I have been lusting for a Woodway treadmill ever since I experienced one of them at the NY Giants training center when I was there in 2011 to cover a Timex Triathlon Team camp, but the $12,000 price tag was a massive hurdle to me. A hurdle though that many others had apparently overcome by either buying it new anyway or hunting down a used version of this high-end and beastly Wisconsin made treadmill. Back then there was also not the right space in our home for any treadmill, but when we built our new home in 2015/2016 we had more space and also a room that was going to be a dedicated pain cave. I thus started to look more seriously at getting my hands on one, but also researched other more affordable treadmills. I knew that having a treadmill at home would be a game changer for me as I at times can't leave the house because I am the only parent at home. My wife's work schedule is very demanding and with a treadmill I could run when the boys are tucked in for the night, or even during the day while they play nearby. Plus of course with a treadmill you can really control your pace and a treadmill is weather independent. Theoretically any treadmill would serve those purposes, but for some reason I kept coming back to the Woodway and my awesome wife swiftly gave me the green light to go ahead. The folks who had bought new Woodway units all seemed completely happy with that investment and spoke very highly of their experience. But those people who bought them used also seemed quite content and good ambassadors for this Waukesha, Wisconsin brand.
In September of 2017 I finally made the decision to purchase a used remanufactured Woodway Desmo Evo from Fitness Superstore in Benicia, CA and was really sold by the very attentive owner of the store and the great communication by the employees. Plus I liked the video that showed their remanufacturing process. This Desmo Evo set me back $4,999, plus I bought the 3 year parts and labor warranty for $499. Add on the $649 shipping cost to the room of choice and I was totally out $6,147. I could have added a new belt (something that is actually included by them for all other treadmills) for another $1,500, but I wanted the money bleeding to stop and thus did not add the new belt.
The unit shipped on October 6th and arrived at my house on October 25th. The delivery company that delivered the unit had never before delivered a treadmill and two guys seemed a bit unprepared for the job. They were perfectly friendly and working hard, but struggled to put the unit together. At one point I considered asking them to leave and finish the job myself, but I had wanted that type of delivery to avoid any problems in case the unit did not work properly, and thus the finger could not be pointed at me. I let them finish the job but could not test it at that moment as I had to run to pick up my kids. When I returned home and turned on the unit the display stayed blank, but the treadmill was surely on. I was frazzled and called the Fitness Superstore and one of their tech guys walked me through the setup and it turned out that the delivery guys never connected the display to the treadmill itself, and with that handled all systems were good to go. I enjoyed running on the treadmill but a few weeks later I got another surprise when the arms that hold the display moved a few inches when I held on to it. Surely my 185 pounds could not have overwhelmed this beast of treadmill, plus I had seen 300 pound football players on Woodways in the Meadowlands. I again called the company and they were horrified. It clearly was a mistake made by that local delivery company, and the Fitness Superstore sent out some replacement brackets overnight and contacted a local technician to handle this properly. When the crew from Advantage Fitness Products showed up they quickly replaced the brackets and set it up properly and since then it has been smooth sailing and lots of running on this Woodway Desmo Evo. In mid December I signed up for the Slowtwitch 100 runs in 100 days challenge and on day 60 I am currently at 61 runs. The majority of these runs have been on the treadmill and connected to Zwift. But that is via my Stryd foot pod, the treadmill is not Bluetooth or Ant+ connected.
The treadmill however feels awesome and responds very fast to speed input and elevation adjustments. Many friends have come over to check out the Woodway and I think I actually could rent it out. I don't mind having a friend come over to run on it, but I will surely not make this a business. I am very pleased that I made this purchase and would absolutely go that direction again. Despite the early troubles I would also recommend the Fitness Superstore. Plus I actually got a $250 refund for the poor delivery service. Just be sure that a solid technician puts it together. Plus it actually really isn't wizardry, so you could do it yourself. Basically not much comes apart for the transport, but it is super heavy.
This is the view from behind looking at the TV screen where the Zwift app is running. My Wahoo Kickr is sitting right in front of the treadmill, with maybe 5 feet of space between them.
The display screen is very basic, but has the all the info I need or want. And typically my eyes are focused on the TV set where I watch my Zwift data.
There also control buttons on the arms of the Woodway. Speed on the right hand side, and elevation on the other.
This Woodway Desmo Evo unit of mine goes up to a 15 percent incline but does not have a decline feature. That though can be had.
Up close with the unique treads of the Woodway. They are clearly worn but that has not hindered me in any way. And this running track feels more like being outside and is very different from any other treadmill I have tried before. It is hard to describe in words and really is something that needs to be personally experienced.
Top speed possible is 12.5 mph and I doubt that I ever will find that limiting. That by the way is 4:48 pace which would get you a 14:53 5k.
The badge reveals 2007 as the manufacturing year and shows the required electricity support.
We have modern Legrand outlets and light switches everywhere, but not here. The Woodway requires a 110V NEMA 5-20R outlet with a dedicated 20 amp line.
The treadmill is pretty loud, but does not really bother me. And I am not really sure how the noise compares to other treadmills, plus I think that this tall room amplifies the noise. I love the treadmill though and with the help of 2 Honeywell fans the sweating is kept in check.
All images © Herbert Krabel