Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M Treadmill Review

Motive Fitness is one of the more established brands in the industry with a reputation for building reasonably priced, reliable treadmills. In this review, we take a look at the Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M treadmill to check out its features and to see how it measures up against the competition.

Assembly of the Speedmaster 1.8M is simple enough and with two people takes around 30 minutes. The resulting treadmill is reasonably sturdy though not necessarily as sturdy as most other models in this price bracket. The lack of a crossbar between the posts won’t be the sole cause of this, though it won’t be doing much to help either. The L150cm x W68cm x H125cm dimensions mean that the Speedmaster 1.8M, while marketed as a  low-mid-level machine, is really a compact machine. For comparison, we picked 4 random treadmills at this price point online (to within £40) and all four models we looked at featured substantially longer and wider (up to as much as 33cm in length and 30cm in width) footprints. In fact, it’s compact even when compared to one of the most space-saving treadmills we’ve seen in recent times, and comes in a full 12cm shorter and 2cm narrower than that. Somehow this tiny footprint does not translate into a tiny running deck and while at L130cm x W42cm it’s most definitely compact, it’s not so compact as to be unusable. On the contrary, it’s big enough to get a good jog and short bursts at a slightly higher pace, though if you’re planning on long-distance runs or need to train at sprinting speeds then this isn’t the model for you. The cushioning on the deck provides plenty of impact absorption and delivers a perfectly comfortable run.

The overall build quality is solid enough and the 1.75 horsepower motor does a respectable job without sounding harsh. The max speed of 18kph (11.2mph) is plenty fast enough for most people, though not all that comfortable on this particular model due to the small size of the deck and the movement in the console at that speed, especially when the bigger testers in the team were pounding it hard. Next is where we come to what’s likely to prove a deal-breaker to most people considering buying a treadmill in this price bracket. Motive Fitness has made the decision to employ a manual incline system here rather than a motorised one. In order to adjust the incline on this machine, you have to step off the treadmill, then manually lift or drop the deck to select one of three available settings and then get back on again. This system means that there are far fewer available levels of incline to the runner. On 99% of all other treadmills, you’d be getting at least 10 levels and often 15 or 16 settings to choose from. This makes the Speedmaster 1.8M feel restrictive and doesn’t allow you to build up your incline levels slowly. Secondly, it means that none of the onboard workouts have any control over the incline level so the concept of running a “rolling hills” type of workout is out the window. Being able to perform such workouts is a major part of most peoples requirements when buying a treadmill, especially one at this price. It’s an interesting way to go for sure but the only advantage of this manual system we can think of is that there are fewer components in the machine so there’s less to go wrong with it. All in all, this element is likely to be off-putting to the majority of potential buyers.

The console is a backlit LCD display that does a good job of displaying your training information such as speed, incline, time, distance, calories, pulse and body fat information. The screen sections are laid out logically and the buttons are clear and large enough to easily press while running. There are also quick speed keys so you can jump to a particular speed with the single press of a button but there is no heart rate receiver here, only grip sensors which are never all that accurate. The programmes themselves have the very basics covered but as they’re unable to control the incline level they are very basic indeed and while there is a heart rate programme option it’s not practical to perform your entire run while constantly holding onto the handlebars so they don’t really offer any advantages.

The Speedmaster 1.8M also features a water bottle holder, a tablet holder and folds away for storage. All in all this model falls short in quite a few areas but we’re saying that because of the price. If this machine was around half this much then we’d probably be more favourable in our assessment and less critical but at this price point the competition is fierce and with all the major manufacturers vying for your business there’s simply a huge range of machines to choose from, all of which beat this one in just about every department.

Best Price

The Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M 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

The Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M is one model you should probably avoid for now, until the price comes down significantly anyway. If it's a compact treadmill you're after then the Viavito LunaRun does a better job of saving you space and really stands out as one of our current picks of the month.

Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M Specifications

  • 1.75 CHP Continuous  DC Motor
  • 0-18kph (0-11.2mph) speed range with Safe-T-Key™
  • 3 levels manual
  • 42cm (16.5”) x 130cm (51.2”) running deck with Vibration-dampened Treadmill System
  • Blue-Backlight, multi-function LCD display
  • Feedback: Speed, incline, time, distance, calories, hand pulse, body fat
  • Programs: 18 (including 12 pre-set, Quick Start, Heart Rate Program, Time Countdown Mode, Distance Countdown Mode, Calorie Countdown Mode, and Body Fat Measurement)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse sensors
  • Conveniences: Bookshelf, dual bottle holder, Elastic Anti-shock System, transport rollers, Soft-drop easy folding system
  • Audio: Built-in speakers and two 3″ speakers compatible with iPod/ MP3 player
  • Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 150cm (59”) x 68cm (27”) x 125cm (49.2”)
  • Folded Dimensions (L x W x H): 83cm (32.7″) x 68cm (27″) x 137cm (54″)
  • Max. user weight: 120kg (264.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 53kg (116.8lbs)
  • Easy self-assembly

Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Hard to think of any but possibly it is very small so if you have a really tight space you need your treadmill to fit into, then this might do it

The Cons

  • Rather than write a long list here it's easier to say that this machine is just priced too high for what you're getting
Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 7
Appearance - 5
Running Area - 4
Comfort - 5
Reliability - 6
Noise - 5
Ease Of Use - 7
Controls - 6
Warranty - 6
Value for Money - 1
Best Price

The Motive Fitness Speedmaster 1.8M 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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