Currently available for £539.00 from ProForm
ProForm 305 CST Treadmill Review
With a well-deserved reputation for manufacturing quality treadmills that are packed with features and represent great value for money, Proform produces everything from large gym-style treadmills to compact space-saving machines. The range is exhaustive, to say the least, and it’s highly unlikely that you’d be looking for something they don’t have regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced regular runner. We took a closer look at the Proform 305 CST to see how it stacks up. Here’s what we found..
The 305 CST, like most home treadmills, comes flat-packed and requires assembly. This is, without a doubt, a 2 person job but thankfully isn’t a testing one. In fact, the most difficult part of the process is getting that large box into the room you want it in and unpacking the various components. This treadmill comes extremely well packaged so you’ll need to get your recycling bins cleared! The good news is that a large proportion of the packaging is recyclable and that the assembly process itself shouldn’t take more than about 35mins. Overall from start to finish expect that you’ll be spending about an hour getting everything set up.
Aesthetically this 305 CST is par for the course for a Proform machine, using the now very familiar black and grey, with just a splash of red. It’s a functional design and a functional look and feel, and not really a great deal more can be said than that. Though, there is a notable lack of trim at the base of the frame at the front end of the treadmill that leaves it looking a little unfinished. This is an advantage during assembly as there are fewer steps but does leave the 305 CST looking a little like it’s missing something. This is, of course, a small thing and doesn’t impact the treadmill in any way and for most potential buyers looks are not top of the wish list anyway. Nevertheless, the end result aesthetically is a bit disappointing here.
Driving the 305 CST is a 2.0 horsepower continuous duty motor which does a decent job of propelling the belt up to 10mph (16kph) and at walking and jogging speeds is relatively quiet too. The top speed here will be fine for most home users, especially when combined with the true 10% max incline, but probably falls shy of what runners that use their treadmill to train for competitive events would want. At higher speeds, especially those approaching the maximum, the motor does get quite loud which is not really that surprising given its modest size. Still, the performance of the motor is pretty good with the lag between pressing a button to change the speed and the speed actually changing on a par with other models in the range which does make this tread feel nice and responsive, despite the hubbub of the motor. The running area on the 305 CST is a comparatively modest 127cm x 46cm which, when compared to other similarly priced models does fall a little short. This is still a large enough deck to provide a safe and comfortable running platform of course and is larger than many compact treadmills on the market. Despite its reasonably compact dimensions, the deck still feels positive to run on thanks to Proform’s ProShox cushioning system which provides plenty of impact absorption on landing to soak up the worst of the shock. Clearly, with an overall footprint of 81cm x 154cm (WxL) this manufacturer is aiming at those who want something bigger than a classic compact machine but still smaller than a standard width treadmill.
The console on the 305 CST features a 2 colour backlit LCD display that does a good job of displaying real-time workout data such as time, calories, speed, distance and so on. The units are adjustable so it’s possible to select KM or MPH readouts and the contrast is also adjustable. It’s not the brightest, clearest display we’ve seen, but it does do a decent enough job to make using it a non-issue. There are 16 preset workouts that are divided into incline, calorie or speed categories making it easy to select the type of workout you want. And, while 16 programs isn’t a huge amount, the workouts are scaled, getting harder as you progress through them, with the most difficult presenting a decent challenge to all but competition runners. There are also quick access speed and incline keys making it a simple thing to go from zero to max on either with a single press of a button. It’s all simple enough and works smoothly and simply making this model suitable for even the most technophobic.
In addition to the onboard workouts, the 305 CST also offers a multitude of additional training options via iFit which is a subscription service. For full details of what iFit can do we’d recommend checking out their website but in short, you subscribe to the service and then connect a smart device such as a phone or tablet to the treadmill (placing it in the handy tablet holder at the top of the console) and then access a wide array of training options such as competiting against other runners, accessing personally tailored fitness programmes, running at locations throughout the world using Googlemaps, access to recipe videos to help you cook healthy meals and a lot more.
Overall the running experience on the 305 CST is certainly satisfactory. It does a pretty good job and if you want to save space without going all the way down to a dedicated space saving model it’s worth considering. Although, the overall dimensions of this model aren’t actually that much smaller than a standard width tread so whether it’s worth giving up the extra running area you’d get from a marginally larger treadmill is something that’s down to the individual – proportionally you do lose more running area than you save floor space here but if you have a specific need then this treadmill might just be the answer. Like all other Proform treadmills the 305 CST is backed up by Proform’s lifetime cover on the frame, 5 years on-site cover on the motor and 2 years on-site cover for parts and labour.
The Proform 305 CST is a good treadmill in its own right that does deliver a decent running experience. The issue here is that it lacks things you'd expect to get for your money. At this price point, we'd expect to see things like onboard entertainment such as some speakers with a port to plug in a music player, a larger motor, and a crossbar between the two main posts to add some stability. We'd also expect to see some more training options built-in than the 16 onboard workouts. For a direct comparison take a look at the Proform Power 545i which has a significantly larger running area, a larger and quieter 2.5hp motor, a higher top speed, 31 onboard workouts, a built-in heart rate receiver (Bluetooth), water bottle holder, higher max user weight and a crossbar for increased stability. With all of that available for just a bit more than the 305 CST, it's hard to see why you wouldn't go for the 545i, especially as it's from the same manufacturer!
ProForm 305 CST Specifications
- 2.0 CHP motor
- 0 – 16kph (0 – 10mph) top speed
- 0 – 10% incline
- 46cm (18.1’’) x 127cm (50’’) running area
- 16 workout programmes (incline, calorie, speed, etc)
- LCD display
- Feedback: speed, distance, calories, time, pulse, workout
- ProShox™ cushioning technology
- Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse grips
- iFit® Bluetooth Smart Enabled (subscription optional)
- Space Saver folding design with Easy Lift Assist
- Conveniences: auto stop safety system, transportation wheels
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 154cm (61”) x 81cm (32”) x 165cm (65”)
- Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 154cm (61”) x 82cm (32.3”) x 106cm (42”)
- Max. user weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
- Product weight: 80kg (176.4lbs)
- Power Supply: Mains
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (requires registration for 2nd year)
ProForm 305 CST Treadmill - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £539.00 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