You must read this JTX Sprint 5 review if you're looking for a reliable mid-range folding treadmill to add to your home gym. During testing, I was impressed with the versatility of the Sprint 5 and was sad when I had to return it to JTX after the review was written. But alas, such is life!
The JTX Sprint 5 made T3's list of the best folding treadmills because, for its price, it provides a powerful belt powered by a hefty 2.5-horsepower motor. This makes it powerful enough to stand up against more expensive treadmills at a fraction of the price. The belt features a Cushionstep running deck. JTX claims this contains eight shock absorption points, which reduces impact by up to 30%. I could not compare it with or without shock absorption, but the platform felt soft and did not jar my knees or hips.
Should you buy one, or are you better off having a look at our best treadmill guide for bigger, more robust running machine options? Let's find out. Please note: JTX only delivers its machines in the UK, so if you're reading this JTX Sprint 5 review from anywhere else in the world, you're best bet is to check out the treadmill guides linked above.
JTX Sprint 5 review: Price and availability
The JTX Sprint 5 went on sale in January 2021 for a recommended retail price of £759 (it's often on offer, though). For the latest prices, visit JTX Fitness (opens in new tab) today. The JTX Sprint 5 is only available in the UK at the time of writing. US/AU prices and availability TBC.
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Setup
My JTX Sprint 5 treadmill arrived fully constructed and zip-tied to a pallet, wheeled up to the front door. Unfortunately, it was a few inches too wide to fit through the actual door frame, so I had to dismantle it to get it in the house. This was fairly easy as it turns out, as it unscrews into three main parts, but as with many larger treadmills, the belt section was extremely weighty (a two-person lifting job), ruling it out of basing the treadmill in an upstairs room due to the weight and layout of my stairs. However, JTX told me that regular customers would receive the treadmill boxed to construct at home.
Reconstructing the unit was straightforward and took around half an hour. The treadmill folds vertically, but even when the belt is in the upright position the actual footprint of the machine remains relatively large (83 x 114 x 157cm), especially when compared to some other foldable treadmills, so bear this in mind if you’re limited for space. This larger footprint, however, is the price you pay for increased power at this price point.
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Connectivity
Firing up the treadmill is easy: simply plug it in and switch it on and you’re ready to start running. In terms of Bluetooth connectivity, the machine hooks up to Polar heart rate belts (specifically the Polar H10) to display and track your HR on the PolarFlow app while running. Unfortunately, I did not have the right HR belt to test connectivity.
It also connects to the video-training app Kinomap, and will auto-adjust the incline to match the onscreen incline while you’re running on the app’s routes. If you haven’t used Kinomap, the idea is that other users have filmed local runs so that then you can run these routes virtually.
The app connected to the treadmill easily, and I ran along Utah’s stunning Millcreek Canyon. The treadmill adjusts the incline automatically to the ascent you are running within the route, which is a great feature (although as the JTX Sprint 5 does not have a minus incline you can only run flat on the downhill sections). However, it worked smoothly with no glitches, and Kinomap provides a wide range of data you can analyse on the app post-run, including running power (in watts).
One big missing connection though is the ability to pair with virtually running app Zwift Run. The option to pair the treadmill with Zwift would be a worthwhile addition to future models, as then the treadmill will auto-adjust to the onscreen route, like with Kinomap, instead of you having to up the incline manually. It’s a minor quibble, but one that could make a difference to some buyers.
(UPDATE FEB 2023: the JTX Sprint 5 now connects to Zwift as well as Kinomap thanks to a software update.)
In terms of inbuilt programmes, there are 43 pre-set workout programmes built into the machine – simply choose one and select how long you wish to work out and the machine will provide a variety of inclines. These worked well in testing, with the incline changing in line with the workout profile.
The only minor complaint would be that the speed dropped automatically when the incline increased, meaning I had to increase the speed manually, but that happens with most treadmills. These pre-programmed runs are great for when you want to stick on a film or TV series and just run
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Build quality
It’s a sturdy machine that has the build feel of high-end treadmills you find in gyms. The belt looks and feels tough and able to take some foot-pounding punishment – it’s a little slow to get moving but once it’s up and running it is solid and fast.
To fold the treadmill, you simply lift the belt upwards and it pivots at the base of the main unit. It’s fairly heavy and takes some heft on the initial lift, but once the hydraulic arm kicks in it slides up and clicks into place easily. I found the folding mechanism a little tricky to work when attempting to ‘unfold’ the belt.
You are required to push your foot into the middle of the standing arm to begin the fold, but it wouldn’t always do it first time on my attempts. Once it engaged though, the belt glided down to the ground slowly and smoothly.
The control panel all worked fine, and there is plenty of room for bottles, phones, sweat towels and other miscellaneous items. There’s also a tablet holder that sits above the panel at the ideal near-eye-level height if you’re planning on using Kinomap, Zwift or other running apps.
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Performance
The belt is spacious enough for most runners – I’m 6ft 1in with a long gait and I never felt that I was restricted in my running. The Sprint 5 reacts within a second or two when you alter speed and incline. Weirdly, there are what look like buttons on the digital screen, but on my first test I quickly realised that it is not a touchscreen, so I’m not entirely sure why there are button-like buttons on the screen.
In terms of what is presented on the display, you get the basics: time, incline, speed, distance and calories. The inbuilt fan is, to be frank, almost unnoticeable when it’s on. I could barely feel a breeze when I put my hand over it, so don’t expect your hair to be streaming back in a cool breeze when you are 30 minutes into an hour workout.
Performance is quiet, in so far as treadmills can be quiet. The SmoothDrive motor system and belt work together to produce a low noise output – when I was running, the loudest sound was my feet pounding the belt. My neighbours did not complain, which is always a good sign.
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Verdict
This is a good-performing all-round folding treadmill, ideal for runners just starting out as well as runners training for long endurance races over the winter months. The auto-incline feature when hooked up to Kinomap is useful, but a connection to Zwift would also be welcome.
When folded, it’s not the smallest, but it still takes up less space than no-fold treadmills. For the price, it’s worth the investment if you’re happy to run without the bells and whistles of higher-end treadmills that offer extras such as live or ion-demand classes.
JTX Sprint 5 Treadmill: Also consider
As a general rule, the smaller the fold, the lower the power output (and so it won’t go as fast as others), but the Echelon Stride goes against this. The Stride is a more compact folding treadmill that’s slightly higher on the price scale. It folds down to just 26cm tall, so can be stored away easily under a bed or sofa. It matches the Sprint 5’s incline and speed, as well as provides access to Echelon’s live and on-demand classes for a monthly subscription.
If you’re after a foldable treadmill and your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the Sprint 5, the Mobvoi Home Folding Treadmill is worth considering. At around half the price of the Sprint 5, you can get a treadmill that folds down to an extremely small size. As you might expect for the price, though, the power is limited to just 0.75HP, with a maximum speed of 7.4mph and no incline options, so it’s not suited to those wanting to run hard intervals or fast tempo runs.
The JTX Sprint 3 might carry a modest price tag, but it’s far from basic – this comfortable-to-use folding treadmill provides a quality workout every time. There are no fancy extras like Bluetooth connectivity, but it does come with a tablet/phone holder allowing users to prop up their device of choice to aid a run. It's more compact than the Sprint-5 and has a smaller running deck, but if you're a petit runner, you can save some money by buying the Sprint-3 instead of the Sprint-5.