NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill

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NordicTrack T 8.5 S

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300 lbsAutomatic,
3.5 CHP,
0-12 MPH
50 programs,
iFit ready,

The NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill shares many similarities with the T 9.5 S model that we’ve already reviewed here. They basically have the same design, capacity, and running surface. However, the T 8.5 S features a console with a smaller display. Although this is not a treadmill made for commercial use, it definitely has a sturdy construction, being pretty close at least to the light-commercial models. For reference, the is the NordicTrack part number NTL11219.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 78.5L x 35.5W x 59H inches (200L x 90W x 150H cm)
  • Tread belt dimensions: 60L x 20W inches (152.4L x 51W cm)
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Motor: 3.5 CHP
  • Speed range: 0-12 MPH
  • Incline: Automatic, 0-12%
  • Deck cushioning: FlexSelect
  • Console: 50 programs, Bluetooth, iFit enabled
  • Amenities: Sound system, tablet holder, accessory trays, 1-year iFit membership
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Motor lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 2 years

Frame and deck

Most treadmills of this caliber have a steel frame construction and the NordicTrack T 8.5 S doesn’t make an exception. It features a sturdy steel frame, its deck being rated for a user weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). All the steel bars in its construction feature a durable powder coating finish resistant to abrasion and corrosion. The colors used are gray for the upright masts of the machine and black for the base frame.

Since it’s a heavy-duty machine, this NordicTrack treadmill is not exactly featherweight. It weighs over 200 lbs (90 kg) when fully assembled, so its transport and assembly requires at least two people. However, once the unit is assembled, its relocation can be done with ease by only one person as its front base features a set of transport wheels.

An important aspect that we must mention here regards the machine’s foldability. Its deck features a folding mechanism which involves a hydraulic cylinder. This being said, when unfolding the deck, you don’t have to hold and control its lowering. The hydraulic mechanism will slowly lower it automatically. Also, with the deck folded up, the machine’s length is reduced to approx. 40″ (101 cm).

With the frame unfolded and ready to use, this treadmill is fairly large. It is approx. 78.5″ (200 cm) long, and 35.5″ (90 cm) wide. Plus, you will have to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side, and at least three feet of clearance at the rear of the deck. Therefore, it may not be the best fit for a small room or apartment.

Similar to the other models in the NordicTrack T series, this machine is equipped with the FlexSelect cushioning system. Its deck integrates six cushioning elements, three on each side, which can absorb up to 40% of the shock of each footstrike during running. Plus, each cushion is adjustable; you can increase or decrease its flexibility by a simple rotation.

The NordicTrack T 8.5 S is equipped with a heavy-duty, multi-ply belt with a rubber top layer for high adherence. It offers a standard running surface of 60″L x 20″W (152.4 x 51 cm). This being said, the machine should accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem, promoting a complete range of motion.

The internal rollers have a crowned design and integrate heavy-duty sealed ball bearings for a smooth belt motion. They’re fairly large, 1.9″ in diameter, which leads to a better traction for the belt. Also, the crowned design improves the lifespan of the belt.

Incline and step-up height

The NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill features a motorized incline system. This means the incline can only be adjusted from the console. Also, some of the programs within the memory of the console will automatically adjust the incline when in use.

The incline system consists of two levers placed underneath the front side of the deck. When the incline is adjusted, the 2-lever system will raise or lower the front of the deck.

The machine makes available 12 levels of incline, with an incline range between 0% and 12%. That’s approx. 9° of incline. The incline adjustment increments are 1%. The console features quick selection keys from 0% to 12% on its left side, but the lower keypad also has gradual incline adjustment controls.

With the incline set to 0%, the elevation of the deck is approx. 11″ (28 cm). Conversely, with the incline set to maximum, the front part of the deck will become elevated by a few extra inches. Therefore, it is recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive motor

This treadmill is equipped with the same Drux Commercial Plus motor as the NordicTrack C 1650. It’s a 3.5 CHP motor designed to withstand lengthy workouts without overheating or losing performance. It actually has its own, built-in cooling system. It is also equipped with a small flywheel for improved stability and to minimized vibration.

The motor produces a fairly low level of noise. However, even with all the cushioning of the deck, your cadence will still be heard when running at full speed. Therefore, in an apartment building or household with thin walls, the other persons will definitely hear you.

The machine’s speed range is 0.5 – 12 MPH. Just as for the incline, there are quick controls for speed from 0 to 12 MPH, placed on the right side of the console. Also, the lower keypad integrates gradual speed controls. The arrow controls for the gradual speed adjustment are bi-functional. If pressed once, they will adjust speed by 0.1 MPH; if you press and hold a key down, the tread belt’s speed will adjust in increments of 0.5 MPH. The fact that you can adjust speed in increments of 0.1 is quite a plus, as you can easily find the most comfortable pace for your workout.

Evidently, since it’s a motorized treadmill, it requires an external power source. A standard US plug (for 120V) is included with the machine. The connector for its cable is placed at the front of the deck, next to the power button.


As we’ve mentioned above, this machine has a smaller display than the NordicTrack T 9.5 S. It’s only 10″ in diagonal. However, the console pretty much offers the same functions. The display is full color, with LED backlight and touchscreen technology. It responds to similar commands as a tablet or smartphone. However, you cannot install apps on it or browse the web. It can only stream videos through iFit.

The console display tracks all the important workout metrics, including time, distance, calories, pulse, speed, and incline. The speed and distance are set by default to imperial units (MPH and miles), but there is also the option of metric units (km/h, km). It’s also telemetric. This means it has a built-in receiver which can read your pulse from a wireless HR transmitter. This accessory is not included, though.

The console unit is iFit enabled. In other words, it offers full integration for the iFit app and comes with 1-year of iFit membership. It also has wireless connectivity so it can connect to your WiFi in order to access the iFit workout database (with more than 16,000 on-demand workouts), run via trails based on GoogleMaps, or benefit from Live Interactive training.

In case you don’t want to use iFit, or you don’t want to renew your membership once it expires, the console still has you covered. It has its own database of 50 preset programs, programs that offer all types of workouts focusing on weight loss, high-intensity cardio, intervals, stamina development and much more.

Along with the program database and the iFit capabilities, the console unit of the NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill still has several other notable features. These are the workout fan and the sound system. The AutoBreeze™ workout fan is placed at the bottom of the console unit, right above the main keypad. It offers several speed settings and provides fairly decent performance, enough to keep you cool during a more intense workout. The sound system features two 2″ speakers. It is Bluetooth capable so you can sync it with your smartphone or tablet in order to stream your favorite music through it. It definitely offers superior performance to the integrated speakers of any smartphone or tablet.

Assembly and Maintenance

Needless to say, the machine’s deck with all its parts including the incline and drive motors, comes pre-assembled. All you have to do is attach the front masts and the console, and maybe adjust the position of the belt before the first use. All the tools required for the assembly are included. Also, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions.

As opposed to other treadmills, the machine’s deck comes pre-lubricated with industrial-grade lubricant. This being said, you don’t have to lubricate it before the first use, and the internal lubricant should last for a fairly long while. Of course, for maintenance, it is also important to keep the belt clean and periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame construction;
  • Solid deck, being able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Folding deck, space-saving design;
  • FlexSelect deck cushioning with adjustable cells;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Automatic incline, 0% – 12%;
  • DruX Commercial Plus 3.5 CHP motor with a speed range between 0.5-12 MPH;
  • Speed adjustment increments of 0.1 and 0.5 MPH;
  • Quick selection controls for both speed and incline;
  • EGK pulse sensors integrated into handlebars;
  • Advanced iFit console with a 10″ HD display and touchscreen technology;
  • One-year iFit membership included;
  • 50 preset workout programs;
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Sound system included;
  • Workout fan included;
  • Accessory trays included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • An HR chest strap is not included;
  • No tablet holder.


The NordicTrack T 8.5 S is a heavy-duty treadmill designed for home use. It’s equipped with a 3.5 CHP drive motor, motorized incline, FlexSelect cushioning, and large 10″ LCD display console. It offers 50 preset workout programs and the possibility to access the online iFit workout database. It’s an excellent machine for users of all levels, for light to intense cardio training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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