With the hefty holidays nearing you may find yourself dreaming of mashed potato-capped mountains of stuffing, with winding rivers of gravy alongside hills of ham... Inevitably followed by nightmares of weeklong sessions on the elliptical.
If you are considering purchasing an elliptical, treadmill, or exercise bike this holiday season, Black Friday may be the optimal time to save big. So which deals are the best? Depends on the store. After scouring the Pre-Sale, Doorbuster, and Cyber Monday ads from Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Sears, and Kmart, here are six Black Friday deals worth the early wake up.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods offers some of the best deals on fitness equipment. Pair the competitive prices with its ScoreCard benefits, and the selection is hard to beat any day of the year. The ScoreCard rewards program is free and repays customers one point for every dollar spent. Once 300 points are collected, the customer will receive a $10 reward in the mail. The coupon can be used same as cash, no minimum purchase. Additionally, Dick's frequently mails its members valuable deals such as earn 200 additional ScoreCard points after a $100 purchase. Therefore, with membership, you receive a minimum $30 back in rewards money for a $900 fitness equipment purchase. (Check out our evaluation of other major loyalty programs.)
Unfortunately, for Black Friday, Dick's Sporting Goods posts a rather slim selection of fitness equipment. We have highlight the best deals below:
Livestrong LS8.0T Treadmill: $599.99
Current price: $799.99
Only 5 Amazon consumers review the LS 8.0T, but all give it overwhelming praise. Expert reviewers at Treadmilldoctor.com advise customers to seek out the 10.0 model, as they consider LS8.0T only suitable for walking.
Our advice: Go for it. At $200 off, this treadmill is a great deal for walking or light jogging.
Livestrong LS8.0E Elliptical: $599.99
Current Price: $799.99
Like its treadmill brother, the LS8.0E receives unanimous positive customer feedback, plus Fred Waters of fitness-equipment-source.com calls it heavy-duty for the price.
Our advice: Go for it. If you were considering an elliptical purchase soon, this may be the best deal for a while.
Once the exclusive retailer of NordicTrack, Sears still maintains a large selection of fitness equipment from brands like NordicTrack, Schwinn, Smooth, Sole, Pro-Form, and more. However, this year Sears fails to impress; most "deals" show no difference from everyday prices. In fact, our Best Reviewed Home Elliptical Trainer, the Sole E35 (*Est. $1,300) is a better deal from the manufacturer as consumers can save on no tax or shipping. The best fitness equipment deal at Sears this Black Friday is:
NordicTrack T5.7 Treadmill: $499.99*
Current price: $599.99
While the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 (*Est $1,300) is our Best Reviewed treadmill, the T5.7 garners divided opinions from users posting to Buzzillions.com. Sixteen consumers rate it as 5 out of 5 stars, but 12 match them with 1 star calling it noisy and cheaply made.
*Note: Sears customers can sign up for the free rewards program, Shop Your Way, to purchase the T5.7 now at the Pre-Black Friday Sale price of $499.99.
Our advice: Maybe. Do not be fooled by the tagline "Save $400!" The 400 dollars you would be saving is off an "original" price that most likely never existed. However, $100 off a $600 elliptical trainer is decent if you were already in the market.
Kmart offers a large selection of generally lower-end fitness equipment from brands like Weslo, Stamina, Sunny Health and Fitness, and Sole. The advantage of shopping here is the hassle-free return policy: a 90-day money back guarantee with original receipt. This year Kmart presented only a few Black Friday deals for fitness equipment. Here's the best choice:
Weslo Pro CTX Indoor Cycle: $199.99
Current price: $249.99
Consumer opinion on the CTX is quite varied. In general, reviewers are satisfied with the bike for its price but admit it is an entry-level exercise bike. The warranty only covers parts and labor for 90 days, which is important as two users on Kmart.com note the flywheel bearing failed after a few months use.
Our advice: It's up to you, but we'd pass. While it is not worth camping out for, this deal will get you into the exercise bike scene for close to $200 -- something you could do any day of the year for exercise bikes with better reviews. Read our exercise bike buying guide and look for a better quality bike.
Sports Authority is a large sporting goods retailer with more than 450 stores in 45 states. They off a wide range of products from team sports to hunting supplies, including a large selection of Pro-Form treadmills and ellipticals. This year we found some of the offers to be tempting but deceptive, such as the Doorbuster deal Pro-Form 18.0 RE Elliptical for $799.99 that Walmart sells everyday for the same price. However, we found a couple deals worth mentioning:
Pro-Form Power 995 Treadmill: $799.99
Current price: $999.99
The Power 995 earns Treadmilldoctor.com's Best Buy award for its many innovative features, such as iFit Live compatibility. These hard-to-please reviewers call it a solid entry-level machine. We also name the Pro-Form Power 995 (*Est. $1000) a Best Reviewed Treadmill for Casual Runners. On Buzzillions.com 24 consumers agree with the experts, rating it a 3.7 out of 5.
Our advice: Go for it. If you have decided this treadmill is the right fit for you (see our buying guide for assistance), take advantage of the rare $200 discount.
Pro-Form Performance 1450 Treadmill: $1,279.99
Current price: Est. $1,450.00
Although consumer reviews are limited on the Performance 1450, those who have posted to sites such as Buzzillions.com or Amazon.com give the treadmill split reviews. Experts deem the 1450 a solid machine with many impressive features, such as the full-color touch screen with built-in web browser, but recommend its brother the Pro-Form Pro 2000 as a better value alternative.
Our advice: Avoid a potential headache; skip the bells and whistles for a more reliable machine.