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Introduction to the Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill
- Alternative treadmills at a similar price
- Other Horizon treadmills
- Treadmill apps comparison
- Final thoughts
The Horizon 7.8 AT is a mid to high end treadmill. It’s been designed with studio classes in mind. These are very popular on bikes and is called spinning. It’s now growing in popularity on treadmills. It’s a fun way of losing weight and getting healthy. This studio series by Horizon Fitness features live and on demand classes you can get at a discount.
In the features section of this review, I’ve written in detail about the apps you can get. One of them in particular called Peloton is excellent for all kinds of exercise. This and other apps have become very popular because they have so many benefits which I’ll go through in detail below. I think this treadmill represents good value and I’ll tell you why.
Everything is maxxed out with the 7.8 AT. You get a big motor, big weight capacity, big deck, big warranty, big screen. There isn’t anything that’s been overlooked. Even on some major exercise equipment brands you only have a warranty of 1 year of labor, you have 2 years here. Horizon Fitness is backed by a large equipment company you can trust.
Reviews across the web are unanimously good from experts like Runners World magazine and Horizon’s own customers. I think this is important, after all, a treadmill is a big investment. You’re better off getting the right one and one that you will use for years to come. Because that’s how long the 7.8 AT can last if well looked after, years.
Features of the Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill
+ Rapid Sync Drive System – This is new technology for Horizon found only on two treadmills and the 7.8 AT is one of them. The motor is 4.0 CHP which means it’s powerful which is confirmed by the 500 lbs of thrust for the incline motor. So the speed and incline can change their settings very quickly when you push the relevant buttons.
This is good if you’re taking a studio class. The instructor will tell everyone to adjust the incline, yours will change 33% faster than everyone else’s. It’s also good for interval training, perhaps you want to change the speed every 30 seconds, when you do, it will happen fast and you can honor your workout routine accurately.
You won’t want to go back after experiencing this. This is why this treadmill is so ideal for runners due to the powerful motor. If you run a lot or are training for races then you’ve likely done speed work on treadmills. The 7.8 AT is perfect for this and speed training is good because it makes your normal runs easier and faster.
+ Quick Dial Controls – The handlebars in front of the console have a few features and the quick change dials are one of them. There’s the left one for the incline and the right one for the speed. Instead of reaching forward to the console you can extend your arm slightly and change the setting you want with ease. This is done by moving the dials forward or back.
This is very useful if you’re changing the settings very frequently like in classes and speed work. You can see that everything has been thought of when it comes to the 7.8 AT. The handlebars also contain interval buttons. There are 2 of them and you pre set an incline and speed. You press one to instantly go to the pre saved settings until you press the button again.
+ 9.3″ High Contrast Color TFT Screen – Most treadmills come with normal LCD screens, they often have few colors and can not show much information. This is different as the TFT is full color. With high contrast the display can be seen in any light and as you can see by the console picture, you have a wealth of information at your finger tips.
TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor and computer monitor screens used to be made with this. It’s a premium screen and very detailed, that’s why you find it on the 7.8 AT premium treadmill at a fair price. The screen is big at 9.3 inches and combine this with the LED windows means you get every workout stat you could want displayed on the console.
+ Exclusive App Discounts – This treadmill has been designed with studio classes in mind and I recommend you use them. To encourage you even further, with your purchase of the 7.8 AT you can get these apps at a discount. There are now more and more to choose from as people discover how fun it is to exercise using them.
A discount is welcome when you see what they have to offer. You get up to 30% off and the apps currently within this scheme are Studio, Peloton, Daily Burn, Aaptiv and AFG. I like the Peloton app the most and I’ll go through that below in this review. They all provide treadmill classes and many other exercises like spinning (bikes), yoga, strength training and more.
There is now a free app that this treadmill connects to that is a game changer. It’s one of the most popular apps used by treadmill runners all over the world. It’s called Zwift and has now been introduced with the 7.8 AT. You can exercise at the same time and compete with thousands thanks to this app. It will give your running routines a new lease of life and best of all, it’s free.
+ The Peloton App – This is my favorite discounted app and one that most people who like to workout will love. With this treadmill you get 90 days free. This is usually bought with Peloton equipment and it’s a $39 subscription per month then. It’s cheaper if you buy just the app at $19 after the free trial. This is great value for money when you discover what you get.
There are over 20 live classes every day and thousands on demand. These classes are run by professional instructors and vary in time length and difficulty. They are fantastic at giving you encouragement to go that little bit further, whether you want to lose weight or run a faster time. These classes help you achieve your goals.
There’s more than treadmill classes. There are cycling, strength, meditation, yoga and outdoor running. You get all these for the flat rate of $19 per month and if you have the appropriate technology you can stream them to your TV. Peloton are a big company and they’ve invested a lot in their app. I definitely think it’s the one you should choose.
+ Sprint 8 – This is an exclusive workout program found on the 7.8 AT. They boast it can give you a fat reduction of 27% in 8 weeks. It’s a 20 minute high intensity interval training program. You run at speed for 30 seconds and then a slower recovery speed for 90 seconds. It melts fat, builds lean muscle and gives you energy.
There are 20 levels of difficulty with level 1 being easier for beginners looking for real benefits. As you begin to see results you go up a level over the course of a few weeks. As the levels rise so does the speed and incline until you’re really being pushed at the higher levels. This is a great way to also increase your normal running speed. It’s worth trying.
+ 3 Zone Deck Cushioning – Treadmills are already cushioned unlike exercising outside. You are far less likely to get injuries on a treadmill. With the 7.8 AT you get 3 response zones on the deck. One is at the front, the other in the middle and one at the end. There are special ways these work and they help you exercise better and further.
The zone at the front is the impact zone. This is specially designed so your landing is soft. The middle is the transition zone. As the name suggests this is where your feet stride along the length of the deck till you get to the push off zone. This is designed to help push you off the running surface, which is the deck.
When you combine this special deck with the weight capacity which is 350 lbs. This means even very overweight people can get a good workout. The 7.8 AT is good for weight loss because of these attributes. The soft landing for a heavy person is great for the joints and muscles. Even more expensive treadmills struggle to reach 350 lbs for a weight limit.
Alternative treadmills at a similar price
The Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill is $1,999 and here I go through the most popular alternatives and compared them. These are the treadmills you’re probably also considering at this price range. This is a review of them.
NordicTrack Commercial 1750 – $1,899
The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is probably the most popular and well sold treadmill. It certainly ranks as most recommended by the treadmill review websites. Here I’ll explain why it shouldn’t be. If you compare the treadmills in detail you’ll realize the NordicTrack is actually inferior to the others. It only becomes apparent when you compare them side by side.
In all the details that matter, the NordicTrack falls short. The motor is less powerful, not by much though (3.75 CHP to Horizon’s 4.0 CHP). The deck appears to be less substantial than the others. While the deck size is the same, it can only take a weight of 300 lbs. The Sole can take 400 lbs and the Horizon 375. All of NordicTrack’s treadmills, even the expensive models, seem to have the same deck.
It may be $100 cheaper, but you’re really better off paying slightly more and getting the Horizon or the Sole (review below). The biggest difference between the NordicTrack and the other two is the labor warranty. You only get 1 year whereas the others have 2 years. Why would NordicTrack have only 1 year? Do they not trust their machine to last? It does make you wonder and lets it down.
Verdict: This is where I decide which is better, the NordicTrack or the Horizon 7.8 AT. If you’ve read above you’ll see that I’ve proven the NordicTrack is significantly not as good as the Horizon. It’s not as good in important aspects. This is what the treadmill review websites don’t tell you. So the Horizon wins this one, hands down.
Sole F85 – $1,999
Sole used to be the market leader. They were the go to for treadmills. Even the Hilton hotel brand used to have Sole treadmills in their gyms. That was 10+ years ago and Sole treadmills have barely changed. The rest of the industry have embraced new technology and Sole haven’t. Some people still stand by their qualities and consider them worthwhile today.
So I’ll go through the Sole F85 which is the same price as the Horizon 7.8 AT. It’s very similar in a number of ways. The deck is the same size, as is the motor. The labor warranty is 2 years like the Horizon. The top speed and incline are the same too. All this may make you consider the Sole, it was the market leader for a reason.
The user capacity of the Sole slightly better at 400 lbs compared to 375. However, if you’re approaching either of those weights, then I recommend an elliptical trainer. A treadmill will ruin your knees and other joints if you’re that heavy. What lets it down is the technology. The screen is poor and you can’t connect a tablet to it by Bluetooth. This means you can’t use some of the popular streaming services with it.Verdict: Sole have tried upgrading the treadmill over the years, but it remains the same as it’s always been at its core. You would be right to research the Sole F85, but your conclusion should be similar to mine. The Horizon 7.8 AT is the better treadmill. The technology makes all the difference. Once you’ve used it, you’ll never go back. Horizon wins.
Here is a chart to summarize the 3 treadmills
|Horizon 7.8 AT||NordicTrack Commercial 1750||Sole F85|
|Motor Size||4.0 CHP||3.75 CHP||4.0 CHP|
|Top Speed||12 mph||12 mph||12 mph|
|Deck Size||22″ x 60″||22″ x 60″||22″ x 60″|
|Max User Weight||375 lbs||300 lbs||400 lbs|
|Labor Warranty||2 years||1 year||2 years|
|Treadmill Weight||330 lbs||339 lbs||308 lbs|
Alternative treadmill summary: One of the most important aspects of the treadmill is the labor warranty. When you’re paying close to $2,000, you should really expect 2 years. Treadmills can last around 10 years if they’re well looked after, but if they only have a 1 year warranty, it wouldn’t give me much confidence in it. That’s why the Horizon and Sole is more preferable than the NordicTrack.
So the NordicTrack, we can conclude, should not be one of your choices despite what some of these reviews websites say. That leaves us with the Sole and the Horizon. While the stats can’t separate them, the technology does. The Horizon has full Bluetooth capability while the Sole does not. This means you can connect streaming services to the Horizon. This is a real game changer.
Sole has to upgrade their treadmills sooner or later. But until they do, treadmills like the Horizon 7.8 AT are going to be continually preferred. With the Horizon you can run along with thousands of other people using the built in Zwift app. Or take a streaming class using the Peloton app. With the Sole you can’t. Take advantage of free shipping for the Horizon through the link below:
Other Horizon Studio treadmills
The 7.8 AT is part of a Studio Series of treadmills by Horizon. The chart below gives some essential stats for each of 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|
I like the way they are significantly improved as you reach a higher model. Some manufacturers use the same deck for all their treadmills or other similarities. But With Horizon you’re getting your moneys worth which ever model you go for. If you’ve read my reviews I recommend all 3. The 7.0 AT probably represents the best value but if you have more to spend, then absolutely go for one of the others.
I get plenty of emails asking which treadmills I recommend. First I always recommend spending a thousand or more. Then, depending on how much they want to spend, I recommend one of the Horizon treadmill above. I consider them the best treadmills currently available. None of my other reviews are so in depth because I prefer these.
There are some other reasons to go for the 7.8 AT. If the treadmill is going to get a lot of use from family members, then you’ll need the bigger motor. Maybe you want the better screen, the bigger deck or the 2 year warranty. There are significant benefits. With treadmills you tend to get what you pay for, so I always recommend you get the best you can afford.
You can find Horizon’s own comparison feature of their Studio treadmills here.
Treadmill apps comparison
While the Peloton is a very good app, Horizon treadmills come with the very popular Zwift app which is free to use. Thousands of runners around the world use the app at the same time when they’re exercising on their treadmills. It uses Bluetooth to connect to the internet and means you can use the app to it’s full.
More fitness equipment brands are racing to release their own apps. The most popular ones have beaten the rest and these are the ones I’ve listed below including Horizon. The 7 AT group of studio treadmills represent the latest technologies you see in design and make today. They’re becoming very popular and it’s the Zwift app that helps.
|Treadmill Brand||Fitness App||Monthly Cost|
Drawbacks of the Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill
– No Tablet – You wouldn’t really expect to get a tablet thrown in for the price. There isn’t one built into the console either. It would require great investment to design and make. This sort of investment would be passed onto the consumer. So you get a good console with cheap apps and you supply the tablet. Most people have one anyway.
– No Touchscreen – I have seen this on some machines, but they are much more expensive as a result. Like the tablet above, a touchscreen would increase the cost. The research and development has gone into the treadmill itself and not fancy touchscreens with pretty pictures. If you want the fancy stuff, you can find it, but you’ll pay a lot for it.
Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill Specifications
|Model||Horizon 7.8 AT (HTM1319-01)|
|Treadmill Weight||330 lbs|
|Motor||4.0 CHP RapidSync Drive System|
|Running Surface||22″ x 60″ XL Deck|
|Display||16 Digit Alphanumeric LED and 9.3″ High Contrast Color TFT Screen|
|Dimensions||L 76″ x W 37″ x H 64″|
|Max User Weight||375 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 7.8 AT Treadmill Review Summary
The 7.8 AT represents good value for what you get, but at just under two thousand it’s still a lot to find in one go. So Horizon Fitness have 0% financing. It’s subject to approval and you can pay in 6, 12, 18 or 24 months with nothing up front. It represents a great opportunity to own a great treadmill without having to find all the money at once. Plus there’s free shipping so there are no hidden costs.
What we have here is a really feature packed treadmill and I haven’t even mentioned that it’s Bluetooth compatible. Horizon have thought of everything, whatever you need to help you get a good workout is provided for you. All you have to do is get on and go. The whole family can use this machine for what ever their individual fitness goals and succeed.