LifeSpan TR5500i Treadmill Review 2020

Last Updated: May 14, 2020

LifeSpan TR5500i Review

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The LifeSpan Fitness TR5500i is a compact folding treadmill that is perfect for your home workout. The TR5500i features a nice 22×60” walking surface and a quiet but powerful 4.0HP motor. It also has a max speed of 13.5mph which is considerably faster than comparable treadmills which typically max at 12mph. LifeSpan’s TR5500i inclines to 13% and declines to -2%. This hearty machine will support both walking and running and is great for those with limited space or mobility since it is easy to get on and off and folds up when you are done.

Who It’s For: Users looking for a quality compact treadmill that is great for walking or running with a top speed of 13.5mph

LifeSpan’s TR5500 is an excellent choice for users who:

  • Want a quality treadmill with impressive features that also folds up
  • Do not want a subscription service
  • Prefer an easy to use touchscreen with simple screen display
  • Appreciate an integrated tablet shelf for your personal device
  • Want the pedometer Intelli-Step feature
  • Like the option to either run or walk
Pros
  • 22” W x 60” L belt is plenty long for running or walking
  • 4.0HP Continuous DC motor is powerful and quiet
  • 2.5” front, 2” rear belt rollers keep the belt securely on the deck with no slapping noise
  • 13% Incline and -2% Decline engage different muscle groups when working an incline or decline as opposed to a flat grade
  • 8 Compression Shocks and extra thick belt add extra comfort and joint support
  • EZ Fold system locks the deck in place so it won’t unlatch when folded
  • Step up height of 9” is easy to step on and off the deck
  • 350lbs max user weight supports most users
  • 10” Full color touchscreen display with 3 dashboard views
  • USB Port in console allows you to charge your device
  • Tablet shelf in console holds tablets and phones securely in view while you exercise
  • Intelli-Step counts steps and Intelli-Guard turns off the belt when you step off for safety
Cons
  • Console is easy to use, but simpler than comparable models
  • No subscription option
  • Heart rate chest strap not included
FeaturesSpecifications
  • 13% Incline and -2% Decline
    • The LifeSpan TR5500i has an impressive incline range. The treadmill will incline to a 13% grade and decline to -2%.
  • 13.5mph Max Speed
    • This is one of the fastest speeds we’ve seen on a home-use treadmill. This max speed will support sprints up to 4:30 minutes per mile.
  • Cushioned Deck
    • 8 compression shocks under the deck provide extra cushion for joint comfort and spine support.
  • 22” W x 60” L running surface
    • Even though this is a relatively compact treadmill, you still get a full size deck with a generous 22” wide and 60” long running surface.
  • Folds up when not in use
    • When you are finished, simply lift and fold the deck. It will lock into place for safety and security.
  • Quiet 4.0HP motor
    • The motor is powerful, but still very quiet in operation. We noticed little to no motor noise when in use. The only apparent sound was from the belt as it slides over the deck.
  • Great for multiple users
    • If you have multiple users at various conditioning levels, this is a great treadmill option. You can walk gently, run, or even do sprint intervals on the TR5500i.
  • Supports extended training and higher speeds
    • For those looking for heavy training or intense conditioning, the TR5500i has incline and decline for added training variables and a screaming 13.5mph top speed.
  • Simple, easy to use console
    • This console is designed for those who want a quick easy display that’s not hard to navigate and doesn’t add extra features or content. This is a touchscreen display with added buttons on the console for convenience.
  • 10” Full color touchscreen display with 3 dashboard views
    • Choose the screen and the metrics you want with 3 dashboard views and lots of workout data.
  • Contact heart rate sensors on handles
    • 2 Heart rate programs are preloaded and EKG grips on the handlebars transmit your heart rate directly to the console.
  • 50 Preset Programs
    • Additional conditioning programs and two specific fitness tests are also preloaded on the TR5500i. These do not require a subscription.

Construction:

  • 22” W x 60” L belt
  • 2.8mm thick belt
  • 4.0HP Continuous DC motor
  • 2.5” front, 2” rear belt rollers
  • 13% Incline
  • -2% Decline
  • 8 Compression Shocks
  • EZ Fold
  • 2 Front mounted and 2 rear mounted wheels
  • Non slip side rails
  • Open Footprint: 73” L x 34.5” W x 55.5” H
  • Folded Footprint: 40.5” L x 34.5” W x 65.5” H
  • Step up height: 9”
  • 350lbs max user weight
  • Total treadmill weight: 271lbs

Functionality:

  • 13% Incline
  • -2% Decline
  • 13.5mph Max Speed
  • Cushioned Deck
  • 22” W x 60” L running surface
  • Folds up when not in use
  • Quiet 4.0HP motor
  • Great for multiple users
  • Supports extended training and higher speeds
  • Simple console with plenty of training options and metrics

Console:

  • 10” Full color touchscreen display with 3 dashboard views
  • Contact heart rate sensors on handles
  • 20 Preset Programs
  • 2 Heart Rate Programs
  • 2 Customized User Programs
  • 7 Sports Fitness Programs
  • Rockport Fitness Test
  • Navy Fitness Test
  • Fan with 3 Speeds
  • Bluetooth Speakers
  • 5 Quickset™ speed buttons
  • 5 Quickset™ incline buttons
  • Safety Key
  • Intelli-Step Pedometer tracks your steps
  • Intelli-Guard safety feature turns belt off after 20 seconds once you step off the deck

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime
  • Parts: 5 Years
  • Labor: 2 Years

In-depth Review of LifeSpan TR5500i Treadmill

Construction

LifeSpan TR5500i Incline

Frame

  • The LifeSpan Fitness TR5500i Folding Treadmill has steel support beams under the deck with a lift assist arm and cross beams for added stability. The 4.0HP continuous duty motor is housed safely under the deck so it is quiet and out of the way. The motor supports speeds up to 13.5mph and inclines the deck to a 13% grade. It is smooth in operation and supportive underfoot. Two wheels under the frame allow the treadmill to be rolled away when folded. When the TR5500i is locked in a folded position, it will not accidentally unlatch and drop to the floor. LifeSpan has added several structural and safety features to the TR5500i which make it a well-built, solid treadmill for home use. just grab the handle on the center of the track and lift.

Handrails

LifeSpan TR5500i Handlebars and motor hood
There are two sets of handrails on the TR5500i. Short horizontal bars extend in front of the console. These have small buttons to quickly adjust speed and incline as well as EKG grips for heart rate data.
Two longer handrails extend alongside the deck which provide support while running and also make it easy to get on and off with a bit of handrail support. The rails have a soft plastic cover that can be wiped down and sanitized easily. The plastic covers overlay a steel beam that provides structural support to the whole console.

Deck

  • Cushioning
    • The deck features gentle cushioning underfoot that absorbs some of the impact shock. This reduces fatigue and discomfort and is significantly better than outdoor surfaces.
  • Length/Width
    • At 60” long and 22” wide this running surface equals the size of many more expensive machines. This gives you plenty of forward foot span and kickback for those with a longer stride. It is also excellent for walking. The non-slip side rails provide a place to step off quickly when needed.
  • Belt and Rollers
    • 2.5” rollers in the front and 2” rollers in the back of the deck keep the belt moving along smoothly. The belt itself is extra thick for added comfort and product life.

Motor

  • The 4.0HP motor is on par with much more expensive machines. This continuous duty, heavy horsepower motor will support heavy training or multiple users. It is also self-cooling, so it won’t overheat even with repeated use. The motor also controls all the speed and incline settings, so it needs to be both responsive and quiet. The TR5500i inclines and declines smoothly so you don’t have to hold the handrails while it lifts – you can keep running or walking while the deck moves and you hardly notice. Speed increases are also smooth so you can adjust your speed to match that of the treadmill. The motor allows for a maximum speed of 13.5mph which is a screaming 4:30mile per minute pace. The TR5500i also has both the Intelli-Step feature, which counts your steps, as well as Intelli-Guard, which turns off the belt after 20 seconds of non-use. This makes it so you can step away from your treadmill and it will stop automatically. It will also count your steps throughout the day.
  • As with other folding treadmills, the motor is housed under the deck. The motor hood at the front of the deck has a low profile, so we didn’t experience the problem of your shoe hitting the top of the motor hood while running. This is an issue with some machines, especially if the motor hood is raised or extends forward on the deck.

Console/Controls

Screen

LifeSpan TR5500i Touchscreen
The LifeSpan TR5500i has a 10” color touchscreen with three different dashboard displays. The console displays: time, calories burned and calories burned per hour, distance, total steps and steps per minute, heart rate and percentage max heart rate, speed, incline/decline level, pace, total laps and split time, and elevation change. You can select and navigate different programs from the touchscreen or even create your own custom program. There are also tactile buttons on the console for those who prefer a regular button control.

Controls

Much of the functionality of the console is embedded in the touchscreen itself. From the settings screen, users can turn on or off Intell-Guard, the beeping notification system, speed controls, and warm up/cool down. You can also choose English or Metric units of measurement, select a pause time, and energy saving time. The console also keeps track of total hours used and total distance. Users can create a profile that is specific to their gender and weight.

Layout

LifeSpan TR5500i Console
Console layout is intuitive and easy to navigate. The screen sits upright in the center with Quick touch buttons for Speed on the right and Incline on the left. There are only five buttons here: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Speed goes up to 13.5mph and Incline raises to 13%, so there are lots of settings aside from the preset buttons. There is also a manual up/down button for incline and +/- for speed. The fan button sits in the center of the console. There are three settings; push the button once for low, twice for medium and three times for high. A pause, start and stop button are highlighted at the bottom of the console. There is also a safety key on the front panel that attaches to your clothing with a clip on the end. One USB port is up by the screen next to the main power button. There is also a tablet holder in the center of the console for convenience.

Compatible Apps

The TR5500i has built-in Bluetooth that will sync with various apps including the LifeSpan app, Apple Health and Google Fit. Other apps may be compatible as well. Once you complete your workout, simply sync your data with your smart device to keep track of your stats and metrics over time.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth system will also sync with your personal device to play your music through the TR5500i speakers and it will transmit data from a compatible Bluetooth chest strap heart rate monitor. Garmin HR monitors use ANT+ tech and may not sync with the TR5500i. You can turn Bluetooth on or off for both speakers and HR strap on the main settings screen.

Fans

There is a fan at the base of the console and although it isn’t very large, you do get good air flow. There are three settings: Low-Med-High controlled from the button on the console. The fan is a nice addition on a treadmill and one many users specifically look for.

Tablet Holder

The tablet holder is a slot just in front of the screen that should hold most devices securely. It is good sized, but depending on the size of the device you use, it could block the screen a bit. This won’t affect your stats or metrics, those will run automatically while you enjoy a program on your device.

Water Bottle and Other Storage

There are two large cup holders on either side of the console to hold most sized water bottles. These are also another good storage area for keys or a phone or any other item you want to keep close by.

Functionality

Performance

The TR5500i is a hearty little machine. It has a slightly smaller footprint than comparable treadmills and looks like it would be more of a compact model than a full deck treadmill. However, when open, you get that full 22” by 60” running belt that is plenty long. The 350lb max weight capacity will support most users, and the 4.0HP motor is nicely equipped for a treadmill in this price range. Together the motor and build of the TR5500i along with added incline, decline, top speed and 10” touchscreen make it easy to use and fun to run on.

Incline / Decline range

LifeSpan TR5500i frame

The LifeSpan TR5500i inclines to 13% max grade which gives you nice variables in your training regimen. The more incline you add, the more you engage your posterior muscle chain to help counteract the force of gravity pulling you backwards. This allows users to walk at an incline, stay low-impact, but still get a challenging workout that recruits more of the powerhouse lower-body muscles. Additionally, incline training burns more calories than running on a flat road. It also adds different challenges when you combine various speeds with various inclines. It’s hard to get bored on a machine with this many training options.

The decline feature is a nice addition as well. While you can only drop to a -2% decline, it’s surprising how much you feel it while walking downhill. Decline training gently conditions the knees and quads and builds strength in the anterior muscles as well. As many marathoners know, it’s the downhill that is challenging on your legs when running long distances, so being able to train for downhill events is a valuable feature on the TR5500i.

Pre-programmed workouts

There are more than 50 built in workouts on the TR5500i. On the main screen, you can select from: Quick Start, Manual, Programs, HR Control or Fitness Tests. Under the “Programs” tab, you can then select from: Weight Loss, Sport Training, Healthy Living or Custom. The Weight Loss tab brings up options that include: Steady Pace, Long Slow Distance, Cardio Run, Short Intervals, Uphill Walk or Downhill Repeats. Continuing through the various Sport Training and Healthy Living options gives you even more training programs to choose from. The custom programs can be adjusted based on the needs and conditioning of the user. These preprogrammed workouts are simple. While the display is in color, these are not video programs with an instructor. Instead, these are easy to see graph displays that guide you through the workout in increments. This is a great set up for users who want lots of data, but a simple, easy to use interface.

Subscription Options

There are no subscription options on the TR5500i. The preprogrammed workouts are there to provide you all the training you should need.

Noise Level

The TR5500i is remarkably quiet when in use. The beeping from the control buttons (which you can turn off) was the loudest sound when using the treadmill. There is a bit of swishing noise as the belt slides across the deck, but this was not irritating nor overly disruptive. This would be a fine machine to use at home, in a small space, or even in an upstairs apartment or condo. The motor is very quiet when inclining and declining.

Storage / Folding

LifeSpan TR5500i folded

The TR5500i has the EZ fold system which allows you to lift and lock the deck into a vertical position when not in use. The deck locks securely so it can’t be accidentally unlatched by a pet or child. You must press on the release bar with your shoe to get it to unlatch. While there is some support as the deck descends, it does hit the floor with a bit of a thud, so we suggest maybe gently guiding it down as needed. It is not heavy nor difficult to lift or lower.


Bottom Line:

The LifeSpan TR5500i is a hearty treadmill that is priced mid-range but packed with features. We are impressed with its whopping 13.5mph max speed and generous 13% incline and -2% decline range. It has a 10” touchscreen that is intuitive and easy to use. Over 50 pre programmed workouts give you lots of training options. We could use a few more controls on the console for quickly navigating speeds or inclines; only having five options for each setting is a bit minimal. But the manual buttons allow for smaller, more precise increments so you can find the perfect setting with just the touch of a button. We love the fan and tablet holder as well. LifeSpan has integrated Bluetooth functionality into the console so you can sync your workout data with a number of compatible programs for your own storage and reference. The surprising 4.0HP motor is on par with much more expensive machines, so you are getting a lot of bang for your buck with the TR5500i. If you have multiple users in your home at varying levels of conditioning, this is a great option. Your track-star teenager can train for her marathon, and then afterwards Grandma can step on and walk gently at her desired pace. There are lots of options available which make the TR5500i a great choice for your home workout.

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