Advertiser Disclosure

#1 Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 review

Chris L.
January 12, 2021

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 uses your body's own weight to built up intensity. It's non-motorized, so it doesn't rely on electricity or need to be plugged in. Combined with 12 intensity levels, you can see your endurance building with this low-impact machine.

Is the Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 treadmill best for you?

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 is a great piece of workout equipment for anyone who doesn't have a lot of space around the house. It features an ergonomic design and doesn't need to be plugged in. You can set it up anywhere in the house, including in front of the TV, so that you're entertained as you work out.

You're in control on the TC5. You simply get moving while adjusting the intensity level to your preference. And since you're not really running, it's easier on your joints and bones. It's a great piece for anyone rehabilitating from a prior injury or for people who want to burn calories on an easy-to-use machine.

Consider Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 if...

  • You need higher-intensity workouts. The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 comes with 12 intensity levels and speeds up to 4.5 mph. It's equally as fast as the TC20. And since it doesn't come with a motor, its motions are entirely dependent on the force you apply, making you work harder and burn more calories.
  • You want to use less electricity. No outlet is required for the TC5. It doesn't feature a motor, so it's not reliant on electricity to function. This makes it a great choice if you want to save money on future power bills.
  • You like lower impact workouts. Many people prefer treadclimbers over treadmills because they're easier on joints, knees, and ankles. The TC5 makes an elliptical motion, so your feet don't come up from the pedals. It's a great option for people going through physical rehabilitation.

Avoid Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 if...

  • You enjoy running. You don't exactly run on the TC5. And you can't exactly go fast with a max speed of 4.5 mph. If you like sprinting as part of your workout regimen, then you want a traditional treadmill.
  • You want to store data. Some treadmills allow you to create user profiles. This allows you to track your progress over time. It's especially handy if multiple people plan on using the machine. However, the TC5 has no such feature.
  • You don't like leaving your iPod behind. There's no iPod port on the TC5. It doesn't come with built-in speakers for you to play music directly on the device. There also isn't WiFi compatibility for syncing your devices over Bluetooth.

Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 pros & cons


  • Compact design
  • 4 functional displays: speed, distance, time, and calories
  • Motorless
  • Space efficiency


  • No preset workouts
  • Short warranty

Construction and design

  • Motor: The TC5 doesn't contain a motor. You use your body's force to put it in motion.
  • Running Surface: You don't run on the TC5. You place each foot onto a separate pedal and get moving.
  • Touchscreen: The TC5 includes an LCD display screen. It shows how long you've been working on on each individual session as well as calories burned and other useful information.
  • Speakers: No speakers are built into the treadclimber.
  • Built-in Programs: The TC5 doesn't come with built-in programs for you to follow. It's up to you to decide how hard you want to go.

Key Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 Specs

Reasons to buy Bowflex Treadclimber TC5?

  • You don't have a lot of space. The TC5 is much more compact than a traditional treadmill. It may not fold it on itself, but it doesn't take up much room to begin with. And since it doesn't need to be plugged in, you can put it anywhere.
  • You have knee pain. High-intensity workouts, such as running, may not be good for everyone. The smooth motion offered by the treadclimber is preferable for people with knee or ankle issues.
  • You're interested in weight loss. The TC5 makes you perform 3 motions in 1 device. It's the economical way to burn calories faster and lose weight.

Reasons to avoid Bowflex Treadclimber TC5?

  • You want all the bonuses. Modern treadmills, like the NordicTrack Z 1300i, are incredibly high-tech. They connect to your phone via Bluetooth, and you can sync it with various fitness apps. The TC5 doesn't have anything like that.
  • You want greater peace of mind. The TC5 only comes with a 1-year warranty. While there's no motor that could break down, there are plenty of other moving parts. You may want something that comes with a greater warranty so that you know you're covered longer.

What real Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 reviews say

We spent 18 hours scouring the web (reading over 253 customer reviews). Our conclusion? Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 receives high praise! Our average consolidated user rating sits around a 4.6 - 4.74 (across several hundred reviews). Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 scored higher, on average, compared to their closest competitors.

What reviewers like

  • "I get on the tc5 every other day after i come home from work. This product is excellent."
  • "I can already see benefits! I am enjoying using it, and enjoying the feelings of accomplishment!"
  • "Set it up in a location so you can pass your time watching TV or gazing out a window, because this machine is quiet enough to watch TV while you climb your way to fitness."
  • "I feel so great after a 30 or 40 min workout it's unbelievable."
  • "Once I got the pace down it was very easy to use. Great machine."

What reviewers dislike

  • "We have just had trouble with the tread wearing on the outside edge."
  • "The only drawback is that it's a bit noisy; my machine started squeaking very loudly but used the lubricant included with the machine and it's back to its regular noise which, again, is a bit noisy."
  • "The hardest thing was putting it together by myself."
  • "The foot pedals rubbed against the sides but after adjustment it was corrected."
  • "Like it but would still recommend the motorized one!"

Our verdict

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 is fairly basic, but it does come with some nice perks. The 12 intensity levels give you something to build toward. And the indicators are laid out simply so that you can keep track of your progress every time you step on it.

Whether you get a motorized machine or not comes down to personal preference. You have more places you can put the TC5 around your home when you don't need to plug it in. But some people may like having an actual treadmill they can run on rather than work out on what's essentially an elliptical. But when it comes to burning calories fast and efficiently, the TC5 ranks pretty high.

Where to buy Bowflex Treadclimber TC5

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC5 is available from several retailers. However, if you actually want a treadmill at a great price, then check out the Bowflex BXT216 on Amazon. You get free shipping, and you can even break it up into monthly payments to make it more affordable.