ProForm 205 CST Treadmill Review

Proform has a reputation for building treadmills that boast great specs while ensuring that prices remain affordable. The selection of treadmills available on the market in and around this price point is very competitive, with other manufacturers providing interesting alternative choices. We took a look at the Proform 205 CST model to see what you can expect from this compact running machine and how it stands up against the competition.

Like most treadmills, the 205 CST needs to be set up before you can use it.  It’s essentially pre-assembled in the box but unlike some other compact models which are entirely assembled and just require the minimum of set up, there’s still some assembly to do here in fitting the console, which comes in five pieces and needs to be assembled, and then attached to the main frame of the machine. Then the plastic coverings need to be fitted to make it look pretty. Compared with a standard treadmill there’s little to do here but it’s definitely more than other compact models out there. 

Overall, using just a few bolts and screws,  it’s relatively quick and easy. The user manual is well written and is easy to follow with good instructions and clear diagrams. And, while it is still easier as a 2-person job, the only sweat you’ll be breaking is when you actually go for a run even if you set this up on your own.

At 165cm x 76cm (64.9″ x 29.9″) the footprint is roughly 20cm shorter and 20cm narrower than that you’d normally see on a standard treadmill making it compact enough to fit into a lot of spare rooms. It might not sound like much but that is a significant difference compared with a standard tread and means that the 205 CST is suited to even very restricted spaces. The idea here is to deliver a compact running machine while still providing a good running experience, and in this it succeeds pretty well. Those runners that suffer from shin splints will be glad of the cushioning available here. The cushioning system isn’t the softest but it does still absorb the most harmful levels of impact and delivers a noticeably stiffer surface than other machines, that’s more akin  to road running. This is bound to appeal to runners who purchased a treadmill to use as a foul weather alternative but prefer running outdoors and pounding pavements.

At 41cm in width the running area on the 205 CST is wide enough to get a decent run on. While it’s not as wide as some other compact treadmills we’ve reviewed it does still provide a good running surface, and with a length of 127cm it’s reasonably accomodating of taller runners. The run is good in terms of feeling safe and though this type of treadmill is more suited to jogging than high-speed sprinting the odd burst of speed here and there feels just fine.

In terms of how much of a challenge this treadmill can deliver, there’s a top speed of 16kph (9.9mph) and a two level manual incline. This model isn’t designed to focus on high-speed sprints but it is likely to be fast enough for most domestic users however the incline system is a bit of a let down here. With only 2 levels available it’s not all that steep and there’s also the drawback that it’s a manmual system which means you have to get off the treadmill, fold it up, adjust the feet and then lower it back down again.  While this system does, of course, work, it’s very clunky and the options extremely limited meaning this isn’t going work for everyone so all in all, this element feels like a bit of a letdown. 

With a 1.75hp motor and relatively small diameter 1.6″ rollers, the 205 CST does make a bit of noise at higher speeds, like a lot of compact machines, but at jogging speeds it’s actually quieter than we were expecting it to be which is a testament to the build. There were no unwanted squeaks or rattles during testing and even at the end it was still as solid and quiet as it was at the start which is a good sign.  

The console features a good sized display which is nice and bright with large easy-to-read characters that display training data for time, calories, distance, pace, incline, speed, pulse and vertical distance. There are 8 preset workouts built into the console as well as a manual mode which does provide a very basic level of workouts though none of them feature any incline changes. This really is basic 101 stuff though it does do a job, however you want more to keep you entertained and engaged then it’s possible to sign up to the iFit interactive training service (1 year included). Download the app onto a tablet, and then connect to the treadmill. Place the tablet in the holder and you can access hundreds of HD workout videos led by personal trainers from a library that’s constantly growing,  race against other iFit members to get the best time on a particular course, get dietary advice and a whole lot more. Subscription to iFit is currently in the region of £100 a year and requires a reasonably fast WiFi internet connection.

Other extras include Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver, though there are no handpulse sensors so if you want to check your heart rate a wireless Bluetooth monitor is essential, 3.5mm audio input jack for MP3 playback via the console speakers, tablet holder and accessories tray. The Proform 205 CST is covered by a lifetime frame, 5-year motor (parts only) and 2-year parts and labour warranty.

Best Price

Currently available for £599.00 from ProForm

Review Summary - In Brief

The Proform 205 CST is a treadmill that's built well, gives a decent run and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's not quite as sturdy as a full-sized model, but then which compact treadmill is? If you've got a good internet connection and are happy to subscribe to iFit after the first year then it offers a great range of workouts. If you're not happy to pay for iFit then the workout choices are limited. The big letdown here is the incline system which is manual and has just two settings. Otherwise, this is a perfectly good, compact treadmill. If you're looking for a compact model we'd recommend taking a look at the Viavito LunaRun instead. For not a penny more, you get a comparable spec, but you also get a 10% electronic incline and more than double the number of onboard workouts which provides a greater challenge and far more training options.

ProForm 205 CST Specifications

  • 1.75 HP motor (continuous)
  • 0 – 16kph (0 – 10mph) top speed with Quick Speed™ controls
  • 2 Position manual incline
  • 41cm (16.1”) x 127cm (50”) running area
  • 8 onboard workouts
  • Large LCD window display
  • Feedback: Calories, calories per hr, distance, pace, pulse, speed, time, vertical distance
  • 1.6″ Precision-Balanced Rollers
  • ReBound Pro™ cushioning technology
  • Heart Rate Measurement via Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor only.
  • MP3 input and speakers
  • iFit® Bluetooth Smart Enabled (Includes an iFit Bluetooth membership for a full year)
  • Space Saver folding design with Easy Lift Assist
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 165cm x 76cm x 132cm
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 89cm x 76cm x 152cm
  • Max. user weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
  • Product weight: 72kg (158.7lbs)
  • Power Supply: Mains
  • Warranty: 2 years for parts and labour.

ProForm 205 CST Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 205 CST Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Doesn't take up much space
  • 1 year iFit subscription included

The Cons

  • Manual incline so you have to dismount to change the setting
  • Only 2 incline settings
  • Limited number of onboard workouts
ProForm 205 CST Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 8
Noise - 7
Ease Of Use - 5
Controls - 6.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 7
Best Price

Currently available for £599.00 from ProForm

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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