Most technological treadmills I want to lock you in your own training program. If you want to use, say, the NordicTrack treadmill, you need to use the company’s streaming platform for live and on-demand training. The situation is similar with Peloton, Myx and almost every other machine connected to the Internet, which you will find where you will have to charge a subscription fee to access the streaming content of the treadmill.
Horizon’s 7.8 AT does not require such a commitment. The smart treadmill works with fitness apps made by outside companies such as Peloton, Zwift, Studio and Nike Run Club. Runners also have the option of not using the app at all. If you’re not a fan of streaming workouts, the 7.8 AT comes programmed with a variety of workouts, including a 5K beginner program; running for calories, time or distance; and Sprint 8, an eight-week program of 20-minute workouts designed specifically to burn fat.
7.8 AT also deviates from the current trend of streaming workouts by abandoning any type of video monitor. It has a 9.3-inch LED display that shows dynamic training data such as speed, pace, incline and execution time, but this screen does not play video programming or entertainment. Instead, there are two shelves in the center of the console (one higher, one lower) that securely hold a phone or tablet in place. This allows runners to play whatever they want on their own devices, Nike Run Club workout, Peloton running class, podcast or Seinfeld episode.
Your device connects to the treadmill via Bluetooth, so if you’re using a running app, Horizon can send running data back to the mobile app so you can track your workouts. You can also play music or the soundtrack of your video through the 7.8 AT’s dual front speakers. And you don’t have to worry about your device dying, as it has a charging input built into the treadmill console.
7.8 AT is Horizon’s first-class treadmill. It features a large, 22-inch 60-inch running deck with the company’s most powerful engine inside, a chest strap with a heart rate monitor and the aforementioned Bluetooth capability. Although charged, the 7.8 AT is at the bottom of the top-of-the-range $ 1999 treadmill. There are some additional savings, as you do not need a subscription to use it, which can save you hundreds of dollars on membership fees each year.
Horizon offers five other treadmills. In addition to the 7.8 AT, the Studio series has 7.4 AT for $ 1599 and 7.0 AT, which has a slightly thinner running surface, for $ 999. There are also three treadmills in the more budget series Go, which starts at $ 649.
On the Run
Clearly, the ability to quickly adjust your workout in the middle of a run is a priority for Horizon. There are quick-change buttons on both sides of the console to adjust the speed and tilt of the tread, plus buttons to control your music in the center of the console. Two handles extend to the slider with rollers at the end; the left roller adjusts the inclination and the right roller adjusts the speed. Two trigger triggers return the settings to zero if you are gassed and need to stop, while the grip sensors give you a quick look at your heart rate.
The 7.8 AT comes with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap. If the monitor is not charged or you do not want to place it, you can simply grab the sensors on the handle and measure your heart rate this way.
With just under $ 2,000, the 7.8 AT stands at the bottom of the top-level treadmill models, especially compared to models like the NordicTrack Commercial X32i ($ 3,999) and Peloton Tread (starting at $ 2,495). So where does the money go? Goes in the engine of the treadmill with 4 horsepower. The largest engine in the Horizon range, it is designed to respond to your settings and quickly increase speed and incline. And this is a huge success in this department. Each time I make an adjustment, the platform will respond immediately without any delay.