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on November 17, 2011
Pertinent info up front...I'm an ultra-runner, so I run a lot. I weigh about 150lbs and will run anywhere from 5 to 20 miles at a time for my daily runs. I prefer to run outside, but when the weather doesn't cooperate I hit the treadmill. This Lifespan is the first treadmill I've owned, but I've used industrial treadmills at the gym for decades.

When I initially began shopping for a treadmill, I was inclined to purchase a StarTrac or LifeFitness industrial machine. I was willing to spend a lot more than I did on the LifeSpan TR4000i. I was lucky enough to find a local store that specialized in higher-end cardio equipment so I was able to go in and try numerous different machines.

I immediately liked running on the TR4000i. The deck felt very solid and smooth--no bounce. The noise level was low. It gave me the sensation of running on the road (which I find desirable). The control panel and electronics seem to be solid; much more so than lower-end treadmills with cheap, flimsy plastic housings. Basically, everything seems well made on the device.

I didn't want a folding treadmill and after placing the machine I haven't used it. I'm actually surprised that the folding feature hasn't compromised the feel of the deck (but it hasn't). The speakers work fine, but I don't use those either...just easier to wear earbuds or have the TV on. There is no built in fan, which I believe is a plus--my experience is those break quickly. I prefer just using a floor fan. The cup holders on the treadmill are wide and deep and actually hold stuff in--I normally keep a TV and DVD remote in one, while keeping a sports bottle in the other. Many other treadmills have poorly designed cup holders, often just leaning bottles next to the panel. LifeSpan got it right. Also, the treadmill has a place to put a magazine or book (with anchor points for pages), but this will cover up the display--no different than what you'll find on most treadmills.

I do not use the built in training programs on the device so I can't comment on them. I have played around with uploading the run data on the USB to the Interactive Health Partnet (IHP) website and found it of marginal value. It would be awesome if they'd develop that feature, but it is barebones giving you minimal data (e.g. run time, distance, steps, heart rate). To IHP's credit, they do let you sync data from Garmin Forerunner devices, but again, once imported the data is stripped down. For example, you cannot see splits, cadence, etc....just very basic info. One positive comment about IHP--I had a problem uploading my data so I emailed them and they were very responsive and helped me.

A couple of other minor notes--the Heart Rate Monitor for the treadmill isn't Ant+ or Polar compatible--so your Garmin & Polar HRMs won't register on the device (and therefore won't be recorded on the USB). I'm using a Garmin paired with a footpod & HRM to capture my relevant data so I can get cadence and splits...works fine (when uploaded to SportTracks or Garmin Connect). The treadmill also takes about 20 seconds to attain speed upon commencement of exercise; this is a safety feature...some folks often prefer a quicker start (I consider this a non-issue). Once you're running at pace, however, speed changes are very reasonable. Some features of the device aren't explained well in the manual, e.g. using the USB stick to record data. If you run a manual run, press stop on the machine (which merely pauses the workout) you can then remove the USB and upload it. However, if you keep the USB device plugged in and officially "end" the run by resetting the workout, all data on the USB is lost. Again, a minor annoyance regarding a feature of marginal value to begin with...the point is that some of the ancillary features of the USB implementation aren't well thought out.

All that said, the mechanical components and construction of the TR4000i seem to be very high quality. I'd recommend this machine to folks who run anywhere from 30-80 miles weekly. If you run less, then get a lower end machine. As an avid RUNNER, I don't personally want a lot of bells & whistles on a treadmill. I just want a device that feels very comfortable, isn't loud, is safe, and is solid. The TR4000i has met all my requirements and I'm personally very happy with it.
44 comments154 of 158 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 13, 2009
I purchased the treadmill from a local retailer. Initially, I didn't see any independent user reviews on it so, I thought i would post something. My Projected running usage - Probably 2-3 X a week - average maybe 2 hours / week of running total.

The treadmill has a 20x60" belt with a 3.25 hp motor. Haven't seen any other in this price range with a motor like this one. Although they call the belt orthopedic, I don't think it is particularly thick - but seems fine. Overall, it feels pretty stable and solid (no shaking or motion). The cushioning isn't quite as good as the gym treadmills, but for the $ it's perfectly fine.

I very much like the user-friendliness of the treadmill. It has large well lit buttons, that are very straightforward and easy to use. I like the buttons a lot more than the standard flat buttons you find on most treadmills. My only concern is the durability of the panel. The display is well lit and clear with a lot of nice information - of course it has the standard stuff like incline level, time, heart rate, calories. But it also displays not so standard stuff, like number of steps, age, height, weight (more on this later).

The treadmill programs work a little differently than most of the gym treadmills I have used. They several programs grouped in several areas (e.g. weight loss, sports training, healthy living, etc.). You can select "incline" program or "speed" program for any of the programs. In terms of speed/incline variability - the treadmill pretty much works like any standard gym treadmill - e.g. If you select incline program, the incline will adjust (up and down), while your speed remains constant. Selecting "speed program" adjusts the speed up and down while the incline remains constant. Also, adjusting the incline during the incline program will increase or decrease ALL of the incline levels for the entire workout. The equivalent is true for the speed programs as well. Some treadmills only adjust the bar or "time period" that you are currently in.. I actually like this feature on the 4000i.

I am not sure how these programs were chosen to be in a particular group (e.g. I would like what makes "pyramid climb" healthy living vs. cardio run for weight loss. All of the programs are clearly explained in the manual - i.e. you can see the duration and the level of incline (for incline programs) for each minute of the program (a nice touch!) and the equivalent for the speed programs.

The user defined programs are pretty standard and easy to setup. You can go thru each minute/bar, and change it to the level/speed that you want. The heart rate monitor works really well! The accuracy seems good and it doesn't take a lot of fiddling.

One item that I miss from the gym treadmills is the random feature. It would be nice if it could generate some random incline and/or speed programs.

Another item that I noticed was missing (or at least I can't figure it out) is a way to change the duration/time in the middle of a program?! You can set the duration at the start, but once the program start, you can't change the time/duration of your workout. It seems a little bizarre to me that you can't do this, but it's not a deal breaker.

Ok, one of the big selling points for me was the ability to record and track my work outs and upload them to their system via the USB drive. You can record, the date and time of your workout, with frequent sampling (every 20 seconds, I think), of your heart rate, minutes, calories, distance, steps. I think the concept is terrific - and I like that they were able to include this feature in a cost effective treadmill. However, the implementation is lacking. So, uploading the data, and it does work. However, the website is user-unfriendly, and poorly implemented. Firefox support? nope! you have to use IE. It was developed using 1990's web technology and navigation. So much so, that I am wondering if any of their customers actually use it?? I am a web guy so I guess my standards are higher... The site very much needs an overhaul and update. I won't go into a lot of detail, but here are a couple of quick things about it.

1. Clicking on any of the links (e.g. Weekly View, Today's Workout,USB Update,Manually Log Exercise,Update Vital Stats) gives you a pop up. You wait several seconds for each popup to occur, then you can do whatever function you are looking to do - Totally unncessary and annoying.

2. The "analyze my exercise" is just not formatted well and therefore not easy to follow - the info is all there, just not user friendly and clean. It would be pretty easy to make this graphical and easy to use.

3. Dates - For the life of me, I can not figure out how to set the current date on the tread?! The default date on the treadmill display is always some date in May?? Is the factory set date? When I plug in the usb drive into the treadmill, my weight and height changes correctly, however, the date does not change. It always records that random May date on my usb drive. I just do a global replace manually on the dates using my PC before uploading the myexercise site - there must be something I'm not doing right.

4. My exercise profile. I am assuming since I filled all of this out, that it would create some customized workout for me. It would be nice to have some kind of intelligent recommendations based on all of the stats, supplements, health history that I put in. I still haven't been able to figure it out.

Again, great idea for the website, poor implementation. My thought that this was done more for marketing purposes than to actually serve their client needs. - i.e. mostly vaporware. Thus, don't make a decision to buy this treadmill based on this feature. The good news is that the treadmill works quite well, with other great features.

The speakers are average, but they are what I would expect for any treadmill. The arms have both incline and speed control - (another nice touch) - however, the buttons on the arms are easy to bump and change if you are the kind that likes to rest your hands on them (for heart rate, etc.).

So far, I am pleased overall with the treadmill.

The biggest concerns I have -
- durability (not a lot of reviews on lifespan treadmills, folding treadmill - what tradeoffs were made to make it folding.
- We'll see in a few years. Ideally, I would like to have it last at least 5 years. I am planning on silicone lubing the belt every 50 hours of use and cleaning around the motor and electronics as the manual indicates. I am assuming that this is standard? for most treadmills in this categories.

Happy Treading!

SP
44 comments75 of 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 1, 2010
It came down to this model and the Sole F85 but at the end it was the positive reviews from Health Magazine and Runners World on the TR 4000 that pushed me over the top I use it for about four to five hours a week, about every other day and I have noticed nothing but good things so far. The belt width is about 20 inches wide and the 60 inch long is perfect for all out sprints. Some other treadmills are wider like the F85, some are smaller but 20 inches seems to be the industry norm at this price. I have begun to notice after many uses, that the belt and deck offer a very nice cushioning system. There is an assortment of programs that come with this treadmill I have just begun to utilize, such as the 7 sports training programs. They really help you get a positive workout, warm-up to cool down. I recommend trying each program and seeing which one suits your lifestyle and fitness regimen. What appears to be unique to me from my research is that this treadmill allows you to decide programs based on your interest level...weight loss, training etc... It has 15 incline levels to compliment speeds of .5 mph to 12 mph which is great for interval training. The motor carries a lifetime warranty and is extremely quiet. I have the freedom to listen to my music through the treadmill console, which is not over powered by the noise of the motor. Other models I have tried in the past have had very loud, almost overwhelming sounding motors. I have also begun to use the LifeSpan Fitness Club that came with the unit. I had to speak to a representative from the actual company for information on how to use it. This perk allows you to record all aspects of a workout, and view it electronically through the internet. It really helps when goal setting to actually see your results and what you should be working for. This recording system keeps readings of my progress and outlines fitness goals. If you have this capability with a LifeSpan Treadmill, I would recommend taking the time to implement the LifeSpan fitness club into your workout routines. I would recommend this treadmill to anyone looking to take their workouts to a new level.
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on January 10, 2013
I will try to keep this review as straight to the point and concise as possible.

This is a great treadmill for the money. Here are a few quick pros about the unit:

1. Unit is very sturdy

2. Quality build and easy to assemble

3. Powerful motor

4. Fitness club look and feel

5. Very quiet motor, incline and running surface

6. Easy to read display (not loaded with gimmics that don't work)

7. 60" running surface (4000i model)

The list can go on, but this covers the most important aspects of it. This unit is heavy, but that isn't a bad thing. The run on this treadmill feels comparable to that of the $6,000 Life Fitness units we used at the fitness club I managed. Do yourself a favor; spring for the 4000i if you can. The metal side rails are a high-end finish and the 60" running board is a must if you are over 5'10". I am 6'2" 210 lbs and I wouldn't have had such a good experience with a 54" running surface. It requires only 72" of clearance from front to back.

Whether you are a fitness novice or a fitness enthusiast, take a very serious look at this model. It wins awards for a reason and has a lifetime frame/motor warranty. Well worth the piece of mind in my opinion.
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on September 16, 2011
I've had my Lifespan 4000i for over 2 years and have logged a little over 2000 miles without a hiccup. I have run on club treadmills that were much louder and less study than this unit. the only thing I have done to maintain this unit is mist some silicon on the back side of the belt after I fold it up about every month or so. I noticed the guy who gave this unit 1 star based on running shoes causing him to get shocked, I've never had an issue. It could be a grounding issue with his house or that fact he's using a power surge strip.
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on December 15, 2012
No jerking motion when walking or running. I bought it on an extreme sale thanks to the holiday and a whim.

It feels a little close to the front guard for where I like to run but it's no issue to just step a hair back. Inline and speeds work smoothly. I haven't played with bells and whistles. It has some, but I just like to get on and go manually. It's only a little weak at speeds sub 1.0, but after that it feels like nothing stops the belt. I'm not right at the weight limit but currently heavy and it works like a charm. If you can get it for a good deal, it's easily worth it (I paid about 1.2k)

Be aware that' it's heavy. comes on a pallet that the delivery guys won't want to drop anywhere but at your front door. Can't blame them. You'll need to open the items up and move them one piece at a time. You'll need two guys and some muscle to move it up and down stairs.

VERY easy to assemble. I didn't use the instructions until the end to make sure we didn't miss anything. Instructions are a bit wordy and as simple as this is, they really should have gone for an ikea style set-up. I think it took me 30 minutes to be 100% up and running and I was just having fun figuring out how to assemble.

Requires maintenance/lubing and recommends rubber mat under it partially for that reason. (don't want oil on carpet)

that's about all I've got. If you need a treadmill that works, this one works. Oh, and I think someone was complaining about some shocking issue... absolutely nothing on my end.

***UPDATE 2013.04.24***

Still works well. No issues. I've been very happy with the purchase. It's exactly what I was hoping for which is a simple treadmill that functions and functions smoothly.
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on November 30, 2011
I bought this treadmill locally at a exercise equipment store as I did not want to deal with the carrying the treadmill upstairs into the study and assembling. I finally settled on the Lifespan after reading way too many treadmill reviews and way too much research...as much of pain as it was and confusing at times, I am glad that I did and feel i got the best treadmill for my money. What eventually sold me was the feedback I found on Runner's World both in their product review but also in the forum section. I am not an ultra-marathoner by any means by on a good week I will log 35 to 40 miles. The treadmill has an excellent feel and is very joint friendly. It is very quiet and with it being in my 2nd floor den that was important as I will run in the AM before everyone gets going. I have not really used the USB and fitness club to the max but it has been great for logging my runs. The screen is very easy to use and the handlebar controls are very easy to use and great when you are back away from monitor and running at 6-7 mph. I did buy this in part because it folded...looking back now, I have never folded it. Woudl recommend this to anyone looking to log some miles and looking for an easy to use and quiet treadmill.
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on February 8, 2012
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because there is no spot on the readout that tells you your pace, and I really like to have that info when I'm running. I've also had trouble with the heartrate monitor, it always says my heartrate is 82, but I never really use that function so it's not a huge deal. Every aspect of this treadmill is easy to use, and I'm really happy with it. I would recommend this for walkers, joggers, and runners (although I'm currently pregnant so I haven't jogged faster than a 5 on it yet, so I can't say for 100% certain that it's good for fast runners)
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on February 18, 2015
We bought this treadmill right before Christmas. That is a very busy period for anyone in the retail business and things are more likely to happen. That is expected. What was not expected is the outstanding customer care we witness when we did not get our order with the service requested.

Before I order the treadmill, I called twice to inquire about the product. I got a salesperson on the phone. Because he was knowledgeable and not pushy at all, I asked for him any time I called back and ended up ordering from him. We requested delivery with installation. (And believe me, you do not want to put this piece of equipment together yourself unless that is what you do for a living. ) We got the delivery and not the installation.

I sent an email to the company to complain about that and got a call back from the sales manager the very same day! For that week, until a crew came to my house to install everything, I had talked to him more that I had talked to any of my close friends. The manager first offered various ways to find a resolution and when I picked one, he constantly kept me updated or always answered when I called him. I still remember the phone call he picked up while at his company's end-of-the-year party. It was short because the party was about to start but it left me very impress.

Seriously, who does that? Who picks up a customer's phone call when the party is about to start, when there is wine everywhere an all we want to hear is something that makes us laugh or happy? Somehow, a Sales Manager at Lifespan did that for me. Thank your sir!

Most importantly, the treadmill is great. I am 6' tall / 200 lbs and if you are like me or bigger guy, I would recommend this one. It is solid and has more than enough power and features to fit your needs. I am not expanding on the features for many other reviews have done a good job describing them.

I have waited to write this review because I wanted to use it for at least two months before reviewing it but also because few reviewers mentioned that they received some electrical discharge. I have touched every single part of this treadmill and have not experienced that problem. This of course does not disprove their stories.
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on January 6, 2015
I would give this treadmill 4.5 stars if I could. My wife and I are very happy with it. Very minor issues. See bottom of review for suggestions on lube, surge protector & pad.

My situation: Upstairs treadmill, limited space, I am a work from home dad with a 4 month old kiddo so lots of short workouts, TV already accessible near treadmill, and it's on carpet. My wife and I both play soccer and go to the gym but use this treadmill as convenience for off days, rainy days and MONDAYS! LOL

After reading and researching for a couple of months I found this to fit what we needed comparing about a dozen treadmills. I specifically wanted a treadmill that was quiet, reliable and sturdy (in other words the handles/console didn't wobble excessively while you run).

Pros:
- Quiet & Sturdy - no wobbling handles/console. We have ours upstairs and it's still VERY quiet below 6.0 running speed. And even at 6+ the sounds you hear are thumping shoes and not the treadmill itself. Solid, stable deck!
- Very easy assembly that I should have probably used my own tools for 'cause the ones provided were a tad awkward.
- Easy console to use. I do manual workouts mostly anyway. Just push a button or two and incline or speed. Easy.
- Great incline - 15!
- LOVE the Speed & Incline Shortcut buttons. You can jump from 0 to 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 or 6.0 speed with one click... no endless up, up, up clicking on the arrow acceleration key. This is also true of the incline with preset option buttons not endless click, click, click... up, up, up.
- Console is simplistic and easy (also a con for some as mentioned below)
- Handlebar quick access buttons are great for incline or speed adjustments (although easily bumped as mentioned in cons)
- Aside from lube, the treadmill was ready to use as soon as assembled which was easy.
- Heart rate handles are quick and easy

Cons (minor to my situation but possible heads up for future owners):
- Heavy to get upstairs (we kept it in the box while moving). It is one solid piece that is not worth disassembling to move. Just find your strongest, most ambitious neighbor. And beer as incentive. :-)
- Console is a little simplistic. I am perfectly fine with it 'cause I don't need much but this is where I believe I should get a little bang for my buck or a lower price. I don't use the speakers or need fans. But the console could use an upgrade considering I spent $1900 and my friend spent $1500 (after tax) for a better console on another brand. Although I like my friend's console I didn't like his treadmill! Its a Proform 4500 I believe.
- Handlebars seem short. At the gym I feel like I can use the handlebars for support or for leaning on hard workouts. With this treadmill I feel like they're about 6 inches short and not as supportive. They are still sturdy however and I manage just fine.
- Handlebar buttons are bumped easily but as mentioned above they're also a pro.
- Deck is slightly narrower than what I'm used to at the gym, but most treadmills in this class were the same or only better by 2 inches.

To conclude, I think its a 4.5 Star that should be priced at $1600-1700 or have a more modern console (I paid $1799 + tax). The sturdiness and overall simplicity make it worth the money. I don't see much use for the speakers and the USB user setup is just OK. I don't even bother with it since I have a Fitbit and use myfitnesspal.

***Since static & surge protection were a concern from other reviews I bought a Tripp Lite which has worked great (no static and no surge issues): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000513US/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_19

***I also bought a mat for shock absorption: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NMA304/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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