3G Cardio Lite Runner Review

Editor's Rating: 8.0/10

The Lite Runner Treadmill is a new $999 deal especially for walkers. It’s the lowest priced of four treadmills from 3G Cardio, a company that’s young but already earning lots of accolades for value. Overall 3G Cardio treadmills are designed with durable basics and lack “bells and whistles” in order to minimize expenses. The Lite Runner Treadmill in particular is very compact (it can fit through a door frame) and has a small 18″ x 51″ workout surface. The small training area is obviously a disadvantage if it makes you feel restricted, but it’s an advantage if it fits your body… because with the Lite Runner you get an especially sturdy and long-lasting trainer for the price. This streamlined fitness machine can be folded for behind-the-door storage too. 3G Cardio calls it a “Mighty Mini.”

A favorite feature on the 3G Cardio Lite Runner is the electronic incline. The deck has elevation choices from 0% to 15%, and for quick adjustments there are four one-touch incline buttons on the console. The speed limit for this treadmill is 12 mph, but as mentioned above this treadmill is best for walking (jogging too). The belt motor was especially selected to outperform others at lower speeds but not so much at higher speeds. The one-touch speed buttons on the console are for 2, 4, 6 and 8 mph.

Other specs to note are 10 built-in programs, a hand-held heart rate monitor, a 2.5 horsepower motor, and a 275-pound user weight capacity. The 3G Cardio Lite Runner weighs just over 150 pounds and takes 67″ x 30″ of floor space when unfolded. Dimensions for the folded frame are 32″ L x 29 ¾” W x 62 ½” H.

What We Like:

  • Compact and Foldable: The Lite Runner takes up less space than the average home treadmill. It measures just over 5 ½ feet long and 2 ½ feet wide when in use, which makes it compact enough to roll through a doorway. The machine easily folds for upright storage between workout sessions.
  • Program Variety: Trainees get a menu of 10 built-in workouts. Five focus on speed training and five adjust the ramp for incline training. Like all motorized treadmills the Lite Runner can be used in manual mode too; make quick adjustments with console buttons for speed and incline.
  • Incline: The automated incline helps you hone in on specific muscle groups, burn calories more quickly and work on endurance training. The incline range is up to 15%. The quick-set buttons are for 2, 6, 10 and 15%.
  • Optimized for Walking: The Lite Runner drive motor has 2.5 HP. It’s not as powerful as motors on treadmills for runners, but it gives walkers the benefit of above-average track performance at lower speeds. If your exercise will mainly be walking and light jogging, then the Lite Runner could be a good value. (The next model up, the 80i Fold Flat Treadmill for runners, costs significantly more at $1,799.)
  • Ortho Flex Shock™ Suspension: Often a shortcoming of treadmills under $1,000 is a lack of cushioning, but the Lite Runner is impressive when reviewed for shock absorption. 3G Cardio’s patented suspension system has eight independent compressors to help protect your joints from the impact of each step you make.
  • User Weight Capacity: The maximum recommended user weight is 275 pounds. Erring on the side of caution, this trainer is probably best for people weighing around 225 pounds or less. It has superior stability compared with others in its price class.
  • Warranty: An above-average warranty package helps this unit stand out from other treadmills under $1,000. Most important, the parts are under warranty for three years and the motor has a lifetime guarantee. Additionally the frame has a lifetime guarantee and a year of labor is included.

3G Cardio Lite Runner Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4-stars
Motor:2.5 HP
Incline:0 - 15%
Running Area:18.5" x 51.5"
Top Speed:12 MPH
Weight Capacity:275 LBS
Dimensions:67" L x 29.75" W x 52.5" H
Built-In Programs:10
What We Don’t Like:

  • Small Training Area: The workout surface here is shorter and narrower than average. The norm for a walker’s treadmill is 20″ wide and 55″ long, and here you get 18.5″ x 51.5″ instead. The smaller dimensions of the Lite Runner Treadmill could be an issue for taller people, or a detraction for anyone who expects a more spacious workout area.
  • Not For Runners: While this cardio trainer lets you reach top speed, its drive motor is designed to perform best at lower speeds. Also, we can’t vouch for the long-term performance of the incline motor if it gets frequent use with interval training.
  • No Integrated Entertainment: To help keep the sale price of this treadmill under $1,000, 3G Cardio has kept the console strictly business. This could be a drawback for people who don’t have a tablet computer, smartphone or TV available as distraction.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Heart rate during exercise is measured with contact grips. This is typical for treadmills in this price class, but contact sensors are less convenient (and possibly less accurate) than wireless alternatives.

Our Verdict:

If you’re searching for a sturdy and durable treadmill for walking, the Cardio 3G Lite Runner could be a satisfying buy. The $999 introductory price plus three-year parts warranty are an appealing combo, and various components here are above average for the price. Just keep in mind that this trainer has a compact workout area that might be restrictive to people with long strides.


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