ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill Review

As one of the leading companies producing home fitness equipment, Proform has a solid reputation founded on manufacturing feature-rich treadmills that represent good value for money. Generally speaking, you’ll be hard pushed to find a Proform treadmill that doesn’t boast the highest specs available at a given price point. The current Proform catalogue contains a whole selection of home treadmills, from entry-level through to top-spec and there are models for pretty much all types of runners, ranging from casual to hardcore. We took a look at the Proform Carbon TL which is a mid-point model to see what you get for your cash and how it compares to other similarly priced competitors. Here’s what we found…

Like virtually all home treadmills (though there are a few notable exceptions), the Carbon TL needs to be assembled before you can go for a run. Assembly is definitely a 2-person job but there’s nothing complex or tricky to do here and the build is easy enough and takes around 45minutes. Like other Proform treadmills, the instruction manual is clear and easy to follow with nice diagrams making the process simple enough for more or less anyone to follow.

Once assembled the Carbon TL is definitely a classic looking treadmill with a classic overall shape, but with some tweaks to the lines and the colour. The result, despite the relatively small tweaks, is a slick looking machine that’s got a modern feel to it. While this is a full-sized treadmill it definitely doesn’t feel like it when you’re looking at it in a room which is something that’s bound to have wide appeal as the fact it feels diminutive will make it fit neatly into a lot of different types of rooms. That being said, while it may ‘feel’ small compared to its actual size, it doesn’t feel flimsy in the slightest. Giving it the tried and tested, old school, shake test, quickly tells its own story. Reassuringly so. At 80kg (176lbs) in weight and with a footprint of 190cm x 90cm (75” x 35”) this is a heavy-set machine, without being overbearing.

In terms of running area, the Carbon TL is well endowed. With a 51cm x 140cm (20” x 55”) running belt, that’s actual running space (not just deck size), and there’s plenty of room here to move around which doesn’t mean a lot when you’ve just started your run. But, once you’re on the final stretch of a workout, you will inevitably tire and start to shift your position on each step. Having the space to move around freely helps a lot in those moments and brings a sense of safety, allowing you to either zone out, or focus on completing your run, without worrying about where your feet are landing. It’s this sort of thing that can often make the difference between OK and really good when it comes to being comfortable and being comfortable on a treadmill goes a long way to ensuring that it doesn’t become a large, inconvenient, clothes horse.

Speaking of comfort, the Carbon TL is fitted with Proform’s Proshox cushioning system, and if your joints don’t particularly like being subjected to repeated shocks then this is a model that’s likely to work for you. Some regular road runners may find the landing a little soft but for most mere mortals, it’s comfortable and it does its job really well when it comes to protecting your joints. This particular cushioning system has been around for a long time on Proform models and there’s good reason for that. Compared with a lot of other treadmills at this price point, the cushioning feels luxurious and it helps to keep the noise down too, not that any treadmill is a particularly quiet bit of kit of course.

Another element helping to keep the noise down is the motor. Proform has opted to fit an uncompromising 2.6 horsepower, continuous duty, motor here. Continuous duty means that it’s capable of sustaining this power output for prolonged periods without overheating or overloading. A consequence of that is that the motor doesn’t really have to try very hard to keep the running belt moving and combined with the 1.9″ front and rear rollers that are fitted to this model, this translates into a quiet, relaxed machine. Even when turned up to its top speed of 0–16kph (0–10mph), which is enough for most runners (especially when combined with the 10% incline) it’s really not very loud at all. In fact, in our experience for a running machine at this price point, the Carbon TL motor stands out for its lack of noise.

The control panel on the Carbon TL features an easy-to-read 5” high contrast LCD display with large blue characters displaying your workout data including Incline, time, calories, calories per hour, distance, speed, pulse, and pace. You can choose preset displays of the data or you can select the scan mode that rotates through the different data sets. It’s possible to advance the scan to the next set of data manually if you need to and another nice touch here is that it’s possible to customise the scan mode so that it’ll sequentially show you all the data you want to see, in the order you want to see it. The system works well and as the characters are always nice and large due to the fact that the screen isn’t trying to relay too much information at once, it’s easy to see even in the middle of a sprint.

In terms of training options, the Carbon TL is iFit compatible and the first 30 days is included free of charge. This gives you access to the thousands of video-based workouts led by personal trainers providing motivation and guidance. You can also race against other iFit members, get access to nutritional and sleep information and track your overall progress. An internet connection is needed to access this service as the videos are streamed to the console for the duration of your workout. However, unlike most other current Proform models, the Carbon TL has 20 preset programs that are onboard and built into the console itself meaning you can use all of them without worrying about whether you have a subscription or a decent WiFi connection in the room in which you’ve placed the machine. This is actually pretty rare on a modern Proform machine, though it’s been clear to us for some time that there’s obviously a demand for onboard, subscription-free workouts. It’s really good to see that Proform is has listened and provided the option of both local programs built into the machine and streamed content.

The wireless heart rate receiver is a Bluetooth model and will work with any Bluetooth Smart heart rate transmitter. Our unit worked perfectly in this regard and we’ll once again repeat that this setup is way, way more reliable and accurate than hand pulse sensors, plus you don’t need to hold onto a bar while running, which is awkward, to say the least. So while a chest belt isn’t included in the package, it’s well worth adding one to your shopping cart if monitoring your heart rate is high on your list of must haves.

Like all Proform machines, the Carbon TL features a good number of nice little touches. It’s got two water bottle holders, key holder and a tablet holder that’s positioned at the top of the console which makes for nice easy viewing during your run. It also comes with Proform’s Lifetime frame, 5 years motor, and 2 years parts and labour warranty.

Best Price

Currently available for £749.00 from Sweatband.com

To get the ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill for only £749, enter voucher code CARBONTL-50 on the Sweatband.com basket page!

Review Summary - In Brief

The Carbon TL is a great little treadmill from Proform. It's well built, looks good, has a large motor that makes light work of anything you throw at it, and has a really comfortable running deck that really feels really good to run on. It's not noisy either, as far as treadmills go and it ticks a lot of boxes - price, features, build quality, effectiveness, and ease of use. And, the fact that it features a full set of onboard workouts that are accessible without the need for a subscription or Wifi connection puts a cherry on the cake. We're really impressed with this machine, it's a great package at a very reasonable price and as such, it makes our treadmill of the month in this category without argument. A great little package from Proform that delivers serious bang for buck.

ProForm Carbon TL Specifications

  • 2.6 CHP motor
  • 0–16kph (0–10mph) speed range with Quick Speed® controls
  • 0-10% incline range with Quick Incline® controls
  • Running Area: 51cm (20”) x 140cm (55”)
  • 1.9” precision machined and balanced non-flex rollers
  • Cushioning System: ProShox™ cushioning
  • 5” high contrast LCD display
  • Feedback: incline level, vertical gain, vertical loss, elapsed time, calories burned, calories per hour, distance, speed, a track representing 400m (1/4 mile), pace, heart rate, distance
  • Programmes: Incline, time, calories, distance, speed, pulse, pace; scan mode
  • iFit® Coach Enabled: Yes  – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones (30-days Family membership included)
  • Heart rate measurement via Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest belt optional)
  • Extras: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player and dual 2” speakers, dual water bottle holder, integrated tablet shelf
  • SpaceSaver® folding design with pull pin latch
  • Max. User Weight: 135kg (298lbs)
  • Product Weight: 80kg (176lbs)
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 190cm (75”) x 90cm (35”) x 146cm (57.5”)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 103cm (40.5”) x 90cm (35”) x 164cm (64.5”)
  • Mains powered
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty; 5 years for the motor, and 2 years for parts and labour (must register within 28 days of purchase to get 2nd year of coverage)

ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Large comfortable deck
  • Good cushioning system
  • Challenging 10% incline
  • Onboard workouts that don't need a subscription or WiFi connection
  • Feature rich console with user profiles

The Cons

  • Top speed may not be quite enough for experienced runners that compete
ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 9.5
Appearance - 9
Running Area - 9
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9.5
Best Price

Currently available for £749.00 from Sweatband.com

To get the ProForm Carbon TL Treadmill for only £749, enter voucher code CARBONTL-50 on the Sweatband.com basket page!

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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