If you have been looking into cardio machines for the last few years, then you know that the TreadClimbers are literally the new sheriffs in Cardio Town. BowFlex is marketing them as a multi-application fitness equipment that can give you the benefits of a treadmill, stair stepper, and an elliptical in one slick looking package.
While it is normal to be at least a bit skeptical about it – these have been around long enough to garner favorable reviews from a lot of fitness enthusiasts including us as well. So, if you’re wondering if it really does work – yes, it really does.
We’ve found that it is a lot more effective at burning excess fat than using just a treadmill, stair stepper, or an elliptical. Another advantage is that you get the benefit of working on all machines while saving 2/3 of total space with the TreadClimber.
The TreadClimber’s 3-1 action burns a lot more calories than just walking or jogging while at the same time making sure that you do not end up as tired. Read below for our in-depth review on the TC100 model from BowFlex.
BowFlex TreadClimber TC100 – Pros and Cons
- Durable construction – premium materials used
- Robust frame able to support max poundage of 300 lbs
- Feature rich display and controller with several functions
- Has quick controls to help vary parameters
- 12 resistance levels coupled with 4 different functions
- Replaces 3 other cardio machines, for a price
- Limited warranty, 2 years is too short
- Only 2 custom user profiles
- The number of programs are also limited
- Some people who’ve used it find it noisier at higher speeds
BowFlex TC100 Reviewed
When it comes to home fitness enthusiasts the one thing that they put a huge premium on is space. Understandably not everyone can afford a swanky 4000 sq. ft. house with huge area allocated for the home gym.
Another concern is that cardio machines like a treadmill or an elliptical consume a lot of space. So, you have to choose one or the other for your personal use. A TreadClimber circumvents this space crunch by offering the user all the functions of a treadmill, stair stepper and an elliptical all in one reasonably compact package.
Another facet to this is the fact that a TreadClimber is a lot more lower impact than a treadmill or a stair stepper. While on most cardio machines you are expected to run or jog, on the TreadClimber you only walk. This means less strain on your lower body compared to all the other machines.
Let’s break it down in a lot more detail with the exploration of the BowFlex TC100’s various features.
BowFlex TC100 Features and Programs
Like all models of TreadClimbers it has 2 treadles which are able to move individually. The TC100 brings to the table new functionalities compared to the earlier models (which are phased out currently). The powerful motors allow it to reach a maximum speed of 4 mph which is ideal for exercising without exerting yourself too much.
It lets you customize your fitness regimen according to your current fitness levels and comfort factor. It gives you 12 different resistance settings, so you can have a comprehensive fitness workout regardless of your ability.
It also has a nifty feature called a G.O. Coach through which you can set specific goals and track progress over time. This is very intuitive and can help keep you interested in fitness in the long run by adding an element of competitiveness to your exercise.
The LCD based display is interactive and also backlit, so you can use it in less than ambient lighting conditions. The display can track several fitness attributes like distance, speed, time taken, calories burnt to mention a few. It is a definite improvement over the earlier TC10 and TC20 models both of which look archaic by comparison. It allows for goal tracking to give you that extra bit of motivation for those dreary days.
It also monitors your heart rate through sensors placed within the contact grips on the handlebars. It also has a USB port through which you can charge your devices while you’re working out. You can also have 2 user profiles stored on here for easy access to several settings.
BowFlex TC100 Build Quality and Safety
Coming from BowFlex, you can bet your bottom dollar that is built solidly enough to withstand prolonged tough workout sessions. The maximum weight capacity of the machine is a good 300 pounds which says a lot of positives of the build quality.
It has a 2-year full coverage warranty. While this is a good thing, we think it should have had a lifetime warranty like many other pieces of fitness equipment in the same category. Additionally, it also has a 6-week money back guarantee which you can avail if you send it back within a period of 6 weeks. Because of the fantastic build quality, very few people have actually opted for this.
How does the BowFlex TreadClimber work?
A lot of people prefer to run but an equal if not greater number of people prefer not to. Another factor is that sometimes if you are heavy, sometimes you might damage your knee while running.
These are all risks that one has to take into account if you have to start running. But since the advent of the TreadClimber, people don’t have to run to get the most out of their fitness regimen.
While a lot of people heave a sigh of relief when they hear they don’t have to run, the TreadClimber is no pushover! Even though you are just walking, this is definitely not going to be a stroll through the garden for you.
The patented motion makes sure that you are exerted and forces your muscles to work in different ways than they are used to. This burns calories as well as strengthens your body.
These machines have several resistance levels which you can choose to give you a completely tailored experience. If you feel the exercise is getting too easy, you can set the resistance higher so you’re able to burn more calories.
Slower lactic acid buildup
Lactic acid buildup is what causes aches and pains the next day. Since this machine has a different philosophy of motion, it has been found that blood lactate levels are considerably reduced during use of this machine. While compared to a treadmill, the levels were 12% lower and 38% lower than an elliptical machine. This is pretty impressive, and this is an important factor when it comes to enabling consistent workouts.
All these factors together help cement the TreadClimber’s place as one of the best cardio machines out there which not only helps you reduce flab but also works to increase flexibility and keep you motivated as well.
BowFlex TC100 – Important takeaways from the review
There are several things that you need to know before you buy a BowFlex TC100. We attempt to address several common questions asked about the TC100 for the benefit of the readers.
Does the TreadClimber work?
This is something that a lot of people have asked us and understandably so. When a new piece of equipment comes out that is ‘newer and much improved’ than what we already have, we tend to lean towards skepticism. We have good news for you however, TreadClimber can walk (no pun intended) the talk and we have found that there is a considerable advantage when using a TreadClimber over a treadmill, elliptical or stair stepper.
Is it built well?
BowFlex have been a major brand when it comes to fitness solutions for home use as well as commercially. They have brought their expertise in to the range of TreadClimbers. They are built solidly and can take a load of up to 300 pounds. Premium materials are used throughout the machine and you actually feel the difference between this piece of equipment and other comparative brands.
Do you have to assemble it yourself?
The BowFlex TC100 comes with a detailed manual which explains all the steps necessary to get it up and running. You can even find videos that will walk you through the installation. On the other side, if you want to let someone else fix it up, that’s possible as well – BowFlex have an option that can get a professional down to your house to install it, so you don’t have to.
Will it fit in my house?
While it is quite similar to the dimensions of a treadmill, the length is about 57 inches, and it’s 31.5 inches wide. The one thing you have to pay attention to is the height, while it is only a slightly taller than a treadmill at about 59 inches, the TreadClimber action means that you will need a higher ceiling to be comfortable with it. At highest the treadle will travel from the machine is about 14 inches. So, make sure that your ceiling is at least 20 inches plus the height of the machine.
Do they have an effective refund policy?
BowFlex always have had trust in their own products and this is apparent because you have 6 weeks to try out their TreadClimber and if you don’t like it, you can initiate a return within that period. You can get a full refund on the price of the machine, no questions asked. We haven’t heard of a lot of people who actually wanted to return the machine, because it is that good and also reliable as well.
If you’re on the lookout for something that can work you harder without doing much damage to your knees, then you would do well to take a look at this machine. While it might not be the cheapest machine around, it replaces 3 other cardio machines and in hindsight, can give you a much better workout as well. Another reason is because it is such a low impact exercise machine, people of all ages can use it. Since it has robust build quality, it can serve you for a long time to come. Choose BowFlex TreadClimbers and you won’t regret.