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ProForm ZT6 Treadmill

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weight
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ProForm ZT6
ProForm zt6 PFTL59014 treadmill
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L:68"
W:35.7"
H:56.3"
300 lbs2.5 CHP,
1-10 MPH
18
Frame: lifetime
Motor: 25 years
Parts: 1 year
Labor: 1 year

The ProForm ZT6 is one of the best treadmills under $700 that you can find at the moment. It’s not a commercial treadmill, its folding frame actually points out that this is a machine for home use, however it still is quite a solid piece of fitness equipment. It offers an excellent deck construction, quiet operation, and a decent array of features and functions.

In this review we’ll offer as much information as possible regarding each and every feature this ProForm treadmill. But before that, there’s one important aspect to be clarified. This is the newer ZT6 model, with the item model number PFTL59014, the one that comes with the CoolAire fan. The previous model did not have this feature.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 68L x 35.7W x 56.3H inches (172L x 90.6W x 143H cm)
  • Tread belt dimensions: 55L x 20W inches (139.7L x 50.8W cm)
  • Assembled weight: 203 lbs (92 kg)
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Motor: 2.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Motor
  • Incline: Automatic, 0-10%
  • Deck cushioning: ProShox
  • Speed levels: 0-10 MPH
  • Console: 18 workout programs
  • Amenities: Sound system, cooling fan, tablet holder, 2x bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Motor 25 years / Parts 1 year / Labor 1 year

Frame and deck construction

Since it’s a rather heavy machine, with an assembled weight of over 200 lbs, it’s pretty much obvious that the frame is made of steel. This weight adds a lot of stability to the machine. All proform zt6 PFTL59014 suspensionsteel parts have a powder coating finish, which makes them highly resistant to corrosion.

The deck is made of durable MDF phenolic material, designed to withstand users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). It uses 1.9″ precision-machined, balanced and non-flex rollers. These are actually medium size rollers, as the ones used in commercial decks start at 2.75″. But nonetheless, they’re made to decrease tension, and prolong the lifespan of the belt. They supply an excellent grip to the belt, without skipping or any other issues, even if the treadmill is set to the highest speed settings, and the user is close to the maximum capacity. The deck uses a 1-ply, industrially tested and stretch resistant belt.

The running surface provided by this treadmill is the same as for the Nautilus T614 and Schwinn 830. It’s 55″ (140 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide. This means it can comfortably accommodate users up to 6’2″ – 6’3″ (188-190 cm), for running workouts. Taller users can of course, still use this treadmill, but in their case, the running belt may be a bit short for running.

One of the best aspects regarding the deck of the ProForm ZT6 treadmill, is the ProShox cushioning system. This suspension system consists on two springs on each side of the running deck. These alleviate quite an important part of the workout impact on your joints. Differently put, a run on this machine is up to 30% less harmful to your knees or ankles, than a run on concrete of asphalt.

The ProForm ZT6 is not an extremely bulky treadmill, such as the 2000 model, or the 3G Cardio Elite. However, it’s still not exactly a small machine. With a footprint of 68″L x 35.7″W (172 x 90.6 cm) it takes quite a bit of floor space, and may not be suited for a small apartment, or small room. That’s because you’ll also have to consider the required 1′ clearance on each side, and several feet of clearance at the rear, for the appropriate safety. However, this fitness machine features a folding design. The deck can be folded up, using a locking latch connected to the front part of the frame and its rear steel base. The storage latch does not feature a soft drop mechanism though. Therefore, when you unfold the treadmill it’s important to hold the deck until it’s completely lowered to the floor, without dropping it.

One last aspect to mention here regards the machine’s bases. The rear of the deck rests on non-adjustable feet, while the front part rests on the steel frame. These being said, in order to achieve maximum stability, and avoid any tipping of the machine, it’s best to place it on a rubberized mat, if the flooring is uneven. Also, the rear part of the steel base frame features caster wheels. Thus, when the deck is folded up, you can slightly lean the treadmill on the wheels for easier transport.

Incline and step up height

The ZT6 treadmill from ProForm is equipped with a motorized incline system. This means incline is automatic, and can only be adjusted from the machine’s console. You can adjust incline manually, or in case you’re using one of the preset programs that also involves incline, the machine will adjust incline automatically.

The treadmill offers a slope between 0% and 10%. It’s not that much, and of course, cannot be compared with the incline offered by the commercial treadmills. However, it’s still a feature that diversifies the workout possibilities by a lot. And as a general idea, running at 8-9 MPH, with the incline at maximum, it’s quite a challenge if your level of fitness is not that great. Differently put, with the mentioned settings, you won’t be able to keep up for more than a few minutes.

At 0% incline, the running surface is set at approx. 7.5″ above floor level. The maximum incline adds several inches. Therefore, to determine the required ceiling height for using this treadmill, add at least 15″ to your own height.

Motor

The ProForm ZT6 doesn’t have a motor with an extreme peak duty. However, its 2.5 CHP motor enables it to perform well for long duration workouts, without choking or overheating, even if the user is close to the maximum supported weight. It supplies speeds up to 10 MPH. Speed can be adjusted in increments of 0.1 and 0.5, which gives you the possibility to find the pace that fits best to you.

Evidently, since the treadmill uses two motors, one to set the tread belt in motion, the other for the incline of the deck, it requires to be connected to a nominal 120-volt circuit. A power cord with a U.S. standard plug (not adapter) is supplied with the machine, and connects to the motor case at the front. Near the cable connection point to the machine, there is also a On/OFF power switch.

Console

The console of this running machine features a 5″, LED backlit display. The monitor displays values such as time, distance, calories, pulse, and of course, the current speed and incline settings. Distance can be tracked in miles and km, while speed can be tracked in MPH or proform zt6 consoleKm/H.

The console does not feature iFit compatibility, like the ProForm 995i, but does offer 18 preset programs divided in 4 categories: Calorie, Intensity, Speed and Incline. These programs will automatically adjust incline and speed. There is of course, the Manual mode which allows you to adjust speed and incline as you like. There is also a track function, which measures distance in laps of 1/4 miles, displaying your progress for each lap.

The console offers keys for gradual speed and incline adjustment. However, there are also quick keys that allow you to directly select the desired speed or incline.

The console incorporates several amenities, such as a cooling fan, speakers, tablet shelf and bottler or accessory holders. The cooling fan has several speed settings. It’s not exactly the strongest fan, and won’t be able to simulate the resistance generated by wind. However it does supply some cooling, which is great when running in a heated room.

The sound system is compatible with most smartphones, tablets and MP3 players, including Apple devices. The sound rendered is not bad, much better than the integrated speakers of phones or tablets. The console also features volume keys, so you won’t have to use your device for adjusting sound. All in all, it’s a great feature as it gives you the possibility to have your music close, without using earbuds, which may be inconvenient when you run.

The tablet tray is placed right above the fan. Its placement on the console is actually great, as your tablet won’t cover the console display as in other models, such as the Sole F80 for example. The bottle or accessory holders are placed on each side of the console, offering enough space for various objects that you might want to have at hand when running.

Last but not least, console unit of the ZT6 can track your pulse, but only via the EKG sensors integrated in the transversal handlebar. It’s not telemetry enabled, and does not work with a wireless HR chest strap.

Assembly and Maintenance

The deck of the machine comes completely assembled, and attached to the frame. The assembly process, although not complicated, it may take up to two hours. It requires you to attach the console masts, connect the wires, and then assemble the console. Also, due to the fact that the machine is rather heavy, another person may be required. Hex keys for assembly are supplied, but you will have to use your own Phillips screwdriver. The manual provided with the treadmill offers clear instructions for use and assembly.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. Apparently the belt shouldn’t need lubrication for a long while, as it’s prelubricated with a high-grade industrial lubricant. However, the tread belt must be kept clean. Thus, you should periodically wipe any dirt or foreign objects on it, and vacuum under the deck.

One last aspect to mention here, regards the warranty. In order to activate your warranty, you will have to register your product with proformservice.com. The manual provides instruction for this as well.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame construction;
  • Solid deck, being able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Folding frame, space-saving design;
  • Cushioned deck;
  • Motorized incline, 0% – 10%;
  • 2.5 CHP motor, speeds up to 10 MPH;
  • Speed adjustability in increments of 0.1 MPH, allowing you to find the perfect pace for your workout;
  • EGK grip sensors;
  • 18 preset workout programs;
  • Various amenities such as sound system, multiple speed fan, tablet shelf, accessory proform zt6 folded decktrays;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty package.

The Cons

  • No custom user programs – you can’t create your own workout program for re-use;
  • Console is not telemetry enabled. Can only read pulse via the sensors on the front bar of the treadmill.

Final Conclusions

The ProForm ZT6 is an entry level running treadmill. This means it can supply running workouts, it’s not just for walking or light jogging. However, since its speed range doesn’t extend over 10 MPH, it’s not exactly a treadmill for professional runners. It’s a machine made for anyone who wants to walk, jog or run for at least a couple of miles per day. Like any running treadmill is great for cardio training, interval training, building stamina, and of course, for losing weight. It cuts back on fancy features such as WiFi, or online connectivity, in order to offer a more affordable price. In fact, this treadmill supplies excellent value for the money, which is also reflected by its consistent warranty package.

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