Currently available for £1799.00 from Fitness Superstore
BH RC09 TFT Treadmill Review
BH Fitness is one of the planets oldest fitness equipment manufactures and has been designing and manufacturing fitness machines since the 1960′s. With a solid reputation for building dependable machines. In the last few years, BH’s presence in the home fitness market (they also manufacture commercial fitness equipment) in the UK has taken on something of a lower profile but it continues to serve the market here in the UK and remains one of the more familiar brands when it comes to treadmills. The BH RC09 TFT treadmill looked good on paper so we got one in to see how it looks in the flesh.
Putting the RC09 together is easier than we were expecting. With very few pieces to put together and notwithstanding the fact that this is a large, heavy, bulky machine, assembly is reasonably quick and certainly simple. With 2 people assembly took just under 40 min with no complicated steps involved so putting this machine together
The resulting treadmill is not lightweight. With a 210cm x 94cm (82.7’’ x 37’’) footprint, a kerbweight of 114kg (251 lbs) and maximum user weight of 150kg (330 lbs/23.6 stone) the RC09 is definitely a heavyweight running machine. The 2.25 horsepower motor, which can’t be described as large for a machine priced at this level, is nonetheless big enough to do an acceptable job here. Nevertheless, the larger the motor, the quieter it tends to be and that relative lack of size and power means that it doesn’t feel quite as slick or as smooth as a number of its direct competitors. It has enough drive to do the job perfectly well, but not enough to make this element of the experience feel truly premium.
One element that does feel premium is the size of the running area. At 55cm wide x 155cm long it’s just as wide but a bit longer than most other high-end domestic machines and even holds its own against full commercial models. The area feels huge with acres of space to run into in every direction making run feel very secure. The cushioning system too is very good here. BH has used their SmartKonik cushioning system here which absorbs impact in two distinct stages. BH claims this reduces the chance of injury compared with traditional cushioning systems and while we can’t verify that, it certainly feels very comfortable and delivers a good run.
In terms of a challenge, the RC09 has a high enough specification to make life difficult if you want it to. There’s a 12% max incline which, while once again not really matching rival models for steepness, is steep enough to ensure most runners are not going to get off before they’re huffing and puffing, while the 22kph (13.7mph) top speed is enough for all but elite professional runners.
The console features a 9″ touchscreen which doesn’t feel as slick as tablet but does a good job of making it easy to navigate menus to get to the workout you want. Workout feedback including distance, speed, calories, time, incline and pulse is displayed in nice easy to read characters and there are 36 onboard workouts to choose providing plenty of ways to stop your run from getting boring. One feature that we enjoyed was the ‘navigation mode’ which lets you choose a video to play while you’re running. The videos take you through a run in the real world so you can run along a beach, or up a mountainside. It’s quite fun and entertaining, though it’s just a video and there’s no personal trainer egging you on.
Other goodies include being able to surf the internet, the ability to connect to a TV to display the running videos, a USB port so you can plug in your own media and a 3.5mm audio jack so you can connect your music player. There’s also a cooling fan which does a decent job and stereo speakers. Heart rate measurement is via pulse grips or a wireless receiver and there’s also a tablet/smartphone holder and transportation wheels.
With the RC09 TFT, BH Fitness has got the basics right. The running area is nice and large, the console is easy to use and the cushioning is good delivering a comfortable run. There's no doubting that this is a well thought out and well built running machine. The workout videos aren't anywhere near the calibre of some rival models but that's forgivable. The problem here is the price. For a good bit less, you can get the Proform Pro 2000 which has a significantly more powerful motor, a significantly steeper 15% incline, as well as a decline function. It also comes with iFit for a ridiculously varied, high-quality state-of-the-art interactive training experience. Or you could go even further up the spec range in the form of the Proform Pro 5000 which is currently on offer saving you literally hundreds of pounds. It's this competition that's making it very hard to recommend the RC09 TFT right now, as good a running machine as it is.
BH RC09 TFT Specifications
- 2.25 HP motor (continuous)
- 0 – 22kph (0 – 13.7mph) speed range
- 0 – 12% incline range
- Console with 9″ touchscreen with Touch & Fun Technology
- Console feedback: distance, time, speed, calories, pulse and incline
- Adjustable SmartKonik + Flex cushioning
- 36 programs (including Heart Rate Control program and Body Fat Test )
- Heart rate measurement via pulse grips and wireless receiver
- Additionally: Soft Drop System for easy and safe folding, Cooling Fan System build in, tablet/smartphone holder
- Conveniences: Soft Drop System for easy and safe folding, transportation wheels
- Touch & Fun Technology system gives the connection with TV, video, and access to apps
- The dimension of the running deck: 55cm (21.6’’) x 155cm (61’’)
- 114kg (251.3lbs) product weight
- 150kg (330.7lbs) max. user weight
- Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 210cm (82.7’’) x 94cm (37’’) x 147cm (57.9’’)
BH RC09 TFT Treadmill - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £1799.00 from Fitness Superstore
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