DKN AiRun I Folding Treadmill Review

The AiRun I is one of the most robust additions to DKN’s ‘Run’ range and thus far it’s been impressive indeed! When the AiRun X first landed, we witnessed arguably the most space saving, full-size treadmill ever designed. The entry-level EcoRun has been added to offer features never before seen on a sub-£500 machine. So what does the AiRun I offer? Let’s find out!…

The assembly process is refreshingly quick and simple. Once the hefty pre-assembled deck is in position, all that’s needed to get it up and running are the attachment of the side arms with a few bolts and the console and handlebar assembly is ready to slot on and screw tight – Job done 🙂

With it built without a hitch or headache, we can stand back and confidently say that it’s just as easy on the eye. The DKN designers have produced something that’s unique yet as equally impressive as the AiRun X – and that’s a considerable achievement. The engineering excellence that was invested into the frame of the ‘X’ involved using a single piece of box section that was curved to give a seamless added strength as well as contemporary class to its appearance. Here in the case of the AiRun I, the emphasis is on stylish symmetry as well as solidity. Those clean, symmetrical, lines are particularly noticeable when viewed side on. When it comes to ‘solidity’ however, it really doesn’t matter what angle you approach it from – there’s no rattling this machine! In fact, it’s almost puzzling how DKN have done away with the usual unsightly cross brace midway on the uprights, yet it feels vastly more solid and stable than most other machines we’ve tested.

DKN claim that the AiRun I “is one of the most comprehensive and reliable running machines on the market. Designed to keep on running and not break down…” Well, only time will tell but if first impressions are anything to go by, the build quality suggests bulletproof durability. Just by the sound it makes when in motion, you can tell that this treadmill doesn’t contain cheap parts. The internals are very smooth indeed and make a reassuring deep sound rather than the ‘hairdryer’ tinny sound that some treadmills make. Hearing this, and feeling just how solid this unit is there’s no reason to doubt DKN’s claim. here.

Under the distinctive black motor cover is a surprising 2.25 CHP lump generating top speeds of just over 12 mph. The reason that 2.25 figure is surprising is because, if compared to the CHP spec of similar machines, you will see that the top speeds are very similar yet motor power ratings from certain manufacturers don’t quite add up?! To put it simply – this motor is a TRUE 2.25 Continuous Horse Power self-cooling drive motor.

So what’s it like in use? The AiRun I is fundamentally designed and built for functional performance – it’s a workhorse but with the pace of a stallion! As such, shock absorption has been carefully considered. The frame that supports the deck has been engineered to ‘give’ with a slight movement to further absorb the shock transferred through the 3 pairs of rubber supports spaced along the undersides of the deck. In addition, the AiRun I boasts a 3 mm orthopaedic running belt to provide further comfort and cushioning to every step. The cumulative result is a treadmill that comfortably performs with the minimum of noise and has a fantastic running surface that ‘gives’ to alleviate shock without feeling spongy or springy.

Moving up to the console, the layout is clearly organized and very intuitive to operate. On either edge is a strip of course profiles to assist you in making your selection from the 12 pre-set programs on offer.

Further in towards the screen are rows of quick keys. On the left are 5 buttons to make instant adjustments to the incline ( 3, 5, 7, 9, 12). Being as the ‘I’ is capable of 15 levels of incline it would have been nice to see a 6th button to take the deck up to its maximum gradient. However, the fact that the Speed keys on the right go from 6 up to 14km/h instead of giving the option of a 20 km/h button is probably a good safety feature for most users who don’t fancy keeping up with the belting top speed! Whatever the case, we are always pleased to see the quick keys feature as ‘one touch’ adjustments are a great asset especially for interval training enthusiasts.

For steadier control of intensity, there are thumb controls inset into either side handlebars. On the left is incline and to the right are the controls for speed.

When it comes to monitoring your training feedback, the backlit, bright blue display keeps all the data, clearly laid out and easily visible with digits illuminated in white.
There is also an option of inputting and storing the personal details (age, gender, height & weight) of up to 4 users. User-defined profiles are particularly invaluable for those that want to lose weight as the computer takes your personal data into account to give more accurate calorie consumption figures.

As well as the aforementioned 12 pre-set programs, there is a Manual session based around a 400m race track, plus there’s also the option to create a custom user program, or to invest in a compatible chest strap transmitter and utilize the Heart Rate Program.

There’s certainly enough there to keep boredom at bay for most people, however, there are some additional training options available to anyone who happens to own a compatible tablet device. The AiRun I can be synchronized via Bluetooth to give you all that is contained within DKN’s apps called ‘DKN Run’ and ‘DKN i-World’. With the ‘Run’ app, you can access pre-set programs, heart rate controlled sessions, custom workouts and more. The ‘i-World’ app allows you to actually map out your running routes using Google Maps and then you can either watch your progress via a little icon on the screen, or you can switch to street view and get a series of still images of your surroundings on the route appear as you run along the road. There are more impressive interactive training systems out there, but crucially DKN don’t charge for this software and you don’t need to subscribe. It’s a bit of fun to make things a more interesting and the 2 available apps do a good job of this. Though, we’d definitely categorize them as a bit of fun added to what is already a very good machine rather than a reason to buy this particular model.

Although the AiRun I is a weighty unit at just over 14 stone, there’s been careful consideration to its design regarding storage and manoeuvrability within the home. For starters, lifting the deck into the folded position is made a great deal easier by the hydraulic assist mechanism. When folded, the machine can be wheeled along on its transport wheels, which obviously takes some effort as you’d expect but we were pleased that DKN have deliberately made the width of the machine pass through a standard doorway. When it’s time to train, unfolding is effortless as the hydraulic mechanism can be safely released by placing your foot against it until it clicks and the deck slowly and softly lowers to the floor.

So overall what’s the verdict? Here we have a great example of the type of functionality and build quality that has become the foundation of DKN’s ongoing success. It is proudly built with reliability and performance in mind. This is a rock-solid treadmill that’s small enough for pretty much any home, but large enough to be able to go for a serious run. It’s quiet and it’s obviously very well put together using quality components, so we like it! 🙂

In terms of the warranty, DKN provide 2-year onsite parts and labour cover, though gauging by the sheer build quality of the unit we tested, we think it’s highly unlikely that this will get used.

DKN have produced a video showing off the impressive Airun I and we’ve included it below:

Best Price

The DKN AiRun I is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

With the AiRun I, DKN have another winner on their hands. True running machines are typically large and imposing, but the AiRun I manages to be an excellent running machine with a sleek and stylish look and relatively compact design. In terms of construction, it's rock solid too and given how quiet it is when it's running it's obvious that the internal components aren't cheap. DKN have created a very, very good treadmill here that provides a super comfy run, and at this price the Airun I is cracking value for money and easy to recommend.

DKN AiRun I Specifications

  • 2.25hp continuous duty motor
  • 1 – 20km/h (1-12.4mph) speed range
  • 15 levels of incline
  • 49cm (19.3”) x 140cm (55”) running deck with ‘Progressive Shock Absorbing’ system deck
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 180.5cm (71”) x 77cm (30.3”) x 130cm (51.2”)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 111cm (43.7”) x 77cm (30.3”) x 154cm (60.6”)
  • LCD console providing feedback on time, speed, incline, distance, calories, heart rate
  • 15 programme profiles (12 pre-set workout programmes, 1 manual, 1 user profile and Heart Rate Control programme)
  • 4 Console User Profiles (each one has age, gender, weight, height property)
  • Heart rate measurement via hand pulse sensors or a wireless receiver (chest belt has to be bought separately)
  • 120kg (264.5lbs) maximum user weight
  • 92.25kg (203.4lbs) product weight
  • Conveniences: tablet compatibility (DKN-Run app – iPad Mini, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and Android tablets),  transportation wheels, emergency stop button
  • 2 years warranty

DKN AiRun I Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

DKN AiRun I Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Quick and Easy to assemble
  • Rock solid build quality
  • Innovative and effective shock absorption
  • 3mm thick orthopaedic belt
  • 4 User Profiles
  • Tablet compatible

The Cons

  • Being picky, it could do with a water bottle holder
DKN AiRun I Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8.5
Appearance - 9
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9.5
Best Price

The DKN AiRun I is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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