The Matrix TF50 Treadmill XR has industrial-grade cushioning, like most of the best treadmills we've reviewed. It has the best warranty and the fastest exercise speed in our lineup. Along with the Bowflex BXT216, it boasts a maximum user weight of 400 pounds, and Matrix has re-engineered its treadmills in recent years to make them stronger, higher performing and more interactive. In all respects, the TF50 is an impressive machine. It also has a very high price – and upgrading its console makes it even more expensive. With a base price nearing $3,500, it costs nearly twice as much as the Bowflex machine. If it were more affordable, it would have scored much higher in our product rankings.
The Matrix TF50 has a 3.25 continuous-duty horsepower motor and a 1-inch deck. The machine weighs 298 pounds. Its two-ply belt is 2.2 millimeters thick and its rollers are 2.4 inches in diameter. The TF50 inclines up to 15 percent. Its assembled dimensions are 81 x 35 x 62 inches (length, width, height), and it folds to 42 x 35 x 76 inches for more compact storage. It has aluminum side rails coated with polyurethane foam, and you can choose from three different consoles.
Labeled XR, XER and XIR, each of these consoles has different features. All three have ViaFit Connectivity – which is the Matrix Fitness app – and all three are Passport Ready. This means they can interface with a larger screen, such as your home television, and sync with high-definition destination footage to simulate trails from around the world.
Differences between the three consoles involve their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, their speakers and the size of their displays. The XR, for example, has an 8.5-inch blue LCD, while the XIR has a 16-inch HD touchscreen. Unlike the XR, the XER and XIR consoles can integrate with apps like MyFitnessPal, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu and more. You can even get a weather report.
“I like this user interface,” said one of our testers. “I found YouTube in the first two minutes!”
When you’re trying to choose between consoles, Matrix Fitness recommends making the decision personal: “Evaluate the console features and technology offerings against how they will benefit you and help in achieving your fitness goals,” the Matrix product development team said. “It’s important to understand the benefits of those features and how you can use them.”
Regardless of the console you select, the Matrix TF50 has an integrated reading rack, a wireless heart rate receiver and a water bottle holder. The machine also has an energy saving mode and a four-wheel easy-transport system.
Matrix provides a lifetime warranty on the TF50’s frame, motor and cushioning. Parts are guaranteed for seven years, and you get a two-year warranty on labor. If you need support, you can reach customer service by phone, email and an online contact form.