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Horizon Fitness Elite T9-02 Review

Quick Summary

The T9-02 is Horizon Fitness’s premium home treadmill for the 2018 model year. Compared with lower model numbers it’s distinguished by an extended running surface (62”) and two features for extra durability: a 3.25 CHP belt motor and sleek aluminum rails. This top-of-the-line trainer arrives with dozens of preset exercise programs, and the built-in workout library can be expanded with Virtual Active videos that create virtual reality exercise environments. Read on for a full Horizon Elite T9-02 treadmill review.

Specifications

FitRated
Model Elite T9-02
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the treadmill's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

90.8%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,599
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

$1,899
Speed

Treadmill Speed is measured in Miles Per Hour (mph). Average running speed is 5-9 mph.

0.5-12 mph
Incline

Treadmill Incline measures the angle of the deck, and how steep it is relative to the floor (0% is flat, and 15% is like a steep hill).

0-15%
Motor

The Treadmill Motor is what turns the belt as you run. We recommend at least 2 HP (Horsepower) motors, 2.5+ HP for jogging, and 3.0+ HP for running.

3.25 CHP
Deck

Treadmill Deck dimensions are measured in inches: Width x Length. The wider and longer the deck, the safer it is (55-60 inches long recommended for running).

20" x 62"
Belt

The Treadmill Belt is the surface you run on. The thicker the belt, the less impact on your joints. At least 2-ply (1 inch) recommended.

3-Zone Variable Response
Cushioning
Folding?

Some treadmills are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Programs

Treadmill Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

40
Max. Weight

Treadmill Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Contact Grips plus a free Polar Chest Strap
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this treadmill will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

78.75" x 39.38" x 63"
Display

Treadmill Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

8.5" blue backlit LCD
Cooling Fans

Treadmill Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout.

Accessory Tray

Some treadmills include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Treadmills that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (no headphones).

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

Frame: Lifetime
Motor: Lifetime
Parts & Cushioning:
5 Years
Labor: 2 Year

Rating: 90.8%

Our Rating

Rating: 90.8/100. Leading the Elite Series of Horizon Fitness treadmills for 2018, the new Elite T9-02 is a premium treadmill for home use. It’s made especially durable for an active household and is paired with a best-in-class warranty for the $1,999 sale price. This model marks the border between the mass-market brand Horizon Fitness and the high-end brand Matrix Fitness, which is owned by the same manufacturer. Main performance specs for the Elite T9-02 are a 3.25 CHP motor, a 62” x 20” track, top speed of 12 mph, variable response cushioning, and power incline settings up to 15 percent.

Many treadmill users prefer that workouts aren’t too repetitive, and the Horizon Fitness brand supports excellent workout session variety. On the T9-02 dozens of preset workout programs are included for all skill levels and different cardio training goals. Most exciting about Horizon treadmills though is their optional Virtual Active workout platform… Tour distant lands as you train! Virtual Active videos are played on a Passport Player ($199) connected with your home entertainment system. Synchronized video, audio and automatic treadmill incline adjustments simulate immersive virtual vacations.

Full price for the new T9-02 treadmill is $2,599. Discounted for online promotions it’s $1,999 including indoor delivery and a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring. Pros and cons to consider about this new treadmill deal are listed below.

Pros:

  • 3.25 CHP drive– Spacious 62″ x 20” workout area
  • 40 preset workout programs
  • Passport ready (Compatible with Virtual Active video)
  • Bluetooth connection for automated workout logging
  • 2.4”-diameter belt rollers to minimize wear
  • Aluminum rails for durability and a classy look
  • Power incline to a max of 15 percent
  • Variable Response deck suspension
  • Wireless heart rate chest strap
  • Contact heart rate sensors
  • 8.5” LCD screen with backlighting
  • iPod-compatible port and speakers
  • USB charging port
  • Shelf for a tablet computer or magazine
  • 350-lb user weight capacity
  • Foldable frame to conserve floor space
  • Transport wheels

Cons:

  • Customer service was understaffed at last check
  • Passport Player costs extra ($199)
  • Machine dimensions are large before the treadmill is folded

Introduction

The Elite T9-02 is the star of Horizon’s well-received home treadmill lineup for 2018. As Horizon’s top model it’s also the brand’s closest alternative to similar higher-end treadmills from the Matrix Fitness brand, which is produced by the same manufacturer (Johnson Health Tech). Overall the T9-02 is a durable home treadmill that approaches light commercial quality. With a strong warranty it’s a top deal under $2,000 when online promotions are in effect. This machine’s impressive mix of hardware and software is summarized below.

Workout Programs

The Elite T9-02 console arrives stocked with 38 ready-to-go workout programs and also lets users store two custom-made routines. As you can see on the list below, the variety includes something for everyone.  Additionally this fitness machine is compatible with a Passport Player for interactive Virtual Active exercise videos that control the workout belt.

On-board workout programming includes the following 40 selections:

  • Manual – Starting with 0.5 mph and zero degree slope, you control the speed and incline by pressing console buttons.
  • Calorie – The nine weight management workout programs have calorie burn goals of 100 to 900.
  • Distance – Ten treadmill workout programs are designed for distance goals ranging from one mile to a marathon.
  • Interval – The three preset interval programs are named Speed, Peak and Endurance.
  • Performance – The three preset performance programs are named Run/Walk, Sprint and Hill Training.
  • Steps – Ten treadmill routines have step count goals of 1000, 2000 and so forth up to 10,000.
  • Heart Rate – Two customizable programs help you exert a constant workload within a specified heart rate zone.
  • Custom – The Elite T9-02 lets you design and save two workout programs. You can set custom speeds and intervals for a set of time blocks.

For even more training variety, a Passport Player ($199) can be linked to the T9-02 and your home TV, letting you walk or run with Virtual Active videos filmed in HD. As your TV shows scenic video paced to your gait, the treadmill adjusts its incline to copy real-life terrain.

Two Virtual Active video sets are included with purchase of the Passport Player. Other Virtual Active video packs are sold separately.

For comparison, treadmills in the Matrix Series ($2,499 and up) don’t require external video players for Virtual Active, but you need home wifi to download the workout files.

Horizon Fitness Elite T9-02 Features

As Horizon’s top-of-the-line home treadmill, the T9-02 approaches club quality. It weighs 275 pounds, which is significantly heavier than other models in its series, and its footprint is comparable to that of a typical light commercial treadmill at about 79” L x 39” W.

The workout surface measures 62” L x 20” W, so it gives you a bit more exercise room compared with most health club treadmills. The belt moves over 2.4”-diameter rollers to minimize the frequency of maintenance (belt lubrication and recalibration) compared with roller systems on cheaper treadmills.

To help maximize your living space, this model is a folding treadmill. A hydraulic system makes it simple to push the deck upright and lock it into place after workouts. Folding the treadmill reduces its footprint to about 47” L x 39” W.

The exercise deck’s extra length and width give this unit even greater stability compared with other Horizon treadmills. Additionally sleek aluminum rails run alongside the training belt. These replace the thick black plastic rails found on the Horizon T7-02 and T5. The aluminum lends a bit of club-style class to the machine and also adds the durability required in certain household gyms.

As for horsepower, the T9-02 is equipped with the brand’s best motor: a 3.25 CHP Johnson Drive brand motor with lifetime warranty. This motor operates quietly and constantly calibrates to the trainee’s pace for smooth exercise. Belt speed settings are from 0.5 to 12 mph.

Designed like a smart running shoe sole, the suspension system for Horizon treadmills has multiple levels. Patented Variable Response cushioning helps minimize strain on joints, and thereby promotes longer workout sessions.

Power incline is provided with a maximum setting of 15 percent. Walking or running on an incline, you will automatically accomplish higher calorie burn without increasing your pace. Alternating among incline settings, you can work your muscles in different ways to accomplish especially attractive lean muscle definition.

Elite Series treadmills for 2018 all feature an 8.5” LCD monitor. With large data windows and backlighting it lets you easily see multiple workout stats at once. The data fields are time, distance, speed, incline, heart rate and ¼-mile laps. An animated racetrack graphic helps illustrate your progress.

Horizon ships this treadmill with a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring. The machine also has touch heart rate sensors.

Data can be logged automatically and wirelessly with the machine’s Bluetooth connection to the ViaFit mobile app. This fitness tracking app is available for iOS and Android.

For extra motivation a media ledge is built into the console. This mini shelf is sized for a magazine or mobile device, and a jack is provided for boosting MP3 audio with the treadmill’s stereo speakers.

A USB port is also provided. Regrettably we did not test its ability to keep devices charged.

Other amenities include a water bottle holder and a cooling fan.

A safety key system helps protect trainees during exercise. The key can also prevent unauthorized activation of the treadbelt by children.

Caster wheels are attached to assist with repositioning of the machine.

Warranty & Guarantee

The Horizon Elite T9-02 Treadmill warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime

– Motor: Lifetime

– Parts and Cushioning: 5 years

– Labor: 2 years

A 30-day refund period applies to all factory-direct Horizon Fitness equipment.

Conclusion

The new Horizon Elite T9-02 treadmill is a durable cardio trainer for busy home gyms. Its mix of workout space, horsepower, cushioning, incline and preset workout programs help make it an ideal treadmill for almost anyone. Many of its components are nearly club-quality, and the parts/labor warranty is the brand’s best. For shoppers with home fitness budgets around $2K this model is a top choice.

The closest alternatives are the less robust Horizon T7-02 ($1,599) and the luxurious Matrix TF-30 ($2,499). The TF-30 uses wifi instead of a Passport Player to run Virtual Active workout programs.