NordicTrack T 8.5 S Review
The NordicTrack T 8.5 S is one of the more advanced treadmills in the new T Series, an affordable line from the company that provides great features and capabilities without the high price tag.
There are three other models in the lineup, including the T 6.5 S, T 7.5 S and top of the line T 9.5 S, but all of them share the same core features and are all worth considering.
Let’s get into our review to see what the new T 8.5 S is all about, and if it’s worth buying for your home gym…
Click Specifications to see detailed model info
Speed : up to 12 mph
Incline : up to 12%
Motor : 3.5 CHP DurX Commercial Plus
Belt : 20″ x 60″
Cushioning System : FlexSelect Adjustable cushioning
Heart Rate Reading : Sensors in handlebars for accurate heart rate reading
Maximum User Weight : 300 lbs.
Unit Dimensions : 78.5″ L x 35.5″ W x 59″ H
Console : 10" Smart HD touch screen display
Cooling Fan : Yes
Music System : Bluetooth Audio/ Dual 2" Speakers
iFit Compatibility : iFit enabled
Warranty : Ten year warranty for frame and motor, two year parts and one year labor
NordicTrack T 8.5 S - Pros
Large Cushioned Running Deck
The T 8.5 S has a very large running area, 20″ wide x 60″ long, which is ample enough for even the tallest users.
This gives you plenty of room to stretch out during your runs without the cramped feeling you get on some of the more compact models.
Note that the base T 6.5 S is the only treadmill in the T Series with a smaller 20″ x 55″ deck.
You also get the unique FlexSelect cushioning which allows you to choose the type of surface that you are most comfortable with…ramp up the cushioning to reduce impact on your knees and joints, or lower it to mimic an on road run…whichever you prefer.
New 10" Smart HD touchscreen console
One of the most talked about features on the new T Series are the touch screen consoles. All four models have them in various sizes, which really makes these treadmills feel more like what you encounter in the gym.
The NordicTrack T 8.5 S has one of the largest screen sizes at 10″, which is really impressive when you see it close up. Only the top end T 9.5 S has a larger 14″ screen.
You can view all of your workout stats and also tap into the incredible iFit Coach program, which gives you on demand workouts with leading personal trainers around the world.
The Google map feature allows you to pick any location worldwide, and the machine automatically adjusts the speed and incline to match the terrain that you choose. It’s pretty cool.
Tons of Workouts To Choose From
Speaking of workouts, the T 8.5 S comes with an impressive 50 built in. You’d be hard pressed to find that many on any other treadmill on the market today.
The most we’ve seen to date I believe was 43 on one of the Horizon treadmills that we reviewed. So 50 is pretty darn good, with a mix of high intensity, distance, calories, hills, random and more.
You can also choose from an endless library of additional workouts through iFit Coach as we mentioned.
So you will definitely never get bored on the T 8.5 S, as you can literally choose a different workout every single day if you’d like.
Powerful Yet Quiet Motor
One of the things that was missing on the former C Series that the T Series replaced was very powerful motors.
As such users who wanted a more durable machine had no choice but to step up to the Commercial Series, which is a bit more expensive.
But now, the NordicTrack T 8.5 S and the top end T 9.5 S have very strong motors, 3.5 CHP and 3.6 CHP, respectively. So you get plenty of power along with all of the other great features.
The motor can handle even the most intense workouts, and it remains very quiet throughout even at higher speeds and incline levels.
As we mentioned above, the entire T Series is very well priced for all that you are getting.
The T 8.5 S is no exception, at just under $1,700 when it’s on sale. If you add up all of the different features, many of which you can’t even find on other treadmills, you’d be at about $2,500 or more.
So you’re truly getting a lot of value here, with everything you could possibly want in a home treadmill.
NordicTrack T 8.5 S - Cons
No Wireless Heart Rate Capability
There is really not missing here, but if we had to nitpick I would mention that fact that there is no wireless heart rate monitoring on any of the T Series treadmills.
It would be nice if the T 8.5 S and T 9.5 S had wireless capability for more accurate measurements. But it’s certainly not a deal breaker.
Max Weight Capacity Same On All Machines
The max user weight on all of the T Series treadmills is 300 lbs., which is fine. But typically the upper level models have a high max weight than the lower end models.
Again, not a deal breaker, but just something to keep in mind.
NordicTrack T 8.5 S - Conclusion
If you’re in the market for an affordable yet feature packed treadmill for your home gym, the new NordicTrack T 8.5 S is a very good choice for many reasons.
For starters, you get a nice sized running area with adjustable cushioning, up to 12% incline and 12 mph speed, 3.5 CHP motor and 50 built in workout programs.
You also get a 10″ Smart HD touch screen and iFit Coach capability with Google maps and on demand workouts with professional trainers across the world.
Add extras like a workout fan, Bluetooth audio, one touch controls, easy folding capability and tablet holder and you really have yourself a winner.
If you want a larger touch screen take a look at the top of the line NordicTrack T 9.5 S as well. And if you want to save a little money the T 7.5 S and T 6.5 S are good choices as well.
The T 8.5 S, however, is one of our favorite choices, as you just can’t beat all that it has to offer for the price.