John Lewis TR3 Plus Treadmill Review

The TR3 Plus is manufactured by Horizon Fitness exclusively for John Lewis. Many of the larger John Lewis stores have sports departments displaying a selection of fitness equipment for customers to try, we took the TR3 through it’s paces and here’s what we made of it…

Looks-wise there is nothing that really jumps out at you! The basic appearance and shiny, textured paint finish of the motor hood and console surround perhaps gives the machine a slightly budget look but when you climb aboard the solid feel and stability of the build is reassuring. The maximum user weight of over 21 stone combined with a 5 year parts and labour guarantee should give further peace of mind.

The TR3 has a 2.0 Continuous Horsepower motor. This is half a horsepower under many of it’s rivals and this is slightly reflected in it’s performance. The top speed of 11 miles per hour should be sufficient for the majority of users, however at higher speeds the machine does vibrate considerably so we’d recommend sitting it on a treadmill mat to help reduce the reverberations.

Although the incline capacity only goes up to a 10% gradient, the elevation motor was very responsive, smoothly lifting the deck (and our 18 stone reviewer – Charlie Rawes) from flat to 10% in about 17 seconds.

As one would expect on a machine at this price point, the running area is 20” x 55” which should be spacious enough for most users. What surpassed our expectations however, was how the surface felt to run on! The ORTHO flex gel cushioning system is great! At the point where your foot would strike the deck, Horizon have positioned a gel filled, shock absorbing block each side of rubber elastomer. It would seem that the rubber bung takes the bulk of the impact but the gel cushioning further enhanced the dispersal of the shock giving it a cushioned feel that’s not overly bouncy but certainly feels safe on the joints.(A real bonus for endurance workouts, heavier users and those with sensitive joints)

Up to the console now. There are a few nice touches such as a large storage compartment on either side for a drinks bottle(There’s even a drainage hole in the bottom of each holder in case you spill a bit of your drink!) plus plenty of room for other items such as your phone, tv remote etc etc!

If you want to keep your mobile, iPod or MP3 in clear view then there is a convenient holder inlaid in the centre of the console. This design would normally have an iPod dock in the base which is not present on the TR3 but the ledge and grippy covering of the holder does make for a very useful addition. As well as being perfectly sized to hold an iPhone or similar, it is located centrally between a headphone jack and the MP3 input. Although there are no inbuilt buttons to control the music there are some decent quality speakers set into the console. For more entertainment, there are also two small, plastic ledges protruding out where you could place a tablet, magazine or book.

Other welcome features found on the console are quick keys for speed and incline adjustment.

On the left are three buttons labelled low, medium and high to set the incline at various levels. Strangely by pressing ‘Low’ nothing happened which either suggests that this button is set at a flat (0%) gradient or the model we were testing had a slight fault in this area! The ‘Medium’ key set the machine at 3% and ‘High’ took it up to 6%.

To make speed adjustments via the ‘quick keys’ it was necessary to press ‘ENTER’ after either pressing ‘Slow’( 1mph )’Medium’( 4 mph) or ‘Fast’(5mph). As well as being a curiously spaced choice of pre-set speed increments, it was rather frustrating that a normally ‘one-touch’ process would be slowed down by the need to confirm a command with ‘enter’.

Unfortunately the thinking behind the 10 pre-set programmes left us even more puzzled! There is the choice of Manual, Intervals, Weight loss, Hill Run, Rolling and Heart Rate Control. After a user has completed the intervals, weight loss, hill run or rolling workouts its possible to save the workout and then to repeat the session you simply press the ‘Saved’ workout on any of the respective titles. Although it’s handy that you have a dedicated button for each (i.e Saved Weight Loss’) it is all too easy to reset the machine after a workout is completed without actually saving the session.

There are two LED display screens that boldly show your basic training feedback of Time and Distance covered in bright orange LEDs. Just below is an additional orange backlit window. This can show your current speed and incline level or at any stage by changing the display you can see Calories burned or your Heart Rate readings. There is also a % complete readout or press scan and allow it to alternate the display of all feedback in a cycle.

Trying to fathom the TR3’s console was a rather frustrating experience due to the ambiguity (or at times, the lack) of instructions scrolling across the display screen. Unlike the usual DOT matrix affair that you’d often see on most treadmills showing you the overall course profile or segment you are experiencing, this screen only offers brief and occasional hints! This means that the aside from a % complete reminder popping up at quarterly intervals throughout your session, you are completely unaware of where you are during a workout! The only clue you have of what to expect from a program is given on the small profile pictures on the console above the program titles and once you’re in the session you only have an audible ‘beep’ and a few flashes of the feedback to alert you of a change in intensity.

The TR3 has an inbuilt receiver for wireless heart rate monitoring as well as inbuilt pulse grip sensors on the handlebars. There is only one Heart Rate controlled program featured on this machine but we would still recommend investing in a compatible chest strap transmitter to ensure greater accuracy of readings as well as the freedom they give in allowing you to workout without holding on!

There are two sets of adjustable levelling feet on the corners of the base giving the machine a sturdy footing even on uneven floors. In addition there are 2 pairs of transport wheels allowing the treadmill to be wheeled along when flat by lifting the motor end, or it’s even easier to move it once folded.

Folding was quick and fairly effortless thanks to a central hydraulic arm that assists in the lifting of the deck as well as making the drop safer when the deck is unfolded. To release the locking mechanism there is a foot-operated catch on the right hand side of the underneath. Please beware though that the deck falls very rapidly until the hydraulic damper kicks in and seems to ‘catch’ it 18 inches above the floor, after which is slowly lowers to rest on the back wheels. This model has a compact footprint that should certainly appeal if space is an issue.


Best Price

The John Lewis TR3 Plus 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

Overall the TR3 Plus has some notable ‘plus’ points! The cushioning system is undoubtedly it’s best asset, but that as well as the compact footprint and a few welcome features like MP3 compatibility, decent speakers and storage really only go part way in redeeming the machine. It’s the weak motor, vague console and limited pre-set programmes that really let the TR3 down, especially when you consider the price tag!

John Lewis TR3 Plus Specifications

  • 2hp continuous duty motor
  • 1-16km/h (0.6-10mph) speed range
  • 0-10% power incline
  • 140cm (55.1″) x 51cm (20″) running deck with ORTHOflex Gel cushioning system
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 178cm (70″) x 85cm (33″) x 134cm (52.8″)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 110cm (43.3″) x 85cm (33″) x 159cm (62.6″)
  • Console with LED display
  • 10 pre-set workout programmes
  • Heart rate measurement via hand pulse sensors or a wireless receiver (chest belt has to be bought separately)
  • Conveniences: foldable, transportation wheels, integrated speaker
  • 77kg product weight (169.8lbs)
  • 136kg (299.8lbs) maximum user weight
  • Guarantee: 5 years parts and labour

John Lewis TR3 Plus Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

John Lewis TR3 Plus Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • ORTHOflex Gel Cushioning system works wonderfully well
  • Compact and moveable if space in the home is an issue
  • There’s convenient storage, in built speakers and MP3 connectivity

The Cons

  • Noticeable vibration at higher speeds
  • Only goes up to a 10% incline
  • The console gives vague feedback and instructions
  • There’s a limited and laborious choice of pre-set programs
John Lewis TR3 Plus Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 5
Appearance - 6
Running Area - 8
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 8
Noise - 6
Ease Of Use - 8
Controls - 7
Warranty - 9
Value for Money - 6
Best Price

The John Lewis TR3 Plus 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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