ProForm 205 CST Treadmill Review

Proform has a reputation for building treadmills that boast great specs while ensuring that prices remain affordable, without compromising on build quality. The selection of treadmills available on the market in and around this price point is huge, with a plethora of other manufacturers providing plenty of alternative choices. We took a look at the Proform 205 CST model to see what you can expect from this compact running machine and how it stands up against the competition.

Like most treadmills, the 205 CST needs to be set up before you can use it. But unlike most treadmills it’s essentially pre-assembled in the box with the actual assembly process involving nothing more than:

  1. Unfold handlebars. Lock them down.
  2. Turn feet at rear into use position
  3. Unfold console. Lock it down
  4. Put plastic covers on to make things look pretty
  5. Attach the safety slow-drop bar
  6. Plug into the mains

Using just a few bolts,  it’s fast and easy with a well written and clear user manual. And, while it is still a 2-person job, the only sweat you’ll be breaking is when you actually go for a run.

At 165cm x 74cm (64.9″ x 29.1″) the footprint is roughly 20cm shorter and 20cm narrower than that you’d normally see on a standard treadmill making it compact enough to fit into a lot of spare rooms. It might not sound like much but that is a significant difference compared with a standard tread and means that the 205 CST is suited to even very restricted spaces. The idea here is to deliver a compact running machine while still providing a good running experience, so we find some things here you wouldn’t normally expect to see on a treadmill at this price point, the first of which we noticed is that you get adjustable cushioning, which for this sort of money is unheard of. This is an adjustable version of Proform’s classic ProShox cushioning system which is a system we like and features on many of their much higher priced models (though not in adjustable form). This system allows each runner to easily set their own preferred type of running surface from soft to hard. On the softest setting the impact absorption is very noticeable and offers excellent joint protection. Those runners that suffer from shin splints will be glad of the level of cushioning available here. At the hardest setting the cushioning system does still absorb the most harmful levels of impact but delivers a noticeably stiffer surface that’s more akin  to road running. This is bound to appeal to runners who purchased a treadmill to use as a foul weather alternative but like running outdoors and pounding pavements.

At 41cm in width the running area on the 205 CST is wide enough to get a decent run on. While it’s not as wide as some other compact treadmills we’ve reviewed it does still provide a good running surface, and with a length of 127cm it’s more accomodating of taller runners than a lot of other compact models we’ve tried out. The run is good in terms of feeling safe and though this type of treadmill is more suited to jogging than high-speed sprinting the odd burst of speed here and there feels just fine.

In terms of how much of a challenge this treadmill can deliver, there’s a top speed of 16kph (9.9mph) and a maximum 10% incline. This model isn’t designed to focus on high-speed sprints but it is fast enough and does incline steeply enough for all but competition runners. This combination will provide plenty enough of a challenge to anyone thinking of purchasing this model.

With a 1.75hp motor and relatively small diameter 1.6″ rollers, the 205 CST does make a bit of noise at higher speeds, like a lot of compact machines, but at jogging speeds it’s actually quieter than we were expecting it to be which is a testament to the build. There were no unwanted squeaks or rattles during testing and even at the end it was still as solid and quiet as it was at the start which is a good sign.  

The console features a 5″ LCD display which is nice and bright with large easy-to-read characters that display training data for time, calories, distance, pace, incline, speed, pulse and vertical distance. There are 16 preset workouts built into the console as well as a manual mode which is enough to provide a good range of workouts. If however you want more to keep you entertained and engaged then it’s possible to sign up to the iFit interactive training service. Download the app onto a tablet, and then connect to the treadmill. Place the tablet in the holder and you can access hundreds of HD workout videos led by personal trainers from a library that’s constantly growing,  race against other iFit members to get the best time on a particular course, get dietary advice and a whole lot more. Subscription to iFit is currently in the region of £100 a year and requires a reasonably fast WiFi internet connection.

Other extras include Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver, 3.5mm audio input jack for MP3 playback, dual speakers, tablet holder and accessories tray. The Proform 205 CST is covered by a lifetime frame, 5-year motor and 2-year parts and labour warranty.

Best Price

The ProForm 205 CST is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

The Proform 205 CST is a treadmill that's built well, gives a decent run and is very well specced for a treadmill of this size and especially at this price point. It's not quite as sturdy as full-sized model, but then which compact treadmill is? It does on the other hand deliver a really comfortable run and has features such as adjustable cushioning and interactive training in the form of iFit that make it stand out next to its direct competitors. The fact is that this is a lot of treadmill for the money. One that's comfortable and reliable and that'll fit into tight spaces that a bigger model can only dream of which makes it very living space friendly and a very good choice as a compact running machine.

ProForm 205 CST Specifications

  • 1.75 HP motor (continuous)
  • 0 – 16kph (0 – 10mph) top speed with Quick Speed™ controls
  • 0-10% incline with Quick Incline™ controls
  • 41cm (16.1”) x 132cm (52”) running area
  • 16 preset workout programmes (include incline, speed, calorie and interval)
  • 5″ high contrast multi-colour display
  • Feedback: time, distance, speed, incline, calories, HR
  • ProShox™ cushioning technology
  • Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse grips
  • iFit® Bluetooth Smart Enabled (subscription optional)
  • Space Saver folding design with Easy Lift Assist
  • Extras: iPod/MP3 compatible, built-in speakers, auto stop safety system, transportation wheels
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 168cm (66.1”) x 81cm (31.9”) x 140cm (55.1”)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 82cm (32.3”) x 81cm (31.9”) x 153cm (60.2”)
  • Max. user weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
  • Product weight: 72kg (158.7lbs)
  • Power Supply: Mains
  • Warranty: 2 years for parts and labour.

ProForm 205 CST Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 205 CST Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Adjustable cushioning
  • iFit compatible
  • Easy assembly
  • Good sized deck for a compact treadmill

The Cons

  • Not as sturdy as a full-sized machine
ProForm 205 CST Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 7
Appearance - 7.5
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 8.5
Reliability - 8
Noise - 7
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 8.5
Best Price

The ProForm 205 CST is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

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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