The AssaultRunner Elite is a high-quality, well-rounded manual treadmill with solid specs and performance. The curved deck promotes a more natural running form, while the grippy tread enhances the overall experience. It has one of the best monitors in the game and comes with two accessible storage areas for drinks, phones, etc.
Who It’s Right For
Things to Consider
Running hasn’t always been my favorite thing – maybe you can relate.
Honestly, I never felt I was very good at it, but more than that, I never had the burning desire to “pound the pavement.”
However, I decided to step up my running game in 2020 and began investing in manual treadmills.
I’m generally not a big fan of motorized treadmills, and while I enjoy running outside more than I used to, I can still only do it a few months of the year (allergies, being a wimp in the winter, etc.).
Since then, I’ve owned and tested numerous curved treadmills from Trueform, GetRX’d, Assault Fitness, and more.
For the money, the AssaultRunner Elite has become my top pick for most people.
In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the AssaultRunner Elite. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare it to the AssaultRunner Pro and Trueform Trainer.
Let’s dig in.
The AssaultRunner Elite is a top-end curved treadmill with impressive features and specs.
I love how it performs, especially for varying intensities and max-effort sprints.
The monitor is excellent, the storage is useful, and the warranty is among the best on the market.
However, it’s one of the larger units, so it may not be ideal for small spaces.
It also has some disappointing fit issues in the arm assembly that several customers, including myself, have experienced.
Let’s have a look at the specs and jump into the review.
- Dimensions: 69.9″ L x 31.7″ W x 64.4″ H
- Weight: 289 lbs
- Max Weight: 400 lbs
- Frame: Steel
- Covers: Single Formed Reinforced Polymer
- Tread Surface: TPU Plastic
- Belt Width: 17.25″
- Bearings: 100 Sealed Steel Ball Bearings
- Display: LCD
- Warranty: Lifetime belt, 10-year frame, 3-year non-wear parts, 1-year labor
The Body and The Curve
One of the most important aspects of a curved treadmill is… you guessed it… the curve. The AssaultRunner Elite has a front curve of around 9 degrees, which is in the sweet zone, in my opinion. It’s not so steep that it builds momentum too easily, but it’s not so shallow that it disregards the benefits of the curve (comfort and form).
Also of importance is the rear curve. While you want some curve for general ergonomics, one that’s too steep will slow speed as it requires extra rear foot force to continue the motion. Unlike some manual treadmills with steeper rear curves, the AssaultRunner Elite is lower, allowing for great energy transfer and running form.
Dimensionally, the Elite offers a larger footprint than several others. The disadvantage is that it physically takes up more space in your gym, which can be problematic in some home gyms. However, the advantage is that you get more tread space to run. With a total length of nearly 70″, you’ll have around 62″ of running space after factoring in the natural fall-off at both ends. Long striders and tall runners will likely appreciate the longer deck.
The treadmill’s frame is built with steel and is covered with heavy-duty plastic, resulting in a total weight of nearly 290 lbs. Thankfully, there are two front wheels and a horizontal steel bar in the back for portability. Despite the heavy build, it’s easy for a single person to move around the gym or take outside.
The Belt and Mechanics
The Elite’s belt is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, which is a durable and non-compressive material. The slatted surface is the same as other curved treads, but it’s heavier than some options, which some users prefer.
A heavier belt allows for quicker acceleration and top-end speed, but some users find it makes their workouts slightly easier. It’s also slightly harder to slow down, which may require you to use the side platforms after sprint efforts.
At 0.5″ thick, it’s one of the thicker belts out there, and I appreciate that each slat is constructed with a single piece of material. This enhances the overall durability and is one of the big reasons why Assault Fitness can offer a lifetime warranty on the belt.
The entire belt measures 17.25″ wide, which is slightly wider than the standard 17″ width on most curved treadmills. Each side platform measures 5″ wide, giving you ample space to jump off the tread when you need to stop quickly.
Underneath the belt are a series of 100 ball bearings (50 per side) and 12 roller guide pulleys (6 per side). The bearings provide a fluid experience, while the pulleys ensure the belt always tracks properly. In general, this is one of the smoothest curved treadmills I’ve tested.
The monitor is one of the standout features of the AssaultRunner Elite. In addition to tracking the most relevant stats, it has built-in programs and functions. See the below list for the full breakdown:
- Time – Shows elapsed time
- Distance – Toggle between Meters, Kilometers, and Miles
- Speed – Toggle between KM/hr and MI/hr
- Pace – Toggle between mins/KM and mins/MI
- Heart Rate – Requires third-party monitoring device like the Polar Heart Rate Monitor
- Programs – Interval, Target (time, calories, or distance), and Heart Rate
- Functions – Bluetooth & ANT+ connection, toggle units, split time, and toggle sound
- Interval LED Indicator – Shows when to rest and when to work during interval programs
- Enter/Start/Stop – Basic navigation
Aside from all the functionality, I’m impressed with the layout and general ease of setting it up. It’s far superior to Trueform, but I wish it had a backlit display like the Rogue Woodway LTG Treadmill. It’s not as easy to read in dark rooms.
Another great feature of the surrounding assembly is that the Runner Elite has two storage compartments for water bottles, cell phones, etc. Surprisingly, not all curved treadmills offer this.
Shipping & Assembly
The AssaultRunner Elite ships freight and comes partially assembled. From unboxing to running, it took me around 45 minutes to assemble myself. The most tedious part is routing the wires and connecting the arm covers. Having a 2nd person isn’t necessary, but it would make things easier.
One of my biggest critiques of the AssaultRunner Elite is that the arm covers don’t line up perfectly. Considering there are several other complaints from users, it doesn’t appear to be an isolated issue. Compared to some, my gap isn’t as bad, but it’s not something that should occur at this price. Thankfully, it doesn’t affect performance – it’s mostly a cosmetic issue.
AssaultRunner Elite vs. Pro
The AssaultRunner Pro is Assault’s entry-level curved treadmill, and it’s another solid option. While it has a footprint similar to the Elite, there are several notable differences to consider.
First, the Elite is a more rugged and durable treadmill. Although both weigh ~289 lbs, the Elite has a max weight capacity of 400 lbs vs. 350 lbs on the Pro. The Elite also has a more comprehensive warranty program:
- AssaultRunner Elite: Lifetime belt, 10-year frame, 3-year non-wear parts, 1-year labor
- AssaultRunner Pro: 150,000 miles belt, 5-year frame, 3-year non-wear parts, 1-year labor
Additionally, the Elite has wider side platforms, which can come in handy when jumping off during intense workouts. It also includes two storage areas for drinks, cell phones, keys, etc., which the Pro doesn’t offer.
Both treadmills have the same monitor, but the Elite has a UV resistance screen to limit fading while training outdoors. Lastly, the over-molded handrails on the Elite come with a rust-resistant topcoat compared to the traditional powder-coated tube rails on the Pro.
Operationally, these treadmills perform the same. You’re paying more for a better warranty, a more durable treadmill, and some additional features. With the AssaultRunner often only $500 more, I think it’s a worthy upgrade if you have the extra money and want more peace of mind.
AssaultRunner Elite vs. Trueform Trainer
The Trueform Trainer is another well-made and popular manual treadmill. As the first manual treadmill I’ve owned, I’ve had a lot of experience with it.
The biggest difference between these two treadmills is the footprint and curve. One of the best things about the Trueform is that it’s among the most compact curved treadmills. Compared to the AssaultRunner Elite, it’s ~6″ shorter in length. This makes it an ideal option for smaller spaces. However, the shorter deck isn’t as good for long striders or ultra-tall runners.
The Trueform has a slightly less aggressive front curve compared to the Assault. Coupled with a lighter belt, it doesn’t build up quite as much momentum. While I like the AssaultRunner more for max-effort sprints, I prefer the Trueform for longer-distance runs.
Another key difference between them is the monitor. Simply put, the AssaultRunner Elite is significantly better. It tracks more stats, has built-in programs, and includes functions. The Trueform Trainer tracks the important stats and has time/distance programs, but it lacks overall performance and looks stale.
A feature I’ve come to appreciate on the AssaultRunner is the built-in storage. The Trueform Trainer doesn’t come with storage, so if you want to easily hold your water bottles and other items, the AssaultRunner is the better choice.
Overall, these are two excellent curved treadmills. They’re both durable and offer impressive warranties. Depending on sales, one may be less expensive than the other.
If you’re a long-distance runner looking for a great running experience with a no-frills approach, it’s hard to beat Trueform’s performance. However, if you want more features with a better monitor, and you train with various intensities, I recommend the AssaultRunner Elite.
The AssaultRunner Elite receives good feedback from customers. Users love the smooth response and overall experience of the curved deck. The monitor and storage compartments are other features customers love.
However, several people have had the same issue as me regarding the plastic elbow connectors on the arms. While it doesn’t affect performance, the fit and finish could be improved. Some users have also complained about a squeaky noise. While I haven’t experienced that consistently, squeaking is a fairly common issue with curved treadmills.
Pros and Cons
For the money, I think the AssaultRunner Elite is the best curved treadmill for most people. In my opinion, the increased durability and better warranty put it above the AssaultRunner Pro.
I’ve been pleased with the performance, and I love the monitor compared to most.
However, I’m disappointed in how the arm connections fit. Again, it doesn’t impact performance, but pieces should fit perfectly for the amount of money this costs.
In conclusion, The Assault Runner Elite is a terrific manual treadmill. Considering it’s less expensive than several others, it has solid value, which is one of the biggest reasons I recommend it to most people.
AssaultRunner Elite Rating
FAQs about the AssaultRunner Elite
Will the Assault RunnerElite Improve my Running Form?
Curved treadmills, including the AssaultRunner Elite, help promote a more natural stride and gate. It won't magically translate to better flat-running form, but while using this treadmill, your form will be more efficient.
Can I walk on the AssaultRunner Elite?
Yes, you have full control over your speed on a manual treadmill. However, there is a higher learning curve to walking at a consistent pace relative to a motorized treadmill.