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Horizon fitness Evolve 3 elliptical vs Nordictrack 8.5 treadmill

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 28, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Horizon fitness Evolve 3 elliptical vs Nordictrack 8.5 treadmill

This is a comparison of the Horizon fitness Evolve 3 elliptical and the Nordictrack 8.5 treadmill including pros, cons, and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill $1399 - $1999

This is a review of the Nordictrack 8.5 S model which was originally published in "Which Nordictrack treadmill to get". Follow the links for more details.

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Overview NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill $1399 - $1999

The T 8.5 is the small brother of the T 9.5 from Nordictrack. The main difference is an HD touch screen which 10 inches on the 8.5 instead of 14 on the T 9.5. Apart from this, you get a top speed of 12 miles an hour, 12% incline and a foldable treadmill. The full list of specifications for the T 8.5 runs as following:
  • 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership
  • Bluetooth® Audio Capabilities
  • Dual 2” Digitally Amplified Speakers
  • FlexSelect™ Cushioning
  • 20” x 60” Commercial Tread Belt
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Integrated Tray
  • 0-12% Incline
  • 0-12 MPH Speed
  • One Touch® Controls
  • 3.5 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • 1.9” Precision and Balanced Non-Flex Rollers
  • 300 Lb. User Capacity
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • 50 On-Board Workout Programs
  • 78.5” L x 35.5” W x 59” H Footprint
  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty
This is a treadmill for the smaller budget and a mid-range option at it. I personally do not like the middle of the road solutions and either go alls guns blazing or very low budget. Personally, I think the 1750 is more balanced or go for the T6.5 if you want to save money and space.

Pros of the  NordicTrack T 8.5 treadmill

The pros of the 8.5 treadmill are:
  • Foldable
  • 300 lb capacity
  • Cushioning
If you want to save money on a treadmill that can take a pounding this is the right choice. You can save space when storing and it takes up to 300 lbs. of weight. All of this makes it a good option for a mid-range home treadmill.

Cons of the NordicTrack T 8.5 treadmill

Cons of the Nordictrack 8.5:
  • Somewhere in the middle
  • High price to compromise 
As the Nordictrack portfolio has evolved the 1750 is just the better option in terms of value for money in my opinion. With the T 8.5 you compromise on the size of the belt, incline, and screen while still paying a good bit of money. It is a reasonable price for a cardio machine compared to other machines in the market, but I would lean more towards the 1750 to spent my money wisely. 

Alternatives to the NordciTrack T 8.5 treadmill

Alternatives to the T 8.5 are:
The Nordictrack 1750 is, in my opinion, the most balances option in the Nordictrack portfolio at a reasonable price. Therefore I think it is the best option for budget-conscious treadmill buyers from Nordic Track. The T 8.5 just sits a bit oddly against this as it has the same sized screen while having less incline and a smaller belt, while the prices are not that far apart. 
The Nordictrack 6.5 is the ideal option for people who want to maximize saving money and space when buying a new treadmill from Nordictrack. This model comes in around $1000 and has the smallest footprint of the Nordictrack models. Ideal for walkers or limited spaces. 
The Rogue echo bike is my personal favorite if you are looking for maximum calories burned per minute. It comes in at only $700, has a small footprint and packs a hefty punch.
If you are looking for a different concept of a treadmill the True form runner is for you. This treadmill is self-propelled and therefore has no motor. The belt rests on bearing and your footstrike accelerates or breaks on the speed. This is the ideal treadmill for runners who want to simulate fast acceleration and deceleration at home. 

Overview and review of the Horizon fitness Evolve 3 elliptical

This is an overview of the Horizon fitness Evolve 3 elliptical including pros, cons, and alternatives. This article was first published in Which Horizon fitness elliptical to get?

For the most up to date information and asking direct questions you can follow me on Instagram.

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Overview of the Evolve 3 elliptical $1,199

The Horizon Evolve 3 elliptical is a commercial-sized machine that can be folded up when it is not in use. The console is one of the older generations with no integrated touchscreen. This is the middle-of-the-road elliptical from Horizon if you are interested in a big frame. The full specifications are:
Frame Type: Six Star Folding
Flywheel: 18
Stride Length: 20
Incline Range: N/A
Resistance Range: 20 Electronically adjustable
Step on height (inches): 10
Extras: Built-in Speakers, Energy Saver Mode, Passport ready, Tabet rack, Water Bottle Holder
Electrical requirements: 110 Volt / 220 Volt
Weight: 175 lbs.
Assembled dimensions: 69"x 28" x 69"
Max user weight: 300
Warranty - Frame: Lifetime
Warranty - Brake: 3 years
Warranty - Flywheel: N/A
Warranty - Parts: 3 years
Warranty - Labor: 1 year

Pros of the Evolve 3 elliptical

The pros of the Horizon Evolve 3 elliptical are:
  • Folding mechanism
  • Price
  • Size
The folding mechanism is the distinguishing feature of the Evolve series of Horizon ellipticals. It is easy to use and sturdy. If you are looking for an exercise machine that is big enough to take a big person doing a proper workout, but then can shrink to a smaller footprint, then the Horizon Evolve 3 will tick the boxes.
The price of $1.199 is great for how many ellipticals you are getting for the price with a proper folding mechanism. Many competitors with similar-sized ellipticals charge more in the range of $1400 to $1600. The only downside might be the console that has no Touchscreen/Tv Screen included.
This elliptical has a great frame that can take a beating. If you have no concerns about the size of your machine you will get a lot of frame for little money with this elliptical.

Cons of the Evolve 3 elliptical

The cons of the Horizon Evolve 3 elliptical are:
  • It is an in-between solution
  • Console
  • Other cheaper options for hard workouts
The Horizon Evolve 3 falls victim to what I would call the “in-between” trap of product design. The foldable frame makes it a suboptimal choice for commercial use as sturdy frames are better in this scenario. The size and build push it in a price range where many home buyers hesitate to pull the trigger. Walkers might be intimidated by its size while dedicated home warrior won’t take it seriously as it is an elliptical.
The console lacks a TV screen/touchscreen to browse the Internet or extent your devices to. You can plug them in via an audio link but the console is majorly used to navigate the pre-installed programs of the Horizon Evolve 3. In times of peloton and YouTube follow-along videos, this is a little being the time.
If you are someone who wants to go hardcore on your workouts and does not need any entertainment onboard there are cheaper versions of machines out there that will torture better to make gains.

Alternatives to the Evolve 3 elliptical

The Horizon Evolve 5 is the big brother of the Evolve 3. Its main distinguishing feature is the bigger flywheel which translates to a smoother ride and more mileage to be taken before needing to be serviced. I personally don’t k ow whether the extra money is worth the bigger flywheel. I would consider this when more than one person in the house will put significant mileage on the elliptical, otherwise stick with the Evolve and invest the mo way saves to get one of your old television mounted on the wall near the elliptical.
The horizon AE 7.0 is in my opinion the best value for money elliptical from Horizon fitness due to the upgraded console which is more media-ready. If you do not need your elliptical to fold up after use in your home, trade up on multimedia and even save some money with the AE 7.0. Commercial gyms might consider the Evolve line when TVs are installed already nearby or when you get a whole Horizon fleet of different machines for your cardio area.
The Nordictrack SE7i is the lowest-priced elliptical from Nordictrack currently available. If you need an elliptical fast and Horizon has no stock, this elliptical is similarly priced to the Evolve 3. Nordictrack is also a little ahead on their IFit subscription service in an industry where everyone is playing catch-up to Peloton. Horizon is further behind in this regard but catching up with new products like the AE 7.0 or GR3.
The Rogue echo bike is in my opinion the best option for cardio at home for someone who wants go hard after the calories and interval training. This machine has no extra bells and whistles but all the basics have been drilled to perfection at a competitive price for an Airbike. The copycat competitor of the Rogue echo bike is the TITAN fan bike with bigger wheels at a smaller price.

Conclusion for the Evolve 3 elliptical

The evolve 3 elliptical is in my opinion one of the weaker options in the Horizon elliptical lineup. If you want to save Money go for the EX-59. If you like the design you might as well go for the Evolve 5. The best choice for the home gym is the AE 7.0 as I don’t believe that much in the space savings of a foldable treadmill or elliptical.

Topics: Cardio, Horizon, Elliptical