Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill Review – Strengths and Weaknesses

by Jack on June 23, 2016

If you are currently interested in learning whether or not the Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill is the best choice for you read this review to learn what we like and don’t like about this model.

Although, we definitely do not consider this model cheap, if money is no object, there are more expensive models which we would rate higher. With that said we do consider the Horizon T9 as one of the top choices in its current price range.

As you can see from the image below this is a good looking and sturdy model (350 lbs weight capacity) a big powerful motor under lifetime warranty and the 60-inch long running platform.

We do give our honest opinion on this treadmill throughout this page. We were hesitate on sharing the video below on our review page. The #1 reason we were hesitate was because the video was made by the company who manufactures the treadmill (Horizon) and #2 the sound quality of the video isn’t great. But we decided to include the video because it does provide some useful information. Just be aware, this is a company video so of course there will be some bias in their presentation.

This is what you get for your home


Horizon T9 treadmill review

15% Grade Incline

This may be the first time you are buying a treadmill so you may not know what to look for when judging the specifications. We will tell you, this model was designed for runners, if all you want is a treadmill you can use to walk on there are more than a few less expensive options.

If running is what you want to do

Not all treadmills are made equal. Some models are made for strictly walking, other models allowing walking and jogging and then there are models which can handle running. So, if you are a runner, what do you need to pay attention to in the specifications to make sure you get what you want?

We recommend starting with the motor (style and horsepower) and the length of the tread belt (running platform).

The motor style should be a “Continuous Duty Horsepower” (CHP) and should be at least 2.5 horsepower. The tread belt should be at least 55-inches in length. These are the recommended minimums.

Does the Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill measure up to these standards? Yes, it has a 2.75 CHP and a 60-inch running platform.

What we want to say about these specifications. While we like very much the running platform is 60-inches in length. However, for the price, although the motor is under a lifetime warranty and will provide the power runners need we would like to see more than 2.75 CHP at this price range.

See models with bigger motors

Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill review

Three more things to look at in the specifications

After making sure the motor is powerful enough and the tread belt is long enough to support runners. Some might want to then look at “extras” such as: does it fold, does it include include, is it IFit enabled?

While we know “extras” are important to people when making their buying decisions. We would recommend looking at three more vital areas in the specifications before looking at any extras that might be include. These are:

  • Frame
  • Cushion System
  • Warranty

The frame should be manufactured out of steel. In your search you will come across models with aluminum frames we highly recommend steel over aluminum.

Having a cushion system to take the pressure off your joints is important. It is very hard to judge which model has the best cushion system. After testing many, we have conclude the comfort level depends on each individual’s body mechanics.

The warranty should never be overlooked. Especially, if you are paying close to or more than $1000 for a model. At these price ranges, you should expect to be provided with a lifetime warranty on both the motor and frame. If the warranty is not providing this type of coverage then you should really question the quality of the model.

Finally about the Extras

Although this Horizon treadmill model does provide some good extras this description might get a little rough in some areas.

The center console, you know the nice pretty electronic back-lit screen you find in front of where you are working out, where all the push button controls for speed, incline are located? See the image below.

Horizon Fitness Elite T9 home Treadmill review

Center Console Controls

It does do the job at providing all the important controls you need. It also provides built-in speakers. We will not say this center console is completely all bad but we do believe other models at this price range provide a much more extensive display.

But the good thing about it

OK, now that we have said the center console seems like a much more simpler display compared to other models in the price range. This doesn’t mean that there is no substance behind the built-in technology.

We understand many people are very attractive to a big center console screen. It’s like “eye candy” to see a bunch of flashing lights and a lot of buttons you will probably never use.

The positive about the technology loaded into the center console of the Horizon T9 treadmill it provides a workout calendar and also access to 44 different workout programs. It may not be the fanciest looking console but it beats the vast majority of models based on substance.

More about the Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill

We are not saying not to look at the different extras or accessories a model provides. However, as we have already pointed out though-out this review when buying a treadmill in order to get the most for your buck it is best to first examine the core primary features: Motor, frame, tread belt, cushion system and warranty before looking at the extras.

After narrowing down which models meet your needs in the core areas (listed above) then start focusing on the accessories you want.

The most important accessories or options included with the Horizon T9 are as follows:

If space is an issue. This is a folding treadmill. When in use the dimensions are 77″ x 36″ x 60″ (L x W x H) the folded dimensions are much more compact 44″ x 36″ x 69″ (L x W x H). It becomes a few inches taller when folded but the length is greatly reduced and can be pushed out of the way to save room space.

Incline. Walking uphill is a great way to build endurance and burn extra calories this model offers a 15% grade incline which adjust automatically by pushing the “up” and “down” buttons located on the center console.

Speed. Earlier in this review we discussed the motor and horsepower. But what sort of pace can this model set? The minimum is 0.5 MPH and the Maximum is 12 MPH. Running at the top speed of 12 MPH would be like running a 5 minute mile. Like the incline controls, the speed controls are also located on the center console and adjust automatically as you push the buttons.

ViaFit Connect. This application was designed by Horizon to track your fitness data as you use the treadmill and when put into use provides the user with information which can help them better reach their fitness goals. ViaFit Connect is compatitable with Nike+, FitBit and MyFitnessPal.

Heart Rate Monitoring. The purchase of the T9 treadmill includes a free Polar® Chest Strap Add-on. This chest strap not only monitors your heart rate as you workout but also has the ability to send this and other data to fitness apps and websites for tracking over time.

Workout programs/digital calendar. This model comes with 44 workout programs to which fit a broad range of fitness and weight loss goals. It also provides a digital calendar to help you keep on course and plan workouts.

Workout anywhere in the world. The T9 model comes with an application called Passport. We like this application a lot but will only be useful to those who are able to have their treadmill in front of a TV and connect through WIFI. The Passport application come downloaded on USB sticks and include such setting as the Italian Alps, the French Rivera and canyons of Arizona. These settings are able to be played in high-definition on a HDTV and also include surrounding sounds of each region.

Is it comfortable to run on? Earlier in this review we mentioned, “cushion systems”, we said comparing the comfort levels provided by the different systems on different treadmill models is very hard to judge because it tends to depend on individual characteristics such as body mechanics. However, we do believe the “variable response cushion system” is one of the strengths of the Horizon T9 treadmill.

Music. This model does provide a decent set of speakers. Through the USB port it will allow you to play music from your mobile devices.

Overall rating – Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill

Overall, there are many strengths this treadmill provides and compares well if not better in some areas than other models in its price range.

It provides a very sturdy build with a 350 lbs maximum weight capacity. It provides a 15% grade incline and the ability to fold up for people who need to save on space. If your exercise plans are to focus on running, its motor and the length of the running platform will provide these capabilities. The model also provides a good set of extras and accessories.

The only issue we have with this model is the amount of horsepower (2.75) provided by the motor. With that said, this could be a non-issue.

On one hand, its an issue because many of the other similarly priced models have higher horsepower motors. It makes us think the motor of the T9 runs at higher RPM’s in order to be able to produce the same top speeds as these larger motors. Running at higher RPM’s generally will cause a motor to be less durable.

On the other hand, its a non-issue because the amount of horsepower it does provide is enough for running and also, since the motor is under a lifetime guarantee AND we have not heard any complaints specifically related to the motor failing.

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