Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

NordicTrack C990 treadmill vs Trueform Runner

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Oct 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM

NordicTrack C990 treadmill vs Trueform Runner

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack C990 treadmill and the TrueForm runner including pros, cons and alternatives. Follow the links for more details

Subscribe for free

Overview and review of the TrueForm runner

The TrueForm Runner comes in at $5695 - $6195. In this article you will learn more about the product itself, its Pros and cons and alternatives you might want to consider. This article has originally been published in the overview "Which conditioning equipment to buy from Rogue".

Related articles

Overview of the trueform runner

The TrueForm runner is the latest and greatest in the treadmill industry. Compared to other treadmills it has the advantage that it is not motorized and propelled by your own weight. In addition, the surface you run on is curved so the impact of your footfall is not as hard as on a flat surface. This dynamic is achieved by a conveyor belt that runs on bearings. Think of the conveyor belt at the airport but moved by your own bodyweight. It has been used at the CrossFit games and has gained popularity since then. The dimensions of the TrueForm runner are: 
  • Height 57’’
  • Width 36’’
  • Running surface 54’’ x 17’’ 
  • Weight 325 LB
You can choose from two different options, Enduro and Performance. Both options come in at the same price and with the same dimensions. The performance model provides a higher railing. This is especially useful when you have athletes who run very fast on the machine. 
Apart from this, you can pay $500 extra to get grass or track and field topping on the running surface. If you use the TrueForm runner to train track and field or football athletes you might want to go with one of these options. 

Pros of the TrueForm runner

There are several pros to the TrueForm runner 
  • Better posture 
  • Easier adjustment of speed 
  • No power supply needed 
  • No programming needed 
  • Less impact 
  • Good resell value 
  • Low maintenance 
Based on the setup of the Trueform runner it actively helps your clients and athletes to have better running form. If you strike with the heel the curve of the machine will help to remedy and correct this over time as you push the belt from the front to the back. 
With the Trueform runner, you can adjust the speed at any given time yourself without worrying about faceplanting. Doing interval training on motorized treadmills can be really annoying as the acceleration and decelerations come in jumps rather than continuously when you program them in at the start of your workout. If you adjust them while exercising it is almost impossible, especially at high speeds. 
If you deploy a whole row of these (10 - 20 machines) you might also be pleased that you do not need to plan for cabling when the gym is built and powering these treadmills all year around. 
As mentioned before you can free run on these machines to your hearts contempt. No buttons or panic stops needed. Just slow down and the belt slows down with you. You will not be catapulted into the wall behind you. 
The curve will also be helpful to have less strain in the ankles and knees from the impact of the food. This helps you to train longer for harder. 
As with most things which are "hip" and high price you usually get a higher resell value out of them than for the lower range options. While this is mostly less important for individual buyers it can be important for a chain that regularly closes off unprofitable subsidiaries and wants to shuffle equipment around. 
As there are no motors which can break down you will also have fewer maintenance needs. Although you are probably more likely to need a welder rather than an electrician when this beast breaks. 

Cons of the TrueForm runner

The cons of the TrueForm runner are in my opinion:
  • Hard to do pace training 
  • Not for beginners 
  • Price tag 
  • A big piece of equipment 
  • Poor monitor 
When I prepared for my marathons there was one thing I liked about treadmills, you could set an exact pace for some of your long runs. This is actually a strength rather than a weakness of a motorized treadmill. For me, it was handy to plan my splits and hit my target time as the pace I chose was slightly challenging. I would do one of these a week slightly above the planned pace for the marathon and add distance each time. The rest of my training would be outdoors. This raised my confidence to reproduce the exact pace I needed on race day. With the TrueForm Runner, it would have been hard to have that reference, but it would have been better to do Interval runs indoors. 
Tell me what you want but this thing is not for beginners. This is designed for people who want to go like cheetahs and could not do it properly on normal treadmills. Fast acceleration and breaking are where this is at home. Not for beginners or someone who is wobbly on their feet because they do rehab or are overweight. A slow motorized treadmill is the better option here. 
With $5000 a piece, this is a steep price. If you want to signal to your clients that you are doing well and justify the membership of $300 a month, this is a strategy. For two of these, you can get a 10 pack of concept 2 rowers, skiergs or bikes. 10 x $100 in membership fees from a spinning class is more than 2x $300 with a bigger spread of risk in your income. 
Last but not least these are big. If you have a garden or basement gym I would almost consider this no option unless you live in a mansion. If you want to maximize floor space in your commercial gym this is also not the way to go. CrossFit boxes might like this, especially if they are in the middle of a busy city. 
The monitor is poor compared to some of the concept 2 options where you have leaderboards implemented to keep yourself motivated. 

Alternatives to the TrueForm runner

There are the following alternatives to the TrueFrom runner: 
The assault air runner is one alternative to the TrueFrom runner if you still want a self-propelled treadmill. The assault air runner comes in at a lower price point than the TrueForm runner. The mechanics are also a little different which makes running easier on this one. 
The Versa Climber is often referred to as one of the hardest things you can do in endurance on a machine. It simulates climbing a steep wall with a good grip. It comes in at about half the price and takes up less footprint than the TrueForm runner. If you want a good machine for your home to knock you out this is can be a great pick. For a commercial gym, you might not have the uptake as many people just want their treadmills. 
The Rogue Echo bike is a solid choice for the home gym that wants to kick your butt. Combined to the Versa Climber and the TrueFrom Runner it comes in at a fraction of the cost. A good air bike workout will still challenge you and is highly recommended. 

Summary  for the TrueForm runner

This is a well-built piece of equipment which is worth the price if you have the need and space for it. Athletes who know how to pace themselves, have balance and want every workout to be as challenging and adaptable as possible will love this. 
For the average gym with average clients it is probably a bit too intimidating and high performance. I do not see overweight stay at home moms or retired manly beer bellies stepping on the TrueForm runner first thing through your gym doors. 

Overview and review of the NordicTrack C990 1599

This is a review of the NordicTrack C990 including pros, cons, and alternatives. This article has been originally published in “which NordicTrack treadmill or elliptical to get in the UK”. Follow the links for more details.


Overview of the Nordictrack C990

The C990 is a part of the outdated treadmill series from Nordictrack which has been replaced by the T series in the States fully whilst still being still in stock in other places of the earth. The main features of this treadmill are the 3 CHP motor, LCD display, and the 12% incline. The full list of features covers:
  • Includes 1 Year iFit Membership
  • iFit Integrated
  • Smart BlueTooth (BLE) Chestbelt Compatible
  • 7" HD Touch Screen Display
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • 3.0 CHP Motor
  • 0 - 12% Incline
  • 0 – 22 km/h Speed
  • 1.9" Roller
  • Onetouch Controls
  • 125kg Max User Weight
  • EKG Handgrips
  • FlexSelect Cushioning
  • 51 x 152 cm Tread Belt
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • Assembled Dimensions - 201 L x 91 x 153H cm
  • Product Weight 90kg
  • Boxed Weight 101kg
  • Folded Dimensions - 108L x 91W x 180H cm
  • Boxed Dimensions - 209 L x 77W x 35H cm
  • Warranty - Lifetime Frame Warranty, 10-year Motor Warranty, 2-Year Parts & Labour upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase
This is a solid treadmill to look for int he used market. If you want your own, new treadmill with reliable delivery, this might not be the best choice as the T series is newer and in the same price range.

Pros of the NordicTrack C990

The pros of the Nordictrack C990 are:
  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • Dual speakers 
The 3.0 chp motor is great for home use, especially if you run a lot and want to put a lot of mileage on this machine. The speakers are also a great addition to this machine, as it was brought to market in a time when good bluetooth earphones were still rather expensive. If you mainly use Bluetooth earphones with your phone, this feature might not be that relevant to you.  

Cons of the Nordictrack 990

The cons of the Nordictrack 990 are:
  • Price
  • Age
The Nordictrack 990 is currently quite pricey for a treadmill that has aged. This might be due to the situation with the Coronavirus in 2020, so you might want to revisit prices at some other stage to get a better picture. 

Alternatives to the Nordictrack C990

Alternatives to the Nordictrack C990 are:
The Nordictrack T7.5 is the more modern alternative to the C990 at almost the same price. If you have the budget and want to go for a treadmill now, go for the T7.5 instead of the C990. If you want to save some money you will have better chances dumpster diving for the C990 than for the T7.5.
The Nordictrack FS5i can be an alternative if you want to have an elliptical instead of a treadmill. This model comes with the Nordictrack free stride technology which enabled three different modes of operation. You can use the FS5i as a stepper, treadmill, and elliptical. This comes at the cost of stability for a modern design. This is a good machine if you have to cater to many needs in a limited space, but not if you are a long-distance runner who wants to clock hundreds of miles. 
The concept 2 model D is a rower which can be obtained for under 1000. This rower is great when you want to gove your knees and ankles a rest and still get a good workout in. It does not come with a lot of multimedia options but has everything you need to burn some calories. The only downside is that rowers are not great for interval training.
The Rogue Echo bike is one of the best machines for use in a home gym. It is compact, affordable and can be used for intense 20-minute cardio workouts covering all bases. If you don't need entertainment and want a solid airbike to kick some butt, this is the machine for you.

Topics: Treadmill