Marking some significant improvements over the earlier T101 model, the Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill is designed as a mid-range machine that provides all your most important workout functions.
It’s the 30 workout programs, variety of incline settings, folding design, and customer reviews that we wanted to take a look at in more detail.
This unbiased review is designed to provide you with all the information you need to help decide if this is the best option for your own home gym.
With running being one of the most popular forms of cardiovascular fitness, it’s no surprise that treadmills like the Horizon Fitness T101-04 have become a bestselling addition to home gyms across the country.
Even if it’s simply to supplement your existing running routine, a high quality treadmill can be a great alternative to paying expensive gym fees, signing up to contracts with a personal trainer, or running outside when the weather turns.
As one of Horizon Fitness‘ highest rated and award winning treadmills, we wanted to review exactly what makes this particular design so special, apart from the competitive price.
Widely reported by sites such as the Treadmill Doctor as one of the top treadmills to buy in recent years, this is a machine that has all the basics covered, without having to pay extra for features you will probably never use.
The running belt itself features a length of 55 inches, which is much more than many of the lower priced machines provide.
Having this longer running area is important for if you plan on jogging or even running at your natural stride, as you don’t want to risk your feet slipping off the back of the belt.
Due to the 2.25 CHP motor, this probably isn’t your best option when it comes to choosing a treadmill for running or high intensity interval workouts.
Although the treadbelt has a maximum speed of 10mph, most people generally find a speed closer to 14mph is a better fit for running workouts.
The Horizon Fitness T101-04 is also fitted with a Perfect FLEX cushioning system under the running deck, to hep cushion your foot fall and reduce the impact on your knee and hip joints.
This is one of the major benefits over running outside, with a steel welded frame maintaining the stability of the running platform throughout your workout.
When you finish your workout, if you want to make the most of your space, the running deck even folds away with the assistance of the hydraulic shocks.
Although this doesn’t fold as flat as some machines, it’s still a big reduction in its footprint, and leaves you with more space to move around when not in use.
One final feature worth mentioning is the incline. With 10 degrees of settings to automatically switch between using the controls on the display console, this is a quick and convenient way to adjust the intensity of your workout beyond what speed alone can offer.
Horizon Fitness T101-04 – Features Summary
- Folding treadmill with 2.25 HP continuous duty motor for quiet operation
- Speeds up to 10 MPH, incline to 10 percent, 20 x 55-Inch belt size
- 30 program options including: manual workout, 10 Step-goal workouts, 10 distance-based workouts, 6 calorie-goal workouts and 3 intervals workouts
- Sonic Surround speakers with MP3 compatibility, pulse grip heart rate monitoring
- 300-pound maximum user weight, lifetime warranty on frame and motor, 1 year on parts and labor
Display console design
Although it doesn’t directly affect the way the treadmill works, the difference between a well designed display console and one that isn’t can make a big impact on how much you enjoy your workouts.
This is why Horizon Fitness combined their years of experience to create a display layout that’s clean and easy to use, while still offering an impressive array of functions.
The quick-select controls for the speed and incline are ideal for interval training, where you will often be changing the speed or incline but don’t want to stand there holding a button down.
In terms of entertainment, the Horizon Fitness T101-04 also provides you with an audio jack. This lets you plug your media player into the console and listen to your favourite motivational music through the built-in speakers.
Volume can be adjusted through the console itself, preventing the need to keep picking up your MP3 player and losing focus on your running.
A couple of other nice features to have are the cooling fan and safety key. While the safety key is excellent for preventing injury in the event of a fall when working out, the fan helps keep you cool and energized for longer.
We also took a look at the main LCD display screen, to find out exactly what it has to offer over similarly priced running machines.
The T101-04 provides feedback on your time, distance, calories, incline, speed, heart rate, and fan setting.
This button layout, range of functions, and LCD display is similar to the NordicTrack C900, which is a machine that usually retails for closer to $1000.
Being backlit is also a major advantage over lower priced machines, as you don’t lose sight of your workout stats in the event of low light (early morning and late evening workouts).
One of the most common reasons for someone to give up on an exercise program is lack of interest. Even if you start a program with achievable goals in place, if you aren’t frequently changing your routine then it could start to feel too repetitive.
This is why finding a treadmill with a decent selection of workout programs is so important.
The Horizon Fitness T101-04 provides 30 preset workout options, which can be split into 4 main categories; distance-based (10), step-goal (10), calorie-goal (6), and intervals (3).
Calorie-goal: If you’ve had bad experiences with inaccurate calorie burn readings in the past, it’s probably because the machine you were using didn’t prompt you to enter some basic personal information.
Bodyweight is perhaps the most important, which is what the T101-04 prompts you for before you choose any workout.
This is what makes the calorie-goal workouts so accurate and effective, using a calculation based on weight, speed, and incline.
The 6 calorie-burn workouts are each based around burning a certain level of calories (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600), and are ideal for anyone focussing on weight loss as a fitness goal.
View the Horizon Fitness T101 on YouTube:
Distance-based: As the name suggests, ‘distance-based’ are a selection of workouts that encourage you to run a set distance.
There is a range of 10 distances to choose from, ranging from 1 mile to a half marathon, designed to suit a range of fitness levels.
Step-goal: These workouts will measure how many steps you take during your workout as you work towards a set goal. This can be anything from 1,000 all the way up to the daily recommended amount of 10,000.
Intervals: Usually tailored towards people with higher levels of physical fitness, interval workouts have been custom designed to improve your cardiovascular endurance, lower body strength, and burn a high number of calories.
There’s also the classic ‘manual’ option if you want to adjust your program while you’re working out, rather than following a set plan.
Ease of assembly
Being one of the larger items of fitness equipment, many people often assume that treadmills take hours to assemble, and are bulky to move around once setup.
This is where the Horizon Fitness T101-04 is different.
Horizon have taken the time to create a series of assembly instructions in the user manual that feature a full list of parts required, diagram, and textual explanation for each step.
With so little setup required, each assembly step even gets its own page, allowing the diagrams used to be much larger and clearer to read.
After connecting the console masts to the main running deck, there’s not really much left to do. Simply attach the display console, plug the machine in, and you’re ready to start your first workout.
The T101-04 also doesn’t weigh as much as similarly sized machines, which means assembly should be possible with just one person.
As with any treadmill, we always recommend taking a look at laying down some interlocking floor mats to protect your floors and provide a stable base over which to build the machine.
A full troubleshooting guide that provides assistance for any error codes or maintenance with the running belt is also available.
High or low maintenance?
After you complete the assembly for the Horizon Fitness T101-04, in order to prolong the lifespan of the machine and keep it running smoothly, a small level of maintenance is required for the running belt.
Although this isn’t something you have to worry about with Precor treadmills due to the treadbelt being pre-lubricated, a small application of silicone lubricant will sometimes be required under the running belt.
Why invest in a treadmill from Horizon Fitness?
- High level of build quality and safety features allow you to workout in a safe environment
- More convenient than commercial gym memberships – no need to travel, and no waiting for machines
- One-off payment. This is compared to the monthly contract and lengthy cancellation clauses many commercial gyms offer
- Lower impact on your joints
- Award winning fitness company
- Improves cardiovascular health
What’s covered by the warranty?
Together with the customer reviews and reputation of the company, the warranty can be an excellent indication of the level of build quality to expect from a treadmill.
In terms of the warranty available with the Horizon Fitness T101-04, this currently offers the following coverage:
- Frame: Lifetime
- Drive motor / elevation motor: Lifetime
- Labor: 1 year
It’s worth bearing in mind that it’s only the original owner of the machine that will be covered by this warranty, with no coverage offered if you buy a second-hand or refurbished model.
Whenever you have a treadmill that carries the awards and popularity that the Horizon Fitness T101-04 does, you’re always going to have a large collection of reviews available.
With over 100 on Amazon alone, together with over 60 answered questions, this can be a great place to make any final checks before deciding if this is the treadmill for you.
To help save you time, we’ve filtered out the most frequently mentioned pros and cons from these reviews, and compiled them into the lists below.
As always, the full reviews are available to read on Amazon.
- 30 workout programs
- Hydraulic folding ability
- Built in speakers and mp3 compatible
- Stable frame design
- Easy to assemble
- Automatic incline
- Energy saver option indicates when the machine is conserving power consumption
- The running surface (20″ (W) X 55″ (L) is acceptable for most users, but not ideal for taller users that want to reach a full running stride
- Motor horse power – 2.25 versus 3 on many others
- 1 year is quite short for the parts and labor warranty
- 10 mph top speed is ideal for walking and jogging, but not quite fast enough for many of the taller and faster runners
- 10% incline is what many people expect from a machine at this price, but some would have liked the full 15% offered by other machines