As entry-level folding treadmills go, Matrix’s TF30 is about as impressive as any I’ve come across.
The heavy frame and generous warranty are hard to beat, but having the option to go all-in with a 16″ HD touchscreen with loads of entertainment apps and workout options is what really stands out to me.
The TF30 also comes with a low step-up height and folds away for storage, making it a good option for homes with limited workout space.
And with a starting price right around $3k, it’s even priced competitively compared to the other premiere home brands.
The biggest downside I see is that for the price, the running surface could be a little larger – but I don’t necessarily consider that a deal breaker.
So, if you’re looking for a high-end treadmill with some great console features, I think Matrix’s TF30 could be a great choice, but before you decide you need to know what you’re getting into.
And that’s where I can help.
In this review, I’ll be going over everything this treadmill does and doesn’t have going for it – I’ll also try to compare it to some of the other top comps in its price range.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not it makes sense to invest in the TF30.
Off we go.
The Matrix Treadmill TF30
Matrix is a respected home fitness brand and they’re part of Johnson Health Tech, the same corporation that owns other impressive brands like Horizon and Vision Fitness.
Of the group, Matrix is their highest-end home brand and they’ve got some great cardio machines to choose from.
In general, Matrix machines tend to be heavy-duty, durable, and covered with longer warranties than most.
And they also offer a choice of console, allowing you to go hi-tech or low-tech, depending on what you’re looking for (they’re also iFit compatible, giving you access to the leading fitness streaming platform).
When it comes to their treadmill lineup, the TF30 is their most affordable folding option and at the time of writing this, it’s going for around $3200 (with the XR console).
- 3.25 HP motor
- Heavy-duty frame
- 350 lb weight limit
- 12.5 mph top speed
- Up to 15% power incline
- Safety handrail
- Get to choose between 3 consoles
- Access to iFit
- Access to entertainment apps (XER/XIR consoles)
- 30 day iFit trial included
- Heart rate monitoring
- Scenic routes (XER/XIR consoles)
- Built-in workout programs
- Folding frame
- Great warranty
- Running surface may be a little short for taller runners
- No cooling fan
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – a treadmill’s running surface is one of the most important specs to look at before making a decision.
This spec simply tells you how large the belt is, but in reality, it’s telling you how much room you’ll have at your disposal during workouts.
And if your treadmill’s running surface is too small for ya, your workouts are going to suffer.
We should all be checking and comparing running surface sizes, but it’s especially important for the taller folks out there because they’re the ones that will be most affected by a short running surface.
Basically, if the treadmill is too short for ya, you’ll have to shorten your stride when running at faster speeds.
Treadmill running surface sizes will vary by price, but most treadmills in this price range come with a running surface of around 20″ x 60″, give or take a few inches.
And that’s because at this size, even taller runners can usually workout comfortably without having to shorten their stride.
Well, the TF30 comes with a running surface of 20″ x 55″.
This is a little short for a treadmill in this price range, but it isn’t unheard of – Life Fitness’ similarly-priced F3 also comes with a 20″ x 55″ running surface.
I’m thinking Matrix (and likely Life Fitness) put a smaller deck on the TF30 to make it more compact.
Speaking of which, at only 77″ long, this treadmill is a bit shorter than most and it folds up more vertically than most as well, giving you more wiggle room when it’s stored away.
But with a running surface of only 55″ long, taller runners should be ware that they might have to shorten their stride a little at faster speeds (folks under 6′ tall should be fine).
Otherwise, I really like Matrix’s frames.
The TF30 is a heavy treadmill (weighs 333 lb) and I love the safety rail that goes around the front of the frame – it looks great, but it also serves a nice safety function.
By the way, having a heavy treadmill is a good thing because it makes the machine more stable during workouts – you won’t have to worry about it shaking or wobbling.
This treadmill also comes with an impressive weight limit of 350 lb, so folks of all sizes will be able to safely use it.
Overall, the running surface is a little smaller on this treadmill, but I like how robust the frame is and how compact it becomes when folded up.
Having a stronger motor is a good thing because stronger motors don’t have to work as hard as weaker ones.
This means stronger motors can usually provide smoother workouts, without you having to worry about whether or not the motor can keep up with your running speed.
Most treadmills in this price range come with motors somewhere in the 3 – 4 HP range and having a motor that’s at least 3.0 HP is a good idea if you’ll be running often.
That said, the TF30 comes with a 3.25 HP motor that can reach a top speed of 12.5 mph and a top incline of 15%.
This is a pretty solid motor and it’s strong enough to support regular running, although there are stronger motors in this price range.
For example, Horizon’s 7.8 AT, which costs about $1k less, comes with a 4.0 CHP motor… as does Sole’s F85.
So, you can definitely go stronger, but again, the TF30’s motor is strong enough to get the job done.
Oh, and a top speed of 12.5 mph is 0.5 miles/hr faster than the 12 mph top speed most treadmills reach… personally, I can’t imagine going anywhere near that fast on my treadmill, but there ya go.
The TF30 also comes with 2.4″ rollers, which is pretty good for any home treadmill.
The rollers are what the belt makes contact with as it glides across the deck and having larger rollers is a good thing because it makes for smoother operation (and makes the treadmill overall just heavier-duty).
Most high-quality treadmills come with rollers somewhere in the 2- 3″ range, so the TF30 scores pretty well here.
Overall, the motor on the TF30 could be a little stronger, but it’s still got enough muscle to reach and maintain top speeds.
The Matrix TF30 comes with the following features:
Choice of console- the features you get depend a lot on the console you choose: the XR, XER, and XIR. The XR console is an 8.5″ LCD screen that comes with a few built-in workouts and that’s about it. The XER is a 10″ HD touchscreen that comes loaded with entertainment apps, scenic workouts, and even more loaded workouts. The XIR is pretty much the same as the XER, but it comes with a larger, 16″ HD touchscreen. The XER/XIR consoles also come with built-in web browsers, so you can search the internet from the treadmill. Price will vary a lot depending on which console you choose.
iFit- regardless of which console you go with, the TF30 is compatible with iFit. With the XER and XIR options, you can follow the instructor-led workouts directly on your console; with the XR, you have to connect to your phone or tablet via bluetooth. With iFit, you can take advantage of the Auto Adjust feature, that lets the instructors automatically adjust your speed and incline to keep up with the workouts. Oh, and Matrix includes a 30 day trial of iFit with purchase.
Workouts- the number of pre-loaded workouts you get will vary between 5 – 13 depending on which console you go with. These include standard profiles, as well as the Sprint 8 HIIT workout.
Bluetooth- all of the consoles are bluetooth compatible with fitness apps, heart rate monitors, and bluetooth headphones.
Heart rate monitoring- there are built-in grip heart rate monitors in the safety rail and all of the consoles are compatible with bluetooth heart rate straps as well. The XER and XIR consoles even come with an included chest strap.
Water bottle holders- there’s room to hold 2 water bottles, so you can stay nice and hydrated during workouts.
If you decide to purchase the TF30, the assembly is very similar to that of most any other home treadmill.
The deck comes pre-assembled, so don’t have to worry about messing with the belt or doing anything underneath the machine.
Assembly entails attaching the two console masts to the frame, snaking the cables through the left mast, attaching the console base, the safety handrail, and the console itself.
There are also several covers that need to be attached, but that’s about it.
With the TF30, there are a few more cable connections than usual, what with the safety rail, but overall, it’s a very straightforward procedure.
The assembly manual is pretty easy to follow and Matrix offers assembly videos that walk you through the whole process.
If you’re comfortable following directions and putting stuff together in general, you shouldn’t have any issues putting the TF30 together.
Just keep in mind that it is a heavy treadmill, so it’s a good idea to have a second person around to assist.
Matrix backs their TF30 Treadmill with the following home warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- Lifetime motor
- Lifetime cushioning
- 5 year parts
- 2 year labor
Overall, this is a great warranty.
You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee for the frame, motor, and cushioning system and 5 years on parts is quite generous as well.
Two years on labor is really good too, considering most brands stop at one year on labor.
In terms of comps, this warranty beats out what Life Fitness offers on their F3 and it matches what Horizon offers on their 7.8 AT.
Spirit offers 10 years on parts for some of their higher-end treadmills, but otherwise, it’s gonna be tough to find a finer warranty.
Ok, that about does it for the specs and features the TF30 is rocking.
Based on the performance specs alone, I think the TF30 is a fine treadmill that’s well-equipped to offer a great workout, but nothing especially stands out as being remarkable.
By that I mean, in terms of performance, there are more affordable treadmills out there with larger running surfaces, stronger motors, and just as good warranties.
Like Horizon’s 7.8 AT.
However, there aren’t many treadmills that can compete with Matrix’s consoles.
Yup, it’s the XER and XIR consoles that really make the TF30 special – having access to iFit, all the popular entertainment apps, and internet browsing is pretty unique.
And I love that you don’t need an iFit membership to take advantage of all the other features these consoles offer (unlike NordicTrack’s treadmills).
And again, I really like that safety handrail going across the entire front of the deck – I could see this being a great feature for folks with balance issues or who need a little more support while on the treadmill.
So, all things considered, I like the TF30 – if you’re looking for a connected treadmill with loads of entertainment/workout options, I think it’s a smart choice.