‘Easy-fold’ treadmills can be convenient, but cost and features must be reviewed before purchase. So how does the Roger Black score? Matt Smith takes a good look in this must-read Roger Black Easy Fold Treadmill review…
Finding a good folding treadmill isn’t easy. Finding one that is reasonably priced is even harder. We had heard good things about the Roger Black Easy Folding Treadmill so we decided it was about time we put it to the test. Find out our verdict in our full, no-holds barred Roger Black Treadmill review.
When reviewing a treadmill such as the Roger Black there are a number of key factors to consider. Price, functionality, ease of use and ease of set-up are going to be the main factors when deciding whether or not this treadmill is worthy of your home cardio setup – so we will be focusing on those elements as part of this review.
The Roger Black Easy Fold’s main competitor comes in the shape of the Reebok One GT40 range of machines. It compares pretty favourably on price to the Reebok range, even those at the lower end – and it stacks up pretty well in terms of features.
Roger Black Treadmill Setup
When you take delivery of the Roger Black treadmill, the first thing you will notice is that it is really well packaged. As it folds down completely, the size of the box is really compact compared to some treadmills we have tested.
The other thing to point out is that getting started with this treadmill is incredibly quick and easy to do as there is no assembly required. That is almost unheard of when it comes to treadmills and it is a real selling point of this Roger Black model.
We were up and running (quite literally) within 10 minutes of opening the box and we even had time to put on our running shoes.
Roger Black Treadmill Key Features
This treadmill has some great qualities. Here are the key features:
- 2hp peak motor
- 10 Pre-set programmes
- LCD Console with real time feedback
- Pulse/heart rate monitor
- Fully foldable
- MP3 Connection with built in speakers
- Incline (manual)
- Safety auto stop
- Top speed of 13kph
- 1.2m long running surface
- Transportation wheels
The Easy-Fold treadmill is the cheapest option in the Roger Black range and as such we thought it might lack a certain level of build quality when we took delivery of it. However, we were very impressed with the look and feel of the treadmill and overall we would have to say the build quality is pretty impressive.
As the treadmill is already fully assembled it has a much more secure feel to it compared to some models which require a little more assembly. Folding treadmills can often feel flimsy by their very nature, but the same can’t be said of the Roger Black JX-641W model.
The centre console looks the part too and whilst it may not be the flashiest of displays it does the job well. The buttons feel responsive to the touch and the MP3 AUX input is a nice addition. Speaker quality is never going to match that of a dedicated speaker system, but it is convenient to have it.
The running track is where this treadmill really excels in terms of build quality. The rubber mat sits atop a double floor running deck and provides plenty of anti-stress cushioning underfoot. Runs upwards of 30 minutes are definitely achievable with this machine in terms of running track comfort.
This easy fold treadmill has plenty of built-in functionality right out of the box with the folding mechanism perhaps being its key differentiator when comparing it to other products.
The first thing to note is the size and weight of the machine. At 49kg and with handy transportation wheels attached for easy moving, the treadmill is pretty portable and can easily be moved in to different positions within a room.
When in operation, the dimensions stand at 135cm in height, 71.5cm width and a length of 162.5cm. This means that even at its biggest it is going to be fit to use in most rooms in your home.
When folded, this model is even more compact at just 25.5cm (h) x 71.5cm (w) x 156.5cm (l) – it can be laid flat when not in operation, and as such it could easily be stored under a bed or it has a stand to allow it to be stored upright in a cupboard or safely in a corner of the room.
The folding mechanism is easy to perform and is manually controlled. You simply click and pull the treadmill into the upright position which is pretty effortless.
There is the opportunity to set an incline with this treadmill, but unfortunately it is manually operated. This does mean that you can give yourself a more intense running session but you can’t change it mid-run without stopping, getting down from the machine and changing the incline position. This is perhaps the biggest single drawback of the easy fold treadmill, but it is a small price to pay for having something so compact at such a low price.
The top speed of the treadmill is 13kph and for most long distance runners this will be sufficient. For those looking for more HIIT sessions, this may be a bit limiting – but for anyone training over longer distances or for beginners and intermediate users this should be more than sufficient.
This speed is supported by a 1hp continuous power motor with 2hp the peak motor size. This might not sound like much, but it is enough to support a maximum user weight of 17.5 stone quite comfortably.
There are 14 user programmes that you can access in total with 10 of these being pre-set and available at the touch of a button on the centre console. The other 4 options are manual mode or 3 user programmed settings. Again, these options are easily selectable and will save you time and allow you to measure your progress against a consistent workout – something that is increasingly challenging when running in varying environments.
The heart rate is measured from two hand grip sensors which take pulse readings and then display your heart rate on the LCD display. This works like most treadmills, but is very handy if you are aiming to work at a specific heart rate for your workout.
We found the readout to be fairly accurate. In addition to heart rate information, the centre console will also provide real-time feedback such as total time, speed, calories burned and distance, and there are 5 different display functions to choose from in total.
Another drawback to the compact nature of this treadmill is that the running mat is fairly narrow with just 41cm of width. For most this will be fine, but if you have a particularly wide stance then you may want to opt for a treadmill that has a running track width of at least 45cm. The length of 120cm is good and will be more than adequate for most users.
Finally, the safety features of the Roger Black Treadmill are good with an auto stop clip to prevent any nasty injuries should you fall off or lose balance. This is important when working out at home and is a good feature to see.
Ease of Use
It is hard to imagine a treadmill that would be easier to set up and use than the Roger Black Easy Fold Treadmill. Right from the moment you unbox the machine to the moment you unfold it and plug it in for your first run – the whole process could hardly be easier.
The quick-select buttons on the centre console make it incredibly easy to get running at an appropriate level straight away, and you can even select one of the 10 pre-set programmes with the touch of just one button.
There are 6 quick-speed buttons in addition to the pre-set buttons, enabling you to increase or decrease your speed with ease. Setting your own programmes is easy enough and this is well explained in the manual.
The hardest part of using this treadmill is changing the incline setting. The process in its own right is not difficult, but you do have to step down from the machine in order to do it.
Overall, this is one of the easiest-to-use treadmills we have ever seen.
The Roger Black Easy Fold Treadmill sits pretty firmly in the budget folding treadmill category and within this realm it fares extremely well. In fact, unless you have your heart set on a treadmill with automatic incline or unless you need something with a wider running track, then the Roger Black is a decent proposition at this price.
There are other options at a similar price point though and it might pay to take a look at them – we have a round-up of all our favourite folding treadmills right here.
However, if you have your heart set on the Roger Black then we suggest buying direct for the best deals which we have linked to below.