As a clear step up from their 9.2x range, the Precor 9.31 Premium Series Treadmill is the lowest priced design to offer the unique Integrated Footplant Technology.
This is just one of the features we take a look at in more detail throughout this review, which also includes information on the workout programs, safety features, and a quick comparison of other treadmills in Precor’s 9.3x collection.
When you are thinking about buying a top of the range treadmill like the Precor 9.31, it’s important to have a basic checklist for 3 important features; running area size, running deck design, and motor power.
With a running surface measuring 22″ (W) x 56″ (L), this isn’t the largest belt that we’ve come across, but it should still provide more than enough space for anyone up to 6ft tall.
If you are taller than 6ft, you might want to look at a machine that features a running belt with a length of closer to 60″. This way you can be sure that your natural running stride won’t be restricted during high intensity interval sprints.
Despite its simple appearance, there’s also a lot to think about in terms of the design of the running deck.
For example, the integrated Foot plant technology will automatically adjust belt speed to foot speed as you run, while the Ground Effects Impact Control System uses a unique suspension system to provide a low impact form of exercise that’s safer on your joints.
As well as being designed to provide a more comfortable running experience, the running deck can also be reversed to ensure an even wear of the belt.
This helps to prolong the life of the machine beyond that of similarly priced treadmills.
The final feature worth mentioning is the 3.0 hp continuous-duty motor. This extra power over machines with a 2.75 CHP motor is what enables the running belt to maintain such a smooth motion throughout your workout, even at higher speeds and inclines.
Precor 9.31 Premium Series Treadmill – Features Summary
- Easy-to-read, intuitive console
- Safety features: Magnetic safety key, stop button, and password protection.
- 3.0 hp continuous-duty motor.
- Running deck can be flipped to double life.
- Short-length arms
- Heart rate monitoring
- Accessory holder for water bottle, portable music, reading material and more
- Speed: 0.5 to 12 MPH
- Incline: 0 to 15 percent grade
- Running surface: 22 x 56 inches
- Programs: 8 total, including 1-mile, 10k course, 5k course, 1 heart rate, 1 interval, 1 manual, 1 random, 1 weight loss
Display console design
An important part of working towards any fitness goal is finding ways to measure your progress. This is why together with the workout stats feedback, it can be useful to be able to create different user profiles.
If this is a feature you require for your own home gym, unfortunately it’s something that’s missing from the 9.31. Like most treadmills, this has been designed around a single user.
Having the different user IDs allows more than one person to track their cumulative workout statistics from a history of workout sessions, and is a feature that is available on the two later models in the range; the 9.33 and the 9.35.
These can then be used for storing personal information, such as your preferred workout program, workout time, weight, and age.
Despite not having the same user ID keys as the later models in the range, the Precor 9.31 treadmill console still manages to include a large number of different functions, all of which are easy to find and intuitive to use.
To avoid cluttering up the main screen with all your workout information, this has even been split out into its own individual screens as part of the lower display.
This includes your incline and speed settings, time elapsed, distance, pace, and calories burned.
Although there’s a lack of entertainment options due to having no mp3 connectivity or built-in speakers, there’s still a useful display shelf to support your tablet should you want to watch a film or music video while you workout.
Workout in complete safety
As with any piece of home cardio equipment, it’s important to make sure that you can push yourself in your workouts without worrying about risk of injury.
It’s clear that this is something Precor prioritized when designing the 9.31 treadmill, with 3 separate safety features.
1. Safety key – If you already have experience with home treadmills, you may have already come across the safety key in your workouts.
Simple in its design, the key is essentially a cord that has a clip at each end. One clip should be attached to an item of clothing, with the other attached to the display console.
This way, if you do trip or fall on the running belt, the motion will quickly come to a stop as soon as the key detaches from the console.
2. Emergency stop – A basic but useful function, the emergency stop will quickly slow the running belt to a stop when pressed.
3. Precor 9.31 password protect – While the safety key and emergency stop features are both something we’ve seen on other high quality treadmills, the password protect function is a little different.
So how does it work and why would you need it?
Whether you’re looking to buy a treadmill that can be used by the whole family, or have young children in the house, it’s important to make sure they can’t accidentally start the belt in motion when you aren’t around.
Before any of the display console functions can be accessed, the password has to be entered.
Preset workout programs
Although not as extensive as some treadmill models, the Precor 9.31 still offers programs that cover everything from interval training and heart rate monitoring to weight loss and distance targets.
Heart rate workouts – If you’ve already looked at some of the lower priced treadmills, you might have noticed that a frequent cause of lower review ratings is the inaccuracy of the heart rate measurement.
To help provide a reading that’s as accurate as possible, the Precor 9.31 allows you to use the built in heart rate hand sensors, but also your own chest strap.
Using the belt makes it much easier to provide a constant and accurate reading to the receiver, which is important if you plan on using Precor’s SmartRate feature.
SmartRate is a series of horizontal LED bars on the display screen that represent your current heart rate.
To further increase the accuracy of the reading, SmartRate also requires you to enter your age before use.
Weight loss and interval programs – Together with the various heart rate training options, the Precor 9.31 also includes 1 interval and 1 weight loss workout.
If you feel like changing your exercise routine mid-workout, you can quickly switch to either of these programs using the programs keypad.
Although there are some great preset workouts that will help you see great results on their own, these are also completely customizable.
At any point during your workout you can use the data keypad to adjust the incline and speed settings to find a level that’s more of a challenge.
Quality of assembly instructions
If you already have experience with assembling a treadmill for your home gym, you’ll know that the quality of assembly instructions is crucial to making sure you can get the treadmill setup quickly and correctly.
As one of the main reasons for lower rated reviews on most cardio machines, we wanted to quickly cover what to expect from the owner’s manual that accompanies the Precor 9.31.
The first thing you’ll find is a full parts list and step by step assembly instructions (complete with exploded drawings and part references).
You’ll also find useful information on maintenance and troubleshooting of the display console. There’s even a section covering treadmill belt adjustment and alignment, to make sure your running experience is as enjoyable as possible.
If you want to read through it yourself, you can find the full user manual here.
What’s included with the warranty?
- Frame and welds: Lifetime
- Parts and wear items: 10 years
- Labor: 1 year
When it comes to finding reviews, Amazon can be a great source of honest feedback from people who have already bought and used the Precor 9.31 treadmill.
It’s also a great place to start looking if you are interested in finding the best price on a new or refurbished machine.
To help provide a quick overview of what customers think of the 9.31, we’ve put together the following lists of pros and cons, based on information gathered from online reviews.
- Shock absorption built into the running deck reduces the impact on your knees and joints
- Transport wheels make it much easier to move the machine between rooms if needed
- Wide range of speed and incline settings for a variety of workout intensities
- Reversible running deck for extending its life expectancy
- Quiet motor makes it easier to listen to music or watch a movie while you workout
- Sturdy frame design
- Foot-plant technology matches your running stride, creating a more natural running experience
- Lack of audio port and speakers for mp3 connectivity
- 250 lb weight limit is lower than many of the similarly priced treadmills
- Limited range of software and preset workout upgrades
- Medium length running belt of 56″ may restrict the running stride of taller users (6ft+)