Currently available for £749.99 from SportsDirect.com
V Fit PT143 Power Folding Treadmill Review
V Fit has a reputation for producing low-cost fitness machines that are reliable and provide great bang-for-buck. So when we saw the V Fit PT143 treadmill with a price set squarely in the mid-range we simply had to take a look to see what V Fit’s foray into the higher echelons of the treadmill world looks like. For a company rooted in the entry-level end of the market, this looked an interesting case. Here’s what we found…
First assembly and there’s really not much to report here. Assembly of the PT143 is straight out of the standard treadmill assembly handbook and takes around 40 minutes to complete (you’ll need 2 people). The resulting treadmill is pretty solid, though a quick shake test confirms that the addition of a stabilising crossbar between the posts would have been a worthwhile addition. Nevertheless, the PT143 is pretty solid.
With a footprint of 172.5cm x 73cm, the PT143 is a fair bit smaller than many other treadmills in this price bracket. Which is great for saving space and means it’ll fit into tight spaces, but also means that the running area is smaller too. At 135cm x 45cm the running area is more akin to what you’ll find on many space-saving and entry-level models, rather than most running machines at this price point. Step up onto the deck though and it feels pretty good. The cushioning does a decent job and there’s enough space to run on comfortably, although if you’re planning on long-distance runs daily, or high-intensity sprints then we’d suggest that this isn’t the right machine. The PT143 is definitely more suited to less intensive types of run. That’s not to say that it can’t be challenging because it can. The 2.5 horsepower motor does a good job of keeping things quiet and smooth and even on the highest incline setting it pulls without any discernable trouble. The max incline level, while certainly not the steepest out there in this class, is respectable and set the incline to the maximum setting and select the 18kph top speed and you’ll definitely be huffing and puffing before too long.
The console features a backlit LCD display which is nice and clear and there are 18 onboard workouts to choose from. Unlike a large proportion of treadmills that this model is going up against, there are no interactive training options, nor any way to increase the amount of workouts that you have available. The workouts themselves are well designed and do what they say so while you can’t increase the number to choose from, what’s there is pretty good and does the job. The buttons on the console are clear and easy to understand without referring to the manual. These include a set of quick access keys that allow you to select a given speed or incline setting with the single press of a button which makes it particularly easy to mix things up if you’re training in manual control mode. There’s also a wireless receiver built into the console so training with a compatible chest belt is an option here which is to be expected on a treadmill that costs this much but reassuring as it’s an indicator that V Fit isn’t trying to cut corners.
It always sets alarm bells ringing in our heads when we read that a magnetic safety key is pushed as a selling feature or that having wheels is deemed something out of the ordinary and special. These are things that are standard across every single modern treadmill in existence but V Fit has chosen to make a feature of them here. There’s a nagging suspicion that they simply ran out of things to say about this machine so the marketing guys stepped in and this suspicion is raised further when we read that the treadmill has a frame and that this is pushed as a selling point, when in truth it’s something that all treadmills must have in order to be a treadmill. And we can see why they’ve done this. The fact is that while the basics aren’t bad on this treadmill, there’s not very much else to it, so there’s not much to talk about in the sales spiel. This very much a ‘does what it says on the tin’ sort of machine with no frills. And that’s exactly what we’re used to with V Fit products. It’s something they’re very good at and the PT143 is no different. It does what it does, and it does it pretty well. Listening to this treadmill in action confirms that it’s been built well and should be as reliable as other V-Fit product. The thing that’s really different about this treadmill is that for a V Fit product, the price is high. So the only question remaining is whether that extra outlay is justified. The answer, in our view, is no, it’s not. Why? Well, it’s not because this is a bad treadmill, it’s not. It’s simply because this kind of money spent on a machine from any of the more traditional operators in this space gets you so very much more in terms of not just goodies (though it certainly does include that), but also the basics such as deck size, incline, and speed. And that makes this particular model hard to recommend over and above the many other choices available.
The V Fit PT143 fits the V Fit profile well. It's built to a reasonable standard, looks to be as reliable as any of their other machines, has a fair amount of programmes and provides a decent, comfortable run. The main issue here is what you're getting for your money, which isn't all that much. For this kind of cash, there's no doubt that you're better off going for something else. One example is the Proform 795 which has iFit compatibility for interactive training, a much larger deck with better cushioning, steeper incline, more onboard workouts, a bigger motor and a significantly higher top speed. Another example is the DKN EzRun which has a higher top speed, steeper incline, a larger deck and more workouts. Both the aforementioned models have superior specs and are covered by manufacturer warranties twice the length. It's this sort of thing that makes it hard to recommend this V Fit model right now.
V Fit PT143 Power Specifications
- 2.5 CHP Hi-Torque Motor
- 0-18kph (0-11.2mph) speed range
- 12 levels incline range
- 18 programs (including pre-set speed)
- 45cm (17.7″) x 135cm (53.1″) running deck with Shock absorbing flexi deck
- Incline Programmable
- Blue backlit Dot Matrix LCD Monitor with age
- Console feedback: bodyfat, calories, time, speed, pulse, incline,
- Heart rate measurement via hand pulse sensors and a wireless receiver (chest strap attached)
- Extras: Magnetic Safe-T-Key Auto Stop System, chip resistant, heavy-duty tubular steel main frame, rear frame deck support wheels, Ee-Zee Move Transportation rollers, and 6 Point support and frame
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 172.5 (68″) x 73cm (29.5″) x 135cm (53.1″)
- Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 79cm (31.1″) x 73cm (29.5″) x 159cm (62.6″)
- Product weight: 75kg (165.3lbs)
- Max. user weight: 130kg (287lbs)
V Fit PT143 Power Folding Treadmill - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £749.99 from SportsDirect.com
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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