Best Treadmill for Running on Zwift

I was interested in the Best Treadmill available, super easy connection, beautiful look and feel, easy integration. I happen to run, and my children are in track and field and cross country. My wife likes to hike and trail walk daily.

Probably best look at the Bowflex range albeit the models vary depending on which region you are in.

You can buy any treadmill that you like and just get a Stryd Run Pod or Runn device and both connect flawlessly for me to Zwift if you choose a non-smart mill.

I’d certainly recommend the cost saving of a dumb treadmill over a smart one given the range of connectivity options out there.

I based my recommendation on the OP asking for a treadmill that was super easy to connect with a good look.

The NPE Runn isn’t the easiest, some people struggle to get it setup and most of us have to regularly calibrate it. It doesn’t cope well with accuracy over a range of speeds.
The Stryd is a good option but the OP is clearly looking for a solution for all his family whereby the Stryd is attached to one pair of shoes.

I think given the OP requirements it’s a smart treadmill they need.

Thanks! The treadmill is for me to run inside so my kids can see me and actually get motivated. I was thinking a high end trainer, like the Assault Runner Pro. My daughter is in the 9th grade and runs track, and my son is in the 8th grade and runs cross country. I thought it would be helpful, just for them to train for a 1/2 a day or so, practice stride, tempo, striking. Nothing more than that, just about 3 miles each time. I was wondering if anyone had experience with the non-motorized trainers. I have heard they build excellent form.

That model does connect to Zwift.

A good choice for sure, certainly a better workout than a motorised treadmill.


I run on an assault runner. Never had any issues pairing, it just works.

Regarding form, I don’t know. If you are a heel striker you are kind of forced to hit further in the front due to the incline. So that’s probably a good thing.

Other than that, I can only highly recommend any curved runner. You are more or less able to instantly shift pace and it will hold you in the middle of the tread whereas you could bump against the console or fall of the back on a motorized treadmill. You can just run not thinking about alignment front to back.

Recently on vacation I had the chance to run on a high end technogym treadmill ($15k +). I would not trade it for my assault runner.

Plus with younger children the potential for serious injury’s is lower without a motor. Nobody is getting sucked under the tread.

In the end you have to find out what suits you best, curved or traditional.



Thanks. I looked at the Assault Runner. I felt it is an excellent runner, and likely the one I will buy. I am very interested in this area of fitness. The entire area has lagged because of a lack of innovation for a number of reason. First off, the most influential individuals in the industry over time have been engineers and physicians, and the two most important people, William Staub, who invented the treadmill in NJ, and Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, US Air Force, pioneer of the 12 minute run distance. These two men had a need to keep people healthy in the general population or screen the general population for healthy recruits. My interest in Zwift is about exercise culture. And the fundamental question, why are treadmills so boring, and dance clubs so exciting?


Thanks, by innovation, I am referring to ideas which we have not yet considered. Take a look at Nintendo Sports.

This is the Nintendo Switch Game, Nintendo Sports. Without question, Zwift could develop a soccer game called “shot on goal”, for runners. In that model, you would run on an Assault Trainer, you are picking up your speed, you have to maintain a certain speed, and you are going to shoot at the goal specifically on time to win, and then you hit a button, the ball takes off, did you score, you slow down, and run back the midpoint of the field.

Nintendo has the best API structure in the industry, the largest library of profitably internally built games. I assume the goal of Zwift is to make money by keeping users healthy. The reality, whatever it takes, you have to get the kids market at one point, or your company in software gaming is not going to make it, it will be a unicorn.

To win in the treadmill market, Zwift must bring something more to the market that a simulation of running around a track or running practice.



Thanks, I have written the Assault Group and asked for a student discount for the kids. It looks like a good runner. Zwift wanted to be in the space of hardware, and the treadmill still has a great deal of innovation left, but might be expensive to innovate. William Staub invented the treadmill. Fun to read about him, he was a giant. Excellent to study and was a fitness guru, he was an extremely principled person. He lived in same NJ township for 70 years, basically, he was not a materialist, and he understood human contribution is about leading through example. I was going to put the Treadmill in my living room overlooking the Monte Bello Canyon in Palo Alto. The entire goal of this project for the next four years, to remind my kids in high school, come on already, get out an exercise, get in and exercise, exercise, and you will always have great friends, and make a ton of money!


I have an Assault Airrunner, which i use with Stryd for Zwift. It is worth noting that it is much harder work than a regular motorised treadmill. This is great for fitness, not so great if you want to match your indoor pace to your outdoor performance for the same effort. This is especially important if you want to race on Zwift rather than simply running for exercise and form. Article on the subject here -

If I want stats for Zwift to be comparable with outdoor performance then I find I need to add a 1.25X multiplier to my weight (to correct Stryd power data for the slower pace for a given effort) and the same multiplier for my speed by using my Garmin Fenix watch in Virtual Run activity to compensate for the slower pace.

If you are unable to compensate for the reduced pace (it’s supposed to be like running up an 8% incline) then you may be disappointed. Also, if you want to perform workouts or group runs where incline adjustment is part of the plan then you’ll not have the luxury of adjustment.

Is it a good treadmill? Absolutely. Is it good for Zwift? Well, maybe, but only if you’re willing to accept the limitations or have a plan to overcome them, at least partially.


Thanks, this is super helpful. I think the Assault Runner looks great and feels great, very minimalistic. I like the run feel. I felt non-motorized was more like trail running. I think it is always better to go for higher quality and higher fitness, because health is not a competition, it is a state of engagement. The largest medical study on running that was longitudinal demonstrated significant increased lifespan of runners (3 years) , and the dose was measured ideally, 3-4 times per week, 3-4 five miles, at 8-10 minute pace. Having said that, the data showed it was more important to address untreated hypertension (5.2 years lost) and to stop smoking (7 years lost). Surprisingly, and I did not know this, a fair amount of runners smoke (About 1/3). What was interesting, is that the Assault Runner seemed to be good for practicing intervals, say 400 meter and 800 meter, based on my brief experience with the device, and I was wondering if that was your experience.


Hi, Gary.

I’m more of a steady pace runner, content with 5k and 10k runs without a structured training program, so intervals are not really of interest to me. I do occasionally let rip, but it’s not a big area of focus for me (currently).

That said, it is very easy to adjust pace quickly and it is your own legs in charge of pace, not buttons and a motor, so you can’t really overcook it and end up off the back of the thing. Equally the only upper limit on pace is your legs, so the trainer itself will never hold you back. So in those regards i think it is excellent for intervals.



I am a trail runner. I enjoy 5K to 10K, or 3 to 6 miles consistently. Occasionally I will do a longer run. I am not into intervals per se but my daughter runs in high school. I bike daily as well, and I am biking now with my son. My interest is in having him use Zwift to see what it is like for him, his experience. At this point, the company is in a down round, so they have to be in cash preserving mode. I think the key issue is kids. Who plays video games, kids. Everyday at work in the hospital, what do I see, little kids on I-pads playing RoadBlox and MineCraft. The valuations of these platforms are very high, because the level of use is fantastic.

With athletics, you have put the effort in, kind of like graduate school. Zwift invested heavily in texting during the game play but most professionals relate through correspondence.

I am interested in this field from a health care point of view. Imagine if Zwift could connect their trainer and the treadmill to an Abbott Cardiac Mems device and collect accurate data on HR, Wattage, and PulmonaryWedge Pressure. The entire cost of the platform moving forward could be paid for by Medicare, a third party payer system, with integration into rehabilitation. That is where all the big money is. Those with heart failure could be at home, walking on a mechanical treadmill, focusing on daily exercise, weight loss, and recovery.

Even in the running community, the devices could offer us better selection of gear because a treadmill and a bike trainer is a controlled environment. The Garmin running pods and straps offer sophisticated run dynamics. Obviously heart rate and cadence has been worked out. But what about bounce, etc, that is still not worked out, and trainers may be useful moving forward not as substitutes but as training devices, get on the trainer in the store and try 3 different shoes, and see what the data tells you.

I specifically do not race, it is just not my interest. I have a triathlon coming up, and my goal is not to win, it is to show up, complete the swim, enjoy the ride, and pace myself to the finish line. My point, and it is a very interesting point, what do treadmills offer runners of all types in a family in terms of levels of engagement.

In my home, right now, I am the only one to use Zwift. My family is athletic. The bike trainer is in the living room, the physical setup is awesome. My son, he is 14 years old, his training consists of screaming at his friends at Minecraft, eating potato chips and snacks, and doing math problems. No question, he could crush me on the one mile, he recently ran a six minute mile. Bottom line, is kids under 18 see no need for training, amateur athletes in college do not see the need to train, they run with friends, and older people with cardiac conditions who would 100% get the benefit of 30 minutes per day training with real dynamics with demonstrated weight loss parameters on screen, they are a completely ignored market. And the reason, an obsession with racing.

Most Americans are absolutely not interested in bike racing or running to compete overall. Like the Japanese, the Americans are very interested in mechanical engineering. Americans and Japanese want to design the next generation of products that racers might use. Americans and Japanese are interested in longevity and health maintenance.

As I pointed out, Zwift is a software platform foremost. The company was started around the idea of training for a race of some type. The limitation has been the focus on constant training. I was talking with my son, what about a Zwift module, something like the Legend of Zelda or even Atari Adventure from way back. To get from point A to B, you have to run the short distances, it is what Hitchock called the McGuffin, it is the entire psychological basis of most action movies. The entire goal is to get you engaged into the program, you are the ‘hero’ searching for ‘the key’.

The number one complaint of running on a treadmill since the day it was invented, “it’s boring”. Okay if that is the problem, then software needs to be created to take the “boring” out of the run.