Our health club just picked up a bunch of Life Fitness 95T treadmills. These units come with a USB port so that users can plug in a flash memory stick and upload/download their workouts and workout results. The only problem is -- they don't work -- and Life Fitness knows it. In a call I placed to Life Fitness, their Consumer Abuse representative mentioned that he was aware of the problem and suggested that a bunch of defective units had been knowingly shipped. What's the problem? When you insert your flash drive into the USB port, the machines freeze up. They continue accepting your input but don't process it. Then, when you remove your flash drive, your commands cascade thru the treadmill's software. You also get a corrupted file on your flash drive which is tricky to remove. Your workout preferences aren't stored, nor are the results of your sessions. Life Fitness has a pretty neat idea here but it's not ready for the big time. Trotter came out with a much better treadmill many years ago. Their treadmill could be run from any personal computer. Mine runs off my laptop. You can program speed, inclination and time changes. In effect, if you knew the topography of a competitive run, you could program the run into the treadmill. Unfortunately, Trotter made the bone-head move to discontinue support of their software -- Version 2.0 being the last one released. But you can still get it on the net or from dealers and the system is way above anything offered by Life Fitness, if for no other reason than it actually works.
Las Vegas, NV