The Horizon Evolve SG Compact Treadmill folds down to some of the smallest dimensions we’ve come across for a motorized treadmill, making it the ideal choice if you’re short on space but still want to workout.
This review takes a look at the design in more detail, together with the workout programs, display console functions, assembly instructions, and level of maintenance required, to help you decide if this is the best choice of treadmill for your own home fitness routine.
Running deck design
If you’re considering buying a new treadmill for some additional exercise at home, there are a few factors that play a major role in which model is right for you.
Size, price, workout program variation, and storage dimensions are just a few of the things you’ll need to compare between machines to find out which is best suited to the space and budget you have available.
The Horizon Evolve SG treadmill has been designed around a 17″ (W) x 45″ (L) running surface, which when combined with its belt speed of 1-6 mph, makes it the ideal choice for walking and light jogging workouts.
When folded, the Horizon Evolve SG measures just 10 inches (H) x 59 inches (L)
The only reason we wouldn’t recommend this for higher intensity interval workouts or running is due to the length of a person’s stride.
We tend to find that certain treadmills are better suited to specific user heights, due to the amount of space they need to build up to a full running stride. For example, anyone over 6 feet tall would run more naturally on a treadmill with a running area length of 60 inches than they would with a running area length of 50 inches.
As this is designed for shorter stride lengths, the same rules don’t strictly apply, making the Evolve SG suitable for a wider range of user heights.
Horizon Evolve SG – Features Summary
- Modern new design is compact, sleek and attractive
- Running area measures 17-inches x 45-inches
- 2-watt audio speakers with input jack
- Contains thumb pulse heart-rate monitor
- Spacious enough to accommodate most walking and jogging strides
- Folds to 10 inches high, stores vertically or horizontally
- No assembly required
- Motor: 1.5 CHP
- Belt Speed: 1 to 6 mph
- Standard Programs: 2 (manual, weight loss)
- LCD Displays: time, speed, distance, calories
- Display Color: Black with orange backlight
- Reading Rack: Yes
Storage, safety, and stability
If you want to keep fit with regular cardiovascular exercise but don’t have the space for larger non-folding treadmills or ellipticals, you’re going to need to find a machine that has a compact footprint and can be stored easily.
One of the main benefits of the Horizon Evolve SG treadmill is its size. When it’s time to start your workout, it takes just seconds to go from a folded position to being ready to use.
As soon as you’re finished, the console module, uprights, and locking bar fold down to lay almost completely flat against the running deck, with dimensions of just 59 inches in length and 10 inches in height.
Transport wheels attached to the front then create a useful pivot point which you can use to lift the treadmill to store it vertically on a set of rubber feet, or you can choose to leave it lying flat and slide it under your bed.
If you do decide to stand the treadmill up vertically, a lifting bar has been added to make it easier to get the running deck into position, while stabilizer brackets at the front of the frame prevent the machine ensure it remains stable.
A safety key has also been included as a safety measure, with one end attaching to the console and the other to an item of your clothing.
This way, in the unlikely event of a trip or fall, the key is designed to detach from the console, which automatically brings the motion of the running belt to a stop.
Display console design
If you’re more used to commercial treadmills at your local gym, there are probably a few changes you’ll notice about the display console.
Firstly, there are no quick-select speed buttons. Although this tends to be a feature we find more when reviewing commercial models, we don’t actually feel this has anything to do with the price.
As we mentioned earlier, the running belt has a maximum speed of 6 mph. Most machines that use quick-select buttons have close to double that, meaning there’s a time saving benefit.
But as there’s a more limited speed range, it shouldn’t take much time to switch between 3mph and 6mph for example. This also keeps the design of the console much simpler, with more space for the built-in speakers and reading rack.
The LCD display is perhaps a little smaller than we were hoping for, and is something we would expect to see more on machines up to the $300 mark.
Its size means only one piece of workout information can be displayed at a time, which can be speed, time, distance, calories burned, or heart rate.
That being said, without incline settings or user profiles, and only two workout programs to follow, there really isn’t the need for extra screen space. This is because you don’t need to show incline level, user profile information, or a display matrix of the current workout program profile.
Heart rate monitoring is possible via a Thumb Heart Rate button on the console, rather than hand sensors built into the hand rails.
In terms of entertainment options, you can connect your MP3 player via an audio adaptor cable (included) to listen to music via the speakers, or use the reading rack to support a tablet while you watch your favourite movies.
Preset workout programs
When reviewing treadmills with higher belt speeds and incline functions, variety of workout programs has always played a major role in how we assess the suitability of the machine to specific fitness goals.
For example, if your goal is to improve endurance, you’ll want to look for a treadmill with programs that maintain a higher intensity level throughout the workout.
If your goal is weight loss, you’re going to want to find a machine that has a similar program, but with a much lower intensity level that keeps your heart rate within a specified range.
However, due to the lower belt speed and lack of incline settings, the Horizon Evolve SG treadmill has been limited to just 2 programs; manual and weight loss.
The weight loss program follows a speed profile that does exactly what we mentioned above, and is designed to keep you within your optimal fat burning zone.
There’s not really a great enough variance available in speed settings to include interval workouts, and we’re not sure they would really be suitable anyway, considering this is a machine designed more for walking and jogging.
Ease of assembly
Some of the most common reasons for any treadmill or elliptical losing ratings in a review are having a time consuming assembly, poorly written instructions, and missing parts.
While many manufacturers are now offering home delivery and assembly services to alleviate these issues, you’ll often have to pay anything up to $300 on top of the original price of the machine.
The Horizon Evolve SG bypasses all of these potential issues by arriving completely assembled. You don’t have to attach a console, bolt the uprights in place, attach any covers, or read through any parts lists.
It takes just 5 minutes to assemble the Evolve SG
When you open the box, you simply have to lift the console module until it’s in the upright position, secure it in place using the locking bar provided, and pull the front handlebar down. You’re then ready to start your first workout.
This 5 minute assembly is one of the main reasons the Evolve SG has quickly become a bestselling treadmill.
But after you get the treadmill setup, what about the maintenance?
Maintenance: What’s required and how frequently?
If you already have a treadmill at home that you use on a regular basis, the chances are that you’re already doing many of the steps that Horizon Fitness recommends you follow for their Evolve SG model.
Like most treadmills, this involves wiping down the machine and checking the power cable after each use, cleaning under the machine once per week, and cleaning the internals under the motor cover once per month. The safety key function should probably also be checked once every 2 weeks.
Running belt lubrication and alignment checking are also important, but on a much less regular basis. There’s also a lengthy period after you first buy the treadmill where you shouldn’t have to lubricate the belt at all.
With machines like the Daytona from Yowza Fitness, this period amounts to 400 hours, but with the Horizon Evolve SG it’s recommended as every 6 months or 150 miles, whichever happens first.
Something we noticed after reading through the customer reviews was that many people felt the instructions for lubricating the belt were unclear. This is why we’ve decided to add our own guide below, which should hopefully prove useful should you decide that this is the right treadmill for you.
How to lubricate the running belt
- Turn off the treadmill and unplug the power cord from the outlet
- Loosen both of the rear roller bolts
- Apply the lubricant to the top surface of the running deck, underneath the running belt
- Tighten both rear roller bolts to original position
- Plug in the power cord and replace the safety key
- Walk on the belt for two minutes to help distribute the lubricant evenly around the running deck
- Try not to follow the same foot path, and walk from side to side across the area of the deck where you applied the lubricant, then around the perimeter of the belt surface
Before making the final buying decision on any new piece of fitness equipment, it’s always useful to find out as much information as possible.
This is particularly true if you are comparing two models at a similar price range, that appear to have almost identical specs. The slightest difference in feedback accuracy, motor power, or display console functions can often be enough to help you decide which model you want to use for your own home workouts.
While we aim to provide as much useful information in our reviews as possible, it can also be beneficial to put together lists of pros and cons, based on other people’s experiences as well.
This usually involves a lot of research, both online and offline, in order to build up a better overall picture of what other customers in your position thought of the machine after buying.
Unfortunately it’s often difficult to find a substantial number of reviews for treadmills once you start getting above the $500 mark. However, the fact that we were able to find well over 150 reviews on Amazon alone is testament to the popularity of the Horizon Evolve SG.
It’s not just the number of reviews either. The rating distribution is heavily weighted towards the top 5 star level, based on dozens of extensive user reviews.
To help save you valuable time, we’ve read through each of these reviews ourselves, and put together the following lists based on the exact points that were mentioned most frequently.
- Compact, pre-assembled design
- Excellent for walking and light jogging
- Can be folded away for easier storage – ideal for apartments and spare rooms
- Attractive, modern design
- Simple to use
- Free shipping available
- Motor and running belt produce virtually no noise
- Excellent customer service
- Sturdy frame design prevents any unwanted movement at higher belt speeds
- Reading rack can be used to support a tablet while you watch your favourite movie
- Impressive level of warranty coverage
- Transport wheels make it easy to move around if needed, despite its 99 lb weight
- Lack of incline functions
- No online performance tracking or ability to store a history of your workouts
- Belt speed is limited to 6mph. This makes it unsuitable for running, but excellent for walking
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 10 years
- Motor: 5 year
- Electronics and parts: 1 year
- Labor: 1 year
It’s worth mentioning that this limited home use warranty coverage is only available if you were to buy the Horizon Evolve SG treadmill from new. Unfortunately you’re not covered at all if you decide to buy a used model.
Overall Review Rating
4 / 5
Due to the lower belt speed and smaller running surface, this probably shouldn't be your top choice of treadmill if you're serious about running and want a way to emulate your outdoor experience.
However, for anyone that wants to increase their level of physical activity but doesn't necessarily have a large amount of space to permanently dedicate to a larger machine, this could be the perfect choice.
However, we also understand that some people would prefer a wider range of preset workout programs than just the weight loss option that's provided with the Horizon Evolve SG. If this is the case, we would recommend the 6.0 RT from ProForm, which has a 10mph max. belt speed, 10% incline, and 8 preset programs. Unfortunately the folded dimensions can't compare to those of the Evolve SG.
Overall, this is possibly the best treadmill we've come across in terms of space efficiency, with a running area that's suitable for walking and light jogging workouts, and a level of warranty coverage and customer service that we would expect from machines twice the price.
Product dimensions: 59" (L) x 23" (W) x 48" (H)
Product weight: 99 lbs Weight limit: 250 lbs