ProForm 505 CST Treadmill

9.0
9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (9.0)/10


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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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ProForm 505 CST TreadmillReview Facts

The 505 CST treadmill, by Proform, is a relatively inexpensive lightweight unit that can fold for storage or when you want it out of the way. Proform, having been around since the 1970s, makes home cardio equipment as its bread and butter line.

Proform sells elliptical machines, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and more. None are rated for commercial gym use, though you may spot one in an apartment complex gym or the like. Their products are durable, affordable, adjustable, and backed by a stellar customer service department that works hard to resolve any problems.

Interestingly, Proform holds at least 20 patents on its family of products. Some are for entire units that Proform designed. Others are for parts and systems–video screens, resistance mechanisms, treadmill decks (the part that forms the foundation for the running surface), and more. It means that Proform is constantly refining basic designs to make their machines more effective and user-friendly. That work ethic shows in the 505 CST. It may just be perfect for your home gym.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Some choice and variety in training programs

Treadmill is durable and does not break down easily

Controls are simple and intuitive, without an overwhelming number of options

Good shock absorption reduces fatigue and can increase the length of your workouts

Folding action is fast and easy, and machine is not too heavy to move with one person

Small non-flexing rollers create a lifelike ride with no jarring, little excess tension

Six inch screen is lit from behind, to show distance/time/speed

Cons

Heart rate via grip sensor--not as accurate as chest strap integration

20 inch wide/55 inch long-running area will be cramped for those of us with long legs and stride

Handrails are stubs, not a full-frame; could limit mobility for taller users

Company Background

Company Background

Proform's most popular products are their treadmills. Like the 505, the other treadmills are user-friendly, compact, and will usually have at least a few preprogrammed workouts. Proform enjoys a steady market share and a good reputation, because of their consistency, constant improvements, focus on home cardio equipment and higher than average customer service. Their parent company, Icon Fitness, began in 1977. Icon originally sold imported Asian kitchen wares but branched out into cardio machines in the early '80s. That wing of the company became Proform, and the imprint continues to this day.

Proform has won awards and been endorsed by Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted consumer product rating enterprises. Their products are used officially by both the Boston Marathon committee and Tour De France. Proform products and services don't disappoint, and we think you'll have a hard time finding many negative reviews of the company overall.
Tech Specs

Tech Specs

All objective details (size, settings, weight, etc) came directly from the 505 CST owner's manual. The manual is well put together and easy to read. You can find it easily online via a Google search, including PDFs you can download.

MODEL NUMBER: PFTL60910.1. Use the model number if you want to find the product on Amazon or another online retailer. That way you will know you are viewing the same treadmill you are reading about in our review. Amazon is notoriously confusing and we have had a hard time verifying products for review purposes before.

If you have an issue with the treadmill, including out of box failure or missing pieces, Proform advises that you call them directly instead of calling the store where you purchased the treadmill. There is both a phone number and a dedicated website for customer service.

Precautions include only using the treadmill indoors. It sounds like a no-brainer, but "outside" means in the garage, too. We suppose an air-conditioned and insulated garage would be okay, but the manual doesn't say for sure and it could be enough to void the warranty. Other precautions include keeping your hands and feet away from the run surface in motion, and not using aerosols or portable oxygen in the same room with the treadmill. This is most likely because the electrical components can spark and ignite an aerosol or oxygen tank. You should also always use a UL approved surge protector to plug the treadmill into the wall. The 505 will need 8 feet of clearance behind it, and 2 feet on each side. That's good information, considering you may not have that much space in your home gym area.

User weight capacity is 300 pounds. Proform warns upfront that the pulse sensor, located on the grip handles, is not completely accurate and should not replace medical advice. That warms your editor's hearts, safety nerds that we all are.

Construction

Construction

Assembly is fairly involved. You will need a friend or helper, according to the user's manual. All the tools you need are included in the package. You'll want to use hand tools only, not power tools because the power tools can damage certain small preassembled parts.
Your friend's job is to help you tip the unassembled treadmill over on its side, then flip it upright after you remove the shipping straps and install the feet and wheels. Once you have everything put together, the treadmill is quite easy to transport after folding.

Other assembly tasks include installing the uprights, handrails, and console assembly and frame. Assembly isn't exactly a breeze, but the written directions and illustrations provided by Proform seem straightforward and easy to follow. Wiring up the console is simple, with pin connectors and insulated wires.

You'll need an iFit module (sold separately) in order to use that feature. The iFit module is like a little flash drive that plugs into the console, which is a weird choice for any treadmill in 2019. Typically, similar programs run from inside the console and require a subscription. But once the module is plugged in, the 505 has access to the closest wireless network and you can use all the features of iFit.
Features

Features

The console is surrounded by a utility tray on either side. The recesses are big enough for a phone or water bottle. Handrails are a stub design, ending a few inches from the console assembly. This limits where you can stand on the run surface if you choose to hold the handrails while exercising. It seems like this would limit your movement if you are both tall and have limited mobility or another condition that makes holding the handrails at all times a necessity.

The master power switch is on the floor near the front right of the unit, near the power cord. You can adjust the tension of the idler with bolts on the very back of the run platform, but we suggest not doing that if you aren't experienced working on exercise equipment. If there is a problem, Proform will usually be more than happy to assist. The platform is cushioned, and you can see the cushioning when you look at the side of the foundation. The cushioning contributes to the better than average shock absorption of the 505 CST.

When you use the console, you get 15 preprogrammed workouts. You can adjust the incline up to 10 percent and the speed up to 10 MPH, both from the console screen. If you choose to use the iFit module, the treadmill connects to your home wireless network for a greater range of workouts including the ability to program your own. iFit also lets you compete with other users around the world. Using iFit does cost extra money. An onboard stereo system makes it easy to play your music or listen to an audiobook while you work out. A key on a lanyard, hanging from the console, lets you use the treadmill in manual mode. This means no preprogrammed workouts, and you set your own resistance as desired.

The console gives you time, distance, workout distance, and the approximate number of calories burned during your session. You also read the incline level, speed, vertical feet you've climbed, and your heart rate (when you grip the handles).
The Final Word

The Final Word

We gave the Proform 505 CST treadmill an 8 out of 10. It is reliable and will last a long time, provided assembly instructions are followed carefully. Proform has one of the best reputations in the industry for customer service. 15 preprogrammed workouts focus on calories, heart rate, or distance, and a manual mode lets you crosshatch your own workouts. The run surface has good shock absorption, cutting down on ankle fatigue and ultimately going easier on your spine. With the optional iFit module, you can add social media and training simulations to your cardio. The user-friendly features and relatively low cost make this an excellent choice for many home gyms. If space is at a premium, you can fold the treadmill and stow it out of the way without much hassle.

We didn't give a ten because of the stubby handrails, short running surface, and limited speed and incline capabilities. Also, the fact that you technically need eight feet of rear clearance (this is from the manual) means the treadmill really isn't as compact as you'd think. Still, the Proform 505 CST treadmill is reliable and durable. It will deliver years of heart rate-increasing workouts, and it's hard to beat the convenience and value of having a machine like this in your home. Products like the 505 make it easier to integrate fitness into your daily life.