A few years ago Precor made a deal to get their entry level units into Dicks sporting goods, and in doing so they decided to lower the pricing on those same units. They also made available a longer 7 year warranty on parts if customer purchased the unit from a specialty fitness store. This was a good move for these units and helped make them best buys on multiple sites for many years.
These units do have a very nice Precor feel even though they are outsourced and not made with the higher end units at their plant in America. The non folding frame has a nice solid feel and is good for most runners under 6 feet tall. I am not sure why Precor shortened their decks during their redesign a few years ago but for many users it’s a non story.
I like the simplicity of the console and the ease of navigating its programs and features. I am however not a big fan of the color scheme and for some shoppers it may put them off. I am not suggesting that this is a deal breaker by any means, its just something to consider when shopping for something in your home.
The aluminum side rails and extended handles are nice structure upgrades from the 9.23 and for heavier or older users they are missed on the lower priced unit. However, they do include both the Ground Effects and IFT systems in this unit which helps a lot of shoppers get into a Precor without having to spend $4k+.
Ground Effects® Impact Control (GFX®)
As I stated earlier this system has a nice solid feel that uses rubber shock absorbers on either side of the deck in order to absorb the force of the runner. Unlike most brands they do not use variable durometers but instead they use one solid piece per side that is triangle shaped. It is softer then a landice but firmer then a Life Fitness and is more then good enough to warrant an addition to the try list when shopping in this range.
This was a bigger deal in years past before almost everyone moved from analog to digital systems for speed control. Now it is considered standard practices in most quality units. So it is very good to have, but most units in this range now do.
I usually do not bring up the console as a whole but I really like the layout and simplicity of use that Precor has developed. It is very easy on the eyes and easy to understand and the buttons have a very nice feel and feedback.
2 User Id’s
The unit does offer 2 user ID’s which the 9.23 does not and makes programming for regular users much easier to navigate and remember your preferences.
Wireless Heart Rate
Another upgrade from the 9.23 is the addition of wireless heart rate monitoring and the associated programming. This is a very nice upgrade for anyone interested in getting the most out of your time on the unit.
Overall this unit has a very nice feel that sits very solidly and soundly underneath the user. I definitely recommend trying the unit out if you are in this price range, but be sure to check out the deck length while you are on it. I find the shock system comfortable and in the top 5 systems on the market and the quality is exactly what you would expect at this price point. I like the upgrade to the 9.27 over the 9.23 for the programming and structure upgrades, but I would suggest purchasing from a specialty fitness store in order to get the additional 2 years of parts warranty at no additional charge.