in 1984, Smooth Fitness is the #1 manufacturer and retailer
of fitness equipment on the Internet. As such, their treadmills
are building quite an impressive reputation for themselves...
Smooth is recognized as a company that sells
factory direct, with no third party taking a cut, which
enables Smooth to offer their treadmills at a 40% discount
in comparison to other models and brands in the same categories.
However, while their claims are true, it is
still possible to research and locate other Internet merchants
who are able to offer similiar models at competitive prices...
Runners World Magazine placed Smooth
treadmills in their top 10 picks a few years ago, ranking
them in the top two for pace accuracy and stability,
and number one for quiteness. Others, such as the Treadmill
Doctor, Monster, and Kiplinger, confirm the reviews of Runners
the fact that Smooth Fitness is not actually an Internet company,
they have, since 1996, sold their treadmills and other fitness
products exclusively through their own, official, web site.
doing so, Smooth has been able to reduce their overhead costs
by bypassing the need of local distributers. eCommerce enables
a company to lower their prices significantly whiile sustaining
the same profit margin. This is nothing new. But what makes
Smooth unique is the way that they handle business, which
is a quality that has worked well to promote their reputation
Their web site concentrates on treadmills and
elliptical trainers only. Their whole foundation, including
their customer service, is focused on treadmills, which provides
a security in the fact that they know what they are doing
and talking about. It's a great difference compared to retail
stores that sell bulk fitness equipment from diet and vitamin
supplements to tennis raquets.
However, what an independant dealer, or retailer,
will offer is objectivity. There is no advantage for an independant
retailer to put a particular bias on one brand or another.
The Smooth Treadmill
offers 7 different treadmills to choose from. They include
two folding machines and one machine designed for commercial
Falling into the mid-range category, Smooth
treadmills range from $1,000.00-$2,500.00 (prices include
shipping). For a lasting treadmill that will allow you to
do more than power walk or some light jogging, you can expect
to pay $1,000.00 and up. Treadmills under the $1,000.00 mark
"lack the general beefiness, structural integirty and
overall quality, they're light-duty machines." says Dave
Sellers, a product test editor for Runner's World.
Smooth treadmills provide a continuouse source
of horsepower of at least 2.5HP (please note that this relates
to how long your treadmill can last without dying). If you're
a jogger or fast walker, you'll need at least 1.5HP, but would
ideally want a 2.0HP motor. The top speed on all, but one,
Smooth models is 10mph, which is pretty close to sprinting
and not recommended on a treadmill.
Smooth treadmills allow you to customize by
altering two or three features, either lowering or raising
the price tag by $200.00-$300.00.
Here are the top three Smooth treadmills that,
we feel, offer the best value...
5.0P Folding Treadmill
One of the best for overall quality and price. The Smooth
5.0P offers a powerful 2.5HP motor and a generous deck and
belt size, along with 9 pre-set work out programs. The one
lacking feature is a heart rate monitor, but for $999.00 (which
includes shipping), there is no better machine. Consumers
give the 5.0P top marks at Epinions and not shockingly, it
has been Smooth's best selling treadmill for a number of years.
7.1 Folding Treadmill
Released in December 2002, the 7.1 has become Smooth's #1
treadmill. With specifications similar to the 5.0P, it has
a slightly larger belt. As well built treadmills are heavy,
manually lifting the deck to an upright position is fairy
difficult. The 7.1 eliminates this hassle with a power folding
mechanism that allows you to fold it away with the push of
a button (viewable at their web site). This model also includes
a hear rate strap which enables you to monitor your heart
rate more easily.
Definitely the best of the best. A large 3.0 motor with an
oversized deck makes it ideal for even the most serious runner.
A price tag of $2,000.00 (shipping included), it's within
a reasonable price range as it's possible to spend twice this
price for similiar specifications, but less quality. The only
negative for this model is that it doesn't have the ability
to fold upright.
Servicing and Warranties
any expensive, motorized system, a good warrnaty is imperative.
After all, a treadmills is really just a good motor. If this
motor breaks down, you'll need quite a bit of money to replace
t if it's not covered by warranty. As far as warranties go,
Smooth Fitness is one of the strongest contenders...
All Smooth treadmills come with a minimum of
a 5 year warranty on the motor and 10 years on most models.
The parts warranty, for things such as the deck, belt, and
electronics will vary, but will typically range between 3-5
years. All Smooth treadmills also come with a 12 month labor
Their Service Agreement covers the entire United
States and parts of Canada. They have a toll free service
number and pledge to respond, to your inquiry or request,
during the next business day.
Purchased through their official web site,
all Smooth treadmills are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee.
Smooth treadmills can't be found at any off line retailer,
don't let that put you off. There are impressive savings to
be made by purchasing over the Internet.
For a treadmill in the mid-price range, Smooth
is definitely worth serious thought. Their official web site
will help you to find a model that fits your budget and enables
you to compare their features and prices to other brands.
Be sure to research independant competitors and to double
check warranties before buying.
Compare Smooth Treadmills at Smoothfitness.com, Click Here...