Precor 966i Experience


UPDATE: The Precor 966i is an older treadmill that is no longer available for sale. You can check out the latest Precor treadmill reviews here for the current available models.


Precor 966i Experience Series is included in the professional treadmills category. This is a machine built for those who dedicate themselves to running and look for a treadmill that can substitute outdoor running as best as possible. But at the same time they can afford its price and they have the right space needed to store it.

The machine price is listed at around $4,500. Although this is not the highest price available on the market it’s still a value that makes you want to know what you receive before spending your money.


Click Specifications to see detailed model info

Speed: 0.5-16 mph (1-25.5 kph) : Speed is easy to change by using the Tap Control (through the 2 up/down buttons). For beginners this control is visible without any effort as it’s highlighted by a green Quick Start button. As a very important, this section of the console is impermeable so that sweat, cleaning fluids or any other liquids don’t affect it.

Inclination: -3% to 15% in 0.5% increments : Decline to –3% simulates downhill running for training different muscle groups. This is a very rare function on a treadmill but very useful for those who enjoy using it. Same as speed, incline is changed from the Tap Control by using the up/down buttons.

Motor: 4.0 HP peak-duty AC Motor : The motor works with an IFT-Drive for a smooth, natural feel during the workout. Precor has integrated power components and a fan to handle higher loads and temperatures. The belt is self-tensioning and this way the motor is protected from excessive tension.

Belt: 60” x 20” (153 cm x 51 cm) : Deck and belt require no external lubrication. The belt is centered through the steel tapered rollers keep this way maintenance and noise are reduced at maximum.

Maximum workout time at one time : 240 minutes (4 hours)

Supported user weight : 500 lbs. (227 kg)

Most important machine’s dimensions are : Length 88 in (224 cm), Width with handrails 35 in (89 cm), Height 64 in (163 cm), Weight 508 lbs. (231 kg)

Material: Powder-Coated Steel : Precor applies rust-resistant undercoat and cosmetic topcoat to the steel frame. Threads in lift actuator screw are covered at a low incline to prevent dust collection

Warranty : Precor offers seven years warranty for frame, 5 years for display face assembly, 5 years for the drive motor, 3 years for motor controllers, 2 years for parts and 1 year for labor. These numbers apply to US and Canada. In Europe Precor may apply different warranty specifications.


1. Integrated Footplant Technology

This technology is patented by Precor and it’s designed with the purpose to:

– Mimic natural running motion so that it feels smooth and natural
– Harmonize running speed and belt speed so that joint stress and fatigue are minimized
– Ensure workout comfort but at the same time maximize the benefits for heart and lungs

2. Ground Effects Technology

This technology is patented by Precor and its purpose is to answer the following question: How to engineer a running surface that’s solid enough to provide maximum stability and pliable enough to absorb high-impact motion and at the same time not sacrifice stability, safety or speed?

This is why Ground Effects Technology offers the following main features:

– Absorbs shock during high impact movements but only when it’s needed
– Supports a strong push-off

3. Cardio Theater Options

The Precor display is built to work with types of Cardio Theater options: a receiver (XTV option) or a 12 inch PVS screen. The channels on the Cardio Theater options are controlled from the 10 digit-numeric keypad located on the console.

a. XTV option (Integrated Wireless Receiver) is available for US, Canada and Europe

This is self powered Cardio equipment and it works only when the user is physically on the treadmill.

How it works

– This wireless system allows listening to music, radio, or programs shown on TVs while exercising by plugging a stereo headphone into a receiver. You select the desired channel. Channels are manually set-up prior to starting using this manual.

b. PVS screen (Personal Viewing Screen)

– Integrated PVS controller for Power, Channel and Volume up/down, Mute, Home, and Source
– Dual Tuner: Digital and Analog signal support.
– Easy setup and programming.
– The Home button is a pre-defined channel set¬ting

How it works

– You step on the exercise equipment, select a desired TV program using the Channel buttons, and you begin exercising
– The program appears on liquid crystal display (LCD) directly in front of you. Depending on how the PVS is configured, Closed Captioning appears unless you plug in headphones.
– Volume buttons allow changing the audio level.
– Very useful is the automatic Search with the Integrated Controller


4. Metric windows

These are dedicated windows located at the bottom of the console and display the following info: speed, incline, distance, time, pace and average speed

5.30 Workout Programs

Programs are accessed through only 6 buttons located on the left side of the console. Programs included are:

– Manual
– 4 Intervals that include 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, Custom
– 7 Variety that includes Random, 2 Cross Country, 2 Gluteal, 2 Custom
– 6 Heart Rate Control that include Basic, Custom Weight Loss, Weight Loss, Heart Health, Endurance, Speed
– 4 Weight Loss that include Custom weight loss HRC, Weight Loss HRC, 2 Aerobic
– 8 Performance that include Track, 5K, Gerkin Fitness Test, USAF PRT, Navy PRT, Army PFT, USMC PFT, Federal Law Enf. PEB

Information like Weight and Age are inserted manually by each user so that feedback is accurately provided to match each person’s specific detail.

You can change the program during workout without losing info like the number of calories consumed.

6.Bio-Feedback Zone

Calories and Heart Rate display are easily located at the top of the console.
Smart Rate displays the info regarding the optimum workout zone. This section works when the user uses the hand grips or the chest trap.

7. Heart rate is read through the hand bars

The treadmill is equipped for heart rate telemetry reading when connecting the chest strap.

8. Other features

– Holders for bottles, magazines, phone or music devices like iPod.
– Safety clip.


We did intensive research about Precor treadmills in order to write this review. What we looked for especially were details about their patented technologies, Integrated Footplant and Ground Effects. The names of these technologies practically say it all, still we want to share with you some important details about them which we had the chance to test ourselves.
Precor analyzed in details the basic running/walking on the ground and then replicated the same process when building the Precor Experience Series. When running or walking outside the ground provides the push needed to accelerate at each step. The Precor Footplant technology applies this natural acceleration by adjusting the belt speed as the foot hits the deck.

On their treadmills Precor has installed a special software to monitor heel strikes which communicates with equipment hardware, adjusting the motor speed about 100 times a second. This is why they feel when running on a Precor is smooth and rhythmic, quite enjoyable.

Ground Effect is actually a patented design which provides maximum lateral stability across the running surface so that your feet have the required hard surface (as outside running) to speed during the workout. This technology applies depending on each user’s height and weight.

Both technologies have as start point the theory of Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE). This is the difference between how hard your brain says you’re working and how hard your heart actually works. During running the perceived level of exertion drops when impact to joints is reduced. Precor technologies absorb the impact of each foot strike up to 38% more than other machines so you continuously feel motivated.

Working out on Precor 966i Experience has been very pleasant. Although it can’t feel the same as running outside the experience is pretty close. We could run for 3 hours and feel good, motivated and satisfied with ourselves while on other treadmills we resisted for 1- 2 hours before feeling the need to rest.

Don’t forget this is a heavy and pretty complicated machine, especially if you choose the Cardio Theater option. Be attentive when you assembly the machine and be sure you have a specialist to assist you if this is the 1st time you have a Precor treadmill. The machine is very heavy so have always at least 2 persons when you want to move the treadmill from one place to another.

Workouts are various and the Performance Programs (8 in number) are something new. We used on other treadmills the 5 k workout but not the other 7 included on the Precor 966i. It has been interesting to try something new.

As a conclusion, this is a solid machine and its unique features make Precor an important choice when looking for a professional treadmill. Their experience in building treadmills is noticeable in the improvements this new Series has installed. It’s always good to buy your treadmill from a professional manufacturer. Especially when at stake is a large amount of money, like $5,000.

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