Bowflex Treadclimber TC5500 Review

March 19, 2020

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5500 is the top of the line model Treadclimber and is their newest model. You get a lot of fancy upgrades over the Bowflex Treadclimber TC5000, but you better since you’re paying over $3,000 for it! If you know the Bowflex commercial then you already know what the draw is from this hybrid type cardio machine:  Burn more calories with less work. It is true that independent studies have shown that the unique workout action of the treadclimber does burn more calories than a traditional treadmill, when it’s set at the same speed. The machine is able to do this by combining the training movements of a treadmill, an elliptical and a stairmaster. The unique movement gets your heart rate up in a hurry.

Keep in mind that the treadclimber workout can be tough for some people to get used to. Some customers have said that it took a while to get used to the bizarre foot movements.

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5500 adds a bunch of features over the tc5000 as well as a minimal upgrade in max speed. You get 15 functions with the TC5500 whereas the TC5000 gets 8. Time, Distance, Custom, Calorie Count, HR Workout,climb indicator and Nine Landmark Challenges.  Heart rate is measured accurately with a Polar wireless chest strap that is included.

The big upgrade on the Treadclimber TC5500 is the addition of goal tracking technology. The “Goal Oriented Coach Console” interacts with the user to establish goals, monitor progress and compare your results with previous workouts.

Before we get into more details let’s look at the TC5500’s core features:

Bowflex Treadclimber TC5500 Core Features

  • 0.5 – 4.5 mph speed range
  • 0 – 12 resistance range
  • Size: 47″L x 27.5″W x 47.25″H
  • 300 lbs. max user weight
  • Product weight: 217 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 Years; Parts – 3 Years; Electronics – 3 Years; Hydraulics – 2 Years

Peripheral Features

  • 15 Display functions: Time, Distance, Custom, Calorie Count, HR Workout,climb indicator and Nine Landmark Challenges
  • Polar wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • Transport Wheels Included
  • Ergonomic console with water bottle holders
  • LED display
  • Personalized profiles
  • Goal Oriented Technology

The Skinny

The Bowflex TC5500 provides an intense workout and is compact enough to fit into limited space when compared to a traditional treadmill but it’s pretty expensive. If you’ve got the cash to spend and like the idea of a machine that can pack a lot of workout punch and not take up too much space then the Treadclimbers are worth a look. I would seriously consider the whether you need the high end model however. The TC5500 doesn’t have a huge amount more to offer than the TC5000. The main difference being the addition of multiple workout profiles and the goal tracking.

Another thing to keep in mind is that contrary to what you may see on their infomercials, treadclimbers can be a bit noisy. There are a lot of moving parts on this machine and inevitably that causes sound.

Let’s dig a little deeper:

Goal Oriented Technology: This is the big upgrade over the TC5000. The TC5500 will track the progress of multiple users and set you goals to see if you can top your previous week’s workout. Each user of the machine can have their own individual profile so everyone in the family can keep track of their progress.

Fat burning design: The whole draw of the Treadclimber series is it’s unique approach to cardio workouts. The 3-way movements involved allow you to get your heart rate up quickly and keeps it there. This unique design is what allows you to burn more calories, quicker and without running.

Polar chest strap included: Wireless chest straps are the best way to monitor your heart rate to make sure you are in the proper fat burning zone. (And to make sure your heart isn’t going to pop out of your chest!) They are far more accurate and reliable than hand rail monitors.

The Bottom Line

If you can afford it and you like the unique approach to cardio (aka you don’t like running!) then the Bowflex Treadclimber TC5500 might be for you. However, if you can do without the goal tracking feature you might be wise to save $800 and go with the mid level Treadclimber TC5000. Treadclimbers are known for providing a tremendous workout and don’t take up much room. They are however quite heavy and don’t have a good warranty. 5 years on the motor is significantly below industry standards.

Having said that if you are interested in a unique piece of cardio equipment and don’t have a ton of space then click the “More Details” button for more information.

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