If you’re looking for the next step up from Precor’s entry level 9.23, the Precor 9.27 Treadmill is the machine you need. This represents excellent value for money, with many features that you could otherwise only find on their higher priced ‘Premium Series’ treadmills.
In this review, we take a look at the treadmill in more detail, including the assembly, customer reviews, design and safety features, and a comparison with the next machine up in the Precor collection.
Running deck and design features
Part of Precor’s ‘home series’ of treadmills, the Precor 9.27 actually has a number of improvements over some of the more expensive treadmills in their ‘Premium Home’ series (9.3x).
Although we cover the differences more in our comparison chart below, essentially you are getting a treadmill that weighs about 100lb less, has a longer running area (57″ L x 20″ W), and the 2 user IDs for custom workout tracking.
The running deck itself features Precor’s Ground Effects Technology, which is designed to reduce the impact on your knees and joints when running.
But while Ground Effects is included, the Integrated Footplant Technology is not. That’s because it’s one of the features that is only available with machines in their Premium range.
Footplant technology will automatically adjust the speed of the running belt to match your current stride. If this sounds like a feature you would be interested in, the Precor 9.31 is the lowest priced machine in the Premium Home range that includes this level of stride support.
One last feature worth mentioning is the motor. Precor have actually managed to use the same strength motor for their 9.27 treadmill as they do in their higher priced range of premium treadmills.
This is a major benefit in terms of value for money, as you can now get the same high running speeds (12mph) and range of incline settings (0% to 15%) for nearly $2000 less than you would have to pay for the 9.31.
Storage and safety features
If you’re short on space, one of the most popular questions to ask is: ‘Does the Precor 9.27 fold?’.
Unfortunately this isn’t a feature that Precor build into their treadmills, for either their home or premium series machines.
In terms of the safety features, the Precor 9.27 provides you with 3 main options:
- 1. Hand rails
An upgrade over their entry level 9.23 model, the extended length of the hand rails provides additional support without having to adjust your running stride.
- 2. Safety key
Perhaps the most important safety feature, the Safety Key includes a lanyard with a clip on each end.
With one end attached to your clothing and the other to the display console, if you do happen to trip or fall when running, the clip will detach from the console and immediately stop the running belt.
- 3. Stop button
A simple yet useful feature, this will quickly bring the running belt to a stop when pressed.
The only downside is that you are missing the password protect safety feature that’s included with Precor’s premium treadmills.
This essentially disables the belt from moving until you enter a 4 button code, which can be a nice feature to have for preventing small children from starting the machine.
Precor 9.27 Treadmill – Features Summary
- Club-quality, low-impact treadmill
- Aluminum running boards and full length handlebars
- Patented Ground Effects Impact Control Technology to cushion impact at the front, and provide a firm surface for push-off at the back
- 10 pre-programmed workouts including 5k track, (2) heart rate control, hill climb, interval, manual, and weight loss
- Touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring
- .5 to 12 mph speed
- 0 to 15% incline
- Maintenance-free belt
- 3.0 HP continuous duty motor
Display console design
Although it doesn’t have a direct impact on your running experience, the design and features of the display console can certainly have an effect on how much you enjoy your workouts.
Unlike some of the Sole Fitness and ProForm treadmills, Precor don’t tend to focus on providing high entertainment value.
While you do have the storage shelf for supporting a tablet and watching movies, you don’t have any way to connect an mp3 player or speakers to listen to music directly through the console.
Instead, Precor tend to focus on providing a much more simplistic button layout, with functions intended to make your workouts more effective.
Despite being part of their Home Series, the Precor 9.27 does actually provide the option to create 2 user profiles, with quick select buttons also provided.
This lets you switch between profiles that store some basic personal information about yourself, in order for a more accurate reading of calories burned and heart rate to be displayed on the LCD screen.
You actually have two ways of measuring your heart rate with the 9.27, one being to hold the heart rate hand sensors, and the other is to wear the chest belt provided.
Thanks to the personal information you enter into your profile, both methods are much more accurate than lower priced machines, which is important for keeping track of your heart rate using the ‘SmartRate‘ feature.
SmartRate is essentially a series of horizontal bars on the left of the LCD screen, used to keep you up to date with which range your current heart rate falls into.
This is particularly useful if you have a specific training goal, such as improving your cardiovascular endurance, or weight loss.
Although the information is displayed through a single LCD screen (separate screens available for Premium Series treadmills), it’s still easy to keep track of your basic workout stats.
This includes your heart rate, calories burned, distance travelled, workout time, and average pace / incline / speed.
Product comparison: 9.27 vs. 9.31
There’s no doubt that the table below shows a number of important difference between Precor’s 9.27 and 9.31 treadmills.
But are they enough to validate the near $2000 increase in price?
The incline, speed, and shock absorption systems are all identical, as is the strength of the motor.
You’re also actually getting a smaller running area, less workout programs, and losing the option of having user IDs by choosing the higher priced 9.31 machine.
In terms of the improvements, you have the longer parts warranty, and Integrated Footplant Technology to support your running stride, as well as the password protect function and reversible running deck.
It’s true that the reversible running deck alone will increase the lifespan of the 9.31, as it allows you to distribute any wear from running much more evenly.
But whether these improvements are enough to make you want to spend the extra money is really down to personal choice.
|Series||Home Series||Premium Series|
|Shock Absorption||Ground Effects Impact Control||Ground Effects Impact Control|
|Stride Support||Stride Support||Integrated Footplant Technology|
|Incline||0% - 15%||0% - 15%|
|Speed||0.5 - 12mph||0.5 - 12mph|
|Hand Rails||Full Length||Short Length|
|Running Area||57" x 20"||56" x 20"|
Quality of assembly instructions
As with any piece of cardio equipment, finding a good quality machine doesn’t just mean in terms of the design features and functions.
The quality of customer service, coverage offered by the warranty, and ease of assembly are also important.
You might be surprised to know that the Precor 9.27 isn’t supplied with an assembly manual, so you won’t have access to any guide on how to assemble the machine or a full parts list.
Delivery and assembly will actually be handled by a Precor Authorized Partner in most cases. If you do want to assemble the machine yourself, then Precor have provided a useful assembly video that covers all you need to know.
Apart from this, everything you need to get setup quickly, operate the display console, and get started with your first workout program is all included.
There’s even a section dedicated to error codes that may appear on the LCD screen, so that Precor can better diagnose any issues and resolve them as soon as possible.
It’s also reassuring to find out that the Precor 9.27 requires very little maintenance.
Once you have the running belt properly aligned, there’s no need to lubricate the rollers or belt like you would on some lower priced machines.
What’s included with the warranty?
- Frame and welds: Lifetime
- Parts and wear items: 5 years
- Labor: 1 year
One of the great things about buying a Precor treadmill is that there is no shortage of customer reviews.
While reviews like ours can be an excellent source of information for the workout programs, design features, and comparisons with similar models, it’s also important to consider any problems.
This is why we’ve read through the reviews available on Amazon and provided a quick summary of the pros and cons, to save you time and provide a more balanced overall view on the Precor 9.27.
- No experience of belt slipping when running
- Installation packages are available if you don’t want to worry about the assembly yourself
- 57″ length of the running belt is well designed for taller users (up to 6ft 2ins)
- Excellent value for money when compared with some of the Premium series treadmills from Precor
- High quality deck cushioning keeps the exercise low impact to protect your joints
- Excellent stability
- Quiet to use, even at higher speed settings
- Touch and telemetry heart rate tracking provide more accurate feedback
- Handlebars add to the comprehensive range of safety features for more confident running
- Lack of preset speed and incline button functions on the display console
- Motor takes longer to slow the belt down compared to some treadmills, which can have an impact on interval training
In terms of finding the best price for the 9.27, we came across various different websites that claimed to have the treadmill on sale, but found Amazon to still offer the best price.