Buyer Guide

A Guide On Treadmill Buying

Buying a treadmill is a huge investment. To ensure that the money is well spent, it becomes important to choose a quality product that provides long lasting service. A Buyer’s Guide on Treadmill could be very helpful in guiding a buyer towards the correct selection and buying process.

The buyer’s guide offers tips to prospective treadmill buyers to choose a quality fitness product. It covers aspects like price, brand, motor, belt, deck, frame, flywheels, rollers, speed, incline, size, safety, quality and warranty.

First, a buyer must be clear about the amount he/she is willing to spend on a treadmill. There are four treadmill varieties on the basis of price. These are budget, mid-range, quality and commercial treadmills. After one is clear about their budget, they may look at some important aspects of the machine.

Treadmill motor is the most important part. It powers the treadmill belt and is measured in terms of HorsePower. Generally, treadmill motors range from 1.5 HP to 3 HP. A motor that measures at least 2 HP is good enough. Continuous duty HP motors score over peak duty. DC motors are more suitable for home treadmills and AC motors for commercial use products.

The second most significant component is the treadmill belt. Most home treadmills have 2 ply belts and the commercial ones have 4 ply belts. The belt size must be suitable for the user’s fitness needs as a smaller sized belt can increase the risk of probable falls and injuries.

Deck supports the running surface of the treadmill and helps absorb shocks. For intensive running exercises, a cushioned deck is very important. Good-quality decks are usually reversible. They can be turned over and used, thus increasing the life of the deck two-fold. The frame must be sturdy and durable. Often treadmill frames are made up of steel. Steel frames are apt for most purposes and provide a smooth performance. Some commercial treadmills use aluminum frames. These frames are stronger than steel ones, support more user weight and are rust and corrosion resistant.

Flywheels help to control the belt’s speed and consistency. A good flywheel protects the motor and the electronic parts and thus improves the machine’s longevity. Treadmill rollers support the belt. Bigger and heavier rollers are better. Good-quality rollers reduce wear and tear on the belt and motor.

 Speed and incline levels must be appropriate for the intensity of the workout. Rigorous exercise will require higher speed and incline levels.

Many treadmills provide safety features like handrails, panic shut down etc., which may be of great practical use in case of adversity.

Warranty is another very crucial aspect of a treadmill. The warranty offered on the machine can testify for the quality of the machine parts. A minimum of three years warranty for parts and one year for labour is good enough.

A lot of machines offer electronics and added features like heart rate monitor, read outs time, distance, calories and pre-set workouts etc.

A potential consumer should also decide whether he wants a manual or motorized treadmill. Also, he must know whether he wants a folding or a non-folding model. A buyer with space constraints may deem it fit to go for a fold-up machine instead of its non-folding variant. Manual treadmills are fine for walking exercises but not so apt for running or other vigorous exercises, where motorized machines are better suited.

It makes a lot of sense to buy from branded manufacturers with proven records of quality and customer satisfaction. Some such highly recommended treadmill producers are Smooth, Sole, Life fitness, Horizon, and Health Rider, among others.

One must also devote some time comparing features, quality and prices of different treadmill models before taking a final decision. It may also be helpful to read some expert reviews, which can render useful buying advice.

A treadmill purchased after due consideration to all these aspects highlighted in the buyer’s guide would be worth the time, effort and money spent on it.