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- Alternative treadmills at a similar price
- Other Horizon treadmills
- Treadmill apps comparison
- Final thoughts
Introduction to the Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill
The Horizon 7.4 AT is a mid range treadmill with some excellent features for the price. Horizon Fitness have made a Studio line of treadmills and this is one of them. There’s a growing trend of taking classes for bikes and treadmills and this is one designed for that. There are now more than a few app makers who offer these classes.
The instructors who take these classes are becoming celebrities in their own right, like DJ’s. These classes absolutely transform a normal treadmill run to something fun and exciting. No one can call exercising on a treadmill boring again. The good thing about this 7.4 AT is that you can sign up for one of these apps at a discount as part of your purchase.
You don’t have to sign up to these apps if you don’t want to, the 7.4 AT is a treadmill just like any other. You have all the features you see on other treadmills. Although it is a high specification, and I’ll go through that further in my review. New technology is becoming cheaper and that’s reflected in the price. It represents excellent value for money if you’re looking for a quality machine.
The 7.4 AT has a top speed of 12 mph and the motor is 3.5 CHP. This means it’s a powerful motor so this treadmill is good for all kinds of exercise including running. Some machines are best for walking and jogging but this one can take a pounding from a runner. With a user weight capacity of 325 lbs means it can take a pounding from a heavy runner.
Features of the Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill
+ Large Deck Surface – You have a 22″ by 60″ deck. Remember this is a mid range treadmill because that is the size of decks you see on high end treadmills. A lot of treadmills go for a 20″ width but you get 2 more inches here which makes all the difference. This is the cheapest I’ve seen this size of deck and you have no need for a bigger one.
The big width is another reason the 7.4 AT is good for runners as well. When you exercise you want to do so with confidence, and you can do that on this deck, you can stride forward knowing you’re not close to an accident. You’re supposed to exercise with your head face forward and not looking down. A big deck helps with this.
+ Good Warranty – I’m at the real risk of repeating myself in this review. Because the warranty here, is better than a lot of high end treadmills. A very well reviewed treadmill company called NordicTrack has only a 1 year labor warranty on one of their treadmills that costs over $2,000! This Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill has 2 years.
The rest of the warranty is lifetime on the frame and motor, and 5 years parts. So if the motor develops a fault in the next 2 years, you will have no repair costs. Not even if any parts are needed, and a professional to fit them, it’s all covered for. I think you’ll agree that’s pretty good to be included in the price.
When I see a good warranty for any product, whether that’s fitness equipment or anything else, you know the company has faith in it. Companies exist to make a profit. If their products went wrong and they had to get technicians to fix them. That would hurt their bottom line and they would lose money. This rarely happens and not for Horizon Fitness.
+ Speed And Incline Handgrips – As you can see in the picture of the console above, there are hand grips that look like handlebars in front. These have pulse sensors like you often find on treadmills to read your heart rate. They also have up and down toggles for the speed and incline, these are quick and easy to access.
You still have the buttons on the console where you can change the settings to a specific number. The handgrips are right in front of you. While the amount of incline and speed you can choose from is quite standard, I’m referring to 15% incline and 12 mph speed which you can find on many treadmills, the handgrips are a premium feature.
+ 10 Workout Programs – I personally think the more programs the better. But treadmills can only have a certain amount of memory so there has to be a limit. But with the 7.4 AT, you have 10, which I think is a good amount. Plus the fact that some have multiple levels, I think that makes it even better.
My favorite is the “My First 5k”, this is a 9 week couch to 5k routine built in to the treadmill. This is a very popular way of getting beginners to run for around 30 minutes. This is done using a combination of walking and running. The running time increases gradually over time. I recommend anyone try this as a way to introduce health and fitness into their life.
The other programs I like are “Hill Climb” and “Fat Burn”. These change the speed and incline as you go every 30 seconds. Both these and other programs have 10 levels to them. Level 1 is nice and easy for beginners, whereas level 10 is very hard and should only be attempted by experienced runners. In between you have varying degrees of difficulty.
+ Free Zwift App – The apps are what really make this a good treadmill and none more so than the Zwift app. This is where you can train and race with thousands of other runners from all over the world. There are over 200 attractive virtual courses you can choose from. You can go as fast or slow as you like, or aim to win, it’s up to you.
The Horizon Studio series of treadmills which includes this 7.4 AT are the only ones I know of that have this free app automatically available. It connects directly to the thriving community of like minded runners who all have goals and aims for their exercise routines like you. It’s live worldwide 24 hours a day so you’ll always have people to run with.
+ Custom Heart Rate – The pulse sensors on the handlebars will read your heart rate. But to get an accurate reading you need to connect a Bluetooth heart rate chest strap. The 7.4 AT can read these because it has a Bluetooth setting. This means you can have your heart rate read by the treadmill and see how hard you’re pushing yourself.
The custom heart rate program uses your Bluetooth heart rate chest strap to keep you within a heart rate specified by you, while you’re exercising. The treadmill changes the incline to keep you within your setting. This is a very effective way of working out and is great for cardiovascular fitness. This has far too many health benefits to mention here, but there are a lot.
+ Big Deck Thickness – The thickness of the deck is 0.8″. As always with almost anything to do with treadmills, the bigger then better. A thicker deck means it will last longer. The deck has got to take the weight of someone running on it. That someone could weigh up to 325 lbs as per the capacity so the deck has to be strong and thick.
It’s the belt and deck that has to take the weight of the runner. The size of the deck is the thickest I’ve seen in any Horizon Fitness treadmill. This a mid range priced machine yet you have the deck quality of a high end one. The roller size is large so if you want a good workout then think about the 7.4 AT. These are the components you need to consider in a good treadmill.
+ Energy Saver Mode – In this day and age of climate change, energy saving is as important as ever. Computers and monitors have had this mode for years. Now we have it on a treadmill. If the 7.4 AT has been inactive for 15 minutes, it goes into sleep mode. This is the case even if the plug is in the electrical socket.
For safety I would recommend you unplug any treadmill when ever you’re not using it. This protects the electrical circuits of your home as well as the treadmill. The mode will save you electricity and is something most modern appliances can do. Everything has a stand by mode, like televisions and so does this machine. Modern day meets Horizon Fitness.
Alternative treadmills at a similar price
The Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill is $1,599 and there are a few treadmills in that price range you may have considered. The best and most popular are by NordicTrack and Sole so I’ll go through these here. I’ll go through their features and how they compare to the Horizon.
NordicTrack EXP 10i – $1,599
NordicTrack make some great treadmills but I’m just not impressed with their EXP series. Once you get into their Commercial range, they have some quality equipment. NordicTrack has a bigger and better screen than the Horizon 7.4 AT, but I’m sure most people will be connecting their tablet to the Horizon anyway. The Horizon has a deck that is 2″ wider. The motor size and top speed are the same.
The NordicTrack has a 3% decline whereas the Horizon does not. I don’t advise people use a decline for long periods as it can stress the legs, but it’s there if you want it. The Horizon has a maximum user weight of 350 lbs and the NordicTrack only 300. The Horizon weighs 318 lbs whereas the NordicTrack 229. I always like a more substantial machine as they tend to last longer.
Where the Horizon beats the NordicTrack is in the most important aspect, and that’s the warranty. The Horizon has 2 years labor and the NordicTrack 1. The Horizon has 5 years on the parts and lifetime on the frame. The NordicTrack has 2 year parts and 10 years frame. The warranty is a sign of the build quality of the machine. A longer warranty means the company is more confident it won’t go wrong.
Verdict: The NordicTrack isn’t a bad buy, it’s just that the Horizon 7.4 AT is better. With NordicTrack you’re paying for the name, marketing and advertising. Although they’re the same price, I think Horizon has spent more on the actual treadmill. You get more for your money and they both have free shipping. Overall, the Horizon wins this one.
Sole F80 – $1,599
The Sole F80 used to be on people’s recommended lists for many years. Sole have a good reputation for their treadmills. I’ve listed it here as it’s often a consideration at this price range. The stats of the machine are very similar to the Horizon. The motor is the same size, as is the deck and warranty length. The maximum user weight for the Sole is slightly better.
What lets the Sole down is it’s very old technology. The treadmill itself hasn’t changed in many years. They’ve just added a few features over the years like Bluetooth audio capabilities. You get no thrills with the Sole, there are few workout programs. It’s really just designed for you to get on and exercise. As a result Sole’s sales have dipped over the years.
The market has caught up and people want more out of their fitness equipment. The industry now has apps and streaming classes. These make exercise fun and help you achieve your goals. You have this on the Horizon 7.4 AT and not on the Sole F80. No longer do you need to motivate yourself. You can have an instructor guiding you through one of thousands of unique workout routines.
Verdict: The Sole F80 was considered the best treadmill out there many years ago. But those days are gone. You can pay exactly the same amount as the Sole and get more for your money. Technology is cheaper. I can see Sole redesigning their treadmills soon, but until they do, the Horizon 7.4 AT is the better one. Therefore the Horizon wins this one again.
Here is a chart to summarize the 3 treadmills
|Horizon 7.4 AT||NordicTrack EXP 10i||Sole F80|
|Motor Size||3.5 CHP||3.5 CHP||3.5 CHP|
|Top Speed||12 mph||12 mph||12 mph|
|Deck Size||22″ x 60″||20″ x 60″||22″ x 60″|
|Max User Weight||350 lbs||300 lbs||375 lbs|
|Labor Warranty||2 years||1 year||2 years|
|Treadmill Weight||318 lbs||229 lbs||278 lbs|
Alternative treadmill summary: Looking at these stats you’d be forgiven to think the Sole is just as good as the Horizon. But as I’ve discussed above, you get far more for your money under the hood. The motor size is the same across the board and is ideal for those who will be jogging and running on the treadmill. Or will be using it a lot.
You can also see by the stats in the chart above that the NordicTrack really is an inferior product for the money compared to the other two. To have only 1 year labor warranty is unforgivable. Plus the treadmill is significantly smaller. You really are just paying for the name, marketing and advertising. They’re very popular, but as you can see, you’re better off with one of the others.
The good thing about all 3 treadmills is they have free shipping. So you’re not confronted with any hidden costs. The Horizon 7.4 AT is heavier than the other 2 but I like a bigger treadmill. It has to take a heavy pounding and so it needs to be a sturdy piece of equipment. It could be a drawback for some but I see it a different way. Use the link below for free shipping on the Horizon:
Other Horizon Studio treadmills
The Horizon 7.4 AT is one of 3 treadmills in the Studio series. They were first released last year so we have the latest technology. I rate them all very highly and here is a table summarizing the key differences between them:
|Horizon 7.0 AT||Horizon 7.4 AT||Horizon 7.8 AT|
|Drive Motor||3.0 CHP Rapid Sync||3.5 CHP Rapid Sync||4.0 CHP Rapid Sync|
|Deck Size||20″ x 60″||22″ x 60″ XL Deck||22″ x 60″ XL Deck|
|Screen Size||7″ LCD||8.25″ LCD||9.3″ LED|
|Max User Weight||325 lbs||350 lbs||375 lbs|
|Labor Warranty||1 year||2 years||2 years|
|Treadmill Weight||253 lbs||318 lbs||330 lbs|
For me the significant take away and the best reason you may consider the 7.4 AT or the 7.8 AT is the warranty. An extra year is very tempting and if you have the money, is a very good reason for choosing the better model. Of course the motor being more powerful is also a big plus. But not so necessary if it’s just you and a partner, perhaps, using the treadmill.
The differences between the 7.4 AT and the 7.8 AT are minor. If you want the better screen and the bigger motor, the option is there for you. But given the choice I would save your money and go for the 7.4 AT. All 3 are fantastic treadmills, it’s just a case of how much you’re willing to spend. Combine that with how often it’s going to be used.
The favorable price point has made the 7.0 AT more popular and it’s the one I normally recommend to people. However if you have the extra money, you are getting a better treadmill with the 7.4 AT as the chart above shows. I wouldn’t say it’s better value, but it is the superior product and therefore more expensive.
Horizon’s own comparison feature of their Studio treadmills can be found here.
Treadmill apps comparison
The apps all have their own technology and appeal. The NordicTrack and Peloton both enable you to take classes on your treadmill. The Bowflex is like a personal trainer that plans your workouts to get you fit and healthy and encourages you. The Horizon app, Zwift has you exercising with thousands of people as described above.
Classes are very expensive to produce and that’s why the monthly cost is so high whereas the Horizon app is run by the community for the benefit of itself. They all have their own benefits and you’re not missing out by choosing one over the other. All make your workouts more enjoyable and take a treadmill from a plain running machine to a truly immersive and interactive fitness experience.
|Treadmill Brand||Fitness App||Monthly Cost|
Drawbacks of the Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill
– 8.25″ LCD Screen – The alphanumeric display shows you detailed workout stats. It’s the LCD screen which shows your exercising as graphics. Due to this being a liquid crystal display there aren’t many colors on show, as you can see in the pictures. The screen is easily viewable but could be bigger. Just connect a tablet using the Bluetooth and use the apps.
– Treadmill Weighs 318 lbs – For a mid range machine this is a beast. It folds using hydraulics so that’s not difficult. However, you won’t want to be moving this treadmill very often. Think about the room and place you want it and set it up there. You may want to pay for assembly but, what ever you choose to do, it will take at least 2 people to move it.
Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Specifications
|Model||Horizon 7.4 AT (HTM1320-01)|
|Treadmill Weight||318 lbs|
|Running Surface||22″ x 60″ XL Deck|
|Display||16 Digit Alphanumeric LED and 8.25″ LCD Screen|
|Dimensions||L 76″ x W 37″ x H 63″|
|Max User Weight||350 lbs|
|Workout Programs||10 plus multiple levels in each|
|Speed||0.5 to 12 mph|
|Incline||0% to 15%|
|Warranty||Lifetime: Frame & Motor|
5 Years: Parts
2 Years: Labor
Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Review Summary
The Horizon 7.4 AT is a modern treadmill that has classes and apps based around it. This line of treadmills are called Studio so they have been prepared with a Studio class in mind. It’s been designed for walkers and runners and the 7.4 AT can easily take both. I like the little extras, like the fan, the speakers and the heart rate sensors.
Horizon have thought of everything with a treadmill packed with features. It’s specs are very high end, you have a good motor, a big deck, a discount on classes apps and a good selection of workout programs. When you consider you have a mid range machine. The features are better than on two thousand dollar plus treadmills.
If you’re a runner then this machine is ideal if you’re on a budget. There are more features I haven’t mentioned like the interval training program which will provide very effective workouts. As I said before, it’s a heavy, beast of a treadmill and that’s the way I like them. A big machine can take good workouts and the good warranty backs this up, 5 stars.