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NordicTrack T8.5S Review

Quick Summary

If you want to get into a commercial grade treadmill that’s a good choice for beginners up to more advanced runners, the NordicTrack T8.5S might be the choice for you. This treadmill is great as it features the folding capacity, so is excellent for those who are looking to save space in a small home design.

This treadmill provides great guidance as you go about your workouts so should be able to help you pick a program you not only enjoy, but stick with over time.

Specifications

FitRated
Model NordicTrack T8.5S
Rating

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

93.8%
List Price

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

$1,999
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.

$1,399
Speed

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

0-12 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).

0-12%
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.

3.5 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 60”
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.

Reflex™ 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.

50
Max. Weight

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

300 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.

Handlebar sensors
Dimensions

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

78.9” x 35.5” x 59.4”
Display

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

10” Smart HD Touchscreen
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.

Lifetime: frame and motor
Parts: 5 years
Labor: 2 Years

Rating: 93.8%

Our Rating

Rating: 93.8/100. The NordicTrack T8.5S is a commercial grade treadmill that won’t have you breaking the bank, but yet, still features a number of fantastic options for those who are looking to get fit in the comfort of their own home. NordicTrack has made it simple for people to follow along with a workout program without ever having to invest in a personal trainer thanks to their iFit application.

This app, which you’ll get free for a one year period with the purchase of your treadmill, provides you with over 16,000 different workout session options, offers live coaching for those who need a little help and guidance, and is an ideal choice for those who are hoping to maximize their consistency. With help on the nutrition and lifestyle side of things as well, iFit really is like your very own personal trainer.

Note that this application however will cost $39/month after your initial year period is up, so that is a cost you will have to bear. This said, it’s a great deal to have included on the treadmill for that first year you are using it.

This treadmill has many benefits including one touch controls, which make going about your workout session very easy as well as offers great warranty support. Many machines on the market only offer you a one-year labor warranty but this treadmill bumps it up to two years, giving you peace of mind in knowing you are, for the most part, covered very well.

Size-wise the treadmill is a pretty good footprint size and should fit in most homes with ease. It’s not overly large, but this said, being a commercial style treadmill, it is going to be bigger than some of the home treadmills out there.

It has good incline and speed capabilities – it may not be the best out there, but for beginners who are just looking to begin their workout sessions, it will easily get the job done. Even for more advanced runners, they should have no problem getting fit on this machine.

The biggest drawback perhaps of the NordicTrack T8.5S is that it doesn’t have the largest of maximum weight capacity ratings. At 300 lbs., users who are heavier at 175+ pounds may find this treadmill doesn’t feel quite as stable as others on the market when they are running at higher speeds or inclines.

If you are a 200 lb. walker, you probably won’t have any issue using this treadmill but if you do like to pick it up a bit, you may want to invest in a higher level machine with a higher weight rating.

Pros:

  • Offers up to a 12% incline to help you increase your total calorie burn, cardiovascular fitness, and strength, all while helping to protect your joints
  • Goes up to 12 mph, which should cover most users easily
  • Has a 3.5 continuous horsepower motor, which will help you sustain lengthy workout sessions without a challenge
  • Provides 50 different on board programs, meaning these are available all the time, without a membership. You should never suffer from boredom with this machine.
  • Has a 2 year warranty so you can put your mind at ease in knowing you’ll be covered for a long time to come
  • Uses EasyLiftTM to help elevate the treadmill up to a folding position. This is great for those who are needing the space to perform weight lifting or other activities
  • Is Bluetooth capatable
  • Offers built in dual 2” digitally amplified speakers so you can listen to your music easily while you go about your session
  • Has 1.9” precision and balanced non-flex rollers to help you easily roll the treadmill out of the room as needed
  • Comes with an AutoBreeze workout fan to help keep you cool while you go about your training session
  • The FlexSelect cushioning system with the deck allows you to choose how much cushioning support you want, which can be great for those who are preparing for a road race and want to feel more like they are running outside

Cons:

  • Offers only a 300 lb. maximum user capacity
  • Will have the ongoing cost of iFit at $39/month after the first year if you want to maintain those capabilities
  • Does only incline to 12% capacity. Other models do go up to 40%, so if you want to take your fitness to a higher level, those may be a better choice.

Introduction

The NordicTrack T8.5S is a good entry level commercial model for those who are getting into their fitness training and hoping to get all those extra bonus features that you’d get from a higher level machine without the higher level price tag.

As far as programming goes, you really get essentially the same thing on this machine that you do on more expensive machines; it’s just the underlying structure that’s a bit different.

The maximum user weight on this machine is set to 300 lbs., which some people may find on the low side, however it depends upon your starting weight and what you plan to do.

Keep in mind that two factors impact what you need to have for user weight and that is how heavy you are (the obvious one) and how intensely you plan to work.

Someone who is 185 and plans to sprint train on this treadmill will likely find it shakes a bit more than someone who is 225 pounds but just doing a slow walk. The treadmill will certainly support both instances, but the max weight capacity is good to know so you can plan ahead for what style of training you are doing.

If you are 250 pounds and trying to do very intense intervals on this treadmill, that may become more problematic and you may want to seek out a machine that has a maximum user weight of 325 or 350 pounds instead.

Workout Programs

This treadmill offers 50 different on board programs so no matter what it is you want to be doing with your workout sessions, you should be able to find a workout that will accommodate. These workouts will be with you regardless of whether you maintain your iFit account, so are great to have in place.

This adds more flexibility in your workout schedule, makes it more interesting, and ensures that you keep progressing as well.

NordicTrack T8.5S Features

This treadmill model comes with a lot of great features that most people will find very helpful. This includes up to a 12% incline to help add more variety and challenge to your workout (while saving your joints!), a 12MPH max speed rating to help you get those HIIT sessions in, 50 different program options to choose from, iFit capabilities to guarantee that you are never bored, one touch controls so you can quickly change your speed or incline as needed, a powerful continuous horsepower motor that will keep you going until you decide to stop and a speaker system to help ensures that you don’t miss a beat and stay motivated while using this treadmill.

Warranty & Guarantee

This treadmill offers a great warranty package with a lifetime on the frame and motor, five years parts warranty, and two years labor warranty. You can feel secure with this purchase.

Conclusion

If you are looking to get fit or take your fitness up the next level, you should find that the NordicTrack T8.5S is a great model to use and will help you maximize your fitness potential. With so many good workouts to choose from, you will continually progress and should stay quite consistent since boredom won’t factor in.

If you aren’t feeling challenged enough, just use on of the many different iFit programs available instead. You can also fold this treadmill up for room to do your strength training activities as well, giving you the best of both worlds for your fitness plan.