The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 combines the benefits of a treadmill, an elliptical and a stair stepper. Many users agree that it provides a very challenging workout and is effective at burning calories. It is, however, one of the most expensive stair steppers on the market (*Est. $3,300).
One of the most expensive, with a workout to match: It is nearly unanimous that this product is overpriced. One review on RunReviews.com states, "… you have to be completely sure this machine is what you want, otherwise what's the point in wasting perfectly good $3300?" It should be noted that it is also the general consensus that this machine will give you an above average workout. One owner on Buzzillions.com said, "… I've never had [a] workout this good!"
The TC20 combines the motion of a treadmill, an elliptical and a stair stepper through a pair of mini treadmills -- one for each foot -- pivoting on a hinge in the back. As the user walks on the "treadle," it moves vertically, creating a sort of climbing/stepping motion.
Some users say that the machine can be a bit noisy. So if you're operating it around others, it may be a nuisance. Its 42-inch foot treadles should be more than large enough to fit most people. The Bowflex TC20 comes with three preset workout programs, a backlit LCD display, heart-rate monitors on the hand grips and a speed range of 0.5 to 4.5 mph. While the TC20 has more features than some lower-end trims, the TC5 and TC10, users say they would expect more for the price. Also others complain that the maximum speed is not satisfying.
Surprisingly simple for state of the art: The Bowflex TC20's lack of features makes it well suited for those wishing to focus more on the workout than on the LCD monitor or other luxuries. Reviewers claim the benefits from the machine are about equal to those of running. Thanks to its elliptical motion, it is also much easier on your joints than a treadmill. If you have joint pain, then this might be taken into consideration. The machine is big and bulky, weighing 215 pounds and measuring 51 inches long by 30.5 inches wide.
The TC20 utilizes a unique interactive program called G.O. Coach. This program allows you to track your progress, set personal fitness goals and compare results with previous workouts. One review on TreadmillReviewGuru.com said that this feature is not worth the machine's hefty price tag. Overall this machine is not a substantial upgrade from its predecessor, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC10.
Seems well built, just a few bad eggs: Of the small handful of negative reviews on the Bowflex TC20, the issues mentioned seem to be factory defects or improper assembly. In one instance, a reviewer on Buzzillions.com said it was "tough for the technician [theirs] to put together without the owners manual." However, negative reviews on this machine are scarce, and a majority of users say that the TC20 seems solid and stable.
Excellent warranty, questionable service: The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 comes with a three-year total coverage warranty. This means that if anything should happen to the frame, components or mechanical parts within three years of purchase, the manufacturer will fix it. Instances of this being needed appear to be rare, but in the few cases that something has gone wrong, the company seemed to be less than responsive. In one customer's case, the trainer arrived unusable (even after spending $249 to have it assembled, according to the customer's review). After being passed around on the phone by the company to no avail, the customer wrote on Buzzillions.com, "I don't think I will buy anything from Nautilus again. I feel I should have my assembly cost refunded so someone will not allow this to happen again."
Review Credibility: Very Good Buzzillions.com is a review site where owners or prospective owners of a product can submit reviews, ask or answer questions and list a few pros and cons. Buzzillions.com gave the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 4.1 out of 5 stars. Out of more than 500 reviews, only a small minority ranked the product 3 stars or less. Although this website is almost entirely user opinions, Buzzillions.com gives some very good perspective into the TC20.
Review: Bowflex TreadClimber TC20, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good FitRated.com provides "unbiased" reviews on fitness equipment, although it is admittedly an affiliate-funded site. Their review of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 provides readers with a comprehensive breakdown of the trainer. It includes a list of pros and cons, specifications, expert opinions and a section devoted to user feedback. The all-around usefulness of this website is very valuable when deciding to purchase a stair stepper. They call the TC20 commercial quality and like the combination of treadmill stair stepper and elliptical trainer.
Review: Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 Review, Editors of FitRated.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good TreadmillReviews.net gives the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 4 out of 5 stars. Its ratings are based on the overall quality of the machine, highlighting what they like, what they don't like and a final verdict. This review hits on some of the more important aspects of this machine.
Review: Bowflex TC20 TreadClimber, Editors of TreadmillReviews.net, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good RunReviews.com gives the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 an overall positive review. It begins by listing all of the specifications and features. The reviewer goes through notable pros, highlighted features and some major drawbacks of the machine.
Review: Bowflex TC20 – Treadclimber, Editors of RunReviews.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Fair TreadmillReviewGuru.com's review of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 is a combination of expert and user opinions from other sites. At the top of the page, editors give a synopsis of the trainer and rate it 4.5 out of 5. Readers can only suspect this rating is based on other's experiences. It is never stated whether the machine is actually tested.
Review: Bowflex Treadclimber TC20 Treadmill Reviews & Ratings, Editors of TreadmillReviewGuru.com, Not dated