The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 – A Potential Headache

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 is an update of an older model that adds longer foot treadles among other things.

The change makes as much difference as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. :)

Let's take a look at this machine in our in-depth review and see if it's worth considering for your home...

The Machine

The backlit LCD display shows five readouts for Speed, Distance, Time, Calories and Heart Rate.

The interactive G.O. Coach™ Console lets users monitor their own fitness program, as well as input daily workout goals and record progress over time.

The specs on the Bowflex TC20 include:

Bowflex TreadClimber TC20
  • 4.5 mph top speed
  • Tracks data for 2 users
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • 300 lbs. max. User Weight
  • Dimensions/Wt: 55"L x 31.5"W x 55.25"H / 217 lbs
  • Bowflex® Worry-Free warranty: 3 years on everything

The Buzz

UPDATE:  The TC20 is no longer available.  It has been replaced with two new Bowflex Treadclimbers, the TC100 and the TC200.

The latter is comparable to the TC20, as it shares many of the same features.  However, it's actually a few hundred dollars cheaper, about 10 pounds lighter and adds Bluetooth workout tracking capability that the TC20 did not have.

The TC200 also has a tablet rack and a more advanced display, so it's really an all around improvement for the TreadClimber.

Take a look at the TC200 to see if it has what you are looking for.  You can also save about a $1000 and go for the base TC100 instead.

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 offers three workouts in one machine: as a treadmill (simply connect the two belts for a wider walking platform), as a stairclimber (the two dual treadles lets you step up), and as an elliptical (a combination of the two other motions).

But that kind of variation is also the problem with the machine – it is highly complex and doesn’t have the long range reliability and duration for average home workouts.

Pay attention to customer reviews and don’t ignore the comments made by unhappy customers. They are trying to pass on their bad experiences to save you money and hours of frustration. According to reports, these models have had numerous problems with the motors and hydraulics, as well as being uncomfortable to use.

You are better off buying an elliptical if you want a cross between a stairstepper and an elliptical oval, and remember, the top speed here is only 4.5 mph with very short dual tread belts so keep in mind that you can’t run on this modified treadmill.

Bowflex TC20 - Bottom Line

While it offers a nice (and totally unique) workout, it isn’t worth $3,299 to buy yourself a potential headache.

Because the complexity of the dual tread belts and the hydraulics, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 will break down at some point in the future and will have to be repaired.

For this kind of money, you can buy a really outstanding traditional treadmill with a 15% incline that you can even run on.

You can’t go faster than 4.5mph on a TreadClimber. If you like the motion of the independent treadles, perhaps you might be happier with an elliptical trainer.

Editor's Note:  The newer TC200 is worth considering, although it has the same drawbacks as the TC20.

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Bowflex TreadClimbers are currently on sale


Bowflex TC200

Bowflex TC100


 Unique Design

 Interval Training

 Calorie Burning

 Muscle Targeting

 Incline Capability

Bowflex TreadClimbers are currently on sale