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Bowflex Treadclimber TC20 Review

Bowflex Treadclimber TC20 Review

Customer reviews

Retail: $2999

Bowflex Treadclimber TC20 Review

Product description

Our top-of-the-line TreadClimber® TC20 is perfect to help you avoid workout burnout with built-in motivation and versatility. Great for households with more than one user, the TC20 comes with five standard workouts and three ‘landmark’ workouts to raise your heart rate quickly while minimizing impact on your joints.

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Work out smarter and more efficiently with the top-of-the-line TreadClimber TC20, which comes with five standard workouts and three “landmark” workouts to raise your heart rate quickly.

The Bowflex dual treadle system.

The TC20 delivers an impressively low-impact fitness routine that’s easy on your joints. As a result, your “perceived exertion” is incredibly low. That means you’ll burn more calories on a TreadClimber than you would with other cardio machines, but won’t feel as tired when you’re done. You’ll get the effects–and the results–without feeling the fatigue. A University of Wisconsin study indicates that TreadClimber technology lets you burn up to 3.5 times the calories in the same amount of time as with other cardio machines.

The TC20 burns up to 3.5x more calories in the same amount of time as other cardio machines.

The secret to the TreadClimber TC20 is Bowflex’s unique dual treadle system, which offers the benefits of three machines in one. In Action 1, the TC20 performs like a treadmill, with belts that move as you walk forward. In Action 2, the TC20 mimics a stair climber, with two independent treadles that move up and down. When you combine these actions, you get the third machine: an elliptical trainer that provides a smooth, low-impact motion. Cardio training on the TreadClimber TC20 not only helps you lose weight, but it also increases your energy level, improves your bone density, increases HDLs (the “good” cholesterol), reduces back pain, and makes you leaner.

The TreadClimber TC20 comes equipped with a fully backlit LCD display that monitors your speed, distance, time, calories, and heart rate. The machine also offers two personalized user profiles, with custom distance, calories, or time goals (the goals reset weekly). The profiles interact with the TC20’s G.O. Coach console to establish targets, track progress, and compare results. And the TC20 helps maximize your workout efficiency thanks to its wireless heart rate monitor, which keeps you in your target heart rate zone. Other features include an instant Quick Start feature, an ergonomic console that provides easy access to water bottles and magazines, a speed range of 0.5 to 4.5 miles per hour, extra-long foot treadles, transport wheels for easy mobility, and a Bowflex body weight loss plan.

The TreadClimber is also available in entry-level TC5 and midrange TC10 models.

Specifications

  • Speed range: 0.5 to 4.5 mph
  • Electronic functions: Speed, distance, time, calories, and HR
  • Dimensions: 31.5 by 55.25 by 55 inches (W x H x D)
  • Minimum ceiling height: The treadles are 17 inches off the floor at their highest point. Add 17 inches to your height plus a couple of inches for clearance.
  • Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Weight: 217 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

Top positive review

See all 19 positive reviews›

14 people found this helpful

5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic workout. I walk 5-6 miles a day but …

ByKarenon January 10, 2015

Fantastic workout. I walk 5-6 miles a day but needed to be challenged and the TC20 did the trick. Only 2 minutes the first time on and I was breathless. Slow steady progression is the key. Fully plan on working up to the full recommended time and see what happens weight wise.

Top critical review

See all 17 critical reviews›

25 people found this helpful

1.0 out of 5 starsDon’t buy bowflex

ByKindle Customeron January 21, 2016

We have owned two treadclimber from bowflex

Both broke down. They sent someone out to fix this last one it didn’t work so they sent us on our way. They will not stand behind their products. I would never buy from them. Find another company. Terrible products terrible customer service.

 

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5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic workout. I walk 5-6 miles a day but …

ByKarenon January 10, 2015

Verified Purchase

Fantastic workout. I walk 5-6 miles a day but needed to be challenged and the TC20 did the trick. Only 2 minutes the first time on and I was breathless. Slow steady progression is the key. Fully plan on working up to the full recommended time and see what happens weight wise.

14 people found this helpful Helpful  1 comment Report abuse

5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars

ByAmy Andersenon August 8, 2015

Verified Purchase

Very easy on the knees and high quality machine.

4 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

4.0 out of 5 starsI wish someone had told me…

BySea Glasson August 25, 2013

Hello Friends, if you are looking to buy a treadclimber TC20 here are the things they don’t tell you:

1) Please know that the shocks are very tight right out of the box. I thought I was going to die after just 10 minutes. We spent 1 1/2 hours putting this thing together and all I could think of is “how do we send it back.” Then my husband said “you must be doing it wrong” So he went on it and had the same realization. After a couple of days it loosened up and we both found our strides. Please don’t give up.

2)Start out slow and work your way up. I made it through half of the space needle in the beginning and under two weeks I am making it to the top.

3)The motion of the machine is not hard to get use to. Even my 70 year old mother could use the machine on lower speeds. I did find myself with a “death grip” on the first and even second use but I think I had just watched to many youtube videos of people be shot off the treadmill.

4) I was very discouraged by the “go coach” because all it does is see if you made it to the amount of time or calories or whatever you set it for. You can do that on your own. I wish it did more for the money I spent. Another kicker is that the manual tells you to unplug your machine and if you do this it re-sets the go coach completely.

5)The TC20 is the right machine for taller people (6’+)my husband is 6’4 and needs even bit of stride allowance on the machine.

6)over all I love my machine. It is VERY sturdy. I am not burning 500 calories a session yet. and I have to wonder how this machine factors in my weight to give me an accurate calories burn total? Because I am moving 197 lbs around and I did workout for 30 minutes but I burned less than 200 calories… things just don’t seem to add up. Oh well, I can tell things are firming up already so hopefully I will see lower number on the scale soon. See you at the top.

348 people found this helpful Helpful  7 comments Report abuse

4.0 out of 5 stars2 years and over 70lbs later……

ByHeavysledzon November 18, 2015

OK, so I waited for 2 years to write my review if the TC20 but here it is…..In a nutshell, I absolutely love it!

 

Pros: I am 6’3″ and have a 36″ inseam and the TC20 has long enough treadles for me to maintain a comfortable stride without having to chop my steps. The top speed is 4.5mph and I can honestly say I have never reached top speed in the 2 years I have used it. The unit is very well built and sturdy. i weighed 311 lbs when i purchased the TreadClimber and it has held up to my abuse with no complaints. This machine makes me sweat more than any other piece of workout equipment period! I am now up to 1000 calories per session and I can accomplish this in right around 55 minutes……I quit using my Pro-Form recumbent bike because in 30 minutes on the bike I only burned 185 calories and my legs were killing me….I can use the TreadClimber every day and never feel sore after a work out. My wife has had 4 knee surgeries so she is limited to what she can do with regards to working out. She can use the TreadClimber for 30 minutes and come away with nothing more than a slight ache in her bad knee whereas the bike or treadmill irritates her knee so bad she can’t work out for days following.

 

Cons: Being that I am 6’3′ the handlebars are about 1-2″ too low for me. (Adjustable height bars would have bee na great feature) I had the workout cylinders replaced under warranty about 6 months after purchasing it because one of the me was weaker than the other so it felt like walking on a sidehill. Bowflex did replace them without hassle. My replacement set is now giving me some issues after 1 1/2 years of use. Hard to explain but when you first hop on the machine, the first 1-2 inches of travel is very light and then they clunk and then the remainder of the travel is normal. After about a minute of use, the clunk slowly fades and they begin to operate normally. I may eventually replace them depending on replacement cost but the issue is tolerable for now since it quickly goes away. The unit has completely shut off on me about 6 times over the course of 2 years. The power switch remains illuminated but i have to turn it off and back on to get it to restart. When this occurs, I lose all of my Go Coach data for the week and it starts over. I thought it may be due to static or that the treadles needed lubricated so I would lubricate them and use a anti static spray but I can’t say for sure if this was the cure or not because it was so random. If you are over 250lbs and have the speed set below 2.5mph or so, even with the cylinders set all the way to “Min” you are likely going bottom out the treadles. The only solution is to speed up the machine or shorten your stride and not step so far forward. It would be nice if Bowflex offered higher resistance cylinders for heavier folks. I am now down to 240lbs and don’t have the issue anymore but I also use it at higher speeds since I am in better condition now. The Go Coach progress display is less than exciting for a piece of equipment in this price point. I would have hoped for something a bit more intuitive or integrated such as the higher end treadmills and bikes on the market. The handle bars get slippery when you start to sweat…and yes, you will sweat A LOT if you push yourself.

 

Improvement suggestions: adjustable handlebar height for the various sizes of users. Pads or no slip grips on the handlebars. Better technology on the Go Coach….optional book shelf or IPad holder to watch TV, movies, or work out videos/read while working out. Electronic treadle adjustment that can be adjusted via the touchscreen while working out. Ability to select workout programs to challenge you. Audio input (or Bluetooth) with but-in speakers to listen to music while working out….

 

So even though I was very critical about the TC20 in my review, the fact remains that I am still using it over 2 years later….I can’t say the same for my other pieces of home equipment. It has also been a big part in helping me lose over 70lbs and keeping the weight off. The unit was expensive but it does what it claims and I would recommend this to anyone who is seriously looking to lose some weight and get into shape.

26 people found this helpful Helpful  1 comment Report abuse

1.0 out of 5 starsDon’t buy bowflex

ByKindle Customeron January 21, 2016

We have owned two treadclimber from bowflex

Both broke down. They sent someone out to fix this last one it didn’t work so they sent us on our way. They will not stand behind their products. I would never buy from them. Find another company. Terrible products terrible customer service.

25 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

1.0 out of 5 starsThis was a waste of time

ByNancy Raymondon February 14, 2017

Verified Purchase

This was a waste of time , having a hard time getting all the parts. Then after 2 months decided to return and still having an impossible task of getting FedEx to pick it up. I am lost for words you would think that $1900 you would get great service! Not so much

5 people found this helpful Helpful  1 comment Report abuse

5.0 out of 5 starsWhat a Sensational Workout!

BySequestreon November 3, 2016

I started to make this a 4 star rating instead of 5 but the only fault I have with the machine so far is really not a problem with the machine but rather my own physical size issue. I’m a 60 year old 6′ 2″” male and weighed 330 lbs when I started working out (11/01/2016). I knew going in that this machine had a max weight usage of 300 lbs but I still wanted to give it a try because I believe in the concept of having 3 machines in one. (As most know it is a combination of a treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical all rolled into one)

Plus, since the new models have just come out (TC 200 replaces this one), there are some really great deals to be found.

 

That said (with my weight), the machine would “bottom out” too easily with the pistons (shocks?) set at the best setting while using it. Increasing the speed helps this anomaly but made it a little too fast for a beginner like me. Insistent on making this machine work for me (and being a design engineer), I set out to modify the shock system to handle more weight. My first idea was to create a dual piston conversion mount for each side effectively doubling the pistons (2 to 4). I happened to find someone online who was selling a new set of pistons for a TC5000 and after confirming that the mounting was pretty much the same, I bought them for my quad piston experiment.

 

However, when I received the TC5000 pistons I decided to just try them in place of the TC 20’s and see how much difference it would make. Wow, was I ever surprised! The TC5000 pistons had a much better weight capacity and even allowed me to adjust the range. At half range I was still not hitting bottom! Needless to say I am extremely happy with the current workout I am getting. I can really feel the calories burning and at a much faster rate than any other exercise I have tried in the past.

 

The only con is by changing to the TC5000 piston you may void your warranty. Also, the plastic bushings used in the top of the TC5000 pistons have a smaller hole and require swapping them with the TC20’s top bushings (they swap out very easily as the bushings are actually split halves which come apart on either side of the eye). Also, make sure you get the correct version (1 or 2). Mine takes the version 2 pistons. Older machines use a teeter-totter method on the treadles. Easy to spot the difference as the older machines will always have one side down and the other up as the newer machines use a spring in the pistons to keep both treadles up when stopped.

 

The only other comment I would make as a reply to some of the other posts is that this machine (just like any other exercise machine), is going to require periodic maintenance and I fully expect things to wear and tear as I continue to use it. In 3 years it may need to be fully rebuilt or replaced if I continue to use it everyday as I do now. Facts of life…….. but overall, I think the TC20 is built very well and is doing me a great service!

 

Just one more thing….. (says Columbo), if you are trying to decide between the TC10 (now the TC100) or the TC20 (now the TC200), make your “walking stride length” the determining factor. The TC20 has longer treadles which I appreciate very much with my height and stride. Otherwise I think the TC10 would have been sufficient had I been below the 6′ mark.

 

UPDATE: 12/01/2016

The TC20 is still working very well for me and to date I have shed 30 pounds. When I first started working out, I was basically a lethargic recliner potato. The first time I got on the TreadClimber I could only do 3 minutes before my heart felt like it was going to explode. The 2nd day I was able to go 4 minutes; the third day – 7 minutes and then the 4th day I was up to 15 minutes. Now I go between 20 and 30 minutes when I work out. Bowflex recommends 30 minutes, 3 times a week but there was no way I was going to be able to do this my first two weeks. I highly recommend you start out slow, especially if you are as out of shape as I was.

THE MAIN THING IS NOT TO GIVE UP!

 

Don’t be fooled by the innocent treadmill look this guy has! While it is easier on the joints than a treadmill (which is great), it will work your leg muscles 3 times harder! Believe me when I say, 30 minutes on the TreadClimber is like 90 minutes on a treadmill.

Also, there is no need to try to run like you might do on a treadmill; the TreadClimber is more effective if you just walk a steady pace (I do 2.2 mph). If you try to run, the treadles will start floating and you will not get as hard of a workout. Walking on this guy is much like struggling up a steep hill or trying to walk through deep snow. I really love the challenge the TreadClimber presents and again, I highly recommend it.

7 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars

Bymichael tingleyon January 15, 2015

Verified Purchase

love it. really burns the calories!

4 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

2.0 out of 5 starsWould not recommend this product

Bygenej101on May 13, 2016

I bought the top of the line machine 16 months ago. Started having problems with it within one month. Over the next 8 months, they replaced every single part, some multiple times, until finally they sent out a diagnostician who saw immediately what the problem was and they then replaced the entire bottom assembly too. The problem is that although the machine now works properly, it still overheats and shuts down in the middle of a workout at least once, sometimes twice a week. Just goes black screen and stops. I’ve tried various kinds of lubrication, including two that Nautilus sells, none work, it will shut down during a workout after a lube. The installers told me three or four times a year would be all that was necessary, Nautilus says every three weeks, the guy who fixed it finally (was excellent but not a Nautilus employee) said once a month. Nothing helps.

 

For $3300, plus the nearly $1000 more I’ve spent on labor and parts I ordered elsewhere, along with not being able to use the machine when it was non functional, I did not get near my money’s worth. Nautilus says it might be the electrical outlet, the electrician says ridiculous. And nothing else used on that outlet has ever malfunctioned. The thing is, after two knee surgeries, I can’t run, living where I do biking isn’t possible much of the year, and I hate gyms. But the workout, when the machine works, is wonderful, the same kind of great burn you get after a long run, sweat for two hours after a shower. But it is impossible to track workouts using the machine itself because of the constant shutting off. I’m only half way through the 3 year warranty but I’d almost be willing to buy a TC200 if I knew it wouldn’t shut down and they’d just take this one away. Very disappointed in the machine, the concept is wonderful, the execution not so much.

5 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

1.0 out of 5 starsThis machine is broke more than its running and Bowflex customer service is ridiculously terrible. I would never recommend this

ByTodd P.on September 14, 2015

I bought a tc20 was told it was they’re industrial machine one that could be put into a gym.

I’ve had it for just over a year and I’m the only one that uses it. This machine is broke more than its

running and Bowflex customer service is ridiculously terrible. I would never recommend this machine to

anyone. poor design the shocks go bad constantly then it take 3 weeks to get replacements which are

just as bad. Bowflex should be ashamed of themselves to put a product out that’s this terrible.

22 people found this helpful Helpful  Comment Report abuse

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