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Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 Review

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 joins the TC200 in being one of two brand new additions to the TreadClimber collection, with a 3-in-1 motion that combines many of the benefits of a stairclimber, elliptical, and treadmill into a single machine.

So as an upgraded model to the earlier TC10, what improvements can you expect from the design features, user profiles, and workout programs?

You can find out everything you need to know about the upgrades, as well as which model is the best value for money in our Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 review.

Design and safety features

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 Workout

The key concept behind the original TreadClimber was to create a machine burns more calories than walking or jogging, with lower levels of fatigue, thereby resulting in longer workouts and faster results.

To achieve this, Bowflex put together a design that featured a unique 3-in-1 motion, taking the most effective movements from existing cardio equipment (elliptical, treadmill, stairclimber) and creating a new motion that’s more efficient for calorie burning.

After several iterations, the most affordable modern design is now the TreadClimber TC100, which has a belt speed range of 0.5 – 4.0 mph for each of the Treadles.

If you love walking but aren’t such a fan of running, the TreadClimber could be the perfect maintainable solution for improving your health and fitness.

But that’s not to say that treadmills aren’t suitable for walking workouts. In fact, every model that we’ve reviewed offers belt speeds greater than or equal to the TC100. So what is it that sets the TreadClimber apart?

It’s the combination of belt speed, incline, resistance levels, and adaptive treadle motion that creates a workout that’s low impact, yet efficient at burning calories.

Which is best, TreadClimber or treadmill?
If you’ve already read reviews on other sites or seen the TC100 advertised on the Bowflex website, you might also have seen the claim that the TreadClimber burns 2.5x more calories than a treadmill. So is this actually the case?

The maximum belt speed on the TC100 TreadClimber is 4.0 mph. When compared with a treadmill where the belt is set at the same speed, the TreadClimber will inevitably burn more calories over the same duration due to its unique combination of resistance and incline levels.

So, if you love walking but aren’t such a fan of running, the TreadClimber could be the perfect maintainable solution for improving your health and fitness.

But that’s not to say that treadmills aren’t suitable for walking workouts. In fact, every model that we’ve reviewed offers belt speeds greater than or equal to the TC100. What is it then that sets the TreadClimber apart?

It’s the combination of belt speed, incline, resistance levels, and adaptive treadle motion that creates a workout that’s low impact, yet efficient at burning calories.

If you’ve already read reviews on other sites or seen the TC100 advertised on the Bowflex website, you might also have seen the claim that the TreadClimber burns 2.5x more calories than a treadmill. So is this actually the case?

The maximum belt speed on the TC100 TreadClimber is 4.0 mph. When compared with a treadmill where the belt is set at the same speed, the TreadClimber will inevitably burn more calories over the same duration due to its unique combination of resistance and incline levels.

Resistance levels
There are 12 resistance levels available, with the lower levels being perfect for anyone that wants to emulate outdoor walking on flat ground, while the higher levels are better for anyone looking to burn the most calories in the shortest time.

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 – Features Summary

  • Maximum speed: 4 mph
  • New interactive and fully backlit LCD screen brings your workouts to life.
  • Charge your tablet, phone, or music player on the redesigned media shelf with built-in USB charging port.
  • Stores and tracks 2 user
  • Great compact design that fits easily in any home

Display console features

The console for the TC100 has seen a number of important upgrades since the earlier TC10 model (now discontinued), including the addition of a media shelf and larger storage areas.

The media shelf is designed to hold tablets and smartphones securely if you want to listen to music or watch movies while you walk.

Unfortunately because there’s no built-in speakers or MP3 connectivity, you’ll have to rely on the headphone port on your smart device rather than connecting directly to the console. However, you are able to use the dual-purpose USB port to prevent your device from losing power when in use.

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100
The upgraded TC100 display console features a media shelf and built-in heart rate touch sensors

As for the workout feedback, the 4 separate screens that we saw on the TC10 have now been combined into a single backlit LCD display. This provides accurate feedback on your speed, time, distance, and number of calories burned.

The larger, more spacious console design also includes ergonomically shaped handles, with built-in heart rate touch sensors. This is a major improvement over the TC10, where there was no way to monitor your heart rate.

This is something the TC200 takes a step further with the option to measure your heart rate wirelessly using a telemetry chest strap, but there are still some limitations in terms of entertainment options.

Based on our earlier reviews of Bowflex TreadClimbers and their Max Trainer collection, we know this is a company that focuses more on workout quality and innovation than features that many would consider ‘nice-to-haves’.

The only downside is that you don’t have a cooling fan, speakers, or MP3 connectivity that have become such regular features on ellipticals and treadmills.

Workout programs and user profiles

The TC100 TreadClimber features 2 user profiles, allowing you to store basic personal information that can be used by the console to produce more accurate workout feedback.

In terms of the preset programs, ‘Quick Start’ is really the only option provided with the TC100. This allows you to make adjustments to the resistance level and belt speed ‘on the fly’ as your workout progresses.

If you’re looking for greater variety, the TC200 includes several goal setting programs, which is something we talk about in more detail with the comparison below.

However, there is a G.O. Coach (Goal-Oriented Coach) system for setting goals and tracking your progress over time. Seeing how much progress you’re making over time can be a great motivator for achieving future fitness goals.

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 vs. TC200

The TC100 and TC200 are the 2016 models of Bowflex TreadClimber, offering some impressive upgrades over the earlier TC10 and TC20 models.

But what’s the difference between the two, and which machine is the best option for your own budget and fitness goals?

Advantages of the TC200:

  • 2 additional user profiles
  • Higher belt speed (4.5 mph instead of 4 mph)
  • Bluetooth connectivity available with selected fitness apps
  • 4 additional workout programs
  • Longer warranty
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring available
  • Heart rate zone visual indicator on the display console
  • Includes a heart rate chest strap
  • Slightly smaller footprint (55″ length instead of 57″)

However, the TC200 is slightly taller than the TC100, which can be something worth bearing in mind depending on your height and if you have low ceilings.

The height of the TC100 is 59 inches, while the height of the TC200 is 62.5 inches. This means the minimum recommended ceiling height is your height plus 16.5 inches for the TC100, and your height plus 19 inches for the TC200.

As for the overall frame strength, each model offers a 300 lb weight capacity, although the 202 lb frame weight of the TC200 makes it 44 lbs heavier than the TC100.

One of the most obvious features inherited from the earlier TC10 and TC20 models is the difference in Treadle design.

With the TC200 the Treadles are longer, creating a larger walking area and improved level of comfort, while the Treadles on the TC100 are shorter, but offer a step platform at the rear of the machine for easier mounting and dismounting.

Advanced workout tracking technology
An important part of measuring your progress towards any fitness goal is accurate feedback, preferably in a way that automatically syncs your results to an online profile.

That’s exactly what the TC100 TreadClimber offers, with a built-in USB charging port which can be used to transfer your workout data from the console to your computer. Data can then be synced with your Bowflex Connect profile.

This is something we’ve seen before from Bowflex with earlier TreadClimber models, but the TC200 offers something a bit more advanced.

The option to sync workout data to Bowflex Connect is still there, but you can also now use the TreadClimber app, which has integrated Bluetooth Connectivity for effortless data transfer wirelessly to your smart device.

You can also choose to sync your data with your profiles on other well known fitness apps, including MyFitnessPal, Apple Health Kit, and Google Fit.

Heart rate monitoring
One of the problems with some treadmill designs is that they only offer heart rate touch sensors, with no way to transmit your heart rate wirelessly.

This isn’t so much of an issue with TreadClimbers, as you’re always going to be within reach of the console, which is why Bowflex have fitted both models with heart rate hand grips.

The difference is that the TC200 is the only model to offer wireless heart rate monitoring, with an indicator on the console to display which heart rate zone you’re in.

This can be one of four options:

  • Warm Up
  • Fat Burn
  • Cardio
  • Performance

Workout programs
The Bowflex Max Trainer is another of the innovative cardio machines released by Bowflex in 2015, with the entry level M3 model offering a single workout program, while the M5 model included more advanced workout programs. This is the same as we’ve seen when comparing the TC100 and TC200 TreadClimbers.

The TC100 includes no goal setting programs, and is instead limited to a single ‘Quick Start’ program. This puts you in complete control of the resistance, incline, and belt speeds, as it doesn’t follow any preset profile.

In comparison, the TC200 also includes several goal oriented workouts, which let you set targets for the distance, duration, or number of calories burned.

Programs unique to the TC200:

  • Calorie goal
  • Distance goal
  • Time goal
  • Intervals

Warranty
The TC100 is covered by a 2 year warranty, while the TC200 is covered for 3 years. This is a machine-level warranty that covers everything, including parts and frame.

Customer reviews

Pros:

  • Strong frame with 300 lb capacity
  • Goal setting enables you to track your progress towards fitness goals
  • Quick select controls reduce the time you need to spend at the console
  • Wide range of resistance levels makes it suitable for all experience levels

Cons:

  • Lack of MP3 connectivity
  • No telemetry heart rate monitoring

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • 2 years, full coverage

There’s also a 6 week money back guarantee whereby you can return the TC100 to Bowflex and receive a refund on the purchase price if you’re not completely satisfied.

Bowflex Treadclimber Buying Guide

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 joins the TC200 in being one of two brand new additions to the TreadClimber collection, with a 3-in-1 motion that combines many of the benefits of a stairclimber, elliptical, and treadmill into a single machine. So as an upgraded model to the earlier TC10, what improvements can you expect from the design features, user profiles, and workout programs? You can find out everything you need to know about the upgrades, as well as which model is the best value for money in our Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 review. Design and safety features The key concept behind the…

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

Although the TC100 isn't a machine we would recommend for runners due to its lower belt speeds, it does offer some impressive improvements over the now discontinued TC10, while remaining fairly affordable.

However, it's also worth bearing in mind that the TC200 is the only model fitted with the Bluetooth Connectivity and telemetry heart rate monitoring, which is something we've come to expect from cardio machines in 2016.

Although the TC100 doesn't offer quite as many features as the current top-of-the-line model, it's still an excellent low impact, compact solution to calorie burning and cardiovascular workouts.

A compact and effective alternative to the treadmill for anyone that prefers walking to running, who's looking to burn calories and improve their fitness from the comfort of their own home.

Product dimensions: 31.5"W x 57"L x 59"H Product weight: 158 lbs Weight capacity: 300 lbs