I just recently purchased a Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill off of Amazon. The other reviews definitely helped me in my decision making process, so I definitely wanted to pass my thoughts along. I respect Consumer Reports as well, so it was an added plus to find out that they rated this treadmill a top buy.

First off, I am very pleased with the overall value. I received a free Bowflex mat to go underneath it, and also got free super saver shipping. The Bowflex mat is decent. I probably would not have purchased

it for the $99 price-tag, but it does protect our carpet very nicely, and I'm glad to have it.

The thing I was most nervous about was the free super saver shipping. Other reviewers had mentioned that their boxes arrived in very poor condition, so I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, my treadmill box arrived in excellent condition. One guy delivered it, and he had quite the time getting it off the truck. He did a great job, though, and nothing was damaged in any way.

As other reviewers have noted, this is one HEAVY machine. It took me (a 200 pound guy), a strong friend, and my wife to lift the thing into our house.

Once the machine was in place, setup was a breeze. Probably took me 45 minutes to an hour, and everything was pretty self explanatory. The instructions were very easy to follow. Probably one of the easiest assembly projects I have ever encountered.

I have already had the opportunity to run on this machine a couple times, and it is even better than expected. Although the machine

is very heavy, which makes for an interesting time getting it into the house, I believe the weight also makes it an extremely sturdy machine. I am a 200 pound guy, and the machine has no trouble handling me when I run. It is very smooth, reasonably quiet, and the 3.0 horsepower motor has no trouble handling inclines or running. I have had health club memberships in the past, and this machine is as good, if not better, than some of the “commercial quality” machines I have used.

Also, the 20″x60″ deck provides ample running space. The two-ply belt looks thick, and does not appear to be something that will wear out any time soon. The deck also folds up and drops down very easily, with minimal assistance needed.

Here's the stuff that is so-so:

Don't expect the fan to do much. You do notice a difference if you have the fan on high, and then you turn it off. At most, it provides a very light breeze on your face.

As one other reviewer noted, the grip heart-rate monitor seems to take a very long time to

provide a reading. I haven't had a chance to use the wireless monitor yet, but it seems like that has received very positive reviews.

Another reviewer mentioned that his belt was off center when he received the machine. My belt was a tad off center as well, but it is very easy to make the needed adjustment to get it centered again.

My only other complaint is that I wish the treadmill had a warranty that would rival Smooth Fitness. I was close to purchasing the Smooth 6.25, but the Bowflex Series 7 was slightly less money, and I felt it offered more features. That said, the Smooth 6.25 has an unbelievable warranty that Bowflex cannot match. Nothing about the Bowflex Series 7 leads me to believe that it will be anything but a great machine for years to come, but I do wish it had a longer warranty.

Overall, the Bowflex Series 7 appears to be an awesome machine, and hopefully it proves to be a workhorse that can standup to years of use.

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