Treadmill Buyers Guide
Welcome to treadmill reviews. Seeing as you lot are here to get into shape and purchase a treadmill, below are some key questions you should be asking yourself prior to commencing your search.
- How much should I spend and what sort of treadmill can I expect for the price?
Keep the below price points and guide tips in mind but note that a good online sale means you could sometimes get your treadmill for less.
$1500 – $2500
From our experience in reviewing treadmills, those between $1,500 – $2,500 provide a great deal of value and utility to consumers looking for a regular workout, whether that be walking or running. Treadmills in this price range are generally accompanied by many of the feature sets, quality components, and comprehensive warranties we describe in the next section. As you approach the $2,000 price point, the features sets and components become more expansive and of a higher quality, supportive of more comfortable and higher performance workouts.
Often those treadmills priced over $2,500 are for consumers looking for an experience that is very comfortable, technologically advanced, and suited towards high-performance training. Many of the treadmills here are even suitable commercial use.
Generally those treadmills below ~$500 are not of substantial quality, meaning they come with very limited feature-sets, quality components, and warranties. We typically do not recommend these treadmills as they may not last you for more than a year, particular with any regular use. They lack of quality component parts may not provide a safe and comfortable workout; ex. the experience may become harsh on your joints. Not a good idea.
However, as you move towards the $1,000 price point there are bargains to be found which will come with strong feature-sets, quality component parts, and product warranties.
- How will I use my treadmill?
Looking to be more of a walker or a runner? Focus on the treadmill motor and track size to determine if the treadmill is meant for walkers only or walkers & runners.
- The motor powers the treadmill. Those with higher horsepower can endure longer workouts with heavy running. Larger motors can also endure workouts by heavier folk (eg. over 200lbs).
- The track is the belt of the treadmill that we run on. Track lengths generally range between 50 and 60 inches . From a sizing perspective, larger track lengths are for runners and those taller folk. If you are looking to run or are tall skew more towards 60 inches or more.
Generally – treadmills with larger motors and with wider, and longer tracks are suitable to bigger folk who are looking to run. With our reviews, we’ll mark each treadmill with the following symbols, indicate they are appropriate for
- Performance running
- Larger or taller folk
The average size of a treadmill is 7 feet long and 3 feet wide . Some treadmills are foldable which reduces the space they take up.
What should you do do next?
- Learn more about the feature-sets, component parts, and warranties that come with treadmills in the section here
- Explore our site, and read our reviews on treadmills that fall into what you are looking for with respect to usage, price-point etc.
- Try the treadmills you like
- BUY online as you can often get better deals here!!
Treadmill Feature-Sets, Component Parts, & Warranty
Treadmills come with an array of feature-sets to make the workout either more fun, enjoyable, engaging and challenging.
Inclines & Speed
A treadmill’s ability to incline is a very common feature-set across treadmill models. Adding incline adds to the intensity and engagement of the workout. If you’re concerned about adding intensity via increasing speed, Usain bolt’s top speed is around 44kph. For us more common folk, anything with a top speed of 15-20kph is more than sufficient.
All treadmills will let you run manually, meaning a plain old run on a flat incline. However, treadmills also come with a variety of set programs that adjust speeds and inclines (sometimes very dynamically) to cater to your desired goals. There are generally programs to….
- Increase your heart rate
- Engage in Interval training
- Target weight loss
- Focus on high performance
There are tech features of a treadmill that actually are quite useful for some in getting them to come back for more. Those that came with a web browser or tablet holder we love; watch our daily news and be active at the same time. No doubt; it does keep you more engaged in your workout.
Here’s where it gets very cool. Imagine the set programs mentioned above, coupled with an interactive video experience of you running through the English countryside. I’ll let your imaginations run wild. For example, the iFit technology available on NordicTrack is just smashing. Check out a video here
- Component Parts
We’ve already discussed the importance of the motor and track size of your treadmill in our first section
That aside, a treadmill’s (a) track belt composition and (b) track cushioning are of utmost importance to the durability, smoothness, and comfort of your walking, jogging, or running experience.
Track Belt Composition
The track belt is key as it gets the most use. Generally, the rubber belts need to be well lubricated (sometimes they are self lubricating) to keep the track running smoothly and quietly.
As far as composition, multi-ply or thicker belts mean more durability and a comfortable, quiet experience.
Below the track of a treadmill is its wood deck. Without any form of cushioning, each step onto this deck would send quite a bit of force up your legs, impacting your joints. There are various types of cushioning systems that act as shock absorbers, lessening the impact to your legs and joints.
The best system is a variable cushioning system; one which has different type of (usually) rubber support across different parts of the track + wood base; front treadmill (deck), middle treadmill (deck), back treadmill (deck). The front deck has the softest rubber to allow for the most shock absorption for landing, the back deck has a firmer rubber which allows for pushing off, and the middle deck has a balance of the two.
Treadmills manufacturers will generally offer life-time or very extended warranties on the treadmill frame and motor. If not, stay away!
Key in your purchasing decision should be the warranty that’s provided for component parts and electronics and associated shipping and labour charges.
Generally longer warranties are better and indicative of higher quality. We would recommend looking at treadmills with >1 year on component parts and electronics.