Thoughts on the Lifespan TR1200i treadmill review:
If you read much of this site then you know that I love mid priced treadmills. You know, the ones that are priced around $1000. They tend to have great build quality and all the features that most people will need on a home treadmill, without all the fluff that more expensive treadmills come with.
One day I will have to write an article comparing my favorites, but for today I am going to review the LifeSpan TR1200i. Like many of my other favorites it is priced in the middle and comes from a well known brand name, LifeSpan. The TR1200i is actually LifeSpan’s most popular model by a wide margin.
So without further ado let’s jump right in!
About The LifeSpan TR1200i
LifeSpan Fitness was started in 2001 and has become a national brand since then. They are particularly famous for their under desk treadmills that are designed so that you can work while working out! Of course that isn’t all they do, they make regular treadmills as well as other home exercise equipment and even have software to track your workouts.
The Build Quality
Build quality is the most important thing on a home treadmill. Poor build quality can turn an $800 machine into a worthless 300 pound piece of trash very quickly. Fortunately the LifeSpan TR1200i seems to be mostly sturdy and well built.
The only thing I worry about are the arms. The arms seem like they might be a little too flimsy to put too much weight on. If you have kids around you might want to consider this. My little ones like to hang off of the arms like it’s a jungle gym (hey that counts as exercise!) and I worry that they might break them.
The running space on the TR1200i is 20 inches wide by 56 inches long. This is a pretty typical running space on treadmills in this price range but it is certainly possible to get more.
The deck sits 8 inches off the ground which is important to know for people who have low ceilings. This is just a little lower than many other treadmills which means it could work well for basements.
Like many home treadmills the LifeSpan TR1200i has a cushioning system to soften the blow while running and also to help keep the noise down.
Speed And Incline
The LifeSpan TR1200i has a 2.5 CHP motor that can power the tread anywhere from .5 mph to 11 mph. I am actually quite surprised that it only goes to 11 when many others go to 12 mph. This isn’t actually a big deal since most people won’t be running 12 mph (which is a 5 minute mile). If you plan on running that fast, you should buy a more robust treadmill.
The deck can also incline to a 15% grade. If you really want to burn calories and work those calves, increase the incline, not the speed.
Heart Rate Monitor
The TR1200i does have heart rate sensing grips to monitor your heart rate. However, these can only be used at lower speeds and you will need a chest strap for running. Unfortunately LifeSpan treadmills are only compatible with LifeSpan heart rate monitors. So if you already have a nice Polar chest strap, well, you will need to buy a new one.
The LifeSpan TR1200i has 21 built in workout programs. 2 programs that adjust to maintain your heart rate, 2 custom programs that you can design, and then 17 preset programs. I don’t usually use workout programs, mostly I run on manual mode.
I should point out that this treadmill is unsuitable for high intensity interval training. To do high intensity interval training on a treadmill you usually will have to run at high speed and then jump off the treadmill for your interval. The LifeSpan TR1200i has a feature where it will stop the track if it doesn’t detect any steps for about 20 seconds. So if you are wanting to do high intensity interval training then bear this in mind.
The first thing you will notice about the console is that it is rather plain. Compared to other treadmills like the Proform Pro 2000 or the Sole F63, the LifeSpan TR1200i has a boring and kind of cheap looking console. It could certainly use a bigger screen and some better design effort put into this area.
The console has two built in speakers as well as audio in and audio out ports. I never run on the treadmill without listening to my podcasts or audiobooks. It’s a great way to be productive while you are taking time to work on yourself!
One of my favorite features on this treadmill are the speed and incline buttons on the arms. Most home treadmills in this price range only have those buttons in front on the console. I much prefer them on the arms because they are easier to adjust when you are running in manual mode.
Sadly the console is lacking a fan to help keep you cool. I don’t always use the fan when I’m running but boy is it helpful on hot days!
In terms of technology and connectivity the LifeSpan TR1200i is a bit behind the times. There is no way to connect your fitness tracker to the treadmill or to connect any device wirelessly to it at all.
LifeSport does have it’s own fitness tracking service called the LifeSpan Club but it comes with it’s own set of issues. The biggest problem being that it is difficult to upload data to the site. You would expect that in 2016 all new electronic devices would be able to communicate wirelessly as is needed but that is not the case with the TR1200i.
You have to plug in a USB thumb drive into the console during your workout and then transfer that thumb drive to a computer when you want to upload your workout data to their site. It’s pretty annoying and should definitely be done wirelessly. Working mothers do not have time to manually organize our workout information!
Of course anyone without a dedicated home gym will need their treadmill to be foldable. The LifeSpan TR1200i folds and unfolds very easily. There is a piston that helps you lift it up and gently lets the deck down when it’s time to workout. The TR1200i also has wheels so that you can move the treadmill around once it’s folded up. But don’t expect to move it out of the room if you have to go through a doorway, it’s too wide.
Unfolded the treadmill is 70.25 inches long by 33 inches wide and 55 inches tall. Folded up the TR1200i is 39 inches long by 33 inches wide and 63 inches tall.
LifeSpan TR1200i vs TR3000i and TR4000i
The TR1200i is only the first treadmill in LifeSpan’s lineup so you might want to know the differences between it and some of the higher priced models.
The major difference between these models is the power of the motor. The TR1200i has a 2.5 CHP motor while the TR3000i and TR4000i have 2.75 CHP and 3.25 CHP motors. Both of the more expensive models are also capable of going up to 12 mph thanks to their more powerful motors.
Earlier I complained about how you can’t connect your phone or any devices to the TR1200i wirelessly, well the more expensive TR3000i and TR4000i have an interesting way of solving that problem. With those models you are able to purchase a bluetooth adapter from LifeSpan that will allow you to connect your phone to the treadmill so that you can automatically upload your data.
Why is this not a built in feature again?
The TR1200i does have a leg up on it’s bigger siblings with the speed and incline buttons on the arms, which the other models don’t have.
With all of this in mind, I would save the several hundred dollars and pass on the limited benefits of the more expensive models.
LifeSpan TR1200i vs ProForm Power 995i
There are many differences between the LifeSpan TR1200i and the ProForm Power 995i, but they are direct competitors because they cost the same.
To start, the Power 995i has a larger running surface at 60 inches and a much more powerful 3 CHP motor that powers it up to 12 mph.
The console is also very different. The ProForm has a much more modern and pretty looking console. The screen gives more information and there just seem to be more features, including a workout fan.
But the most important difference for me is that the ProForm Power 995i can connect to your devices using bluetooth. It is also compatible with iFit which is a huge bonus.
LifeSpan TR1200i vs Sole F63
The Sole F63 is a very popular model for home treadmills because it is well built and well equipped.
Between the two, the Sole F63 has a longer running area at 60 inches. It also has a more powerful 3 CHP motor that can power the belt up to 12 mph. The Sole also has the speed and incline buttons on the arms like the TR1200i.
I think the biggest difference between the two treadmills is that the Sole F63 has built in bluetooth that is compatible with all kinds of fitness trackers, smart phones, as well as other heart rate monitors.
Conclusion on the LifeSpan TR1200i
The LifeSpan TR1200i does the basics well. It is sturdy and can do the workout functions that most people will want it to do. Many people have said that this treadmill will last many years and reliably performs the basic functions well. If LifeSpan updates their technology, they would have a serious contender on their hands.
Our recommendation is to look into the bigger brother Lifespan TR4000i if you like the Lifespan treadmill as it has a lot more features and performed much better on our tests. See the Lifespan TR4000i review here. If you need a basic machine on a budget, the TR1200i is fine.
Where to buy the LifeSpan TR1200i
The best place to buy the TR1200i is from Amazon because they usually provide the best price and hassle free customer service and returns should there be any problems.