January 2009. TreadmillDoctor.com and Consumer Reports award the LifeSpan TR2000 numeric scores based on testing, allowing readers to compare it with other treadmills. TreadmillSensei.com and the Los Angeles Times both provide more narrative detail about the TR2000 than other reviews do, but they do not rate or rank it against the competition. About.com's review provides very little information about the TR2000. We disregard the handful of glowing reviews posted at Amazon.com as most, if not all, appear phony.
Most treadmills can tilt uphill, but few can simulate a downhill climb. The LifeSpan TR2000 can, and it's much less costly than other treadmills that offer this feature. Several reputable reviewers recommend the TR2000, saying it is sturdy and has a good warranty (lifetime frame and motor, five years parts, one year labor). The TR2000 also shaves 14 to 16 inches off of its size by locating the motor underneath the unit, according to reviews that recommend this folding treadmill as a space-saver. But testers do find flaws, too: The running belt slipped under one reviewer, who reports that his 180-pound weight may have been too heavy for running on the TR2000 (the weight limit for walkers is 350 pounds). Reviews note that tall runners may find the 56-inch deck too short, and that the TR2000's preset workouts don't leverage its downhill feature. Some reviews instead recommend the more expensive PaceMaster Platinum Pro VR ($2,500). The PaceMaster has a 60-inch running deck and uphill-downhill workouts with names like "Lombard Street" and "Appalachian Trail," but it doesn't fold for easy storage, and its 12-year motor warranty is shorter than the LifeSpan's.
The Stevenson brothers aren't as enthusiastic about the LifeSpan TR2000 as other reviewers are. They call it a "decent" treadmill for buyers who need to save space, but overall they find it dated. A chart shows the TR2000's numeric scores from TreadmillDoctor.com's tests.
Review: LifeSpan TR2000, Clark and Jon Stevenson
Consumer Reports ranks 23 treadmills, including the LifeSpan TR2000. Testers judge each treadmill's comfort and usability, and a machine simulates a year of use to test each model's durability. Results are displayed clearly in a chart. The report is available only to subscribers.
Review: Treadmill Ratings, Editors of Consumer Reports
This reviewer tests the LifeSpan TR2000 by working out on the treadmill (and by having others work out on it) over a two-week period. The Treadmill Sensei, who has 20 years' experience repairing exercise equipment, recommends the TR2000 for two key features -- its space-saving design and ability to tilt downhill -- as well as its overall build quality.
Review: The LifeSpan TR2000HRC Treadmill Review -- Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Editor of TreadmillSensei.com, Aug. 29, 2007
4. Los Angeles Times
The LifeSpan TR2000 is one of four treadmills recommended by Wallack, an endurance runner and cyclist. He tests all of the treadmills and lists his likes and dislikes for each, but he does not rate or rank the models.
Review: Four Treadmills That Go the Distance, Roy M. Wallack, Nov. 17, 2008
Wendy Bumgardner, About.com's guide to walking, recommends the LifeSpan TR2000 along with nine other treadmills on this Best Budget Treadmills list. Bumgardner refers to other experts' opinions of the treadmills (in fact, the write-ups here are furnished by Treadmill-Ratings-Reviews.com's Fred Waters); she does not mention testing them herself. Each treadmill gets a one-paragraph summary. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Best Budget Treadmills, Wendy Bumgardner, Dec. 18, 2008
The LifeSpan Fitness TR2000's glowing reviews at Amazon.com look plausible at first, but a closer look shows that three of the five users' review history consists mostly or only of LifeSpan products -- and the product always gets five stars. None of the reviews include any real criticism of the TR2000.
Review: LifeSpan Fitness TR 2000-HRC Treadmill, Contributors to Amazon.com