Currently available for £599.99 from Argos
Roger Black Platinum Treadmill Review
Essentially Argos’s own brand, the Roger Black range features a number of affordable treadmills from budget to mid-priced levels in the market. We took a look at the Roger Black Platinum treadmill to see what their top of the range model has to offer…..
Assembly, like most treadmills, is relatively straight-forward. There’s nothing complicated here and it’s all simple enough. There are a few bits of plastic trim which slows things down a touch but in any event, it took us about 35 minutes to assemble this machine – but we’ve built hundreds of treadmills so expect a build time of around 40-50 minutes.
With a footprint of 108.5cm x 79cm (42.7″ x 31.1″) this is most definitely a compact treadmill. The width is substantially less than you’d find on a standard treadmill but a fair bit wider than that of a compact model. The length, however, is substantially less than on a lot of compact machines making this model something of an “in-betweener” neither truly compact nor full-sized. The running deck itself measures 135cm x 46.5cm (53″ x 18.3″) which puts the Platinum squarely in between a standard tread and a compact model. It’s certainly got enough space to run on though particularly tall runners might well wish for a bit more length.
There’s not a lot to say about the cushioning system. It does an acceptable job and that’s about all we can really say about it. In this respect, nothing stands out here but it does work and it’s certainly going to be kinder to your joints than running on roads and pavements. The top speed of 18kph (11.2mph) is comparable to many larger and more expensive models and will be more than enough for most people. Where the Platinum does stand out is the incline system which will incline up to a very respectable degree with 18 levels. It’s steep enough to challenge even fit and competitive runners. If you’re a human, this level of incline will make you work hard.
The drive motor is a 1.75 continuous duty horsepower unit which does a decent enough job of propelling that belt though you can definitely hear it struggling when on higher speed settings coupled with a high incline setting. This struggle makes its presence felt through the medium of sound. Or in other words, noise. It’s admirable that they’ve gone for a steep incline capability but when the larger members of the testing team whacked the speed and incline up to high levels it was obvious that a more powerful motor would make the experience a smoother, quieter and rather more enjoyable one. That being said, our test unit performed just fine throughout the whole process so while a bit noisier than we’ve come to expect it does appear to be reliable.
The console has 12 different preset workouts, 3 different training modes (time, calorie, distance) and a manual mode. The buttons are large and easy to understand and there are also fast access keys for speed and incline settings so you can jump to a particular level on either by pressing a single button just once. All your training data is displayed on the LCD screen which is rather small but does a fair job. Though due to its size not all available data can be seen at once and needs to be toggled. Not a major issue but on a treadmill at this price point, it’s definitely lacking when compared against its competitors. There are also 3 heart rate control programmes and this is where we run into our first major issue. The Roger Black Platinum treadmill does not have a wireless receiver. A couple of points here, the first being that for this money there’s really no excuse for not having one. It’s a standard feature on just about any treadmill you care to look at in this price bracket. Secondly, the fact that there isn’t one means that there are, in reality, no heart rate control programmes that you can actually use on this machine! And that’s for two reasons. The first is that hand pulse sensors are notoriously inaccurate so getting your actual, real, pulse isn’t possible and that in turn makes training at 60% or 70% or 80% of your maximum impossible to track. Are you really at 85% or are you at 99%? There’s no way to tell. The second issue is that even if you’re happy to train using inaccurate data (not necessarily a smart thing to do from a safety point of view) it’s not at all easy, ney, it’s nigh-impossible, to do a 20, 30, 40….minute run while having your hands glued to the pulse sensors on the handlebars! Including heart rate training options may seem a good idea but the fact that this machine is missing the necessary components in order to actually make that realistically possible is disappointing. Nevertheless, the run that this treadmill delivers is actually not bad and as long as you’re not particularly large or tall and aren’t looking for advanced training features it will definitely do a job.
Other features include stereo speakers (quite poor but that’s to be expected), audio input jack, accessories tray and a water bottle holder. The warranty cover on this machine is a somewhat stingy 12 months which is not a lot for something that costs this much, though you do have the option of extending this cover to 3 years for around £100 extra.
The Roger Black Platinum treadmill feels like something of a missed opportunity to us. It also feels a bit muddled. There's a steep incline with 18 levels, but only a 1.75hp motor to cope with it. There are heart rate control programmes but really no way to really use them in a real-world situation (technically it IS possible though you won't and even if you do the data won't be accurate). In short, it's OK and if you want to get on a run without monitoring your heart rate then this will do a job, but in truth, there's better value out there. An obvious example would be the Proform 545i: Much larger motor, larger deck, wireless receiver, interactive training capabilities with HD videos, more programmes, better cushioning, much better warranty and that costs LESS. It's not the only one either......
Roger Black Platinum Specifications
- 1.75 HP Continuous Motor (2.5 HP peak)
- 18 km/h (11.2 mph) maximum speed
- 18 levels of incline
- Running Area: 135cm (53″) x 46.5cm (18.3″)
- Programmable incline
- Console: backlit LCD Display with 6 display function available
- Feedback console: time, speed, distance, heart rate and calories
- 12 user programmes
- 16 programmes: 12 pre-set workouts plus 1 manual and 3 training
- Pulse measurement via hand pulse grips
- Conveniences: Build-in speakers, MP3 player connectivity, available Auto stop safety system, and transportation wheels
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 171cm (67.3″) x 79cm (31.1″) x 137cm (54″)
- Dimensions when folded (L x W x H): 108.5cm (42.7″) x 79cm (31.1″) x 148.5cm (58.5″)
- Maximum User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
- Product Weight: 74kg (163.1lbs)
- Mains powered
- Warranty: one year manufacturer’s guarantee
Roger Black Platinum Treadmill - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £599.99 from Argos
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