Reviewers call the Precor 9.23 treadmill a no-frills, gadget-free machine, but love its stable, gym-quality performance. This unit is best for serious runners who want a responsive machine that'll last for years without completely breaking the bank. The lack of side rails earns both praise and criticism.
Plenty of room to run. The Precor 9.23's 20-by-57-inch belt leaves plenty of room for even long-legged runners to get into a groove. "I like the size of the belt because it is plenty long enough and not too wide," says one reviewer on Amazon.com. The experts at TreadmillDoctor.com agree, giving the machine 8 out of 10 points for walking area and 7 out of 10 for its 3 horsepower continuous-duty motor. "I am just under 300 pounds, and the 3 horsepower motor does not slip or shudder like the smaller residential units do when I am jogging," reports one user.
"It's easy to adjust the speed and incline," says another, although Runner's World reviewers say that because the Precor 9.23 lacks quickset buttons that take you straight to a certain speed or incline, you must press and hold the arrow buttons a lot if you make big changes. Still, they praise it as "one of the most responsive treadmills we tested." The Precor 9.23 has a maximum speed of 12 mph and adjusts up to a 15 percent incline.
This treadmill's lack of side rails draws varying opinions and ultimately boils down to personal preference. "I liked the open design. The absence of side rails was striking and refreshing," says Michael Martinez, a marathoner recruited by Runner's World to test this treadmill.
Easy to use. The Precor 9.23 comes with five preset programs in addition to its manual mode. It features handgrip heart-rate sensors but isn't compatible with wireless heart-rate monitors, and doesn't have a heart-rate control mode.
Runner's World says the 9.23's console "has no entertainment value at all," not even a built-in fan, although most people who buy this unit aren't looking for fancy console features. They want a sturdy, gym-quality treadmill that can stand up to heavy use. With that said, the Precor 9.23 earns excellent rankings for ergonomics in one comparative expert review, and owners say the magazine rack holds an iPad easily.
Several owners report that setup takes less than an hour, although the components are so heavy that they sometimes had to be removed from the box and to the treadmill's planned location one by one. "You will need at least three people to move it into your house," says one user.
Earns kudos for construction. We found no complaints about durability issues with the Precor 9.23. Instead, owners and professionals alike praise it for its solid construction. "The frame, deck, motor and belt are all very solid, gym-quality components that will far outlast the entry-level treadmill I recently threw away," writes one consumer on Amazon.com.
TreadmillDoctor.com gives the Precor 9.23 good marks for reliability and quality, and names it a Best Buy in its price range for 2012. The unit earns very good rankings for both construction and safety in another comparative expert review.
No news is good news. Owners don't comment on Precor's customer service, although they rave about the 9.23's build quality. The treadmill is covered by a solid manufacturer warranty: lifetime on the frame, five years for parts both mechanical and electrical, and one year of labor coverage.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Precor 9.23 is among nearly 50 treadmills evaluated by the editors of ConsumerReports.org. Testers use a rotating drum to simulate a year's running on each unit, then inspect them for wear and tear. Each machine is also evaluated on factors including ease of use, ergonomics and safety.
Review: Treadmills, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of October 2012
2. Runner's World
Review Credibility: Excellent The author and an undisclosed number of testers evaluate 13 new treadmills, selecting seven with "the coolest features and smoothest rides at the best prices." Reviews are extremely brief and not comparative, although pros and cons are noted for each model.
Review: Tread Lightly, Brian D. Sabin, Jan. 10, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good About 15 owners post feedback on the Precor 9.23, giving it an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Most describe it as a sturdy, no-frills machine with high-quality parts. Although this is only a drop in the bucket compared to the review volume some other treadmills experience, it's our best source for user reviews of this model.
Review: Precor 9.23 Treadmill with Ground Effects Technology, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Good The editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, formerly one of the most prolific exercise equipment review sites, select the Precor 9.23 as a Best Buy in its price range. They assign it an out-of-10 rating in eight categories, including a perfect 10 for value. They don't provide much detail regarding their review, only a ratings chart.
Review: Precor 9.23 Treadmill Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, As of October 2012