At about $5,000, the Precor 9.35 represents a significant investment -- but serious runners and expert reviewers say it stands up to the pressure. High points include a responsive 3-horsepower continuous-duty motor, solid construction, and the ability to adjust from a 15-percent incline to a 2-percent decline.
Spacious and versatile. The Precor 9.35's 22-by-56-inch belt leaves plenty of room for all but the longest-legged of runners, and its 12-mph maximum speed will challenge almost anybody. In an older article for SmartMoney.com, Olympic decathlete Bryan Clay find the 9.35's ability to shift from a 15-percent incline all the way down to a 2-percent decline well worth the extra cost.
Both experts and owners agree the Precor 9.35's 3-horsepower continuous-duty motor is quiet and responds quickly to changes. We also found praise for its shock-absorption feature, which can accommodate users of all weights -- with no apparent maximum.
Programs and performance. The Precor 9.35 comes with 11 preset programs (plus two custom options), four interval and five heart rate control programs. It has a handgrip heart-rate monitor that brings the typical reliability and accuracy complaints and is compatible with wireless syncing from chest straps and other transmitters.
Several owners praise the treadmill's ability to store personal best performances on various courses; a pacer option shows how you're doing against that recorded best. The Precor also offers a workout log feature and four user IDs, so up to four people can track their results.
Marathoner tested. "I've maxed out how fast I can run, maxed out the incline, and it just keeps humming along without skipping a beat," reports a marathoner who's logged more than 3,000 miles on a Precor 9.35i, posting to the Runner's World forums. (This post is no longer available online.) He mentions hearing the occasional squeak and feeling a little drag on the belt after about 1,800 miles, which was remedied with a quick repair call.
It's no surprise, then, that the Precor 9.35 draws much expert praise for its durability. "You are getting a treadmill designed to take abuse," writes Fred Waters of Treadmill-Ratings-Reviews.com, who also points out this model incorporates many of the components you'll find in Precor's light-commercial-use treadmills.
No complaints here. We found a couple of complaints about local third-party companies that customers called to work on their Precor treadmills, but zero criticism about Precor's customer service. In fact, one Amazon.com customer says they footed the bill for a service call after he went looking for a second opinion; and Precor's customer service proactively reaches out to Amazon.com customers who post complaints. Users praise the 9.35's bombproof construction and its more than solid warranty: lifetime coverage on the frame, 10 years for mechanical and electronic parts and one year for labor.
TreadmillDoctor.com sells treadmill components and offers servicing, but doesn't sell the machines directly. They perform thorough testing on many treadmills. "One of the best home treadmills on the market," write the editors, although they question the high price.
Review: Precor 9.35 Treadmill Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, As of November 2013
2. Runner's World
Fourteen staffers help test nine new treadmills, including the Precor 9.35. Each unit receives brief analysis, but there are no direct comparisons or rankings between models.
Review: Rise of the Machines, Lisa Jhung and Sean Downey, Jan. 12, 2010
3. Treadmill-Ratings- Reviews.com
The Precor 9.35 earns a Best Buy recommendation in the $2,000-plus price range from Fred Waters, a former executive with Smooth Fitness. He likes this unit's construction, warranty and ergonomic features.
Review: Precor 9.35 Treadmill Review, Fred Waters, As of November 2013
Just six reviewers share their opinions about this treadmill on Amazon.com. Normally we wouldn't give them much weight, but they're among the very few user reviews we found, and one is extremely in-depth.
Review: Precor 9.35 Premium Series Treadmill, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013
Bryan Clay, an Olympic decathlete, tests several workout machines and selects his favorites in this older review. His treadmill pick is the Precor 9.35, and he cites its ability to adjust to a 2-percent decline as a particularly worthwhile feature.
Review: How to Shop for Exercise Equipment, Angie C. Marek, Dec. 31, 2008