Bowflex TC5 TreadClimber Review

Editor's Rating: 6.8/10
Update: This model has been discontinued. To find a suitable replacement, check out our treadmill finder here.

The TreadClimber, also known as the “WalkTC”, is a unique in-door trainer that can be used like a treadmill, a stair climber, or an elliptical machine. Thanks to the incline, Bowflex TreadClimbers can offer even more effective, calorie-burning workouts than standard treadmills, and without the additional impact on joints. In addition, WalkTC TreadClimbers offer a variety of ways to experience low-impact exercise without compromising the calorie-burning or cardiovascular potential.

These popular machines are now available in upgraded versions: the TC5, TC10 and TC20. These models have different top speeds, programming and warranties. Of these, the TC5 is the most affordable way to get started with TreadClimber workouts.

What We Like:

  • No Outlet Required: Unlike most treadmills and TreadClimbers, this green machine doesn’t use a power cord. The entire TC5, including the console display, is fueled by your workout power.
  • Efficient Workouts: The TC5 lets you achieve great results more quickly than you would with a traditional treadmill. Bowflex advertises that you can burn the same amount of fat in half the time.
  • Challenging Workouts: The TC5 has 12 intensity levels to meet anyone’s workout needs. You can set the speed up to 4.5 mph, which is just as fast as the TC20.
  • Low Impact: TreadClimbers are easier on the ankles, knees, and other joints than a typical treadmill because of the elliptical motion that does not require users to even move their feet from the pedals.
  • Ergonomic console: While the console is equipped with based features like a water bottle holder and reading rack, it is also ergonomically designed with the user in mind. Everything you need while working out is at an arm’s reach so there is no need to strain or stop workouts.
  • Space Efficient: Measuring just 43.1″ L x 27″ W x 52.8″ H, this is the smallest TreadClimber in Bowflex’s new lineup. Space-conscious people find that it’s a nice alternative to a folding treadmill.
  • High capacity: The TC5 has a weight limit of 300 pounds. It weighs about 165 pounds and is made of steel, not plastic.

What We Don’t Like:

  • No Preset Workouts: Unlike most treadmills and TreadClimbers, the TC5 doesn’t guide your workouts with preset programs. The console only shows calories, distance, speed and time.
  • No Data Storage: Many people prefer machines that store their workout data. While the TC5 doesn’t remember your workouts, the TC20 can store exercise profiles for two people.
  • No Extras: You won’t find an iPod port, Internet connection or other perks on this unit.
  • Assembly: Some assembly is required.
  • Lubrication Required: Owners will occasionally need to use a lubricating stick for the track.
  • Not for Running: Whereas traditional treadmills can handle speeds up to 12 mph, TreadClimbers have a top speed of 4.5 mph. That’s because most of us don’t move very quickly uphill.
  • Short Warranty: Customers get a short 1-year warranty. The TC10 and TC20 have two-year and three-year warranties, respectively.

Our Verdict:

Walk TC TreadClimbers are an efficient and effective way to get in a low-impact workout that burns calories and does not compromise endurance for comfort. In general, they’re pretty good investments – but the TC5 offers very basic features, especially when compared against the price. First, it doesn’t compare well against the other TreadClimbers, which have longer warranties and additional features. Second, the TC5 lacks advanced entertainment options or features as well as pre-set work outs and goal tracking capabilities, whereas the TC20 includes both built-in exercise programs and a virtual fitness coach for additional motivation and guidance.

Overall, the WalkTC TreadClimber is an excellent piece of equipment for anyone looking for a low-impact way to burn calories. It is incredibly efficient and easy to use, and ideal for most anyone of varying ages and fitness levels.

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