Reebok ZR8 Treadmill Review

The Reebok ZR8 treadmill is Reebok’s mark 2 version for the highly popular Z8 Run treadmill. The original Z8, launched in 2011, represented the brand’s first attempt at a machine that was both compact and feature-rich.

We really liked the original Z8 treadmill, so is this 2012 ZR8 much of an improvement?

Just like the Z8, the ZR8 requires minimal assembly with the machine cleverly 95% pre-built in the box. Just 15-20 minutes to unfold the uprights and console into place and secure with bolts and place and screw in a few plastic covers! If only it was always this easy 🙂

At its heart, the ZR8 has a 2 HP continuous duty motor that drives the running belt to the machine’s top speed of 10 mph. It also offers a wide range of 12 levels of electronically adjustable incline. A touch disappointingly, 12 levels of incline does not equate to a 12% incline but rather something closer to 7% or 8% with 12 settings within that range. This level of incline does still provide a challenge but not as much as it could or really should.

The treadmill itself is solid and sturdy and the running deck is actually bit larger than the most other smaller treadmills which typically have a 41 cm by 126 cm length deck. The width is pretty much the same, but the length is 12 cm longer, which makes a noticeable difference for those wishing to attempt running, rather than jogging.

We think Reebok must be quite proud of the cushioning on the ZR8 treadmill as there’s a promotional sticker on a couple of places on the machine itself highlighting it! The ZR8 features the latest cushioning from Reebok which uses technology from the Zig cushioning found in the popular shoes. From our understanding, this provides additional cushioning on heel impact and to provide a firmer surface at the point of push off. Having tried it, we can confirm that it’s got a nice feel to it.

In terms of controls, the ZR8 ticks the boxes with both buttons on the handrails as well as short-cut keys on the console for changing both speed and incline.

The console is also quite good. In terms of feedback, there are 3 clear LED windows that provide information on speed / distance covered, exercise time / calories burnt and incline level / pulse rate.

In terms of programs, Reebok has really pulled out the stops and included more than 30 programs on this treadmill.  Which is impressive at this price point! The manual program enables target distance, speed or calories to be set and the speed and incline are controlled by the user while the selected target counts down. There are 24 preset programs whose speed and incline profiles are printed right on the console as well as 3 user-defined programs for the ultimate flexibility.

A pair of pulse grip sensors provide estimates of heart rate when grabbed for a few seconds and these are also used for the body fat test function. Sadly there is no wireless heart rate receiver which is a shame as the grip sensors really aren’t very accurate and holding the bars while trying to run is ok for 5 seconds, but certainly not ok for longer periods than that. The console also features a pair of speakers and as well as a fan. However, on both the speakers and the fan, this seems to be very much an exercise of ticking boxes on spec sheets as the speakers are very tinny, and the fan doesn’t seem to move much air!

The folding mechanism is easy to use and provides hydraulic assistance. Transport wheels are also provided which enables the treadmill to be tilted and moved about whilst folded.

The warranty on the ZR8 treadmill is Reebok’s standard 2 years parts & labour.

Best Price

Currently available for £453.19 from Amazon.co.uk

Review Summary - In Brief

Reebok faced a big challenge trying to improve on the successful Z8 treadmill, and with the ZR8 they have, for the most part, done that. It's reasonably solid and delivers on the basics. However, the incline really should be steeper than it is which is a bit of a letdown, and it's by no means the most compact treadmill on the market. We'd say that if you're looking for a compact running machine then the Viavito LunaRun is a far better bet and costs less. And if it's a treadmill that will really push you that you're looking for, then the Proform Power 545i will give you a true 10% incline, a wireless heart rate receiver, a higher top speed and a significantly larger running deck, for just a relatively modest increase in budget.

Reebok ZR8 Specifications

  • Running deck – 41 x 126cm (16 x 51in) with rubber 6-cushion deck
  • Size in use (L x W x H) – 165cm x 74cm x 143cm
  • Size when folded (L x W x H) – 102cm x 74cm x 143cm
  • Computer with 3 LED windows
  • Feedback – speed / time / distance / calories / pulse / incline / pulse rate
  • 31 Programmes – 3 target, 24 pre-set, 3 user defined, 1 bodyfat
  • Pulse measurement via grip sensors
  • 2 hp motor
  • Speed range – 1-16km/h (10mph)
  • 12 levels of powered incline
  • Max. User Weight – 120kg / 242 lbs
  • Warranty – 2 years parts and 2 years labour

Reebok ZR8 Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

Reebok ZR8 Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Nice feel of the deck and cushioning
  • Simplicity of use

The Cons

  • Speakers are tinny
  • Console fan not very powerful
  • Max incline not very steep
Reebok ZR8 Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

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

Currently available for £453.19 from Amazon.co.uk

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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