AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Review 2024

February 13, 2024

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The AssaultRunner Elite’s slat belt is built for miles and miles of running and sprinting.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Review 2024

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Star Rating: 5
MSRP: $3,999
Overall Rating: 83
Workout Experience 8
Specs / Features 8
Dimensions / Storability 7
On-Board Workouts & Apps 8
Build Quality 7

The easy assembly and beginner-friendly design make it easy to get right into your workout on the AssaultRunner Elite.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Review: Bottom Line

Released in 2021, Assault Fitness has designed this treadmill to promote excellent running form to help you hit your goals and crush your workouts. The mechanics of the slat belt combined with the curved deck design make for a smooth and comfortable feel while you’re running on this treadmill. The Runner Elite is an exciting and powerful treadmill but there’s a learning curve if you haven’t been on one before. Stick around as we take you through all the details of the AssaultRunner Elite curved treadmill in this review.

We’ve given the AssaultRunner Elite the award of the best high-end manual treadmill for 2023. The features and build quality of this slat belt treadmill make it durable and of high quality. We love the smooth feel underfoot and the ease of use. Once this machine arrives, it’s easy to assemble and start using to keep your workouts going strong.

Editor’s Note, 2/13/2024: Our review process is ever-evolving, and we have updated this AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill review to reflect our current testing and review standards.
What We Like
  • High-quality solid steel frame and very durable materials.
  • Smooth running curved manual slat belt.
  • No electricity is required so you can put it anywhere.
  • This machine only weighs 290 pounds so it’s easier to move than most treadmills.
  • 400 lb user weight capacity.
  • Unlimited speed options since it will go as fast or as slow as you can.
  • Nice 6” wide side rails for easy on and off.
  • Plenty of lengths for long-running strides.
  • Bluetooth-supported console.
  • Low maintenance and easy to move.
Areas for Improvement
  • Slightly narrower running surface, so caution is advised.
  • There is a learning curve when you first start using this treadmill.
  • It is slightly less cushioned than traditional treadmills.
  • It’s not for casual walkers who want to zone out.

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Running and Reviewing Since 2010…

Our team consists of personal trainers, instructors, and garage gym owners who spend a lot of time testing and reviewing treadmills. We test all kinds of treadmills from motorized to nonmotorized so we know what to look for in each type of treadmill. To compile this review of the AssaultRunner Elite we relied heavily on our experience testing treadmills and our team put the Elite through its paces to give you this thorough analysis.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Review Video

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AssaultRunner Elite vs Similar Treadmills

See how the AssaultRunner Elite compares to other manual treadmills below. We have tested and reviewed each of these as well, so our ratings of them reflect actual use and performance.

Treadmill AssaultRunner Elite TrueForm Trainer Bells of Steel Blitz Manual Treadmill TrueForm Runner AssaultRunner Pro
Price (MSRP) $3,999

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$2,995

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$4,999

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$6,899

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$2,999

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Star Rating 5 4.8 4.5 4.8 4.9
Bottom Line The AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill lets you run as fast as you can with its unlimited speed potential and smooth rolling slat belt. With the subtlest curve of any manual treadmill, the TrueForm Trainer encourages better running form while its low-tech console minimizes distractions from your workout. With its 6 levels of magnetic resistance and steep curve, this manual treadmill is unique and challenging. This manual treadmill has a gentle slope and a cushioned slat belt for a more natural running stride. The AssaultRunner Pro is an affordable manual treadmill with a belt that should last 150,000 miles.
Ratings AssaultRunner Elite TrueForm Trainer Bells of Steel Blitz Manual Treadmill TrueForm Runner AssaultRunner Pro
Overall Rating 83 81 78 82 84
Workout Experience 8 8 7 8 8
Specs / Features 8 8 8 8 8
Dimensions / Storability 7 7 6 6 7
On-Board Workouts
& Apps
8 6 7 6 8
Build Quality 7 7 8 8 7
Paid Programming – Cost N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
# of Onboard Workouts 7 1 5 1 7
Netflix / 3rd Party Apps N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Display Hi-contrast. UV resistant console LCD Battery (Bluetooth optional) digital console Bright LED Rechargeable Battery UV resistant console
Dimensions (In Use) 69.9″ L x 31.7″ W x 64.4″ H 64″ L x 31″ W x 63″ H 70″ L x 30″ W x 62″ H 64″ L x 36″ W x 63″ H 69.7″ L x 33.1″ W x 64″ H
Dimensions (Folded) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Treadmill Type manual, curved, slat belt, non-folding manual, curved, slat belt, non-folding manual, curved, slat belt, non-folding manual, curved, slat belt, non-folding manual, curved, slat belt, non-folding
Treadmill Weight 289.2 lbs 300 lbs 325 lbs 350 lbs 280 lbs
Weight Capacity 400 lbs 400 lbs 400 lbs 700 lbs (walking), 450 lbs (running) 350 lbs
Running Surface 17″ x 65″ 17″ x 54″ 17″ x 65″ 17″ x 54″ 17″ x 62″
Deck Height (Step Up) Coming Soon! 14″ Coming Soon! 11″ Coming Soon!
Deck Height At Highest Incline N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ceiling Height Required(6’ Tall Runner) Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon!
Motor Size N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Incline/Decline N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Min / Max Speed unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited
Frame solid steel 8 gauge/4.5 mm steel 9-gauge steel 7 gauge/4.5 mm steel solid steel
Roller Size 100 precision ball bearings with 12 roller guides 112 sealed steel ball bearings 200 precision ball bearings 106 sealed steel ball bearings 100 precision ball bearings with 12 roller guides
Warranty 10-year frame, lifetime belt, 3-year non-wear parts, 1-year parts, 1-year labor 10-year frame 5-year frame, 1-year parts 20-year frame 150,000-mile belt, 5-year frame, 3-year moving parts
Connectivity Bluetooth, ANT+, AssaultFitness app, Zwift app Bluetooth optional ANT+ Bluetooth optional Bluetooth, ANT+, AssaultFitness app, Zwift app
Heart Rate Sensors Bluetooth, ANT+ Polar heart rate monitors ANT+ N/A Bluetooth, ANT+
Additional Features cup holders, phone holder, competition mode, work/rest light indicators, cushioned TPU belt decals, shallowest curved manual treadmill 6 levels of magnetic resistance, sled push handles, steep curve tread surface options: tread, turf, track, Naboso; custom paint and decals, shallow deck curvature phone holder, competition mode, work/rest light indicators

In-depth Testing & Analysis of the AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill


Workout Experience

There are several benefits to running on a curved treadmill:

The curved design supports proper foot strike.

The best foot strike pattern is a midfoot strike with a roll through the ball of the foot and a strong toe-off. Many runners develop a heel strike pattern that can cause hip and knee pain with prolonged running. Its curved design means the AssaultRunner Elite naturally pushes runners from the front of the machine towards the middle. At this angle, it is more intuitive to run with a midfoot strike as your front foot reaches forward, connects the midfoot with the curved belt, and pushes it back, releasing contact at the point the backend starts to curve up. This is one of the main reasons why conditioned athletes and seasoned runners used curved treadmills.

A curved treadmill burns calories faster.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Running Matt Feet

Running on a curved, manual treadmill burns 30% more calories than running the same speed on a flat treadmill.

This is in large part because it is more difficult. Rather than a tread belt that moves automatically underneath you, a curved slat belt treadmill is only powered by your cadence. This requires much more work by the runner to move the belt.

Curved treadmills are perfect for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

You’ll increase your heart rate faster and keep it up, increasing your need for oxygen and helping torch more calories than regular aerobic exercise.

A curved treadmill engages more muscle groups.

Curved treadmills force your legs to provide all the motor power, employing everything from your glutes to your hamstrings.

A curved treadmill reduces the impact on joints.

The rubber surface of the AssaultRunner Elite helps absorb the impact on your joints and connective tissue as you run. This helps prevent overuse injuries. While the cushioning on the AssaultRunner Elite is not as soft as on the NordicTrack incline trainers or Woodway Curved Tread, it is undoubtedly better than training outdoors on asphalt or concrete.

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Dimensions/Storability

The Runner Elite does not fold, but it has wheels and a lift bar so you can tilt and roll it when necessary. Its dimensions are 70” L x 32” W x 64” H. The deck has a step-up height of 12.5”, so a 6’ runner will need a minimum ceiling height of 8’ to run and sprint comfortably.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Moving

There are two wheels on the front of the deck, and a steel handlebar at the base of the deck allows you to lift the AssuaultRunner Elite and roll as needed.

This is a comparatively light machine, I didn’t have any trouble moving this machine. It weighs 290 lbs, which sounds monstrous, but it’s not bad compared to other manual treadmills or other treadmills in general. For example, the NordicTrack X32i weighs close to 400 pounds which makes it challenging to move for some people. The AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill will support up to 400 lbs, so it’s a very solid manual treadmill.

Console

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Console

The console is an LCD screen with control buttons on the right side.

The console is firmly attached to the horizontal handlebar and runs on four AA batteries. For a manual treadmill, this is actually a pretty impressive console. There are numerous programs you can run and the Rest/Work lights are very helpful. The console has multiple programs for intervals, target programs, and heart rate programs. There is also a yellow light for rest and green light for work to help you easily know how to pace your intervals. The screen is not super large, but the numbers are digital. Time elapsed, calories, distance, speed, watts, pace, and heart rate are all displayed. An enter and start/stop buttons sit at the base of the console.

Bluetooth/ANT+

The console is both Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled, so it will pair with any Bluetooth or Garmin device. This allows runners to store their metrics in their personal app for future reference and comparison.

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Build Quality

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Construction

The AssaultRunner Elite weighs 280 pounds, which for a manual slat belt treadmill is actually pretty reasonable. It will support up to 400 pounds, so you have a good weight ratio.

Frame

The AssaultRunner Elite has a sturdy steel frame with slanted powder-coated uprights that connect to the handrails about midway on the treadmill deck. 62 rubberized slats combine to create the belt, which sits on 100 low-friction ball bearings and 12 roller guides that line the deck’s surface. The ball bearings keep the belt in alignment and keep it running smoothly for a long period of time. The curved deck is sturdy and balanced on the floor with two adjustable leveling feet at the back that allow you to easily balance the Runner Elite on any floor.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Deck

The belt is curved and the frame is positioned below it.

The frame is sturdy with black powder-coated sides and smooth gray powder-coated uprights. It does require some minor assembly. The deck comes preconstructed, all you have to do is attach the uprights, handrails, and the console. The machine-drilled holes where you attach the screws are clean and perfectly aligned. This might seem like an odd thing to mention but I have had a lot of issues putting treadmills together that didn’t have great pre-drilled holes for attaching components.

Cushioning/Feel

The only cushioning in a slat belt treadmill is in the slats themselves. I would compare this to having a little less cushion than an average track would have. While the rubberized slat components absorb a bit of impact shock, I noticed less cushioning on the AssaultRunner Elite than on more expensive machines that have a lot of cushion built in. This could be because of the narrower running or surface at 17” or just that cushioning is not a significant feature of the AssaultRunner Elite treadmill.

Length/Width

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Running Feet

The AssaultRunner Elite running belt is 17” wide and 65” long.

You have plenty of forward stride and kickback length, but the width is a little narrow. This will take a bit of getting used to but it helps you stay aligned as you run and promotes running in a straight line. If you’re used to zoning out during your treadmill workouts, you’ll want to pay closer attention while you’re running on this treadmill. If you misstep and hit the side rails it could cause you to fall and seriously hurt yourself.

Indoor Training Value

One massive benefit of the AssaultRunner Elite is the ability to train indoors all year round. Since the AssaultRunner Elite is engineered to naturally mimic running outdoors, it’s a great training option for runners who want to stay conditioned through the hot summer or cold winter months.

Many treadmills provide a smooth run, but they do not enhance or facilitate proper running form as a curved manual treadmill does. This offers extra benefits for your indoor training.

Treadmill Slat Belt

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill Belt

The AssaultRunner Elite has a slat belt design, which means it is constructed of 62 individual rubberized slats placed horizontally along the deck.

The slats move in conjunction together to give you a smooth and sturdy feel underfoot. Each slat is a composite material with a textured tread, so your foot doesn’t slip while running. The treads are placed close enough together to ensure a continuous surface underfoot.

Slat belts look and sound different from traditional motorized treadmill belts, which feature a single piece of material that wraps around a tread deck. Since the slats are a v-shape design, they are nearly indestructible with a flat edge on top, they all move and work together to give a solid feel underfoot. Instead of hearing the swooshing of a treadmill belt, you will hear the sound of the rollers and bearings moving inside of the deck to keep the belt moving. The AssaultRunner Elite belt has a lifetime warranty and should last hundreds of thousands of miles. A bit of lubricant may be needed from time to time, but the slats will not wear out. This makes these belts much more durable.

The slats sit on 100 bearings that line the sides of the deck. The belt is also supported by twelve running belt guide pulleys that facilitate smooth motion. The AssaultRunner Elite does not have a flywheel, so all movement is runner-controlled. This does make it slightly more challenging to run on (other manual treads do have a flywheel), but the belt never feels like it is getting ahead of you or pulling you along. On the AssaultRunner Elite, you are in control throughout your routine, which allows you to run at your pace and get a great workout.

Slat belts support non-motorized running much better than a traditional sliding belt. The weight of the slats combined with the resistance in the belt makes it more challenging to run on a manual, slat machine which is one of the main reasons runners burn so many more calories with this design. However, the slat construction and the way the slats rotate over the deck create a hearty running surface that is both durable and supportive.

Motorless

On the AssaultRunner Elite, your legs and feet are the motor. As you walk or run, the belt moves in conjunction with how fast or slow you want to move. That is one of the beauties of a non-motorized treadmill. It allows you to move the belt and work as hard as you’d like, instead of the belt moving you like a traditional treadmill. There is a slight learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you’ll love workouts on this treadmill.

This being a manual treadmill means you don’t have to plug it in and can place it anywhere in your house, garage gym, or facility. This is one of the reasons manual treadmills are a favorite in the home gym community and CrossFit gyms. They can be easily moved around and require little maintenance, you can even use the AssaultRunner outside if you need to wheel it out of your garage gym to clear up some space for floor workouts. A bonus perk is that there are no cords or anything like that to trip on.

Incline / Decline range

There is no incline or decline on the Runner Elite. It has a fixed, curved frame.

Noise Level

Noise level on the Runner Elite is commensurate with running on other slat belt treads. There is a bit of impact noise as your foot hits the tread, but there is no motor, so you don’t have background motor noise while running.

Warranty & Durability

Assault Fitness claims the Runner Elite tread belt will last up to 150,000 miles. Most users report favorable experiences with the Runner Elite. There are a few reports of the belt wearing out or getting noisy before the 150,000-mile mark, but Assault Fitness offers a lifetime warranty on the belt, with 10-year frame and 1-year labor warranty. It is also significantly less expensive than comparable manual curved treads by nearly half, so we find the Runner Elite to be a good value.

Should You Buy the AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill

The AssaultRunner Elite is a strong and powerful curved treadmill with a rubberized slat belt, a solid steel frame, and powder-coated uprights. It provides all of the essential benefits of running on a curved manual treadmill at a reasonable price point. Other manual treads cost upwards of $10,000, but the AssaultRunner Elite is currently priced around $3999, making it an excellent option for athletes looking for a curved treadmill in their home–or for commercial use.

Rated for commercial and residential use, the AssaultRunner Elite is comparatively light and easy to move compared with other manual treadmills. We find the AssaultRunner Elite to be an excellent option for users who want the benefits of a curved treadmill that will last.

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AssaultRunner Elite Q&A / FAQ

Is the AssaultRunner Elite worth it?

The AssaultRunner Elite is a heavy-duty manual treadmill. It has a more durable build for higher use settings than the AssaultRunner Pro. It’s a great choice for a commercial setting or a residential setting with more than one dedicated user. The AssaultRunner Elite is more beginner-friendly than other manual treadmills. It has a good console with workout options. It also has a 400-lb weight capacity which is great for larger runners.

What is the difference between the AssaultRunner Elite and the Pro?

The AssaultRunner Elite is designed for high-use and commercial settings. It has a sturdier frame. The AssaultRunner Pro is also a quality manual treadmill but is meant for residential use.

Is an AssaultRunner harder than other running?

Yes, the AssaultRunner Elite and Pro are harder than running on a motorized treadmill or running outdoors. Studies estimate that running on a manual treadmill is around 40% harder than other forms of running. Runners will likely adopt a much slower pace while running on a manual treadmill like the AssaultRunner Elite to keep the same intensity. Runners may burn 30% more calories on a manual treadmill when performing the same workout.

What is the AssaultRunner good for?

The AssaultRunner Elite is great for athletes who want unlimited speed. It allows you to run speed workouts that are harder to do on a motorized treadmill. The Elite gives you control over the belt speed so you can speed up or slow down more smoothly. An AssaultRunner treadmill is good for runners, sprinters, and other athletes.

Is the AssaultRunner good for walking?

You can walk on the AssaultRunner treadmills, but the narrow belt does not lend itself well to casual use. The AssaultRunner Elite and Pro may be overkill for someone who only wants to walk, but if you are drawn to the higher weight capacity, no electricity required, and slat belt cushioning, it could be a good fit.

Is your AssaultRunner Elite review a paid review?

No, our AssaultRunner Elite treadmill review is not a paid review. To conduct our thorough reviews, we often receive a product for free from a brand, but we are not paid for the review. Brands do not have any influence over how we conduct our reviews or what we say about the product. We hold each product we test to the same standards. Because we have the same relationship with so many home fitness brands, we are able to give an unbiased review on each product instead of favoring one brand over another.

So, how do we stay in business? Well, we use affiliate links on our reviews and other pages. When you make a purchase through these links, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. This benefits us and you, because we are able to give you better insight into products before you make your purchase.

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About the Author

Sydney Kaiser, ISSA-CPT, ISSA Nutritionist Certification
Sydney is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist who combines her passion for fitness, health, and wellness with her passion for writing. After graduating from UC Riverside with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, she began teaching indoor cycling and Lagree Fitness group fitness classes to people of all ages and abilities. Raised in Central Michigan, Sydney grew up training and competing on the Arabian Horse Association circuit through both Regional and National levels in Dressage and Sport Horse classes. In college, Sydney went on to compete at the collegiate level as a Division 1 equestrian athlete. Here at TRG, Sydney relies on her extensive background in fitness when reviewing and recommending all kinds of fitness, recovery, and health-related products.

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