Bowflex TC20 TreadClimber Review

Editor's Rating: 8.7/10
This model has been discontinued.

Note: This machine is now replaced by the Bowflex TC200.

The TC20 or TreadClimber 20 – from the TreadClimber series also referred to as the WalkTC – is Bowflex’s most advanced incline trainer. Like the simpler Bowflex TreadClimbers, the TC20 is a combination of three machines: a treadmill, a stairclimber, and an elliptical trainer. Its upgrades include a heart rate monitor, a higher weight capacity, longer treadles, and extra programming to help keep you motivated. It is the highest model in the TC5, TC10 and TC20 series.

What We Like:

  • Efficient Training: Incline training has become especially popular since it was touted on The Biggest Loser weight loss TV show. According to personal trainers, training on a 40% incline doubles the rate of fat burn. Incline training lets walkers get fast fitness results like runners, but without putting as much stress on their joints.
  • Goal Setting and Customized Programs: The TC20, unlike the cheaper TC5 and TC10, has advanced Goal Oriented Coach technology. This feature sets personalized training goals and tracks progress for two users. You’ll also get three landmark workouts. These let you virtually climb the stairs inside the Statue of Liberty and other famous structures.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: An integrated pulse monitor helps you train within your ideal heart rate zone. Pulse is displayed along with other workout data on the console.
  • Ergonomic console: The console can hold water bottles and reading material.
  • Space Efficient: The TC20 has a 51″L x 30.5″W footprint. It’s comparable in size to a compact treadmill. Thanks to the attached wheels, you can easily move the machine if needed.
  • High capacity: This unit has a weight limit of 300 pounds. It weighs about 215 pounds and has a sturdy steel frame.

Bowflex TC20 TreadClimber Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4.35-stars
Running Area:n/a
Top Speed:4.5 MPH
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:55" L x 31.5" W x 55.25" H
Built-In Programs:n/a
What We Don’t Like:

  • High Price: The TC20 costs as much as upper-end treadmills but lacks their varied programming and multimedia extras. Before choosing this unique machine, make sure that its benefits are worth it to you.
  • Not for Running: Whereas traditional treadmills can handle speeds up to 12 mph, the Bowflex TC20 has a top speed of 4.5 mph. If you’d like to run indoors, you might prefer a NordicTrack incline trainer over a TreadClimber.
  • Few Workouts: The built-in workouts are simple climbing exercises. You can choose a QuickStart workout or select one of three landmark climbing goals. The console shows how many steps you’ve taken. For some trainees, the programs feel redundant.
  • No Extras: You won’t find an iPod port, Internet connection or other perks on a Bowflex.
  • Assembly & Maintenance Required: Some assembly is required. Also, you’ll occasionally need to lubricate the treadles.
  • Short Warranty: Customers get a three-year warranty on the full machine. Since the MSRP on this machine is about $3,000, a longer warranty would be nice. Customers who are disappointed with any TreadClimber can return it within six weeks for a refund.

Our Verdict:

The TC20 delivers challenging workout sessions and fast results. The WalkTC TreadClimber is a good option for a serious exerciser at any fitness level. However, it doesn’t have bells and whistles to take your mind off the burn. This machine is designed for people who don’t need distractions to enjoy exercise.


  • Eugene ReedMarch 22, 2019 at 10:16 pmfrom NORTH CAROLINA
    Every sense I've had it the shocks haven't been going up right.
    • Amanda B.March 25, 2019 at 3:34 pm
      Hi Eugene. Can you explain in further detail what issues you are having with the machine? We may be better able to assist you.
  • Kate FosterApril 1, 2019 at 4:52 pmfrom Illinois
    Where do I grease this.we have had awhile
    • Amanda B.April 3, 2019 at 12:48 pm
      Hi Kate, if you put some lubrication on the moving wheels this should help make them run smoother. If that is where the squeaking is coming from this should help.
  • Kim smithJune 24, 2019 at 2:43 am
    I need help please. Every time I turn the t.c 20 on I get no display except an ? Error code H05. We have tried turning the machine off, but the error code comes back each time we turn it on
    • Amanda BJuly 10, 2019 at 11:41 am
      Hi Kim, you'll need to contact Bowflex directly to fix this issue with your treadclimber. Here's their contact page:
    • AliciaSeptember 25, 2019 at 3:28 pm
      Have you checked to see if the emergency cord is connected? It won't start unless it is, and will give you an error code.

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