Sportcraft treadmills are definitely low-end models. Even if you want an entry-level model this company’s product might not be the way to go. You should first do a very careful review of Sportcraft treadmills; they have had a troubled history.
A certain Mr. Walter Holdstein founded Sportcraft Ltd in 1926. The company started out producing mainly indoor and outdoor games such as table tennis and tetherball. It still produces these games today. Over the last 30 years the demand for home exercise equipment has expanded rapidly but it wasn’t until 2001 that Sportcraft got into the act and shipped its first motorized treadmills.
When supplying treadmills, the company line of Sportcraft has been to supply models that are cheap, cheap, cheap and to mass sell them through retailers like K-mart and Wal-mart.
To this end, all Sportcraft treadmills are made overseas in places like China and Taiwan. Despite all of its units being rather appealing when you first cast your eye over them, the materials used in construction are cheap and the build quality has always been in question.
Trying to mass produce low-end models very cheaply isn’t easy. This is something that Sportcraft has found out to its cost with its range of cheap treadmills.
In 2005, there was a recall for the Sportcraft Tredex 6.0, the Tx440 and the Tx550. The units would accelerate without warning causing users to fall and sustain injuries. The company received at least 110 reports of unexpected acceleration. As if the recalls of 2005 weren’t bad enough, there was a further recall in 2006.
Selling cheap treadmills that malfunction and cause injury doesn’t bode well for the company’s future in niche of the fitness industry.
Is there anything good to say about Sportcraft Treadmills?
It isn’t all bad. They are very cheap but do offer potential customers many features. You get incline, a strong motor power for its class and a high maximum speed. The Sportcraft TX 7.0 treadmill comes with a 2.75 HP motor, 19″ x 55″ deck, 10% incline. The design of the company’s units look sleek and users also get things like a step counter and 6 preset workout programs with the Sportcraft 7 treadmill.
But don’t be beguiled by these features. The recalls of 2005 and 2006 should always be in the back of one’s mind.
Is everything okay now?
Unfortunately Sportcraft treadmills are known to have the worst electronics design in the industry. This is what Treadmill Doctor had to say: ‘As we stated two years ago, their electronics design was the worst we had ever seen on a treadmill…’
As if to underline the poor build quality of its product, the poor warranty consists of 10 years for the frame, 1 year for the motor, 1 year for all parts, and 90 days for labor service. Any manufacturer who wants to give consumers confidence in its equipment will offer a warranty of at least 3 years on parts and lifetime on frame.
So what rating would I give Sportcraft Treadmills? After reading the above review I think you already know that I don’t rate them at all. I’ll leave you with this comment from Treadmill Doctor: ‘We expect them to continue mass-marketing game tables and the like but we believe they should stay away from making treadmills.’