Reebok has been busily carving out a name for itself in treadmill market, particularly at the more affordable end of the marked. The distinguishing characteristic of its range is a focus on getting the basics absolutely right, even on its lower-end models and then adding more advanced features as the price rises.
The Reebok GT40s comes in at about at a mid-level treadmill and is priced as such. If this is a little out of your price range, we’d suggest you take a look at the Reebok ZR9, which should be priced a little lower. Those with a bit more budget, however, would do well to read on and we’ll explain what you get for the extra money.
Weight (user and machine)
The Reebok GT40s is intended for use by people with a maximum weight of 110kg (17st 5lb). This is a smidgen less than the Reebok ZR9 and the Reebok GT40s itself is also a little lighter coming in at 75kg rather than the Reebok ZR9’s 79kg. Having said that, it’s still a hefty piece of kit, so you’ll probably want to work on the assumption that once it’s been put in place it stays in place. You’ll also probably want to look at home delivery rather than collection, even if it means paying a bit more. On the plus side, the folded size is H148, W85, D104cm, which we’d say was feasible for smaller homes and flats.
We have to be honest and say that we prefer manuals with a combination of pictures and text, rather than just the former, but then we assume that the Reebok GT40s is being sold all around the world and that Reebok wanted to avoid having to translate everything. There is plenty of information online if you need it. Having said that, we also have to acknowledge that it’s pretty hard to go wrong setting up the Reebok GT40s. Our top tip is to tighten the screws lightly as you’re going along and then if you do make a mistake it’s easy to rectify. Once you’re happy everything is how it should be then, of course, give them a proper tighten. When it’s assembled, we think it looks quite stylish. It certainly folds and unfolds easily, so your fingers, back and knees are all quite safe.
Features and operation
If there’s one, single feature in any treadmill which sets the tone for the rest of the operation, it’s the motor. The headline speak for the motor in the Reebok GT40s is that it has 2HP in continuous use and supports a maximum speed of 16kph. As is so often the case in life, headline specifications only tell part of the story. The rest of it is the fact that the motor in the Reebok GT40s operates in the quiet and discreet manner we’ve come to associate with Reebok treadmills. This means not only that you can listen to your entertainment options without having to turn the volume up to neighbour-annoying levels, but also that you could use your treadmill in a room where your nearest and dearest were talking and/or watching TV without inconveniencing them.
If you are by yourself and want to run to the beat, then the Reebok GT40s does have MP3 input albeit the old-fashioned way (via cable). The input is on the right-hand side of the console just above one of the dedicated holders for MP3 players, phones, tablets and such like. The holder has a twin on the other side, albeit without a corresponding input, although we suppose that’s reasonable enough on the grounds that you can only really listen to one device at a time. Sound quality is decent enough. Some people might find the speakers on the quiet side, but then this is a device meant for use in people’s homes so possibly that was intentional.
The Reebok GT40s also comes with two drinks holders, which are right beside the holders for your gadgets. On the one hand, this makes sense and we suspect that most people will be using bottles with sports caps, but if you do happen to want to drink from something else, like an ordinary bottle, we’d suggest putting your tech in a good, waterproof case.
Speaking of protection, Reebok are clearly very proud of the running deck on the Reebok GT40s and they have a fair point. Coming in at 130cm*43cm (that’s 52” by 17”), it’s a little bit bigger than the deck on the Reebok ZR9 and that little bit of difference does make a whole lot of difference to runners. Look closely at the side of the deck and you’ll see that the red trim has the word “one” embossed on it. This is a reference to the “One” cushioning system. According to Reebok, this has been designed around the foot and its shape through the three phases of running, which Reebok calls: propulsion, midstance and contact. Reebok says that the cushioning system allows users to push forward faster and make smoother transitions and softer landings. It’s sometimes hard to separate sports’ science from marketing, but we can say that we found the Reebok GT40s to be extremely comfortable in use..
While the running deck is a delight, we do have a slight gripe about the handrails, which we feel are set a bit too high for shorter users. This would have been fine if they’d had a bit more tilt to them so they were lower at the end, but they’re almost completely horizontal. Of course, whether or not this will be an issue for you will depend firstly on your height and secondly whether or not you are the kind of person who likes to use the handrails. They do have grip-pulse sensors, but you can also attach a heart-rate monitor.
We have to say that the overall shape of the console does make us think of Star Trek, but it’s easy enough to use. The top half of the console has an LCD display which shows: speed, time, distance, calories, pulse and incline. It has blue backlighting, which we found quite pleasant, and it’s clearly legible. To the left and right of the screen are a total of 36 icons (half on each side), which indicate what you can expect from 36 of the pre-set programmes. There are another 4 programmes available. The bottom half of the console has all the other buttons, including the ones to adjust speed and level of incline. As we’ve already mentioned, the maximum speed is 16KPH and there are 12 levels of incline. Speed can also be adjusted from the handrails - if you find them comfortable to use.
All the treadmills we review are up to what we consider to be a safe standard, but the Reebok GT40s does have a couple of extra pluses, which we’ve mentioned in passing but would now like to highlight. The first is the fact that the safety key is on a lanyard, so you attach it to your waistband and if you fall the weight of your body will pull the key from the socket and hence shut off the machine. The second is the safety aspect of the cushioning. According to Reebok, the cushioning is specifically designed to absorb the weight of the heel on first impact and hence reduce the likelihood of heel strike and shin splints while the midstance section is designed to help produce the right degree of pronation, with obvious implications for reducing injury. We’ve been unable to put these to the test, but we can say (and have said), that this running surface is extremely comfortable and certainly feels very safe to us, so we’re quite prepared to believe it.
While the Reebok ZR9 is a very high-quality treadmill we’re happy to recommend, the Reebok GT40s is noticeably better to the point where it’s almost on a par with gym treadmills. That little bit of extra width on the running deck does make much more of a difference than the pure numbers might suggest and while we loved the cushioning on the Reebok ZR9, we’re even more in love with the cushioning on the Reebok GT40s. The price of the Reebok GT40s is roughly equivalent to a year’s gym membership, or even less depending on where you are and your (lack of) choice of gym, so if your main reason for going to the gym is to use the treadmill, then we’d say you could feasibly switch to this and work out in your own time. After a year (at most), it’s basically paid for itself and anything on top of that is a saving for you.
For the record, we’d expect the Reebok GT40s to last a whole lot longer than a year, even in regular use. It’s backed by a 2 year full warranty, 10 years’ warranty on the motor and a lifetime warranty on the frame and one of the advantages of buying a known brand like Reebok is that it’s often possible to have repairs undertaken even when a machine is out of warranty. Likewise, if you do decide you want to change your routine and/or upgrade to a higher-end model, you’ll probably find it very easy to resell your Reebok GT40s on the pre-loved market.
- A very sturdy, solid machine
- Generous size running area
- As good as a typical gym treadmill
- Plenty of programmes for a fantastic workout
- Soft drop folding function for storage
- Safety key on lanyard
- Speakers a bit on the quiet side
- Manual has illustration setup only-no text
- Hand rails difficult if you are short in height
- A very heavy machine, not easily moved