TreadClimber Buying Guide
Get three fitness machines in one! Bowflex TreadClimbers offer the benefits of treadmills, elliptical trainers and stair climbers while reducing the risk of injury. Their tagline is “All you do is walk” — but you’ve probably never experienced walking workouts that were this effective! TreadClimber exercise sessions are gentle on joints and deliver results surprisingly quickly. These machines let walkers enjoy the exercise advantages that are normally reserved for runners.
For more than a decade Bowflex TreadClimbers have served as popular alternatives to treadmills and other traditional cardio trainers they’re more enticing than ever.
What is a TreadClimber?
A TreadClimber is designed for shoppers interested in at least two of these home fitness machines: a treadmill, an elliptical machine and a StairMaster (or stair climber). This machine can be more affordable than buying two separate cardio trainers, plus it requires relatively little space.
How a TreadClimber works: Instead of featuring one moving track like a treadmill, this machine has two narrow tracks that are side-by-side. Each track moves over a long pedal called a treadle. One option is to walk on the treadles while they are kept flat (not tilted) like a treadmill track. You’ll burn calories at about double your usual treadmill walking rate, assuming you use the same speed! For even faster calorie burn and enhanced muscle toning, you can walk on an incline.
How is the TreadClimber like an elliptical trainer? The treadles rise to meet your feet. This makes your movement very low-impact on joints and comparable to training on an elliptical. With a traditional treadmill, in contrast, your feet would strike the track.
When you choose the higher incline settings, the TreadClimber supports the motion of a stair climber. You can tilt the treadles by up to 40%.
Chart Comparing the Bowflex TC100 and TC200
Both the TC100 and TC200 support the walking motion used on treadmills, the stepping used on StairMasters, and the ultra-smooth movement associated with elliptical trainers. How are the two TreadClimber models different? You can first compare Bowflex TreadClimbers. For more details, click the links for our full TreadClimber reviews or scroll down to the next section of this TreadClimber buying guide. It provides more info about similarities and differences.
Comparing the Bowflex TC100 and TC200 In-Depth
Both TreadClimbers have maximum 40% inclines and are three-in-one alternatives to treadmills, ellipticals and stairclimbers. Some other similarities: Each has an LCD data screen, a USB charging port, an area for keeping a water bottle and other items handy, and can send workout data to a Bowflex fitness app. Also, both the TC100 and TC200 are compact fitness machines and have transport wheels.
What are the differences between the TC100 and TC200? Looking at the comparison chart above, you can see that the TC200 has a higher top speed — but the difference isn’t big. The TC200 is also more compact than the TC100, but again, the difference is negligible. Here are some differences that better explain the price difference:
- Heart rate monitoring: The TC200 has a wireless heart rate monitor and arrives with a chest strap. It also has a grip pulse monitor. The TC100 only has a grip pulse monitor. Additionally only the TC200 has a Heart Rate Monitor Light Bar. This feature makes it easy to see your heart rate zone in a quick glance; it shows data in four zones (Warm-up, Fat Burn, Cardio and Performance).
- User profiles: All TreadClimbers are designed for shared use. The TC200 has four user profiles. The TC100 has two.
- Workout programs: The Bowflex TC200 is loaded with five workout programs: Just Walk, Calorie Goal, Time Goal, Distance Goal, and Interval. Additionally customers get access to four Motion Traxx mobile app workouts. In contrast, the Bowflex TC100 doesn’t have built-in training programs, only the Motion Traxx access.
- Data sharing: Both TreadClimbers can send data to the Blowflex Connect™ fitness app. Only the TC200 can also automatically share info with My Fitness Pal, Apple Health Kit and Google Fit.
- Warranties: Each machine has a whole-machine warranty. The warranty length is three years for the TC200. It is two years for the TC100. Also, both TreadClimbers are sold with six week money-back guarantees.
TreadClimber Reviews and TreadClimber Coupons
Are you still undecided — or else ready to buy? See below for pros, cons and coupons for Bowflex TreadClimbers. You can also read our detailed TreadClimber reviews.
1) Highest Rated TreadClimber: Bowflex TC200
Full Price: $2,999 plus shipping
Typical Sale Price: $2,999 plus shipping Price with Coupon: Only $2,199 total with link below
Coupon: Get $850 OFF + Free Shipping. Save $1,049 by entering the coupon code FALL18 at checkout. Coupon expires soon.
Pros: Four user profiles, three-year warranty, wireless heart rate monitor, preset training programs, integration with multiple fitness apps
Cons: More expensive than the TC100
As the top rated model overall, the TC200 has the most features and the best warranty.
2) Value-Priced TreadClimber: Bowflex TC100
Full Price: $2,199 plus shipping
Usual Sale Price: $1,999 plus shipping Price with Coupon: Only $1,449 total with link below
Coupon: Get $575 OFF + Free Shipping . Follow the link to save $858! Enter the coupon code FALL18 at checkout. Coupon expires soon.
Pros: Best balance of features for the price, such as two user profiles, Motion Traxx workouts, and joint-friendly cardio training,THE SCIENCE
How can you “just walk” and achieve such impressive results? One key to success with TreadClimbers is that their patented motion brings less lactic acid buildup compared with other cardio trainers. Lactic acid buildup is the culprit behind muscle soreness and a general feeling of exhaustion. The lower the buildup of lactic acid, the more you’ll feel comfortable, able to endure through a workout, and motivated to train again very soon! Specifically, a 2006 study at the University of California – Davis reports these amounts of lactic acid buildups measured in millimoles:
- Treadmill: 3.05
- Elliptical: 4.33
- TreadClimber: 2.68
Additionally, the patented motion brings more calorie burn per minute. This is true even without using the TreadClimber’s incline. Research at the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse (2011, 2013) found that when walking flat at 3 mph on a TreadClimber, calorie burn was about double that of flat treadmill walking at the same speed. It was comparable to running at 6 mph on a treadmill.
A third key to TreadClimber success is the 40% incline. When you walk on an incline, each step automatically burns more calories compared with walking flat at the same speed.
Here’s a quick video ad showing a TreadClimber in action:
Here are answers to the most common questions about TreadClimbers:
Q: Do TreadClimbers truly deliver fast results?
A: Definitely! To understand the science, click over to our “Science” tab.
Q: Is there an option to have someone assemble it for me?
A: Yes. Bowflex has produced assembly videos, but you can pay to have the delivery service assemble the unit, calibrate and test it, and answer any questions you have. In most regions this costs $249.
Q: Is my ceiling high enough for me to use a TreadClimber comfortably?
A: For the TC200 the max distance from the floor is 17″. To ensure that you have enough room, add 17″ to your height, then add about 20″ to make sure you have enough vertical space. The TC100 needs about 3″ less.
Q: Instead of “just walking,” what if I want to run or do interval training?
A: For runners and interval trainers seeking virtually zero-impact cardio trainers, Bowflex builds Max Trainers.
Q: How does the warranty work? What if something breaks?
A: TreadClimber warranties cover the whole machines under reasonable home use. If you call in with a problem, you might be walked through a potential fix over the phone. If needed, Bowflex will send a replacement part and help you with installation. You can also order replacement parts after the warranty expires to keep the machine running and to maintain its high resale value.
Q: Is there a money-back guarantee?
A: Yes. If you don’t feel like the machine was a good investment, you can call or email Bowflex within six weeks to get a return number and ship it back for a full refund. The only downside is paying for shipping.
Q: How can I get the best price on a TreadClimber?
A: To see the best TreadClimber deals, including sales and exclusive coupon codes, click here.
Which TreadClimber is best for you?
Our Editor’s Choice is the TC100 for best overall value.
For extra features, additional user profiles and a longer warranty, the TC200 is a better choice.
To get the best price for either model, check out the TreadClimber coupons page.