Compared: LifeSpan TR1200i vs. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill

by Jack on October 11, 2016

Which is the better buy for your home between the LifeSpan TR1200i and the ProForm 505 CST Treadmill? In this review you will not find mention of the “extras and accessories” that may or may not be included with these two models.

Instead, we will focus on what we believe are the most important parts of a treadmill that first need to be considered before buying. After being armed with this information then you can narrow own your choices and focus on the “extras and accessories” that come with each model.

Below is what we will be focusing on as we compare the LifeSpan TR1200i vs. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill. Looking over the following five areas would you agree these are important areas to understand in order to get the best quality the money?

  • Motor
  • Frame
  • Tread belt
  • Cushion System
  • Warranty

#1 Motor – Style and Horsepower

No matter which treadmill you decide to buy it will be very important to examine the type of motor and the amount of horsepower provided.

lifespan tr 1200i is the better choice under 1000

LifeSpan TR 1200i

There are a few different styles of motors you may come across when searching for a treadmill to buy. We will not list these here, rather, just say the “Continuous Duty Rated Horsepower” (CHP) is the most efficient and durable. So no matter what you buy we highly recommend making sure it includes this style of motor.

Why is horsepower important? Knowing about horsepower (hp) is most important for people who are wanting to buy a home treadmill to run on.

Compared to waling and jogging a treadmill capable of satisfying a runners needs will need a higher horsepower motor. As a rule of thumb we recommend buying a treadmill with at least a 2.5 hp motor.

How do these two models stack up when it comes to the quality of the motor?

  • Both have the recommend CHP style of motor.
  • Both have a motor with 2.5 horsepower.

#2 Frame – Material and weight capacity

Materials. When it comes to the materials used to build treadmill frames you will find these are either made from steel or aluminum.

Can you run on the ProForm 505 CST treadmill is it any good

Proform 505 CST Treadmill

We recommend buying a steel frame.  There are two practical reasons why we recommend steel over aluminum:

  • Quieter. Steel fits together tighter. This helps reduce noise when the machine is being used.
  • Bounce. Aluminum feels rigid and dead. Steel on the other hand provides a little bounce to your step.

Tie.  Both the LifeSpan TR1200i and the ProForm 505 CST Treadmill have steel frames and both have maximum user weight capacities of 300 pounds.

#3  Tread belt – Thickness and dimensions

Both of these models provide a 2-ply thick belt. This is the norm for all models in this price range. 2-ply isn’t the thickest but should give you years of use before needing a replacement.

Dimensions of the belt and importance. This is the platform you will be exercising on. Are you planning to use the treadmill you by for running?

If so, keep in mind, as we go from walking to jogging to running the length of our stride increases. This means a runner will need to buy a treadmill that has a tread belt length long enough to accommodate the increased length of their stride.

As a rule of thumb, a treadmill for running should have a tread belt that is at least a 54-inches in length. The longer it is, the better, the more comfortable it will be.

  • LifeSpan TR1200i has a 56-inch belt
  • ProForm 505 CST has a 55-inch belt

#4 Cushion System – Best for protecting joints

The cushion system is always the hardest area to judge and declare an absolute winner. Due to differences between individuals (height, weight, body mechanics, shoes, etc) some people will feel more comfortable running on one model’s cushion system and others will feel more comfortable on another model.

There is never a 100% consensus.

  • LifeSpan TR1200i comes with 6 compression shocks.
  • ProForm 505 CST comes with the ProShox Cushioning.

When using both these models we felt the system on the LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill was more comfortable and best at alleviating and preventing joint pain in the long-term. But as we already mentioned this is a very hard area to judge due to differences between each individual person.

#5 What type of protection is found in the Warranty

The warranty of the ProForm 505 CST Treadmill provides:

  • 25- years on motor
  • lifetime on frame
  • 1- year on parts
  • 1-year on labor

The warranty of the LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill provides:

  • Motor – lifetime
  • Frame – lifetime
  • Parts – 3 years
  • Labor – 1 year

LifeSpan TR1200i vs. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill. Which models wins?

Above we compared these two models by rating the 5 most important areas to look at when buying a treadmill:

  • Motor
  • Frame
  • Tread belt
  • Cushion System
  • Warranty

Judging the motor and frame these models provided almost identical quality. But moving down the list to the tread belt the LifeSpan model provides an extra inch of running room. Which is not a huge difference but still worth mentioning. It is also our opinion that this LifeSpan model has the better cushion system.

The most significant difference is seen when looking at what the warranties provide. The LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill wins here, providing lifetime guarantees on both the motor and frame and also more years of protection on labor and parts.

 

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