ProForm City L6 Folding Treadmill Review

We’ve covered many Proform running machines, from the small to the large, the inexpensive to the premium, and everything in between. It’s not hard to come across a Proform product when you’re searching online for a new treadmill. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible not to come across one as one quick search for “treadmill” will demonstrate. While many Proform models are large, premium machines with huge touch screens and a silly amount of features, not all their models are aimed at that market so we took a look at an entry-level model, the Proform City L6 to see what you get when shopping at the inexpensive end of the current catalogue….

Like most treadmills it’s necessary to set the City L6 up before you can use it. Unlike most other treadmills there’s so little to do here we’re struggling to call it assembling anything at all. Step 1. Remove packaging. Step 2. Unfold the treadmill upright bars. Step 3. Attach tablet holder. That’s it, you’re done. It’s hard to see how the process can be any simpler than this so ‘assembly’ is definitely not something that needs to cause any concern here. Once ‘built’ it’s just a case of activating your console (also very simple) and you’re ready to run!

This is a decidedly compact treadmill designed to fold down flat to save on space. And, with a footprint of just 157cm x 75cm (62” x29.5”) it’s about as small as motorised treadmills come. Thanks to this, the City L6 is definitely going to appeal to anyone with limited space. With a footprint that small, inevitably the amount of running space available on the deck is also going to be small, and at 45cm x 120cm ( 18” x 47”) it is, but it’s still comfortably wide and long enough to get a decent workout on. This model isn’t suitable for high-speed sprinting and that’s reflected in the 14kph (0-8.7mph) top speed, however, it is good for walking, and jogging and a reasonable light run. This isn’t just in theory, in practice the running area here feels comfortable and has enough space available so that it’s not necessary to keep glancing at where your feet are about to land. This means it doesn’t take very long to feel confident enough to just get on with your workout and so for walking jogging and a light run it works really well. And, as this model is clearly not aimed at anyone wishing to perform high speed sprints, we’re not going to get negative about the maximum speed available. Quite apart from there being enough space available on the deck to get a decent workout, the cushioning on this deck is rather good. Proform has fitted its proprietory ProShox cushioning system and it works every bit as well as it does on other Proform treadmills so you get the same feel, albeit with less room, as you get from some of Proforms more expensive models.

It’s not just the cushioning system that’s been borrowed from larger, more illustrious models either. In addition to a ‘grown up’ treadmill cushioning system, Proform has also opted to fit a very grown up and quite impressive 2.0 horsepower continuous duty motor which is the sort of spec you’d normally only find on a full-sized model. It doesn’t end there, also fitted here are front and rear 1.9” precision balanced non-flex rollers. A relatively low available top speed, large motor and large rollers all combine to make for a really nice and quiet treadmill. It just doesn’t seem to work very hard and is capable of delivering these types of workouts with ease. It’s a healthy combination of high specs and relatively low work demand and makes this model feel smooth and slick. Very much so as a matter of fact, and it’s a good question to ask how on earth Proform has been able to achieve this level of quality at such a low price point. And, there is a straight answer here, which is that there is one element to be found on the majority of treadmills that’s missing on the City L6 – the incline system.

When it comes to incline systems, most are motorised but sometimes you’ll find a manufacturer has cut the cost by opting for a manual incline system that means you have to get off, manually raise or lower the incline to the level you want, and then re-mount and carry on. But here, Proform has simply ditched the whole idea of an incline function completely. Instead, the focus is on doing what it does do, as well as it can possibly be done within the budget. And, it has to be said that the positive results of this decision can be felt at literally every step. The downside is, that there’s no incline. Now, whether this really affects you as a runner or not, is entirely down to you and the type of training you’re looking at performing. We would normally raise a negative a missing incline system, however, in this instance, this is not purely cost-cutting by Proform. This is because rather than get rid of this function to simply cut costs, Proform has re-invested that saved cash into larger rollers, a larger motor, and a grown-up cushioning system, as well as an advanced console. And the result is a compact treadmill, that feels like a far bigger one to run on, despite the small size. And given the job has been executed so well, it’s actually strange but true that we’re finding it harder than usual to criticise the decision to ditch the incline altogether. The fact is, what’s been done here works and it works very well. It also has the effect of making the machine lighter and easier to maneuver. With all that being said, we’re not letting Proform entirely off the hook here. For this kind of money, it should have a motorised incline system, full stop. But, we have to respect that Proform has not done this by half and put on a manual incline, rather it’s simply been removed altogether and the savings invested into other components so there is at least some clear thinking here and you do get something to make up for the lack of incline.

The control panel on the Carbon TL features an easy-to-read 5” high contrast LCD display with large characters displaying your workout data including Incline, time, calories, calories per hour, distance, speed, pulse, and pace. You can choose preset displays of the data or you can select the scan mode that rotates through the different data sets. It’s possible to advance the scan to the next set of data manually if you need to and another nice touch here is that it’s possible to customise the scan mode so that it’ll sequentially show you all the data you want to see, in the order that you want to see it. The system works well and as the characters are always nice and large due to the fact that the screen isn’t trying to relay too much information at once, it’s easy to see even in the middle of a sprint.

In terms of training options, the City L6 is iFit compatible and the first 30 days subscription is included free of charge. This gives you access to the thousands of video-based workouts led by personal trainers providing motivation and guidance. You can also get access to nutritional and sleep information and track your overall progress. An internet connection and a tablet are needed to access this service as the videos are streamed to the tablet for the duration of your workout. Non-iFit subscribers get a daily updated map-based workout and a selection of streamed video-based workouts. Onboard workouts that are built into the console consist of a manual program only which some users will be fine with as they’ll watch TV or listen to the radio while exercising, but if you’re into guided video workouts you’ll need an iFit subscription and a tablet to access all the content.

Other features include Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest belt optional), transport wheels that make it easy to move around, and Proform’s Lifetime frame, 5-year motor, and 2-year parts and labour warranty.

Best Price

Currently available for £799.00 from John Lewis

Review Summary - In Brief

Not everyone is going to love this treadmill. For some the fact there are no incline settings will be a deal-breaker, for others the fact there are no built-in onboard workouts will have them looking at the next model, but there are a few reasons we're actually really impressed with this treadmill. It's got a large high-quality drive motor, a high-quality cushioning system that feels great to run on, it's easy to use and it looks great. Subscription-based services aren't for everyone so if you're looking for a compact model but don't want to rely on an internet connection to use a program, and you'd prefer to save a fair bit of cash, then we'd recommend the Viavito LunaRun which makes our treadmill of the month and features a motorised incline and a full set of onboard workouts too making it, in our opinion, considerably better value for money.

ProForm City L6 Specifications

  • 2.0 CHP Mach Z™ motor
  • 0 – 14kph (0 – 8.7mph) top speed with Smart Speed controls
  • 44cm (17.5”) x 114cm (45”) running area
  • 1.6” Precision-balanced rollers
  • 5″ high contrast display
  • ProShox™ cushioning technology
  • Heart Rate Measurement via Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor (chest strap optional)
  • Included workouts: Manual mode, daily updated map workout. Selection of streamed video-based workouts.
  • iFit® enabled, 30-day Free iFit trial included (Verified payment details required for iFit sign up. Auto-renews at the end of the trial period unless cancelled)
  • iFit workouts: Thousands of on-demand video workouts streamed via iFit (subscription required).
  • Space Saver folding design
  • Built-in tablet holder
  • Transportation wheels
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 157cm (61.8″) x 75cm (29.5″) x 118cm (46.5″)
  • Max. user weight: 110kg (242.5lbs)
  • Product weight: 57kg (125.7lbs)

ProForm City L6 Folding Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

ProForm City L6 Folding Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Amazingly easy and simple to set up
  • High quality components
  • Large motor and rollers which reduce noise
  • Proshox cushioning system
  • iFit compatible

The Cons

  • No incline system
  • Limited top speed
ProForm City L6 Folding Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

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

Currently available for £799.00 from John Lewis

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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