Smooth Fitness Gives Choice to Treadmill Buyers
This picture from Smooth Fitness shows some of the 9.3 configurations
2004-06-25: Buyers of running treadmills will sometimes find that they are paying for features that they don't need. This is especially the case at the upper end of the market, where high-strength treadmills are also likely to be loaded with extra features. U.S. company Smooth Fitness, a subsidiary of InternetFitness.com, have got around this problem by enabling customers to configure the specification of their 9.3 Series treadmill, through their SmoothFitness.com website.
The 9.3 Series is Smooth Fitness' top of the line treadmill. A buyer can customize the Smooth 9.3 with a aeropedic belt (which provides extra cushioning for a lower impact workout), stretch frame (20 x 62" running surface), side rails with integrated speed/incline toggle switches, and Heart Rate Control.
Smooth Fitness' treadmills were voted among the top 10 in the world by a leading athletics publication. The 9.3 series uses high quality components, including a Baldor 3.0HP motor. Baldor is one of the most respected brands for treadmill motors. Other features of the 9.3 include a boxed cold-rolled steel frame, using combinations of thickness (8 through 12 gauge) throughout the frame. The elevation assembly, a place of high stress, uses 8 and 10-gauge (thicker) steel. The main deck frame uses 12-guage allowing for flexibility in the full length of the treadmill during walking or running. A balance is sought between rigidity and flexibility in the frame design, and Smooth Fitness say that this makes the 9.3 series one of the most comfortable treadmills to walk or run on.
Smooth Fitness offer a a lifetime warranty on each 9.3 series treadmill. The treadmill designers paid particular attention to the various functions of the 9.3. For example, the elevation assembly is well thought through. Many treadmills found on the market actually reverse the elevation motor, causing a pulling motion at the point of greatest stress. Smooth Fitness engineers used the elevation motor (actually known as an actuator) to push during the greatest amount of stress, adding years to the life of the actuator. The elevation assembly provides 400 lbs. of thrust throughout entire range of motion.
Another innovative feature is that the belt and deck work as a team to lessen noise and friction. Friction between the belt and deck create noise and higher amp-draw on the motor controller. By using lubricated materials in the belt and deck, this lowers the friction thereby lowering amp-draw on the motor controller. Lower amp-draw on the motor controller keeps in cooler and enhances longer life.
The basic prices (at the time of writing) for the 9.3 treadmill are $2,899 for the version without heart rate control, and $3,099 for the heart rate control version. The final price is variable with the configuration options chosen, but includes delivery in the contiguous U.S.
Smooth Fitness also sell a range of standard treadmills. Previously, there was a customising option on some of the other models, but the company found that this was more popular on the 9.3 when compared with the other models. Therefore, the range was consolidated and the customisation facility is now built around the 9.3. It now accounts for around 15% of all Smooth Fitness treadmills sold.