There is no denying that JTX Fitness have become one of our favoured UK based home cardio equipment suppliers and so we had high levels of expectation when we took delivery of the JTX Sprint 3 treadmill. That being said, for the purposes of this review we kept an open mind and wanted to pick out the faults with their entry level folding treadmill as well as highlighting its strengths – and you will find all of these laid out for you in our full JTX Sprint 3 review below.
It is fair to say that JTX Fitness have taken a conscious decision to not include all the bells and whistles that you might expect to find on a treadmill in the current day and age. Instead, they have focused on delivering a top quality treadmill that delivers in usability rather than connectivity – and we don’t mind this one bit. It is the lowest priced offering from the West Sussex company’s folding treadmill range but that doesn’t mean it is basic.
JTX Sprint 3 Specs
The Sprint 3 is the cheapest in their Sprint range and at the time of writing was available with a significant discount too (see our link below). This also means it is the smallest of the treadmills in its range – however it still compares favourably against similarly priced competitors and has a larger running track than the popular Reebok ZR8.
The Sprint 3 measures up at 162cm (l) x 74cm (w) x 150cm (h) when in use and when folded the length shrinks down considerably to 105cm with the other dimensions remaining the same. This means it is an ideal home cardio option – something that is especially true for those low on space. The running deck is 129cm (l) x 46cm (w) which is generous if not quite as generous as the Sprint 5 and Sprint 7. The running deck size is not going to be an issue for most users (our tester was 6’1″ and found it adequate) but those with longer strides and those over 6’2″ might struggle with the length of the deck.
The JTX Sprint 3 is powered by an impressive 2HP motor and has a top speed of 16KPH. This may not be the fastest treadmill available but the 2HP motor provides plenty of challenge and copes easily with the demands placed upon it. There is also a 0-12% motorised incline that will add plenty of challenge for more experienced runners. Those looking to run at faster speeds should opt for the other models in the range, but again – for most users the Sprint 3 will deliver more than enough challenge.
There is a maximum user weight of 120kg which will be plenty for most and considering this is a reasonably priced folding treadmill the 120kg of maximum weight is considerable – again, those needing a higher user weight will need to look at the higher spec’d models in the JTX Sprint range.
There are 40 pre-set programs to work through and you can of course also control your workout manually. Everything is controlled via the central console which although basic, does what it needs to do and gives you all the key information you need. There are built in pulse rate sensors which are handy and this data is also displayed on the LCD screen.
There is a significant lack of app connectivity but this is something that JTX Fitness have decided not to focus on with this model. Instead, what you get is a solid treadmill experience that performs well and provides a quality workout. It is also likely to last for years thanks to an exceptional build quality and comes with a 2 year comprehensive warranty as standard.
Using The JTX Sprint 3
Although the Sprint 3 is pretty basic when it comes to the display and its connectivity options, there is nothing basic about its design or build quality. In fact, this is one of the nicest looking treadmills you will find at this price point (and we have tested plenty) and you won’t find anything that looks (and performs) better for less.
The reinforced steel frame gives this treadmill a robust look and feel and the 8 point suspension provides a further quality to its impressive frame with a running deck that both looks and feels great. Folding the deck is easy to do and unfolding is even easier with soft drop technology meaning you will never damage your machine or hurt yourself trying to unfold it.
When it comes to actually running on the Sprint 3, you are pretty well catered for in terms of comfort and feel. The running deck features JTX’s CushionStep technology (they all have to have a fancy name for their suspension) and this is said to reduce the impact on joints by up to 30% – you can certainly tell the difference compared to running on hard surfaces and this is a welcome addition.
Although the width of the running deck is less than the others in the JTX Sprint range, it is still more than optimal and compares very favourably to slightly cheaper models such as the ZR8 and Nero Sports models – with the Sprint 3 having up to 11cm extra width than some of its competitors. That being said, for those who are less steady on their feet when running at high speeds, if you prefer a wider running track then consider the Sprint 7 which gives you 51cm of width.
The length of the deck is perhaps more of an issue than the width and this is our main gripe with the Sprint 3. Those with a greater cadence or users over 6’1″ might struggle with the length afforded here (which is still comparatively generous) but for anyone under 6′ tall this treadmill will be ideal. Those looking for something for brisk incline walking or jogging will have no issues no matter their height.
The powered incline on the Sprint 3 works like a dream and is smooth in operation. Some cheaper models will require manual setup for inclines or not have them included at all – and this is a very welcome addition to this model. You can have the inclines automatically adjust as part of the pre-set programs you choose or you can change the incline manually using the keys on the main control panel or the quick select keys on the treadmill arms. Either way – this is quick and easy to control.
The arms are solid and provide a degree of extra stability if required – for us it is usually at the end of the run we grab for them in a sweaty mess! Although they don’t protrude as far as they could, they are still welcome and they also house the quick select incline and speed buttons as well as the built in pulse rate sensors. These heart rate detectors are okay but if you want a more accurate reading you are better off with a heart rate strap or a fitness tracking watch with heart rate functionality – as there seems to be a slight delay on the increased heart rate and it being displayed on the screen when using the built in sensors. There is an emergency stop button with a clip for added safety when training alone and this shuts down the treadmill very quickly.
In operation, the JTX Sprint 3 is relatively quiet when compared to other models but you will likely not be noticing the noise when working out anyway. There is an aux port to plug in a mobile phone or mp3 player which then allows you to play audio through the built in speakers – these are nothing to shout home about but they do an adequate job and mean you won’t need to work out with headphones on if you prefer not to.
There is a built in fan which provides some comfort during your run but this isn’t the most effective and is probably the one aspect of the Sprint 3 that is the most disappointing – they perhaps could have left this out completely.
Although there is a lack of bluetooth or any app connectivity with the treadmill directly, you can of course enhance your experience with a tablet or smartphone. There is a tablet holder included as standard and this sits above the main display and allows you to further enhance your workout experience. You can use foot-pods if you are in to that sort of thing to provide you with a more interactive workout if you so wish – but in reality, those wanting a truly interactive workout experience won’t be looking at the Sprint 3.
In the two weeks that we tested the Sprint 3 we found it to provide a challenging workout with room for increasing that challenge over time. The most advanced users should look to the top end Sprint models but for everyone else the Sprint 3 will more than suffice except for perhaps the tallest of users. The cushioned deck did provide a comfortable run and we were able to use it every couple of days without any discomfort at all.
The JTX Sprint 3 is an excellent entry level model from JTX Fitness and is the most affordable in their range. Its size will make it an ideal home cardio option for many users and although it clearly isn’t anywhere near commercial level standard (it doesn’t need to be), it will provide a good cardio workout for most people from the comfort of their own home.
The LCD is basic and connectivity is limited but for those seeking a high quality machine that will stand the test of time, is made from high quality components (inside and out) and wants the comfort of a no-quibble two year warranty, then the Sprint 3 is a top buy all round.