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Horizon Fitness T101-04 Review

By: Kelly Burgess on December 20, 2016

Bottom Line [object Object]

Pros

  • Feature rich
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Lifetime frame and motor warranty
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Large and bulky
Our Analysis
Specs
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Breaking it down

Performance

Excellent for walking or jogging. The Horizon T101-04's 2.25-horsepower continuous-duty motor runs smoothly, with a maximum speed of 10 mph. Experts say that the Horizon T101-4 is probably best for walking or moderate jogging, and users largely agree; those that are most satisfied use it for brisk walking or jogging. Smaller women say it's great for running for them, but larger men say it feels wobbly and it's quite loud when they try to run on it at 8 or 9 mph. The 20-by-55-inch treadmill belt is large enough for most users, but taller people may find it a bit too short for their stride.

Ease of use

Few complaints. Like all treadmills that require user assembly, there's no shortage of grousing over the challenges of putting together the Horizon T101-04. Still, it's no more than we see with other treadmills, including treadmills that cost twice as much. If you do run into challenges, customer service is available to help you through (more below). There aren't a lot of bells and whistles, though the 30 built in workout programs provide enough variety to keep users interested and motivated, most say. There's a powered 10 percent incline; some cheap treadmills only let you change the incline manually, or not at all. There's only one cushioning level, but it's set up in zones to mimic the cushioning a running shoe provides -- soft at the heel but firm toward the front.

Durability

Better than similarly priced competitors. Experts say that the Horizon T101-04 has solid build quality compared to competing models. "A solid mechanical design combined with better quality parts than they have used in the past makes for a unit that is surprisingly acceptable for the price," says TreadmillDoctor.com. In a professional test of durability only minor signs of wear could be seen following a half year of simulated use. One caveat is that this is not a treadmill that's designed for heavier users. It's rated for 300 pounds, but Fred Waters at Treadmill-Ratings-Reviews.com recommends a top weight capacity of 230 pounds.

Customer service

Customer service saves the day. No matter what sort of problem users experience, whether it's shipping-related or a defective part, they are near-unanimous in their reports that Horizon Fitness customer service is quick, friendly and usually gets the problem fixed as quickly as possible. The Horizon T101-04 comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor; parts and labor are each covered for one year.

Our Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

The Horizon Fitness T101 is included in ConsumerReports.org's current round of treadmill tests. Each machine is evaluated using a variety of criteria, including ergonomics, safety, exercise range and more. Full ratings are available to subscribers.

Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not Dated

Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com call the Horizon T101 "One of the best efforts Horizon has made at the $800 price point." They say they're impressed with the treadmill's solid mechanics and quality parts and note that the T101 is a great choice for someone more interested in a machine for less demanding use.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2016

Nearly 270 Amazon.com users give the Horizon T101-04, an overall rating of 3.8 stars out of 5. While that seems low, it's in line with all treadmills except the very cheapest here; they tend to get poor reviews. Some are due to delivery issues, others to durability issues. Most praise its easy setup and good value. It seems to be most popular with walkers.

Fred Waters, Not Dated

Fred Waters, a former executive with Smooth Fitness, says the Horizon T101-04 is the "Best Value Buy Treadmill" on the Planet…seriously!" He recommends it for walking rather than running, however, although says it should be okay for jogging.

Amanda Brooks, Not Dated

The Horizon T101 gets a 4-star rating here as well as a Best Buy Award. Elsewhere on the site it's named the best cheap treadmill of 2017.

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