Smooth 9.17 Treadmill Review

Smooth 9.17 treadmill

This treadmill also features 15 different levels of incline. Most treadmills incline up to 10%, so I'm assuming that that's going to be the 15th level of incline on this treadmill.

The other levels will fall between 0% and 10%. This treadmill uses a fairly large 20” by 54” tread belt. This will provide plenty of room for the wider and taller consumers.

The tread belt is an orthopedic belt, which is very comfortable due to the added cushion you are walking on. These are very good for minimizing the stress on your joints while you're using the treadmill. If you have a bad knee, like I do, than this would be a great treadmill to have.

The treadbelt is 54" and is fairly large but I think, compared to other treadmills in this price range, it should be a least, 55" long.


  • 3” LED Display
  • Speed
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Heart Rate
  • 6 Programs
  • Wireless chest strap

All features on this treadmill have come to be standard on mostly all treadmills. The heart rate monitor is a nice feature, as not all treadmills feature it. I recommend always having a heart rate monitor on any piece of equipment you purchase. This will help to keep you in your optimum training zone whether your goal is to burn fat or increase your aerobic endurance.

The wireless chest strap is a nice addition. With the wireless chest strap, you don't even need to touch the treadmill at all to get an accurate reading of your pulse. Nice!


6 Programs

  • Quick Start/Manual
  • Killer Hills
  • Interval Speed Program
  • Weight Loss Program
  • 5K Self-Learning/Competition
  • Heart Rate Control Program

These programs are pretty standard on most treadmills in this price range. I think Smooth could have added another two programs to this treadmill for added value.


  • Support 300+ pounds
  • Heavy Duty Treadbelt

Smooth is known for building stable and sturdy treadmills. At 290lbs, this treadmill is built to last. Along with a strong 3.0 continous duty motor and a fairly large frame, I have no doubt it can easily handle 250 pounds.

Heart Rate Monitor

  • Yes
  • Contact touch;
  • Wireless chest strap

A wireless chest strap is a fantastic feature that allows you to take your pulse without touching the console - totally hands free.

Warranty and Service

Lifetime Frame
Lifetime Motor
5 Years Parts
1 Year Labor
Curbside Delivery (Free)
Inside Delivery - First Enclosure (Call for prices)
Delivery & Setup (Call for prices)
Return policy – 30 days

The warranty of the Smooth 9.17 HRO is pretty good in this particular price range. The only thing that I don't like is the fact that Smooth doesn't list the price for "in home" set up and installation. This price can be anywhere between $50 to $300. I strongly suggest to anyone to have a professional set up your treadmill. If you have no clue how to set up a treadmill, than don't even try because this can lead to more headaches down the road. Have it set up right, from the start.

Let's take a look at Smooth's direct competitors warranties:

Sole F85 Folding Treadmill ($1,999 includes shipping);

- Lifetime motor;
- Lifetime deck;
- Lifetime frame;
- 5 years parts and electronics;
- 2 Years labor

Vision T9450 Premiere ($2,199 plus $150 shipping and set up);

- Lifetime Frame;
- Lifetime motor;
- 5 Years parts and electronics;
- 1 year labor

Spirit Z500 Fold-Up Treadmill ($1,899 includes free shipping)

- Lifetime frame;
- 30 years motor;
- 5 year parts and wear items;
- 1 year labor

As you can see, Sole's F85 has basically the same warranty with the exception of an additional 1 year of in home labor. That can make for a big difference in service. Sole is a very reputable company with great service.

Let's take a look at Precor's warranty, which is often considered the best in the industry. A Precor treadmill comes with the following warranty:

Lifetime frame and welds
10 years parts and wear items
1 year labor

As you can see, the warranties are very similar. This shows me, the consumer, that Smooth stands behind the quality of their treadmill. This gives me a lot of confidence in their products.

Smooth has 3 options available for set up. You can have them drop it off, deliver it inside, or have them set up the equipment. Personally, I would always have it set up by one of their technicians. The technicians do this for a living, so why not have them set it up right, from the start. You can have the best treadmill in the world, but if you set it up wrong, it's not going to work. Have it set up properly and it will last a lot longer. Of course, there is a charge for this but it is worth it.

Smooth allows you to return any treadmill within 30 days. Here is what Smooth has to say about their return policy:

”Cancellations and Returns

We guarantee full satisfaction on all products on this site. If you are not fully satisfied you may return your purchase (in the original package, freight prepaid) to us for a full refund or credit (less actual shipping, delivery and/or assembly charges). No returns will be accepted without prior written authorization from Smooth Fitness®.

To obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA), contact Smooth Fitness Customer Service Group at 1-866-579-5914 or 905-660-1668. To be eligible for a refund or credit, you must obtain an approved RMA within 30 days of delivery. All returns must be made using the original (or comparable) packaging in good condition, with freight prepaid. The returned merchandise must be shipped back to Smooth Fitness within 10 days of receiving the RMA. You must prepay shipping charges and insure the shipment, or accept the risk of loss or damage.

Refused shipments are subject to a 20% restocking fee, and customer will be responsible for shipping charges both ways.”

Price/Cost Effectiveness

$2,099, Free Shipping (at the website)

The true price of the Smooth 9.17HRO is unknown at this point. The base price is $2,099 which includes shipping but Smooth doesn't tell you how much the price of in house set up is and that scares me. The price can be $400 for all we know.

Are you getting good value for the Smooth 9.17HRO in terms of the price? Well, I think Smooth products are very well built and they know how to construct a top end treadmill. However, I honestly think that Smooth should have added at least a 55" tread belt to this machine. The motor is powerful enough and will handle just about anyone over 200+ pounds comfortably.

Let's take a quick peek at the Smooth's 9.17HRO main competitor, Sole Fitness F85's main features:

Sole F85 Folding Treadmill ($1,999 pluse $239 for delivery and set up);

Motor: 3.5 HP Continuous Duty, DC type, ultra high torque
Speed: 0.5 to 12 mph
Incline: 15% maximum, rack and pinion gear design
Weight: 280 lbs.
User Weight: 400 lbs.
Tread Belt: 20" X 60"
Folding: Yes, with the Easy Assist folding feature
Heart Rate Control: Yes, with wireless chest strap included
Hand Pulse Grips: Yes, and arm rest speed/incline controls
Display Color: Tri Color - Red, Green and Gold
Message Window: Yes - Scrolling Information
Standard Programs: Six
User Defined Programs: Two
Heart Rate Programs: Two
Cooling Fans: Yes
Shipping: Free in the continental US ($239.00 delivery and set up)

True price: $2238

This is a tough one. Let's say Smooth's in home set up is $150, the new price for Smooth's 9.17HRO is now $2,249. Which one would I choose. Well, if you take a look at Sole's tread belt, it's 6" longer than Smooth's tread belt. What does this mean? It means this tread belt is commerical grade length. It means that this tread belt length is the one used at the your gym. Precor's top end commercial treadmill, the C966i uses a 60" tread belt. The Lifefitness 97Te, which is Lifefitness' top commercial treadmill also uses a 60" tread belt. This is definite plus for Sole's F85!

Also, the F85 uses a powerful 3.5 continous horsepower motor. This is getting very close to commercial grade motors. The Lifefitness 97Te uses a 4.0 horsepower motor, which is exactly the same one used in top gyms across North America. Precor's top treadmill, the C966i also uses a powerhouse 4.0 continous horsepower motor. I don't know about you, but I'm all for the comfort and feel of a commercial grade, gym quality treadmill. Another huge plus for the Sole F85 is that it's 2 MPH faster than the Smooth 9.17HRO. The Sole F85 goes to 12 miles per hour and this takes this treadmill out of the "budget treadmill" speed range. What does this mean? It means it can handle more speed from a running exercise. Both, Precor's and Lifefitness top commercial grade treadmills go to about 16 miler per hour. This means a lot if you are a runner.

Although, the Smooth has an automatic fold up mechanism which is a definite plus, I'd be more willing to forego this feature with a longer tread belt and more powerful motor. However, if you have bad knees/back, the Smooth 9.17HRO would probably be a better option because it's a little more user friendly this way. Also, if you have more than 2 two people who are going to use the Smooth 9.17HRO, this may be a better option because up to 9 people can hold their personal workout information wheas Sole's F85 can hold only 2.

Now, usually, I'd be hesitant to take a look at Sole's F85 because it looks to good to be true. The first thing I looked at was the warranty and what do you know, it's better than Smooth's warranty!

Personally, as much as I love Smooth products, I'd have to go with the Sole F85 folding treadmill. I honestly think your getting better value for the money you are paying. Sorry Smooth.

Notable features

- Exclusive impression shock absorption technology. Used to lessen the force of bodyweight impact on your joints, specifically your knees.

- Automatic folding treadmill. This is a space saver.

- Up to nine people can store their age, weight, height, sex and target heart rate for future use. Great for families or households with multiple users.

I like this treadmill. The automatic folding feature for convenient storage is a pretty cool feature. I like the fact that up to 9 people can store their information in the treadmill so they can just get on and get going. The warranty is outstanding. My only concerns is:

  • Shorter than average tread belt for this price range;

Although it is worth every penny due to the quality, there are similar treadmills such as the Sole F85 that provides more value in terms of core features (tread belt and motor). Sole is a durable treadmill .

The Smooth 9.17HRO is a great choice for those of you who have bad knees/back and are looking for quality and durability.



All the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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