The Fuel Fitness 3.0 Folding Treadmill is a good example of the high quality treadmills that are available around the middle of the range in terms of price.
Running belt and machine design
Arguably the most important design point of any treadmill is the running deck. Above all this needs to be stable, but it’s also best when it features a cushioning system and is a size that takes into account different user heights and stride lengths.
The running belt on the Fuel Fitness 3.0 Folding Treadmill has been designed at a size of 117.5cm (L) x 40cm (W). While this provides a little less length than the more expensive treadmills, unless you have a very long stride length then this should be perfectly suited to the majority of runners.
Being fitted with an elastomer cushion flex running deck (3 elastomers spaced under the belt), this will help to reduce impact on your knee and hip joints when running.
A belt thickness of 15mm is also a sign of the high product quality, and will help in reducing the noise of the belt passing over the rollers.
If you are used to running on treadmills in the gym at higher speeds during interval training or regular workouts, then it’s worth bearing in mind the maximum speed before purchasing the Fuel Fitness 3.0. While there are higher priced designs that offer upwards of 16 mp/h, this machine is limited to 10 mp/h.
While this should be fine for the majority of general cardio, running, walking and jogging, for more intensive sprints and higher paced workouts it may be worth taking a look at the JTX Sprint7 Treadmill.
The Fuel Fitness 3.0 treadmill display console
One of the main design features that makes this Fuel Fitness treadmill so interesting is the display console.
Looking at the overall design you have a couple of recesses at the side of the display unit for storing water bottles, phone or whatever other small items you take with you for cardio workouts.
Looking at the handles, it’s clear that they have been designed to be as functional as possible while being short enough to get in the way when running.
On each handle there is a heart rate sensor that can be used to display your current heart rate on the screen when held for several seconds.
Just in front of these sensors are a set of buttons to control both the speed and the incline. The buttons have considerately been placed just above the sensors in a position where you can still adjust settings even when monitoring your heart rate.
One of the compromises with the Fuel Fitness 3.0 Folding Treadmill to keep the price lower is that there aren’t any specific heart rate training programs.
If you would like to monitor your heart rate throughout your workout without holding onto the handle sensors, then a heart rate belt compatible with this treadmill or separate heart rate monitor is recommended.
Back at the main display you will see something that you probably won’t have seen on other treadmills. A speedometer is displayed in the middle of the LCD screen that will show you your current speed, with dividers at 0.5 km/h increments.
While this does take up the majority of the display, there is still enough room to see other important workout information.
The time, incline and distance are displayed down the left hand side, with the heart rate and which program you are using displayed on the right.
The controls on the display console really do make it as easy as possible to alter the speed and incline of the running belt.
As well as the buttons on the handles, there is also a set of increase and decrease buttons on the display unit for both the incline and speed, as well as some pre-set levels.
Above each of the increase and decrease buttons, there are sets of colour coded buttons. For the speed, green relates to walking pace (3 km/h), blue relates to jogging pace (6 km/h) and red relates to running pace (9 km/h).
For incline there is a similar system, with green being the lowest level and red being the highest level of incline.
With 10 possible levels of incline setting, green will set the incline at level 3, blue at level 6 and red at level 9.
This has all been designed to help you quickly distinguish between the different levels and adjust the incline and speed quickly.
Although the buttons and screen have been designed in a relatively small area, thanks to the symbols and colour coding it seems like this only helps to make decisions with changing settings quicker.
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- Fuel Fitness 3.0 folding treadmill. Continuous motor 1.50CHP/2.75 Peak. Top speed of 10mph/16kmh, 12 computer training programs.
- Space saving folding treadmill, perfect if you have limited space at home
- Clear view blue back lit LCD console screen, providing detailed workout feedback. Hand pulse contact grips for heart rate feedback.
- The easiest and most convenient electronic incline adjustment from 0-10%,elastomer cushion flex running deck
- Lifetime frame, motor guarantee, 2 years on all parts. Product weight 60kg
As mentioned earlier, the Fuel Fitness 3.0 Folding treadmill doesn’t have any specific heart rate training programmes. Another of the functions that you lose with the Fuel Fitness 3.0 Folding Treadmill compared to high priced models, is the ability to create customised user programs.
Despite this there is still the ability to add great variation to your workouts. You still get 12 different workout programmes, with 9 of these being variations on the speed and the other 3 adding variation to the incline for more advanced workouts.
Folding, storage and safety
As with many of the modern treadmill designs, the Fuel Fitness 3.0 is a folding treadmill. This means that there is a hydraulic arm attaching the base of the frame to the running belt, which assists in raising and lowering when you want to store the treadmill.
Another of the nice design features with this treadmill is that when the belt is fully folded away the top sits more or less in line with the arms and base frame.
This is partly why the arms and base frame are designed to be so short, to take up less space when folded and make for easier storage.
There have also been a set of wheels attached to the base frame that allow you to easily roll the machine out of the way when not in use.
When you want to lower the running belt again, a yellow latch mechanism has been added to the underside of the belt that will cause it to lower slowly when pressed.