Smooth Fitness & Health (Smooth) manufactures seven treadmill models, three premium, three standard, and one basic, the Smooth Fitness 5.65 Treadmill. Smooth started up in 1984 in Philadelphia as a group of retail fitness stores. In 1996, the company saw an opportunity in the growth of the Internet to be the first fitness company to market products online, a bold move that succeeded in making Smooth the leading online treadmill brand. More than 90 percent of Smooth treadmill sales are now online.
Some Smooth Fitness competitors also offer online shopping, but most require purchases through local retailers, adding costs and taxes to purchase prices and allowing retailers limit to warranty coverage. The Smooth 5.65 offers the best basic treadmill warranties, lifetime replacement on frame and motor, five years on other parts, and two on labor. Internet Retailer has ranked Smooth as the 255th largest e-commerce site in the USA.
The Smooth 5.65, on the market since 2008, is a folding treadmill designed for easy storage that saves space when not in use. Some specific features:
- Motor: 2,050 watts/2.75 horsepower continuous duty
- Speed: Up to 10 miles per hour
- Incline: Up to 15 degrees
- Deck Surface: 20 x 55 inches
- Deck Cushioning: Im-Pression™ Shock Absorption
- Unit Dimensions: 31 x 73 inches
- Unit Weight: 210 pounds
- Max User Weight: 300 pounds
- Frame Composition: Steel
- Audio System: SmoothSound™ input jack for sound
- Console Options: Up to 14 programs
- Heart Rate Monitor: Wireless chest strap
The Smooth 5.65 is an economical and compact home treadmill that folds to save space when not in use. The user gently tilts the deck into position and wheels it away for easy storage. The rolling transport wheels make movement of the unit to any room in the house almost effortless. A pedal lever lowers the unit back into place ready for reuse.
The SmoothDrive™ 2.75-HP motor design is for efficiency, long life, and silent operation. An advanced pulse-width modulation circuit board with speed sensors makes speed changes almost imperceptible. With speeds of up to 10 miles per hour, users have no trouble challenging themselves.
QuickChange™ adjusts speed and incline workout conditions quickly. The buttons accessible on the handrails do not distract. Users like these controls built into the side rails with no need to press and hold arrows.
The exclusive Im-Pression™ shock absorption cushioning system gives the front foot a comfortable landing and the rear foot a firm push-off, moderating impacts on the feet, knees, and hips and making long workouts safer, more comfortable, and less tiring.
Of the 14 workout programs, one is manual for adjustment of speed or incline at any time, twelve for preset speed and incline combinations, and one for “body fat.” Handrail-mounted toggle switches control speed and incline easily; a heart rate control feature adjusts programs to within optimal training ranges.
The SmoothSound™ audio system makes any workout more fun with music easily connected from an iPod, MP3 player, and other sound devices through an auxiliary input jack to speakers in the console, which displays calories consumed, distance covered, heart rate registered, incline set, and time elapsed on three gauges of light-emitting diodes on liquid-crystal display dot-matrix screens.
Most users enjoy the Smooth 5.65 compact design, strong, silent motor, preprogrammed exercises, easy handlebar controls, comfortable running surface, and overall durability and build quality. Though it receives mostly good marks, some users and reviewers have raised issues and made complaints:
As to durability and reliability, some say most treadmills in this basic price range have longer life expectancies, and there is some division of opinion over build quality.
- Very tall users may find the 20 x 55-inch run deck confining.
- Setup is simple for some users, difficult for others, who complain of unexpected problems that needed service before their machines were usable.
- Smooth seems to have had more than its share of customer service complaints. Only a few owners say Smooth customer service is excellent; many say they can’t use the treadmill at all while waiting for replacement parts, or they get no response from customer service that doesn’t call back as promised.
The home fitness equipment business in general and Smooth in particular have seen some dark days since the 2008 financial crisis and the near-collapse of the fitness equipment market. Latest reports, however, show Smooth as back from “the brink of bankruptcy” and “on solid footing again with new ownership” determined to make up for any customer service lapses during the company’s recent time of troubles. Smooth Fitness always has been “dedicated to a superior level of customer service,” and in the 5.65 has produced a treadmill of best all-around value dollar for dollar. A buyer can do better only by paying much more.
Smooth Fitness 5.65 Treadmill Video Review