A treadmill with a twist (or a curve should we say), the French Fitness CT80 is a curved treadmill that uses gravity to start. An interesting concept, but one that is ultimately kinder to your knees and the environment.
One of the newer curved models on the market, French Fitness has tapped into sustainable living by offering a pure green energy treadmill. Zero energy consumption and zero impact on your electricity bill.
But, with all that said and done, does the CT80 give you a great workout? We explore the model’s design features, exercise options, and customer review details below.
If you’re on the lookout for a new treadmill, you might want to consider a curved variation of the cardio staple. It’s a non-motorized treadmill with a unique concave shape that allows users to walk, jog, and run.
A curved treadmill uses gravity and is propelled by the user’s foot strikes. The running belt is pulled by the user’s stride, which removes the need for a belt motor. It’s a winning choice for people who like to keep their workouts and movement as natural as possible.
With that in mind, there are a few things you need to assess before adding a curved treadmill to your home gym. We explore some of the important features of curved treadmills and how the French Fitness CT80 curved treadmill measures up against them.
Curved running surface
Curved treadmills’ running surfaces are arc-like in shape and covered in slats. The small spaces between the slats enable the belt to move around the arc smoothly.
The CT80 treadmill uses an elastic rubber arc running belt. By using gravity to start, the user can increase or decrease their speed freely.
The curved running surface combined with the crawler elastic rubber belt and active running design leads to decreased impact during your workout.
The absence of a running board design for the crawler belt also means that the user won’t struggle with any sideways deviations or waxing. It’s a good option for those who want to improve their running form and perform an informal gait analysis.
Resistance is a key feature of curved treadmills. Since these products are self-propelled, the runner has to use more muscle groups than a traditional treadmill. Essentially, they need to push harder.
The CT80 doesn’t just offer resistance because of its non-motorized nature. It also has 8 resistance levels and caters for a hardcore sled push at high resistance. If you’re looking to improve strength, it’s an effective product to add to your home gym workout.
Dimensions, footprint & portability
With all home gym equipment, the aim is to optimize your space so you can fit in all your equipment favorites. You need to see how much space the equipment will take up as well as how easy it is to move around.
The CT80 dimensions are: (L x W x H): 78 in x 34 in 59.5 in (1981 mm x 864 mm x 1511 mm). It weighs 346lb (157kg). In addition, you need a ceiling height of between 14 – 16” above the user’s height.
Despite the weight, the treadmill is portable thanks to transport wheels in the front and handles at the back.
Curved treadmills do have displays so you can track core vitals. This French Fitness equipment offers a battery-operated console that gives readouts on time, distance, speed, and calories.
Since curved treadmills offer a more intense workout than traditional treadmills, you’ll enjoy watching the calorie count go up. You’re working roughly 30% harder after all.
French Fitness CT80 Manual Curve Treadmill – Features summary
- Front transport wheels & rear handles
- Non-motorized zero-energy consumption
- Precision bearing drive system
- 8 Resistance levels – adjustable
- Cordless – battery-powered display
- Low maintenance costs
- Walk, run, jog, & sled push features
The CT80 comes with the options of full assembly and installation or curbside delivery. If you hate the idea of installing the equipment yourself, pay an extra $299 and let someone else set it up for you in your room of choice.
You’ll also have the option of buying floor mats for your treadmill. You can choose between the:
- PVC floor mat
- Interlocking tiled flooring, and
- Rubber square gym flooring.
Curved treadmill exercise options
With most treadmills, you’re pretty much limited to walking, jogging, running, and incline cardio work. Perhaps some walking lunges if you’re being creative.
One of the positives of a curved treadmill is that there is more of a focus on strength. With the CT80, you have the option of a high-resistance sled push – great for strength training.
You can also do HIIT and sprints. Both these forms of exercise require you to be able to slow down and speed up quickly.
Curved treadmills allow you to accelerate, decelerate, and change speed freely. Just like with a normal run. This gives it an edge over motorized treadmills that aren’t as good at slowing down and speeding up instantly.
Exercise options include:
- Sled push
Many conventional treadmills have warranties that are split into:
- Frame warranty
- Motor warranty, and
- Parts/labor warranty
Curved treadmills waive the motor warranty for the obvious reason that they don’t have one. This makes the warranty more straightforward.
The CT80 offers a 10-year parts warranty along with a 1-year labor warranty. You also get the benefits of longer service life due to the lack of a motor. And, a far lower failure rate.
This French Fitness curved treadmill is a relatively new product on the market. This means that you may struggle to find reviews on this model.
While reading about the CT80 can help you to figure out more about its features and benefits, it’s equally useful to read the opinions of other people who have bought and used curved treadmills.
After checking out the product, we compiled the following list of commonly reported pros and cons:
Let’s take a look at the pros of the CT80 below.
Curved treadmills allow for a greater physiologic intensity while walking and running. With the CT80, you also get the benefit of a serious sled push. But, on top of all this you’ll also:
- Burn more calories & expend greater energy
- Use more muscle groups
- Achieve a higher heart rate & oxygen consumption
- Increase your running cadence & steps per minute
- Increase your strength & cardio fitness
Pure green energy
Being cordless and non-motorized, the CT80 is pure green energy. This lessens the environmental impact due to its zero energy consumption. With sustainable living becoming a priority for many, this treadmill is bang on-trend.
In addition to this, its lack of a motor makes for less noise, a lower failure rate, and a reduced maintenance cost. All wins in our book.
Knee impact protection
A characteristic shared by many curved treadmills is the decreased impact felt by the user. The French Fitness curved treadmill is fully shock-absorbing, safe, and comfortable.
The slatted running belt design eliminates the risk of slipping and prevents sideways deviations. Your ability to quickly accelerate and decelerate prevents impact to your knee.
This happens because you won’t struggle to keep up with the running belt (like on traditional treadmills), which protects your knees and joints
Budget & long-term savings
For curved treadmills, you can find products from less than $3000 to over $6000. They’re expensive compared to a conventional treadmill.
The CT80 comes in at the lower end of the price range for these green energy treadmills. At under $3000 (if you don’t pay for installation), this model is a bargain.
Over the long run (pun intended), you also save. This curved treadmill has zero impact on your energy bill and has lower failure rates and maintenance costs. The 10-year warranty is also a saver.
When searching for cons, we didn’t find any major issues with this model. But, some downsides might not make it the best option for all runners.
In the pros, we did state that the CT80 is one of the better budget options for curved treadmills. And, that it does have more of a long-term positive impact on your pocket.
That doesn’t change the fact that the curved variation is quite a bit more expensive than your motorized treadmills. A price tag of between $3000 and $6000 is hefty.
Inclines, Running & Resistance
Curved treadmills are suited to walking, jogging, and running. However, if you aim to run with high resistance, it’s not really possible.
The higher resistance you have, the harder it becomes to run. To run, it’s best to select no resistance. The higher you make the resistance, the more of a strength-training workout it becomes.
Lastly, no motor and the arc-like shape means no incline. So, simulated hill training is off the table.
But, since many of us use incline training as a way to build strength, this treadmill is still an effective match. The machine offers eight resistance levels and a sled push feature after all. So, not having an incline isn’t a big con.
Final thoughts on the French Fitness Curved Treadmill
The CT80 exceeded our expectations with its environmentally-friendly attitude, eight resistance levels, reduced knee impact, and sled push capability.
If you’re happy to overlook the price, the French Fitness CT80 is a great fit for users who promote sustainable living, enjoy strength training, or are looking for more intense cardio workouts.