ProForm 520 ZN Review

Editor's Rating: 7.2 /10
This model is discontinued.

ProForm is a well-known brand from fitness retailer giant Icon Health and Fitness. Their 520 ZN is one of their most inexpensive treadmills, offered for less than $600 from retailers like Walmart. This model features the SpaceSaver folding frame, making it a good choice for users with small workout space.

This is clearly a budget-friendly model from the drive system to features a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor to the 300 pound weight capacity (just like the ProForm 6.0 RT, also one of ProForm’s most inexpensive models). However, the tread belt is slightly more spacious at 20 inches wide and 55 inches long. The shock-absorption system features the ProShox Cushioning support to keep the deck stable and comfortable. This model is also equipped with 1.9″ precision-machined and balanced non-flex rear roller to reduce friction and noisier operation.

This model features a power incline that ranges up to 10% and speed controls from 1 to 10 mph. Speed and incline changes can be made using the Quick Speed or Quick Incline keys as well as through the traditional up and down keys that are also located on the console. The console is also equipped with a 2-speed CoolAir cooling fan, two cup holders, and an Intermix Acoustics Sound System. You can choose from 18 built-in workout programs and to track heart rate there are dual-grip EKG sensors built into the handlebars. The backlit LCD display window offers basic workout readouts like time, distance, and calories burned. Nothing but the basics here.

The warranty on this model includes 1 year coverage on parts and labor and 25 years covered on the motor.

What We Like:

  • Folding Design: As with other inexpensive, lightweight, and compact treadmills by ProForm, the 520 ZN is equipped with a folding frame that uses the patented SpaceSaver design.
  • Price: ProForm typically offers treadmills that are pricier, so it’s nice to have an inexpensive model from a more well-known brand like ProForm. This model retails for well under $600, which is a steal for a treadmill from a reputable brand.
  • Program Variety: Despite the price, this model still offers a decent program variety of 18 workout programs. This feature makes it easy to add a little variety to your workout or achieve different fitness goals.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Display Screen: Obviously we would not expect a full color touch screen display or anything like that on a treadmill for this price, but the screen is still pretty small.
  • Speed and Incline: This machine tops out at 10 mph and offers incline up to 10%. That’s not bad if you are purchasing this model for solely walking, but it takes away from the overall versatility of the machine with such limited speed/incline options.
  • Weak Drive System: A 2.5 CHP motor drives this treadmill, which is pretty weak. ProForm tried to make this treadmill with a more spacious running area so it’s not as compact as the other models with 2.5 CHP motors, which makes it an even weaker drive system.

Our Verdict:

ProForm makes pretty good treadmills and their inexpensive line of machines isn’t too bad either. There are many other brands that offer treadmills at this price point, just not of this quality. That’ s not to say this is a high-quality treadmill, but for the price it’s not bad . If you are looking for an inexpensive treadmill purely for walking, the 520 ZN might be a good fit. However we do still recommend checking out our best treadmills for walkers page. For a little more money, you could have a vastly superior machine.