In this review of the Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B available at Decathlon, we’ll look at how it performs under test conditions, how it fits into the average space and its build quality.
Decathlon has built a reputation for solid quality sporting goods at the lower end of the price scale, and its in-house Domyos brand, available in-store and via the website, sits firmly within those parameters. If you purchase a Domyos item, you can expect it to be solidly built, dependable, good quality and to do everything you need with no fancy extras at a reasonable price.
So that’s what I was expecting from this Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B – a dependable, sturdy, run-of-the-(tread)mill treadmill that does what you’d expect. And dependable and sturdy it was, so much so that it ended up right at the top of our best cheap treadmill guide.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B review: Price and availability
The Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B is available now at Decathlon for a recommended retail price of $449.99.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B review: Setup
You’ll need to tool up when the Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B arrives on your doorstep – mine came flat-packed in a sizable box. Construction was relatively straightforward and took around an hour to fully build and screw the four main parts together. As a note, you’ll need an extra pair of hands as it takes two people to lift the box due to the fact the belt section weighs a bicep-strengthening 66kg.
The treadmill itself, once constructed, is relatively small-scale: it measures 163 x 73 x 138cm, and the belt folds up vertically, taking up significantly less space: 98 x 73 x 146cm when folded.
It’s worth noting that the deck size measures 43 x 121cm. This is certainly on the smaller size when compared to bigger, more expensive options. However, I’m 6ft 1in with a fairly long stride and I had no problems with the belt size – my stride never felt constrained and I didn’t feel I was close to the edges or about to recreate a treadmill fail video at any point.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B review: Connectivity
Once set up, you’ll need a mains socket nearby: it comes with an EU-type plug (due to the fact that Decathlon is a French sporting goods company), but mine arrived with a UK plug separately. Simply plug it into the mains connection, switch on the button at the end of the belt, and you’re all set to go.
There is no ability to connect any external platforms via Bluetooth, so heart-rate monitors can’t sync up, and you can’t hook up training programmes such as Zwift Run or Kinomap that auto-incline your workout. However, that’s a minor quibble at this price, and, to be honest, I’d be pleasantly surprised if it was offered.
What you get instead of external connections are 10 inbuilt training programmes. These are divided into two batches of five: five under ‘Be Healthy’ (designed to ease you into cardio) and five under ‘Calorie Burn’ (designed to burn fat). Each range in time from 20mins-40mins, the treadmill changes the incline and speed as you run, and the elevation profile is shown on the unit itself.
I tried two of the programmes and found them to provide a solid workout that would be ideal for lunchtime if you need a quick blast before an afternoon full of Zoom meetings.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B: Build quality
The most essential part of any treadmill is the belt, and the belt on the T520B is strong, gets up to speed quickly and feels like it could take miles and miles of trainer-pounding. It’s quiet as far as treadmills go (Domyos claims it’s measured at 57dB at 10kmph with no user) – it gets noisier the faster and heavier your footfall gets. In general, the motor and belt are within a comfortable, audible range, i.e., your neighbours won’t be reporting you for noise nuisance to your local council.
The top control panel feels less sturdy and more ‘plasticky’, but despite this, all buttons worked on first press, and the emergency stop cord operated as it should.
Folding-wise, it’s easy to lift the belt into the folded position (although a little heavy), and it locks in safely and securely. To unfold it, you put your foot behind the hinge and pull it towards you to engage the lock, after which it folds down slowly like a smooth-closing toilet seat. It also features two sets of wheels so you can move it around once it’s built – one set at the end of the belt and one set on the frame.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B: Performance
I’ll be honest, my expectations were not high for this unit, mainly due to the price and smaller size. However, once it was built, the T520B blew those low expectations away. The belt powered up smoothly, and I moved up to running speed quickly.
Once at around 9kmph, I found I had plenty of space to run on the belt and could push up the speed and incline with no problem by quickly pressing the ‘+’ buttons (pressing and holding them increases the numbers more quickly, as the unit is lacking pre-set speed and incline buttons).
The top speed of 13kmph via the unit’s 1.2 horsepower is fast – it may not be fast enough for those looking to all-out sprint intervals, but for the vast majority of runners, it’s fast enough for their needs. Similarly, the incline options up to 10% will be enough for all but the most serious club runners. I found that the 10% option was steep enough to utilise in my own hill sessions while on the machine.
A nice touch by Domyos, too, is that at the end of every workout, the T520B flashes up ‘Good’ on the screen. Sure, it’s not much, but it feels like a little pat on the back, and even if it’s from a machine, I’ll take what I can get.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no option to connect an external HR monitor. However, it does feature hand-held heart-rate recording, as standard on many treadmills. I found this to take around 10 seconds to record a measurement that flashes up on-screen, so I’d say it’s not a tremendous amount of use.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B review: Verdict
If you’re on a budget but want to run indoors over the winter months, the Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B should be up at the top of your list.
It’s small yet robust and will suit all but the very tallest of runners. As a consistent running tool, it will serve you well – the pre-set programmes may be basic, but they do the job. The speed and incline options mean you can easily create your own training sessions to keep things exciting and spice up what can easily become ‘boring’ treadmill runs.
The lack of external connectivity might put people off, especially if you’re an avid Zwift Run user, but you can still use Zwift Run via the Zwift Run Pod; you just have to alter the incline yourself.
If you’re on the lookout for a budget treadmill that will serve you well on regular indoor workouts, the Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B will cover all your running bases.
Domyos Comfort Treadmill T520B: Also consider
There’s a plethora of folding treadmills out there for all budgets, but if you’re looking strictly at the lower end of the market, and want to push yourself harder with a little more speed than the Domyos offers, consider the Viavito Lunarun Fold Flat Treadmill. It’s compact, features 16 programmes and a top speed of 16kmph.
Another foldable treadmill offering similar tech at the same price is the MuscleSquad P100 Folding Treadmill. It goes up to 15kmph, and features a neat touchscreen featuring a handy dial to increase speed, a USB port and a pair of built-in speakers.
Also, if your budget can stretch a little higher, JTX’s Sprint 5 is a good performer for a few hundred pounds more. For that extra cash you’ll get more space on the belt and Bluetooth connectivity to hook up external apps and Polar HR belts, plus a top speed of 18kmph.