Owners love that the LifeSpan TR200 comes fully assembled and folds small enough to store under the bed. However, it tends to come to an abrupt halt and a burning smell can develop if you use it for more than 30 minutes, which many consumers consider deal-breakers.
Best for light use. The TR200's 17-by-48-inch belt and low maximum speed of 6 mph make it best for walking, although a few shorter people do use it for jogging. TreadmillDoctor.com gives it a low score of 2.5 out of 10 for power, and the TR200 is rated only "fair" by another expert source for its ability to accommodate users of different sizes. Its 1.5 continuous horsepower motor goes up to only 6 miles per hour, and although the TR200 has 10 incline settings, it's not clear how high it actually goes. One expert source estimates the maximum incline at 5.5 percent.
Owners tend to be a little more forgiving, and a few post comments on Amazon.com that this treadmill is surprisingly sturdy, stable and smooth. However, most say the TR200 is only suitable for a slow walk. Of greatest concern is the unit's tendency to suddenly halt the treadbelt in the middle of a workout.
Comes fully assembled. Owners love that the True TR200 comes fully assembled; just open the box, lift the treadmill out, fold up the console and you're ready to go. Owners say the built-in speakers are nothing spectacular, and the three speed and incline programs draw limited praise.
Editors at TreadmillDoctor.com acknowledge this treadmill's limitations, but still praise its innovation in a 2010 review. They give the TR200 10 points out of 10 for value because of how easily it folds to go under a bed, making it suitable for use in situations where you might otherwise not be able to own a treadmill. It receives only an average score for safety and ease of use from another expert source, although they don't explain why.
Sudden stops are dangerous. The LifeSpan TR200 suffers from two consistent and potentially dangerous problems: jerking to a sudden stop in the middle of a workout and a burning smell that tends to develop after 30 minutes of use. "The smell is so bad it makes my whole house stink," writes one user.
Another describes the operational failure that developed about a month after purchase as a "complete, unexpected dead stop." Numerous owners experience the same issues. Some also complain that the treadmill sometimes short circuits. One owner says it actually shorted the whole room, making him certain that the unit's a fire hazard.
An adequate warranty can't fix everything. The LifeSpan TR200 has a decent warranty considering its price range: lifetime warranty on the frame, five years of coverage on the motor, and one year for parts and labor. Owner reviews about customer support and warranty service are mixed. Some claim that replacing the motor fixed the jerking halt problem. In at least one case, LifeSpan sent a replacement motor free of charge even though the warranty period had expired. On the other hand, a replacement motor didn't fix the shorts and sudden stops for everybody. One frustrated Amazon.com customer says, "it is not possible to speak to anyone in person at that company. All communication with customer service is by email."
Review Credibility: Excellent The LifeSpan TR200 is included in the most recent report on treadmill ratings from ConsumerReports.org. Nearly 50 machines are evaluated on criteria such as ease of use, exercise range and safety. Full ratings are available to subscribers.
Review: Treadmills, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The LifeSpan TR200's rating on Amazon.com has dropped somewhat, from 4.1 stars out of 5 to 3.9 after just more than 50 user reviews. Most owners are pleased with the treadmill, and they especially love its compact size and that it comes fully assembled. However, many complain that the belt stops suddenly during use; others say the unit short circuits after as little as a half-hour.
Review: LifeSpan Fitness TR200 Fold-N-Stor Compact Treadmill (2012 Model), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Good Although TreadmillDoctor.com praises the LifeSpan TR200i as an "innovative new treadmill," it doesn't make the 2011 Best Buy list, nor has its review been updated since 2010. Editors say it's suitable only for walkers.
Review: LifeSpan TR200, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, As of October 2012