As someone who’s looking for a great piece of home workout equipment at an affordable price I was certainly intrigued when I came across the Best Choice Portable Folding Manual Treadmill. This machine retails for well under $250, which puts it firmly in the affordable category. It’s not a machine with a lot of bells and whistles, but if budget is your main concern this may be the perfect machine for your home gym.
Whenever I come across any kind of home workout equipment priced under $250 I’m a little skeptical – after all, inexpensive home workout equipment tends to have a reputation of being a little shoddy. There is no doubt this machine is surprisingly inexpensive, but for such a low-priced model it has had relatively few complaints lodged.
If you take a look at available images of this machine it appears quite sturdy, and most customer reviews seem to confirm this fact – at least for the frame anyway. It has a solid metal frame with very few parts; it should take you only a few minutes to put it together. It weighs in at just under 50 pounds, making it quite portable even for someone who’s not used to lifting heavy weights, and it has wheels that make it even easier to move around.
This Best Choice manual treadmill isn’t a large machine, which makes it rather unobtrusive in any room, but if you prefer to store it out of the way in a closet when you’re not working out, it’s easily to fold up and put away. It’s only about 45 inches tall so you can store it just about anywhere, even in a small broom closet. It’s a great model for a cramped student apartment, or any small space for that matter.
If you’re like me and you like some easily accessible entertainment and hydration options you might want to keep this treadmill located near a desk or table because it has no storage space at all. There are no cup holders for your water bottle, there’s no place to put a tablet or smart phone, there’s definitely no built-in Wi-Fi, and you can forget about plugging your tunes into this machine. The only electronic equipment on this machine is a simple LCD screen which displays your vital information such as calories burned, speed, and distance. This LCD monitor is battery-operated, so there are no wires to plug into the wall, which does allow you to place it pretty much anywhere you want.
This was a bit of a deal-breaker for me. I am looking for the best price I can find, but there are a few features that I simply have to have in a treadmill. When you consider that there are models in the same price range that do come with at least some type of simple cup holder or storage area, it’s difficult to picture myself purchasing this model.
While the frame may be fairly sturdy, as I’ve already discussed above, the belt is another story entirely. This machine is only rated for someone weighing in at about 170 pounds or less, which rules out a large chunk of the population and definitely puts me out of the running. If you take a close look at the belt you’ll see why the machine is rated so lightly – it’s clearly very thin and doesn’t look like it can stand up to much wear and tear at all. If someone in my weight range, approximately 250 pounds, tried using this treadmill, it probably wouldn’t last long at all.
Even if you fall under the recommended weight capacity for this machine there are still some other concerns that should probably make you reconsider. There are quite a few customers that have complained that the belt offers very little tension and tends to be somewhat jerky in its motion. It’s also quite narrow and not very long. All of these factors have to make you wonder about the safety of this machine. If you’re running a treadmill that operates in an unpredictable manner, is narrow and short, and has very little tension, there’s a huge risk of injury. You will definitely want to keep the kids away from this one.
I’d like to save a little money as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to do it at the risk of my safety or the safety of my family. This Best Choice Manual Treadmill has just a few too many issues for me to give it serious consideration. It’s not just the safety issues either; as we mentioned above it doesn’t have any kind of storage space and there’s nowhere to plug in a music player. Personally, I have to have a place for a bottle of water when I’m working out as I tend to get dehydrated quite quickly. I also like to listen to tunes as I work out and, while I can live without a machine with a built-in stereo, it has to at least have a place where I can store my smart phone for portable music. For now I think I’ll keep on looking – this just isn’t the machine for me.