The Xterra TR300 is a solid machine, not exciting exactly, but it looks like it can handle some punishment. So, in a nutshell, if you're in the market for a no-nonsense workhorse, read on. If you want something with a little more hi-tech features, maybe check out the LifeSpan 1200i - it has more fancy software for a similar price,
If you're still here, we'll move on.
The TR300 requires more assembly than most models we've tried. Some come with the major components pre-assembled, whereas the TR300 doesn't. We recommend two people are required as some parts, such as the uprights, need to be held in place while attaching at the bottom. It's also easier if one holds the console in place, while the other connects up the wiring. It's not a specialist job, but will take around 30 to 40 minutes once it's all unpacked.
While we've said the TR300 is not flush with features, it does have a good selection of pre-set programs (24 in total). We'll cover these in the section below, so for now we'll take a look at the hardware. This model has a sturdy feel, in fact, it remains pretty rock solid at it's top speed of 10MPH. It's not the fastest machine amongst its competitors, you'll see a few capable of 12 MPH, but 10 is more than enough for most treadmill users,
And the same goes for the top incline setting of 10%, If you can maintain a 8MPH speed at a 10% incline for 3 minutes, you'll be going some. Note, the incline setting can be selected by either one-touch buttons for 3, 6 and 9%, or by using the step up and down buttons on the console. Note, the incline can also be controlled by the pre-set programs - and the same goes for the speed.
The running belt is a good size (20" x 55"). When you're running at higher speeds you'll feel more confident on a wider deck. Anything narrow than 18", or short than 50" may start to feel a little uncomfortable - especially if you're a larger, taller runner. The deck itself is well cushioned and well help to protect your joints. This is especially important if you're a overweight and/or a novice to running.
The console has space for a drinks bottle and Smartphone, plus a jack plug for the audio speakers - but note, we've heard better quality than these on the TR300. A cooling fan is situation beneath the console, but it's not particularly strong and barely noticeable when switched on.
The commercial grade 2.25 HP motor is reasonably quiet and smooth, and responds quickly to speed changes. One issue we had with the TR300 is the pulse sensors on the handrails. While they're conveniently placed, they do take longer than other sensors to measure your heartrate. This is a shame seeing at the heart rate training programs rely on an accurate reading. This can be got around by using a chest strap (not included), but we highly recommend you purchase one to get the most benefit from the heart rate programs - otherwise you have to keep holding the sensors to get a pulse reading.
The warranty is a generous one when considering the price. The frame and motor come with lifetime cover, everything else is one year.
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Xterra describe the 5.5" LCD screen as 'large'. While it's fairly easy to read, we don't think 'large' is the right word :0) Many treadmills in this price range have larger, some have color, and some have much better graphics and more imaginative ways to display your workout data - LifeSpan Fitness being a good example.
However, while the screen is small(ish) and the display quite bland, the console is very easy to use, plus there is a great selection of 24 pre-set programs. We've mentioned above a chest strap is a must for the TR300 - and this is because of a the heart rate programs. You enter your weight and age, and then your optimum heart rate is selected. You can select the time you want to run, and the treadmill will keep your pulse in the optimum range for the full benefits by amending the speed and/or incline to keep your heart challenged.
Other pre-sets include variations of endurance, hill runs and High Intensity Interval Training. Variation is vital to maintain interest in a long-term workout plan. Basically, if you get bored with the same routine, you're not likely to continue. The Xterra TR300 offers a good range so you can mix and match your regime over the weeks. Or, you can just press start and go, changing the speed and incline manually using the one-touch buttons, or selectors on the console or handrails.
The Xterra TR300 is a good, solid treadmill. It has a motor that's up to the job, and the rest of the hardware should last for years. However, there are a few smaller things that let it down such as the speakers, fan and pulse meter. It does, however, have a wide selection of pre-set programs, plus heart rate training - but a chest strap is recommended. If you're looking for a no thrills machine that you can just get on and run, this is a good option. But if you like to know more about your workouts, perhaps look elsewhere. See 'Alternatives' below.
Speed / Incline
Click images to enlarge
Max. User weight:
2.25 HP DC (commercial grade)
0.5 - 10 MPH (0.5 interval)
10% - 10 level settings
20" W x 55" L
Unfolded: 72.2" L x 35" W x 54.1" H Folded: 48.8" L x 35" W x 61.6" H
300 lbs / 136 kg
Frame: Lifetime / Motor: Lifetime / Parts: 1 Years / Labor: 1 Year
If you prefer more features such as online, personal trainer-led workouts, the NordicTrack T6.5Si might be for you - but it does cost more.