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What to Look for in a Treadmill – What All Consumers Need to Know

How Much Should I Pay?

As with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. So while a $1,000 treadmill will likely be better than a $250 treadmill, a $3,000 treadmill will be even better – i.e.  a more powerful motor, stronger frame and better all round construction quality, a longer and wider running area with a cushioning system for comfort, more programs and generally just more technological features.

How Long Should the Warranty Be?

Generally, although by no means set in stone, the longer the warranty, the more expensive the treadmill. This is because more expensive treadmills tend be better constructed and so manufacturers are more likely to stand behind their product.

You should look at treadmills that are backed by a 10-year motor warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year in-home labor warranty. While this may be asking a lot from budget models, make sure that you check online consumer reviews before pulling your credit card out, to see if they have run into any problems with the unit breaking down.

What Size Should the Treadbelt Be?

If you’re primarily looking for a treadmill for walking on, the smaller the treadbelt you can get away with. Typically, walkers are happy with a 48-inch long belt, although very tall individuals may want to look at belts a few inches longer, as they tend to have longer strides. If you’re a jogger or runner then look for a treadmill that comes equipped with a 55-60-inch long treadbelt, just to be on the safe side.

How Many Years Should I Be Able to Get Out of a Treadmill?

Typically, the average life of treadmill is 10 years. However, as always this is not set in stone. With proper care, you can get several more years out of your treadmill. There tends to be two things that shorten the lifespan of a treadmill – dust and belt friction. This is why we recommend lubricating the area between the running deck and belt with a silicone lubricant, and vacuuming around and under the treadmill often.

What Do I Need to Know About the Motor?

All you really need to know about is the horsepower of the motor. However, there is one thing that you must keep in mind. These measurements can either be stated in Peak Power or Continuous Power. While Peak Power numbers often sound impressive, this is a measure of a motor’s maximum power before failure.

At the very least you should look for a treadmill that is powered by a 1.5 continuous horsepower motor. However, if you are a jogger or runner then the higher the number the better.

What Should I Look for in a Computer Console?

A computer console should at the very least display running time, speed, distance, incline, and heart rate. However, spend a little more and the treadmill will come with a variety of built-in workout programs to keep your workouts varied and interesting. Once you start to get into the $500+ range, you will get even more programs as well as some cool features like speakers and a fan. Into the $1,000+ range and you will even get web-browsing capabilities.