi Arun,
I've been searching the web for good info and reviews about Ironman Envision treadmill, or any other tips to buy a good home treadmill.

I really found this page providing the best tips and info about it, so thanks a lot.

I am wondring if Envision still working good after 1 year of usage!!
Do you conseder it a good buy?!
And should i buy one ?

Pls advise me.
Thanks,

Ahmed

Posted by Ahmed H. on March 11, 2009 at 12:32 PM PDT #

Hi Arun,
I've been searching the web for good info and reviews about Ironman Envision treadmill, or any other tips to buy a good home treadmill.

I really found this page providing the best tips and info about it, so thanks a lot.

I am wondring if Envision still working good after 1 year of usage!!
Do you still consider it a good buy?!
and should i buy one ?

Pls advise me.
Thanks,

Ahmed

Posted by Ahmed H. on March 11, 2009 at 12:35 PM PDT #

Ahmed, Glad you found the page useful. Am totally loving the treadmill ... yep, it's over a year now :) No issues so far, fingers crossed!

Posted by Arun Gupta on March 11, 2009 at 01:18 PM PDT #

On the noise issue, that is one thing that reviews rarely comment on. It's tough to gauge because a lot of the noise comes from the size and running style of the user. The machines themselves aren't that noisy. However, I wouldn't want to live in the apartment underneath one being used. http://www.treadmill-world.com

Posted by Robert Braun on August 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM PDT #

my treadmill was very loud machine, i cant relax myself when i used it, thats why im looking for another one.

Posted by treadmills for sale on November 18, 2009 at 01:47 PM PST #

I am sure this guide will help a lot of people so good job compiling it Arun. I know I'm being really cheeky but would be greatful if you could add my site, and put UK next to it - as I'm sure you get visitors from outside of the U.S. It gives advice, compares and reviews treadmills but is based in the UK and targets the UK consumer. If not then no problem - the link is http://www.motorisedtreadmill.org.uk/

Thanks!! :-)

Posted by Treadmills on July 11, 2010 at 01:09 AM PDT #

I love the console on this machine, too bad the speakers aren't loud enough. Definitely need to plug in the tv, make it as comfortable as possible.

Posted by compare ellipticals on July 28, 2010 at 02:08 PM PDT #

Thanks for posting the review sites. It's so important to look at reviews to give you an idea of what will work best for your life. Another good place to look is http://www.treadmillsensei.com

Posted by Treadmill Sensei on September 02, 2010 at 03:49 AM PDT #

It's always smart to do your due diligence when making a purchase of this size. A piece of fitness equipment like this is something that you will use for 5+ years so you should try your best to know what you're getting.

Posted by Elliptical Machines Reviews on November 17, 2010 at 06:51 AM PST #

This was posted in 2008 & even now that treadmill looks seriously cool!

How is the treadmill doing these days Arun?

Is it still running okey <-- wasn't trying to be funny or anything.

Posted by Treadmills on December 22, 2010 at 05:12 AM PST #

It's about 2 months shy of 3 years and doing fine very much. Mostly use it for interval training or uphill, especially when I can't go out.

Just love it and no repents at all :-)

Posted by Arun Gupta on December 22, 2010 at 05:18 AM PST #

Hello there…. Nice to see this blog about the ironman envision. I bought my envision treadmill about 3 years ago and love it. However, recently whenever I increase the speed to 5.0 or higher the belt skips. In other words, I am tripping over the belt because it is not running smooth. Have you had this problem happen to you before?

Posted by Chris on June 12, 2011 at 05:14 AM PDT #

Chris, With such beautiful weather, I've been doing more outside running. However I did not face that problem when I ran last about a month ago or so.

Posted by Arun Gupta on June 12, 2011 at 05:50 AM PDT #

Hi Arun,

I think that there are 2 main benefits from treadmills, first is that you can use it when the weather is bad which is useful in not breaking the routine of your workout and second for people with minor injuries like me I have injury in my knee and I cant run on asphalt.

thanks

Posted by laith on August 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM PDT #

This is the first positive comments I've seen on the treadmill. I bought mine (I think) in 2008, and used it minimally for a few months. When I decided to get back into it, about a year later - it seems to have some kind of short or something in the board. Most of the time, you try to turn it on, and it does nothing. Other times, I'll walk by it and notice that the panel is lighted, as though someone has turned it on. We called customer service, to find out they were out of business and not honoring the warranty. The guy on the phone walked my husband through some steps to take the back off and look around. He "diagnosed" it over the phone and said we need a new computer panel or motherboard or something. Said we could order it on line and call him back and he'd tell us how to install it. I wasn't willing to spend $300, to find out if that is what the problem is, and to take the chance on installing it ourselves. It's been sitting, dead, for well over a year now. It was plugged in until I got tired of being in the room, and hearing it come on by itself and seeing the lights on the back (back panel still removed) all lit up as though it's working. Sometimes if I catch it when the lights come on, I can get on it and turn it on and it works, but that's a rare occasion, so I just unplugged it.
I paid waay too much for this to only have gotten 50 miles or so out of it, and now it's worthless. I've tried to find repairmen in the area that can come and check it out in person, but can find no one.
Any ideas or suggestions? Seems wrong to just close a company and say screw you to all the warranty holders of your product. THOSE are the only kinds of posts I've seen about the Ironman Envision.

Very frustrating.

Posted by guest on September 14, 2011 at 01:33 PM PDT #

Hi Arun,

Ironman Envision... when I first saw that, I though that was the latest movie from Iron Man Series, LOL!

It looks like a decent treadmill you have here, kudos!

Btw, I love your 3 steps process to buy the treadmills!

Eizabeth @ treadmillreviewss.com

Posted by Treadmill Reviews on September 29, 2011 at 02:59 PM PDT #

I love seeing people take action and purchase treadmills. People have to understand that the fact is that fitness takes time and effort, but the first step is getting the right equipment.

Posted by Best Treadmill on February 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM PST #

I was never in better shape than when I was using a treadmill regularly. I started walking and progressed to running naturally. They're great for using at home and I like the features on this one!

Posted by Best Treadmill Reviews on May 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM PDT #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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