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ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill Review


Proform is a brand that has been trademarked by fitness retail giant, Health and Fitness. This brand is popular for producing high-tech fitness equipment. The 520 ZN model, to be specific, has got to be one of their most affordable treadmills around, offered for at least $600 thanks to retailers such as Walmart. The model contains a SpaceSaver designed folding frame.


The 520 ZN is a budget-friendly model, through and through. Its drive system contains a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Meter with a weight capacity of over 300 pounds – Much like its fellow treadmill, the Proform 6.0 RT, another affordable treadmill model. But the 520 ZN’s tread belt is a tad bit more spacious, measuring 20 inches wide and over 55 inches long. The shock-absorption feature contains the ProShox Cushioning support that helps keep the entire deck stable and comfy for users. This is a treadmill that comes with a 1.9-inch fully balanced and precision-machined non-flex rear roller, which lessens friction as well as noisier operation.


This model contains a power incline that goes up to ten percent, with speed controls from one mile per hour, to over ten miles per hour. The incline and speed changes are done using the treadmill’s Quick Incline and Quick Speed keys, or with the aid of the traditional up and down keys which you can also find on the machine’s console. The console also comes with a two-speed CoolAire cooling fan, two types of cup holders, as well as an Intermix Acoustics Sound System that can play all of the best tunes. Another thing you can pick here is from the eighteen types of built-in workout programs, and to keep track of your heart rate. And then we’ve got those dual-grip EKG sensors constructed right into the handlebars. There’s a multi-display and backlit LCD display window that shows off your most basic workout readouts such as distance, time, and the amount of calories burned.


The model’s warranty includes over one year of coverage on its parts and labor, with an additional 25 years for the motor.

A thing that we really like about the machine is its folding design. Much like all of the other lightweight and compact machines out there coming from the same company, the Proform 520 ZN comes with a folding frame that utilizes the patented SpaceSaver design.


Proform usually provides their treadmills with a rather expensive price overall, so it’s really good to have an inexpensive model that comes from a popular brand like this one. This is a model that you can purchase for over $600. Despite its pricing, the model does provide some excellent program varieties with a range of 18 different workouts. This is a feature that makes it so easy for you to add in lots of variety in your workout sessions, or to complete dozens of fitness goals.


There are actually a couple of things that we don’t like about the machine: Of course none of us expected the machine to show off a full-color touch screen display, or anything similar for an affordable treadmill. But the 520 ZN’s screen is very small.


The model tops out at around 10 miles per hour, and provides you with an incline that goes up to 10 percent. This isn’t too hard if you end up buying the treadmill solely for walking purposes, but then again, it also removes the overall versatility of the machine thanks to these limited incline and speed options.

And what’s worse is that the 2.5 CHP motor is responsible for driving this treadmill, which is pretty weak, if you were to ask our opinion. Proform initially tried to create the 520 ZN with a much more spacious running area, so it’s not really that compact as compared to other models out there that run on a 2.5 CHP motor. This makes the machine have an even weaker drive system.

Proform has created so many good treadmills in the past, and their affordable line of treadmills aren’t too bad either. There are plenty of other brands out there that provide treadmills at this price point, but they’re not really up to par with the 520 ZN. This isn’t to say that the 520 ZN itself isn’t a top-notch treadmill. However, the machine does come at a price of $600, so you won’t get that. But that doesn’t meant it’s one of the worst treadmills out on the market today. If you want to find a treadmill for walking that’s also very affordable, then the 520 ZN might just be the best one for you. However, if you are considering purchasing other walking treadmills, then go search for other models from the same brand, or another treadmill at the same price range.

The 520 ZN is practically the same as another popular Proform treadmill, the Proform ZT6. But the main difference between these two is the console display. The 520 ZN has a smaller console. And before we could discuss one of the machine’s features, there’s another aspect here that we have to clarify: The 520 ZN isn’t compatible with the iFit, compared to other Proform treadmills.

The machine’s dimensions are: 73 L x 36 W x 57 H inches (185 L x 91 W x 145 H centimeters). The tread belt has dimensions of 55 inches L x 20 W inches (roughly 139.7 L x 50.8 W centimeters). The assembled weight is at 190 pounds (86 kilograms) and can handle a weight of 300 pounds (136 kilograms). The motor is a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Motor, while the automatic incline goes from 0 to 10 percent. ProShox is responsible for creating the 520 ZN’s cushioning.

The machine’s speed levels are 0 to 10 MPH, while the console can handle over 18 workout programs. The amenities include a cooling fan, a sound system, a tablet holder, and a 2x bottle holder. Warranties include: 25 years for the motor, one year for the parts, one year for the labor, while the frame has a lifetime.

First off, the 520 ZN has a folding design. The deck can be folded up and connected over to the left console match with the help of a locking latch. The machine doesn’t have its own hydraulic soft-drop mechanism, unlike the Schwinn 870. So when you unfold the unit, it’s important to lower it to the ground very carefully. And even though folding the machine up isn’t too hard, because the treadmill is pretty much lightweight, you should be able to lift it for at least 50 pounds (or 22.5 kilograms).

The treadmill contains a 3/4 MDF phenolic deck, that’s very durable enough to support users that go up to 300 pounds – Or 136 kilograms. And what’s more, the machine is actually a running treadmill- So the motor and the deck will be able to support the users up to this weight, without experiencing any problems at all.

Much like the ZT6, the 520 ZN’s deck has integrated a 2-cell on each of its sides. The seat is also comprised of ProShox cushioning system, to keep you comfortable while you work out. The suspension system helps lessen the strong impact on your joints for up to 30 percent. In other words, even though working out on this treadmill might not have that much of a huge impact as compared to a workout on an elliptical, the treadmill’s running deck still gives off a less impact as compared to running on a slab of concrete or asphalt. Meanwhile, despite the fact that this suspension system is present in the machine, the deck shouldn’t flex too hard.

The machine’s running surface is 55 inches L x 20 inches W. It’s wide and long enough to handle users with a height of 6’2” up to 6’3” (or 188 to 190 cm), for running workouts. And of course, if you’re much taller than that, you’ll still be able to use the machine nicely as long as you don’t exceed the weight limit – But the treadmill will still feel a bit smaller. The treadmill’s running surface is provided by a one-ply stretch-resistant industrial belt. The deck also utilizes crowned rollers measuring 1.9 inches (or five centimeters) with sealed ball bearings. This gives your tread belt a nice and firm grip.

Because the machine carries a weight of over 190 pounds (or 86 kilograms) it’s quite obvious that the frame is composed of stainless steel. The frame’s front metallic base has two adjustable stabilizers and two caster wheels at the rear area, to handle the transport of the folded and assembled treadmill. The rear portion of the deck also rests on two changeable stabilizers, both covered by plastic shrouds.

The Proform contains a huge footprint, occupying 73 inches L x 36 inches W (185 x 91 centimeters) of floor spacing. So when the deck is folded up, the machine gets to rest on the frontal steel base of the frame, remaining at an approximation of 30 inches L x 36 inches W (76 x 91 centimeters).

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