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Horizon Fitness is becoming a household name for some of the best cardio equipment. The brand has several lines of ellipticals, exercise bikes, rowing machines, and treadmills. Part of the reason Horizon is risin’ in popularity is because its products are budget-friendly without sacrificing the quality features you’d want in home fitness equipment. In fact, Horizon is a mainstay on our best treadmill lists because of the brand’s consistent value proposition.
We personally used the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill to determine just how good this affordable treadmill is. In our Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill review, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this base (but not basic) machine.
Horizon T101 Treadmill
- Foldable treadmill
- Best suited for walkers, joggers or cardio newbies
- Compact, sturdy and easy to use
- Console fan, Bluetooth speakers, device holder, and a rapid-charge USB port
Pros & Cons
- Easy assembly
- One touch keys to quickly shift speed and incline
- Integrated Bluetooth speakers
- Device holder
- Easy to use
- Great for beginners
- Financing available
- 2.5 continuous horsepower motor will not support heavy running
- Smaller running surface is not ideal for tall runners
A Quick Look at the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill
Horizon has two lines of treadmills: the Go Series and the Studio Series. The T101 is the base model (and Horizon-declared “most popular” model) in the Go Series, followed by the T202 and T303. The T101 is the only one of the Go Series we have gotten to personally use, and we have tested and written the Horizon Fitness 7.4 Studio Tread review as well as the Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill review, both of which are part of the brand’s Studio Series.
The T101 is the most basic (and most affordable) of any treadmill from Horizon. However, it still offers up to 10% incline and speeds of up to 10 MPH. The display is very basic; it’s just three LED windows.
Lindsay Scheele, our lead reviewer on GGR Everything, walked, jogged, and ran on the T101. She says the best part and what sets this machine apart is the deck cushioning, which offers three zones of support as you move.
Before You Buy
- You may find this treadmill even cheaper: Horizon loves to discount equipment around the holidays, often offering some of the best Black Friday fitness equipment deals.
- Horizon offers professional assembly for a charge, but Lindsay says the assembly is incredibly easy to do, so you could save your money and avoid that charge.
Horizon T101 Video Review
Is the Horizon T101 Worth It?
When it comes to the best treadmills under $1,000, you can expect to see machines that make sacrifices in areas like technology and high-powered motors. The T101 is no different. Priced under $700, this is an affordable, folding treadmill with some nice extras, but it isn’t built to withstand heavy training from serious runners.
Why? For starters, it only goes up to speeds of 10 MPH, which means speed workouts for some people won’t get as fast as they’d like. Also, the running surface is 55 inches long. While that can still accommodate most people, tall runners may find it a little short when they extend their stride.
However, Lindsay says, “If you’re looking for a cheaper treadmill, I’d pick this one over the others in its price range.”
How do you know if it’s right for you? Here are our recommendations:
- Recreational joggers and walkers
- Those who need a folding treadmill
Not recommended for:
- Serious runners
- Those looking for app-based interactive programming
- Tall runners
Horizon T101 Specs
|Footprint||71″ L x 33″ W x 57″ H|
|Folded Footprint||46″ L x 34″ W x 61″ H|
|User Weight Capacity||300 lbs|
|Walking Belt||55” L x 20” W|
|Display||3 LED windows|
|Programs||6; Calorie, Distance, Fat Burn, Hill Climb, Intervals, Manual|
|Warranty||Lifetime warranty on frame and motor; 1-year warranty on parts and labor|
Our Experience Using the Horizon T101
One of our expert product testers, Lindsay Scheele, ran, walked, and jogged on the T101 using the built-in interval program. “It wasn’t anything special, but it did give me a good workout,” she said.
Overall, she rated her workout experience a 4 out of 5. She said the treadmill is fairly quiet and incredibly easy to use. She even hooked up the Bluetooth to her phone and had no issues.
Her biggest complaint is that she experienced some shaking when she was hitting higher speeds. Unfortunately, that’s just what we have come to expect from even some of the best budget treadmills. They sacrifice on durable motors and materials, and it leads to some wobbling during use. Lindsay still got a great workout and didn’t feel the shaking was a dealbreaker, but it’s worth noting if you’re someone who would have issues with that.
To cut down on the shakiness, Lindsay actually removed the floor stabilizers. she said this helped; after removing them, the shakiness subsided. However, she noticed that the cushioning suffered as a result, and the treadmill surface felt harder.
Breaking Down the Features
Let’s dive in to the specifics of the T101.
The best treadmills for runners have a long, wide belt, measuring 20 to 22 inches wide and 60 inches long. This is key for accommodating the longer stride you have when transitioning from walking to running.
The T101 has a treadmill belt that is 55 inches long. That likely won’t keep you from running. However, tall runners may have to shorten their strides in order to safely move swiftly on this machine. Lindsay didn’t have this experience, but she also isn’t over 6 feet tall. The product testers on our team who are 5 feet, 9 inches or taller have commented on the discomfort they experience running hard on machines with belts at 55 inches or shorter.
RELATED: Best Treadmill for Tall Runners
Horizon Fitness doesn’t disclose its machines’ motor sizes for some reason. However, after doing some research, we found that the T101 has a 2.5 horsepower (HP) motor. For a treadmill that costs less than $700, this doesn’t surprise me. Powerful treadmill motors are often responsible for a higher price tag (and heavier product weight).
Why does the size of the motor matter? Because it’s an indication of how much training the treadmill can support without needing maintenance. Frequent runners should look for a 3.0 CHP motor or higher.
A 2.5 HP motor means that this treadmill can definitely tolerate some jogging, but it isn’t meant for serious running. If you just want one of the best treadmills for walking, however, this is a safe bet.
There are six built-in workouts on the T101. They target different goals such as calorie burn, distance, intervals, hill climbing. You can also put the machine in manual mode and run/walk at your own pace and incline. Lindsay did the interval workout and said it definitely gave her a good sweat.
Despite the T101 having some Bluetooth capabilities, from what we can tell, it isn’t compatible with fitness apps like iFIT or Peloton. You can certainly stream those workouts from your own device as you use the machine, but it won’t control the treadmill’s settings. For this reason, we rated this a 3 out of 5 for dynamic programming.
Speed and Incline
The ranges for speed and incline are on par with other treadmills in this price range. The max speed on the T101 is 10 MPH, which equates to a 6-minute mile. For most recreational runners, that’s more than fast enough. However, runners who need more intense treadmill speed training may want to look for a machine with a top speed of 12 MPH or higher.
The incline range on the T101 goes to 10%, which is ideal for just about any kind of incline training you might need.
Horizon does have a fairly unique speed and incline control feature attached to a pair of fixed handlebars near the console. There are two dials that spin, enabling you to quickly adjust how fast the belt is moving or how steep the belt is.
Size and Portability
It might sound odd to call a 180-pound treadmill light, but it’s definitely on the lighter side compared to 300-plus-pound machines from brands like NordicTrack. Actually, Horizon’s own 7.4 AT Treadmill, which we have used, is a whopping 318 pounds, which our testers found difficult to move.
RELATED: The Best NordicTrack Treadmills
The T101, however, moves with ease, Lindsay says, thanks to a pair of transport wheels.
“Compared to a lot of other treadmills we see, this is fairly easy to move around,” she says.
The 71-inch-long-by-33-inch-wide footprint isn’t compact, but it also isn’t enormous. Because the T101 is a foldable treadmill, it will take up slightly less room when you lift and lock the deck into place. The T101 features the same hydraulic folding mechanism as the 7.4 AT. Our testers found this so-called “one-step” folding process to be fairly simple to do, as you lift and lock the deck into place when it isn’t in use, and then use your foot to unlock the deck so it slowly lowers.
We rated the Horizon T101 a 3.5 out of 5 for durability. We are impressed that this machine has a 300-pound weight capacity, though we typically prefer to see 325 pounds or higher on cardio machines.
The Horizon T101 Treadmill has an aluminum frame. Aluminum frames are common among home gym treadmills and generally helps prevent dings, scratches, or other cosmetic defects. That said, it’s always a good idea not to hit, bump, or otherwise damage your treadmill no matter how durable it is.
The frame is backed by a lifetime warranty, so even if something happens to it you should be covered.
Horizon uses what it calls “3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning,” which is the main reason we gave the T101 a 4 out of 5 for ergonomics. The variable cushioning means that the level of cushioning depends on which “zone” you’re in on the deck. The “impact” zone—where your front foot strikes the deck—has ample cushioning, and the “push-off” zone at the back of the machine is firmer. There is also a “transition” zone in the middle of the machine, which has medium cushioning.
RELATED: The Best Cushioned Treadmills
The 7.4 AT Treadmill we tested from Horizon also has this type of cushioning. Our team reported that it makes the machine quite comfortable to use, even at high speeds. Lindsay said the same of her use of it on the T101.
Technology and Conveniences
The T101 offers more in the way of technology than you would think for a treadmill at this price, but it still isn’t much. Whereas the best high-end treadmills stream workout apps from large touchscreens, this treadmill has three basic LED screens that display your workout metrics. Also, the treadmill has a pair of built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, you can pair your own device to stream music, workouts, or shows.
The extra treadmill features you’ll find on the T101 include the following:
- Device holder
- Water bottle holder
- A “rapid charge” USB port
- Heart rate monitoring via pulse grips in the handles
There are more than 2,500 reviews on the Horizon Fitness website, averaging a 4.6 out of 5 stars. Most people recognize that this is a basic treadmill that is good for people looking to walk or jog a few times a week.
Some people noted that after a few years of use, you may start to experience mechanical issues. This is where the lifetime warranty could come into play, especially if the issue is with the motor.
The negative reviews mostly expressed concern with shipping and assembly issues. However, some people commented on shaky construction or issues with technology.
This isn’t surprising, given the price point of this machine.
Horizon T101 vs Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400
Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill (SF-T4400)
- Under $500
- Has manual incline options
- Compact and folds
- Speeds up to 9 MPH
Pros & Cons
- Has incline
- Folds easily
- Very compact
- Tread comes with shock absorption
- Quick-speed buttons on the handrail
- User weight capacity is 220 lbs
- Top speed of 9 MPH
- No decline option
If you’re looking for a budget treadmill, both Horizon and Sunny Health and Fitness will likely come up in your search. These brands are both known for making affordable machines.
Both the T101 and the SF-T4400 fold, have incline, and feature a handful of workout program options. The Sunny is more affordable at under $500, it’s lighter, and it’s more compact. Our testers liked it for people who are looking to walk or perhaps jog once in a while.
RELATED: Sole F63 Treadmill review
If you want to save money or need a smaller machine, the Sunny might be the better fit. If you want something more durable with a more spacious running surface, then the Horizon is the way to go.
|Horizon T101 Treadmill||Sunny SF-T4400|
|Footprint||71″ L x 33″ W x 57″ H||62” L x 25.5” W x 50” H|
|Folded Footprint||46″ L x 34″ W x 61″ H||36” L x 25.5” W x 58” H|
|Weight||180 lbs||103 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs||220 lbs|
|Motor||2.5 HP||2.2 Peak HP|
|Running Area||55” L x 20” W||15.5” W x 49” L|
|Display||3 LED windows||LCD screen|
|Incline||0-10%||Manually adjustable to 4.3%|
|Speed||0.5-10 MPH||0.5-9 MPH|
|Programs||6; Calorie, Distance, Fat Burn, Hill Climb, Intervals, Manual||9|
|Warranty||Lifetime warranty on frame and motor; 1-year warranty on parts and labor||3-year frame, 180-days parts|
Horizon’s policies are on par with most other big names in cardio. In fact, its warranties are among the best.
Horizon’s warranty on the T101 is lifetime on the frame and motor, and 1 year on parts and labor.
A lifetime warranty on both the frame and the motor of a treadmill is nothing to sneeze at. Having to replace a motor on a treadmill at this price point would typically force you into just buying a new machine.
If you want, you can boost your warranty to a 3-year coverage on parts and labor for $119, or a 5-year warranty for $149.99.
Horizon’s return policy is also fantastic for home gym owners. If you don’t like your machine, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund. Some big retailers won’t allow you to return a machine that has been used, but Horizon says, “No problemo!” You may end up having to pay a restocking fee, depending on why you are returning the treadmill.
You can choose to finance the treadmill through Horizon’s program with Citizens Pay. There are six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month financing plans available.
Ordering and Assembling the Horizon T101
Horizon Fitness does offer white glove assembly for an additional cost of a whopping $300. This includes putting the treadmill in the room of your choice as well as setting up the machine. It’s worth noting that this is one of the most expensive white-glove assembly services we’ve seen. Also, Lindsay says this is one of the easiest treadmills to put together, so maybe save your money.
“You just need to screw on the uprights that hold the screen into place and then you are good to go,” she says. “It came well-protected without a lot of plastic parts with it.”
The brand states that setup of the T101 only takes about 30 minutes, if you want to do it on your own. We found it took even less than that. This is a 180-pound machine, so based on our experience, we can pretty much guarantee that you might need help putting this treadmill together, even if it’s just to move it to where you want it.
Final Verdict of Our Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Review
If all you want is an entry-level treadmill that comes with a few upgrades, then the T101 is a good fit. It’s ideal for those looking for something to use for walking or jogging on various incline levels. If you’re a serious runner, then we advise looking for something with a longer running deck and higher-powered motor.
Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Rating
Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill
Our Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill Review goes deep into this budget-friendly home running machine.
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 699
Product In-Stock: InStock
Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill FAQs
Is the Horizon T101 treadmill good?
As evidenced in our Horizon T101 Treadmill review, this is a great machine for people who are interested in walking or jogging occasionally. It does not have a high-powered motor, so it won’t support the training demands of serious runners. However, it is backed by a lifetime frame and motor warranty. Plus, its price tag is under $700, so it’s not a huge investment.
Does the Horizon T101 treadmill fold up?
Yes, the T101 has one-step, “FeatherLight” hydraulic folding, intended to prevent people from having to take on the brunt of the lifting.
How much does the Horizon T101 treadmill weigh?
The T101 weighs 180 pounds.
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