Landice 8700 -
I am giving this review not to advocate for the specific model but to provide insight on the durability of the Landice products given I have had mine for 11 years.
I bought the 8700 for $3,600 Sep 1997 and I am still running strong on it with over 6000 miles logged on the machine. My husband occasionally runs on it and has logged an additional 500 miles on it. I have been out of the country for three years so it did get a break.
During the winter I use it almost exclusively and for many of my spring summer and fall miles on it. I love running but I am a fair weather runner who prefers certainty.
My longest run was 16 miles while I was training for a marathon. The treadmill has held up well for over 1000 hours. The problems we have had are:
Within 6 months after we bought it the rear feet gave out. Landice promptly replaced them with commercial grade feet and we have not had any other problems with the feet since then.
Next to go, after about 6 years, was the heart rate monitor but since we used polar or Garmin products for biking and running this was a non issue although we could also contact Landice for a replacement part.
In 2004 the incline and decline motor went and Landice also replaced it. We installed it with no further troubles.
Lastly, about a month ago something went wrong on the computer chip as it has stopped tracking the statistics. Every individual run still works but the cumulative feature no longer works, may just need a reset and just sent the e-mail out to Landice to see what to do about it.
Seems like a lot has gone wrong but considering the pounding it has taken I have been extremely pleased with it and the support from Landice.
My model has aluminum arms that extended about half way along the bed that I find convenient yet non obtrusive. The incline and speed adjustment are not instantaneous but gradual so it is smooth and you
do not have to hold on to the arms. I have the regular bed size and for my 5 ft 4in height and stride it is more than enough. My husband also runs on it with no problems at 5ft 10in and anywhere from 160-220 pounds (over 11 years you gain some you lose some). The bed is very firm and there is no excess slack in the belt, even after all these years. The motor case extends forward a bit too much and I end up kicking it a couple of times each run, although I do this on lots of models, I probably run to close up on the machines. We also need to correct the belt alignment at least monthly but that may just be the difference in my husband's and my running styles. I do run a bit more outside during the spring and summer and the transitions back and forth are easy with the Landice bed.
I have read that Landice are pricey but if you are runner and do not use it as a clothes hanger or decoration it really is worth the price, I have run on some more economical models in smaller hotels and they are awful for even one run much less to own!
I would like a new model but unfortunately this one keeps plugging along, I may break down and go for it if the computer chip cannot be corrected.
I have tried the Life Fitness (while on travel) and while it has really kept pace with technology with some very cool features to include IPOD interfaces I cannot justify the cost ($7,000) since my home gym has a TV, speaker, DVD player and cable. Moreover, when I run outside I carry my IPod with me so running on the treadmill with it is no big deal. In addition, while the nice cushioned Life fitness bed is great it is very hard to transition to outdoors running while the rock hard Landice bed makes transition to the outside surfaces transparent. Both are good machines; just wish the Landice had a more creative interface.