Merax W501 Folding Treadmill Review

Editor's Rating: 2.3/10

At around $450 on Amazon ($389.99 plus $39.99 for shipping), the Merax W501 is an entry-level, budget treadmill. Although you can find quite a few cheap treadmills like this on Amazon these days with a whole roster of average to impressive reviews, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be wary of purchasing one. You can read about how to decipher those reviews here. Like other Merax models, the W501 doesn’t offer much bang for your buck. Take a look at this model in a bit more detail below, as well as reviewing some other affordable, but higher quality alternatives.

What We Like:

  • Bargain Price: At $450, the the Merax W501 is an undeniably cheap treadmill. For some, price may be the only thing guiding the purchasing decision. Even so, we would still say that if you can afford a couple of hundreds of dollars more you will get a much better value option.
  • Compact and Foldable: Even when fully assembled, the Merax W501 is just 55” long by 23.5” wide. Folded, it’s just 29.5” by 23.5” by 49”, so it will fit into most home gym spaces.
  • Storage: There are 2 large cupholders which give you plenty of room for storage as well as a tablet holder for you to dock your device.
  • Lightweight: Although the specs say that the model weighs 64 pounds, users have noted that it weighs around 75 pounds. Either way, the Merax W501 isn’t a sturdy machine: it’s lightweight. However, this does mean that it’s easy to move around with the help of the built in transport wheels.
  • Speakers: You can plug in your phone to the Merax W501’s MP3/audio auxiliary port or insert a USB flash drive to listen to your favorite workout playlists through the speakers.
  • Programs: For such a cheap treadmill, 12 preset workout programs and 3 countdown modes is pretty impressive.
  • Safety Function: There is a safety clip which you can attach to your clothes which triggers an auto-stop function if you drift back.
  • Quick Controls: There are quick controls on the handlebars so you can adjust the speed with ease, even though it can only go up to around 7.5 mph anyway.

Merax W501 Folding Treadmill Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:1.15-stars
Motor:1.5 HP
Running Area:15.7” x 43.3”
Top Speed:0.5 – 7.5 MPH
Weight Capacity:240 LBS
Dimensions:55”" L x 23.5”" W x 43" H
Built-In Programs:12
What We Don’t Like:

  • Narrow Running Belt: The Merax W501’s running surface is just 15.7″ wide (and 43.3″ long) so running is near impossible. It’s only really suitable for walking. Although the brand uses an image of a person running, this is misleading.
  • Flimsy: Many users have reported that this isn’t a sturdy treadmill, as demonstrated by its lightweight design which only supports up to 240 pounds. Users have also noted how the machine vibrates and shakes too much when they try to jog.
  • Loud: Many users have reported that this treadmill is very noisy and vibrates a lot.
  • Low Speed Range: The Merax W501 can only reach 7.5 mph, which is below average even for a treadmill in this budget price range. What’s more, many users have noted that the speeds are not displayed correctly which causes the miles traveled to be off. For runners, we always recommend a treadmill capable of a minimum of 10 mph such as the ProForm 505 CST which only costs a few hundred dollars more. This Merax unit is only suitable for walking or a light jog.
  • Weak Motor: Further to the above, this model’s 1.5 HP motor is way below average even for a budget model.
  • No Incline: There is no incline feature on this treadmill which is a shame considering that it’s mainly a treadmill for walking. An adjustable power incline would have added challenge to your walking routines.

Our Verdict:

Although $450 seems cheap for a treadmill, we wouldn’t even recommend this model on the grounds that it is budget friendly. The weak motor and low top speed in combination with the flimsy construction and low weight capacity make it an unreliable treadmill that feels cheaply made. One saving feature is that it is compact and lightweight, but even this further demonstrates how the treadmill isn’t built to last. For just a few hundreds bucks more you can get a treadmill that outshines the Merax W501 in more ways than one. Take the Horizon T101 for example. For just $150 extra you will get a more powerful motor, a larger running deck, a fantastic warranty and much more. The ProForm 505 CST is another solid alternative which will offer you way better overall value when you consider the quality, functionality and features; it costs just $250 more. Check out our top-rated treadmills under $1,000 to browse some other affordable but high quality models.