Proform 350 Treadmill Review
Recently, someone asked why we don’t review a lot of ProForm products, since they’re a company that produces plenty of ellipticals and treadmills that people possibly use everyday when they go to a gym. At first, we found this question slightly funny since most of our ProForm reviews consist of us mocking some low-quality equipment created by a company that doesn’t really cater to their customers’ needs and only wants to make products for profit.
Apart from that, some of our most loyal readers have mentioned that ProForm produces so many ellipticals and treadmills. ProForm, as well as Icon Fitness subsidiaries in general, are currently the leaders in the fitness equipment industry, especially on the lower end of the budget spectrum. So this probably means that they should pretty much have a large presence on this Website to show us exactly that. And to ProForm’s annoyance – Even if they haven’t stumbled upon this review yet – We continued to warn customers away from bad purchases on both their line of elliptical machines and treadmills. We will at least try to review one ProForm machine or any other gym equipment from Icon Fitness so you will know exactly which machines to save up for or avoid. This also basically means that we’ll be getting our own ‘bad treadmill’ headache much more often now.
If you are looking to purchase an excellent treadmill that costs less than $400, then the ProForm 350 is one of the most recommended ones. And if you’re searching for a treadmill that produces way too much noise, a plastic-constructed and rickety budget treadmill that won’t last even one whole year after too much usage, then the ProForm 350 is not the right machine for you.
Beginning with the assembly of the unit, we ended up having a bit of trouble with the ProForm 350 that we ended up ordering here in our office. There were several holes that weren’t cut properly, and the bolts were either too loose or too tight. Also, the overall alignment of the machine was just a tad bit off. Once the machine was finally assembled, the ProForm 350 treadmill was a bit wobbly, and wasn’t exactly the most solid out of all units they had created. The product specifications that came from ProForm have mentioned a weight limit of at least 250 pounds, but we ended up dropping that top weight down to no more than over 160 pounds. And if we were to be honest, that might be stretching it.
Yet another concern that we had regarding the machine’s motor is the obvious lack of horsepower, which may indicate that the treadmill runs on a motor that might only last for a year – Or worse, even less.
Plenty of fitness equipment experts have also expressed their concern regarding the 350’s low weight capacity. Even though the treadmill itself looks very durable on the outside, it did seem a bit shaky while we were testing it out, which could mean plenty of trips to the repair shop if you don’t take care of it.
The 350’s Target Pulse Sensors were fairly accurate in regards to testing out the machine’s features and strength, but overall the machine was still quite hard to use. We feel like it’s safe to say that this particular model is perfect for walkers – But not joggers or runners. You must place your hands on the sidebars while you use it, and this could be downright difficult for testers.
There’s a third concern regarding the machine – The short warranty. But Proform did inform us that they had plans to extend the 350’s warranty sometime in the future – And that’s always a good thing.
Once we have managed to piece together the various parts of the machine itself, the 350 stopped functioning. There seemed to be a problem with one of the machine’s control boards. We decided to make a quick call to customer service, but it just turned into a nightmare overall. We purposely didn’t mention to the customer service department that we were actually authorized icon repair technicians, and pretended to be regular customers while on the line. The entire experience with ProForm’s customer service was so terrible, and it lasted practically a month thanks to making constant calls to the company to ask for assistance. Perhaps one of the most amazing discoveries we found was that the people behind the Icon customer service agents that we spoke to on the phone have also considered themselves as repair techs, and made attempts to diagnose our machine’s problem through the hotline. We ended up receiving a vast amount of different yet very affordable parts that came from Icon Fitness themselves, but none of them were the ones that we wanted. So in the end, we just gave up trying to act like regular customers since this whole process was wearing our patience thin. After we had obtained the control board, the 350 was up and running in over 20 minutes, and exactly 30 days after purchase.
Before we could to whatever we discovered throughout the course of our two days in building the 350, we would like to go over the machine’s features first, as well as some facts regarding the unit. First off, the machine has a tiny motor. Icon Fitness has labelled this motor as a 2.25 THP motor, and what this actually means is that in reality, the machine has a 1.25 horsepower or possibly even a very small motor. It doesn’t have any programs attached to it, has a tiny area with a running speed of 17 inches x 50 inches, a top speed of over 10 miles per hour, and a huge incline of at least 10%. We were actually surprised to see that there weren’t any pre-programmed workouts in the machine, since that just so happens to be one of the least expensive features you can add onto a treadmill.
When we tried out the 350 treadmill, we later learned as to why the machine only lasted for two days. Our daily workout during that day was cut short, since we ended up breaking the machine’s deck while doing a walking workout of over two miles per hour. We haven’t even gotten around to doing jogs or a complete run, and we haven’t even began performing the ‘bounce test’, which we use to test out a treadmill’s durability. And while we were taking the machine apart to put it out onto our office’s ‘treadmill graveyard’, we had noticed that the left strut was slightly bent, and cracked by its base. Now none of us are heavy-set by anybody’s definition, and this probably shouldn’t have happened during a light walking workout session, but the entire runtime on the 350 lasted for only two hours during that period.
To be fair though, this might have seemed like a very isolated case of a manufacturer’s defect. Normally, we would attempt to purchase another unit to try out the machine, but our overall experience while using the 350, and with Icon Fitness’ annoying customer service was a complete turn-off for us. Whether we did end up breaking the deck, or ended up bending upright support, the 350 is simply a low-quality and poorly-built treadmill that we won’t recommend. Don’t be fooled to much by the machine’s overall look or be attracted to its lower pricing. In the end, you’ll just be throwing your cash away for nothing.
The model contains the usual standard Space Saver Design, which lets you store in the machine vertically whenever you don’t feel like using it at the moment. This feature naturally comes in handy for those who might have run out of rooms in order to store their equipment in.
Another feature found in this machine is the Quick Speed control, which lets you change your vehicle’s speed upwards or downwards, or just about place it on anything that has over 0 up to 10 miles per hour just by pressing a button. This lets you lower down your speed whenever you want to have a short break after working out, and increase the speed for a fast change whenever you feel the urge.
The treadmill also has a Power Incline Control feature, which lets you control the treadmill’s slopes from anything in between 1.5 percent up to 10 percent.
This feature lets you add in the challenge of running up a steep hill, adding a bit more variety to your overall workout. The 350 uses a 17-inch x 50-inch tread belt. ProForm has managed to describe this belt as a very durable and non-slip tread belt.
The belt contains loads of animation from ProSoft Impact Absorption, which, according to ProForm, has the ability to lessen your joints by going up to 15 percent, as compared to just running by the streets or in a suburb. The treadmill runs on a 2.25 THP Mach Motor. This is a drive system that was created especially for durability, no matter how intense your workout might be. The tread belt might also be a little bit to small for some users.