ProForm 505 CST Folding Treadmill Review

One of the oldest names in home fitness, Proform has a well-earned reputation for producing treadmills that consistently offer some of the highest specs you’ll see at any given price point. Their treadmills always try to cater for everyone from beginners to seasoned runners and typically will be loaded with plenty of features designed to prevent boredom.

Assembling the 505 CST together is really quite straightforward and follows an almost identical pattern to other Proform treadmills in the current range. Clearly, this is all designed to a formula that’s tried and tested, and it works well enough. Putting it together is, without doubt, a two-person job and while it’s physically possible for one person to do it, we wouldn’t recommend it. The assembly of our test unit didn’t present any issues and all parts were clearly labelled, present and correct.

Aesthetically the 505 CST isn’t likely to win an award for ground-breaking modern design anytime soon. Proform has opted to stick with the tried and trusted (though a little dull) black and grey colourway combination. So, it doesn’t look like a Pininfarina inspired work of art,  but it is a substantial piece of equipment. Proform has focused on the guts of this treadmill and prioritised function over form. Once assembled it quickly becomes obvious that this is a solid bit of well-designed kit. First impressions are that with proper care and maintenance this is a machine that should last.

One of the most important components on a treadmill along with the drive motor and running deck are the rollers. Rollers are important as the thicker the diameter, the more surface area is in contact with the belt at any given time. The more contact there is, the less tension is needed to prevent the belt from slipping. A thicker roller also means that they don’t have to rotate as fast to deliver the same running speed. The bottom line is that a larger roller generally equates to quieter operation and a longer lifespan. With 1.6” (4.06cm) diameter rollers, the 505 CST doesn’t have the largest rollers but is equipped well enough to cope with typical running speeds and delivers a relatively quiet run. The drive motor is a very respectable 2.5hp that delivers a maximum speed of 6kph (9.9mph) and doesn’t sound like it’s being stressed until you get right up near the top speed.

With any treadmill, it’s important to feel safe and comfortable when you’re working out, especially when you’re running at higher speeds, or over long distances and the 505 CST does a good job on both counts. At 46cm x 140cm (18” x 55”) there’s a sensible amount of space to move around on the running deck, for most runners. There’s always room behind you and this provides a feeling of security, while you can also really feel Proform’s proprietary Rebound Pro cushioning at work. This cushioning system provides enough give to make each landing comfortable (even on long-distance runs), while being firm enough to allow for a nice, solid launch for each stride. The balance Proform has achieved here is good and this model will suit a wide range of runners regardless of whether the aim of the game is marathon training or high-intensity cardio work. The maximum incline is also a true 10%, and while that’s not the steepest incline the fact that it’s a true 10% makes it steeper than many other models claiming the same incline. The combination of the 16kph top speed and a 10% incline will provide a good challenge for most non-pro or semi-pro runners.

One very visually noticeable upgrade from its predecessor is the console display. The 5” backlit LCD display on the 505 CST is a significant improvement and a very welcome one too. The LCD screen is easily read and although it can be a bit tricky to see in particularly sunny conditions (such as in a conservatory on a sunny day) it’s still easy to see and read in most indoor lighting conditions. There are also several different display modes geared around a particular aspect allowing you to choose the one that interests you the most. The Incline tab shows a profile of the incline settings of the workout that you’re currently on while the Speed tab shows a profile of the speed settings of the workout. This setup has been thought through and provides a number of different clear and concise ways of tracking your progress.

In addition to the manual mode, there are 13 pre-set programmes which are grouped into various types of workouts such as calorie burn, speed training, intensity training and incline training workouts with each section containing several programmes of varying intensity. Once in a programme, during your run it’s possible to override the settings with a push of one of the speed or incline buttons so if you do find things getting a bit too intense it’s easy to drop the difficulty for that segment to catch your breath. When the next segment starts it goes back to its original settings so as not to disrupt the whole workout.

Like its siblings, the 505 CST is also iFit compatible. Subscribe to the iFit website (1-year iFit Coach subscription included) and you can download more workouts, track your fitness improvements, plus the software is powered by Google Maps, so you can plot your own running routes anywhere around the world. There’s a Bluetooth connection available as well so you can connect a smart device to the 505 CST and access your iFit account while exercising. iFit does a whole lot more than this so if you want to know all the details it’s worth a visit to the iFit website.

The standard wireless heart rate receiver has also been upgraded to a Bluetooth version which is good to see as it should provide a more consistent reading, though you will have to shell out for a compatible chest belt. In terms of added extras, the 505 CST has built-in speakers allowing you to plug in your music player, water bottle holders, key holder and a tablet holder that’s positioned at the top of the console.

The warranty is the standard Proform cover (requires registration online) of lifetime cover on the frame, 5 years cover on the motor and 2 years parts and labour cover.

Best Price

Currently available for £799.00 from ProForm

Review Summary - In Brief

So, what’s the conclusion? Well, this is not at all a bad treadmill. In fact, it's pretty good. It’s relatively quiet for a treadmill, has a reasonable sized running deck, a large motor, a true 10% incline, and a basic range of built-in programmes to keep you occupied. But, before you press that buy button, you'd be wise to check out its bigger brother the Proform 545i which has a higher top speed, a considerably wider running deck that adds a noticeable amount of comfort when running, larger rollers that reduce overall noise and help to increase the lifespan of the machine, and more than double the number of onboard workouts. This extra spec will SAVE you money thanks to the current discount voucher that's available on the 545i. It's also well worth taking a look at our treadmill of the month, the DKN EzRun which has a higher top speed, lots more onboard workouts, a steeper incline, Bluetooth connectivity for your smart devices and a wider deck.

ProForm 505 CST Folding Specifications

  • 2.5 CHP motor
  • 0–16kph (0–10mph) speed range with Quick Speed™ controls
  • 0-10% incline with Quick Incline™ controls
  • 46cm (18”) x 140cm (55”) running area
  • 1.6” precision machined and balanced non-flex rollers
  • Rebound Pro cushioning
  • 5” high contrast LCD display
  • Console Feedback: Time, distance, speed, incline, calories, pace, pulse; scan mode
  • 13 programmes (manual, 12 pre-set)
  • Interactivity: iFit Coach BLE Enabled – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones (1-year iFit Coach subscription included)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • SpaceSaver® folding design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • Extras: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player and dual 2” speakers, CoolAire™ workout fan, integrated tablet shelf, dual water bottle holder, transportation wheels
  • Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 176cm (69”) x 83cm (33”) x 140cm (55”)
  • Folded Dimensions (L x W x H): 93cm (37”) x 83cm (33”) x 165cm (65”)
  • Product Weight: 80kg (176lbs)
  • Max. User Weight: 135kg (298lbs)
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 5 years motor, 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)

ProForm 505 CST Folding Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 505 CST Folding Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • High quality cushioning
  • Large motor
  • 10% incline
  • iFit included

The Cons

  • Not the prettiest looking machine
  • The price
ProForm 505 CST Folding Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 9
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 8
Comfort - 8.5
Reliability - 9
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 5
Best Price

Currently available for £799.00 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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