LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill VS. the Nautilus T614

by Jack on November 3, 2016

Here we compare the LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill VS. the Nautilus T614 model, giving our opinion on which is the best buy for the money and why.

This comparison, will not be mentioning any of the “extras” which come with either model. We compare these models based only on what we consider the 5 most important qualities.

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

The five areas listed above are the most important areas to consider before buying a treadmill. After understanding these areas then you can narrow down you choices based on the different “extras” included.

#1 Motor – Style and Horsepower

You should be able to agree a quality motor is very important when it comes to buying a treadmill. Not only does quality matter but if you intend to run on the treadmill you buy it is also extremely important you buy a model with a motor that provides enough horsepower

How do you judge the quality?

To do this you will want to read the product description for information on the “style” of motor included. If you do not find this information in the description on the sales page then you should look into the model’s specifications. If you are buying in a brick-n-mortar store rather than online then the salesperson should be able to provide you with this information.

What style do you want?

You might come across a few different styles. Not to go into the mechanics on how each works but we will say, if you want the most efficient and durable the “Continuous Duty Rated Horsepower” (CHP) is the type you want to buy.

Do you plan to run on your treadmill? Horsepower is needed.

Many people may not be able to give the exact definition of the term, “horsepower” but they know it relates to how much power a motor has.

Then most people will be able to deduce more horsepower is needed for higher intensity running workouts compared to lower intensity workouts like walking or jogging. This would be correct. If you have plans of using your treadmill for running don’t make the fatal mistake of buying a model which does not supply enough horsepower.

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? What are the differences you need to be aware of?

First, both the LifeSpan TR1200i and the Nautilus T614 have the right style of motor, “Continuous Duty Rated Horsepower” (CHP). However, there is a difference in the amount of horsepower.

Both the LifeSpan TR1200i and the Nautilus T614 Treadmill have the recommended (CHP) style of motor. However, the is a slight difference  in horsepower output. The Nautilus T614 is a bit more powerful at 2.75 horsepower compared to the 2.5 horsepower provided by the TR1200i.

is the LifeSpan TR1200i the best for under 1000 dollars

LifeSpan TR 1200i

#2 Frame – Material and weight capacity

The importance of the frame probably doesn’t cross most people’s mind when shopping for a treadmill. However, it’s the largest single part of the machine. Think about how important a good frame is to the quality of a house, a car or a bike. It’s no different when it comes to treadmills.

First, the frame is what will determine the maximum user weight capacity of the machine and also the sturdiness. These two qualities are for the most part proportional. Higher the weight capacity the more stable and sturdy the machine will be.

Second, another thing to consider is the type of material used in the building of the frame.

For the most part, treadmill frames are either produced with steel or aluminum. We will tell you two reasons why we recommend steel or aluminum.

Do you want a quiet treadmill? Steel fits together much tighter than aluminum, therefore, models made from steel tend to be much quieter in comparison.

A little bounce to your step. Steel is less rigid than aluminum. Exercising on an aluminum frame tends to feel a little dead when your foot hits down on the platform. On the other hand, steel is much better at absorbing the impact of your foot hitting down and transfers the energy to provide a little bounce in your upstep.

Which frame do we rate better, LifeSpan TR1200i vs. Nautilus T614?

We like that both models have frames made from steel. Both treadmills also have the same maximum user weight capacity of 300 pounds.

There is not much of a difference between the quality of these two frames.

#3 Tread belt – Durability and Dimensions

There are certain characteristics to pay attention to about the tread belt (or exercise platform) the most important, especially if you are a runner is the dimensions of the belt (width x length).

But we also want to mention something about durability. This isn’t a huge deal but be aware tread belts come in different thicknesses. The thicker the belt, the more durable and longer lasting. Both the treadmill we are comparing here have belts that are 2-ply in thickness. This is pretty much the standard thickness seen for tread belts in these model’s price range ad should provide years of use before a replacement is needed.

More importantly, the dimensions of the belt should be examined, especially, if you plan to run on your treadmill.

If you only plan to use your machine for walking or jogging you can save some money by buying a treadmill with a shorter belt. But as we all can imagine, as we go from walking to jogging to running the length of our stride increases.

This means if you do plan to run you will need a longer exercise platform (tread belt).

For running, in our estimates, the average person will need a tread belt at leat 54 to 55 inches in length to feel comfortable.

  • The LifeSpan TR1200i has a belt 56-inch long belt
  • The Nautilus T614 has a belt that is 55-inces in length

#4 Cushion System – Best for protecting joints

Comparing the cushion systems, which is best to comfort the joints can be a little tricky. We have reviewed and compared hundreds of different models. There is never a 100% consensus on which model has the best cushion.

Better than the Nautilus T614 treadmill

Nautilus T614 Treadmill

This is due to specific individual differences (height, weight, body mechanics, shoes, etc) some people feel more comfortable running on one model’s cushion system, while, others will feel more comfortable on another model.

In our opinion, both models provide a decent cushion system. If we had to choose which we think is the better in this category, we would rate the Nautilus T614 superior.

#5 What type of protection is found in the Warranty

The warranty of the LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill provides:

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

While the warranty of the Nautilus T614 includes the following protections:

  • 10 years frame
  • 10 years motor
  • 2 years mechanical
  • 2 year electrical
  • 90 days labor

The better buy: LifeSpan TR1200i vs. Nautilus T614 treadmill

Above we compared these two models based on the following five areas:

Motor
Frame
Tread belt
Cushion System
Warranty

The Nautilus was winning based on having a larger horsepower motor (for runners), being even in frame (both steel) and a little better in the cushion system.

The exercise platform (tread belt) of LifeSpan is an inch longer (56 inches vs 55 inches of the Nautilus).

So, when considering the motor, frame, tread belt and cushion system… It’s close but the Nautilus T614 looks to be the better buy. But hold on…

This is a big difference

The warranty (or lack of) of the T614 brings major questions marks. The motor and frame are only guaranteed for 10 years. Compared to the lifetime guaranteed on the motor and frame provided by the LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill.

At the price range, these two models are in, with the Nautilus only providing a 10-year warranty on the motor and frame really brings question marks up about its quality. The majority of treadmills found in this price range provide lifetime guarantees on the motor and frame.

Based on what is provided in the warranty we have to say the LifeSpan TR1200i treadmill is the better (safer) buy.

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