In my search for the right home treadmill I’ve tended to lean towards one of the slightly less expensive electric treadmills, as I’ve formed this opinion in my head that manual treadmills are poorly constructed. I mean there’s got to be a reason why these types of treadmills are on the lower end of the price matrix, right? Well as it turns out that’s not completely true – the Exerpeutic 100XL, based on almost all the reviews I’ve found, is actually up to the challenge.
This treadmill is priced under $300, making it affordable for just about anybody; if you can’t afford a gym membership this may be the perfect solution. It seems to have a pretty sturdy construction as well and, according to the manufacturer, it can handle a weight capacity of up to 325 pounds. That’s a good thing, as I’m a pretty big guy and one of my biggest worries on my quest to find the right treadmill is that the machine just won’t handle my weight.
If there’s one thing that really surprised me about this machine was that it has built-in heart rate monitor sensors in the handles. It’s always a good idea to check your heart rate frequently while you’re working out to make sure it’s within a healthy range for your age; you can do this quickly on this machine. Sure it would be great if it had a wireless sensor you could attach to your wrist or something like that, but that’s not likely on a machine at this price point.
This machine certainly has some attractive qualities, but in my opinion it has some flaws as well. There’s no doubt you can get a pretty good workout on this treadmill but, for me, part of a good workout is having access to entertainment options and other conveniences while I workout. What can I say? I’m a creature of the modern age.
This isn’t a machine with one of those built-in touchscreens that you can connect to your Wi-Fi router, but that’s not surprising at a price point under $200 – I was expecting this. What was a little disappointing is that there’s nowhere to put a tablet. They might not have their own built-in screen with Wi-Fi, but if they’d attached a simple tablet holder (a relatively inexpensive edition) I would’ve been much happier with this machine. The other thing that’s curiously missing from this machine are cup holders – I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the middle of a hard workout I like to have my bottle of water close by.
There are some issues with the manufacturing quality of this product as well. Some reviewers complain about a fair bit of noise when using the product, such as squeaking and rattling; some even suggest that it sways a little bit as well. Another issue which seems to be a problem for some is getting the parts to line up. This appears to be a problem for only a few people though, so it’s still probably worth taking a chance on this product if it’s in your price range. After all, you can always return it if there’s an issue.
There are some standard components that I would view as essential before I’d even consider purchasing a treadmill. For me, a treadmill has to have at minimum a small LCD screen that allows me to quickly view my heart rate, my distance traveled, my speed, and the calories I’ve burned. The Exerpeutic 100XL has a built-in display that tracks all of these things. It also has a built-in incline adjustment that allows you to change the incline of your treadmill to one of three different positions. This requires a manual adjustment, so you can’t sccomplish it in the middle of your workout, but it’s better than nothing and does expand your workout options.
The manufacturer of the Exerpeutic 100XL treadmill claims that the machine is simple to assemble – apparently once you open the box all you have to do is attach the LCD screen and it’s good to go. Based on available reviews by customers that have actually purchased this machine, this appears to be true. I’m up for a challenge as much as the next guy, but if I can buy something that doesn’t require a lot of assembly I’m definitely in!
Another thing that this treadmill has going for it is that it’s easy to store out of the way when you’re not using it. The machine folds up and it has wheels so that you can quickly fold it and move it to a spare room or closet. That’s generally not something you can do with the more expensive treadmills, as they tend to be too big and bulky to move. If you live in an apartment or a small house chances are space is at a premium, so being able to store your workout equipment out of the way is an important consideration.
It may be just a bias I have, but I expected a less expensive treadmill to cut corners just about everywhere. Surprisingly, this one has nice long handles that let you position your hands where they’re comfortable for you and, as we’ve mentioned above, these handles have built-in heart rate monitor sensors.
The other surprising thing about this machine is that the actual tread itself is wide and long so even big guys like me can use it comfortably. It’s surprising how what you pictured can actually be quite different from reality. On a less expensive machine like this I anticipated a narrow treadmill and having to face the prospect of falling off the edge. As it turns out, neither one of these issues is a problem with the Exerpeutic 100XL.
This machine has some great features for a machine priced under $300, but personally I just couldn’t get past some of the missing convenience items. A tablet holder would’ve been nice (there is a small spot where you can store your remote or smart phone), but leaving out the cup holder was just not something I was willing to overlook. This might not be a big problem for everyone, but it was a deal-breaker for me.