The NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill is a machine made to last. The sturdy 3.5 CHP DurX Commercial Plus motor delivers smooth and consistent power. While maybe not the most exciting option for some, the motor is an important feature to consider when it comes to durability and longevity.
You can choose to walk, jog, or run on the comfortable 20” x 60” deck with speeds up to 12 mph with an incline range of 12%. The OneTouch controls make it quick and straightforward to change incline and speed. With runner’s flex adjustment, you can switch the suspension from a cushioning feel to a more road-like feel for whatever is best for your comfort.
The T 8.5 S has a 10 inch HD touchscreen, which you can also choose to cast onto a flat-screen TV via a smart device. The console display tracks all the important workout metrics, including time, distance, calories, pulse, speed, and incline. The T 8.5 S has built-in Bluetooth Audio capabilities and an Aux outlet so that you can listen to your music via the dual 2” digitally amplified speakers.
Because the T 8.5 S Treadmill is iFit enabled (one-year free iFit membership included), you can automatically synchronize incline and speed with on-demand workouts, which streams to the LCD. The T 8.5 S comes with 50 onboard workout apps created by certified professional trainers —but remember you have iFit in addition to this, giving access to a library of over 10,000 classes.
Learn more in my complete review below
Product: NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill
Warranty: Frame lifetime / Motor lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 2 years
My rating: 9.25/10
Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this post.
Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 78.5L x 35.5W x 59H inches (200L x 90W x 150H cm)
- Tread belt dimensions: 60L x 20W inches (152.4L x 51W cm)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Motor: 3.5 CHP
- Speed range: 0-12 MPH
- Incline: Automatic, 0-12%
- Deck cushioning: FlexSelect
- Console: 50 programs, Bluetooth, iFit enabled
- Amenities: Sound system, tablet holder, accessory trays, 1-year iFit membership
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Motor lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 2 years
T 8.5 S Frame
Most treadmills of this caliber have a steel frame construction, and the NordicTrack T 8.5 S doesn’t make an exception. It features a sturdy steel frame with a maximum user weight capacity of up to 300 lbs (136 kg). All the steel bars in its construction feature a durable powder coating finish resistant to abrasion and corrosion. The colors used are gray for the upright masts of the machine and black for the base frame.
Since it’s a heavy-duty machine, this NordicTrack treadmill is not precisely featherweight. It weighs over 200 lbs (90 kg) when fully assembled, so its transport and assembly requires at least two people. However, once completed, its relocation can be done with ease by only one person as its front base features a set of transport wheels.
An important aspect that we must mention here regards the machine’s foldability. Its deck features a folding mechanism which involves a hydraulic cylinder.
Therefore, when unfolding the deck, you don’t have to hold and control its lowering. The hydraulic device will slowly lower it automatically. Also, with the deck folded up, the machine’s length is reduced to approx—40″ (101 cm).
With the frame unfolded and ready to use, this Treadmill is fairly large. It is approx. 78.5″ (200 cm) long, and 35.5″ (90 cm) wide. Plus, you will have to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side and at least three feet of clearance at the rear of the deck. Therefore, it may not be the best fit for a small room or apartment.
Like the other models in the NordicTrack T series, this machine comes equipped with the FlexSelect cushioning system.
Its deck integrates six cushioning elements, three on each side, which can absorb up to 40% of each foot strike’s shock during running. Plus, each cushion is adjustable; you can increase or decrease its flexibility by a simple rotation.
The NordicTrack T 8.5 S comes equipped with a heavy-duty, multi-ply belt with a rubber top layer for high adherence. It offers a standard running surface of 60″L x 20″W (152.4 x 51 cm). Thus, the machine should accommodate users up to 6’5 ″ (196 cm) with no problem, promoting a complete range of motion.
The internal rollers have a crowned design and integrate heavy-duty sealed ball bearings for a smooth belt motion. They’re relatively large, 1.9″ in diameter, which leads to better traction for the belt. Also, the crowned design improves the lifespan of the belt.
T 8.5 S Incline and step-up height
The NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill features a motorized incline system. This means the slope is only adjustable from the console. Also, some of the programs within the console memory will automatically adjust the incline when in use.
The incline system consists of two levers placed underneath the front side of the deck. When the incline is adjusted, the 2-lever system will raise or lower the front of the deck.
The machine makes 12 levels of incline available, with an incline range between 0% and 12%. That’s approx—9 ° of a slope. The incline adjustment increments are 1%. The console features quick selection keys from 0% to 12% on its left side, but the lower keypad also has gradual incline adjustment controls.
With the incline set to 0%, the deck’s elevation is approx—11″ (28 cm). Conversely, with the slope set to maximum, the deck’s front part will become elevated by a few extra inches. Therefore, it is advisable to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your height.
This Treadmill comes equipped with the same Drux Commercial Plus motor as the NordicTrack C 1650. It’s a 3.5 CHP motor designed to withstand lengthy workouts without overheating or losing performance. It has a built-in cooling system. It also came equipped with a small flywheel for improved stability and minimized vibration.
The motor produces a relatively low level of noise. However, even with all the deck’s cushioning, your cadence will still be heard when running at full speed. Therefore, in an apartment building or household with thin walls, the other persons will listen to you.
The machine’s speed range is 0.5 – 12 MPH. Just as for the incline, there are quick controls for speed from 0 to 12 MPH, placed on the console’s right side. Also, the lower keypad integrates gradual speed controls. The arrow controls for the continuous speed adjustment are bi-functional.
If pressed once, they will adjust speed by 0.1 MPH; if you press and hold a key down, the tread belt’s velocity will change in increments of 0.5 MPH. The fact that you can adjust speed in increments of 0.1 is quite a plus, as you can easily find the most comfortable pace for your workout.
Since it’s a motorized treadmill, it requires an external power source. A standard US plug (for 120V) is (included) with the machine. The connector for its cable is placed at the deck’s front, next to the power button.
T 8.5 S Console
This machine has a smaller display than the NordicTrack T 9.5 S. It’s only 10″ in diagonal. However, the console pretty much offers the same functions. The exhibition is full of color, with an LED backlight and touchscreen technology.
It responds to similar commands as a tablet or smartphone. However, you cannot install apps on it or browse the web. It can only stream videos through iFit.
The console display tracks all the important workout metrics, including time, distance, calories, pulse, speed, and incline. The speed and distance are by default set to imperial units (MPH and miles), but metric units (km/h, km) are also available.
It’s also telemetric. This means it has a built-in receiver that can read your pulse from a wireless HR chest strap transmitter. However, this accessory is not (included) with the machine.
The console unit is iFit enabled. In other words, it offers full integration for the iFit app and comes with 1-year of free iFit membership.
It also has wireless connectivity, so it can connect to your WiFi to access the iFit workout database (with more than 16,000 on-demand workouts), run via trails based on GoogleMaps, or benefit from Live Interactive training.
If you don’t want to use iFit or don’t want to renew your membership once it expires, the console still has you covered. Its 50 preset programs’ database offers all types of workouts focusing on weight loss, high-intensity cardio, intervals, stamina development, and much more.
Along with the program database and the iFit capabilities, the NordicTrack T 8.5 S treadmill’s console unit still has several other notable features. These are the workout fan and the sound system.
The AutoBreeze™ workout fan is at the bottom of the console unit, right above the main keypad. It offers several speed settings and provides reasonably decent performance, enough to keep you fresh during a more intense workout.
The sound system features two 2″ speakers. It is Bluetooth capable, so you can sync it with your smartphone or tablet to stream your favorite music through it. It offers superior performance to the integrated speakers of any smartphone or tablet.
T 8.5 S Assembly and Maintenance
With all its parts, the machine’s deck, including the incline and drive motors, comes pre-assembled. You’ll need to connect the front masts and the console and maybe adjust the belt’s position before use. All the tools required for the assembly come included. Also, the manual provides precise assembly instructions.
As opposed to other treadmills, the machine’s deck comes pre-lubricated with industrial-grade lubricant. Thus, you don’t have to lubricate it before the first use, and the internal oil should last for a relatively long while. Of course, for maintenance, it is also essential to keep the belt clean and periodically check for loose bolts and parts.
- Sturdy frame construction;
- Solid deck, being able to support users up to 300 lbs;
- Folding deck, space-saving design;
- FlexSelect deck cushioning with adjustable cells;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Automatic incline, 0% – 12%;
- DruX Commercial Plus 3.5 CHP motor with a speed range between 0.5-12 MPH;
- Speed adjustment increments of 0.1 and 0.5 MPH;
- Quick selection controls for both speed and incline;
- EGK pulse sensors integrated into handlebars;
- Advanced iFit console with a 10″ HD display and touchscreen technology;
- One-year iFit membership included;
- 50 preset workout programs;
- WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
- Sound system included;
- Workout fan included;
- Accessory trays included;
- Quiet operation;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- An HR chest strap is not (included) with the machine;
- No tablet holder.
NordicTrack T 8.5 S Summary
The NordicTrack T 8.5 S is a heavy-duty treadmill designed for home use. It’s equipped with a 3.5 CHP drive motor, motorized incline, FlexSelect cushioning, and a sizeable 10″ touchscreen HD LCD console. It offers 50 preset workout programs and the possibility of accessing the online iFit workout database. It’s an excellent machine for users of all levels, for light to intense cardio training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.
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