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Xebex AirPlus Runner Review (2024)

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Quick Overview

The Xebex AirPlus Runner w/ Smart Connect is a unique manual treadmill with built-in magnetic resistance. With eight levels of resistance, you can simulate sled movements at various intensities. It has a feature-rich monitor, several handle options, and accessory holders.

Overall Rating: 8.9/10

Build Quality: 9.1/10

Design & Specs: 9.1/10

Footprint: 8.9/10

Monitor: 9.0/10

Price: 8.4/10

Who It’s Right For

  • Those who prefer a manual treadmill
  • Someone looking for added resistance
  • Anyone who likes sled training

Things to Consider

  • It’s not as good for long-distance running
  • There are less expensive options

The Xebex AirPlus Runner is one of the most unique manual treadmills on the market.

While it has the same curved body as others, this treadmill includes eight levels of magnetic resistance that you can change instantly.

It also has several handle options for sled movements and a solid monitor.

However, this design has some drawbacks, including size and base-level running.

In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the Xebex AirPlus Runner w/ Smart Connect. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare it to the AssaultRunner Elite.

Let’s dig in.

Xebex AirPlus Runner

Xebex AirPlus Runner with Smart Connect
Xebex AirPlus Runner w/ Smart Connect
Xebex AirPlus Runner
The Xebex AirPlus Runner is a curved manual treadmill with built-in magnetic resistance. It's excellent for walking and simulating sled movements.

Xebex is one of my favorite manufacturers of high-quality and often value-packed conditioning equipment.

From their innovative XT3 sled to multiple air bikes, rowers, ski ergs, and more, they have a strong catalog of cardio pieces.

I’ve been excited to try the AirPlus Runner because I’ve enjoyed my experience with their other magnetic resistance equipment, and I love sled exercises.

In that sense, I’ve been quite pleased with the AirPlus’ performance and feel this is the best curved treadmill for walking.

However, I’m disappointed with its running performance compared to others – something I’ll explain in detail below.

Let’s have a look at the specs and jump into the review.


  • Dimensions: 71″ L x 35″ W x 65″ H
  • Weight: 352 lbs
  • Max Weight: 350 lbs
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tread Surface: 10mm Vulcanized Rubber
  • Belt Width: 17″
  • Bearings: 114 Steel Bearings
  • Display: LCD
  • Warranty: 5-year frame, 3-year parts, 2-year console

The Resistance

While I usually start with the overall shape and design of curved treadmills, I think it’s important to look at the magnetic resistance first. As a unique feature, it will frame the rest of the review and discussion.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Magnetic Resistance-4

Unlike most manual treadmills, you can adjust the Xebex AirPlus Runner’s integrated resistance to accommodate your training. Making the switch couldn’t be easier, thanks to the lever on the right arm.

Clearly marked from 1-8, you can quickly and confidently adjust the resistance at any time with immediate results. I also like that the resistance level is displayed on the monitor when you can’t look down at the lever.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Bearings and Flywheel

In my experience, each level is noticeably and incrementally more challenging, with the highest level requiring some pressure into the handles. The resistance is achieved by applying 20 magnets to two flywheels. As you increase the level, the magnets get closer to the flywheel, creating more resistance.

Another important feature of magnetic resistance is that it gets more difficult the harder you push. In that sense, you can manipulate total resistance by changing the resistance level and/or your effort level.

The Body and the Curve

The Xebex AirPlus Runner is a tank. Seriously, it’s one of the heaviest curved treadmills at over 350 lbs. In addition to its steel frame, this treadmill is larger than others, which is one of the biggest reasons it’s heavier.

While the tread deck has a similar width as others, the arms mount on the outside, making it wider by as much as 5″+. Combined with a slightly longer profile, its overall footprint is one of the largest. If you’re in a particularly small space, this may be something to consider. Otherwise, it’s not a deal breaker and is fairly easy to move around with wheels and a rear handle.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Curved Manual Treadmill

The curve of the AirPlus is excellent and consistent with other high-end models. At just under 9 degrees in the front, it creates a comfortable, ergonomic deck. Similarly, the lower rear curve produces a natural fall-off and feels good for all stride lengths.

Another standout feature is the handle system. In addition to standard side rails, Xebex offers high and low vertical handles for sled movements. I’ll have additional sled performance thoughts below, but the handles are powder-coated tube steel and have ample texture.

The Belt and Mechanics

The AirPlus Runner belt is made of 10mm vulcanized rubber. It’s heavier than most other belts made with TPU plastic, but it doesn’t generate as much momentum as you would typically expect (more below).

The rubber absorbs force well and is quite comfortable, but you may find it somewhat squishy if you’re used to running on pavement/harder surfaces.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Tread Surface-6

Dimensionally, the belt is 17″ wide and 67″ long, giving you plenty of working space. The platform sides are also well-sized, allowing you to jump off the moving treadmill at any time.

Mechanically, the AirPlus Runner uses 114 steel bearings, four pillow blow bearings, and roller guides to produce a generally smooth experience. However, despite having more bearings, it’s not quite as smooth as some others because of the extra weight.

The Monitor

The monitor on the AirPlus Runner is one of its standout features because of its functionality. See below for all of its capabilities:

  • Time – Shows elapsed time
  • Calories
  • Distance – Toggle between Meters, Kilometers, and Miles
  • Speed – Toggle between KM/hr and MI/hr
  • Watts
  • 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
Xebex AirPlus Runner Monitor

Aesthetically, it’s an OK-looking monitor. I’m not a huge fan of the carbon fiber overlay, but I like the overall button layout. The screen is also well organized, but I wish the display was backlit because it can sometimes be a little dark.

The SmartConnect functionality is also a benefit if you like to track data, compete, etc. Xebex has several compatible Bluetooth apps to connect to the AirPlus Runner.

My Experience Using the Xebex AirPlus Runner

One of my favorite ways to use this treadmill is for walking. When walking on traditional curved treadmills, you may experience an inconsistent cadence because the belt is so responsive and sensitive to your movement.

However, the resistance on this treadmill reduces the belt’s momentum, allowing you to achieve a more controlled walking pace. It feels more comfortable, and adding just a little bit of resistance (levels 2-3) is a nice challenge. I especially like wearing a weighted vest on it and notice a clear difference compared to my AssaultRunner Elite.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Sled

On the other hand, the AirPlus isn’t as good for running. Even at its base level (no resistance), this belt is harder to move than others because you’re also moving the flywheels. Therefore, it feels as if some resistance is being applied, resulting in sluggish running performance.

I don’t mind performing all-out sprints in quick intervals, but long-distance running doesn’t feel very natural.

As a machine that prides itself on being a sled alternative, it does a very nice job. Do I think this is a sled replacement? No, especially if you’re a serious sled user. But it’s a great option if you don’t have the space or desire to use a dedicated sled.

My favorite way to use it is by holding the high handles close to my body and pushing at level 8. It’s simply a great workout. You can also do backward pushes on the AirPlus Runner, another favorite of mine. These aren’t possible on traditional curved treadmills, and they light up your quads.

Shipping & Assembly

Xebex AirPlus Runner Assembly

The Xebex AirPlus Runner ships via freight on a well-packaged pallet. I assembled it by myself in about an hour, which is slightly longer than some other treadmills I’ve put together.

The most challenging part was routing the wires through the handle assembly. The vertical handle, in particular, required several attempts. While having a second person would help speed things along, you can absolutely put this runner together solo.

I’ll also add that the pictures in the instruction manual could be improved. They’re not in color, and a few were hard to decipher.

Xebex AirPlus Runner vs. AssaultRunner Elite

Xebex AirPlus Runner
AssaultRunner Elite
Xebex AirPlus Runner
AssaultRunner Elite
71″ x 35″ x 65″
69.9″ x 31.7″ x 64.4″
Max Weight
Max Weight
350 lbs
400 lbs

The AssaultRunner Elite is one of the most popular manual treadmills on the market. As one that I’ve owned and used for years, I have a good basis for comparing the two.

The main difference between these two treadmills is that the AirPlus Runner has magnetic resistance. While the AirPlus is better for walking and sled movements, the AssaultRunner Elite is superior for running, especially long-distance.

Both treadmills have similar curve profiles, but the AirPlus is larger and heavier. If you’re training in a very small space, you may find the AssaultRunner a better fit.

AssaultRunner Elite - Best Manual Treadmill Overall

I’m a big fan of both monitors since they operate almost identically. They track the same stats and offer built-in functions, programs, etc. However, the AssaultRunner Elite tends to look brighter and includes a UV-resistant coating to reduce glare.

Price-wise, the AssaultRunner Elite is less expensive than the Xebex AirPlus Runner w/ Smart Connect. Even when on sale, you can expect to pay more for the AirPlus.

That said, it ultimately comes down to your training needs. If you’re a runner, I recommend the AssaultRunner Elite. However, the AirPlus Runner is the clear winner if you plan to walk and/or utilize the sled capabilities.

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent treadmill for walking
  • Magnetic resistance is seamless and effective
  • Multiple handle options for sled movements
  • Great overall curve anatomy
  • Quality monitor with various stats, functions, and programs
  • Phone and water bottle holders


  • Long-distance running isn’t as good as other manual treadmills
  • The assembly manual could use higher-quality images
  • Slightly larger and heavier than others

Final Thoughts

The Xebex AirPlus Runner with Smart Connect is the most unique curved treadmill I’ve tested.

I love the inclusion of magnetic resistance and found the various adjustments challenging and effective.

The handle options work great for simulating different sled movements, and the ability to do backward pushes is truly unique.

However, running on this treadmill isn’t as natural feeling as others. Even at its base level, it’s harder to move the belt. If you’re a long-distance or serious runner, I recommend non-resistance options.

Ultimately, I recommend the AirPlus Runner to those looking for a great walking treadmill and anyone who likes the idea of magnetic resistance/sled training.

This is an especially compelling option for commercial gyms/coaches focused on strength and conditioning.

Xebex AirPlus Runner Rating

Build Quality: 9.1/10

Design & Specs: 9.1/10

Footprint: 8.9/10

Monitor: 9.0/10

Price: 8.4/10

Final Verdict

Overall: 8.9/10

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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