With its reputation for value firmly in sight, strength-specialist Body-Solid has introduced three treadmills -- appearing at select retailers nationally in the last six weeks -- with its first elliptical also beginning to ship. But that's not all: Another elliptical is on the way in the next month, and two more bikes will be ready to go by late summer.
â€œSo many of our dealers love the way we do business and they've asked us to do this,â€ Earl Shraiberg, Body-Solid's president, told SNEWS. â€œBikes are right behind.â€
None will, however, have the name Body-Solid on them; instead they'll go under the company's new cardiovascular equipment brand name, Endurance. The name Body-Solid, Shraiberg said, will remain exclusively for the strength line.
Like its other product, the cardiovascular brand will also carry the company's lifetime warranty that comes without limitations and includes wear items (although excluding normal wear and tear, and any negligence or abuse). Bob Packer, co-owner of Wheeler's Fitness in Fresno, Calif., which is one of about 30 specialty dealers nationally participating in the initial rollout, told SNEWS the treadmills were already selling well -- and the lifetime warranty helps him sell them to consumers.
Shraiberg said the company was following the â€œstrong trendâ€ to be a one-stop shop by adding cardiovascular equipment to its established strength line that has always been known for moderate prices and for being well-made.
The rollout has come slowly -- last year at the August Health & Fitness Business Expo, the company showed several prototypes to gauge feedback. Body-Solid made sure everything was as fine-tuned as possible before unveiling the product in the United States. The products have been selling in Korea, Japan and New Zealand for the last two years and were in development about 18 months before that, he said.
â€œWe will walk before we run with this product line,â€ Shraiberg said. â€œWe're doing our homework. If we're going to put this warranty on it, we better.â€
The warranty on the company's Fitness Factory website, www.fitnessfactory.com, states: â€œEndurance is the only cardio equipment company in the world that features an Exclusive In-Home Lifetime Warranty on Everything. Frame, Electronics, Motor, Belt...You name it. It's all covered. Forever. Period.â€ The product is not on the Body-Solid site, www.bodysolid.com.
The three treadmills are called the 5K, 8K and 10K, with the features, programs, console, motor and deck size, for example, offering slightly more with the larger model. For example, the5K motor is a 2.2 HP with a 20-inch-x-50-inch belt, while the 10K has a 2.5 HP motor with a 21-inch-x-53-inch belt. Suggested list prices are $1,200, $1,500 and $1,700, respectively. Another higher-priced treadmill model still to come will have heart-rate control, he said.
SNEWS View: For a company that can hit a moderate price with a strong rep for being well-made, it makes sense to decide to be more to more people by tapping into that reputation to expand the business. And Body-Solid operates quietly, under the radar, doing its thing and doing it well without blowing big horns. We, however, wonder if this one-stop-shop trend -- the one Body-Solid decided to join -- that has been growing exponentially among fitness manufacturers in the last couple of years won't bite back when retailers decide they don't want to look like a company-owned store. We don't understand why a company can't just do one type of equipment or, for goodness sake, one line and just do it so right that it's a no-brainer for stores to sell. Consider: Nordstrom does dressy and casual shoes really really well, but does that mean it should go into lumberjack work boots too? None of that is of course a slight to Body-Solid, whose quality and service receive rave reviews.